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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Summer Fireflies

Warning, this post is super pic heavy! I had a very hard time deciding which photos I liked best and thus ended up liking too many.

Nail Polish Canada is having a Summer Nail Art Challenge that involves prizes and stuff and I decided to participate! Make sure to check out the link and vote for your favorite. (Of course I’m hoping you’ll choose me, but tons of talented artists participate in these so it will be a tricky decision!) I had a few summer manicures up my sleeve that I haven’t posted yet, but when this idea came to mind, I knew it was “the one.” Fireflies! Nothing represents the beginning of summer quite like those first fireflies that appear when it starts getting warm. I didn’t see a firefly in real life until I was 13, but even then I understood their iconic meaning. I’m hoping you’re allowed more than one entry, because I also have a beach-y manicure I am quite proud of.

First I sponged a night sky gradient, much like my Stormy Night manicure from June. Then I used a more casual version of the “waterfall” technique that I learned from Chalkboard Nails to make the grass. My favorite part of the grass is the new holographic polish I just bought from Chirality Polish. It’s called Kale and I LOVE it. This was my first indie polish purchase and I’ll have to do a haul post next. She has some really interesting glitters in a chunky base and I’m pretty excited to use ALL of them. Although as fun as glitters are, I always go back to my trusty nail art. Perhaps I need to get better about skittles so I can incorporate both!  
fireflies mani  
Added some yellow pearls for a sort of 3d element that makes me think of glowing.
glowing fireflies nails
firefly manicure    
The hardest part of this manicure for me was choosing the 3D element. I wanted rhinestones for their sparkle, but the only rhinestones I had in the color I liked felt too big and the wrong shape. I used them on my right hand, and honestly, even though I had my doubts about them, I actually ended up liking my right hand much better!!
summer firefly night sky nails
I love how the polish kind of represents the fireflies that are further away and glow, and the rhinestones are the fireflies that light up much closer to you and blink brilliantly.
firefly night nails
Sorry for all the pictures, I just can’t handle how much I like this manicure! summer grass firefly nails
Also sorry for my messy cuticles! Taking photos of my right hand was kind of an impulse decision while I was at work so I did not clean them up quite as nicely the night before. However, this also means I have photos I took in direct sunlight and you can see the brilliance of the holographic Kale a little better.
Of course, the fireflies glow, but I won’t be able to get a picture of that until I find my blacklight!

Don’t forget to check out the other manicures and vote!

July 4th Stripes

I went a little stripe and dots crazy with these. Mostly because I’m not into glitters and stars are a pain to paint well. My primary idea was to do a distressed look, much like these Kate Spade Keds I knocked off of a while back

but I had a hard time incorporating the red into the look. I think the distressed stripes have promise in future designs (maybe a nautical one), but it was not my favorite of the manicures I tried. When I try them again, however, I’ll put up a tutorial.


Surprisingly this is the best photo I took. It’s just with my iPhone, but the natural lighting though the window at my desk at work is AMAZING.


I did my right hand a little differently, primarily because the distressed stripes were a little too time consuming and took a little too much coordination to do on this hand. Also because this way I get to post another idea for you!


Lastly I did a fun pedicure. I don’t usually post about pedicures, but this one was pretty cute! I am loving this large and small dot pattern I used on my various creations, and I will definitely be using that pattern again.


Today I learned just how difficult it is to take good pictures of a pedicure. I think I ended up with some pretty good images in the end.


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