First of all I just have to say I’m sorry for having not posted for a couple of weeks. I’ve been working at a summer school as the Director of Studies and it has been one of the most intense and full-on jobs I’ve ever done. I really don’t have any free time and when I do, I’m way too tired to do anything particularly interesting on my nails. I’m actually going to take a break from blogging until mid-August when I finish the job and then I’m going to try and catch up with the Time Periods Challenge and the Around the World Challenge.
I did this manicure just before I left Spain but never got time to post it! I was inspired by an album cover I found one google image search – I can’t find it now, but it was a “Best of the 80s” kind of album. It had a neon rainbow with a black cassette tape over the top and it took the idea and ran with it.
I was pretty pleased and it was a fun mani to wear.
I do have the colours I used noted down somewhere and will update this post when I find my notebook.
When I thought of the 1970s I immediately though of David Bowie. I’m a big fan of Bowie, as much for his music as for his creativity and inventiveness especially all the fabulous costumes and make up he’s managed to pull off over the years.
So this nail art is inspired by various costumes he wore in the 1970s. I looked at a whole variety of pictures but most of the outfits I was inspired by come from this site about the evolution of David Bowie. I love anything shiny, glittery and glamorous so the glam rock era is one that looks like it must have been so much fun to be a part of.
I’m happy with all of them except the black and silver one which I smudged as I was putting a top coat on. I tried to salvage it but it doesn’t look quite right and I was just too tired to start from the beginning again…
I used: Dreamer – Revlon, Black Passion – GOSH, Don’t Pretzel My Buttons – OPI, My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, Fit for a Queen – Ciaté, Golden Mandarin – Kiko, Sea Blue – Kiko, Yellow – Sweets Sweet, Bluesky Blonde – Urban Decay, Hellbent – Urban Decay, Black Taxi – Nails Inc, St James’s – Nails Inc, Miss Grey – GOSH.
I knew I wanted to do something bright and psychedelic for the 1960s day of the challenge and I thought of the artist Peter Max and ended up basing my design on the psychedelic rays and stars in this trippy painting.
It was a bit of a challenging one as it required two gradients and using tape. I love gradients but I’m not particularly skilled with tape so I was a bit worried about how it would turn out. As usual my taped lines aren’t as sharp as I would have liked but I’m really happy with the overall effect and the double gradient especially!
I used: Mellow Yellow – Sally Hansen, Sensation – Color Addict, Def Defying – China Glaze, Matt Aqua – BYS, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, Take it Mint – Catrice, Do You Lilac It? – OPI, My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI.
1950s was a fun one and I love all the poster art, pin-up girls and kitsch but finally decided on comic book art. After my last disaster manicure I didn’t want to try anything too difficult and thought some Pow! and Kaboom! cartoon explosions would be fun and fairly simple to do.
I’m not really a comic book fan but I was happy with these and had fun doing them – although I had a couple of smudged dots because I’m still too impatient to wait for everything to completely dry. I got several compliments from my students so that brightened my day.
I used: My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, Mellow Yellow – Sally Hansen, Baker Street – Nails Inc, St James’s – Nails Inc, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, black and white acrylic paint
An artist I absolutely love and associate strongly with the Industrial Revolution in Britain is L. S. Lowry whose paintings depicted the (grim!) north of England after industrialisation, with factories, mills and terraced houses, but also with quirky little stick figures and even stick-dogs filling the street scenes.
I wanted to base my nails on his paintings and particularly liked a painting titled Industrial Landscape. I used elements of this painting but I’m not sure it turned out as well as I hoped it would – it was pretty difficult to get the feeling of the painting on my little nails!
I used: My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, French Quarter for Your Thoughts – OPI, Nein Nein Nein OK Fine – OPI, A-taupe The Space Needle – OPI, Porchester Square – Nails Inc, Cadogan Square – Nails Inc, Hampstead Gardens – Nails Inc, Vintage Blue – Marionnaud.
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.
I was excited about this one as I know there is so much beautiful Chinese art out there. While browsing I found this image of a beautiful vase with fish and rippling water which really inspired me.
It was not easy to recreate and I couldn’t quite get the water to look right, but had fun experimenting with really thick lines of polish. When I finished, the thing I liked most about it was the texture and I knew a top coat would flatten it and ruin it, so I left it, but it took absolutely ages to dry!
I used: Light blue – Kiko, Floral Street – Nails Inc, Dreamer – Revlon, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, Psychedelic Orange – Rimmel, Porchester Square – Nails Inc, The Thames – Nails Inc, A Piece of Forever – Essence
For me this one was all about the right colours. I was tempted to go for a classic dark red shimmer with a gold pattern over the top, but was drawn to the rich purple and brown which I finally used.
The silver and purple pattern was inspired by some fabric I found an image of and the brown and gold design was inspired by a tile from a medieval building.
I was fairly happy with this one. It’s not the most exciting thing I’ve ever done but quite pretty and I’m getting more confident with my striping brush.
I used: Delinquent – Urban Decay, Crash + Burn – Urban Decay, Sand Dune – Ciaté, Fit for a Queen – Ciaté
When I first thought about the Ancient Rome theme I thought of columns, mosaics, all the usual… But when I was walking through the centre of Cordoba, I realised there was Roman architecture all around me and the bridge or Puente Romano is one of the most beautiful sights in the city. So I decided to base my manicure on it this time.
It didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. It’s recognisable as a bridge but I’m not quite enough of an artist to make it look like Cordoba’s Roman bridge. I had fun making the swirly water though (which in reality is kind of brownish coloured)
I added a little tower to represent the Torre de la Calahorra which is at the end of the bridge on the south side of the river.
I used: Light Blue – Kiko, Rambo No.5 – Catrice, Peacock Green – Kiko, Princess Tears – A England, Don’t Mess With OPI – OPI, Kalahari Kiss – China Glaze, Cadogan Square – Nails Inc,
And here’s a picture of the Roman Bridge courtesy of Ed Wong (my personal photographer and husband to be!)
This one just didn’t work out. I knew I wanted to use the iconic colours of Greek pottery and had planned to have some figures of athletes running across my nail as it was also meant to be my first day back into running after my ankle sprains which I’ve been recovering from for the last couple of months. Unfortunately neither my running or my nails happened. I had a headache and couldn’t go for my run, so decided I didn’t want runners on my nails either!
Instead I opted for patterns from Greek pottery which were just a bit too intricate for me, especially when not feeling great, and my nails are a bit too short at the moment so they looked crowded and messy.
My right hand was marginally more successful. After spending far to long on what was becoming a bit of a mess on my left hand, I knew I had to do something simpler or my right. The lines aren’t very straight but the design is probably better.
Nevermind – on to the next design (and hopefully back to running tomorrow!)
I used: Papaya Punch – China Glaze and black acrylic paint.