Blog Archives

Spring 2012 Fashion Trend: Color Block with Brights Nail Design

While searching for some inspiration for a nail design on fashion websites, I noted a particular theme this season. Color blocking seems like it will never go out of style, but this year, it looks like brights are the go-to colors. I observed color-blocking on the runway last year this time and while the colors were bold and eye-catching, they weren’t nearly this bright.

Check out this lemon yellow Nanette Lepore dress. Now check out the model on her way off the runway in that bright coral dress with neon yellow accessories!!! LOVE!

From what I’ve been able to pick up, when color-blocking this spring, the key is to keep things bold and graphic kind of like these Guiseppe Zanotti patent sandals from Net-a-Porter.

For this manicure, I used several colors: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue (blue), Orly Passion Fruit (pink), OPI Did It On ‘Em (yellow-green), Julep Helena (purple), Julep Leah (green), Orly Liquid Vinyl (black) and China Glaze Pelican Gray (gray). I also used a white Kiss Nail Art striper for the white lines.

If you’d like more inspiration and tips for color-blocking brights this spring: check out this slideshow (Bright Neon Clothing) and this slideshow (Color Block Pieces) from Refinery I’ve also seen some really cute neon accessories at Target this season. I might have to go ahead and pick something up. 🙂

Hope you like ’em!

New Trend! The Outline/Border Manicure

So yesterday or the day before, Necole Bitchie, a fashion/trend/gossip blogger asked her fans if the manicure below was ‘Bitchie or Not’. I’m guessing ‘Bitchie’ is good so I definitely vote Bitchie!

I thought it was SO cute. I love high contrast, I love refined design (vs abstract art on nails)…but how would I make it my own? I decided to keep it simple in order to get used to the technique of creating the outline so I used 5 different pops of colors under black. Lilac – Ulta Tutu Cute ; Green – China Glaze In The Limelight; Yellow – China Glaze Lemon Fizz; Periwinkle – China Glaze – Secret Peri-wink-le; Pink – China Glaze Shocking Pink; Black – Orly Liquid Vinyl

So folks…is it Bitchie or Not? 😀

Pat yourself on the back if you saw the hints of periwinkle nail polish on the knuckle of my ring finger…sheesh lol

Personal Nail Challenge

So, as I’ve started painting other people’s nails, I realize that most folks want you to make up designs on the fly. Some give a color scheme they’d like, some give a broad idea and some come with no inspiration at all. Since many of my own designs are inspired by things I observe and I give myself all the time in the world to complete them, it’s sort of tough to just make up something cute on the fly…and quickly! I mean, people who want their nails painted don’t have time for me to sit and ponder. I clearly need to put serious thought into how I’ll go about things when my nails are not the canvases. But…

I realized very few other types of designers or artists would be asked regularly to create original pieces of art on the spot with little to no prep or inspiration as fast as possible. I began to consider the types of artists that DO create art in this way and off the top of my head, I thought of caricature artists. Think on it for a bit: A person sits down in front of them and they’re expected to draw the person well and add a bit of flair to make it special…quickly! The quicker the better, actually, since there’s probably a line of people waiting who want the same quality and special flair. To add difficulty to the craft, many of these artists work in permanent marker or similar tools so they’ve GOT to get it right the first time. Oh, and there are people walking by looking over you shoulder judging your work as you go. Sheesh! I’ve got a new-found respect for caricature artists. I thought about how much practice, trial and error it must have taken for these illustrators to get good at sketching faces quickly while adding a personal touch. How can I make aspects of their technique work for my own creations….?

Right now, my designs are the result of quite a bit of thought and even some practice on my own nails or blank artificial nail “canvases”. So in order to become more like caricature artists, I gave myself a personal challenge: pick some random colors that you normally wouldn’t necessarily see together and create one funky nail design. But I promised myself that once I committed to doing a certain design on the nail that I wouldn’t go back. I wouldn’t “erase” and start over. So there’s the result!

The colors I chose: Orly Pink Chocolate (a muted magenta), OPI Fly (a teal creme of the Nicki Minaj collection), OPI Did It On ‘Em (a yellow-green creme also Nicki Minaj/OPI), Orly Rage (metallic gold), Orly Liquid Vinyl (black). I added rhinestones, glitter and rings to the mix just to spice things up. So there’s the result!

I still need to get faster at executing the design but I think I’m off to a good start. Expect more personal challenges in the future. 😀

Rings and Things

I absolutely love the almond nail shape but I recognize that an edgier nail shape can look a little scary if the color scheme is also edgy. So for this nail design, I went ultra-feminine…I found some cool rhinestones, rings and beads so I decided to use a few different types in this design :-).

The base color is Orly Artificial Sweetener, a medium mauve-y pink with a bit of a gold shimmer. Hope you all enjoy 😉

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week-Inspired Nail Design

Ever since I’ve become interested in nail art, I’ve looked forward to seeing how designers showing at the bi-annual Mercedes Benz  Fashion Week use nails to make a statement. But during the Fall 2012 Fashion Week (held February 9 – 16, 2012) I saw very few innovative, inspiring nail designs. In fact, quite a few designers opted for neutral-toned nails. Yawn. I did find ONE designer, however, that did some really interesting things with nails this year.

Would you look at these nails worn by models in The Blonds fashion show??!

Leather nails?! Nails covered in crushed glass/crystal?! Now I don’t know if I’d have the guts to cut up pieces of leather for everyday nails and crushed glass seems a bit unsafe…but check out the blue ombre nails in the picture below…They used very finely crushed glass and crystal, but what’s stopping me from using a very fine glitter to bring the look from the runway to real life? Nothing 🙂

For this manicure I painted the majority of my nails in Orly Fresh (a fun grassy green) and I used 3 shades of very fine glitter to create the crushed-glass-ombre effect. This was easier than working with glitter nail polish in terms of getting an opaque glitter finish, but much messier. I’m still pleased with the results.

Hope you enjoy!

A Little Pop Art for the New Year

A short and sweet post for the 1st…

Pop art-inspired manicures aren’t particularly new but I decided to dip my toes in the stream of this trend for my first manicure of the new year.

My New Year’s resolution for my blog: Include a picture of all the polishes I used in each manicure, kind of like how a more traditional artist might explain what media they decided to use for a masterpiece. You’ll find that at the end of each post from here on out…

Looking forward to another year of creativity folks 😀

Left to Right: Orly Tiara, OPI Silver Shatter, China Glaze Dorothy Who?, Wet n Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris, Orly Goth, China Glaze Recycle, China Glaze Icicle, Kiss Nail Art – Silver Glitter, Pearl Blue, Black, Soft Pink

Turquoise Ombre Cheetah Print

I’ll admit, I was doing a lot in this manicure. I mean an ombre (fading colors from light to dark) base color and ombre cheetah print all together? Well I love the turquoise/gold color combination. I also love ombre and animal prints. But all 3 in the same manicure? Why the heck not?

Ombre nails popped up on the runway this fall on Jen Kao’s Spring 2012 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week runway show. CND (creators of the popular Shellac manicure) created 4 different ombre looks especially for her models. CND airbrushed nails for these looks but I find it pretty simple to do this look at home as long as you have a makeup sponge to help you blend one color into the next.

For my look, I used Orly Bailamos, Sally Hansen HD Spectrum, and Wet N Wild Fast Dry Teal of Fortune to create the teal ombre base color on the majority of my nails then Wet N Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris and Orly Luxe to do the black and gold cheetah print. On my pointer fingers, I used Orly Luxe for the base color then Orly Bailamos, Wet N Wild Fast Dry Teal of Fortune and Ebony Hates Chris for the ombre cheetah print.

I absolutely love this mani…hope you enjoy them too!

Messing with wet nail polish and the work of The Best In Detroit Period


Last night, I attempted disturbing the surface of a coat of wet nail polish, a strange thought if you’re used to being afraid to move after you’ve applied a coat of polish for fear of smudges, dings or (God forbid) a fingerprint. I’ve seen nail art pictures where layers of wet nail polish are swirled with a toothpick to create a tie dyed pattern. I wasn’t interested in a complete tie dye manicure so I gave this concept a try on one nail just to see what would happen.

For this, I used Orly Passion Fruit as a base color on all of my nails. Next I applied a thick layer of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue and Celeb City from the same polish line soon after that. I then used a nail art dotter to make little slashes down to the pink base color layer. I kinda like this effect. This isn’t exactly how I thought it might have come out but I’m definitely going to explore this technique more in the future.


In other news, I’ve loved stiletto nails for months (see here and here) but I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to get them done professionally. If you saw my last nail art post, that was my first attempt at a professional stiletto nail job. The nail tech had no clue what I was talking about and those somewhere-between-round-and-pointy nails were the result. (-_-)

After a lot of internet searching I happened upon a page of a nail tech/makeup artist called Gemini Twin Shauwn Diva (“the best in Detroit period”) who specializes in them and does some of the most imaginative nail art I’ve ever seen. (P.S. I need to make up a grand nickname for myself…The Picasso of Pinkies seems too humble now :-P). Here’s the link to the facebook page of the salon. Let me tell you you can get everything done at this salon…it was like an assembly line of beauty.  I made an appointment to see her for two reasons: To finally get a full set of the stiletto nail tip shape I love and to observe how she does such interesting nail art. The girl is TALENTED. I took soooo many mental notes and I honestly feel that I’ll be able to step my game up based on what I observed in terms of what tools, techniques and supplies she used. I chose four nail polish colors (blue, pink, green, yellow), she chose complimentary nail art colors and items (green, pink, yellow, and black paint, a crackle polish, jewels, metal rings and chains…everything but the kitchen sink) and created the tiny masterpieces below…



My favorite is the cheetah print over the stripes!!!

Hope you enjoyed my experimentation and the work of the best in Detroit period. Have a great day folks 😀

Pink, Purple and Feeling Blue



Hey hey, here are pics from my first “client”! This nail fan offered a donation towards my nail polish obsession, *clears throat*, I mean hobby in exchange for two hands full of designs. Her only request: Use pink and purple. 10 little blank canvases, eh? The result is what you see above. I honestly didn’t keep track of what I used on which fingers…I just went with the flow. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning (or have looked at my old posts), you may recognize the Purple Leopard print which was one of my first nail art designs posted on this site.

Now usually after I’ve done a manicure on myself, I’m too creatively-spent to think about doing another manicure for at least another day. But a couple hours later, I was working on my own nails…another free-flowing creative manicure using all sorts of blues.

Prepare yourself for an Introspective Artiste (ar-TEESTE) moment…

I’m beginning to realize that, unless I’ve been inspired by something I see or I give myself time to let the creativity bug work through me, it’s hard for me to do a manicure…hence the reduced frequency of my posts. When I was actively searching for inspiration (or drawing from the long list of suggestions I’ve gotten), I’d do 2-3 manicures per week. Now I wait for something to strike me…or I’ll take advantage of a free block of time to relax, let go and create. That translates to me doing my nails less frequently (once a week/maybe twice) but these creations seem better to me.

Enough artsy babble, check how much I’m *feeling* blue below, listen to some George Gershwin ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ and enjoy this two-fer post 😀


Mondrian-Inspired Nails


In an effort to expand my horizons, this past weekend I checked out a documentary about Charles and Ray Eames. You may not know them by name (I didn’t before Friday) but chances are great that you know the art and design masterpieces they created together over several decades. Awesome individually as an architect (Charles) and a painter (Ray), they were best known for their collaborative efforts which led to these popular, innovative, relatively affordable chair designs. Their motto: The best for the most for the least. Here are a few examples….

Ok, whose grandparents had this chair/ottoman set? I’m pretty sure mine did.

The chair present in every doctor’s office in the 1980s…

And you haven’t lived until you’ve napped in one of the Eames’ tandem chairs commonly used in airports…

But what struck me most about the documentary of the lives of the Eames was their house. When an architect and an artist get married and design their own home, beauty ensues. I dedicate my manicure to this…

Here is more information about the history Eames house, also known as Case Study House #8.

For this manicure, I used one coat of Essie Ballet Slippers, a very pale pink, to provide a neutral background for this take on a stained glass nail effect. I used a black Kiss Nail Artist brush to paint the lines. Instead of the primary colors the Eames used, I chose some pretty fall colors for this manicure (Thanks Mom!). I, at random, filled in squares with China Glaze Ruby Pumps (microglitter red), Orly Fowl Play (deep purple with orange and red glitter), Wet n Wild Fast Dry (shimmery orange/gold), and Orly Luxe (metallic gold).

If you get a chance, check out this article about the Eames documentary and see if your local independent theater is screening it. Education and inspiration in one interesting film…

UPDATE 11-22-11: A modern art enthusiast and Twitter friend has given me more info on the inspiration behind the design of this house. Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter who created this painting and other similar works of art:

The Eames were inspired by his work while designing their house and I was inspired by the Eames. For more info about Mondrian, check out this Wikipedia entry. For that reason, I’ve changed the name of this post to give credit where credit is due.