Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Star Bright - Reverse Stamped Glow in the Dark Stars

Glow in the Dark Reverse Stamping by @chalkboardnails

We're almost at the end of the 31 Day Challenge! Today's prompt is "inspired by a tutorial" and I took the opportunity to try reverse stamping, a technique I've never tried before. I always like the results other people get from it, and the Challenge is all about pushing yourself, so advanced stamping seemed like the way to go. I did struggle, but the finished product doesn't look too shabby! I used this tutorial from Drama Queen Nails for my guidance.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Raava and Vaatu - The Legend of Korra Nail Art

Raava and Vaatu nail art by @chalkboardnails

It's day two of my Avatar double feature! Yesterday I shared my flag nail art inspired by the nations in the Avatar universe, today I have some supernatural nail art inspired by Raava and Vaatu, the spirits of good and evil, from The Legend of Korra. I painted their markings on my middle nails, and then added their matching tail ribbons on the outer nails.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

National Flags of Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar Nation Flags by @chalkboardnails

Today's 31 Day Challenge prompt is "inspired by a flag," a prompt that no one seems to really care for. It's not my favorite either, but it does often get me thinking outside of the box!

I chose to do nail art inspired by one of my favorite cartoons, Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, there are four nations in the Avatar world: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. I represented each nation's flag on my nails, and put the flag of the Order of the White Lotus on my thumb.
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nail Art Is Dead - Barbara Kruger Inspired Nail Art

Barbara Kruger inspired nail art by @chalkboardnails

This year, for "inspired by artwork" day of the 31 Day Challenge, I tackled an idea that I've contemplated in the past. My nails are inspired by the work of Barbara Kruger, a conceptual artist who often addresses how words and images, particularly in the media, can affect our identities and assumptions about truth.

Her signature style features black and white photographs overlaid with declarative text, often accentuated inside red rectangles. Notable Kruger pieces include "I shop therefore I am," "Your body is a battleground," and "No." I got a little cheeky with my interpretation and chose "Nail art is dead," a sensationalist idea that I occasionally see pop up on my feeds. Clearly I disagree!
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Ruby Red Japanese Floral Print

Ruby red floral print by @chalkboardnails

One of the most flexible prompts in the 31 Day Challenge is today's prompt, "inspired by a pattern." I once again enlisted the help of my friend Kristi for brainstorming, and she suggested a gorgeous Japanese bookplate floral print from designer Tory Burch. I loved seeing a floral done entirely with shades of red; it really stood out to me.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inky Negative Space Nail Art Inspired by Donna Karan

Inky Negative Space Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Today's 31 Day Challenge prompt is "inspired by fashion." One upside to doing the challenge in September is that this day always follows New York Fashion Week, so there is plenty of inspiration to browse. I flipped through a massive Harper's Bazaar slideshow and fell in love with this Donna Karan dress. I made sure to include not only the inky shapes, but also the black detailing and negative space of the neckline.
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Nail'd It! Extended First Look - Watch a Full Quick Dry Challenge!

We are getting so very close to the premiere of Nail'd It, the nail art competition show! Can you feel my excitement? It combines two of my favorite things: nail art and television. If they could find a way to work my pup Chowder into it, I'd be set...

The premiere is less than two weeks away, but I know you just can't wait until then. Never fear - I've got nearly 15 minutes of an actual episode ready for your consumption!


Don't forget to set your alarms, DVRs, calendars, and post it notes to catch the premiere on October 7th at 9/8c, only on Oxygen!

Still want more Nail'd It? Be sure to check out the the recap of my on-set visit for thoughts from judges Jan Arnold and Terrance Terry, and the host, Adrienne Bailon.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by reps for Oxygen.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Nail Art Blocking

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz nail art by @chalkboardnails

In the 31 Day Challenge, some days you win, some days you lose. And you probably won't have the time or the energy to scrap a mani that you may not be crazy about! So here we are.

It's inspired by a book day, and I decided to get creative and try doing three distinct segments of nail art, all related to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. From top to bottom, we've got the Emerald City, the yellow brick road, and the poppy fields. I love the idea in theory, but my execution leaves a bit to be desired.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Anna Inspired Frozen Nail Art

Anna Inspired Frozen Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

It's "inspired by a movie" day in the 31 Day Challenge and I've done some nail art inspired by a movie that is sure to be a popular choice among other participants this year: Frozen! These tips are inspired by Anna's dress, which itself drew inspiration from a traditional piece of Norwegian clothing called a bunad. Her look features a black bodice, gold lacings, and flower details.
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Undone (The Sweater Song) Nail Art

Undone - The Sweater Song nail art by @chalkboardnails
If you want to destroy my sweater, hold this thread as I walk away...
Today's 31 Day Challenge prompt is "inspired by a song." I had a lot of ideas knocking around in my brain, including stormclouds with male symbols raining out of them (It's Raining Men - get it?), but ended up going with a literal representation of the lyrics in Weezer's Undone - The Sweater Song. I did a minimal, sketchy style, and though I wasn't crazy about it at first, it's really started to grow on me!
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dermelect Bejeweled Collection for Fall 2014

Dermelect Bejeweled Collection for Fall 2014 via @chalkboardnails

Though I'm not much for fall color palettes, there are a few shades in the Dermelect Bejeweled collection that really appeal to me! Keep reading for swatches and my thoughts, and be sure to let me know which ones you are digging in the comments.
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Louis Vuitton Pattern Freehand Nail Art

Louis Vuitton Pattern Freehand Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Today is "inspired by a color" day in the 31 Day Challenge. I always take this prompt to mean "take inspiration from a polish color," particularly drawing inspiration from the name. This year, I reached for China Glaze's Lug Your Designer Baggage from the All Aboard collection for Fall 2014.
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tattered Monochromatic Spray Marble

Tattered Monochromatic Spray Marble by @chalkboardnails

I never look forward to the water marble day of the 31 Day Challenge. This year, instead of putting myself through all of the pain, I went straight to a technique that I do have fun with: the spray marble! This technique is a sister to the water marble, and I actually prefer the edgy, tattered outcome.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Purple Galaxy Nails, Inspired by the Pelican Nebula

Purple galaxy nail art by @chalkboardnails

Galaxy nails day for the 31 Day Challenge! I don't do galaxy nails nearly enough. They create such a stunning effect for so little effort. For this year's nail art, I was inspired by a photo of the Pelican Nebula that I found on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). I didn't end up using enough pink in for the look to match exactly, but that's okay. I love the depth in these.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Autumnal Gilded Half Moon Stamping

Autumnal Gilded Half Moon Stamping by @chalkboardnails

Today is half moon day for the 31 Day Challenge, and the nail art I did is not exactly my most inspired! I do like the outcome, it's just not a showpiece. Truth be told, I was just not having it last night. We are a little more than halfway through the challenge now, and it is starting to catch up with me. Sleep was on my mind!
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Glittery Skull Cameos

Glittery Skull Cameos by @chalkboardnails

I always take the opportunity to use "glitter" day of the 31 Day Challenge to do some hand placed glitter nail art. I don't have the strength of mind to attempt it most other times. This time, I had some new triangle glitter I wanted to play around with, so I grabbed that and some glitter skull decals and went to town. I ended up with these pretty kickass skull cameo nails!

And you know what? The placement wasn't even that bad or time consuming!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gelibility: Turn Any Nail Polish Into Gel Polish

Gelibility: Turn Any Nail Polish Into Gel Polish via @chalkboardnails

Got a collection of hundreds of polishes? Interested in an occasional gel manicure, but don't want to shell out the money for a full gel color library? Love the variety of regular nail polish and wish you had the same options in gel? Could I sound any more like a TV infomercial?

Gelibility is a new LED/UV cured gel nail polish product that mixes with any regular nail polish to turn it into a gel. Honestly, I was pretty skeptical about how well it would work, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This stuff is really cool. Read on for the details, some swatches & manicures, and my full thoughts. It's quite a long review, but there's a lot to cover!
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Handpainted Geometric Gradient Facets

Geometric gradient facets by @chalkboardnails

One difficult thing about the 31 Day Challenge, for me, is that even if you have extenuating circumstances (like, say, you fall asleep watching Monday Night Football), you still have to get the next day's manicure done. When I woke up on the couch at 1:30am this morning and realized I had geometric nail art to do, it was pretty tough to drag my ass over to my nail table. BUT I DID IT! Because that's how I roll.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Contrary Polish Polish With A-Peel Collection and Beach Blanket Anniversary Polish

Contrary Polish Polish With A-Peel Collection via @chalkboardnails

Contrary Polish new collection time! This newest set of four citrus themed polishes is called Polish With A-Peel. Don't they look adorable as a set? I've also got swatches of the Contrary Polish second anniversary polish, Beach Blanket. Let's goooo!
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Spifster Inspired Delicate Line Nail Art

Spifster Inspired Delicate Line Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Today's 31 Day Challenge prompt is delicate print. This is one of the challenge prompts that inevitably makes people say "WTF is delicate print?", but really it's up for your interpretation! This year, I chose to pay homage to a very talented nail artist known for her incredibly delicate line detailing: Spifster.
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sweet Red Rose Floral Print

Sweet red rose nail art by @chalkboardnails

I had grand ambitions for today's 31 Day Challenge floral print, but when it came down to it, I just ran out of time. I will save my other idea for another time, though. I think it could be a really great manicure if I give it the time it deserves! I do love the way this rose nail art turned out. I think they are some of the best roses I've done and I like how clean the manicure looks overall.
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stylized Goldfish Scales Nail Art

Stylized scale nail art by @chalkboardnails

It's animal print day of the 31 Day Challenge! This is always one of my favorite days. I do a lot of animal print in my regular nail art work, so I like to take the challenge as an opportunity to get inspired by some unusual animals. This year, I've gone with a freehand stylized goldfish scale print, inspired by Queen Otohime from the One Piece anime. Does anyone else watch?
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Marbled Blue Swimming Pool Stripes

Marbled swimming pool stripes by @chalkboardnails

I like stripes. I do them quite a bit, often freehand (a girl's gotta practice), but today's 31 Day Challenge nail art required the use of nail vinyls. I combined them with the saran wrap marble technique for a blocked, marbled look that reminds me of a swimming pool. Steph Stone did a swimming pool nail art tutorial recently that used the same technique for the aquatic effect. Let's dive in!
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

70's Style Polka Dot Floral Print

70's Style Polka Dot Floral Print by @chalkboardnails

This 70's style, fall-appropriate floral is my polka dot nail art for the 31 Day Challenge. It looks fairly complex at first glance, but it's simple when you start to break it down! I just combined dots together in different sizes and colors to create a simple floral pattern. It feels very vintage, don't you think?
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fireflies in the Field at Sunset

Fireflies in the Field at Sunset by @chalkboardnails

We don't have fireflies where I live, and I've always been fascinated by them. I've spotted them off the side of the road on a couple of family vacations, but nothing more! There's something so romantic about them, isn't there? I attempted to recreate a bit of their firefly magic in today's gradient nail art for the 31 Day Challenge.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rainbow Pinwheel Nail Art

Rainbow pinwheel nail art by @chalkboardnails

Ah, the rainbow prompt of the 31 Day Challenge. So bright, so happy! I've done some rainbow pinwheel nail art -- it also reminds me of the top of an umbrella, for some reason. I went for the brightest, most cheerful colors I could find, and freehanded the design over a white base.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Matte Metallic Gold French Tips, with Bonus Glossy Shots

Matte metallic French tips by @chalkboardnails

This may very well be the simplest nail look I've ever done for the 31 Day Challenge, and I did it intentionally! We have this bowl at my house, and it's a gorgeous matte black with a gold rim. I was feeling really inspired by it and decided to try a matte gold french tip with a black base. Plus, could you bear to add anything else to this gorgeousness?
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Black and White Mesh Framed Half Moons

Black and white framed mesh half moons by @chalkboardnails

Black and white are a classic pairing that never goes out of style. I love looking at everyone's work for black and white day of the 31 Day Challenge! For my look, I've done a negative space half moon mesh manicure, with contrasting thin detail lines and a thick outline.
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Violet Watercolor Wash

Violet Watercolor Wash by @chalkboardnails

So, so pleased with the way today's violet nails turned out. I wasn't sure if I would be able to mimic the watercolor look I had in my mind, but I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome! This manicure used a mix of a splatter technique, the watercolor technique, and freehanding.
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Blue Dripping Chevron Nail Art

Blue Dripping Chevron Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

Blue! More inspirational to me than green was yesterday. I've painted some dripping chevron nail art, inspired by a pattern I saw on Pinterest. Of course, I had to modify the colors a bit to put them in line with today's 31 Day Challenge theme, but I just had to keep the metallic gold accent from the original piece. It's the right addition to break up the all blue palette.
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blocked Green Plant Tendrils


I'm all for florals, but leaves and tendrils aren't things that get a lot of love from me. For today's 31 Day Challenge prompt, "green nails," I decided to let them be the star of the show. Then, for a bit of extra visual interest, I added a pinch of negative space and a little bit of blocking to the mix.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Yellow and Grey Angular Pattern


Today's 31 Day Challenge manicure is something a little simpler. I love angular, mazelike patterns, and I especially love them in color combinations like this. Grey and yellow is one of my favorite pairings. I chose one of my best greys and one of my best yellows for this look, and went to work!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mario Batali's Orange Crocs Nail Art


Are you familiar with celebrity chef Mario Batali? He's known for his Italian food, cheerful demeanor, and, possibly most importantly, his orange Crocs. Those foam clogs are so darn memorable, and people either love them or hate them.

Whenever I do my perforated leather nail art look, people inevitably comment that the nails look like Crocs. So this time, I decided to embrace it and use the technique to represent Mario's orange clogs for orange day of the 31 Day Challenge!
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Crab Print and Nautical Mix


It's the beginning of the #31DC2014! The first prompt, of course, is red nails, and I've done this crab print/nautical combo that I just love. Every element of this manicure was painted freehand, even the stripes on the thumb!
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