Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Super Quick Christmas Nail Art!

So you've just got the cookies out of the oven, the green bean casserole made, and a pumpkin pie sitting in the fridge. The kids have unwrapped all their presents. You've got all the gifts packed up and ready to take when you meet with your family the next county over. Everything is going according to plan, with twenty minutes to spare, until you realize... you've forgotten to paint your nails!
Oh no! Panic time! You simply cannot be seen in public without your nails painted, but you've got less than a half hour before it's time to be out of the house and off to your family's. Whatever shall you do? You need a miracle to pull this one off. Or... you need the world's easiest, fastest Christmas manicure. So run the food and presents out to the car, tell the kids to play with their toys for ten minutes and then put their shoes and coats on, and make a mad dash for your nail polish stash. Enjoy the tutorial!

For this quick and festive design, you'll need:
- base coat
- red polish
- green polish
- white striper
- quick-drying top coat

Start off by throwing on a quick base coat. Next, find your green and red polishes. There isn't time to spend debating on the pros and cons of different shades of green- grab the first one you see and go with it! Choose any accent nail pattern you'd like. Here I did green on the index and middle fingers, and red on the ring finger, pinkie, and thumb, but you could also use your ring finger as an accent, or do one hand all red and the other all in green. It's up to you, but choose quickly!

(Oh, anyone notice anything different about my photos? This is the first chance I've had to photograph my nails when it's light out in months, so I tried to take advantage of that natural lighting. Didn't have a fancy background, but oh well- it's always better than an artificially lit light box!) 

Essie - Mojito Madness
E.l.f. - Smokin Hot

Break out the white striper and draw one stripe down the center of each nail, cutting it in half. Then draw two more on each nail, separating the color into fourths.

Art Deco - White

Slap a quick drying top coat on those puppies, try to avoid touching anything for five minutes, and you're ready and out the door!

(Hf anyone's curious what top coat I used here, it's HK Girl. No shrinking or smearing and my nails were rock solid in about ten minutes! Perfect for the nail-painting rush.)

(And one photo from the light box, because my camera
wouldn't quite focus all that well in the natural light)

Hooray! Twenty minutes later, you've made it into the car without a single dent in your new manicure. So pat yourself on the back, sit back and relax a bit for the drive, and crank up the "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" that's playing on the radio at the moment for a bit of fun. You've earned it!

So merry Christmas, everyone! Or, if you don't celebrate it, happy... December? Happy holidays? Merry Tuesday and Wednesday? Oh, merry-whatever-floats-your-boat. I hope it's a great week, regardless! See you all after the holiday, when shopping and traffic have (hopefully) gotten less chaotic. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ugly Christmas Sweater Nails

Howdy folks! IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! Ahh, I love the holiday season. There is nothing better than the smell of pine trees (or, the smell of scented pine sticks placed in a fake Christmas tree, but it's almost the same) and fresh baked cookies. However, one of my top favorite things from the Christmas season isn't all the trees, or baking, but the ugly Christmas sweaters! There's only one month of the year to break them out of the closet, so I make sure to give mine plenty of use in that time.
Here's the beautiful little number I based today's design off of. It's actually not that hideous in the grand scheme of ugly Christmas sweaters, but... definitely still able to be classified as an "ugly sweater." My dear great-aunt Irene bought this for me years ago, and it's only been in the past  two that I've gotten up the courage to wear it. I have to say, it's growing on me, and it's super warm and snuggly, but for the purposes of this post we're going to consider it as an ugly sweater.

Here's a close-up of the pattern I (loosely) based my design off of.

Onto the tutorial!
You'll need:
- base coat
- tan polish
- black striper
- red polish
- dotting tool
- green polish
- black polish
- top coat
- matte top coat

Start off with a base coat and paint your nails with a light tan color.

Maybelline - Sandstorm

About one third down your nail, use a black striper to paint thin zig-zagged lines.

Art Deco - Black

A bit farther down the nail, use the same striper to paint another, somewhat thicker, zig-zagged line.

Use a red polish to paint on quick red tips. Remember to rotate your finger, instead of the brush, as you paint to get a smoother line.

OPI - Cajun Shrimp

Silly me forgot to take photos for a couple of the steps here, but use a green polish and a dotting tool to add dots along the red tip, and add a few dots in black above the first zig-zag. Then seal it all in with a topcoat.

China Glaze - Exotic Encounters
Sally Hansen - Black Heart

Christmas sweaters aren't shiny, though, so add a matte topcoat to de-shiny-ify everything.

Nails Inc. Matte Topcoat


Thanks for reading! As usual, remember to follow on GFC/Twitter/Facebook/etc. using any of the buttons on the right-hand side of the blog if you enjoyed this post. Facebook doesn't seem to be sharing my posts with very many people anymore, so if you'd still like to hear from me, make sure to add my page to an interests list or follow using one of the other sites!
Does anyone else here share my love of ugly Christmas sweaters? Have a particularly hideous one you'd like to share a picture of? Let me know in the comments, or post a picture on my Facebook page. See you all soon! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey Nails

Hello, everyone! Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? Four weeks without a post, acck! So what was Allie doing for the past month, if not painting nails and blogging, you may ask? I happened to be doing NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. What you do is sit down for the entire month of November and try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Sounds fun, right? This is the first year I've ever completed it, which I'm really proud of (clocked in about mid-day yesterday with 50,132 words), but it also meant a lot of other stuff in my life slipped that month. Namely, painting nails, and blogging about it. However, NaNoWriMo is over now (I'm not sure if I'm saddened by that, or a bit relieved) and that means I can devote my full attention to the blog again! So thanks to everyone who's stuck with me throughout my long absence. You're all the best!

Anyway, onto the nails. Here's the design that I wore for Thanksgiving. Just some simple turkey nails! Thanksgiving is past, but maybe you'll find some other reason to have little turkeys on your nails soon. Enjoy the tutorial!

You will need:
- base coat
- blue polish
- green polish
- striping brush
- dotting tool(s)
- tan polish
- light brown polish
- dark brown polish
- white polish
- yellow polish
- red polish
- top coat

Start off with a base coat and paint your nails a light blue color. 
China Glaze - For Audrey

Dip a striping brush into green polish and make light strokes at the base of your nail to create grass.

Essie - Mojito Madness

Using a dotting tool and tan polish, draw feathers spreading out from a center point, leaving space in between each one.

Maybelline - Sandstorm

Fill in the spaces you left with the tan polish with similar lines made with your dotting tool and the lighter brown polish. 

China Glaze - Foie Gras

Use a larger dotting tool if you have one (or just use the same one as before, if you don't), and create the turkey body and head. Then drag the polish down twice at the bottom of the nail to create little legs. 

Essie - Little Brown Dress

It's at this point that my camera chose to spaz out and not take nice pictures. I took tons and tons and tons of photos, with different angles and different lighting and everything, but for some reason, my camera wasn't having it. Guess who has just moved "new camera" to the top of her Christmas list? This girl!

Anyway, as all of the other pictures were complete fuzzy messes, I had to combine a few steps into one in the least blurry picture I could find. 

Use a small dotting tool and white polish to dot on little eyes. Use the same dotting tool and yellow polish to create a triangular beak, and add a teensy bit of red for the wattle (does anyone else love that word as much as I do? I think it's completely hilarious). 

After that, all you need is a top coat and some cuticle clean-up if you have any to do, and that's it!

China Glaze - White on White
Sally Hansen - Lightening
OPI - Cajun Shrimp

That's all there is to it! Thanks for reading. Did any of you do NaNoWriMo this year, and if so, how'd it go? Anyone have funny family Thanksgiving stories they'd like to share? I'd love to hear about everything in the comments, so don't hesitate to leave one below. And I will definitely see you all next week, with a new post, back on schedule!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Witch's Nails

Ello everyone! I planned to have this post out yesterday, but a surprise visit from the allergy monster meant I ended up feeling too awful to write through the sniffles and itchy throat. Ick. But annyywayy, who's ready for Halloween nails: post #2? Today I decided to re-attempt a post from last year, but more of an upgraded version. I wanted something even more disgusting. More disturbing. More... Halloween. So here's a tutorial for nails any self-respecting witch would die to have. Enjoy!

You'll need: 
- Base coat
- rhinestones (2 different sizes) 
- white polish
- a darker red polish and a lighter one
- top coat

Start off with a base coat, of course!

Time to place the rhinestones on your nails! I use around four per nail, but depending on your nail size you might need to use more or less.I applied them by placing a small drop of base coat on my nail and pressing the rhinestone into it.

Once all the rhinestones are firmly stuck onto your nails, go over with another layer of base coat to seal them in.

Create a solid base for the color later by laying down a coat of white polish. This doesn't have to look perfect.

China Glaze - White on White

Now sponge on a layer of the darker red. Make sure to leave some white showing, and make it splotchy, to add to the yucky-factor!

Pure Ice - All Nighter

Go over this with a thin coat of a red jelly polish.
*Note: If you don't have a red jelly polish, paint on your lighter red FIRST, and sponge the darker red on top of it.

Sinful Colors: Gogo Girl

Do some cuticle cleanup + a top coat and you're good to go!

Thanks for reading! What do you think about this design? Would you wear it for Halloween? Let me know in the comments! As usual, if you enjoyed this post, don't forget to follow on any of the social networking sites on the right-hand side of my blog.
See you all next week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Hello beautiful readers! So... season four of The Walking Dead comes back in... an hour. I must have spent half of today checking my DVR to ensure that the show was recording, and the other half flailing in a pathetic mass of fangirl as I re-watched clips from past episodes online. Pretty productive day,  right? Anyway, I couldn't just watch the show without some nail art to go with it, so today I present to you: Brain nails!

Yeah, I know, this is a pretty strange one. Sometimes I miss the days that I enjoyed painting flowers and bunnies and happy things, but sometimes you need to try something different. At first I was thinking I'd just try to make my nails look like what a zombie's nails would: all dry and torn and bloody and moldy. But that's been done before! I wanted something new. And then I thought, "brains. Brains are new." So... enjoy the brains.

To create this delicious zombie snack on your nails, you'll need:
- base coat
- a plastic bag
- red polish
- white polish
- pink polish
- a medium sized dotting tool
- top coat

This are pretty time-consuming and also take a huge amount of time to dry, so I used the plastic-bag technique to make some decals. If you know what that means, hooray! If you don't, just read on!

Start off by using a Sharpie to sketch out your nail shape onto a plastic bag. Make sure to do it for all ten nails! You can guess how large your nails are, or hold the bag on top of the nail and use it to get a more accurate shape. Make sure to make the drawn nails a bit bigger than your actual nails. 

Fill in the outlines with a beautiful blood-colored red. Don't make this too thin, or the decals won't peel off later, but you don't need to worry about doing multiple coats (if you do too many coats, the decals won't dry, and you don't want that either!). 

Using your dotting tool and white polish, draw out the shape of the brains. I chose to do some random squiggles. You can do random squiggles if you'd like, too, or you can base yours off a picture of a real brain (or off of the design I did on my nails).

Now it's time to make your nails look like brains! Go over the white shapes with pink polish and the dotting tool. Use as much polish as you want to get as much texture as possible. I went over the white with pink twice, but you can do more (or less) than that if you want to. Try to let it dry for a few minutes between each layer.

Oh, and apparently my camera hates brains. I took... well, a lot of pictures, but my camera did NOT want to capture these on my nails. Sigh. These are the best I could get, but I apologize if any are blurry!

Once the decals have dried, it's time to apply them! To remove them from the plastic bag, I like to use cuticle pushers to peel them off. I'm assuming tweezers, or maybe even your nails, would work as well. If they aren't peeling easily, then they haven't dried enough. Wait a half hour or so and try again. 

Paint down a layer of base coat and let dry (you might want to do this at the beginning, but I forgot and ended up doing that part now). Now add a layer of top coat. Let that dry for about thirty seconds, or until it's slightly sticky, and apply the nail decal. Make sure to press it into the nail to really make it stick. 
Add a top coat again to seal the decal in. Try to use a thin layer to avoid losing texture. 

It's time to go over the nails again with one more layer of pink! I also took this opportunity to fill any spots on my nails that the decals didn't cover. I also cleaned up any polish that got onto my cuticles/skin. That's all there is to it!

What do you think of this design? Would you rock these brain nails for Halloween? Are you pumped up for The Walking Dead like I am? Any favorite characters you want to fangirl about? Let me know in the comments! See you all next week!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Classy Stripes

Sorry about the kind of lame title for this post, but I seriously had no idea what to call this one. There are only so many different titles you can have for striped nails. But anywayyy, yeah, striped nails! I was going for something a bit more easy and simple this week, which is why I went with these. I don't have a complete tutorial, like usual, since these were so simple, but I'll still go through what my process was below. 

All I did for these was paint my nails black, add a layer of tan polish over that (leaving a thin strip of the black at the bottom of each nail), and then use a black striper to create the stripes. The black polish is Sally Hansen - Black Heart and the tan is Maybelline - Sandstorm.

Hope you all enjoyed this short little post! And since it's finally October, you know what that means... time to start the Halloween nails! I'll have a very appropriate post for the Halloween theme next week, and it may or may not have anything to do with the return of The Walking Dead next Sunday. ;) See you all then!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My New Nail Shape!

Howdy folks! If anyone remembers last week's post, I had a new nail shape in it, so today I thought I'd turn it into a tutorial. I know it looks pretty simple, but I decided it might be nice to share some tips for what worked best for me. Enjoy! 

Start off by removing any nail polish you might have on. Embrace your naked nails! Hehehe. You'll need pretty long nails for this, so I chose to change my nail shape after I hadn't filed my nails for a week (they're longer here than I'd usually have them). 

Before you get ready to cut, moisturize your nails and cuticles. If you use any nail strengthener (I love Sally Hansen Vita-Surge strength gel), this would be a good time to use it.

Wash your nails and sketch out the shape you'd like your nails to be with a Sharpie. I feel like this makes cutting and filing your nails later so much easier, because all you really have to do is follow the lines, ensuring that your nails aren't lopsided. If you're worried about the Sharpie staining your nails (I had a little difficulty removing mine) put a base coat under it - it will make removing it loads easier later.

Use nail clippers to cut the sides off.

Now use acetone to remove the Sharpie and use a file to perfect your nail shape. Annd you're done!

Here's a design I tried right after creating my new nail shape. This was also the first time I'd used HK Girl for my top coat, and I was having trouble photographing all that gorgeous shine! Don't be too hard on my fuzzier-than-usual pictures. I blame it all on the super shiny top coat. The red polish is OPI Cajun Shrimp (my favorite polish ever) and the black is an Art Deco striper in black.

This definitely isn't the sturdiest of nail shapes, so only try it out if you know you have strong nails (or if you won't be too upset if one breaks). Afterward, make sure to moisturize your nails and cuticles daily to keep them strong!

Thanks for reading! This should be a super fun nail shape for Halloween nail art, so if you've been considering it for awhile, now's the time to change! What do you think about it? Does it look good, or did you like my square nails better? Personally, I liked square better, but I'm really loving trying something different. 
See you all next week!