Gold Paisley Stamping

Happy Friday everyone! A couple of weeks ago I treated myself to a few polishes from A-England. A-England is one of my favorite indie polish brands, so if you are unfamiliar with the it I highly recommend checking it out. Beautiful colors, amazing formulas...what more could you want, right? I picked up Her Rose Adagio (which I used in Monday's Pastel Galaxy Nail Art), as well as In Robe and Crown, Angel Grace and King Cophetua, which is what I used as my base for today's nail art. King Cophetua is a gorgeous black holo polish. If you want to see what it looks like on it's own in sunlight, check out my Instagram. For today's nail art I paired it with some gold paisley stamping!

Tools used:

Moyra Stamping Plate 16

Ellagee Lickity Split Liquid Latex Barrier

Polishes used:

A-England King Cophetua

Hit the Bottle Spun Gold

KBShimmer Clearly on Top

Steps: I started with one coat of King Cophetua (that's rights folks - it's a one coater like most A-England polishes!), I then applied Lickity Split around my cuticles and used my standard stamping method. I finished with KBShimmer Clearly on Top.

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I wish the beauty of King Cophetua shined through a bit more in this design, but it's pretty nonetheless. This is certainly a more Fall/Winter shade but every now and then a girl likes to break out her vampy shades , no matter the season, right?

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Spring Pastel Galaxy Nail Art

Hellloo gang! Spring has sprung and it's glorious (I am choosing to ignore the rain and thunderstorms that come along with it). I have been in the mood to do some galaxy nail art but traditional galaxy nails tend to be pretty dark and vampy. So, I decided to a pastel version of galaxy nails instead. I wasn't sure about these when I finished them so I asked you all on Instagram if I should go ahead and post them and you said yes. So here they are!

Tools used:

Striping Brush

Makeup Sponge

Polishes used:

A-England Her Rose Adagio (base color)

China Glaze Def Defying

Zoya Pippa

OPI Crawfishin for a Compliment, I Got Myself Into a Jam-Balaya

Hit the Bottle Snowed In (for stars)

KBShimmer Clearly on Top

Steps:

This was truly a hodge-podge of Spring-inspired polishes thrown together. I had already had my nails painted with Her Rose Adagio from the previous day so I started with that as my base color. It's a beautiful soft soft silverish pink on its on. I then lightly sponged on my various colors layering them on top of one another. I finished with using my striping brush to create a few stars and a coat of Clearly on Top.

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I wish more of the coral and pinky-y shades I used had come through, but oh well. It still looks pretty Spring-y! I'd forgotten how fun galaxy nails are to do. They are super easy. I like to think of them as the "goulash" of nail art! Tell me what you think of this design? Have you attempted galaxy nails yourself?  Let me know in the comments!

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Matte Cream Freehand Rose Nail Art

Happy  Monday everyone. It's been forever since I've sat down and properly done freehand nail art. And I can't even remember the last time I did freehand flowers.  Lately, I've been in the mood to re-sharpen a few nail art skills that have gotten rusty from not using them. And in keeping with the Spring season I had to give a nod to the warmer (and in our case, rainier!) weather!

Tools used:

Winstonia Liner Brushes

Polishes used:

Zoya Jordan, Rowan, Jace and Willa (base color, flower details, leaves, and dots)

Polish My Life Nude Lace (flowers)

Hit the Bottle White (dots)

KBShimmer Clearly on Top & Oh Matte! Top Coat

Steps:

I started with two coats of Jordan. I then used the technique in my Nail Art 101 Course (join the free course below to learn the technique I used to create the flowers!) Once finished I used one coat of Clearly on Top to seal the design and speed up drying. I waited five minutes and then applied Oh Matte to complete the design. 

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I'm a bit meh at the end result of these. I don't hate them and I love the color combo but my flower making skills are a bit rusty to say the least! But doing this design reminded me how much I actually love doing floral nail art and freehand nail art in general. It's a challenge but there's always a sense of accomplishment with it. 

 

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5 Year Blogiversary and New Free Nail Art E-Course!

Happy Friday gang! Today is a pretty special day for me. One, because today marks my five year blogiversary! And two, because today I launch my first e-course!

 

When I first started blogging I had no idea what I really wanted to do with the blog or where I wanted it to go. It was merely an outlet for my creativity and a way to learn a new skill and have fun.  Over the least year or so I felt like maybe I'd lost the thread about what I wanted Valiantly Varnished to be. I had an idea, but I wasn't sure if it was something that I could really do or make work. And I still feel that way sometimes if I'm being completely honest. But one thing that has stuck with me is that I truly love teaching others about nail art and nail polish. Whenever I get complimented on my nails and someone asks me who did them, and I say myself, it gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. "Yes, I did this myself, I say". And isn't that awesome? Nail art has helped my self-esteem. It may sound silly but it's true. Whenever my depression is rearing it's ugly head or I'm just not feeling that great about anything else going on in my life, I can sit down and do something amazing with my hands and a few tools. I can create art. On my nails. And I like the idea of giving others the knowledge and tools to do the same. 

So today I launch my first e-course! This is a free 5-day nail art course delivered right to your inbox. Over the course of five days you will receive e-mails teaching you the basics to get started on your own nail art journey. The course will cover the basics; from what tools you will need to how to get started with freehand nail art and nail stamping.  To join just add your e-mail in the box below and voila - you are on your way!

And to all of you who read Valiantly Varnished - THANK YOU. I am always so humbled by the fact that anyone visits my little corner of the blogosphere. I want to give a special shout out to my fellow nail bloggers. I have never been around a group of women who are so supportive of one another. Our community rocks!

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April Mani Swap with Goldnchyld - Yellow and Black Graphic Nail Art

Happy hump day folks! It's raining buckets here today and there's even snow in the forecast for tomorrow but never you mind - I am rocking bright yellow nail art on the blog today! 

In one of the many nail polish groups I belong to a monthly mani swap is arranged. I always miss the deadline to join but I was quick enough this time and I got partnered with none other than Tiffani aka, Goldnchyld. Now if you follow a lot of nail artists and bloggers on Instagram, then yo probably no who I am referring to. I am a huge fan of her nail art. It's always so creative, clean and precise. Three things I myself am always striving for in my nail art. So I was beyond excited when I found out she would be by partner for this month. I had soooo much nail art to choose from and had a hard time settling on one. But this particular design has so many elements that I love and I wanted to try it out for myself!

I didn't have a yellow quite as neon and bright as the one Tiffani used. I settled for Zoya Pippa. First I started out with white as my base like Tiffani did in the pic on the right. I then painted on my yellow, leaving the sides white. Using a striping brush I then took black polish and painted on the thin black lines or "strokes" haphazardly along the sides of the nail. 

Tools used:

Winstonia Striping Brush

Polishes used:

Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Zoya Pippa

Hit the Bottle As Black as Night

KBShimmer Clearly on Top

Steps: 

I didn't have a yellow quite as neon and bright as the one Tiffani used. I settled for Zoya Pippa. First I started out with white as my base like Tiffani did in the pic on the right. I then painted on my yellow, leaving the sides white. Using a striping brush I then took black polish and painted on the thin black lines or "strokes" haphazardly along the sides of the nail. 

 

I am really happy with how these turned out! It's pretty close to the original design if I do say so myself. The only thing bugging me is the yellow isn't as bright. Meh. 

I had so much fun doing this and Tiffani is really sweet! If you don't follow her on Instagram here is the link to her page.  Also search the hashtag #paamaniswap for more fabulous nail art swaps!

 

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