Challenge Your Nail Art, Let’s Go Camping theme: Campfires

Today is the final day of the Let’s Go Camping challenge, and we are ending on a theme that makes a whole lot of sense for a camping challenge: campfires.  And what is the best way to enjoy a campfire?  Burning things!  I used to just set sticks on fire and run around with them when I was little.  Sign of a future pyromaniac?  Probably.

But no, really, I am almost positive that the first thing most people think of when given a campfire prompt is s’mores.  Or at least roasting marshmallows and possibly hotdogs.  So that’s what I decided to feature on my nails today.  A roasted hotdog and a s’more, plus the campfire itself and the smoldering ashes of the fire after it has burnt itself out.

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I really like these!  The hotdog looks like it’s almost burnt to a crisp and the chocolate on the s’more looks slightly gooey but not melty.  Just how I like both of my campfire foods!  I am even pleased with how my ash and embers turned out, which is honestly a surprise because I sort of sponged colors on as fast as I possibly could  in order to go take pictures (I was racing the gray clouds in the sky).  I still think the hotdog is my favorite though.

The list of polishes isn’t quite as long today, but because there were a couple of mixes I’m going to break it down by nail.

Index: Kleancolor Concrete Gray, Model’s Own black striper, and a mix of Essie In Stitches and Kleancolor Brown

Middle: Kleancolor Concrete Gray, Kleancolor Tangerine Burst, Essie Meet Me At Sunset, China Glaze Orange Marmalade, Revlon Parfumerie Sunlit Grass

Ring: Kleancolor Concrete Gray, Kleancolor Tangerine Burst, China Glaze range Marmalade, FingerPaints Paper Mache

Pinky: FingerPaints Paper Mache, Zoya Louise, and a mix of Louise, Kleancolor Brown, and Maybelline Color Show Electric Yellow

Seems like a lot, but there quite a few repeat offenders in there.  🙂

I really had a lot of fun with this Let’s Go Camping challenge, and I am definitely looking forward to next month’s ‘Avast Ye Bilge Rats’ challenge!  It should be interesting to say the least.

As always, don’t forget to go check out the other submissions!

 

 

Challenge Your Nail Art, Let’s Go Camping theme: Nature

Day two of this month’s Challenge Your Nail Art camping theme!  I had fun with this one!  The theme was nature, and I tossed a few ideas around during my initial planning before deciding to stick, again, to some pretty basic nature scenes.  So as you can see, I have a forest lake scene on my index, a view of a deer through binoculars on my middle, a black bear wandering onto a campsite on my ring, and a forest on my pinky.  Okay, maybe not too basic, but they certainly aren’t intricate either.

Lots of colors were used for this, the main three being China Glaze Gaga for Green, Zoya Louise, and an unknown green that I found in my sister’s horrifyingly disorganized stash.  Gaga for Green was the background color for forest scenes, and the other two were also used for creating the forest.  ALIQUID Lacquer I’m Heading Strait to Mackinac (with an undie of FingerPaints Paper Mache) was used for the lake (it sparkled like water in the sunlight!), while Kleancolor Black was used to make the binocular view and a mix of Zoya Louise, Flower Go With the Flow-er, and Kleancolor Brown were used for the deer.  The camp scene on the ring finger used the main three, plus Kleancolor Black, Flower Go With the Flow-er, Zoya Carey, Kleancolor Concrete Gray, Kleancolor Tangerine Burst, and China Glaze Orange Marmalade.  Whew, that was more than I realized!

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I am definitely pleased with the overall effect here.  Sure there are issues–I somehow gave my bear a horse’s muzzle and my binoculars are off center, for example–but so long as you don’t scrutinize the details like I do, these are actually kind of cool.  Growing up in Central Florida, I do think of forests and the local woodland creatures (whitetail deer and black bears for the larger ones) when I think of nature, so I’m happy that I was able to portray that for this challenge.  And while I myself have never gone camping further than my own backyard, I thought it appropriate to have the camping scene to honor the month’s challenge theme.  I think my favorite scene, though, is the lake nail.  I’m Heading Strait to Mackinac was definitely a great choice for the water!

So what do you think?  Nature-y enough for the challenge?

And don’t forget to click the button and go check out the other nature nail art submitted for the challenge!

Challenge Your Nail Art, Let’s Go Camping theme: Under the Stars

After learning of this frankly awesome Facebook group last month, I asked to join in and so am now posting my first challenge mani for Challenge Your Nail Art!  The theme for August is Let’s Go Camping, and day 1’s challenge is ‘under the stars.’  (I have  no idea why, but the song ‘Under the Sea’ keeps popping into my head whenever I read ‘under the stars’)

I wasn’t quite sure where to go with this, so I used Zoya Sailor, FingerPaints Paper Mache, and Kleancolor Black to make a pretty basic silhouette/starry night scene, featuring a little guy with a telescope and another laying on a hill, pointing up at the stars.  If you look closely, you can also see the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt, plus most of the Little Dipper (although it might be slightly misshapen).

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And matte:

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For how quickly I slapped the polish on my nails, these nails turned out to be really cute!  I really like my little guy with the telescope and am glad that I worked some constellations into the night sky.  Especially Orion’s Belt, since the Orion constellation is my favorite (he’s a hunter!).  I wasn’t crazy enough to try and do the whole constellation, but the belt is what I usually search the night sky for anyway.  And look! My guy on the hill even looks like he’s pointing at the belt!  I just noticed that as I glanced up at one of the photos 😛

Tomorrow’s theme is a bit broader than today’s and I already have what I want to do planned out.  I hope I actually have time to follow through on it, because it could turn out to be pretty cool!

Oh, and click on the button below to go check out the other challenge manis for today!

 

 

ALIQUID Petoskey Stone and Yooper

Well, for the first time that I can recall since I have started playing around with nail art, I have failed to complete a challenge that I said I would do.  The August ‘Weird Science’ theme for Lacquer Legion just did not work out for me.  I had a pretty good plan to have a hand for the ‘hard’ sciences and then a hand for archaeology nails–because social sciences are science too!–but I just was not feeling it that day.  I got a single ‘atom’ nail mostly done and then bowed out.

So to make up for that failure…here are some pretty polishes that I won in a giveaway hosted by ALIQUID a little while back.  Plus the petoskey stone ring (by Aimee at Wrapped Magnolia) that I also won in the giveaway!

First up is ALIQUID Lacquer Petoskey Stone, which Alison describes as “a warm grey with green, gold and brown shimmers, plus holographic sparkle.”  To me it seemed like the base color was a warm beige-y gold leaning towards grey, and combined with those shimmers and dash of holo made Petoskey Stone absolutely stunning.  My camera refused to catch the sparkle quite right, but needless to say it looked magnificent in person.  And this polish applied like a dream.  I don’t know why, but I honestly expected 3 or 4 coats to reach opaqueness despite the shop description claiming otherwise, but it only took 2!  (I of course added a third anyway, because that is my way.)

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And here’s a shot with the ring!  Isn’t it cute?

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The second ALIQUID polish I got from the giveaway was Yooper.  It is described as “a dark green jelly full of flecks of green, blue, gold and brown, plus holographic sparkle,” and I find that description to be completely spot on.  I mean, wow, this polish has a lot going on in a good way. It is beautiful!  I absolutely loved it, and wore it for nearly five days after I put it on (which is a pretty good run for me).  This was another two-coater too, although it’s shown here with three.

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There were quite a few times where some of the flecks (the gold ones?) also looked sort of copper, and I think that was one of my favorite effects in this polish.  I kept finding myself bringing my left hand close to my face and turning it in different directions to try and find it.  I liked it best when I would get an even sheen of those flecks with the blue ones.  Gorgeous!

I was so completely impressed with both of these polishes that I went and spent a whole lot of money that I don’t have at the ALIQUID shop.  So eventually there will be more pictures of not only others from this collection, but also a few from other collections as well.  Petoskey Stone and Yooper, as well as the rest of the Two Pleasant Peninsulas collection and a heck of a lot of other pretty polishes, at the ALIQUID Lacquer shop or Etsy shop.  If you don’t yet have at least one ALIQUID Lacquer in your polish collection, go buy some now!

 

SIMPLES Weeks 9 and 10-Splodging and Watercolor

Apologies for yet another absence!  This one at least was much shorter, and had a good reason behind it.  I went paintballing for the first time ever a few days ago, and my left hand got hit no less than four times!  The swelling has gone down completely, but there is still one angry bruise near the base of my middle finger.  Totally worth it though!  If you have never played paintball before, go try it!

Anyway, onto the show.  I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I somehow missed the return of the SIMPLES lessons over on the Facebook page!  So since I am currently a week behind, I thought I would go ahead and do both this week’s lesson and last week’s in one post. First up is last week’s technique: splodging.

Splodging is something I have done before, but I generally go ahead and put all of my colors on a single piece of sponge and blot all at once, rotating colors as I see fit.  Which, I guess, is not really the proper way to do it, but it’s what works for me.  The Crumpet’s splodging tutorial, however, uses individual sponges for each color, and only only color is applied at a time.  I used OPI Miami Beet, Essie Fiesta, Kleancolor Pastel Pink, and SquareHue Leblon for this splodging attempt (opting for a watermelon-inspired color scheme), and this is my result.

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Umm…no.  This method really did not work for me.  It was too random, and I apparently cannot see a big picture  as I work on individual colors.  The color choices themselves were also apparently not great, which probably didn’t help matters much.  I will not be trying individually splodging colors again.  Or if I do, I will dot colors directly onto the nail and smudge them around with the sponge.  No more of this nonsense application though.  I mean, wow.  Bad.  This seriously reminds me of these old wicker baskets that my mom used to have, that had these horrible flower napkins mod-podged on them.  Although that possibly does explain why they caught my mom’s eye…

But the week 10 lesson brings redemption!  The lesson was on watercolor bases, and we were encouraged to try out different watercolor techniques to find what works for us.  I personally chose to try out two of the techniques.  The first requires dotting color directly onto the background color (white in my case) and then applying acetone to those dots to sort of dilute and smear the color around.  The second is what is called a ‘color wipe‘ over on PiggieLuv.

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Neither of these techniques worked out for me quite as I was expecting, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still really like how both look.  I used the same four colors for both techniques (China Glaze Four Leaf Clover, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, FingerPaints 15 Minutes of Frame, and Kleancolor Beach Blue), which actually works to make the two very different techniques look pretty dang good together.  The color wipe especially would look nice as a stamping background, and the dotting technique would create a potentially easier alternative to using acrylic paint to make bubbles (as I have done here).  In retrospect, it probably would have looked pretty cool to have layered the dotting technique over the color wipe.

As much as I sometimes have some really bad results, I am still really enjoying the SIMPLES lessons.  Trying new stuff, or even different ways of doing old stuff, is often a nice break from the more intense freehand nail art designs that I tend to use in challenges.  Which reminds me…this month’s Lacquer Legion post will be up in two days!

ellagee ‘A Good Man’ collection-Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan, Void Stuff, What’s With The Glasses, and Trenzalore

Okay, wow.  I wanted to take a break after I finished with the 31 Day Challenge and my OMD2 posts, but I definitely did not mean for that to turn into an 11 day absence!  But now I’m back and brought with me a few swatches from ellagee’s A Good Man collection.  I guess I’m a little late in posting these since a new ellagee collection has been released while I was taking my break, but I’m still going to show these polishes off anyway since I love them.  I’ve used three of the four in nail art before, and in some ways the nail art actually shows off a couple of them better than these photographs.  Because to be honest, these photos are all over the place.  I take my photos outside, and the weather has been so unpredictable lately that my pictures are mostly not consistent or color accurate.  But they are still pretty, so there is that.

First up is one of the collection’s limited edition polishes, Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan.  The pigments for the LE polishes have been discontinued, but I just visited the ellagee website a little while ago and noticed that a new version of this particular polish has been released with a slightly different color shift.  The difference is so minimal that I would definitely suggest buying version 2 if you didn’t manage to snag the original version.  This is really not a polish to miss out on, whether you like multichromes or not.  It is stunning, and is tied for the position of my favorite of these four.

Anyway, Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan is a multichrome polish with small iridescent flakies.  It mainly shifts from teal to purple, but I have noticed that the color range also includes blue and, more rarely, red/orange.  This is one of the polishes that I mentioned that look better in my previous nail art than in my swatches here.  In fact, go look at my OMD2 Duochrome post for better depictions of this polish.  I used three coats in these pictures, although two would have been fine.

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And just for reference, here is one of the pictures of Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan as used in the OMD2 Duochrome post.  You can see the flakies a bit better in this photo, and the polish is overall a bit more color accurate.

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Next is Void Stuff, which is dark green jelly base packed full of (mostly green) glitter.  I used three coats here, but again, two would have been fine if you don’t mind visible nail lines.  This is easily one of the prettiest greens I own!

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The last time I used Void Stuff (in my Cybermen vs Dalek nails for the 31DC) I swore that I would use a base color next time I used it, but I ended up not doing that for the above swatches.  So I did on my thumb nail instead.  This is two coats of Void Stuff over two coats of Wet n Wild SaGreena the Teenage Witch.  There wasn’t too much of a difference between the nails with no undies and the nail with a base color, but I did notice in person that the thumb nail seemed to be a teeny tiny bit of a deeper green.

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What’s With the Glasses? was a real surprise for me.  As I was looking through the collection, this polish unexpectedly jumped out at me and it somehow made it onto my buy list.  I normally don’t go for glitter polishes like this, but I am so glad that I bought it.  It took about an hour of wearing it to realize that I actually really really liked it, but I got there eventually.  What’s With the Glasses? is a white crelly with large red and blue hex glitters.  It was pretty sheer so I used four coats.

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The glitter distribution was a bit too much with four coats though, so I left my right hand at three coats.  Opacity looks okay in the photos too, so I would probably recommend three coats instead of four.

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The last polish that I bought is called Trenzalore and is also the third polish that I have used previously in nail art, so it has appeared on the blog before (in my OMD2 Funky French and Holographic posts).  This also happens to be one of my favorites (tied with Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan for top spot).  Seriously, this polish is gorgeous.  Trenzalore is a pale blue scattered holo, and as noted on the ellagee website, the blue does have a smoky sort of quality to it.  It is shown with three coats here.

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And as if this post wasn’t already too pic-heavy, I decided to do some quick nail art with three of the polishes.  With Trenzalore as my base color, I did two blobbicure nails with Void Stuff and Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan.

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This nail art shows off all three polishes really well.  The color shift and flakies in Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan are much more prominent in the blobs than they are in the actual swatch photos.  And I personally think that Trenzalore looks good with both of the other polishes, even if the other two possibly wouldn’t work so well together without Trenzalore acting as a buffer.

The A Good Man collection is currently available on the ellagee store, minus the original LE polishes (but plus the new Hold Tight And Pretend It’s A Plan).  Even though I haven’t tried any outside of these four polishes, I would suggest buying as much of the collection as possible.  They ALL look so pretty!

 

 

 

The Great Polish Giveaway of 2014!

I am sure by now that anyone reading this post has heard about the Great Polish Giveaway on NailPolishCanada.com.  If you haven’t then you should definitely go check it out!  The prize started at 0 and works its way up as bloggers choose polishes to add to the prize.  Someone is going to win up to 200 polishes in one fell swoop!  And the prize was already at 176 polishes as of August 1st!

Seriously, anyone who has not entered needs to go do it now!  I provided a link to the page at NailPolishCanada.com, and here’s a link to the Rafflecopter (below).  I cannot seem to get the entry form to work on my blog, and after some research I think that it is because my blog is hosted by WordPress.  So at this time I unfortunately cannot offer any extra entries on my blog (or if I can, I haven’t figured out how), but there are still over 100 blogs through which you can enter the giveaway.

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My pick to enter into the giveaway is Cirque Lonesome George.

I unfortunately have not swatched Lonesome George, because I do not own it.  It has been on my wishlist for a while though, so I’m glad that somebody will have a chance to enjoy it once the winner is chosen!  If you want to see swatches of this gorgeous polish, I would suggest visiting Let Them Have Polish! or Scrangie or one of my personal favorites for swatches, The PolishAholic.  I don’t want to use their photos without permission, so go check them out!

And go enter the giveaway if you haven’t already!