Teal gradient with floral stamping

One of the nail art groups I belong to on Facebook is starting a new weekly challenge and I’m excited to participate! They used to have two challenges, the Tri-polish challenge, where you painted different designs with the same color scheme of three all month, (which I participated in once…ever) and the Golden Oldie challenge, where you used one of your favorite older polishes. And actually there might have been an untried polish thing going on for a while. I wasn’t as much into the old and new polish themes, because, well, they weren’t so much of a “challenge” to me. My favorite part of a challenge is trying to use the prompt to create something new and different from my brain, although I am certainly more creative on some days more than I am on others.

Now, the group has combined into a single “Pick and Mix” Challenge where the prompt each week is a pattern and a color. You can do one, you can do both, any way you want to. And I love it. I think most weeks I’ll do both, but I love all the options this gives, while still keeping somewhat coherent and organized! I’m excited to start! Part of the excitement comes from the fact that the page tells me NOT TO SHARE the prompts outside of the group, so I feel very elite and exclusive.

This week the prompt is “Two color Gradient” for the pattern and “teal” for the color. Luckily for me, I have a manicure in my vault that fits perfectly. My inspiration for this manicure came from the fact that I own tons and tons of stamping plates and RARELY ever use them. I think it’s because they always feel so flat compared to the designs I do free-hand. However, I now see all the cool things people do with stamps, by using multiple stamps, making decals, or embellishing with paint on top and I finally got inspired to actually pull out my binder full of stamping plates. I was also inspired by my new Illamasqua nail polish!

I decided to stamp over a gradient, as I have seen some very beautiful things done with the combination of those two very simple techniques. Then I embellished that with some gold and teal glitter polishes and I ended up quite liking the result!


It’s not the most perfect stamping, but it’s still better than my usual!


I don’t have a ton of quality photos of this, because I believe I was also going through a phase where I decided that I was not going to use the automatic settings on my camera because I was “going to learn how to REALLY use a camera, gosh darnit!”. Hence only 2 photos from the whole lot were even salvageable. I might have also been experimenting with my lighting set-up at the same time. 7th grade science taught me to only change one variable at a time in an experiment, but did I heed their warnings? No, I did not.

Anyway, enjoy the other ladies’ manicures inspired by either “teal” or “two color gradient” or some combination thereof!

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Pop Art Explosions

So these are the nails that I had in store for you a few weeks ago, and I LOVE them. I love pop art and I have always loved Roy Lichtenstein (and I have even learned how to spell his name without help! With the Tri Polish Challenge theme of primary colors, I knew I’d have a pop art theme in at least one of my manicures for the challenge.



I took so many pictures of these to try to get a good look at the holographic polish. It is from my first Indie polish purchase, which was very exciting for me!


I came around to the Chirality Polish website by way of a google image search for “kale nails.” I was looking for inspiration for a manicure to support the debut of a website I helped a friend of mine make (more on that later) and Chiralty sells a beautiful dark green holographic called Kale so the photo popped up in the search results. The dark green was so unique of a color for a holo polish, so between that and some fun crelly glitters, I was pretty hooked. I hope to make a full post of my haul soon!



I chose the color ED-209 for the silver base between the two silvers I bought from Chirality, because the computer theme made me think geeky, which made me think comic book, which was the vibe I was trying to capture with these nails. The owner of the store, according to her bio and the name of her brand, (I had to look up what Chirality meant, and it was well worth it), is a bit of a nerd. I love when I come across similarly-minded people on the internet! Nail polish freaks who also are into science! She writes intricate stories for each of her polishes which I do find weird, but in a really cool way. The plot of this polish’s story was based on destroying a robot-spider-supercomputer. Doesn’t really get much more nerdy comic book than that!

Now ED-209 isn’t the most brilliant holo polish I have encountered, but it made a PERFECT base for this manicure. I’m excited to eventually use all the other colors I bought, besides the green holo I have this stunning blue holo and a black holo, as well as assorted crellies with large and interesting glitter.



Besides the silver, I used my Barry M nail art pen for the black outlines (a special gift from a friend who visited the UK, although you can order them online from the US, I feel much more important since mine was imported special for me) and the polishes I always use when I want my bluest blue, my reddest red, and my most yellow yellow. I’d tell you what they are, but they have since been packed for my move in a week. ACK I’m moving in a week!


Check out the links below for the other ladies’ renditions of this final week of red, blue and yellow TPC!

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Smiley Faces

So I had an awesome manicure planned for day 2 of August’s Tri-Polish Challenge, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it turn out well, so I did another one as backup, planning to use the second manicure next week, since this is due to be a busy weekend. Both manicures turned out great, but it’s pouring today and the original manicure was on a holo base which REALLY needs sun to photograph well. So I guess I’ll be switching the weeks! This manicure only has two of the 3 colors, blue and yellow, but I like how I used them! Smiley faces are such a simple, but clear indication of happiness, and to be honest, I’m a major emoji addict. Fun fact, I recently read an article about how our brains now perceive emojis and emoticons in the same processing centers in our brain that we perceive faces. Isn’t that RAD? 20 years ago, the same smattering of characters would not have done that in our brains :) It’s crazy! I added smileys in a few layers of dots of different yellows, much like my rubber duck nails, to get that overlapping look.


So that’s the first set of smileys. They’re pretty wonky, in a half cute, half horrifying way… But I kind of like them!


Here is the second layer. Still wonky, but a little better, as I was learning what strokes worked and what didn’t. Apparently much better, since iPhoto decided it recognized my smileys at people I should tag in some of the photos…


I thought this was hilarious. Oh facial recognition software. It did it more in the low-light pictures, so I’m sure the software is calibrated to be more sensitive in finding faces in pictures in low light. IMG_2800

Last layer!


I think overall they turned out pretty darn cute! I kinda like their specialness. Oooooh this has inspired me to want to use this scheme to do a manicure of lego people. I LOVE this red, blue and yellow color scheme!!!!

Check out the other ladies’ manicures below!

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Rubber Duckies

So I have been part of a nail polish community on Facebook for about a year now and in that time, I have yet to participate in their central challenge, the Tri-Polish challenge. The idea is that a trio of colors is picked each month and your manicures should consist of those three colors. Black, white, silver and gold are also allowed to create the design. It used to be that you used the same 3 polishes all month, but this year they changed the theme to just sticking to the three colors each month, which as a nail polish hoarder, I much prefer.

Anyway, so the colors this month are red, yellow and blue, and I KNEW I could not turn that down. With such a simple combination, I figured I MUST have SOMETHING in the vault for the first day, too, since I did not plan ahead here. Turns out I have quite a few blue, yellow and PINK manicures, but not so many with red. BUT I ended up stumbling on this one which fits the three colors perfectly, and is adorable to boot!

rubber duck mani

The idea for these came from two places. One, the month I did these, I was hard-x-core into dotticures and I had in my head that I could make some pretty nice bubbles using concentric dots (bringing geometry terms back, here). Two, one of my coworkers is extremely obsessed with rubber ducks and they are all over the office. I will frequently walk into scenes like this in our lobby:

photo (1) In case you are unclear, that is a Ringtail lemur with a nyan cat bowtie playing with a handheld video game while two rubber duckies watch. I don’t know what game was in there, this was a long time ago.

Now, as a side note here, that rubber ducky obsession is not completely random. In software engineering, we have an “informal debugging technique” called “Rubber Duck Debugging.” The idea is, when you are having a problem with your code, you should stop and try explaining how it works line by line to a rubber duck. When you get to the line you can’t explain, that is more than likely your problem. Hence the  rubber ducks scattered around a software company’s office.

bath manicure

These were pretty time consuming because getting a good overlapped look took quite a few layers, but since each layer dried almost instantly, it evened out in the end. It is definitely a pattern I could see myself using again in different colors.

bubble bath rubber duck manicure

And unexpectedly, these fit perfectly in the Tri-polish challenge! Hooray!

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