Here is my nail art so far during the year 2013. Hopefully it is at least slightly improved since last year!
Happy New Year 2013
I already posted this nail design in the 2012 nail art gallery, but I am posting it again, just because I’m feeling festive at this time of year and want to get as much out of the holidays as possible!
Below are my Mom’s nails, which are supposed to look like they have sparkly confetti.
Sparkle Fade Nails
My aunt apparently liked her sparkly New Year’s nails so much, she wanted another sparkly nail design. This is surprising, since she usually has a strong aversion to sparkly nail polish because it’s so hard to remove.
The tips of her nails are sparkly silver, with a lighter layer of silver underneath that, which fades as it gets closer to the base of the nail.
She got the same sort of sparkle fade design a week later. This one (below) is silver sparkles over a dark purple color I mixed myself. It doesn’t look so great in this photo, but I thought the color was pretty good.
The Jeweled Tiger
Above are my nails, which are supposed to look like tiger stripes. I embellished them with nail art jewels. Unfortunately, the jewels always fall off within a day or two of putting them on… but at least I have the pictures of this design’s day of glory!
When my dad saw this design, he remarked, “very patriotic.” He says that any time I have striped nails!
My mom ended up happy with it, even though I thought I could have done a better job.
The Barbie-Approved Mani
I didn’t intend for this design to end up looking like something out of a Barbie commercial, but I fear it looks exactly that way.
Don’t get me wrong: this nail design was fun to wear… I just felt it was a little better suited to a certain overly optimistic blond girl with a plastic body.
I wanted this nail design to be reminiscent of the American flag: the red-orange and white stripes are like the stripes on the flag, the turquoise and gold is sort of like the blueness of the blue background for the stars, and the black middle fingers have sparkles and stars on them to celebrate the 50 stars themselves.
In honor of the upcoming holiday of Valentine’s Day, I decided to do this nail design which is supposed to sort of look like strawberries drizzled with white and dark chocolate.
I know most strawberries aren’t this shade of pink, and precious few have sparkles at the top, but I just couldn’t resist!
Valentine’s Day 2013
I was pretty proud of this design, which I wore the week of Valentine’s Day.
Again, I used nail gems, those tempting tormentors that leave you heartbroken as they come off after a day or two. But they looked so appealing, they were calling me… I had to use them! Even with the disappointment that comes with losing them.
Everyone’s bound to be a tad disappointed on Valentine’s Day, aren’t they? You either don’t get the present you want, or don’t get to kiss your crush like you’d hoped… it’s a highly commercialized and not always romantic holiday. But I won’t let that stop me from dressing my nails to the occasion!
This week I did my aunt’s nails. I really wanted to use a sparkly purple color that looked great with the purple base coat she’d chosen, but she refused because the sparkly polish is so hard to take off. But I caught her looking longingly at the sparkles anyway, and begged her until she conceded. (She wanted them anyway. And who could blame her?) It’s a compromise: just a little bit of sparkles.
Migration of the Swirls
Remember last year, when my mom and aunt started asking me to do swirls on their nails every week? That trend has died down somewhat, but the swirls are making an appearance elsewhere… not on the fingernails, they migrated to my aunt’s toenails for this pedicure!
Nails with a Message
My mom’s nails are done in the OPI color Dim Sum Plum. She wanted Chinese symbols as decoration, so I looked it up on the internet and actually found a site about Kanji, which is used in the Japanese language but is (according to this site) Chinese characters. I did my best to copy the characters on her nails. According to the website, these ones translate (from left to right): fire and mountain.
And this one is supposed to be the symbol for big, though I think I altered it by accident from the original. “Big Fire Mountain.” My mom says it sounds like the name of a Disneyland ride.
This is my nail design for this week, the week after V-day. I was sick of reds so I went for blues. The two colors swirled together are supposed to be reminiscent of marble.
Not sure how successful this design is. It might just look like a mess to some people, but I kind of like it!
We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific this weekend, and I saw these beautiful hot pink and orange fish. I tried to mimic their colors on my nails.
I’m not sure if the picture really shows the color contrast so well. But I think this design is fit for a mermaid!
Rose Nail Color
Below is a custom nail color I mixed up for my aunt. It reminds me of a princess in a rose garden in a fairy tale.
Two Tortoise Treasures
Though a tortoise probably doesn’t appear in the top ten list of most elegant creatures on earth, I think it inspired two nail designs to really treasure! My mom had the idea of me giving her a nail design to sort of mimic the pattern on each hexagonal plate of the shell of a tortoise we saw at the zoo that day.
It’s a subtle design, but here’s a close-up view:
My nails are… let’s just say, less subtle. A lot less. Sparkly purple, hot magenta, gold glitter…
But the design is the same idea, inspired by the stripes on the tortoise. I did my stripes coming from all different directions.
The Wonderful Nails of Oz
This tiger-stripe nail design is coated with the glamorous new OPI nail color, “When Monkeys Fly” from their new Oz Collection.
“Baby You’re A Firework…”
Yeah, the song is old and perhaps nobody really likes it these days, but every time I look at this nail design I have a flashback to that song.
I did the striped design first, then applied the stars using “Hollywood Walk of Fame” from the Fergie collection of Wet n Wild nail polish.
When I look at my nails, they make me think of an explosive celebration of bright fireworks in the night sky.
The Stranger Nails
No, this nail design is not strange. Well, maybe a little. But I’m calling it The Stranger Nail Design for a different reason: it is my English project on Albert Camus’ The Stranger! My mom was adventurous enough to let me do the design on her nails.
Each nail represents something society challenges about the main character, or something he challenges about society. I won’t go into detail about the analysis and stuff, but here are a couple of our favorite nails from this design:
1) Stylized lips to represent improper romance:
My First Pedi of Spring
Since it’s starting to warm up now, I gave myself a pedicure. This is my first pedi since last summer.
I think this bright design reflects the themes of spring: celebration, happiness and light. Now here’s a close-up of my big toe (because who wouldn’t want to see my big toe up close 🙂 )
Water Marble Nails
This was the first time I ever tried to do a water marble nail design. It was a mess, and I’m not sure the end result was worth it:
My mom says the nails look psychedelic… is that a compliment?
After my spring break trip to Las Vegas, I wanted to paint my nails in a fun, Vegas-inspired design that would bring back good memories of the vacation. So I did an interpretive design based on the classic Las Vegas showgirls. You know, the ones with the red feathers and skimpy red leotards?
I thought I captured the idea of their outfits pretty well. The fingernails besides the thumb are supposed to resemble the leotards:
And the thumb nails are supposed to have sort of a feathery design, like the feather headdresses:
Unfortunately, not everyone seemed to see the nails my way. I had someone ask me if they were Chinese characters, and another person said they looked like the Confederate flag! Oh, well, at least I knew what they were. And I’m sure if I ever become a manicurist for Vegas showgirls, they will appreciate my style!
That’s what I think this manicure, which I did for my aunt, resembles. And not necessarily in a bad way. She said the squiggly lines looked like sunbeams in a stylized drawing of the sun.
You Spilled Something
The concept of this nail design on my mom is a splash of dark blue paint that starts on her left pinky, and as you look at the following fingers they become less and less covered with the splash of paint, so more of the purple underneath shows. I know this isn’t the greatest description; maybe a visual will help you understand better:
Doesn’t it look like someone spilled blue ink on the left side of her hands and the splatter affected all the nails? Here’s a closer view of the left hand:
And the right hand:
I wanted to use multiple colors on my mom’s paint splatter nails (above), but she was too conservative and insisted on one color only. So I simply did my own nails with as many colors as I pleased, the full repertoire of a nail artist’s palette. (Well, I have a giant nail polish collection, so this is only part of my repertoire. It still looks pretty, though!)
When my mom saw these nails, I thought she seemed a little jealous. Maybe she wishes she had colorful nails like me. Next time!
These nails kind of remind me of Easter Eggs – too bad that holiday is already past!
Glamorous Leopard Print
We meant for these nails (my aunt’s) to look like a splatter of paint like mine (above), but somehow they turned out looking like turquoise and bronze leopard print.
They also match my purse purr-fectly!
Somewhere, Over The Rainbow…
These are my mom’s nails in all the colors of the rainbow. (Well, some of them, anyway.)
Elegant Marble Nails
A few weeks ago I tried to do a water marble nail design, and it was really messy and didn’t yield the greatest result. So today I tried not using water, and simply swirling the different nail polish colors into each other. I think it worked better this way than the water marble – and there was no mess to speak of, either.
I daresay this is my new go-to method for marble nails.
I wanted the colors to be reminiscent of the ocean waves; I think it worked out pretty well.
Close view of the thumbs:
I’m just so happy with this design; I can’t stop adding more pictures of it!
I tried another marble mani using the same technique the next week, only with different colors.
I don’t like this one as much as the blue one, to be honest.
Am I just being too picky, or is this just not as good?
The Holstein Cows From Outer Space
Okay, so maybe the name I gave this nail design sounds like a horror movie from the 1950s, but you have to admit, the cow print in green and turquoise makes you think “Neptune!”
And I mean that in a good way. The idea to do a Holstein cow design in these two colors was entirely my mom’s, and I must say it turned out better than I’d expected.
Hot Cinnamon French Mani
This is a twist on the traditional “French manicure”, with a sparkly base color, blue tips, and on top of it all, even more sparkles (of course.)
“Hot Cinnamon” is the name of the reddish color covering most of each of my nails. I just love that name!
You Spilled Something (AGAIN)
I guess my mom is just into the splatter design. She asked me to do another one for her like I did several weeks ago. This time the “ink splatter” originates at the middle finger of each hand and spreads out.
Spring Has Sprung
The day I did these nails it was just so nice out, and all the flowers were in bloom and I saw green, healthy leaves everywhere… I knew I had to immortalize the beautiful spring day in a nail design.
It’s kind of hard to see in the picture, but this design has different shades of green in leafy shapes, with some little pink curlicues to represent flowery tendrils.
A Hearty Pedi
Literally. As in hearts on my toenails. How sweet is that?
Here’s a close-up of the best heart:
Pretty good, if I do say so myself.
“Modern Art” Nails
I’m not sure if this design really qualifies as modern art, but that’s what my mom and I have been calling it. Here are her two nails I embellished with my added modern art flair:
No, I’m not graduating! (YET.) But I’m playing in my orchestra to serenade this year’s seniors at my school this week. So I did my nails to match the blue caps and gowns. I added a copper-colored sparkly top coat for extra flair.
Half Salon Mani
I went to a nail salon with some friends this week. It was the first time I’d ever been to a professional salon. I kept things simple and just got a solid blue color. The next day, I added my own stripes in turquoise.
After doing my mom’s nails, I noticed I’d gotten a big ugly splotch of black nail polish on my thumb nail. To cover it up, I used nail stickers of Hawaiian-y flowers.
I got in the mood and added stickers to some more of my nails:
And now, for the infamous design I was doing for my mom, which caused all these stickers…
At Whole Foods recently, my mom and I saw these orchids for sale:
And from that, this nail design was born:
It doesn’t look exactly like the orchids, but it was inspired by them. Here’s a closer look at some of the decorated nails:
This design was pretty hard to do, but I think it turned out pretty well. Here are the thumb nails:
Swirls and Curls
This design is supposed to sort of give the impression of the multi-colored tendrils of some exotic plant, growing up from the base of the nail and curling at the top. But you can interpret the design however it appears to you.
I did this on a new Essie color, “DJ Play That Song.” Here’s a closer look at some of the nails:
I call this design “French Polka” because most of the nails have pink “French-mani” tips, and the blue-and-pink sparkly dots on the blue nails are and OPI topcoat called “Polka.Com.” Cute, isn’t it?
The reason my middle fingers ended up gold is because my friend was testing out different colors on my nails and arbitrarily chose to do gold on just the middle fingers. (Later I went home and added the design.) I mean no suggestion of insult or disrespect by having the middle fingers emphasized.
Below are my mom’s nails, with a design she came up with: leafy vines growing across each nail.
Two thumbs up for the “Organic” design!
July 4th 2013
Hooray for Independence Day! I love to express my patriotism on my nails.
Every year I try to get creative with my July 4th nails, and this design is a play on the American flag.
Yes, I know some of the nails resemble the French flag, but they aren’t exactly the same because the French flag has the white stripe in the middle, between the red and blue. I’ll save that design for Le Quatorze Juillet! (Bastille Day.) For now, let’s enjoy the stars and stripes!
I thought this design was neat, but no one else has given me any compliments so far.
Speckled and Striped
What else was I to call this pedicure? The name pretty much describes it:
The speckled nails remind me of “The Speckled Egg,” some video I watched in preschool or something. My favorite are the turquoise striped nails.
The Computer Age
This design is on my mom’s nails. I decided to do the curlicues, and the astrisk on the pointer finger was her idea. I think it’s cool and it makes me think of computer symbols. Here’s the pointer finger:
On the thumb, You’ll see another astrisk and some more curlicues, as well as some equals signs. Isn’t that neat? The equals signs were also my mom’s idea. I know the photo is a bit blurry, but here it is:
Quatorze Juillet 2013
Quatorze Juillet is the French Independence Day. Since I’m studying the French language, I feel some connection to France and want to celebrate the French Independence Day… at least on my nails! Most of the nails are simply pink with a turquoise “French tip.”
Notice that radio tower on the pointer finger? Well, actually it’s not a radio tower, it just turned out to look like one. It’s supposed to be the Eiffel Tower. Doesn’t it look like the Eiffel Tower? Sort of?
On the right pinky finger I did a curlicue design just because I feel like it. I’m not sure the French invented the curlicue, but it looks nice in this design and I’m sure the French do use curlicues from time to time.
The Reverse Witch
Most witches have long nails with sharp, pointy tips. This nail design has the sparkly purple tips pointed towards the base of the nail, the opposite of a witch nail. Maybe it could be used to ward off witchcraft…
Pretty in Pink
For this nail design on my mom, she wanted each nail a different shade of pink. Simple, but surprisingly cool!
Minnie Mouse Pedi
This pedicure on my aunt reminds me of Minnie Mouse because of the silver dots. It makes me think of her dotted red dress, though the toenails are pink.
Surprising Sparkle Fade
I call this design “surprising” because the light blue combined with sort of salmon-y pink sparkles sounds like a weird combination… but it works quite well!
Blue and Green Pedi
When I got this new lime green nail color, I was desperate to use it right away on my toenails. I added turquoise and blue swirls on the big toes to try and give the design the effect of ocean waves.
The smaller toenails have the same turquoise and blue colors, as a sort of French tip.
I have to say this may be my favorite toenail design so far!
First I put on my newest pink nail polish. To jazz it up, I came up with this idea for the tips:
It’s like a diagonal French tip, with chunky sparkles above the magenta tips.
Ain’t that something? In fact, my mom liked it so much she requested I do the same design on her light blueish-purple nails.
For these, the line is silver, and the sparkles are dark purple. My mom was afraid it looked sort of like dirty fingernails. But I say most dirt is not such a pretty color of purple…
I’ve wanted to do flowers on my toenails for the longest time. But alas, every time I tried it it’s always turned out horrible…until now.
I can’t help but be proud of these Hawaiian-style flowers. I’ve been bragging about them to everyone who’ll listen. Here’s a closer look at the left toenail (sorry for bad photo quality):
And here is the right toenail close up:
Oh yes I di-id! And Aloha to you too!
Leafy Pink Nails
Once my mom saw my flower toenails, she was reminded of the leaves I’ve done before on her nails. This time she got green leaves on my newest pink: an Essie shade called “Boom Boom Boom.”
Timeless Tiger Stripes
I call them “timeless” because I’ve done tiger stripes countless times on my nails, and somehow I keep coming back to them; they never go out of style as far as I’m concerned. It may be hard to see in the photo, but these nails have copper-colored sparkles at the tips.
Here’s a closer look:
Tie Dye Nails
This may be my favorite nail design of all time! (So far…) I just randomly decided to try doing different patterns in tie-dye colors. Inadvertently, I made every nail mirror its counterpart (i.e. the ring fingers look the same, the middles look the same, etc.) The only nails that don’t follow this unintended pattern are the two pinkies.
Both thumbs have spirals:
These are two of my favorites:
Ring finger on the other hand, of course, has almost the same exact pattern:
Fall Palette Pedi
I call this a fall palette because it seems to be sort of like an artist’s palette, with all the colors of changing autumn leaves splattered together as if dripped by a paintbrush onto a color palette.
It also sort of resembles rocks in the tide pools, a tribute to the fact that it is actually still summer, but everyone thinks it’s fall because school is inexplicably starting smack dab in the middle of August nowadays.
Stripes and Spots
I was actually quite proud of this nail design, which I wore for the first full week of school. I think it could be wrapping paper for a birthday present (especially a present of nail polish!)
But from a distance, it is quite striking. Also very good for one of my crazy designs. Here is a closer look at the thumbnails:
The Holstein Cows From The Ballet Recital
Remember “the Holstein Cows from Outer Space?” This design on my mom’s nails is a sequel. But these Holstein cows are much more girly and enjoy pink ballet leotards.
See the cow spots on three select nails? Here are the thumbs:
I tried to do a plaid design on my toenails, and after a couple attempts I’d say I was pretty successful. Mostly.
Here’s a closer look at the
right better side:
Optical Illusion Nails
What color are my nails? Lavender…
Actually, both! See? I totally fooled you, didn’t I?
Okay, maybe not. But the half-and-half design is at least a little cool, right?
Land of The Free and Home of the Munchkins
I know that’s a really weird title for a nail design. But once I tell you the whole story, it will all make sense. See, I started out with the idea to do a sort of stylized, reverse American flag design, with the stripes on the blue and the stars on the red.
Then it struck me that my nails TOTALLY looked like “The Wizard of Oz”… the blue with white is Dorothy’s dress, the red is the ruby slippers.
So instead of adding stars over the red polish, I lined it with gold to represent the yellow brick road. Some people say the nails still look patriotic, others – myself included – can only think Wizard of Oz when they see this mani. What do you think?
A simple title for a simple, yet striking mani on my mom:
She went for just enough sparkle to catch the eye.
Lines or Spines?
In my drawing class at school, we recently learned about positive and negative shapes. For example, that famous image of the vase/faces: do you see what is, or what is not?
This nail design is kind of inspired by the idea of positive and negative shapes. On the nails with a darker purple design, do you see the lines coming out from the center, or do you see the sharp spaces left in between, as the focus?
Do you see lines, or spines?
A Special Treat
Once in a blue moon, my mom will allow me to do whatever design I want on her nails, with no direction whatsoever from her. These occasions are a special, rare treat.
This design was one of those special treats. She called it a “present” for me in return for me not squabbling too much with my little brother over the weekend!
I was pretty proud of what I dreamed up for the ring fingers (above) and thumbnails (below):
Cinderella’s Carriage Nails
I’ve never been a big fan of Cinderella, but I just came up with this random idea to do a nail design based on the blue dress she wears in the Disney movie. After all, I happen to have an amazing nail polish that’s similar to the color of that dress. On the thumbnail, I did a sort of bustle like Cinderella’s dress has in the cartoon:
To sort of tell the story, I threw in some orange nails with leaves at the top, representative of pumpkins. You know, because of the pumpkin carriage?
Since Halloween is coming up this month, I decided to make one of the pumpkins a jack-o-lantern. I intended for the jack-o-lantern to look evil, but I think it turned out to just look kind of funny. Or maybe it’s both evil and funny!
This nail design was meant to emulate that ancient tribal style of beaded, feathered apparel. The brown nails have Nails Inc. Feather polish on them in the shade Cornwall.
Here’s a closer look at some of the nails:
The left thumbnail is adorned in dotty beads, while the right is embellished with feathers.
Bar Mitzvah Bling
For my brother’s Bar Mitzvah, I went for simple and stylish: a reddish purple hue emblazoned with nail gems!
I call this design “Miss Interpreted” because at first, no one could agree on what it was. Some said it was a Halloween design. Others couldn’t imagine it as a Halloween theme at all. Some thought the sparkles were silver, whereas others thought they were gold.
FYI: I intended it just to be an artsy design, nothing to do with Halloween. And the sparkles are in fact gold, not silver. (Well really they’re probably just some sort of chemical alloy or whatever made to look gold. But you get the idea.
Regardless of how it was received, I was pretty proud of my artistry in this nail design.
It started out with this blue color my mom really wanted. It’s a lovely color, isn’t it? Then my mom let me come up with my own design to add on a few nails. Here’s what I did:
It may be hard to see, but there is a gold and silver accent on the right pointer and left ring fingers.
This is a spacey variation on the British flag. I didn’t intend it to be reminiscent of outer space. But when I look at it, it makes me think of aliens!
Here’s a closer look:
Halloween Nails 2013
These nails may not look very Halloween-y. But they matched my costume, which was supposed to be an ancient Egyptian goddess.
Thumbs up for Halloween!
Orange You Blue?
I’m blue that this design was on my mom’s nails, not my own. I was skeptical it would turn out at first, but ended up envious because it turned out so well.
I guess this design is pretty self-explanetory: nails of two complementary colors, with occasional stripes of the opposite color. Simple, but effective!
3D Ribbon Nails
I originally intended these nails to resemble a pink ribbon streaming across the gray background. Then I added a purple side to the pink ribbon. It may be hard to see in the bad photos, but this added a bit of a 3d effect.
Sorry for the fuzzy pics; I did my best!
Here’s one thumbnail:
and the other: (slightly better photo!)
This design didn’t get much love from the critics. I guess it’s a little too Easter-y for mid-fall!
Thanksgiving Nails 2013
I wanted to do a festive design for the occasion, but one that was also unique. Seriously, turkey nails are WAY overdone. They’re cute, and all, but I wanted my design this year to exhibit my personal style. Not to mention, the fact that I am a vegetarian!
So I did some fall leaves on a background of light dusty brown, to represent the turning of the seasons. Here’s a closer look at some of the nails:
Hannukah Nails 2013
Hannukah is also known as the “festival of lights.” That’s what inspired me to do this design on my aunt’s nails for the holiday: each nail represents a blue candle flame.
For my own nails this Hannukah, I made eight of my fingers the eight candles of the menorah (minus the helper candle.) The two thumbs were just blue with glitter to represent frosty winter windows through which a fiery menorah could be glimpsed (you know, in places where it actually snows.)
I was pretty proud of my sort of abstract-ish candle flames:
This started out as an attempt to paint snowflakes on my nails. When I realized that simply wasn’t working for me, I fell into despair…for about five minutes until the idea of snow flowers popped into my head.
In second grade, I used to read this picture book about different flower fairies. One of my favorites was the snow flower fairy, who braved chilly weather to make the flowers bloom.
A lot of people complimented me on these icy blooms. It makes me so happy when people notice my nails! My favorite was the thumbnail:
Christmas Nails 2013
I got a lot of compliments on this nail design, even though it isn’t exactly a “design” at all – all I did was paint the nails in Christmas-y colors and add sparkle. But sometimes the simplest designs are the most popular.
New Year’s Nails 2014
I did this design on Christmas day in anticipation of the new year, because I couldn’t start out 2014 with bare nails! I intended this design to look like fireworks in the starry night sky.
Some people said it looked like cleave lights, or disco lights. My cousin said it looked like a party was going on in my nails.
Hopefully the coming year will bring plenty of thumbs up for my nail art!