Monday, September 30, 2013

on 11 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 30 - Inspired by a Tutorial

I can't believe it's the penultimate day of the 31 Day Challenge already.  It's gone by so ridiculously fast, don't you think?  

Today' is inspired by a tutorial day. I've actually already done a bunch of 'inspired by a tutorial' designs during the 31 Day challenge, such as:
But luckily I still had a few tutorials up my sleeve. The tutorial I followed was by amazing Aussie instagramer, #Strawbrie and a post she did on Lacquerheads of Oz for a drag marble design. I changed her design slightly, by starting my colours on the corner of my nail, rather than the middle, and I also continued my colours out onto the index and pinky fingers, rather than using the same colours on each nail.

The main thing I leaned doing this design is the need to have quite thick blobs of polish on your nail and to work fast, otherwise the polish doesn't really drag through, instead you just put scratch lines through and don't see those U shaped drag patterns.

I love this so much - my favourite colour is rainbow!

Completely unplanned, I had these nails on when the Hubby and I took the kids out to Floriade.  For any non Aussie readers, Floriade is a month long flower and entertainment festival held in my home town every year in spring and it's the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere.  I couldn't have chosen a more perfect mani to be wearing!.  We rode the ferris wheel - seen here in the background of the picture, but I was too busy pointing things out and listening to the kids that I totally forgot to get an aerial shot of my nails and the flowers.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

on 4 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 29 - Inspired by the Supernatural

I'm not really a ghosts and demons kind of girl so thinking of something for the Supernatural theme proved really hard for me.  It's warm spring time here, and I really want to wear light pastel colours.  My nails for Supernatural day are some very abstract angel wings.

I painted a gradient using Picture Polish Sky and OPI No room for the blues.  I sponged on some clouds with Ulat3 lily white and I used some feather water decals from the Born Pretty store.  I supplemented the water decals with some extra lines made with white polish and a fine brush.

The angel wings aren't quite the right shape - that's why I'm calling it abstract!  But using the water decals made the design quick and easy to create.

I love this next shot with the sky and clouds in the background.  The sky actually has a real life gradient just like my nails!

I apologize for this last photo. I wanted my double hand shot but discovered I only took one photo. The lighting was awful and my hands look like a wrinkly 90 year old witches!! Arrgghh!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

on 2 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 28 - Inspired by a Flag

Day 28 of the 31 Day Challenge calls on us to create flag nails.  I've already done my fair share of Australian flags and I was considering doing the flag for Canberra, or more accurately, the Australia Capital Territory flag.  Except that it's rather dull and uninspiring to create on my nails.  So I did what I always do when I'm stuck for ideas, I googled!  

I came across the Flags Australia site, which goes into detail about each of the State and Territory flags and other historical flags.  It was on this page that I spotted our Boxing Kangaroo flag. When I read about the history of the Boxing Kangaroo flag I knew I had picked my winner.

You see, it turns out that in 1983, when the yacht Australia II won the America's Cup, the promotional mascot for the challenge was the Boxing Kangaroo - a cartoon of a kangaroo wearing boxing gloves. This irreverent symbol was placed upon a green flag.  The copyright to the image was purchased by the Australian Olympic Committee and it continues to be used in sports promotions and has become synonymous with Australian achievements in many fields. 

The reason I instantly knew I had to paint these nails was because the day I actually painted these on was the 30th anniversary of Australia II winning the America's Cup.  It was also the day the Kiwis choked and lost it to the Americans after having held and 8-1 lead over them.  I'll just point out too, that skipper of the winning American yacht was an Aussie, along with another seven Australians. Apparently only two of the crew were Americans.

Anyway, I've faffed on long enough about that story, lets look at the nails.

I printed the boxing kangaroo using temporary tattoo paper, but I knew it was never going to show up over the green, so I put down a white base and stuck the tattoo to that.  I then carefully painted around the kangaroo using a fine brush and Ulta3 Frog Prince.  All my other nails feature Frog Prince and a glitter gradient tip with Lynnderella Topaz Optimism.

Friday, September 27, 2013

on 9 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 27 - Inspired by Artwork

Inspired by Artwork was an easy prompt for me, that's because I had printed off these temporary tattoos months ago, and just not got around to trying them out.

The art work I chose is the Bird and Fish design by M C Escher. It's an optical illusion that starts with birds flying at the top and transitions through to fish swimming at the bottom.  This is the perfect sort of design to use temporary tattoo paper with, because the images are so fine and delicate that you could never paint them free hand.

As you can see, my printed tattoos were transposed onto my nails, making them fly and swim the other direction.

From a distance, these nails looked like a gradient, black and white hounds tooth design.

I painted an accent nail using Layla Black Metal magnetic polish topped with Peneople Luz Wedding Dress - which is a glitter topper with various matte white glitters.

Ladies, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the challenge - don't you all feel like that last 27 days have just flown by?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

on 5 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 26 - Inspired by a Pattern

This challenge has been so good for me, because I've tried so many new techniques and designs.  Today is another first for me.  My first ikat nails. And let me tell you now, I love doing ikat designs.  These were so fun, quick and easy to create.  In fact I was completley finished my full design in under 30 minutes.  I also love that it's such a messy design that, in fact you need to be messy to make it look good.  

You just need a fine nail art brush and the ability to create short lines.  Plus, if your top coat smears your polish (like mine did) then it actually enhances your design, rather than ruins it.  I can see me creating many ikat design nails in many colours.  Does anyone know who the first person was that created ikat nails?  I'd love to know so I can thank them!

I use Picture Polish Wisteria, Jade, Black and Bright white to create this look. I love the combo of purple and aqua.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

on 19 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 25 - Inspired by Fashion

Day 25 certainly bought the challenging part to the 31 Day Challenge for me.  I googled various Australian fashion designers in the hope of being instantly inspired by a design that I could translate to my nails.  When that failed me I started checking out the red carpet fashions worn at the Emmy's on Sunday night.  One dress did jump out at me this time. The gown being worn by Connie Britton

This photos shows Connie Britton at the Emmy's wearing a velvet Naeem Khan gown with a gold encrusted lace on the left, my inspired by nails in the middle and the same gown being shown at the New York Fashion Week Fall 2013 in February this year.

I started with a base of aEngland St George.  I then applied a mix of flocking powder that I put together to get the right shade.  It included dark green, bright blue and royal blue flocking powders.  I was really happy with how the flocking powder represented the velvet gown.

Once the flocking powder was set in place I used some clear polish along the french tip and then dipped my nail in gold micro beads.  I also added a dot of polish at the top of my nail and put micro bead there too.  Once they were dry , I added some top coat just over the beads to ensure they stayed in place.  And let me tell you, I thought these would fall off during the day, but nope, they stuck hard and fast.  The bead look rather messy looking at them up close, but again I think they represent the gold encrusted lace on the gown quite well.

It's certainly a combination that is a bit out there, but it's always good to push your boundaries.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

on 9 comments

31 Day Challenge - Day 24 - Inspired by a Book

Day 24 - Inspired by a Book.  This nail art design is one that knew I wanted to do from the beginning of the challenge.  I knew exactly which book I was going to choose and had the perfect polish to wear for it.  Lets look at the nail art first.

The book is A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.  My ring finger shows a black dragon with a green eye.  That represents the black dragon 'drogon'.  The other fingers are Penelope Luz nail polish in Dracarys*.  The polish has an amazing gold to green shimmer and orange glitter.  I chose to wear it over black in this mani, but it can easily be worn on it's own too.  I'll show more swatches of Dracarys on it's own another day.  For those unfamiliar with either A Storm of Swords or with the TV series A Game of Thrones, then Dracarys means "Dragon Fire".  I then stamped flames on my tips in both red, orange and black.

The part of the book that inspired my mani was perfectly recreated in third season of GoT in this unforgettable scene.

*Polish provided for review.

About Me

My photo
I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Ten and Miss Eight. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at