31 Day Challenge, Day 31-Recreate your favorite challenge

I made it!  Day 31!  I am so excited that I managed to complete this challenge!  And I think I’m ending on a dang good note!

My favorite challenge was Day 8, metallic nails.  Meaning my Dalek nails.  I was going to just recreate the mani by making the weirdly colorful Daleks that were introduced in series 5 of Doctor Who, but then I remembered this amazing Dalek vs. Cybermen nail art by Jacki at Adventures in Acetone.  I once said that I might try to recreate that nail art as my mani for my friend’s Doctor Who wedding, but today was a much better reason to try it out.  Plus Doomsday was a great Dalek episode, so I like the idea of making nail art for it.

As with my Daleks last time, I used Pure Ice Jaguar, 365 Days of Color The Locket, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, Kleancolor Pastel Blue, and Kleancolor Black.  My Cybermen are made with Kleancolor Silver Spark and Kleancolor Black, and the energy beams being shot are Essie Russian Roulette and Avenue Maintain.  My background color is the gorgeous ellagee polish called Void Stuff.  It’s part of the new Doctor Who themed ‘A Good Man Collection’ (I’ll be showing off my small number of purchases in a few days).

31DC-Day-31-Dalek-vs-Cybermen-nails-3

31DC-Day-31-Dalek-vs-Cybermen-nails-4

31DC-Day-31-Dalek-vs-Cybermen-nails-5

I love these!  I am so glad that I chose to recreate Day 8, because this is a wonderfully nerdy mani to end the 31 Day Challenge with.  My index and pinky fingers turned out really well, and I’m exceptionally pleased with the middle and ring fingers even if the details are sort of messy.  These are seriously so awesome!

And that is the end.  No more 31 Day Challenge.  Except…the Oh Mon Dieu Part Deux challenge was also going on throughout July.  And since they give an extra five days for people to play catch-up I’m going to be trying to post as many of the 31 challenges as I can in the next  six days.  So keep an eye out for those!

31 Day Challenge, Day 30-Inspired by a tutorial

I use tutorials all the time, but once I got to the day I actually needed one I drew a blank.  I browsed tutorials on blogs and Pinterest, but nothing was really jumping out at me.  I didn’t want to use one that was too difficult, but i didn’t want a really easy one either.  Eventually I found a tutorial on Youtube by My Simple Little Pleasures that taught me how to make bubbles!

31DC-Day-30-bubbles-2

31DC-Day-30-bubbles-3

31DC-Day-30-bubbles-1

Instead of a gradient background, I randomly sponged Essie Avenue Maintain, In the Cab-ana, and Naughty Nautical.  I used blue and white acrylic paint for the bubbles, and Kleancolor Pastel Teal and Pastel Blue for the ‘reflection’ accents.

I’m not too sure how I feel about these.  They don’t look anything like the ones in the tutorial, but they do look pretty good.  I think that maybe I shouldn’t have added the accents.  Even so, I still mostly like them.  Not a fan of the unintentional uniformity on the middle finger, but the index in particular looks cool.

However, my mixed feelings on the bubble mani prompted me to search for another tutorial.  An easier one this time.  I finally decided on The Nailasaurus’ triple triangle tutorial, which was something I felt I could do.  And I was right!

31DC-Day-30-triple-triangle-1

This color combination of China Glaze Gaga for Green and Sour Apple unfortunately didn’t show off the triangles as well as I had hoped (too much similarity between the base color and glitter color), so I switched gears and chose a different glitter.  After much wavering between blue and purple, I went with both and chose Nails Inc Connaught Square.  That turned out to be a pretty unusual but good choice.  I like how this mani looks.

31DC-Day-30-triple-triangle-4

31DC-Day-30-triple-triangle-5

31DC-Day-30-triple-triangle-6

And look!  The sun briefly came out again so I took a whole bunch of pictures!  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that my camera lens was fogged up and only two photos were not blurry. 😛

But look at the sparkles!

31DC-Day-30-triple-triangle-3

31DC-Day-30-triple-triangle-2

Despite my color mishaps, this nail art was really easy to do, and I have a feeling I will be trying it again in the future.  Maybe with holos.  That would be gorgeous!

Today saw two fairly successful attempts at nail art inspired by a tutorial, so I have high hopes that my final challenge day will produce another success.  I’ll be recreating my favorite day’s nail art, and I already have an idea of what I want to do!

 

31 Day Challenge, Day 29-Inspired by the supernatural

I made pretty clear references in yesterday’s post about where I would be drawing inspiration from for today’s nail art.  Rather than being inspired by the supernatural (in general), I focused specifically on the television show called Supernatural.  It is my favorite tv show and I’ve been following the series for what feels like forever.  So it sort of sucked to not include Supernatural in my fandom mani yesterday since I watched Supernatural before either Sherlock or Doctor Who.  But I comforted myself with the knowledge that the show would get its own mani today.

Now, this was a difficult one for me.  There are so many characters, items, and symbols associated with the show that I wanted to include, but I discarded my original torso nail art idea since I just did that yesterday for WhoLock.  I then thought that maybe I should just take the obvious route and focus on Dean, Sam, and Cas…which made me realize that I didn’t really want to do anything for Sam because most days I just don’t like him.  And it seemed unfair to exclude Sam and include Cas, so that left me with Dean nails!  I am completely fine with that.

After much thought, I decided to focus on his marks.  An anti-possession tattoo, Castiel’s handprint from when he pulled Dean from Hell (which is actually no longer there, but oh well), and the Mark of Cain.

The fourth ‘mark’ that Dean (and Sam) once had were Enochian protection sigils carved into their ribs, but there was no way I was going to attempt such intricate detail.  That left one nail free, so I chose Baby’s license plate.  Because there are very few things in the world that Dean loves more than his car.

I used LynBDesigns Battle Dress for the skin tone on the mark nails, and Essie In Stitches and Kleancolor Black for the marks themselves.  For the license plate I used a base color of Essie Avenue Maintain and the details were done with Kleancolor Black, Essie Blanc, and a mix of Kleancolor Tangerine Burst and Revlon Parfumerie Sunlit Grass.

31DC-Day-29-Supernatural-nails-3

31DC-Day-29-Supernatural-nails-2

31DC-Day-29-Supernatural-nails-1

As you can plainly see, I had some directional and spacing issues when painting two of these.  My lettering on the license plate unfortunately didn’t fit on the nail as well as I would have liked, but I still think it looks okay.  In future I know to make the letters/numbers a little smaller though.  My other problem was with the anti-possession tattoo.  You can kind of see at the top of the mark where I jammed three of those wavy things  in where only two would have comfortably fit, but I chose number accuracy over visual accuracy.  I’m also not sure if it’s facing the right direction or not.  According to that collection of marks above it’s not, but lots of drawn references (including the one I used) have it the way I have it.  And for the record, my handprint is in the right direction (the reference image above is a reflection).  So yay, got that right!

It might sound like I’m complaining like crazy about how these turned out, but I’m only nitpicking because of how much I love Supernatural.  I do really like these though.  They don’t exactly show off clean details like I was hoping, but if you look at them as a whole they look pretty dang good.  The handprint is definitely my favorite nail.  No problems with that one at all, in my opinion, and it was surprisingly one the easiest of the four to do.  My second favorite is the anti-possession tattoo, mainly for the center.  Very pleased with my star and the circles around it.

And that wraps up my lengthy commentary on my relatively simple Supernatural nail art.  Sorry about how wordy this is!  Supernatural makes me babble, apparently.  Provided nothing goes wrong, the post tomorrow should be much shorter.  It will be inspired by a tutorial, but I haven’t quite decided what tutorial I want to use yet.

Double post! 31 Day Challenge, Day 28-Inspired by a flag and Lacquer Legion July theme-fandom

The best laid plans of mice and men…

Wow, I had some really nice nail art planned for today, and I just got completely derailed.  Just didn’t have the time to really put work into them since today is also a Lacquer Legion day, and so I took a shortcut with the temporary tattoo paper again.  That part actually turned out alright, but it was the flag that caused me problems.  As you can see from the photos, they are completely messy and I absolutely did not have the patience today to fix them.  My thumb nail had a pretty good rendition on it, but I accidentally smashed it before getting a decent photo and, again, didn’t have the patience to fix it.

31DC-Day-28-flag-and-landmark-nails-1

31DC-Day-28-flag-and-landmark-nails-2

And matte:

31DC-Day-28-flag-and-landmark-nails-3

31DC-Day-28-flag-and-landmark-nails-4

I don’t like how these turned out.  The idea was still a good one though.  I wanted to freehand a few British landmarks and have flag tips, but had to switch to the tattoo paper instead.  I had a long list of possible landmarks to use, but narrowed it down to Hadrian’s Wall, Stonehenge, the Tower Bridge, and Durham Cathedral.  A few of those aren’t really what people think of when they think of when they think of Britain (or England, rather, since the ones I ended up choosing are all in England), but I wanted to use two typical ones and two that mean more to me.  Durham Cathedral is pretty much a daily sight when you attend Durham University and my specific area of study is Hadrian’s Wall, so they both get a nod in this nail art.

I might try something like this again in the future, taking a bit more care to keep it from getting so messy.  I think something like this could work well for Fourth of July nails, or for another national holiday.

But now onto the challenge I was really interested in today: the Lacquer Legion’s fandom theme.  I had originally planned to do SuperWhoLock nails, but because of something that will be hinted at at the very end of this post, I dropped Supernatural and just went for WhoLock instead.  I am completely okay with that decision because it meant much less work. 😛

As you can (hopefully) see, for the Sherlock nails I went with John Watson wearing one of his jumpers and Sherlock Holmes with his purple shirt of sex, and recognizable scarf and coat.  For the Doctor Who nails I chose Nine and Rose.  The Ninth Doctor is my favorite (Eccleston was fantastic), but his wardrobe is essentially a jumper and a leather jacket, which is less to work with in a mani than the outfits of most other incarnations of the Doctor.  I couldn’t just not use him because of that though, and since I used Nine I just had to use Rose.  That wasn’t a bad thing for me though, because I love Rose.  Plus, one of Rose’s most recognizable outfits just so happens to include a Union Jack shirt, so I got to retry the flag again!  It was much better this time around, and it killed me to have to cover most of it with her black jacket.

Lacquer-Legion-Fandom-July-2014-1

Lacquer-Legion-Fandom-July-2014-2

Lacquer-Legion-Fandom-July-2014-3

Lacquer-Legion-Fandom-July-2014-4

I am so happy with how this nail art looks.  I think it depicts the characters (or their wardrobes) well, and the fact that it shows off two of my favorite fandoms is a bonus.  I really wish I would have included Supernatural too, but I’m not overly disappointed by the exclusion.  How can I be, when these turned out so well?

Surprisingly few polishes were used for this mani, by the way.  Skintones were all Barry M Lychee, and coats/jackets were all Kleancolor Black.  John’s jumper has the black as well, but was mostly made with Flower Go with the Flow-er and No7 Beanie.  I used LynBDesigns Purple Polish of Sex and Essie Aruba Blue for Sherlock’s shirt and scarf, and a mixture of Maybelline Color Show Moss and Bourjois Paris So Lacque Lime Catwalk for the Doctor’s jumper.  The Rose nail has Kleancolor Red, Essie Blanc, Kleancolor Coablt, and Pure Ice Jaguar.  Okay, maybe it is a long list after all.

After having both a disappointment and a complete success today, I am more determined to make sure that tomorrow’s mani turn out well.  The bad detail work in the flag mani is real motivation, so I will find time to freehand my details cleanly on my ‘inspired by the supernatural’ nails.  I think my love of nerdy nails and my references throughout this post make it pretty obvious which direction I’m going to go tomorrow, but the actual nail art will at least be a surprise!

 

31 Day Challenge, Day 27: Inspired by artwork

Today’s challenge sounded like one of the most intimidating from the very beginning, but it honestly was not as bad as I expected.  Although, I would like to point out that the nail art only had to be inspired by an artwork, not recreate it.  I’m sticking with the story that my mani was never ever an attempt at a recreation.   And to be fair, any artwork would have been difficult for me because as much as I might have liked art classes when I was younger, I was usually pretty awful at drawing and painting.  So choosing a fairly difficult, very well-known subject to use in today’s challenge would end with no worse results than if I had chosen to draw inspiration from an abstract work.

Because of this, I felt no hesitation in going for one of the obvious choices: Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.  Well, the top half of it anyway.  It’s always been one of my favorite paintings, so choosing it was a no brainer.  I possibly should have thought a bit more about how I was going to tackle it though.  Acrylic paint would have been useful here, but I didn’t think to use it until I was already well into using polish.

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-1

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-2

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-3

I made Kleancolor Cobalt my background color, and then used Essie Avenue Maintain, Essie Blanc, Revlon Parfumerie Sunlit Grass (sometimes mixed with Kleancolor Tangerine Burst), Revlon Parfumerie Italian Leather, and Kleancolor Black throughout the mani in various ways.

And then, since I didn’t take the opportunity for a nerdy touch yesterday, I decided to add a TARDIS with Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, Kleancolor Black, and Essie Blanc.

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-4

Up until this point, I hadn’t used a top coat so that there would be a little bit of texture to the paint job (it is inspired by an oil painting after all), but out of curiosity I added a matte coat.

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-6

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-5

31DC-Day-27-Starry-Night-7

The matte coat really brought this nail art together, in my opinion.  I am honestly surprised by how happy I am with these nails.  I thought today would be absolutely horrible, but if you look at it and don’t think of it as a recreation attempt at Starry Night then it actually looks pretty good.  And I like the addition of the TARDIS.  Then again, I love adding the TARDIS in anywhere I can in my manis.

Now, tomorrow I have grand plans.  The challenge is going to be inspired by a flag, and my original idea is ambitious.  I might even break out my acrylics!

31 Day Challenge, Day 26-Inspired by a pattern

Today was so much easier than I thought it would be!  Thank goodness for the tattoo paper that I discovered yesterday.  I would have had to do this pattern by hand otherwise, because I had no backup ideas.  The pattern I chose is the famous wallpaper from 221B Baker Street.  BBC Sherlock, of course, not some weird variant with a female Watson.  (Why in the world would anyone watch that version when they could watch Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman?)

I put down a few coats of Essie Blanc as a background color to make sure there would be enough contrast, and made a triangle accent nail with it, but that was all of the polish work today (besides by base coat and top coat).

31DC-Day-26-Sherlock-wallpaper-nails-1

31DC-Day-26-Sherlock-wallpaper-nails-2

I like these.  I probably should have added a yellow smiley for a nerdier touch but I was scared that I would mess them up, and they really did look nice.  They didn’t really match the camo mani that I still had on my left hand (couldn’t bring myself to take it off), but I didn’t mind wearing both around today.

Considering how tough tomorrow’s going to be, I am so glad that I took the easier route today.  Because tomorrow is…inspired by artwork.  Yay. (note the sarcasm)

31 Day Challenge, Day 25-Inspired by fashion

Fashion is weird.  Not in a good way either.  Out of curiosity I Googled ‘Fashion 2014’ and most of the images that came up were cringe-worthy.  Awful patterns, clashing colors, weird cuts.  I didn’t like it.  Any of it.  Lucky for me, I intended from the beginning to stretch the definition of ‘fashion.’

So today I’m offering up my favorite pattern of all-time.  A pattern that defines redneck fashion: camouflage.

31DC-Day-25-camo-nails-1

How awesome is that?!  I had originally sort of resigned myself to doing the typical camo nail art (blotchy military style) just for simplicity’s sake, but then I remembered that I had bought some temporary tattoo paper over a year ago to try it out on my nails.  I got so excited, because it meant I could break out some actual Mossy Oak nails!  After a quick trip through the printer and a visit from the scissors, the paper produced some workable stickers.  I just peeled off the backing and stuck them right on my nails.  Because I made the decision to cover the entire nail, there were creases in some spots.  But guess what?  They were camouflaged!  So these nails actully turned out very well, and now that I know this works I will definitely be using tattoo paper in the future.  Tomorrow, even.

The overall look did feel a little incomplete though.  It took me a second, but I figured out that this camo mani was missing the legally-required-while-hunting splash of Day Glo orange.  For some people that comes in the form of a hat or hoodie, but for me it’s always been the classic orange vest.  So I added a couple strips of Kleancolor Tangerine Burst to represent that.

31DC-Day-25-camo-nails-3

31DC-Day-25-camo-nails-4

I think I liked them better without the orange, but then again, I prefer wearing camo without the orange vest too.  Either way though, I am completely in love with these and plan on redoing them after the challenge is over.

I can’t wait to see if the tattoo paper produces good results tomorrow too.  The challenge is going to be inspired by a pattern, and I’m going borderline nerdy!