1 Year Anniversary

Today, is my one year blogiversary. I can't believe an entire year has gone by already and what started out as almost a joke has turned into a true passion (and a bit of an addiction). As a New Years resolution for 2014, I vowed to be more feminine and attempt to be more fashionable. I decided the easiest way to start out was by taking better care of my nails and spend more time painting them. I soon discovered nail art and I fell in love. Soon, after I decided to start a blog, I thought it might be insightful to other newbie nail artists like myself. Plus, I thought it would be a good way to keep myself motivated. All in all it has been a fun and interesting year.

What I've Learned So Far

Practice doesn't make perfect but it definitely helps. Some of you might be thinking that's a typo but it's not. Being self-taught the only way that I have gotten okay at doing nail art is by practicing, however things I've practiced a lot don't always come out perfect. I might do something very well one time and fail horribly at it the next time I try it. By practicing frequently you minimize the amount of failures that you have. So if you try something once or twice and it doesn't workout don't get discouraged, even the best nail artists out there have had mishaps and are better at some techniques more so than others.

Not all nail products are created equal and a high price tag doesn't mean best quality (for you). So, often I have fallen in love with a nail product or a brand and raved about it to friends or family, just to have them tell me how horrible it was when they tried it. Just like many other cosmetics nail polishes have different ingredients that react differently with different body chemistries. This might mean that a polish will last a week on you before chipping while when your sister wears the same exact polish and it chips in a couple of days.

You might wonder than why bloggers both with swatches and reviews. One, because it gives us something to blog about but mostly to give you our point of view. I'm personally very fond of China Glaze, Color Club, and Zoya. They all seem to work very well for me, so if you've tried these products and have similarly pleasing results my reviews will most likely be spot on for you. If you don't have similar body chemistry but have similar skin tone the swatches will be most helpful. Either way swatches and reviews help give you an idea of what might work well and how the colors may look when applied before you go and spend a great deal of money on products that may not be what you thought they were.

Routine nail care and maintenance are more important than the nail art itself. Let's face it, anyone can be an awesome artist with enough practice but if your canvas is broken and busted up its going to distract from your masterpiece. Too often have I seen really nice nail art surrounded by dry, cracked, and messy cuticles. I too have been a culprit in posting pictures like this but I have learned to be better about regular maintenance so that these occurances are fewer and fewer. It has quickly become my first and foremost pet peeve when view nail art and I cringe at former pats of mine that were subject to these atrocities.

Nail art communities are the best. Throughout this last year I have become acquainted with a few nail art communities and individual nail arts across various social media platforms. I have received nothing but encouragement, motivation, and inspiration from each and everyone. Though I know some that have dealt with negativity on some platforms I have yet to experience any negativity first hand. I have been lucky to see only the better side of people and I hope this trend continues.


I'm not one to toot my own horn but I feel I made a few notable accomplishments that I would like to mention.

I finally figured out a fair nail care routine that keeps my hands descent. I've also learned to be less abusive to my nails as well. I used to use my nails like tools, ending up with broken nails frequently along with torn cuticles and occasionally open wounds.

I've gotten pretty good wielding nail art tools and polish brushes with my non-dominant hand. It is very rare that I do a nail art design on only one hand. I try to do both hands whenever possible because I like to practice with my non-dominant hand and I often wear the nail art I create for a day or two.

I finally figured out a pretty good lighting system and method for taking pictures. When I first started out I had so many issues with lighting. My pictures often came out too dark or had too much sun which washed out colors. Though I still have occasionally problems I think I have things mostly worked out with my photography set up.

I managed to blog for an entire year. I had no idea how long I was going to stick with the blog and my husband gave me three months before I gave up. Not only did I stick with it, I've come to enjoy it as well as become a bit dependent on creating nail art and writing posts.

Goals for 2015

I hope to create more nail art, using unusual and unique mediums. As well as practice methods that I am still having troubles with such as watermarble (curse you watermarble nail art designs *fist shakes*).

Explore the indie polish realm more. I currently own one indie brand of polish (though I have one more on order, keep an eye out for swatches and review). As much as I enjoy mainstream polish brands I would really like to support independent businesses more.

I would like to get to know my audience better. I would like to have more open discussions, take requests, do mani swaps (if you or anyone you know maybe interested, please contact me via e-mail), and project collaborations with other artists.

My Progress 

To give you an idea how I've progressed over the last year I've decided to recreate the first nail art I've ever posted. I decided to use the same colors I did a year ago so that it is a more accurate comparison.

I'm really proud of the improvement I've made both in my nail art and photography skills. It just goes to show you that with enough determination and practice almost anyone can create nice nail art.

Those of you how have been keeping track of this blog for awhile, I thank you for sticking with me and showing me continuous support. Those of you that just recently discovered this blog, I welcome you and hope you'll start or continue to follow my blog. I have a lot planned for this year and I'm hoping to accomplish a great deal.

If you would like to follow me blog you can do so by clicking the 'Join this Site' icon on the top right hand side of the screen or through Google+ and/or Bloglovin. I also post to Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Once, again thank you so much for your support, and thank you for stopping by, see you next time. 
Your Fellow Plebe,

Calligraphy "Love" Nail Art

About a week (maybe two) ago, I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a post from one of my favorite Instagram gals, @sloteazzy.  She was using a calligraphy pen to create a nail art design.  My first reaction was, face palm!  Why didn't I think of that?!

I have been interested in calligraphy for a long time.  I think I got my first calligraphy set when I was thirteen or so.  Though I don't write in calligraphy all the time, I do scribe an occasional letter now and then.  I think it is kind of fun to write letters and send them snail mail every once and a while.  I like it even more when I get a response the same way.

Anyways, I broke out my calligraphy pen and some ink and tried it out.  Since, this was a trial run I didn't want to create anything to elaborate, so this is what I did...

I started off with Color Club 'On Cloud Nine' from the Love Tahiry collection (swatches of this collection coming soon), and topped this off with Nicole by OPI Matte top coat.  I thought the matte finish would help catch the ink better.

Since, it has been a bit and because I wasn't sure exactly which tip I wanted to use, I practiced scrolling some letters on paper before I started out on my nails.  I ended up using the smallest tip I own, though the medium tip would have worked well too.

I then carefully scribed the letter L. O. V. E. on each nail.  It worked much better then I had anticipated.

I didn't want to leave my thumb bare so I went a head and drew a heart with the calligraphy pen and used a red nail art striper to fill it in.

A couple pointers if you are going to try this out:

  • If you have never used a calligraphy pen before, I strongly recommend you practice on paper first.  Unlike a ball point pen you have to practice to determine the best hold and pressure as well as determining which style text you prefer.
  • If you have curved nails like mine (baseball shaped, curved both horizontally and vertically), you may have to adjust your grip slightly.
  • Some ink may be a bit runny, if that is the case try to use a little ink at a time and don't apply too much pressure.  You may also have to go over the same area twice, I did in a couple of spots.
  • Use a matte top coat or a slightly textured polish to help capture the ink.  Stay away from high gloss or very  smooth finish because the ink will roll or run off.
  • One of the most forgiving things about the ink that I used was that it washed off easily.  In, fact I was having trouble with my E, and had to start over three times before I finally got it right.
  • Also this ink does take a bit of time to dry, so if you intend to use a top coat give it a few minutes before application.
 I liked the way this looked with the matte finish and wasn't going to use a top coat, but then I thought what the heck.  I need to see how the ink was going to react with the top coat anyways.  So, here it is with Seche Vite quick drying top coat...

I am super excited that this little experiment worked out, I think it has a real romantic feel to it.  Now I need to practice writing smaller, try different colored inks, and practice using my none dominant hand.  So, I'm pretty sure you will be seeing more nail art designs from me in the future using a calligraphy pen.  I hope you enjoyed this nail art design, and found the tips useful.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Color Club Ticket to Paradise Collection Swatches and Review

Hello Beauties!  If you follow my Instagram feed you heard that I recently purchased two of the newest Color Club collections from Beauty Plus Salon.  My dear mother had gotten me a gift card for Christmas and I felt these collections were worthy of a good home, my home ; )  This lovely collection is Ticket to Paradise.

Frozen Daiquiri
Is this color not just absolutely delicious?!  This dark reddish fuchsia is just absolutely gorgeous!  It really makes me crave a frozen daiquiri.  This was nearly opaque in one coat, but I applied two for good measure.  This color is probably the most opaque color in the collection.  This swatch is shown without a top coat (in fact, all swatches you are about to see are without a top coat of any kind).
With the Cabana Boy
This color is so flirty, which is unusual for an orange polish.  I don't own many orange shades but this one is great.  It is more of a jelly formula, shown here in two coats you can see it is a bit translucent.  This has a very subtle and pretty shimmer to it.  Many of the polishes have this shimmer but it is more evident in some colors over other.  I really wish I had a macro lens, so you could see the true beauty in these lovely polishes.
Tiny Umbrella
This shade is absolutely adorable!  It's kind of a peachy coral-like shade with that slightly iridescent shimmer.  Shown here in two coats it is some what translucent, somewhat jellyfish like the previous color swatched.  This to me is the most mature shade in the collection and would be a color I would wear in a work environment.  I really like this color against my skin tone too!
Bermuda Beaches


Okay, I've said it before and I'll say it again, pink is my least favorite color.  Even so, I am head over heals in love with the color.  This was the surprise of the collection for, there is almost always one.  You know that polish you bought just to complete the set, but then you fall in love and you wonder what you ever did without it, yeah that's this polish for me.  This is shown with three coats, because I wanted the opaqueness.  This is more of a jelly formula and is slightly translucent like most of the others.  This picture does not do it any just the iridescent shimmer in this just makes it absolutely gorgeous.  I hate to admit it but pink actually looks good on me.
Sea-ing Blue
Like always I am most fond of blue shades and this is no exception.  This beautiful bright sky blue shade is perfect.  Shown in two coats you can see it is somewhat translucent.  However, even without a macro shot you can see the pretty iridescent shimmer in this shade.

The Islands
I was very excited about this shade because I don't have many greens.  I feel that green polishes are often overlooked but can be really beautiful.  Though the color of this polish is really pretty I was a bit disappointed with the formula.  A first disappointment for me with Color Club ever.  For some reason I could not get this polish to apply uniformly on my nails.  It was thick yet streaky, I attempted to swatch this three times.  You are seeing the third application shown with two coats, you can see it is still a bit streaky.  I think for future use I will probably apply a white base color first and a top coat will probably help.  This too has that pretty iridescent shimmer and is probably the second most opaque polish of the collection.
All Inclusive
I was also very excited about this funky greenish yellow shade.  I own nothing like this color so its a great color addition to my polish hoard.  Sadly, though I had similar problems with this shade as with The Islands.  I would probably do the same thing and apply this over a white base polish.  I do think this and The Islands would make a great gradient combo.
Though I was disappointed with how a couple of the shades in this collection I was very pleased with the color selection.  It is a very diverse color selection that is fun and exciting.  Just the thing to liven up the spirit.  Winter is in full swing here in NY and this collection is just the ticket.  I have many plans for this collection in future nail art projects so stay tuned.
I hope you enjoyed these swatches and found the reviews insightful.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.
Your Fellow Plebe,


Vintage Style Nail Art

Hello Darlings!  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love vintage and retro styles for just about everything from clothing, to décor, and even nail art.  I had a dinner party to attend last night and decided to wear one of my favorite 50 style dresses.  What better way to accessorize my ensemble than with some vintage style nails: polka dot and stripes accented with some roses.

I started off with Color Club 'Look, Don't Tusk' and 'Apple of My Eye.'  Originally, I was going to do three accent nails and then changed my mind, but I forgot to take another starter picture after I changed my pointer to 'Apple of My Eye.'  You'll see the change in all the other pictures though.

I used striping tape over the 'Look Don't Tusk' on my ring finger and used 'Apple of My Eye' as my secondary color.  I also used 'Apple of My Eye' and a small/medium dotting tool to dot my mid finger.

Over top I drew simple roses using three pink shades of Zoya; 'Wendy,' 'Rooney,' and 'Dot.'  I also used Zoya 'Tilda' and Revlon 'Emerald' for the leaves.

I felt my other nails seemed a bit boring so I added a medium and a small dot of Color Club 'Look, Don't Tusk' over 'Apple of My Eye.'  I also dotted a smaller dot of Color Club 'Bright Knights, Big City' in the center of each white dot, unfortunately this is barely visible.

I really like the stripes and polka dots with roses, it is such a classic look.  The burgundy color was a great accent color against my dress too.  If I had been smart, I would have taken a picture of them together, alas I did not.  However, my dress was a similar shade of green to Zoya 'Tilda', maybe a shade darker.  This is a nail art that will be difficult for me to part with, I've worn it all weekend (I applied it Friday evening).  I think the off white shade of 'Look, Don't Tusk' really leant to the vintage style, don't you?

I hope you enjoyed this nail art design, thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Liquid Eyeliner Nail Art

Hello Lovelies!  A few weeks ago I was scrolling through Facebook when I spotted a post from Nail It Magazine.  It was a tutorial in which the artist used liquid eyeliner as a medium for creating a nail art design.  Sadly, I never made note of who the artist was and can no longer find it, so if you know who it is that I am referring to I would love some insight.  Anyways, I decided to try it out for myself.

I started off this nail art design with Butter London 'Nail Foundation' on my ring and mid finger, and Butter London 'Baroness' on all other fingers.  I decided to use the nail foundation because I wasn't sure if my nails would be stained by the liquid eyeliner.  I also decided against using a typical base coat because the finish on the nail foundation is more of a satin finish that would be less "slick."

I started off my liquid eyeliner design by framing the nail.

I decided that I didn't want to make the design too complicated so I just drew some simple curly-q's and squiggles to fill in the nail.

I also decided that I wanted to give 'Baroness' a little gradient, so I sponged Salley Hansen's Big 'Smokey' Top Coat over the tip of my nails (excluding the accent fingers).

In all honesty, I didn't care for how my liquid eyeliner applied.  It was a bit streaky and I had to go over some spots multiple times to get consistent lines.  I did however, like that it dried really quickly.  I think if I was in a bind and really wanted to create a design I might try this again.  But I think that using acrylic paints or polish is a better medium than the liquid eyeliner.

I do like the design though, I like the negative space on the accent nails, and 'Baroness' is a nice subtle color.  I hope you found this post insightful, and enjoyed this nail art design.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

The Girliest Nail Art Yet!

So, I was going through my Ciate Advent Mini Manor polishes trying to decide what colors I was going to pair up and trying to decide what I could do with them. As I was looking them over, two of the pinks caught my attention. For those of you, who know me well, know that I'm not a big fan of pink and I don't consider myself a girly-girl. It was then that I decided I was going to create the girliest nail art I've ever done. This is what I came up with

I started with 'Mineral Love.'  Like most nail art addicts I have a love hate relationship with glitter polishes, so this pink glitter polish is not one that I would typically purchase. If it wasn't part of the advent calendar I would not own this. I applied two coats and then topped it off with Seche Vite quick drying top coat.

I used stripping tape and taped an angled French tip with a thin stripe.

I used 'Strawberry Milkshake,' a bright soft pink crème to fill in the tip.

I was going to stop there when I remembered that I had some water decals from bornprettystore.comthat have been hanging out in my supplies for way too long. So, I applied this star-flower decal on my ring finger, this is item #10269 in pattern BLE1830.  I also found some pink gems so I applied one in the center of the largest flower of the decal, because why not?

There you have it the girliest nail art design I have ever created, using pink, pink, glitter, flower decals and pink gems. Seriously, what could be more girlie than this?!  Though I don't care for the pink I do like the design and I hope you do too. If you happen to make a purchase at bornprettystore.com be sure to use my coupon code: createx31 for 10% off. I hope you're enjoying your Monday, thanks for stopping by, see you next time. 

Your Fellow Plebe,

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