Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's a Marshmallow World in the Winter!

Marshmallow Winter nails by @chalkboardnails

Meet my current holiday nails! I sat down to do a festive set the other night, but wanted to take them in a slightly different direction than the usual seasonal fare. I reached for the pastel versions of red and green and combined them with silver accents for a marshmallow winter set. I'm in love!

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Nail Polish Collection + How I Stay Organized!

This post is sponsored by Color Clutch. All opinions are my own.

One of the questions I'm asked the most is the dreaded, "How many nail polishes do you have?" As a nail art blogger, I have an absurd amount of polish, despite repeated destashes and reorganizations. So, I always fear the reactions I will get when I answer that question.

Thankfully, I know most of you guys will be supportive and understand (right?!). So here goes: I own around 2,500 bottles of nail polish!

After I answer that question, the next question is predictably, "But how do you store all of it??" Today I'll be taking you on a tour through how I store my polish as well as giving you some organization tips and tricks that have helped me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tie dye your tips with this nail art tutorial and sneak peek from "Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet"!

Tie dye nail art tutorial by @chalkboardnails

Hey friends! Today I have a sneak peek into one of the tutorials that I contributed to our new nail art book, Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet. This design, as well as 20+ additional designs, can be found within its beautiful, full color pages.

I first tackled tie-dye nails WAY back in 2013 with my Rodarte-inspired design, but figured it was time to do a classic rainbow version, too.

I suggest using neon polishes for this look (I used the China Glaze Electric Nights collection) because they usually have a semi-sheer consistency that helps blend all of the colors together nicely. Plus, who doesn't love a good neon?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Contrary Polish Wintry Weather Collection

Contrary Polish Wintry Weather Collection via @chalkboardnails

These swatches are long overdue, but as we're headed back into winter anyway, I figured now would be a great time to share this seasonally-themed collection with you! The polishes are still available for purchase, so thankfully my tardiness has not affected their availability.

Meet the Contrary Polish Wintry Weather collection, a group of three chilly shades with shimmer and icy flakes!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We wrote a book! Plus, enter to win it!

Huge news, guys... I coauthored a book! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen this news teased already, but now I'm here to give you the full scoop. This project has been in the works for the past year and a half and it's so amazing to see it come to fruition. Meet Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet, a step-by-step nail art tutorial book perfect for the DIY nail art enthusiast.

I couldn't ask for a better group of coauthors to join me in this project: Sammy from The Nailasaurus, Lindsey from Wondrously Polished, and Katy from Nailed It. We also had the help of Penelope Yee who translated our designs into pedicure art.

In addition to the 25 full color, step-by-step tutorials, there are also sections dedicated to nail art tools, techniques, and inspiration. Not only is this a great book for nail art enthusiasts, but it's perfect for beginners, too. And um, just saying, the holidays are coming up shortly...

Plus... my hand is on the cover! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

The book is set to release on November 9th, wherever books are sold. If you want to get a jump on it, you can preorder from the following retailers:

And the good news continues... I've got 10 copies of the book to give away! You can enter using the widget below - entries close at midnight on November 12th, and it's open internationally. Good luck!

Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet

Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 Day Challenge 2015 Finisher Badges

I'm a bit late with the badges, but want to take the opportunity to congratulate those of you that finished the 31 Day Challenge this year! It's a huge accomplishment and you deserve to celebrate your success.

This year's badges are a modification of last year's, originally created by Ling Yeung. Grab one and display it on your blog with pride! I've included the HTML code below each badge, or you can save the image to your computer and upload it that way.

Click on the following links for higher-res versions of the badges that you can post to your feed.
Pink (White, Black) | Teal (WhiteBlack) | Purple (White, Black)

Like last year, if you haven't finished the challenge yet, feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it to grab one when you're done.

Congrats to all of you finishers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wrought Iron Scrolls with the China Glaze Great Outdoors Collection

Wrought iron scrolls by @chalkboardnails

I've always thought that wrought iron scrolls and leaves in gates were so pretty. Putting together one of those gates seems like so much work, no? I went for the same look in this nail art, but with significantly less effort and expertise required.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

East Asia Meets The Southwest - Embellished Gel Nail Art

Southwest-inspired gel nail art by @chalkboardnails

I have been waiting for this day since the beginning of the challenge. Not only because it meant that I had successfully completed the gauntlet for the fifth (!!!) year in a row, but also because I had a manicure that I have been dying to recreate for a very long time.

This beauty of a manicure is completely inspired by 111NAIL salon in Japan. I love it SO much. I tried to copy it to the best of my ability (and materials) and I am beyond happy with the outcome. I just adore the aesthetic of Japanese nail art; it's always so refined and balanced.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Simple Vintage Floral Inspired by Lacquerstyle

Vintage floral nails by @chalkboardnails

We are nearing the end of the challenge! Today's prompt is "inspired by a tutorial" and I've taken inspiration from the talented (and Queen of Florals), Lacquerstyle. For this particular look, I've followed her Simple Abstract Floral Tutorial, which not only features a fun and easy design, but has gorgeous cinematography and photography to boot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crop Circle Inspired Nail Art

Crop circle nail art by @chalkboardnails

"Inspired by the supernatural" is another one of the challenge prompts that I'm not usually too enthused about. I started out today attempting a manicure depicting the Galactic Entity from Futurama, but quickly changed my mind (looked too much like my galaxy nails!). I decided to do some crop circle nail art instead, and boy am I glad that I did! I'm super pleased with these and hope you enjoy them too.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pizza Bunting Nail Art

Pizza bunting nail art by @chalkboardnails

Today's prompt is "inspired by a flag," and it's arguably the worst prompt in the whole challenge. I was thinking about bunting and how that would be a cute idea to do for flag-day, but wanted to figure out a way to make it more unique. All of a sudden - I had it! At the beginning of the year, Rebecca of Rebecca Likes Nails had crocheted and then gifted me some pizza bunting, and I figured it'd be perfect to try to recreate on nails.

Pizza bunting crochet

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Line Drawings Inspired by Zach Bootz

Line drawing nail art by @chalkboardnails

Today's prompt is "inspired by artwork" and I've done some nails inspired by the artwork of my pal Zach Bootz. He does these really awesome black and white line drawings that combine surreal patterns, geometric lines, architecture and more. While my manicure isn't as intricately crafted as his pieces are, I've tried to draw inspiration from his style and general "feel."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Carnaval Netting - X-Patterned Nail Art

Carnaval Netting by @chalkboardnails

Today's prompt is "inspired by a pattern" and I don't even know where I took it today, but here's what I ended up with. The candy colored palette has me thinking of Carnaval in Rio, while the X pattern is vaguely reminiscent of netting.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pinstripe and Damask Nail Art Inspired by Tory Burch

Tory Burch inspired nail art by @chalkboardnails

Ladies that are also attempting the challenge with me... Are you getting tired of this yet? I've hit my yearly breaking point, but as always, I will push through and prevail. Today's prompt is "inspired by fashion," and I've drawn inspiration from a Tory Burch look that was just shown off at New York Fashion Week.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Modern Romance Nail Art

Modern Romance nail art by @chalkboardnails

Today's challenge prompt is "inspired by a book." Unfortunately I'm not reading as much as I'd like, so my options were pretty limited, but I ended up finding inspiration in a book that I just started reading: comedian Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance. The book is all about dating in the modern age, and while I don't have much personal experience with that (longterm relationship and all, ya know?), I've certainly seen how it has affected my friends and peers!

With their experiences in mind, I decided to paint an ode to modern romance and, more specifically, the booty call.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

You've Got a Friend In Me! - Toy Story Nail Art

Toy Story nail art by @chalkboardnails

Is there a better trilogy than Toy Story? Ok, there probably is (there are a lot of awesome trilogies!), but it's definitely an amazing one and probably the best animated trilogy at least. Today's 31DC prompt is "inspired by a movie" and in case it wasn't clear, I've done some nail art inspired by Woody and Buzz, the bestest friends ever!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Paint It Black

Paint It Black nail art by @chalkboardnails

For today's prompt, "inspired by a song," I decided to do some nail art inspired by The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black." The song is about depression and loss, and wanting to paint everything black to match those feelings.

If you're familiar with the song, the obvious choice would have been do a red door and then put some black on it, but I wanted to go for something a little more colorful and (only slightly) less literal. I opted for a bright base, splattered and smeared with black paint.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Midnight Sky Nail Art with JINsoon Nocturne

Night sky nail art by @chalkboardnails

The challenge theme for today is "inspired by a color," and like I've done in many years past, I've decided to do a nail art interpretation of a nail polish's name. The nail art that I ended up with is stylistically simple, especially compared to the galaxy nails that I just posted, but I think it's more wearable and a little more mystical.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Peachy Marbled Stone Nail Art

Peachy marbled stone nail art by @chalkboardnails

We're at the end of section two in the 31 Day Challenge! Today's prompt is "water marble," so basically I've been dreading it this whole time. I am not a good water marbler, I cannot create a marbling bullseye to save my life... BUT this time, I used that to my advantage! Instead of going for a super perfect and gorgeous water marble design, I opted for something a bit more organic with a marbled stone look. More room for error = happy Sarah.

Quick sidenote, does anyone know what kind of stone I created? Some pals suggested banded carnelian, agate, & jasper... But I can't shake the feeling that there's another one that I just can't put my finger on!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bejeweled Galaxy Nail Art

Jewel-toned galaxy nails by @chalkboardnails

IT HAS ARRIVED! Galaxy day of the 31 Day Challenge! I love this day because I never do galaxies, even though I should, and they're so easy to do, and they always turn out lovely, and the sparkles are overwhelming, and yeah. Galaxies are the best.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Electric Carnival Half Moons

Electric carnival half moon nail art by @chalkboardnails

Half moon day! I love half moons and every year during the challenge, I say that I'm going to wear them more often and then I never do. So here's my look for this year -- it started out in a different place than it ended up, which is some kind of mix of "electric carnival," "60s mod," and "old wallpaper." I dig it, but had one main issue, which we'll talk about below.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Silver Honeycomb Glitter Placement

Silver honeycomb glitter placement gel nails by @chalkboardnails

Just a simple look for the "glitter" prompt today! I always do a glitter placement for this day of the challenge, and today is no different, though I didn't go all-out like I usually do. Instead, I opted for a chic reflective pressed glitter gel manicure, and then layered a bold accent nail over the top.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Flower of Life Sacred Geometry Nail Art

Flower of Life sacred geometry nail art by @chalkboardnails

Today's challenge prompt is geometric. I wanted to attempt some sacred geometry, and a quick Google search revealed that I would probably have the easiest time attempting a Flower of Life design. Of course, I knew it still wasn't going to be a walk in the park, and not only was it not, but it was actively really super challenging! Getting those petals even and spaced nicely was H-A-R-D!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lavender Blossoms Floral Nail Art

Delicate lavender blossoms by @chalkboardnails

Delicate print is always a challenging day in the 31DC, because it's fairly vague yet still specific at the same time. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do this year, but I recently had some training on essential oil soaks at work and one of the blends included lavender. I thought that lavender blossoms would make a great "delicate" manicure, and I'm so so beyond pleased with how these nails came out.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Electric Daisy Floral Print Nail Art

Electric daisy nail art by @chalkboardnails

Floral print! I love a good floral and have been doing a lot of these varied-size daisies for clients lately. I decided to pop them onto a dark background with some smoky swirls of color and ended up with these electric daisies. I've never been to the Electric Daisy Carnival, but I imagine these would fit in there, too!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bobtail Squid Pattern Nail Art

Bobtail squid nail art by @chalkboardnails

It's animal print day in the challenge and I'm continuing my tradition of choosing an unusual animal! Last year I did a goldfish pattern, and the year before that was a manta ray, so I'm also sticking with the underwater theme in my choice. It's a bobtail squid! I've actually been saving this picture forever to try to recreate it, and it was more an exercise in color matching than actual nail art.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pattern-Blocked & Woven Stripes

Blocked and Woven Stripes by @chalkboardnails

Well, today we've arrived at my first challenge flop. Truth be told, I just finished these, after working a full day at the spa and then taking a nap. So I'm not surprised that they aren't exactly my magnum opus. Maybe you guys will like these more than I do? (Fingers crossed!)

It was unintentional, but once I had finished this manicure I was surprised by how much it reminded me of a woven rug. So we are calling it "blocked and woven stripes." Go figure!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trippy Mickeys Nail Art

Trippy Mickeys nail art by @chalkboardnails

It's "polka dot" day in the 31 Day Challenge and I'm pushing the boundaries of the prompt a bit! That is, I used polka dots to create a major part of the design!

The Mickey Mouse head is such a major part of pop culture that pairing it with a trippy, psychedelic background creates a really unique combination. I'd say it's almost kind of unsettling if I didn't find it so cute and fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rose Gold Ikat Patterned Nails

Rose gold ikat nails by @chalkboardnails

Today's 31 Day Challenge prompt really stumped me. It's "gradient," which seemed to trip me up with its simplicity! I did a few half manicures for this, but didn't love any of them and kept removing them to try something else. I ended up with this girly gradient and added a glamorous rose gold ikat print.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Inspired Galactic Rainbow Nail Art

Galactic rainbow nails by @chalkboardnails

Today's 31 Day Challenge prompt is "rainbow." I've done an interpretation of The Illustrated Nail's "Intergalactic Rainbow" design. I like to think of it as Rainbow Road from Mario Kart, AKA the most demonic stage in the game. So pretty, yet so punishing...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pink and Gold Rococo Nails

Pink and gold Rococo nails by @chalkboardnails

Today’s “metallic” nails for the challenge are very unlike my usual personal style. It was nice to step outside my box though, as I was super happy with the way these turned out! Girly and fun and kind of rococo-esque, don’t you think?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Encircled Black and White Nail Art

Encircled black and white nail art by @chalkboardnails

Black and White day of the 31 Day Challenge is always my favorite, because everyone’s nail art always looks so striking. There’s something just so magnetic about black and white as a pair, isn’t there?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Orchid Petals Inspired Nail Art

Orchid petal inspired nail art by @chalkboardnails

It’s “violet” day in the 31 Day Challenge! I decided to do nail art inspired by some gorgeous orchids that I spotted in our local grocery store. The pattern on the petals was so compelling that I just had to snap a pic of them to use for future nail art.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Something Blue...

"Something Blue" engagement nail art by @chalkboardnails

Just a quick post from me today for the 31 Day Challenge "Blue" prompt because... I'M ENGAGED! My longtime boyfriend popped the question this morning, and I didn't want to spend a bunch of time on detailed nail art when we could be celebrating. So here's my quick engagement themed nail look, do you think this would qualify as my "something blue"? :)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Animal Crossing Grass Pattern Nail Art

Animal Crossing grass pattern nail art via @chalkboardnails

Green day of the 31 Day Challenge is here! I decided to try a pattern that pays tribute to one of my favorite video games: Animal Crossing!

This pattern is inspired by the grass pattern that is displayed in summer. I chose colors a little darker than the daytime palette, so let's just say that this is an evening look!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Emoji Pattern Nail Art

Emoji nail art by @chalkboardnails

It's "yellow" day in the 31 Day Challenge, and I've decided to do some nail art showcasing everyone's favorite texting tool: emojis! I don't know where we would be without emojis, I use them CONSTANTLY to convey tone and emotions I can't put into words.

For my selection of emojis, I decided to limit myself to only emojis that were in my "recently used" section, so these are a pretty accurate representation of what you'd see from me IRL. The "hearts for eyes" guy may be my most frequently used one.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Autumnal Orange Plaid Gel Nail Art

Autumnal plaid nail art by @chalkboardnails

Today's 31DC prompt is "orange." Not many people tend to reach for orange when choosing a nail color -- I think that it and yellow are the redheaded stepchildren of the polish world (or would it be orangeheaded?). That's the great thing about the challenge though, it forces you to use colors and techniques that you wouldn't normally use.

Serum No. 5's Shimmery Glow-in-the-Dark Nail Polishes for Spring/Summer 2015

Serum No. 5 is back again with some gorgeous rainbow-y glow in the dark shimmers for summer. I'm a bit late in posting these, but I know you guys wear brights year round (and even better to wear these glows in winter when it gets dark earlier!).
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