Blog Vacation

5 week hiatus

I am currently in Greenland, collecting rock samples and messing up my nails. Since a satellite phone is my only way to contact the rest of the world, this blog will not be updated through August. And for the curious, this is what my field geologist nails usually looks like:

But look at those ptygmatic microfolds!


Stripes (I)

Gloopy stripes

Inspiration: this video tutorial

Just a quick picture post, as I'm currently getting ready for a five week trip to Greenland, where I will have no internet access and officially no polish access either due to limited baggage weight. But the weight of a single, tiny polish bottle has never crashed any helicopters as far as I know... Now to the problem of choosing which one can come with me. Possibly the dark grey Paddington depicted below:

I kind of jelly sandwiched a few of the stripes to add some depth. So, first a base of Paddington, some stripes, My Pointe Exactly, more stripes... I'd love to try this in even more steps when I have some more spare time.

Products used:
Nails Inc. Paddington
Depend Art Liner in white  
OPI My Pointe Exactly
Nails Inc. Chelsea Square

Abstract (V)


Made with thinned out polish, a tooth pick and a metal thread:

Products used:
China Glaze White on White
China Glaze Pelican Grey
Isadora Wonder Nail #65: Smoky Grey



Electrostatic Discharge

Inspired by: this post by geebsterlove on redditlaqueristas, this youtube tutorial, and this picture I googled forth. 

Thunder! Lightning! TheamountoftimeIputintomanicuresisfrightning. You better knock, knock, knock on wood, baby.

Products used:
OPI Royal Navy
Dior Blue Denim
Nails Inc. Electric Lane
Depend Art Liner in white
OPI Don't Touch My Tutu
OPI I Have a Herring Problem
China Glaze Ride the Waves


Glitter Bonanza (I)

High grade ore Nails

Inspiration: once again, CND's Tarnished Metal Nails

This is something as unusual as a mani I've worn for two days straight. It did, however evolve a bit on the road:

First, it was simply a black base with some leaf metal in gold, silver and bronze...

...then Nails Inc. Chelsea Square happened.
 And then, the sparkly goodness that is Nails Inc. Burlington Arcade swept me off my feet. The holo hexes and shredded glitter in this polish (from the Nail Jewellery collection) made my mani go from "mildly interesting ore grade" to "close all the other mines, we've got all the metals we need right here". And why, yes, I do probably need dynamite and a staffed drill rig to get this of my nails. 
Which version do you prefer?

Holy sparkles, Batman!

Products used: 
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris 
FIMO Leaf Metal
Nails Inc. Chelsea Square
Nails Inc. Burlington Arcade

Tips and tricks (III)


I tend to forget to moisturise my cuticles, which is bad due to my habit of changing mani often, and thus drenching them in pure acetone at least once a day. Well, since I started devoting a lip balm in my purse for my cuticles, I don't forget anymore. It's a very convenient application, easy enough to do while waiting for the bus, and it's tiny. Hooray!
If it's good enough for my lips, it's good enough for my cuticles.


Cute (I)

Paint buckets

Inspiration: this post by zotoro at redditlaqueristas (her blogpost is here), Sophy Robson (best picture I could find) and, well, paint buckets.

It's a rainy day in southern Sweden. And it happens to be a Saturday. For me, that means I'm probably going to try 4 or more manis. So, if my cuticles looks a bit rugged, it's because they've gone through a polish-acetone cycle a few times already. And when my cuticles are at their messiest, my mind is at its calmest - nail art is pure meditation for sure! 

Products used:
Isadora Wonder Nail 606 - Nude (Second Nail)  
Isadora Wonder Nail 651 - Silver Sparkles
Chanel Holiday
Nubar Hot Yellow
OPI Have You No Self-Cointreau?
Nails Inc. Ebor Street
Dior Blue Denim
China Glaze For Audrey
Chanel Madness
Essie Chinchilly
Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris
China Glaze Pelican Grey
Mavala Mavadry


Tips and tricks (II)

Easy removal

I learnt this trick just a few weeks ago, but it has forever changed my removal routine. In the long run, I reckon it will spare me hours or even days of my life spent rubbing and wiping with pads.
Here's the blog post that blew my mind (Gingerbreadmanne), and here's a YouTube-link where Deborah Lippmann shows how to do it (courtesy of All Lacquered Up).


Abstract (IIII)

I've got green thumbs!*
* Not shown in picture: green thumbs 
Just some random sprouting emerging from a golden soil french tip. I'd like to think I have a pinch of Per Kirkeby-spirit thrown in there: 
All polishes used were custom mixed on the go.


Gradient (I)

Swedish brand Isadora

Isadora products was the first make up I ever bought. To this day, the only mascara I use is Isadora (~12 USD) and Lancôme (~30 USD). So, it turns out I've lived through my teenage years and my twenties without realizing that Isadora also makes nail polish. I bought my first Isadora Wonder Nail just a couple of weeks ago, but am already smitten with both their colours and formulas.
It also turns out that the company is from Malmö. Hey, that's my hometown! I can't go more local unless I start frankening.
Gradient using Isadora Wonder Nail # 65, , 700, 702, and 729  
Another picture
Layniefingers has a good tutorial for sponging a gradient.

Product used:
Isadora Wonder Nail 65 Smoky Grey
Isadora Wonder Nail 700 Bel-Air Blue
Isadora Wonder Nail 702 Blue Jeans
Isadora Wonder Nail 729 Marzipan

OPI Sweden Contest

What are your OPIs doing this summer?

OPI Sweden had a contest with the question above as the theme. Unfortunately, they ended the contest at ten minutes to two (what a random time!) without any pre-notice, and my contribution was being uploaded as they posted the message. My heavy pic wasn't done uploading until 8 minutes too late. I really hope they'll let me in the contest anyway!

Tips and tricks (I)

Hard to open bottles...

...becomes miraculously easy to open with a rubber band around the cap for better grip.

I always keep a few rubber bands on caps in my collection for easy access.




Inspiration: Carr et al. (2005) (no, not really - more like Spielberg et al. (1993))

Again with the bedazzled pinkie? Yup, that one is staying on until it chips. But at least I have a fossil T-Rex and a ladybug to show you, along with some sparkly Nails Inc. goodness.

One of these days I'll make a ladybug tutorial and take some better pics.

Products used:  
China Glaze White on White
China Glaze Liquid Leather
China Glaze Pool Party
Nails Inc. Bloomsbury Square
Nails Inc. New Burlington Place


Abstract (III)

Two quick tutorials

Inspiration: tutorial requested by reddit user FreeBird69

Again, this is a spin-off of the mani shown below. Tutorial for the ring finger design can be found here. This post will show how to do the middle and pinkie designs.  
Original blogpost

Middle finger: Lollipop dots

Start with your base colour. I choose a neon (China Glaze Pool Party), so I painted my nails white first to make the colour pop. Sidenote: as you can see, I'm not ready to part from my ring finger blob design just yet.

Slap some french tips on. I used China Glaze Liquid Leather. There's tons of tricks for making french tips (including but not restricted to taping with hole reinforcements or tape cut to fit, or even stamping). However, I recommend freehand. It's easy enough and practice makes perfect!

Then, I randomly applied some white dots. I used the big end of a regular pin needle and China Glaze White on White which is nicely opaque.

Then use the other end of a pin needle to make tiny black dots in the centre of the white ones. I'm holding my home made dotting tool, but a regular needle of course works just as well.

Use a striper polish or brush to make small tails on the white dots as pictured. I used Depend Art Liner in white. If you like, you can wait until after this step to do the french tips, but as they are more prone and unforgiving to fuckups than the dotting and striping, I prefer it in this order.

Pinkie: geometric design

Start with a white base. I have two coats of ChG White on White.

When the white is completely dry, put a piece of tape vertically down the middle.

Paint black (I have ChG Liquid Leather) and remove the tape. Some like to wait until the polish is a bit dry, some do it at once. I've never had trouble either way so I don't have a preference.

You will end up with a nice geometric design like this (if not, you can easily use stripers to fix it, or hide it in the next step). Let's risk messing this design up in the next step!
I totally gif:ed this for you. If you're using the white striper, start in the white, close to the black, and drag over into the black - and vice versa for the black striper. That way you get nice pinch outs of the lines.
Here's the result.
And Bam!, that's it.
Just to conclude this weekend of 7 manis: in the end I went back to that blobalicious ring finger as the accent:

How McQueenish of me.

Products used:
China Glaze Pool Party
China Glaze Liquid Leather
China Glaze White on White
Depend Art Liner in black and White
China Glaze Pelican Grey
Isadora Wonder Nail 651: Silver Sparkles
Isadora Wonder Nail 65: Smoky Grey

Abstract (II)

Radiating gloopiness

Inspiration: I found this video helpful for the technique

I really liked the ring finger design of my last mani, so I scrapped the others and tried it out as an accent nail:  
I love this mani! The silver (Isadora 651) is gorgeous but hard to show off in pictures.
Quite a few of my fellow redditlaqueristas also had this design as their favorite, so by popular demand and withouth further ado, here's a quick tutorial:  
Here's my set up. The needle is a regular pin needle in home made fimo clay casing, but you can use a tooth pick or any other dotting tool. If you want, you can tape your finger beforehand for easy clean up.
Put blobs of polish as pictured. I messed up one of my blobs, but it couldn't matter less for this design.

Wait until your polish blob is a gloopy, stringy mess. I only have two hands, so I had to take this picture on the side.
Now go from blob number one via blob number two and out to the sides and back again. Pick up a gloopy string every time you cross one of your blobs, and continue until you like the design.

Add another blob of polish and a  rhinestone to your focal point. Here, I experimented a bit more with the pinkie and it came out quite arachnoid. My favourite is still the ring finger as the highly contrasting colours show off even the thinnest lines.
A few additional things:
  1. Be careful with the clean up process, as the lines can hang freely in the air between the highest point of your nail and cuticle or skin on the side. Make sure they are attached to the nail if you don't want to risk shifting your whole design. You can easily do that by pressing them very gently down, or "cut" them of with acetone to make them fall down.
  2. I used an art liner because it is very gloopy in itself, but any polish works if you wait the right amount of time. Experiment!
  3. This video (same as linked under inspiration, but I don't want you to miss it!) is helpful.

Products used:
Isadora Wonder Nail 651: Silver Sparkles
China Glaze White on White
Depend Art Liner in black


Abstract (I)

  B/W + neon

Inspiration: oogling Disco Nails and the Illustrated Nail

Five different abstract designs using black, white, neon pink and rhinestones:

Tutorial for ringfinger here, and for middle and pinkie here.

Products used:
China Glaze Liquid Leather
China Glaze White on White
China Glaze Pool Party
Barry M Croc Nail Effect
Depend Art Liner in black and white


Colourblocked (I)

Two toned with an uneven line

Inspiration: Alexander McQueen 2011, perhaps, but variants of this has always been in the back of my head

I love a smooth gradient. I adore a perfectly executed taping. I worship a flawless stippling. But sometimes, not-so-picture-perfect is what I want. More Sigrid Sandström than Caspar David Friedrich, if you will.  
I love doing this quick and easy mani, especially with two contrasting polishes. Here is Nails Inc. Ebor Street  - a matte almost-black (often referred to as dark grey, but I'd say blue-green) - and Nails Inc. New Burlington Place - a gorgeous red-orange duochrome.  
So easy, so quick, and I still can't stop looking at my nails. It's the manicure equivalent of a hot dog in a bun.



Studded leather nails

A week ago reddit user girlinboots asked r/redditlaqueristas for inspiration for a heavy metal-esque look. My idea for her was a leather-like texture with silver dots in a halo:
When my nails are already painted, my spoons gets what they deserve
So, today I thought I'd try it out on my nails instead, because even if that was a tiny spoon, it's still three times the size of a nail, and might or might not translate well to a manicure. Here's the result:

And here's a quick tutorial I threw together. Sorry that it's a bit small - this blog is not cooperating with me for the moment.

There's nothing complicated going on there, just a few simple steps:

1. You'll need a toothpick or other dotting tool, and three polishes:
  • Black polish (I used China Glaze Liquid Leather - how fitting!)
  • Black shatter (I used Isadora Black Tag)
  • Silver [glitter] polish (I used H&M Silver Glitter)

2. Start out with a full coat of black polish. It should not be a matte.
3. Add a coat of black shatter. This dries a matte, which together with the shiny black underneath gives an interesting texture and leather-like reflections.
4. Add silver dots around the nail, using a toothpick or other dotting tool.

And that's it! If you use a topcoat, the leather-like structure becomes less pronounced as the shatter and base colour will have the same shine, be it matte or glossy.
My only regret is my choice of silver polish - it floated out into big blobby dots while drying. A denser silver with somewhat larger glitter would probably look a bit better. Oh, well.


Indie Polish (I)

 Spottie Dottie from All That Glitters

Inspiration: gradients á la Layniefingers

Last week I purchased my first ever indie polish - Spottie Dottie Dark from All That Glitters, an all black glitter with small and large hexagons and bars. I love it on top of everything I've tried so far - but the gradient is by far my favourite. My only regret is not getting the white version as well!
On top of gradient and flakies (Essie Chinchilly -> Chanel Holiday + Sephora purple jewelry)
On top of taping (Essie Case Study and China Glaze For Audrey)

On top of french tipped manicure (Nubar Hot Yellow and China Glaze Liquid Leather)

Geometric (I)

Geometric nails 

Inspiration: other geometric designs, for example this 

Not much to say about this one - just a geometric design made with scotch tape. The colours are Essie Case Study, China Glaze Liquid Leather and China Glaze For Audrey.
Note: the colours are a bit more vivid in reality than in the picture.


Marimekko (II)


I love Marimekko patterns, and I think a lot of them translates well into nail art. This pattern is named after puffballs, so again it's maybe not the most summery mani to have. Oh, well, I still like it.

Polishes used: Dior Blue Denim, China Glaze Pelican Grey, China Glaze White on White, China Glaze Liquid Leather, OPI Have you no self-Cointreau?, and Nails Inc. Curtain Street.

Marimekko (I)


Inspiration: Marimekko fabric Pakkanen by Maija Louekari
Pakkanen means frost in Finnish. You might say that the design would fit better on a cold winter day, but I say: au contraire! what's better to cool of on a hot summer day than some frost on your nails?

Polishes used are China Glaze White on White, Ride the Waves and Liquid Leather, and Depend nr. 36.


Tarnished Copper

Verdigris nails

Verdigris is the patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is exposed to air or water. Verdigris, meaning "green of Greece", has been used as a painters pigment since the classical era. Today, it's seldom used due to its toxicity and fickle colour; a vibrant green-cyan which tends to degrade into brown to dark green over the years. Luckily, when faking the effect with nail polish the colours will hold up!
Tarnished copper, or verdigris, nails

8 steps for a verdigris look, with bonus chemistry lesson

I used a spoon instead of nails in the tutorial, as my nails were already painted.
1. I used three shades in the turquoise-cyan range, and two copper-bronze. If you only have one of each, that is fine too. The polishes depicted here is, from left to right:
  • Isadora Bel-Air Blue
  • Isadora Marzipan
  • China Glaze For Audrey
  • Nails Inc Old Park Lane
  • OPI Brisbane Bronze
  • Chanel Mat Top Coat
You will also need a sponge. I use a small piece of a kitchen sponge. It's cheaper than make-up sponges, and I like the somewhat more porous texture created.
2. Start out with a full coat of a copper shade. I used Nails Inc Old Park Lane, which is a nice one-coater. You don't have to be neat - any little mistake is easily hidden later. Let it dry.
3. Sponge a dark turquoise a bit more than halfway down your nail. Make the line a bit uneven or undulating. If you only have one cyan/turqouise shade, mix it up with some darker blue or green to make a darker shade. Let it dry completely before sponging again, as it otherwise is easy to sponge away chunks of underlying polish!
4. Sponge your lighter shade almost down to the line of the darker one. I used the almost-Tiffany-blue For Audrey from China Glaze. Don't be afraid to build up a sponged texture - real verdigris builds up and are scraped of copper plates! If you use one cyan shade, this is when you use it unmixed. Let dry.
5. Sponge light green on randomly, close to the edge and possibly a few light sponges right on top of your copper. I used a lighter pastel pistachio/marzipan colour. For all these steps, I use the same corner of the sponge as a bit of mixing between the colours just adds to the effect. Let dry.
6. Sponge some medium turquoise on the green. Sponge it on to your liking, and add some randomly on top of the copper.
7. Now add matte top coat on top of the verdigris shades. Add it only on the cyan shades and be careful not to accidentally matte the copper. This step is what really lifts the design in my opinion. Let dry.
8. Now sponge some copper or bronze randomly on both the verdigris and the copper. Be careful to not have too much polish on the sponge. I like to use the dried up corner from the other sponging steps, as it gives an interesting spotted appearance. I used my bronze shade for this step, as the two shimmery shades makes it more interesting - but using the same copper as in step 2 is of course fine. Remember not to use top coat as you have a partly matte, partly shiny mani!