Sunday, September 29, 2013

31DC2013 Day 27 : Inspired by Artwork < the universal language >

Many western cultures have Saint Valentines and Cupid. The Chinese have the legend of the Weaving maiden

The Italians call it "Amare", the French call it "Aimer". In English it is called "LOVE" - the universal language that transcends race, borders and in many cases, even language!

And so, that famous "Love sculpture", created by Robert Indiana, replicas of which are present in many countries, is my inspiration for Day 27 of the 31 Day Challenge - Inspired by Artwork.

There are several colour variants of this sculpture but we most associate the colour red with love so that's the main colour I chose for my design, with blue as the background accent. 

I've swatched Jindie Nails - Burrrberry on my other fingers. This is 3 coats with topcoat. Burrrberry is an off-white (sort of grayish white) crelly, with different sized round, hex and square glitters in pink, blue and magenta. Just the perfect amount of glitter to base mix. Really good formula! One of my favourite white based glitter polishes!

Friday, September 27, 2013

31DC2013 Day 26 : Inspired by a Pattern < retro circles >

If you look closely enough, you'll see patterns everywhere, in our daily life. On the grooves of the sidewalk, the perfectly aligned metal steel rods on worksites, your grandma's curtains... *chuckle*, that's what this pattern that I've chosen for Day 26 of the 31 Day Challenge reminds me of.

It's a groovy, repeating circles design, in these very retro colours. I can picture those dancers on Soul Train wearing pants from these patterns!

This is the original pattern that served as inspiration for my design

And my corresponding mani

If you'll notice, the colours on my middle and ringfinger are slightly different. I painted the design on my middle finger first and felt that the colours looked too washed out, so I made all the shades a tad darker for my ring finger's design and I think it turned out brilliantly, although one could argue that the colours on the first attempt give off an overall softer feel.

The polish on my other fingers is Darling Diva Polish - Caramel Martini. I's an off-white crelly base with black, yellow, pink glitters in various sizes. As with all her polishes, a dream to apply! This is 3 thin coats with top coat.

I was a little unsure about how successfully this pattern would translate to my nails but I think it turned out well. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

31DC2013 Day 25 : Inspired by Fashion < the LBD that started it all >

Oh, this was a tough one. For Day 25 of the 31 Day Challenge - Inspired by Fashion, I really had a hard time trying to figure out what could be associated with fashion that would translate well on nails.

In a pinch, I could have gone with the recreation of the logos of one of the big fashion houses, or that famous plaid Burberry textile. But I've seen those looks around quite a bit so I wanted to try something different.

So I was thinking, what was an iconic piece of fashion? Well, you don't get more iconic than Audrey Hepburn's look from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's", the look that launched a million LBDs (that's Little Black Dress if you're unaware).

In publicity posters for the movie, Hepburn is seen in a black sleeveless shift dress, with a mega multi-string of pearls and a loooong cigarette holder in her hand.

Here's my effort:

I would have redone my mani if I could have thought of something better to illustrate the theme. I realise that the woman on my nails looks nothing like Hepburn but I hope you at least recognise the famous pose.

The polish on my other fingers is Darling Diva Polish - Bulmarae Cave. This is a black jelly with magenta, blue and silver small hex glitter, and silver shimmer. As with all her polishes, the formula is a dream. No dragging and no glooping. However, the glitters in this polish are rather sparse and the shimmer did not show up well at all. So the overall look is rather dark and not very exciting. It is however, a nice accompaniment for my LBD with a little sparkle theme.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

31DC2013 Day 24 : Inspired by a Book < is it Christmas already? >

Reading was such an important part of my growing up, and of course, I read the ubiquitous Dr Seuss books. Not that I could make much sense of them, lol! 

Dr Seuss books have really fun illustrations and they were my inspiration for Day 24 of the 31 Day Challenge - Inspired by a book.

 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

I was really concerned about how well I would be able to accurately capture the facial expressions of the Grinch but I'm really happy that my brush and paints were behaving well today! This drawing probably took all of 20 minutes.

I thought using Pahlish - Toxic and Timeless was really apropos for this theme. The Grinch is depicted as a toxic character on Christmas and it is also a really timeless story as well. Not to mention that this polish is in the Christmas colours of green and gold. It's packed with glitter and this is 3 coats. 

You can get Pahlish Polish from her online shop

31DC2013 Day 23 : Inspired by a Movie < yellow with four fingers >

The Simpsons Movie was released in 2007, grossed more than half a billion dollars - the 12th highest grossing movie for that year. Not bad for an animated movie featuring yellow people with only four fingers on each hand.

The Simpsons Movie is of course spawned from the uber popular The Simpsons series that is considered by many to be the greatest TV series of all time. The "D'oh!" catchphrase is also indelibly etched in the hearts of many.

This is my mani for Day 23 of the 31 Day Challenge - Inspired by a Movie:

I'm really proud of how this came out. No more fingers left to do Maggie I'm afraid but the rest of the characters were really fun to do! I'm thinking Mr Burns and some of the side characters should be fun to tackle too. :D

Monday, September 23, 2013

31DC2013 Day 22 : Inspired by a Song < Mahna Mahna >

Yes, this is a spin-off from my Kermit theme from yesterday's mani of the 31 Day Challenge.

Unfortunately, I'm not very happy with today's mani at all. The colours are too washed out and my pink muppets look nothing like the originals. 

Well, here's the mani anyway. Fingers crossed that tomorrow's turns out better!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

31DC2013 Day 21 : Inspired by a Colour < It's not easy being green >

Woot! These upcoming themes of "Inspired by..." really open up a wealth of possibilities! For Day 21 of the 31 Day Challenge - Inspired by a Colour, I chose the colour green. And I wanted to do some nail art based on the most beloved green character out there.

I mean, this character is an international star, was the star of two tv shows, has appeared on numerous talkshows and even starred in a few movies!

He's Jim Henson's most famous puppet creation of course - Kermit the Frog!

Kermit the Frog once famously sang about "Bein' Green" on Sesame Street and the Muppet Show and that was the colour inspiration for today's mani.

He's such a cool frog! I mean, he hangs out with a pig for crying out loud! All in all, I'd say Kermit is looking pretty good for a very old amphibian, lol!

Polishes used
Bondi NYC - The Limelight
Ninja Polish - Floam

Friday, September 20, 2013

31DC2013 Day 20 : Water Marbling < pastel waves >

One of the main reasons I decided to take up this 31 Day Challenge is to prod myself to try new things. Having to execute specific themes on a schedule really forces you to explore nail art techniques you wouldn't normally attempt.

I've been putting off trying Water Marbling for forever. There are so many cool water marbling experts out there but I've never been confident enough to try. Well, had to go for it. 

Here's the result:

Well, I'll say this, it at least resembles water marbling lol. My lines are wonky, the colour combination could be better and my finger placement definitely needs improvement but now I've ticked water marbling off my list of "To Tries".

I double dipped my pointer and middle finger which is why you see different tones. Not a good look. Oh well, you live and learn.

As with all things, once you've passed the first hurdle, things can only get easier. I've kinda gotten a slight feel of what sort of polishes will be better at marbling. I'm definitely going to attempt this nail art technique again in the future. :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

31DC2013 Day 19 : Galaxies < colours in the night sky >

I've been really intimidated to try Galaxy Nails because I could not understand, how mixing so many different seemingly un-complementary colours together could result in such a complex and beautiful mani. 

Well, today's 31 Day Challenge theme of Galaxies is just the push I needed to finally try out this look and I'm pleasantly surprised that it was not horrifyingly difficult to achieve at all! 

Sure, you have to select a good mix of colours, and you have to be judicious in how much of each colour you sponge on the nail but there are really no rules. Blue, green, yellow, white, I've seen all sorts of combinations for galaxy nails.

Here's my take:

This mani was achieved by sponging on the different colours over a scattered holo base, applying a coat of holo glitter on top and randomly dabbing on bigger pieces of glitter.

Here are the polishes I used:

piCture pOlish - Starry Night by Llarowe

China Glaze (1) Blue Bells Ring (2) Pelican Gray (3) Pure Elegance

China Glaze - Fairy Dust, Essie - Set in Stones

I think this is definitely a look I'm going to be recreating in the future, with other colour combinations. It's fairly quick and glamourous nail art! :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

31DC2013 Day 18 : Half Moon < flowers on a knight >

The polish that made a-england famous - Tristam, is one of my top 10 favourite polishes of all time! It is a fail safe staple, goes with everything and a sick formula! Seriously, there's no way you can apply this baby badly. It's that good! Never any flooding of cuticles, never any staining and dries super quick! I mean, like I'll finish painting my last finger and the first one is already dry! I cannot sing enough praises of it.

And so, it is my backdrop for my Half Moon mani for the 31 Day Challenge.

Isn't Tristam gorgeous? It's a purplish blue with subtle scattered holo that's not overwhelming but contains enough depth to catch your attention.

The flower petals were drawn with acrylic paint using the one stroke technique. I added a few stray drops on one of the nails as an accent. 

Quite pretty and dainty and if you use a light base colour, would probably be perfect for a wedding. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

31DC2013 Day 17 : Glitter < peeking through the lines >

The word glitter has been forever marred by that unfortunate Mariah Carey movie. Cause that's the first thing that popped in my head when this theme for the 31 Day Challenge came up.

Anyhoo, I decided to do a base of OPI - Rainbow Connection, followed by some simple use of striping tape and a-england - Camelot on top, creating a simple patterned design with the glitter peeking through the lines.

This worked out better in my head. I think I chose the wrong glitter for this technique cause it did not really create the impact I hoped it would. Also, my bottle of Camelot looks really grubby in this picture lol!

31DC2013 Day 16 : Tribal Print < an Asian perspective >

The typical design that comes to mind when you think about Tribal Print is some version of the Maori warrior tattoo. I wanted to give a different twist to this 31 Day Challenge theme by looking at the design from an Asian perspective.

And what better inspiration to look toward than one of the most outlying reaches of Asia - Mongolia.

To this day, there are still a great number of Mongols living nomadically, carrying on their rich culture and language.

In particular, their ceremonial costumes are absolutely gorgeous! The amount of intricate needle work sewn on each one of their designs is breathtaking.

I based my mani mainly off these pieces.

So gorg! Here's what I came up with

This design turned out to be more demanding than I initially envisioned. This was the absolutely longest time I spent on any nail art design. But I'm pretty confident this is a unique mani. :D

Next up tomorrow: glitter!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

31DC2013 Day 15 : Delicate Print < butterflies and hearts >

What qualifies as a Delicate Print? That got me wrecking my brains trying to figure out what to do for this theme for the 31 Day Challenge.

I decided well, butterflies are delicate and fluttering hearts are delicate so why not combine the two?

No brush painting needed for my nail art this time, just some dotting tools and regular polish!

The butterfly was painted using only dotting tools of various sizes and the fluttering hearts achieved through the drag mani technique. They did not turn out as well as I'd hope but I'm glad I tried out this technique and I'm also pretty happy with the butterfly. 

I used Bondi New York's polishes for both colours. I'm really on a Bondi binge! LOVE their formula to bits and are these not the most gorgeous greens? 

Polishes used
Bondi NYC - Teal Magnolia
Bondi NYC - The Limelight

Polish Together - September birthstone: Sapphire

Nubar is one of those frustrating mainstream brands out there. I love most of what they put out but they're not widely available and they put out collections sporadically at best. But what I can get my grubby little hands on, I love!

The birthstone for September is Sapphire and I have the perfect deep blue polish in Nubar - Night Sparkle.

It is the most apropos name for a polish. Cause this gem sparkles like the most beautiful of nights! There's light blue shimmer aplenty housed in a deep (but not dark) blue. 

The formula is fantastic. What I've shown is with 2 coats. But as is the usual case with blues, this one's a stainer so I would advise doubling up on basecoat and when removing, to FULLY saturate a cotton pad with remover, hold it on your nail for 15 seconds or more, then try to get it all off in one clean swipe. 

Ah, sapphires, so pretty but cost such a pretty coin. I'll just have to settle for staring at my fingers then. :P

Sunday, September 15, 2013

31DC2013 Day 14 : Flowers < cherry blossoms abloom >

Super short post!
I'm rushing out the door to attend a wedding reception and these are my nails for today as well as for Day 14 of the 31 Day Challenge.

I used Bondi New York - Uptown Girl.

Oh my gosh, the formula is incredible! Almost a one-coater, super smooth and best of all, they come in square bottles! So much easier for storage!

The holographic glitter is China Glaze - Fairy Dust. It's so pretty and sparkly under the sun!

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

31DC2013 Day 13 : Animal Print < and the dish ran away with the spoon >

'Hey Diddle Diddle' is a familiar nursery rhyme to many and it's certainly one of my childhood nursery rhymes. It's the inspiration behind my 'Animal Print' mani for Day 13 of the 31 Day Challenge.

I really should have chosen a stronger colour for the moon but I hope you still get the gist of my original intention. 

I used OPI- My Vampire is Buff as the base for my nail art. It's a really nice textured beige that's a really good contrast against the black and white cow print.

The cow print is really simple to achieve. It's basically just random splotches of black polish over a white base. 

Polishes used
Base for the nail art: OPI - My Vampire is Buff.
Base for the cow print: China Glaze - White on White
Cow print spots: a-england - Camelot

Friday, September 13, 2013

31DC2013 Day 12 : Stripes < black or white >

It's Day 12 of the 31 Day Challenge!

I didn't want to do straight up plain lines so I chose to do nail art today based off of zebras' stripes.

The one zebra character in film that sticks to memory is undoubtedly Marty from the movie Madagascar. He is the hapless but loveable bungling lead character.

As always I used China Glaze - White on White as my base.

Today's mani could also be included in tomorrow's 'Animal Prints' theme but I've got something else planned for that! ;)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

31DC2013 Day 11 : Dots < she wears white gloves>

Short post then it's back to working on the challenge!

Who else do you know wears a polka dot skirt with as much flair? While pairing it with a humongous bow tie to boot!

Coming to you, all the way from the happiest place on earth, Minnie Mouse!

Polishes used:
China Glaze - White on White
Zoya - America

ps. I was half tempted to name this post "It's Britney b****!" :P

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

31DC2013 Day 10 : Gradient < let's go vertical >

Today's theme was a chance to show off a few polishes from one of my favourite indie polish brands - a-england! 

If you haven't tried a-england polishes before, you're missing out! Adina makes the smoothest, creamiest scattered holos out there, indie or mainstream brand bar none!

If you're based in the UK, look out for her sales or 'Gem of the Month' specials. They're such a good bargain!

These are the polishes I used to create my vertical gradient

And here's my mani:

Indirect sunlight


You can find a-england polishes at quite a few sites, including popular ones like:
1)  (UK only)
2) (based in US, ships internationally)
3) (based in Singapore, ships internationally)

31DC2013 Day 9 : Rainbow < the cat that farts rainbows >

What cat am I talking about? This feline, that has immense popularity on the internet, dozens of sites and youtube videos dedicated to it, and why? All because it farts rainbows, lol!

I'm talking about the (in)famous Nyan Cat!

Farts rainbows you say? Perfect for Day 9 of 31DC2013! Believe it or not, I actually spent more time on the dang rainbows, making the lines straight, than on drawing the actual Nyan Cat itself!

It's really pretty darn cute. :D

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31DC2013 Day 8 : Metallic < with this ring I thee wed >

A short post today then back to catching up for 31DC2013.

The challenge for 31DC2013 Day 8 is Metallic. So I thought silver glitter is a great representation of the theme and Essie's 'Set in Stones' is also a pretty appropriately named polish. After all, we often refer to diamonds as 'rocks' right? :P

'Set in Stones' is housed in a clear base so I had the opportunity to layer it over other pretty polishes! I chose 
Hare Polish - King of Carat Flowers and 
Different Dimension - Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty

The number 9 means 'long time' in Mandarin Chinese. So the 9th of September is an especially popular wedding date for a lot of Chinese couples. Monday 9-9-2013 was the wedding for one of the MOTH's friends so I specially did some wedding-themed nail art for the occasion. 

It was a happy coincidence that there was metal in the nail art in the form of the wedding rings. So the whole mani tied together very nicely.

'Set in Stones' makes it look so super sparkly! Unfortunately that didn't really translate well in the photos but on the upside, you get to see the pretty glitters from 'King of Carat Flowers'!

I think the overall effect so pretty! Subscribe to my blog posts so you don't miss all my manis for 31DC2013!

Monday, September 9, 2013

31DC2013 Day 7 : Black & White < a nightmare beckons >

So, I'm a little late to the party. A lot late actually!
I was travelling the first few days of the month and that threw me off, so this is my first official post for the 31 Days Challenge.

Qn:  What's Black and White and haunts your night?
Ans: Jack Skellington!

Jack Skellington is of course the main character from the Tim Burton movie 'The Nightmare Before Christmas', and his love interest in the movie is Sally, a rag doll.

This is the original inspiration for my Black & White nail art.

This picture shows Jack and Sally in silhouette and I believe the creator is Corpse-Boy from the Deviant Art site. So hauntingly romantic!

And here's my interpretation:

In keeping with the Black & White theme, I chose to accompany my nail art with a polish that has a gray base (black mixed with white, geddit? ;P) with black and white shards.  I used "Concrete Jungle" by The Polish Well

This is so amazing! It has a good jelly formula, with silver shimmer and definitely noticeable, but not in your face B&W shards. Love this polish to bits! There is one negative though. The bottle that the polish came in, has a really really really short brush, which makes life REALLY difficult. I kept mis-aiming the mouth of the bottle and getting polish all over the table. 

The Polish Well brush

Comparison with an OPI brush

See what I mean by the extremely short brush? If The Polish Well is able to get some new bottles in, this would be perfect!

I'm definitely going to try to make up for the challenges I missed. Subscribe to my blog posts so you don't miss any of them!