Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NCC: Boston Tea Party Nail Art

Hey guys!  Today I have my last post of the month for the Nail Challenge Collaborative, and boy did I just sneak it in on time!

You may have noticed a theme with my entries this month, they started very literal (with a tea set on my nails), moved to a less literal interpretation (blue china print), a creative interpretation (Alice in Wonderland) and now I'm just going totally off the wall, with "The Boston Tea Party" nail art!  Hey, it says "tea party," doesn't it?

These actually ended up being my favorite nails of the entire challenge!  I've been trying to do more scenes that span my nails lately, and I think it's starting to pay off!  I was really proud of these, and super bummed that I worked right after doing them.  They didn't survive.

This is the picture I used for inspiration!

I decided to pretend like there were no visible people on the boat, and that it wasn't so close to shore... I can only do so much, people.  I didn't want them to look crowded either.

And here we have a close up of the thumb, since you cant see it super well in the photo above.

It's just more ships coming in to harbor.  I was really happy with these nails!  I think they conveyed what I wanted them to and I think they spanned across my nails rather well!  I was super sad when they got ruined.

But anyway, make sure you check out the other ladies' final manicures for this very interesting prompt!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Biology Nail Art

Hey guys! Today's post works for two challenges, The Lacquer's Legion "Weird Science" and Freehand Nail Art's "Back to School," since I'm a biology major!  And since I'm a biology major, the second I saw the theme "Weird Science" I knew I'd have to do something with biology... problem was I couldn't decide what.  So I did it all!

I started all my nails with two coats of Sally Hansen White On and then decided on what I would do on each nail.  My thumb has a Punnett Square, index is a part of the Periodic table, middle is a DNA helix (picture I used for inspiration), ring finger is a microscope (picture), and my pinkie is some flowers with "Bio" written over it.  Now on to the explanation behind each nail!

Here we have a Punnett Square.  Punnett Squares are used when you want to know what the outcome will be when you breed two different organisms together.  You have the dominant genes (A and B) and the recessive genes (a and b).  In theory, if parent Aa and Bb had four children, they could be AB, Ab, aB, and ab.  Child AB would display both the A and B traits, child Ab would display trait A, child aB would display trait B, and child ab would display neither traits.   In a square where both parents are Aa or Bb, one child would end up displaying the recessive trait (child aa or bb.)

On the index finger we have a part of the Periodic Table.  Now this is not how I like my Periodic Tables to be honest... I prefer to make my own and add all the info I want to them.  I usually include atomic number and weight, name and symbol, charge and electronegativity, atomic radius, ionic radius, electron affinity, and ionization energy.  I also color code and label around the chart so I know each elements Group Number, the family it belongs to, and for the Noble Gases, the number of electrons it holds.  But there's no way I'm fitting that on a fingernail!  Here we have Carbon, Nitrogen, Silicon, Phosphorous, Germanium, and Arsenic.

My middle finger has a DNA helix.  I've added the key for the colors here, with green being Adenine, purple being Thymine, red being Cytosine, and blue being Guanine.  It doesn't say it in the code, but the yellow (and orange-y parts that were to try to show 3 dimensions...) are the Phosphate backbone.

My ring finger is a microscope.  I don't have much to say about that other than I always have trouble looking past my eyelashes when using one!

And my pinkie is just some pretty flowers with "bio" on it.

So what do you guys think?  Do you like it? Do you like science? I've loved it ever since I was a little kid, it's just so much fun!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NCC: Alice in Wonderland Nail Art

Hey guys! Today I'm posting another mani for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's Tea Party theme.  This time around, I'm taking a bit less literal of an interpretation, and I'm doing the main characters present at the tea party from Alice in Wonderland!

alice in wonderland nail art

I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Pink Coconut since it was a color that wasn't on the outside of any of the characters I was portraying.

This is the picture I used as inspiration!

I decided to portray the March Hare, Mad Hatter, Alice, The Queen of Hearts, and the White Rabbit.  The first thing I did was to block out the shapes of each characters head using Sally Hansen White on White.

Please forgive the messy cuticles, I didn't feel like cleaning up between steps.  Once I had the vague outlines done, I added in some of the basic colors (ones that wouldn't overlap on each other).

After that, I added in secondary and tertiary colors, and then the dark brown, dark gray, or black outlining.  I don't have pictures of these steps because my camera decided to die.

Here's the finished product again! My favorites are definitely the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit.  I do not like my Alice. I tried to be true to the eye shape shown in the picture, and I should have just made them round.  She looks a little possessed.  The top coat also smeared away her chin somehow.

Be sure to check out the other ladies' manicures for mani #3!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NCC: Blue China Nail Art

Hey guys! So as you may have noticed, I am way behind on the Nail Challenge Collaborative this month.  I'm moving out on the 31st to my dorm, so I've been really busy this month trying to get everything done.  But I have all the manicures finished now and just need to edit photos and write up posts for them!

Today, I decided to a manicure inspired by blue china porcelain.

blue china nail art

These nails were actually pretty easy to do.  I started with two coats of Sally Hansen White On and then added my details using my cut down detail brush and Nina Pro Cobalt.  I finished with NYC Matte Me Crazy to give it a porcelain finish.

blue china nail art

I didn't really look at any one piece of china to get the pattern, I just kind of scrolled through the google image search for "Blue China" to get an idea of what some of the patterns were like.

blue china nail art

Make sure you check out the other ladies' day two manicures!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Zoo Animals Nail Art

Today's post is a quick one because I'm having my (VERY) belated graduation/end of summer party today.  Our busiest time of year is the summer, so we just never had time for it! But today we're going to go play laser tag and I still have some things I need to get ready for that, so quick post today.

Today's nail art is for the Freehand Nail Art Challenge, and the prompt today is "animals."  The second I saw that this prompt had won I knew I wanted to use Adventures in Acetone's animal nail art tutorials! The hardest part of this nail art was only choosing five animals to portray!

From thumb to pinkie, we have a hippo, a raccoon, a giraffe, a zebra, and a monkey!  These are all pretty easy to achieve because of the instructions and pictures provided by Jackie of Adventures in Acetone.

My base colors are (again, from thumb to pinkie) Sally Hansen White On, Blue Me Away!, Pink Coconut, Tahiti, and Parrot.  Other colors used are: Wet 'n' Wild On A Trip, NYC Sidewalkers, Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow, Sally Hansen Tahiti, Sally Hansen White On, Sally Hansen Pink Coconut, Diamond Cosmetics Cocoa,a mixed light brown polish, Sally Hansen Pink Coconut, and Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme.

Whew! That's a lot of colors! And I actually remembered them all off the top of my head this time!!

So, what do you think of these animals? Do you think you'll try them out yourself? They're a lot of fun to paint!

Make sure to check out the other ladies' nail art for this week!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mental Health Nail Art

Today on the blog I'm gonna get a little serious.  People are posting green manis today in order to raise awareness for mental health issues, especially depression.  As someone with multiple mental health issues, this was a cause that was very near and dear to my heart, and so today's manicure is dedicated to mental health!

I personally suffer from four mental disabilities.  I have depression, anxiety, trichotillomania, and dermatillomania.  I'm often asked by people how I can be "so brave" as to be open about my mental health issues, and the answer is simple: I'm not ashamed of them!  Mental illness is just like any other kind of illness. It's not something you choose, it's not something you control; it's just something you live with.   I may be "crazy" (and I'll be the first to call myself that) but I'm still a worth while person.

My index finger is based off of this image I found while looking for iconic images of depression.  I thought it accurately represented the funk you feel during a bout of depression.  My middle finger has the logo for the Trichotillomania Learning Center, which also works a lot with people with dermatillomania.  It also has "140" across it because today is officially 140 days pull free for me!  My ring finger is a brain, and my pinkie is based off of this piece of art that I think accurately represents the feeling of anxiety.

I know a lot of you have probably been reading this post wondering what "trichotillomania" and "dermatillomania" are.  They're not very well recognized in society, so I find myself explaining them quite often.  Trich and derm are classified either as self harm disorders, or obsessive compulsive disorders.  I find that in my case they are a mix of both.  People with trich compulsively pull out their hair by the root, most usually from the scalp, eye lashes, and eye brows, but often pull from other areas as well.  I have never pulled from my face, but I did have to shave my head when I was 11 to combat the pulling from my scalp.  Trich can cause complications like permanent baldness, scarring, and can even require people to get surgery if they are one of the many sufferers who compulsively eat their hair.  Thankfully I have never been compelled to eat hair and have not had to have surgery.  Derm is very similar, but you pick at your skin.  This presents itself in biting and ripping cuticles, peeling chapped lips, and picking at bumps and scabs.  It can often lead to scarring, infection, or disfigurement.  Both of these disorder are very hard to fight, and if you are suffering from them I strongly recommend you visit TLC's website for help. I've been a member of one of their online trich support groups for a couple years now and it's helped me a ton!

If you feel like you may be suffering from a mental illness or disability, please seek help! There is nothing wrong with needing help for a mental issue, you wouldn't feel bad about getting help for cancer would you? Mental illness/disability are very stigmatized in our culture, but they are just something that can be treated like any other illness.  Don't be scared of getting help or taking the medicine a doctor prescribes for you!

If you would like to talk to someone regarding your issues anonymously, please check out the list of hotlines available to help you at this link.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lil Bub Nail Art (I got to meet Lil Bub!!)

I am so excited about today's post.  I got to meet Lil Bub today!  If you don't know who Lil Bub is, she's just an ADORABLE kitty who's made it big on the internet. All the proceeds from buying a ticket to meet her went to Feline Rescue and Lil Bub's Big Fund for Special Needs Animals. With a cause like that, it was easy to justify paying money to pet a cat. :)

But on to the nail art!

You all know how much I love doing nail art for a special occasion, so I couldn't help but do Lil Bub nail art!  I started all my nails with two coats of Sally Hansen White On.  On every nail but my middle, I added dots using Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow and Pink Coconut, Wet 'n' Wild On A Trip and China Glaze Wait 'n' Sea.

I used a ton of polishes to make Bub, and some of them are mixed, so I'll just say that her base is ELF Prissy Chrissy her eyes are Sally Hansen Parrot and her stripes are mixed colors using ELF Smoky Brown and Nude and Diamond Cosmetics Cocoa.  Her tongue is Pink Coconut.

I used a very thin brush and Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme to write "Lil BUB" on my index and ring nails.  I tried to copy the fonts shown on the website to the best of my ability.

And here's a close up of the bub nail! As you can see, I didn't wait quite long enough to top coat, and got some dragging. :(


Look at that little cutie!! She was so tiny it was unbelievable.

And you guys, I got a picture with her!!! She looks way bigger than she is here just because of perspective. She's kitten size.

So what do you guys think, am I crazy to buy a ticket to meet a cat?  I might be, but I don't regret it!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NCC: Intricate Tea Set Nail Art

Hey guys! Today I'm back yet again, and it feels good to be posting two days in a row after a week of radio silence.  This post is one I worked especially hard on, and is my first post for this month's Nail Challenge Collaborative theme: Tea Party!

Warning: These took me forever to do, so this is picture heavy!

intricate tea set nail art

For this first post, I decided to be very literal with the theme and decided to do an antique tea set on my nails.  I have several mismatched antique tea cups like these that my great grandmother gave to me before she passed away.  I remember having "tea" parties with them when I was little and drinking Kool Aid out of them because I thought tea was gross! Don't tell my grandma.

intricate tea set nail art
No top coat
So in memory of the tea set I used to use when I was little, none of my tea cups really match each other.  In fact, one is even a left handed tea cup (or a tea cup that got turned around... really I just ran out of room on that side of the nail.)

intricate tea set nail art
No top coat

I started these nails with two coats of a sheer pink polish (I used Sally Hansen Ballet Bare) to give this a soft feminine look.  I then freehanded the french tips (which is the table cloth) with Sally Hansen Pink Coconut.

intricate tea set nail art
No top coat

Then I drew on the shapes of my tea cups using Sally Hansen White On.  I tried to vary the shapes of the tea cups to give them some visual interest and add to the mismatched look I was going for.

intricate tea set nail art
I then used Maybelline Color Show in Bold Gold to do the gold rims and outlining.  I thought outlining in gold would still give them definition but wouldn't be as harsh as using black.

intricate tea set nail art
I then added details onto my tea cups (roses, daisies, stripes, and polka dots) using polish colors I mixed on my pallet (which is a fancy word for the post it note I use to dab out my polishes for nail art.)  So I cant really say which colors were used, as they were all mixed with white to give them a more pastel and "tea party" look.

It only seemed appropriate that my thumb get a tea pot, and I tried to mix the patterns from the tea cups to make the design a bit more cohesive.  So we get this striped floral crazy gold tea pot, which I actually like quite a bit!

Overall I'm really happy with these! They took forever to do, but sometimes it's really fun to immerse yourself in a design and get really into it.  And it's always more satisfying when you like the results!

Be sure to check out the other tea party manicures from the Nail Challenge Collaborative!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Freehand Nail Art Challenge: Complementary Colors Nail Art

So you may notice I've been MIA for about a week.  This wasn't on purpose, I promise! I got a really awful cold, and was just totally unable to do my nails at all.  Any free time I had was spent sleeping, or wishing I was sleeping.  But I'm starting to feel better now so I'm trying to get things back on track!

Today is a very exciting day for me, as it's the first day of the Freehand Nail Art Challenge!  Freehand Nail Art is a facebook group I started for people to share their freehanded manis and get tips and tricks on how to improve their freehanding skills.  We've recently started a challenge, which is every Monday (but is open all week), and today is the first day!  Stop by if you want to join in!

With no further adieu, here's my mani for this week's prompt: Complementary Colors!

Complementary colors skittle nail art

The colors I decided to go with were orange and blue, but it seemed a little stark to me.  So I changed it up to coral and teal, which I think are complementary enough. :P

Complementary colors skittle nail art

I didn't really have an idea when I started this mani, I just had the colors out in front of me and all my nails painted white.  So this is pretty much the results of me doodling on my nails.  My thumb has some sketch-like flowers, my index finger has a tie dye (that didn't work out how I want but still looks kinda cool), middle is a cute dotted pattern, and ring is a tribal done with the two colors.  The pinkie... is a gradient topped with glitter, but the glitter was in a really thick base and so the pinkie looks weirdly thick.  Lets ignore that.

Complementary colors skittle nail art

This is a really fun prompt, and there's still time to join in!  Make sure you check out the other ladies' manicures for this prompt too!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

International Nail Art Day!

Happy International Nail Art Day everyone!  To celebrate today, I've decided to do a manicure dedicated to everything nail art!

I started this manicure with a gradient done with Sally Hansen Lemon Shark and Sally Hansen Pink Coconut.  I smoothed it out with a coat of NYC topcoat, and then drew on all the shapes I'd be needing with white polish.

On my pointer finger, I have a bottle of nail polish, labeled "NP" (for nail polish) because I didn't want to depict any particular brand.  My middle finger has some dotting tools, and I used my dotting tools to make the dots at the top!  My ring finger has a bottle of non-acetone nail polish remover, which is what I use for cleanup and polish removal.  I only use acetone to clean my brushes as I already have dry skin!  I tried to draw "NP" in a crossed out circle, but it doesn't show very well.  My pinkie has some nail art brushes, even though all of mine are cut down way more than that!

On my thumb, I wrote "I Love Nail Art" because I do!  I thought this was an appropriate mani for today, what do you think?  How are you celebrating International Nail Art Day?
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