Blog Archives

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 šŸ˜€

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!

Pink, Purple and Feeling Blue

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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 šŸ˜€

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Mondrian-Inspired Nails

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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 9.0.2.1.Orange (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.


It’s a Celebration!

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Welp, I’ll keep it short and sweet. TheEnamelista recently passed the 20,000 view mark and in thanks to you who visit my blog, I decided to do something different. Instead of a well thought out plan, I chose a color scheme (black and grey) took out a BUNCH of polish colors and nail art bottles and went with the flow. I’ve noticed a trend of having different designs on every finger so here’s my attempt. I think I need to just let the creativity flow freely more often. I hope you enjoy. šŸ™‚

List of colors used:

Thumb – Wet n Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris; Kiss Nail Art Silver and White

Pointer – Orly Tiara; Kiss Nail Art Black

Middle – Ulta Concrete Evidence; Kiss Nail Art White and Black

Ring – Ulta Smoke Screen; Kiss Nail Art Black, White, and Silver Glitter

Pinky – OPI Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees; Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Twinkle Twinkle

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Honeycrisp Apple Manicure

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Haiku for Honeycrisp

honeycrisp apple,

you bring joy in the morning.

i dread harvest’s end.


pineapple’s my fave.

but you, lovely honeycrisp,

rule the fall season.

Ok folks, this post will be short and sweet. I love honeycrisp apples. I mean, I wrote poetry and dedicated nail art to them. They, in my humble opinion, are deserving.

For this manicure I did 2 coats of China Glaze Electric Pineapple (a bright yellow green creme) and allowed that to dry. Then I did one coat of China Glaze Cherry Pie (a shimmery semi-sheer red) one nail at a time and gently scraped down each nail with a fanned paint brush to create that textured appearance. I followed up with a thin coat of Wet n Wild Fast Dry The Gold and The Beautiful (a brassy gold micro glitter) to top it off. Sadly it’s cloudy today so I couldn’t post a picture with direct natural sunlight but I will be updating this post with a picture of this manicure in direct sunlight ASAP. It’s so pretty!

Viva la Honeycrisp!

Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich Nails

Lately I’ve been experiencing a writer’s block of sorts when it comes to new ideas for nail art. I’m only interested in doing original work and sometimes I just get…stuck. I have a long list of things I’d like to do but I’ve been struggling to come up with interesting, new, and different ways of painting each idea. I voiced this frustration on Twitter and I got 2 funny/great responses back. Response #1 “I’ve got an idea, Ice cream sandwich nail art! I’m hungry.” Response #2: “Neopolitan nails. You could easily do an Ice Cream series.” Well well…how about Neopolitan Ice Cream Sandwich Nails? This is for you Carmelita and Kyra!

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For the “strawberry” and “vanilla” ice cream colors, I used China Glaze Go Go Pink and White Out, respectively. The “chocolate” ice cream and chocolate cake sandwich pieces (what are those called?!) colors were a bit more difficult. I have one chocolate brown nail polish color: China Glaze Goin’ My Way. I had to figure out a way to make it a little lighter for the chocolate ice cream and a little darker for the chocolate cake sandwich pieces. Through some experimentation of layering different colors underneath and on top, I ended up using a black layer (Wet n Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris) under Goin’ My Way for the chocolate cake sandwich pieces and a mocha layer (China Glaze Swing Baby) on top of Goin’ My Way for the chocolate ice cream. I love a good challenge! Thanks for the idea, ladies…now I want one of these ice cream sandwiches!

This wasn’t my first foray into ice cream nails. Check out my Superman Ice Cream nails post.

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Two Fall Trends In One

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Well folks, it’s 62 degrees and rainy where I am which is a sure sign that I should be packing up the denim booty shorts and assessing my cardigan situation because it is FALL. I tackled 2 spring trends in one manicure earlier this year in this post. Here is my Two Fall Trends In One manicure –snow leopard and polka dots, in my Signature 1/2 and 1/2 manicure style. šŸ˜‰ Now polka dots, much like the stripes in my spring trend mani, never go out of style. The color combinations may change with the season but polka dots are pretty much here to stay.

This mani was inspired by a Dolce & Gabbana dress that I found on my random internet search for fall fashion inspiration.

The dress retails for $879 but it is currently sold out on mytheresa.com in case you were frantically searching for your debit/credit cards…lol

Now the snow leopard print has seen a recent uptick in popularity thanks to the women’s leggings that Lil Wayne rocked at the MTV Video Music Awards this year.

Check out the story on these leggingsĀ  here. They’re made by Tripp NYC, an NYC street fashion company, and are sold in boutiques the world over. And guess what? They only retail for $44! Now that, ladies and gents, beats $879 for a fall trend.

For this manicure I used China Glaze White Out and Wet n Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris. I used toothpicks to draw the snow leopard design and also for the white polka dots. Hope you all enjoy!

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Playing with Layering – Shimmer and Glitter

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As an nail artist (or artiste as I like to call myself) I try to stay abreast of the nail trends professional nail techs are buzzing about. One such trend is the concept of layering nail colors to create custom colors for customers. The idea of layers is not a new one for me…you need only scroll through my previous posts to see that I’ve been layering colors to create fading effects before I knew it was a trend. Fun Fact: I actually took serious art classes for years as a kid with a group called Young Artists & Co.—charcoal, pencil, oil paint, watercolor, and acrylic paint, and a little bit of mixed media/sculpture. When I got into nail art last year, I learned that nail polish can behave like an oil paint in that you can use a palette to mix colors then apply the combination to the nail but nail polish also behaves like watercolor in that you can layer colors on top of each other to create something completely new.

Among professional nail artists/techs, it seems some clients are no longer looking for the new hot line of colors from their favorite professional nail polish brands…clients are looking for custom colors, created on the spot just for them. In comes layering. Now the professionals are layering Minx, gel, acrylic and all sorts of other nail materials. Me? I’ve got polish…and jelly polishes work well for layering because the formulation is often less pigmented. For this look I’ll be giving you the step by step for how I created this oh-so-sparkly-glittery design. While the pros are using layering to offer custom colors to their clients, I believe layering can stretch the at-home nail diva’s collection infinitely. Imagine the possibilities!

I started out with 2 coats of Wet n Wild Fast Dry in Ocean Grotto, a fun yellow-green shimmer jelly polish. You may notice a bit of Visible Nail Line (a term I’ve often seen used by the editor/owner of All Lacquered Up) with these 2 coats. If I was going to wear this color alone, I’d definitely add a 3rd coat, but I’m not…there are more layers to add!

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For the next layer, I covered my entire nail in a thin layer of Orly Tiara, a jelly-based silver glitter polish. I had to keep that layer thin because it is CHOCK FULL of glitter. Seriously, Orly has some of the most dense glitter polishes in existence. I’m really looking forward to removing it…NOT. At least there’s a relatively quick trick for removing glitter polish. Click the link for the method I use.

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Next I added a layer of Wet n Wild Fast Dry in Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire, a light blue shimmer jelly polish, to the bottom half of each nail, closest to the free edge.

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Last I added a layer of Wet n Wild Fast Dry Party Of Five Glitters, a jelly-based glitter polish with 5 different glitters of varying colors, sizes, and shapes, along the tip of my nail, much like I would have done a white tip in a French manicure.

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Voila! A custom color, packed with glitter and shimmer :-D.

Just to give you a peek into the thought process that goes into my nail art. The fake nail on the right was what I decided on for this manicure but my runner up was the nail on the left. I tried several other colors for the contrasting color (I knew I wanted Ocean Grotto for the base) but most of my polishes are very pigmented professional brands. As it turned out, this drug store brand polish had enough pigment to *pop* but not so much that I couldn’t do the layering technique. I used Wet n Wild Fast Dry Teal of Fortune in the nail on the left.

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I hope you enjoyed!

Optimus Prime-Inspired Manicure

Transformers is huge right now with the recent release of the 3rd movie installment ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. I still remember the Optimus Prime of old, though…when he looked like this.

I guess the creators of this millennium’s Transformers series thought ol’ Optimus needed an updated paint job because now he looks like this.

Well I love makeovers and I’m a fan of the red-blue flame look. The following picture (a real life rendering of Optimus Prime in his ‘disguise’) gave me inspiration for this manicure.

For this manicure I used the following colors:

Base color: China Glaze Jitterbug (gunmetal)

Red/Orange: Wet n Wild Fast Dry 9.0.2.1.Orange, Wet n Wild Fast Dry Everybody Loves Redmond, Essie Forever Young, China Glaze Phat Santa [I used 9.0.2.1.Orange as the base color the sponged on the other 3 colors one after the other in order to create that fade from orange to dark red]

Blue Flames: Wet n Wild Fast Dry Saved by the Blue

Aaaaaand it’s an Enamelista Signature mani so it looks different dependent upon the angle you view my hands. I hope I did Optimus Prime proud. Transformers was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. šŸ˜€