pre-spring challenge

Day 13 Pre-Spring Challenge : Sponging

My inspiration for this came while I was watching a nature documentary about bears and there was a beautiful shot of two bears on a hill silhouetted against a purple orange sunset.

I was pretty pleased with my sponged gradient, it looked quite smooth and glittery in the sunshine today. The bear I tried to do caused me considerably more headaches… In the end I was reasonably satisfied with the bear on my ring finger but the one on my middle finger has become a random forest critter rather than a bear… By the time I’d given up on finished the bear and friend I didn’t have much patience left for doing nice trees!



I used: Tristam – A England, Impulsive – Revlon, Sensation – Color Addict, Psychedelic Orange – Rimmel, Yellow – Sweets Sweet, black acrylic paint.

Day 12 Pre-Spring Challenge: Stripes

When I saw the theme of stripes, the obvious idea was something involving tape, but as I’m not a great fan of using tape I wanted to find an alternative. I thought of animal print like zebra or tiger stripes but then remembered a tutorial video I had seen a while back for using a fan brush to create fine overlapping stripes and thought I’d give it a go. Avoiding tape and learning a new technique seemed like a great idea!

I was worried it might be difficult to do, but it was actually really easy to get a nice result. I think the colour combination helped it look striking and it was one of the quickest manicures I’ve done for this challenge!


I used: Porchester Square – Nails Inc, Sumner Place – Nails Inc, Notting Hill Gate – Nails Inc, Tristam – A England.

Day 11 Pre- Spring Challenge: Beach

Here’s my contribution to day 11 of the challenge – I can’t believe I’ve managed to keep going and produce a new manicure everyday – and some manicures which I’m really proud of! This is certainly one that I’m happy with and that I really enjoyed doing. Sponged nail art really appeals to me as it feels more like painting and art than make-up and beauty. I really love the effects people get using sponging techniques and it’s something I want to push myself to do more often and not be put off by having to tidy up around my nails afterwards!

I took my inspiration from this tutorial video by theblondieprincess. It was a gorgeous design and I just modified it to add a bit of sandy beach into my version.


I used: Matte Aqua – BYS, Kalahari Kiss – China Glaze, Coco – Sephora, Bluesky Blonde – Urban Decay, Sand Dune – Ciaté, Westferry Circus – Nails Inc, Sumner Place – Nails Inc.

Day 10 Pre-Spring Challenge: Ice Cream

I was a bit stuck for what to do with the ice cream theme for the pre-spring challenge, but finally chose to go with a mint choc chip manicure as it’s one of my favourite flavours and colours.

It was quite fun to do but maybe ended up looking a bit too busy and messy with the choc chips and sprinkles together. Not the best I’ve done so far, but not a disaster either.


I used: Where’s my Chauffeur – Essie, Wanna Say Hello – Essence, Hellbent – Urban Decay, Coco – Sephora, Warwick Avenue – Nails Inc, Sumner Place – Nails Inc.

Day 9 Pre-Spring Challenge: Rainbow

I had wanted to try a pinwheel design for a while and thought it was one which might go nicely with today’s rainbow theme. I looked up various tutorials but liked this one by indigonova1 best.

It was quite tricky and took me much longer than I expected! I didn’t quite manage to get the curves on the lines to make it look as swirled as the one in the tutorial, so it ended up looking more like a rainbow sun with rays rather than a pinwheel. As it’s a design I like, I’ll have to come back to pinwheels another day and perhaps try something less ambitious using only 2 colours next time.


I used: Revlon Red – Revlon, Psychedelic Orange – Rimmel, Yellow – Sweets Sweet, Symons Street – Nails Inc, Baker Street – Nails Inc, Delinquent – Urban Decay, white acrylic paint.

Day 8 Pre-Spring Challenge: Jewellery

After a couple of slightly disastrous days of the challenge, I’m feeling quite pleased with this one. My watch gave the inspiration for a chain themed manicure (it’s a kind of charm bracelet style watch – it’s what I’m holding in the picture).

Although the theme of jewellery initially made me think of going all over the top and blinged out, I thought about my actual taste in jewellery and I usually wear quite simple silver and white gold pieces – very rarely anything flashy. So I painted silver chain links onto a black background, and added a little heart charm on my pinkie.


I’m actually gonna be sad to take this one off!

I used: Black Taxi – Nails Inc, Fit for a Queen – Ciaté

Day 7 Pre-Spring Challenge: Pastel (taped)

When I saw the theme for day 7 was pastels I had lots of ideas of what I wanted to do. Then I saw it was also meant to be a taped manicure and all my good ideas disappeared… I’m not particularly skilled with tape and as I had gone away for the weekend and had limited time and resources I wanted to keep it pretty simple. I’d seen these kind of patchwork nails done by several people, and followed this tutorial on Chloe’s Nails which looked very striking.

I sponged my colours over the top instead of painting them to try and get a more delicate pastel finish but it was maybe too subtle. Then I added glitter which was a mistake as it made it look too busy.

I didn’t have time to redo it though, so this is my not particularly impressive contribution to day 7 of the pre-spring challenge. Never mind, there are still 7 more days to do better!


I used: Warwick Avenue – Nails Inc, Sumner Place – Nails Inc, Dreamer – Revlon, Sweets Way – Nails Inc.

Day 6 Pre-Spring Challenge: Sun

I was half looking forward, half apprehensive about this theme as I felt it would either be really great or a bit of a mess. I wanted to use lots of gold and something which would really shine under the sunlight.  I think it ended up closer to the messy end of the scale than a triumph, but it was quite fun to do.



I used: Bluesky Blonde – Urban Decay, A Piece of Forever – Essence, Blitz – Urban Decay

Day 5 Pre-Spring Challange: Sky

The theme of sky seemed like one with all kinds of possibilities and a really fun one to work with. I decided to go for cute fluffy clouds in a blue sky, plus a few things that you might find up in the clouds!
This was the first time I’ve used acrylic paint in any of my nail art but it was certainly worth it as I’m sure it would have been far too difficult to do the tiny little details in polish.


It’s another one that I’m pleased with and I got a lot of comments from friends, students and random others today on these fun nails.

I used: Dreamer – Revlon, Coco – Sephora and acrylics for the hot air balloon, kite and plane.

I’m going away for the weekend tonight so won’t be posting tomorrow, but have packed a small stash of nail art supplies in my bag, so I won’t be giving up on the challenge – I’ll just be a bit late getting my entries for Saturday and Sunday up!

Day 4 Pre-Spring Challenge: Flowers

For day 4 of the Pre-Spring Challenge I decided to return to the dotted flowers which I did a few months back when I first started to become interested in nail art. I was inspired by this fun floral design by Imagination in Colour who took the simple dotted flower and turned it into something with a lot more eye catching appeal.


I was really pleased with the result and I’ve certainly made a lot of progress since my first faltering dotty flowers last year.

I used: Ocean – Gosh (base colour) Psychedelic Orange – Rimmel, Warwick Avenue – Nails Inc, Baker Street – Nails Inc, Yellow – Sweets Sweet, Notting Hill Gate – Nails Inc, Coco – Sephora.