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!