Baby Dog!

New month, new nail art prompts from one of my FB groups, and what was going to be a quick cute something for a couple of days ended up being my look for most of a week.  The prompt was "baby" and while I just don't particularly care for people babies, I have been spending a whole lot of quality time with my sweet baby dog, who happens to be fawn & white, so voila!

I've started here with 4 very thin, super smooth coats of Girly Bits Eggnogoholic - I said the first time that I wore it that I wasn't sure it would come to opacity even by 4, and whaddyaknow, it does indeed!  Over this off-white creamy speckly base, I've added paw prints & an "I heart/paw my dog" image from Marianne Pro No 20, and the A++ sighthound image from MoYou London Animal 01 in Super Chic Rum Billie.

Hope you're finding zen with your pupper kiddos as well,

Ethereal Lacquer Blood Orange

Like he does every so often, the man picked "red" when I needed some color assistance, and a real beauty had just recently arrived...

Ethereal Lacquer Blood Orange is the sort of red that just might look fantastic on almost everyone.  The base is a cooler, berry-toned red jelly, but the shimmer it's loaded with is a warm-toned subtle duochrome that goes from gold to red.  The resultant look is simultaneously berry and fire engine, and that's a nifty trick.

In low light, you get a satiny smooth subly metallic red, but in bright light the shimmer comes out as glowy sparks.

This is a jelly, so goes on somewhat sheer.  The first coat leans much more cool-toned with the wash of the base color, then a little warmer as the shimmer builds up on the second, and finally that unusual balance between cold and warm comes with opacity at the third coat.

As most of us are lately, I've been feeling a little blah and done with the whole world, and so reached for this image of a w…

Tonic Green UP Prototype - Frog Pond Mani

My last of this month's nail art challenge prompts was "frogs."  There was a gorgeous manicure posted for PPU a few months ago that had me purchasing both the beautiful lime green stamping polish and the plate with the cute frog design, and I considered just remaking the same one, but then found another untried polish that needed love.

At last year's Tonic prototype sale, I'd received a pretty multichrome that I swapped for this bright lime green UP proto.  It's unlabeled with number or working title, and just has the gold unicorn face sticker that she used to label the ones with that Clarins 230 type shimmer.

This proto is a sheer jelly polish with plenty of sparkle.  Noticing how sheer it was inspired me to use it like an old-skool jelly for a pond mani.  The idea behind these is that you sandwich a dot or shape in white polish between layers of the jelly, where they highlight the translucency as the color builds up over the opaque white.  Ideally, the jell…

Ethereal Lacquer Ophidia

I'm still playing with the nail art challenge prompts on facebook, and while "ladybugs" had me reaching for colors & plates right away, the other ones need a bit more thinking about to come up with a design that I like. For this round, I'm working on "penguins"...hmmm...

I've started with Ethereal Lacquer Ophidia, a recent jewel from PPU.  It's a very soft, sheer off-white that's absolutely loaded with aurora shimmer to give the look of iridescent snakeskin.  You could probably use this as a topper in one thick coat, as long as you picked a color where the impact of the milky base would look nice.

Most typically, aurora and Clarins 230-type toppers and polishes are done in darker bases to really make the transition from red to bronze to green pop.  Ophidia still shows that shift beautifully, but it's a more subtle, gauzy, fairy-like way that's very much in keeping with Ethereal Lacquer's "house style."  The green shift …

Orange & Aqua Dry-brush Marble

I've been having fun playing with nail art challenge prompts lately, but one that stumped me from the start was simply the color orange.  Orange and yellow are just not my jam, and I have only a small amount of either specifically for nail art.  Pondering that reminded me I'd picked up an orange crème polish late last year in case of Halloween needs, and a google images search gave me plenty of ways to make orange more appealing to me.

For a first attempt after watching this inspo video, which had a gorgeous look but no how-to pointers, I absolutely love how this came out.

On my stamper head, I've dry brushed first in Flormar Coral Red, which is neither of those things, but instead a bright sunny orange crème.  After that, there's a few swipes of Dance Legend Triumph, a dusty navy jelly with holo flake.  Finally, I lightly covered the whole thing with one coat of a medium aqua shimmer polish.

Dry brushing tips:  before starting, wipe off nearly all the polish back into…

Green holo duochrome comparison: Asylum, Dryad's Grove, O'Rlyeh?, Holiday 2014

Pulling Asylum out of my stash this past week reminded me that I'd originally bought it just a couple of months after Tonic polish released their amazing Dryad's Grove in a collab box.  I wanted the Tonic very much, but had no interest in the rest of the polishes, and unfortunately that was the case for a whole lot of people - prices quickly soared on the secondhand market.  Another month or so later, and Great Lakes Lacquer released O'Rlyeh?, another gorgeous green in the same vein.  I also managed to snap up a bottle of Enchanted's Holiday LE from 2014 from a destash.  And then last year, Tonic sent another few dozen bottles of Dryad's Grove out into the world as part of a mystery bag sale.

All swatches go in order of the bottle shots here:

Index: Glitter Daze AsylumMiddle:  Tonic Dryad's GroveRing:  Great Lakes Lacquer O'Rlyeh?Pinky:  Enchanted Polish Holiday 2014 So right up front:  none of these are 100% dupes.  But all of them absolutely have a similar…

Glitter Daze Asylum + Spring Ladybirds

After last week's flurry of inspiration with that Creative Shop plate, I kinda ran out of steam.  Fortunately, a few nail polish fb groups do monthly or weekly challenges, including an April prompt for ladybug-themed designs.

I've started with 3 coats of Glitter Daze Asylum, which was released back in 2017 for Hella Handmade (or was it still Hella Holo back then??).  Asylum is a beautiful forest green linear holo that's also duochromatic. 

In bright light, of course, the sparkling rainbow arc takes center stage, with the slightly sheer jelly-type formula allowing all the light-bending elements to shine through easily.

The contrast shimmer in Asylum never completely takes it over - this is not duochrome where the shifting colors are the whole reason to be - but is more a supporting part.  It's always definitively green, but the center of the holo flame is filled in with a metallic flash of plum (above).

With angled lighting, the shimmer shifts to bronze, the peridot, an…