Tribal Nails

Saturday, September 28, 2013


This week, I did tribal nails. I've been wanting to try out tribal nails for a long time, but I never felt I was good enough to actually pull them off. But after seeing all of the amazing tribal nail designs for the 31 day challenge, I finally forced myself to give them a try -- to my surprise, they didn't turn out as a huge black and white gloopy mess! Success!

I was short on time (well, to be honest, I was just feeling lazy... it was one of those days) so I only did one nail with tribal print. 

I used Jin Soon Blue Iris for the non-accent nails, then used Sally Hansen White On and WnW Black Creme for the tribal design.

I was actually very happy with how these turned out! I love this look -- and they were very fun to do -- so I'll definitely be trying out some variations on these sometime. There are so many amazing variations -- check out Chalkboard Nails' & Hey, Nice Nails' versions!

What do you think of tribal nails? Are they something you'd love to have on your nails, or do you think they're tacky and lamely retro? 

Thanks for reading!
The Nail Snail :)

P.S. I am SO impressed with all of you bloggers who are doing the 31 day challenge! You guys are amazing and giving me so much nailspiration! 

Deborah Lippmann Jewel Heist Glitter Gradient

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Today I decided to do a simple glitter gradient with two of the polishes from Deborah Lippmann's fall 2013 Jewel Heist collection. As you can probably tell, the whole collection is based around jewels and money and all that bling-y stuff.

There are so many ways the polishes in this collection can be mixed and matched -- they're all gorgeous -- but I chose Laughin' to the Bank (green) and Glitter and Be Gay (gold glitter topper).

These photos don't do Glitter and Be Gay justice, it really is a gorgeous polish (I'll save rest of the rant for next week, when I'll probably be swatching it). 

Overall, this was a really easy and fast design to create, and I'm pretty happy with the results. It was my first glitter gradient, and although I had trouble with some of my fingers (my pinky is pretty much completely glitterified) I'm fairly pleased with the results! 

And because it's a lovely color, here's Laughin' to the Bank by itself! It's described as an "emerald green shimmer", and that's pretty much what it is. As with most DL polishes, it has great application and doesn't stain. Sorry about the nasty cleanup -- I recently switched to non-acetone remover and it's a pain!

Anyways. How are you liking all these fall collections? I think the Jewel Heist collection is my personal favorite!

Thanks for reading!
The Nail Snail :)

Colorful Rays and Liebster Award

Monday, September 23, 2013


Part 1: Another Striping Tape Design

I used my beloved striping tape and dark purple and yellow to make a bold rays sort of design (in the photos the purple looks like black, but it was really dark reddish purple). It was very fun and quick!

Afterwards, I went to a football game with these on and they were actually the colors of the school we were playing against. Whoops... 


These were based on a design by Enamel Girl that I found on Pinterest (a side note: what do you think about their plan to add ads?). 

Part 2: Liebster Award
Recently, I was nominated for a Liebster Award by My Nail Files. I don't know what the general consensus is when it comes to receiving more than one Liebster Award, but I guess I'll just do the questions again. I've recently discovered a lot of great blogs but they were all through this award so it seems a bit inefficient to nominate them again.

1.   What/who inspired you to blog?
My friend and I first started this blog over the summer as an excuse to hang out together and do random stuff, and then that somehow turned into this blog! (don't ask me how... I have no idea)

2.   What is your favourite brand, finish and colour of polish?
My favorite brand is probably Jin Soon (I know most of you have probably never heard of it) -- they have so many gorgeous colors and it's great quality nail polish. 
My favorite finish is jelly (even though I don't have that many jellies) -- it's so fun to apply, and it looks so squishy and fun! Although shimmer would be a close second. There are some great glitter toppers out there, but I generally stay away from glitter because it's a pain to remove. 
My favorite color of polish would probably be... I don't know, this is a ridiculously hard question! I guess I like dark, reddish purple. Which is funny because I don't have a polish of that color. But my wishlist must-have list has like two dozen different reddish-purples on it.

3. What is your favourite type of nail art and how long have you been doing it?
I'm fairly new to nail art, I've only been doing it for about 2.5 months... so I've really only tried freehand and tape designs more than once. Although freehand is fun to do, I like how tape manis look so crisp and good, so I'm going to have to go with tape (which I've been doing for... well, 2.5 months!). 

4. What is your hand care routine and what are your 3 favourite hand care items?
I don't really do anything to my hands or cuticles. Unlike a lot of nail art bloggers, I only paint my nails one day per week (I just paint them a couple times on that day) and it's really humid where I live in the summer, so my hands don't go through much. In the winter, though, I like Vaseline Intensive Repair Moisturizer (I think that's what it's called). It's not scented or anything like that, but it does a great job of moisturizing your hands without leaving them feeling super oily.

5. Do you have other hobbies other than painting your nails?
I think I have too many hobbies! I love knitting, gardening, sewing, baking, reading, doing random DIY projects, and (I'm not sure if these count as hobbies) I also do soccer, flute, and debate. 

6. What is your favourite polish and favourite beauty product?
Ugh, that's a really hard question. I suppose it changes depending on the day -- today it's Jin Soon Tea Rose (which I just used recently for Dandelion Nails). I don't really do much beauty stuff besides nails, so that would also be my favorite beauty product. 

7. How do you take photos for your blog?
I don't have the best setup -- I take them on top of my bookshelf with a sheet of printer paper as the background, with my awesome bendable lamp from Target pointing right at my hand (I usually have to take photos at night so I can't use natural light). Unfortunately, my bookshelf is an awkward height so I always have to contort my hand/arm to get it in the right position! I am planning to build a lightbox soon, though!

8. What is the biggest challenges you've faced with your blog?
Photos! My photos just won't turn out consistently! That and that I don't have 1000 followers... No, just kidding! I love my 50-some followers!

9. What technique that you have not yet tried yet would you like to master?
Stamping! I'm going to order a stamper and scraper and MoYou London's Suki plate 01 sometime soon!

10. What's your go-to mani when you're pushed for time?

Something with tape -- they're super easy and always turn out great! 

11. What mani are you most proud of, and why?
Umm, that's a hard one. Probably my floral nails, because I'm very proud of how my roses looked and I think the whole mani just came together well. 

Thanks for reading!

The Nail Snail :)

Halloween Half Moons

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Today I'm doing Halloween-y half moons, inspired by Craftynail's half moons in Halloween colors (for the 31 day challenge).

halfmoon nail art

After seeing all the beautiful half moon manis (I especially loved Nail Polish Sleuth's and Little Night Flower's!) I wanted to do one of my own.
I was originally intending to use some nice fall-y soothing colors like silver and dark reddish purple or something like that, but then I saw Craftynail's version and realized that I had a textured yellowish-green polish a lot like hers (Deborah Lippmann I Wanna Be Sedated). Thus, Halloween half moon nails were born! I usually tend to do nail art with harmonious colors so this was a big change for me...

Halfmoon nail art

I started with a couple coats of Deborah Lippmann I Wanna Be Sedated and then freehanded the Wet n Wild Black Creme over it. Yeah, my freehanding abilities (I won't even use the word skills) could use some major work. 

And for fun, here's a photo of the DL polish, because it's a textured psychedelic sort of thing:

halfmoon nail art

What do you think of this look? Too weird, or funky and awesomely Halloween-ish? 
(and this might be premature, but what are you going to dress up as for Halloween?)

Thanks for reading!
The Nail Snail :)

Dandelion Nail Art and Jin Soon Tea Rose

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I've broken today's post up into two parts: nail art, and then swatches (because of my photography non-skills... more explanation to come!)

Part 1: Dandelion Nail Art
This week I did dandelion nail art. I've been wanting to do this design for a long time and I finally got around to it!

dandelion nail art

I started with the pink base color, Jin Soon Tea Rose, then drew the flower stem with a detail brush and Wet n Wild Black Creme. Last, I added the white petals with Sally Hansen White Out

My photos are a little weird this time, apologies! I don't know why, but my camera kept making everything dark, and it looked weird when I pumped up the brightness in Photoshop... digital cameras, sigh. I did want to make the flower a little more circular and dandelion-y, but that didn't work out so well. Besides that, I'm pretty happy with what I came up with! 

Part 2: A Mini-Swatch and Review
I was originally intending to do a separate post on swatches for this polish because I like it so much, but I only took one good photo before I did the nail art so I figured it wasn't really worth it. Ugh, starting to hate my camera!

Anyways. The base color for this design, Jin Soon Tea Rose, was actually sitting in my untried pile, despite it being a very expensive and high-quality polish! I'm glad I tried it out for this design. On the product site, it's described as an "unusual light coral pink that is startlingly sweet and feminine". I think that pretty much captures it!

Besides it being a beautiful color, it was also very fun to apply. Like all Jin Soon polishes I've tried, it applies beautifully -- no streaking, opaque in two coats, excellent brush... pretty much everything you'd want in a polish.

The only issues I had were (1) that it dries about 3 minutes slower than average polish and (2) when it does dry it has a kind of rubbery jelly texture that makes you feel like the polish will just come right off any minute (it doesn't though!). However, both those problems can be solved with a coat of Seche Vite so I wouldn't say they're major issues.

What do you think of this polish? What do you think of this nail art design? Also, do you have any tips on making sure that your skin/background are a consistent color in every photo? (I don't have a lightbox but I'm planning to make one myself when I get time)

Thanks for reading!

The Nail Snail :)

Pretty Jelly Polish Demeter Swatches

Friday, September 13, 2013


Today I have another indie polish to show you!

I recently won one free Pretty Jelly Polish of my choice in a giveaway from Lacquer Reverie. It was SO HARD to decide which one I wanted (see the Pretty Jelly Polish Etsy shop -- so many gorgeous polishes!). I finally decided on Demeter (see swatches here and here).

Pretty Jelly Polish Demeter
The green color...

Pretty Jelly Polish Demeter
...and the red-brown color!

It's described as a "green-brown multichrome holo. Shifts from green to blue to purple". I'm not sure I agree with this description. I can't see the blue or purple...? It basically switches from a silvery green (it reminds me of asparagus somehow) to a brown-red color. I suppose Demeter is the god of the harvest, though, and it's definitely very harvest-y.

It did have wonderful application, opacity in two coats (shown is three so I could even it out a little), and fair drying time -- it was a pleasure to put on. While I'm not sure I'm partial to this color, it is a great color for fall. Maybe I'll try it out over gray so it looks a little less asparagus-y. (Random note: this is my first multichrome holo!! It's a milestone!!) 

What Pretty Jelly polish would you have chosen? Have you tried any Pretty Jelly polishes? Let me know what you think of this color! 

Thanks for reading,

The Nail Snail :)

P.S. If you want to order Demeter, it's $12.50 from the Pretty Jelly Etsy shop

Interlocking Dot Nails

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


This week I actually did decent nail art on my left hand! Which is a major accomplishment for me (yeah, I'm left-handed)! Do I get a badge or something?

This design was inspired by a tutorial from I Feel Polished!. Actually, there's an interesting story behind the tutorial: she created it because people were accusing her wearing press-on nails and lying about having done her own nail art! Weird, right? To prove that she actually did do her own nail art, she made a tutorial for her amazing design, and I was like "wait, that isn't so hard after all" so I decided to try it out.

Gradient Nails

Sunday, September 8, 2013


This week's nail art has been inspired by Tyeisha from the Lacquernerd (see her post)

I don't have much to say about this mani -- it's pretty simple and was very easy and fast to do (and I have to do my precalc homework and lab report, bleh).

gradient nails

Darling Diva Zen Pool Swatches

Friday, September 6, 2013


So as I already mentioned, I won four Darling Diva polishes in a giveaway. I swatched two for a guest post, and here's the third (the fourth will be coming sometime soon... hopefully).

Anyways. I thought this was going to be a jelly, but it wasn't... or if it was, it would've required like six coats to get it opaque, so I tried it over a dark blue. I'm not sure if this really works...?

Piggy Paints Swatches (Guest Nails)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


So, I'm still mostly sticking to the whole paint-your-nails-just-once-a-week thing so whenever I buy new polish that I really want to swatch I have to wait, forever...but this time I found a swatching victim-I-mean-volunteer!

This polish is interesting -- it's water-based, so it has almost no smell but it stays on like regular nail polish! (the brand is Piggy Paint, I'm not sure what the name of this color is)

My friend offered to let me swatch this polish on his nails (many thanks!! I mean, it was pretty cool of him) but it just didn't turn out so great:

Piggy Paint

Deborah Lippmann Harem Silks From Bombay Swatches


In the Dark Clouds mani I said I was going to do swatches of the base color I used -- a dark purply shimmer. Well, it was actually a matte polish, but I didn't realize that until I started doing the design:

Harem Silks From Bombay

Dark Cloud Nails

Monday, September 2, 2013


Originally I was planning to do some color block nails with striping tape, but then I felt like I wanted to do something freehand, so I decided to do cloud nails!

Most people do cloud nail with bright pinks, whites, and blues, but I really wanted to try out these two polishes I have, an orange holo and Harlem Silks From Bombay (swatches of that one later).

As you can see, my freehand skills do need a lot of practice! Actually, it was pretty easy overall but using a holo polish for the layer near the tips = not a good idea. I had to kinda glob the polish on to get it to be opaque, and then the clouds turned into blobby things. Grrr. Oh well, they look pretty good from a couple feet away! (I mean, except for the pinky. Apparently Seche Vite wasn't as quick-drying as I thought)

cloud nails