Eiffel Tower Nails for #NAILLINKUP

Week 1 of N.A.I.L. for May is TRAVEL/TOURISM and I immediately knew I wanted to do something French.  My ancestors are from France.  Sure, they left Europe over 400 hundred years ago, but still, I’ve always been interested in my heritage.  The fact that my full name is super french-sounding probably has something to do with it.  I studied french for years and years in school and college too.  But unfortunately, I’ll forget it all if I don’t put it to good use.  What a shame that would be.  Is the fear of losing my foreign language skills a good enough excuse for me to blow a wad of cash on a flight and hotel in Paris?  I say a resounding YES!!!!!!!!!   And guess who I will be visiting when I land in the land of la France?  My Brijit, of course!  I’m putting this shiz on my bucket list.  I seriously need to get off this continent someday.

But you are here to see my nails….. not hear about my hopes and dreams.  So here they are!

paris nails

I tried to stamp the Eiffel Tower using one of my Bundle Monster plates but I think BM didn’t etch the design well enough.  I had the damnedest time and got pretty frustrated.  I used my squishy MoYou stamper, and then my Konad one. The Konad stamper almost worked, if I pushed really hard.  But then I said forget it!  And I free-handed the towers instead.  Much better!!!! Kinda cute and artsy and french looking, non?

eiffel tower nail art

The accent nails are OPI Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around and the towers were done with a cheap black striper polish.  And my other nails…. such a pretty aqua color!  Here’s a closeup…

finger paints

The aqua is Finger Paints Dream I Can Fly (Which I also painted on my mom too and we both love it!)  Then I sponged some Finger Paints matte glitter on the tips.  The glitter’s called Crystal Springs and it kinda looks like floam to me.  There’s also little shards of flakies in there.  I adore it.

You should totally do a TRAVEL mani too!  Where do you dream to go for holiday??

And for those of you with exceptional attention spans, here’s some background info on Nail Art ideas Linkup

Did you know that Brijit and Jemma and I started the Nail Art Ideas Linkup after last summer’s big OMD Challenge? That July challenge we did was so much fun it was kinda depressing to think that it would be over.  So we developed N.A.I.L. to keep the momentum going.  Since we started in August 2013 I have done a manicure for every single prompt but I’m only realizing today how many that is!  If you wanna see all my N.A.I.L. manicures then hop over to my Gallery Page to see them all in one spot!  And speaking of the OMD Challenge, my next post will be a sneak peak at what’s in store for the 2nd annual July OMD Challenge.  So if you are into big huge nail challenges then stay tuned.  Oh mon dieu!

 

 

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Bold Gradient Dotticure for #NAILLINKUP

It’s the last week of our April NAIL Linkup and the theme is DOTTICURE.   Yes, it is officially May now… but I’m not too late!  This week’s theme goes til May 4th so you have some time to sneak in a dotticure too.

For this nail art I wanted to go bold and bright and mix together some weird colors. Here’s what I used-

♥ Zoya Dove as my grey base color
♥ OPI I Just Can’t Cope-Acabana sponged onto my tips for a gradient
♥ AVON Coral Reef that I dotted on with a dotting tool

grey dot nail art  bold dotted nailsbold dotticure

It’s an unexpected color combination but I like it.  It feels summery and reminds me of beaches and Ron Jon surf gear.  I have no idea why, I dont even know what Ron Jon is really, but it popped in my head!

This weekend we’ll reveal our May N.A.I.L. themes so keep your eyes peeled for that.  See ya!

28th April – 4th May : Dotticure

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Pastel Peacock Nail Art using OPI Sheer Tints

Here’s another great way to use your OPI Sheer Tints…

collage_Fotor

Start with a white or light neutral base color.  Then do some nail stamping over top.   When that’s dry, light sweep some OPI Sheer Tints over top of your stamps to get this awesome effect!  One of the cool things about Sheer Tints is that they are so translucent you really don’t need to be neat or accurate when you apply them.  Yet the finished product makes people go “hmmmm how did you do that?”

peacock nails sheer tints

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! for #NAILLINKUP

It’s DIAMOND week for the Nail Art Ideas Linkup.  This theme makes me think of Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” and also “Material Girl” by Madonna.  Remember their hot pink dresses with the big bow?  And how they were dripping with diamonds?  That’s the inspiration for my manicure today!

zoya ali rhinestone nailI’m wearing two coats of my favorite hot pink polish- Zoya Ali.  It’s so hot and summery… when I applied it the other day I was actually screaming HOT DAMN! Because I love it so much. Does anyone else get super excited by polishes like me?  So much so that you run around the house waving your hands around hooting and hollering?  Please tell me you do that too.

Now that we’ve established that Zoya Ali is a good base color for me…. then I applied a sheer pink holo over some of those nails.  Bobbie brand Margarita (which I swatched the other day) needed four coats, so I assumed it’s sheerness would be a good topper for Ali to allow the hot pink to shine through, yet still add a touch of holo sparkle to it.  I didn’t apply that holo to my middle or thumb fingers, just because.  And on my middle finger I painted a bow just like on Madonna’s and Marilyn’s dresses.    I used a white and a black striper along with thatleanne’s tutorial to do my bow nail art.  And the funny thing is, I just realized she used Zoya Ali in her tutorial post too!  What are the chances of that?  Such a strange coincidence!

Lastly, I added some diamond-looking bling on a couple of my fingers.  I love this manicure!

pink diamond nails

Don’t miss the other diamond nails here:

21st – 27th April : Diamonds

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my nail art brushes

Hey girly girls!  I thought it would be cool to show you what nail art brushes I use!  Before I got really big into nail art, I was befuddled by brushes.  I honestly did not know what kind to get, where to get them, which ones to use for what, etc.  Anytime a blogger wrote about brushes my ears perked up because I felt like they all knew this stuff and I was in the dark!  I think at first I started using a little Sephora nail art brush that my sister got me for xmas.  But then, as I tried more detailed work I realized I needed some more specialized brushes.  That’s when I decided to buy a daVinci nail art brush set from amazon.

da vinci brushes copy

Da Vinci is a German brand and they’ve been around forever.  Since they have a reputation for making high quality brushes, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with them.  Although they specialize in artists brushes, they also carry an array of nail art brushes that are specifically designed to withstand acetone.  Here’s their pdf catalog of nail brushes.   I got my 4-pack set from amazon for around $25.  I thought that was pricey… but I previously purchased some cheapo striper brushes from China and they sucked because the bristles got all splayed after one use, so I threw them away.  These daVinci’s work much better.  I was a little turned off from stripers though so I didn’t start using the striper in the da Vinci pack until just recently, but it works great.  When I’m done with it I dip it in acetone to remove the polish, then I rinse it with water and the bristles stay together, not like the cheapo ones I used before where the bristles all stuck out like a wild hairdo.  But, my most-used brushes in the set are the detail brush (for little detailed things) and the big brush is nice and stiff so I use it for cleanup around my cuticles.  There is one brush in the set that I don’t really use much since it’s a little bigger than the detail brush.  But, it’s handy to have lying around.

One technique I’ve been thinking about lately is one-stroke.  Do I need a special one-stroke brush?  I dunno!  My mom is awesome at one-stroke, but she does big flowers, so none of her brushes would work for me.  I figure a brush that is flat with a straight edge would work?  I stopped by Michaels craft store and looked through the brush section.  I found some that MIGHT work, not sure really.  But they were $5 a piece.  My mom noticed a sale sign that all the michael’s brand brushes were on sale for half off.  So I found a multipack with 5 brushes that came to only $2.99.  If the flat brushes in the pack don’t work, then I’m only out a few bucks!  Some of the other brushes in the set looked useful for nail art too, so why not? Here’s what they look like….

IMG_4526_Fotor_Fotor_Collage copy

Notice how the striper/liner brush has a few bristles that are bent back?  That always happens to me.  Always.  How freakin annoying!  They don’t usually bend back, and I have to cut them off.  Even the high-quality da Vinci’s had a messed up brush like that- I contacted amazon and they sent me a new set.  Does this always happen to you too? Is this common and I shouldn’t worry about it (it’s just somethin that happens), or is it grounds for returning/exchanging the product?

 

Crazy ash nails!

I didn’t know what to call these nails.  It’s kinda hard to summize them in a couple words!  So my title kinda rhymes with something.  I like to keep my blog G-rated, ya know? 😉

multi colored border nails

This is one of those manis that had no plan.  I just went for it.  I started with a basecoat and two coats of AVON Coral Reef.  Coral Reef is one of those coral shades that has a lot of pink in it.  It’s too pink for my mom so she gave it to me!  Shweeeeeet.   Then I stamped a Bundle Monster (BM-403) geometric shape with a silvery AVON shade called Platinum… but it didn’t show up too well.  So I did another stamp from that same plate using black nail polish.  That second stamp kinda looks like cogs inside a machine.  I like it.  I like it a lot.  (imagine Jim Carrey’s voice to get the full effect.)  Then I did a border around each nail in different colors.

Is it me, or does this nail art kinda look Indian somehow?

bright border mani nails

Also, I just finished my nails for the BIRDS theme of our Nail Art Ideas Linkup.  They came out wicked.  I wanted to post them tonite but I don’t have the energy to make that happen… so you’ll see them this weekend.  In the meantime, here’s some of the other nailarts from this month’s linkup.  For your viewing pleasure:

31st March – 6th April : Rain (April Showers)

7th – 13th April : Birds

 

OPI Sheer Tints Nail Art

Not only do I spend a lot of my time working on my blog, but I also read a ton of other blogs!  And what’s a giant reward for all that time spent?  WINNING GIVEAWAYS!

I was lucky enough to recently win a set of mini Sheer Tints by OPI from Polished PR.  Thanks Jenn! I was super-psyched when I found out that I won (I also got a new Gwen Stefani kit) because I loved loved loved the idea of the sheer tints- they seem perfect for a nail art addict like me.  So here’s what I came up with using my mini tints!

sheer tints nails by Craftynail

I started with a Sally Hansen base coat, two coats of white Zoya Purity, then I applied the color-tinted top coats in a rainbow design. I used the little bottle brush from the mini bottle (no special tools) and did one swipe of each color.  I like where the teal and purple overlap to make a nice blue-ish purple hue.

opi sheer tint nailart

These sheer tints are fun and the options are endless.  I wonder if OPI plans to make more shades!?!  Has anyone heard any rumors about that ?