Friday, April 17, 2015

5 Things I've Learned About Blogging

This upcoming Sunday marks my three year blogiversary. Three years! In a lot of ways it feels like I've been blogging forever and in others I still feel like a newbie. The one thing that is exciting- and at times a bit frustrating - is that there is always something new to learn. Not just in terms of nail art but with the ins and outs of blogging itself. Looking back to when I first started blogging I laugh at how utterly clueless I was about it. I had been doing nail art and posting on my Facebook profile for awhile and friends kept urging me to start a blog. I shrugged and thought, "Why not?" And that was that. I did no research, no planning, nada. This now makes me cringe. Why? Because my learning curve was looooong (I actually just went back and added another extra "o" on this it was that long). Super long. I still feel like I'm walking that curve sometimes. SEO. What's that?! Photography. Huh? Blog Statistics. Wha-? 

Yes dear readers - I was clue-less! I can't say that I have the advantage of doing tons of research before starting Valiantly Varnished. But I can say that learning everything while actually blogging has given me a bit of extra insight. So as my blogiversary looms, I have decided to compile a little list of the biggest lessons I've learned over the last three years.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sheer Matte Polka Dot Nail Art

Happy hump day peeps! Today's nail art is a technique that I have been wanting to try for awhile. I have seen various versions of it on Instagram and Pinterest. It looks simple and easy - and it is - once you find the technique that works for you. Which was a bit trial and error for me. For my version all you need are three polishes: A clear polish, a black polish and a matte top coat! Pretty simple right?

Tools used:
MoYou Plate Pro Plate 10
Small striping brush.

Polishes used:
Clear Polish
Zoya Willa
Konad Black
KBShimmer Clearly on Top
OPI Matte Top Coat

I tried a few techniques before settling on this one. I found it to be the easiest. I started by adding drops of Willa into a bottle of clear polish. I basically kept adding drops until I reached my desired opacity, which was slightly lighter than a black jelly polish would be. I then applied three thin coats of my sheer black and a coat of Clearly on Top to speed up the drying process. I then used Pro Plate 10 and Konad Black for the polka dots. This is entirely optional. You can always used a dotting tool and your black polish but I'm not very good at keeping my small dots uniform so I opted for stamping. I then used my striping brush and Willa to create the black frame around my nails. I finished with my Matte Top Coat.

So what do you all think? Would you try this technique? I love how simple it is and yet really eye-catching and dare I say - sexxxy?? ;)

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Tweed Pattern Double Stamping

Hi all! With the weather finally turning around and beginning to feel like Spring, I was in the mood to wear one of my favorite "Spring-colored" polishes, American Apparel L'Esprit. I decided to jazz it up a bit with some double stamping nail art.

Tools used:
Bundle Monster plate 706
Color4nails Crystal Veil

Polishes used: 
American Apparel L'Esprit
Pueen White in White
Konad Black
KBShimmer Clearly on Top

This was super easy and simple to do. After applying L'Esprit, and allowing it to dry I applied a thin coat of Crystal and allowed it to dry. I stamped my tweed pattern with Konad Black to half of my nail. I then stamped with White in White on the other half. I finished with a coat of Clearly on Top.

L'Esprit is one of my all time favorite pastel polishes. It's one of those shades that always looks amazing with nail art over it.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Listening, Reading, Watching - Valiantly Varnished Week in Review

Happy Friday gang! It's been a minute since I've done a weekly roundup. I've really missed doing them. I love talking with you guys about stuff other than polish (gasp!). I wanted to catch you all up on what I've been listening to, reading and watching over the past week!

So I know I am embarrassingly late on this one but I just discovered Birdy and I'm obsessed! I have been listening to both of her albums on repeat. Her cover of Phoenix's 1901 is everything!

Technically I have been listening to this as well. I have been so busy lately that I haven't  had as much time for reading as I would like. So I found the perfect solution to this problem: Audiobooks! I am currently reading listening to Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I am about halfway through and I love it. It's an added bonus that to hear her read her own words. It makes them even funnier. She also has guest appearances by people like Patrick Stewart, Seth Myers and Kathleen Turner! If you have this book on your to-read list I highly recommend the audio version. Just be prepared to laugh out loud on street corners and have people give you strange looks. Totally worth it though.

I binge-watch the first season of The Red Road last weekend and am now obsessed. The second season started last week. It's such a good show! It stars the gorgeous Jason Momoa (aka Khal Drago from Game of Thrones and the new Aquaman!) and takes place on in the Lenape territory in New Jersey. I won't too much else because the plots has some great twists and turns in it. The first season is only six episodes so you can totally binge-watch it without wasting an entire weekend.

And that's what I've been doing with my free time. Beside nail art of course! What has you all been listening to reading and watching?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

TBT: 3D Nail Art Week

If you've been reading Valiantly Varnished on a regular basis then you probably know that I have a slight obsession with sticking stuff on my nails. Studs, rhinestones, beads, you name it. I love it so much that I did an entire week of nail art posts dedicated to my obsession. For today in honor of #TBT, I have decided to look back at the nail art from that glorious week! Click on the pics to read the original posts!

Day 1 - Spike Nails with Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in Lick-o-Rich

Day 2 - Dr. Who Nail Art

Day 3 - Betsey Johnson-inspired Roses and Studs

Day 4 - Rhinestone Cascade

Day 5 - Dried Flowers

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Hi all! My name is Ameerah and I'm a nail polish addict. Valiantly Varnished is my creative outlet and my way of expressing and sharing my love of nail polish, nail art and makeup!





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