freehand nail art

Tri-Polish Tuesday: Brown, pink and grey spirals

This is not how I imagined my mani would turn out at all when I sat down to do it. I’d decided to have a got at one of my least favourite techniques: taping. I don’t often get it right so this time I was trying to be super patient and wait for well over an hour for my base colour to dry. Then my plan was to have three wide bands of colour separated by thin lines of striping tape. I positioned my striping tape, painted on my bands of colour but when I removed the striping tape it pulled up my freshly painted bands of colour leaving ratty edges. The polishes were still wet but had obviously dried just enough while I’d been painting on the other colours that they didn’t come up cleanly.

Needless to say by this point I was tired, fed up and hating striping tape. I also had no plan for my mani and decided to go for something quick, simple and freehand – basically whatever popped out of my head when the base colour was dry. What came out of my head was spirals -fun and simple. Not necessarily the most inspiring mani ever or the most complicated but I quite liked the result and it made me feel a bit better about my striping tape nightmare!


I used: Fuscia Bucolique – Bourjois, Pillow Fight – Ciaté, Wanna Say Hello – Essence

Chinese New Year nails

Over the weekend I made Chinese egg tarts (which were delicious!) and did a New Year mani. I was a but stuck for ideas so I started with a subtle red gradient using a dark red and an orangey red. I knew I wanted a horse shape on one nail but was worried a silhouette (as I was originally thinking of doing) may turn out fairly unrecognisable! So I trawled google images for a nice simple horse to copy and found some lovely line drawings of horse heads. I managed to get it right first time which I was surprised and happy about! Maybe my freehand painting skills aren’t as rusty as I thought.
The other nails just got a bit of a gold glitter gradient on them so my horsey accent nail would stand out!


I used: Boudoir – Ciaté, Encore! – Ciaté, Chelsea Embankment – Nails Inc, Gold Fever – Sephora, white acrylic paint

33DC: Geometric

This one was a challenge! I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do so simply looked up the word ‘geometric’ on google images.This image was the first to inspire me and I set about trying to recreate it on my nails. It was not an easy task by any means and all the lines and angles in the pattern started to make my head spin.
Although the finished mani may not look all that much like my inspiration image I quite like it – it reminds me of stained glass and a 1920s Art Deco inspired mani I did for the Time Periods challenge earlier in the year.


I used: Borrowed and Blue – Essie, Miss Grey – GOSH, If I were a Boy – Essence, Nein Nein Nein OK Fine – OPI, Lady in Black – OPI.

33DC: Based On a Pattern in My Wardrobe

Oh dear, I’ve got soooo behind on my posts. I have to blame it on this mani – I was really pleased with how it turned out but the photos just didn’t come out right – the light was all wrong and you couldn’t see the pattern well. My lovely boyfriend spent ages adjusting all the setting in Lightroom trying to get the light to look right and he did a great job of saving the photo but it still looks a bit streaky and with some odd reflections – anyway not having the photo ready to post kind of threw me out of the rhythm of posting and here I am over a week late… Expect a rush of posts over the next day or two!

Anyway – this mani was based on a pattern on a winter scarf which I recently got out of my winter clothes boxes – it’s still not cold enough for it here – we’re still hitting 27C during the day although the evenings are starting to feel a bit chilly so I’m sure my winter clothes will be needed very soon.

I enjoyed doing the fine pattern on this mani and free handing patterns is a skill I always enjoy improving.


I used: Lady in Black – OPI, 2007 – Bourjois, Miss Grey- GOSH

33DC: South America

One of the first things I thought of for this day of the challenge was the Amazon and doing something inspired by the rainforest. I didn’t want to do animals as that was the previous day of the challenge so I decided to go with the plants of the rainforest instead. I found this illustration which has lovely bold leaves and shapes and thought I’d use it as my inspiration.

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out and might come back to doing some simple leaf shapes again in future as I think they’d make a pretty and simple mani on their own.


I used: Hugo Moss – Catrice, Knightsbridge Green – Nails Inc, Don’t Mess with OPI – OPI, Def Defying – China Glaze, Lime Cocktail – Sephora, St . James – Nails Inc, Notting Hill Carnival – Nails Inc, Draycott Place – Nails Inc.

33DC: Chinese

I love Chinese koi paintings – I’ve always liked fish (to look at – not to eat!) I desperately wanted an aquarium as a child and knew that scuba diving was something I had to learn to do as an adult. I think it’s the peaceful movement of the fish that attracts me and those Chinese koi paintings as so simple and beautiful and make me feel almost as peaceful as watching real fish!

So I had great inspiration but my art didn’t quite live up to my vision and my fish are not quite as beautiful and peaceful as I’d hoped they’d be. Maybe I was just being a bit too ambitious hoping to recreate the simplicity on such a small scale and still have them look like fish.

I quite like the black fish on my index finger so maybe I was starting to get the hang of it by the time I painted him…


I used: My. Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI and acrylic paints.

33DC: Indian

The details in this manicure were inspired by the paisley patterns I’ve seen in Indian sari fabric. I decided to do each little paisley swirl full nail size rather than try to get too much detail and pattern onto each nail which I thought might end up looking messy.

This was a fun and fairly simple design to do and I’m quite pleased with the results ( although the blue paisley swirls kind of remind me of little gas flames…)


I used: Stylenomics – Essie, Jacob’s Protection – Essence, Matte Aqua – BYS, Light blue – Kiko, Def Defying – China Glaze, Don’t Mess with OPI – OPI, My Boyfriend scales Walls – OPI.

33DC: Mexican

I’m not doing very well with keeping up with this challenge, so here are my very late Mexican nails. I’d done a Mexican themed mani before the summer for the Round the world Challenge that I participated in, which was a lot more personal and about my experience of living in Mexico. This one is less personal and just some typical Mexican things: a little mariachi, a decorated skull, maracas, cacti and chillis based on this image.

I had fun doing them and was quite pleased with the result.


I used: Hampstead Gardens – Nails Inc, Draycott Place – Nails Inc, Where’s my Chauffeur? – Essie, Don’t Mess with OPI – OPI, Def Defying – China Glaze, Floral Street – Nails. Inc, Secret of Love – Anny, Wanna Say hello – Essence, Yellow – Sweets Sweet, Artificial Sweetener – Orly

Couture Nail Art Challenge: Inspired by Jenny Packham

I felt like having red nails, so when I saw this glamorous red dress by Jenny Packham, I knew it was the one I wanted to use as my inspiration for this day of the challenge.

I had fun freehanding in some squiggly designs which look a bit floral but weren’t really supposed to be flowers.

I’m pleased with the result – they seem classy yet fun and quirky at the same time, which is what my nail art mission statement would be if I had one!


I used: The Boltons – Nails Inc, Don’t Pretzel My Buttons – OPI

I’ve got a bit of catching up with my posts to do over the next week or so, as I’ve fallen behind in the challenges due to it being feria week here in Córdoba, having a guest to stay this weekend and a trip to Granada planned for our long weekend next week! I’ll try to get back to more regular posts after that!

Time Periods Challenge: 10 – Victorian Era

An image search of the Victorian Era threw up so many possibilities for nail art,but I decided I’d have a try at lace, which I associated with Victorian fashion.

There are so many fantastic lace nail art pictures out there, but this one caught my eye and didn’t look totally impossible to, if not recreate at least take some inspiration from. I used a more muted base colour and had a lot of fun trying to create lacy designs. My freehand skills might not be quite as fantastic as the talented artist who did the nails in my inspiration pic, but I’m pretty pleased with the result!


I used: Don’t Pretzel My Buttons – OPI, black acrylic paint.