This time of year sees a lot of seasonal and holiday nail polish designs appearing, and many of them feature nifty snow flake or winter designs.
Which is lovely if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and aren’t currently throwing a bbq and opening all the windows for a breeze.
I wanted to try a Kiwi-inspired Christmas design, which for me means POHUTUKAWA.
I’m quite pleased with how this turned out - I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get the flowers fine enough but the end result was completely awesome.
I used Klean Color “White”, China Glaze “Mahongany Magic” for branches, Orly “Wandering Vine” (on its own and also mixed with white) for the two tones of leaves, Bloom “Edie” for the flowers, Bys “The Right Bright” for little yellow tips.
China Glaze “Harvest Moon” and OPI “Black Shatter”
From the OPI Skyfall Collection, “The Living Daylights”, over China Glaze “Foie Gras” for the base.
I’m about to spend three days at a Magic: the Gathering event (Grand Prix Auckland) so I decided that some themed nails were in order. These are the colours of the five guilds featured in Return to Ravnica.
Thumb to pinky: Selesnya, Golgari, Rakdos, Izzet and Azorius.
Mode “Blingin’”, Orly “Wandering Vine”, China Glaze “Smoke and Ashes”, Bloom “Portia”, Bys “Love Boat”, California Colors #45.
Simple ombre - China Glaze “Harvest Moon” and OPI “I Have a Herring Problem”
I was racking my brains for what to do on my nails today when Nailside’s Studded V-Gap tutorial appeared on my dash. Bingo!
The geometric industrial feel was perfect, considering a few of my last few manis used floral stamps, and I wanted a change. I had also been vaguely thinking of doing something patriotic for the Olympics, hence the black and silver colour combo.
Polishes used: China Glaze Hook and Line, Sally Hansen Black Out, L.A. Colors Art Deco gold.
I’m pleased with the result - in the harsh light of my camera’s macro setting it’s obvious that my lines and studs aren’t as neat as Nailside’s, and my placement of the tape could use some practice since some of my triangles are a wee bit wonky. However, if I stretch my hand out and squint? Perfect! :-D
Base is China Glaze Aggro, with Miki unnamed gold for the stamping using Konad plate M36. The effect is very subtle - when my nails catch the light you can see the gold-on-green-gold effect of the stamping.
I think I’ll need to pick up the Konad Special Polish in gold to get a brighter gold for stamping, but I like what I’ve ended up with. On a lighter green base it would be lovely for a woodsy-elfin halloween costume or something like that.
Today I decided to try my hand at Nailside’s awesome explosion design tape mani tutorial.
I used two colours from China Glaze’s Hunger Games series - Harvest Moon and Smoke & Ashes.
Being my first try at doing this kind of mani, I decided to only do two nails per hand with the explosion, and I also only did one colour rather than two as in the tutorial.
There are two difficult things about this manicure: being patient while waiting for the polish to be dry enough to survive having tape on it, and getting my head around the placement of the tape triangles. Of the four nails I did, only the last looks the close to what it was MEANT to look like! Ididend up with rather funky, if lopsided, star shapes, and I found the tape method did result in fantastic clean-edged designs.
I’m eager to try this mani again. I think I’ve juuuust about figured out how to place the tape to get the right effect!
Blue, green & gold
I wanted to try out my gold shatter, but couldn’t decide which shade to put under it - I was leaning towards blue or green but couldn’t decide which shade. So, I used ALL OF THE COLOURS.
This mani uses *deep breath* OPI Thanks a Windmillion, OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue, OPI Gold Shatter, Sally Hansen Jumping Jade, Australis Limited Edition 2, L’Oreal High Tide, California Colors #45, L.A. Colors Disco Brights [unnamed green], and Sports Girl Nail It! [unnamed teal].
I’m not sure the end effect was quite what I was after - the gold shatter wasn’t as thick or shatter-y as I imagined, but with a top coat (China Glaze Fast Forward topcoat) the shimmery wash of gold really popped, and I think I like the end result.
In-progress pics and tutorial under the cut.
Another fabulous Chalkboard Nails tutorial. I did toss up trying a different colour combination to her tutorial, but ended up doing something similar - the only difference is mine are a bit shimmery, rather than the creme she used.
Base is Sally Hansen Beige Blast (LOVE the brush shape), with China Glaze Riveting and OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue for the dots, which I made using Daniel Stone #4 dotting tool.
I’ll definitely be trying this again with different colours. Super easy to do, and very striking.
Based on this tutorial from Chalkboard Nails, except I did the lazy version - only two nails per hand, and only three colours instead of nine!
Colours used: OPI Suzi Takes the Wheel, OPI Thanks A Windmillion, and Miki 9155. China Glaze Fast Forward topcoat.
I’d have to recommend this mani to anyone with dotting tools who wants practise with them - lots of dots, and you very quickly get the hang of how to get consistent sizes!
Based on this tutorial.
OPI Suzi Takes the Wheel for the base, and for the dots China Glaze Foie Gras, Australis Limited Edition 2, and Sally Hansen Ruby Sequin.
China Glaze Fast Forward top coat.
Also, who has two well-decorated thumbs and didn’t have to do ANY post-mani clean up? THIS GIRL.