Purple ombre — SIMPLES week 3

Very recently I joined a Facebook group called ‘SIMPLES – Nail Art from Muggle to Mastery,’ run by Debbie over at The Crumpet (one of the very first nail blogs I started following back in 2012), where she gives lessons on basic nail techniques and lets us show off our own attempts.  I’m not even going to lie, it was the ‘muggle to mastery’ tagline that got me to send a request to join the group.  Because who can resist a Harry Potter reference, especially when it’s connected to nail polish?  Anyway, I joined a bit too late to be able to participate in weeks 1 and 2, but this week I jumped to post something.  And lucky me!  It’s something I’ve never done before!

In one of my earliest posts I labeled a rainbow pastel gradient as an ombre, which was wrong (although I did admit in the post that I could have been using that label incorrectly).  This, however, is actually an ombre.  (Debbie gives an in-depth explanation, with examples, on her SIMPLES blog post for this week)

I started off by trying to use a single color and diluting it with white for each nail, which is apparently the traditional way of doing an ombre manicure.

As you can see from the picture, it didn’t go so well for me.  The colors that I mixed were okay on there own and where actually a fairly good representation of a monochromatic scale, but they were very streaky when applied to the nail.  I was just plain disappointed and so abandoned that attempt.

The second try was much better.  I started with three polishes instead  of one (Kleancolor Love Affair, Neon Purple, and Pastel Purple), and just mixed them instead of adding white.  The difference in the shades wasn’t as good here, but the color choice was, in my opinion, much better.  I was actually really happy with this.



And guess what made the entire look even better?  That’s right, a matte top coat.



I don’t know if I’ll ever voluntarily do an ombre manicure again because it was kind of a pain without five pre-made shades (and tones) of the same color, but I do really like this look.  And I think that I’m really going to enjoy learning basic techniques with the SIMPLES group that I just sort of skipped over when I first got into doing my nails.  From what I understand, it’s alright to go back and redo manis based on the lessons of previous weeks, so if I get a chance, I might go make up the two techniques I missed.  And I’m really excited, because weeks 5 through 8 are supposed to be various dotting techniques!  I’m so looking forward to this!

Memorial Day tape mani

A little late in the day to be posting these, but here are the nails that I painted for Memorial Day.  Red, white, and blue, obviously.  A little play on the stars and stripes, without the stars since they can be a pain to paint.  This is still a little messy considering it’s a tape mani, but that’s no surprise.  I love the look of taped designs in general, but I can’t seem to get them quite right.  And when I do come close, it’s because I took hours to lay out the tape.  I still like this design though.  Certainly is one of my better taped manis, I think (although the gingham ones (found near the bottom of this post) are still my favorite).



And I of course tried out a matte top coat.  But for once I wasn’t particularly fond of the result, so I didn’t go past that one nail.  It didn’t look bad (how could a matte nail ever look bad?), but the colors on the glossy nails just looked more vibrant, which was better in this case.



I really like this half-and-half sort of look too.  I don’t think I’ve ever done a design where a nail is half solid and half patterned.  I’m definitely going to have to try that again with a different pattern.



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Polka party! Meet me at sunset!

I’ve got new-to-me Essie polishes to show off!  Well, spotlight on Meet Me at Sunset, but I do use Russian Roulette, Avenue Maintain, and Limo-scene on my accent nail.  And look!  I changed my nail shape.  Not so sure I like it, but we’ll see.

I have to say, I kind of love Meet Me at Sunset!  A beautiful reddish orange, and it was opaque in two coats (no surprise for an Essie).  It’s bright, but not eye-burning like a lot of orange-toned polishes can be, so I feel like I can wear this more than once.  It kind of makes me wish that I hadn’t talked myself out of buying Clambake too.

Indirect sunlight

Indirect sunlight

As for the other three polishes used in this mani, well…they’re pretty too, even if they got a little upstaged by Meet Me at Sunset during my planning process.  I think that Avenue Maintain is my favorite out of the three, but that’s probably because I’m partial to blues.  I really want to try out Russian Roulette in a larger area too, because the swatches I’ve seen of it suggest that it is a gorgeous polish.

Direct sunlight (with my newly washed car as a background!) :)

Direct sunlight (with my newly washed car as a background!) 🙂

The accent nail design is something that’s been seen in spades, but I do love my dots.  And it did use all of the polishes I wanted to use, so why not?  I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of dotticures.


Orange and teal reverse half moons

Okay, I’m not too sure that these should be called ‘reverse half moons’ since that’s what some people just call the half moon manicure, but it was either that or ‘half moon tips’ and I didn’t like the sound of that as much.  I’m not great with terminology anyway, so I think any error is forgivable.

Anyway, moving on…this one is a little bright, even for me.  I love nails that stand out just as much as I love neutral and muted colors, but I usually use glitter, not blindingly bright colors.  But I saw this unused almost neon orange sitting on my shelf and thought it might be fun to use, since it’s practically summer already. Not that it isn’t practically summer all the time in Florida.  That was just an excuse.  The orange was a lot to look at on its own though, so I decided to add another color.  I was going to go with blue, but that’s a bit too Florida Gator-ish for a summer look.  Teal is my second favorite nail color though, so it got picked.  My good camera didn’t capture the colors as accurately as I would have liked, but the combination still looks okay.


And then, because of my current–weird–need to mattify everything right now, I added an OPI matte top coat.  The matte also made it hurt my eyes a little less, which was a plus.  I really don’t know why I’ve gotten back into the matte top coats, but I’m glad I have.  They do tend to make a lot of my manis look better.

orange-and-teal-reverse-half-moon-2And here’s a phone snapshot I took a second ago, just because it somehow has better (but still not great) color accuracy.  Especially for the teal.  It looks closer to turquoise in the other photos.  It’s still quite a bit darker in person, but oh well.


All in all, not my personal best–or personal preference, for that matter–but it’s a nice deviation from my typical colors and combinations.  I might even come back to this combo at some point to do some nail art of a little higher quality.  Who knows?

Fern: The Musical…featuring fern nail art

Yeah, you read that right.  I live in the ‘Fern Capital of the World,’ and my youngest sister was in a student-written show called Fern: The Musical last night (and the night before last).  I’m not a huge fan of high school student productions–despite the great message that this one was sending about the issue of racism–but I went anyway to support her.  And since I had time before we left the house, I painted my nails for the occasion.  Just a quick little fern (I like to think it’s leatherleaf) on each of my ring fingers, topped with a matte coat.  I love this neutral color, btw.  It’s much prettier on its own than I was expecting!  And it’s called Go With the Flow-er, by Flower.  So a fern and a Flower! (heh, I’m so corny)


And a quick phone snapshot from the next day of the right hand.  I decided that the fern on this one looks better–more like actual leatherleaf–even though Seche Vite smeared both.


Nice and easy, and a tribute both to my hometown and my sister’s show.  🙂 So what do you guys think?

To Boldly Go

This is it, my first real post!  Considering the name of my blog, I thought it only appropriate to start things off with Star Trek nail art.  Granted, it’s been done before, but oh well.  I personally like the torso look for fandom nail art.  So I’ve got uniforms for a typical landing party:  Captain Kirk in the middle, flanked by Spock and Bones in their science blues, and the obligatory doomed red shirts.  And bonus!  Since color accuracy isn’t terribly important for this post, I put the first picture through the ‘1960s’ filter on Picasa.  Just for that truly authentic feel.


Star-Trek-2014-1960s filter


And then I mattified it!  I really do like the matte better (I liked it better with my first Star Trek nails too).


Not a complicated design, but I think it turned out alright.  If anyone is out there, what do you think?

Ancient artefacts, part II

If you made it past my first Ancient Artefacts post, congratulations!  It was sort of long, wasn’t it?  This one probably will be too.  This is just the rest of my planned catch-up from the year after my time in England (so October 2013-present).  I wasn’t distracted by work in this time so I got to try out a lot of designs, many of which I am now showing here.  Be warned, this one is really pic-heavy too!

When I first got back home from my adventures in England, I decided to make myself a dedicated nail room.  By the time I had gotten everything organized, it was almost Halloween!  So I let the encroaching holiday be my theme.  Thus, blood splatter nails!  And a few days later, candy corn!

blood-splatter-nails    candy-corn-nails

November and December didn’t really see all that much nail art either.  Some fall-colored waterfall nails, Doctor Who nails for the 50th (which did NOT turn out well at all and so are not pictured), some Hobbit-themed nails for the Desolation of Smaug premier, and two sets of Christmas nails (my sister wanted me to paint her a fake set).  Completely skipped out on my birthday and New Years to take a trip up to Georgia for some hunting!  Yes, I hunt.  But no, I did not kill Bambi’s mom.



Santa-and-Rudolf-Christmas-nails    Skittle-Christmas-nails

Sometime in January I did some Deadpool nails because I love Deadpool.  And then in February I did Valentine’s nails, of course.  Those were inspired by this post by The Nailasaurus (she seriously has amazing manicures).  March brought St Paddy’s nails, my first successful attempt at a watermarble.  Plus a few other random manicures between the two months (the cheese ones thanks to a tutorial by ChristabellNails).

        Deadpool-nails    heartbeat-nails

St-Paddys-nails    teal-braid-nails    red-matte-nails

      cheese-nails    peach-mint-reverse-gradient    purple-grey-tape-mani

And then Easter!  I actually liked how these turned out.  The basket and chick not so much, but the eggs and bunny look good, I think.  My grandma liked them anyway.  And grandparents never lie to spare your feelings.  No seriously, my grandma is ruthless.  I also did a pastel gradient/ombre (considering it’s a sideways gradient that stretches over all the nails, is it a gradient or an ombre or both?) a few days before that.  Also, gingham!  I loved how these turned out, so much so that I actually used a gel top coat to keep them for more than the typical two days for me.  I also painted my toenails to look like pigs but there’s no way I’m posting a picture of my toes, no matter how cute the idea of piggies on my piggies is.


Easter-nails    gingham-nails

And to top this massive post off, May 4th came around again by the time I started this blog, so Star Wars nails happened again.  Some of them turned out good, but others were really bad (Ewok, anyone?).   I did like the overall effect more than last year’s though.


And that’s it!  Hopefully I’ll never have such large posts again, but I found this semi-chronological 2-parter to be easier than a million little posts.  I hope you guys like at least one design here!