Monday, November 24, 2014

This One's For My Mom: Circus Animal Cookie Nail Art

Circus Animal Cookie Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

My mom is unable to eat chocolate, so she's always had a few non-chocolatey sweet treats she favors. Peppermint ice cream, German raspberry candies, and Circus Animal cookies were some of her top picks when I was growing up. Personally, my pick out of those would be the Circus Animals! I've always loved the colors of the rainbow sprinkles against the pink or white frosting. Chocolate preferences aside, it's pretty hard to resist their sugary sweetness.

Mom, this one goes out to you!

Circus Animal Cookie Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Nail polishes used:
Salon Perfect Sugar Cube
Formula X Gemini
Formula X Pyrotechnic
China Glaze Sky High Top
OPI Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm?
OPI Suzi Has a Swede Tooth
OPI Good Grief!
Sally Hansen Sun Kissed
Sally Hansen Going Green

This look is simple and quick. All you need is a dotting tool and the right colors! Truthfully, choosing colors took the most time because I thought getting the right shades was imperative for recreating the Circus Animal sprinkles look.

This is also my manicure for The Lacquer Legion's Yummy prompt, because they are yummy in my tummy (duh).

Circus Animal Cookie Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Have you had these delicious cookies before? In working on this post, I just discovered a recipe for Circus Animal truffles, which I will have to make AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Teen Create Space Beginner Nail Art Workshop (Plus Giveaway!)

Beginner nail art workshop by @chalkboardnails
Recently, a friend of mine reached out and asked if I would be interested in teaching an hour-long nail art workshop for teens ages 12-18 at one of the local libraries here in Arizona. I jumped at the chance; I think the program is SO great. It gives teens in the area something creative to do after school at absolutely no cost to them! I thought a gradient + leopard print design would appeal to the teens, and would be doable in the workshop time frame, too.

Beginner nail art workshop by @chalkboardnails

Since the attendees were so young, I knew I needed some bright, fun colors! Salon Perfect was a natural choice for the polish and generously sponsored the event. The kids could not have been more excited!

We used Salon Perfect Tickled Pink, Pure Azure, Lavender Fields, and Oil Slick, as well as the Crystal Clear topcoat and nail art tool duos.

Beginner nail art workshop by @chalkboardnails

The workshop ended up having 15 attendees. I began by showing them how to use a makeup wedge to create a gradient, and then showed them a simple leopard print using a dotting tool.

At the end, the teens told me they were surprised to see how easy it was to create the gradient leopard look. A few of them opted to focus on doing one hand so they could really perfect the technique, and one girl decided she wanted to stop after doing a beautiful gradient!

I loved the experience and hope to have the opportunity to do it again soon! It was a blast.

Beginner nail art workshop by @chalkboardnails

And there's good news for you, too! You can enter to win the exact polishes we used in this workshop! Five winners will be selected. US residents only, ends November 26th, 2014.

Salon Perfect Giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TUTORIAL: Give In to the Darkness, Inspired by Nail'd It!

Nightmare-inspired nail art by @chalkboardnails
Have you been keeping up with Oxygen's Nail'd It!, the nail art competition show? I've been watching it every week! I love how it starts off with a client-based challenge, and then moves into the high concept sculptural work. In this week's episode, three previous competitors are back for their second shot at the finale. Their challenge is to create nail art inspired by their nightmares.

Here's an insider tip: if you tune in to tonight's episode, you'll get to see yours truly! I'm sharing a quick tutorial for stenciled star nails during one of the commercial breaks. Eee!

Nail polishes used:
Cirque Colors Memento Mori
Sally Hansen Big Shiny top coat

My nightmare-inspired look represents my childhood fear of the dark. I've toughened up a bit since then, but can definitely still psych myself out at times when I'm all alone in a dark room. This design represents the darkness as an entity, creeping up on me. Be sure to watch the tutorial above to see how you can achieve this look for yourself!

Nightmare-inspired nail art by @chalkboardnails

Tune in tonight to Nail'd It at 9/8c, only on Oxygen. Keep up with the show on their Facebook page, and join the conversation by following Oxygen on Instagram and using the hashtags #NailedIt and #ShowMetheMani. Don't forget, I'm briefly on tonight's episode!

Disclosure: This post has is sponsored by reps from Oxygen and Nail'd It!. Press sample provided by Cirque Colors. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 17, 2014

If Mermaids Were Real, They'd Have Holographic Scales

Holographic Mermaid Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

I remember when I was a kid, I had these My Pretty Mermaid dolls. I loved braiding their bright, plastic hair, and if memory serves me right, their tails even changed color when you put them in cold/warm water! My tastes have matured a bit since then, but I still appreciate that mermaid magic. That's why this nail art was perfect: it takes the cheapness out of my mermaid memories and supplements the look with a refined and elegant nude holographic.

Holographic Mermaid Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Nail polishes used:
I Love Nail Polish - Iconic
Formula X - Dark Matter

More than anything, this manicure was built around ILNP Iconic, which is a gorgeous champagne gold holo with just a twinge of rose. I put it on first (two coats) and decided on the nail art second, though I can't say what possessed me to try the mermaid scales, which were painted freehand over the top.

Holographic Mermaid Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

I have to say, I was fully obsessed with this pattern when I was wearing it. I DEFINITELY think I'll be doing it more in the future!

P.S., if you're not one for freehanding, check out these mermaid scale nail vinyls or this mermaid scale stamping plate!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lacquer Links: $675 Nail Polish, Multichrome Flakies, Editing Instagram Captions and More

This week I'm starting a new feature called Lacquer Links! I hope to post a Lacquer Link roundup at least twice a month, with some of my favorite juicy bites and morsels of nail news. Think social media, but harder to miss! 

Sephora is selling a limited edition Christian Louboutin lacquer for $675 (!!!). The iconic Louboutin bottle is adorned with 1,800 hand applied Strass crystals. listening bro?

FLAKIE MANIA! I Love Nail Polish showed off a couple of mesmerizing swatches of the polishes in their upcoming Ultra Chrome Flakies line (preorder begins today at 11am PST), while GlitterDaze, Darling Diva, and Polish Me Silly announced similar releases. I've got the ILNPs to share with you soon!

Instagram's latest app update allows you to edit captions after an image has been posted! Suck it, typos!

Rescue Beauty Lounge showed off their nail polish collaboration with lifestyle website Refinery29. Check out some great swatches via Kellie Gonzo, Makeup Withdrawal, and Refined and Polished. I'm liking All About Yves and Pretty Gritty!

I love the elegance of this negative space floral design from Paulina's Passions.

Smitten Polish revealed their Holiday 2014 collection. I'll be picking up Between the Baubles and Maple Sugar Candy.

Nail artist power duo Nail Swag and Britney Tokyo have collaborated on a set of colored art gels with gel brand Presto. The collection goes on sale this Sunday 11/16 at!

This chair is everything.

ChristabellNails is known for awesome negative space work, but this nude look in particular had me swooning.

NYC's got a new glitter-off base coat like the ones previously released from Essence and OPI. No word on if it's out yet -- has anyone seen it in stores?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rough and Spotted - Stamping Over Textured Polish

Textured spotted stamping by @chalkboardnails

I don't think it's possible for me to wear textured polish anymore without eventually stamping over it. As I've said before, textured stamping is just so great! It tends to disguise imperfections in the stamping, that may or may not be a direct result of my *ahem* lack of stamping skills. Plus, it looks really interesting to boot!

Last time I wore a stamped textured look, you guys really seemed to like it! This one isn't quite as subtle or glamorous, but has a strange appeal all its own.

Textured spotted stamping by @chalkboardnails

Nail polishes and products used:
Nicole by OPI I'm Stucco On You
American Apparel Hassid
Vivid Lacquer plate VL009 - Water spotted image

I'm wearing two coats of the textured polish in these photos, and added the stamping after about a day of wear. The nice thing about the spotted image on the Vivid Lacquer plate is that it's SUPER wide, which allows you to randomize the pattern across your nails (no two nails will look alike)!

I did have a bit of trouble with the large open spaces in the plate though. When I scraped the excess polish off, my scraper tended to clean out more of the image than I'd have liked. I'm not sure if that's due to the plate or my own inexperience.

Textured spotted stamping by @chalkboardnails

As the texture begins to degrade and smooth out from natural wear, the stamping will be affected too. But, I got a few solid days of wear on top of my one day of wearing the texture naked!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Autumnal Matte Pyramid Dots

Autumnal Matte Pyramid Dots by @chalkboardnails

Is anyone else as obsessed with a matte white nail as I am? I put together this look quickly for an afternoon outing and really loved wearing it. It's super simple, super fast, and super chic. You could easily change up the colors to suit your mood, as well.

Autumnal Matte Pyramid Dots by @chalkboardnails

Nail polishes used:
LVX Porcelaine
Color Club Je Ne Sais Quoi
Zoya Arizona
Polish My Life Don't Snap My Dragon
Essie Matte About You

The process is simple: after painting on your base color, add three rows of dots in a pyramid shape. I used a dotting tool but you could also grab a bobby pin, toothpick, or other alternative! Finish with a layer of quick dry topcoat and then a layer of matte topcoat.

The key here is choosing the colors for your dots; you want them to combine to create a gradient but also be distinct enough that they don't completely blend together.

Autumnal Matte Pyramid Dots by @chalkboardnails

So here's my question: what are some other great fall color combos for this look? I'm thinking a caramel base with shades of dusty blue for the dots would look gorgeous. How would you wear it?