Off the Wall

I've been saving this design for a while now, because I have to wait for TODAY to do it. Why today, you ask? Because it's Chris' birthday today, and this design is tailormade for him...he LOVES Vans. LOVES. I mean the guy is a 42-year-old skateboarder for god's sake, it's kind of a natural fit. He even has a size 66  Vans shoe (no, really) that he keeps at the house. This thing is massive, and it is a large-scale version of a normal Vans shoe. Chris even got me hooked on Vans; as someone who suffers from foot pain from most shoes (even sneakers), the surf shoes are some of the most comfortable I've ever worn, and I've actually even worn a few pairs out. :D

Today's design is part of my way to celebrate Chris' birthday - the iconic checkerboard pattern, the "OFF THE WALL" logo, and the pattern from the sole of the shoes (both the waffle pattern as well as the pattern across the ball of the foot where it changes).

Join me in wishing a Happy Birthday to my better half! His age is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything! :-P

I used:

Mustard: Barielle Aura Angora
Medium Brown: China Glaze Mahogany Magic
Dark Brown: Barielle Unraveled Rust
Camel: American Apparel Trenchcoat
White: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Black: American Apparel Hassid
Red: China Glaze Hey Sailor
Topcoat: Seche Vite topcoat
Basecoat: Seche Vite basecoat  <----I'm adding this because I get asked so much what basecoat I am using.

This BIG shoe!!

The inspiration for part of  this manicure:

Image courtesy of

Get to the Point

Uh-oh. One of those nail doodles happened. This started out being inspired by a F*(King awesome pencil skirt that Divya wore on the show 'Royal Pains' (If I can ever find a photo of it, I'll post it!), but evolved after it looked too bland. I'm actually loving how it turned out. The colors were bottles I already had on my nail table from previous designs (save for the yellow), and it seemed like a natural path to get to the picture(s) below. :)

Are you ever nail art inspired by fashion you see on TV shows or movies?

I used:

White: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Yellow: China Glaze Happy Go Lucky
Grey: Nubar Stronghold
Teal: American Apparel Peacock
Turquoise: Zoya Robyn
Topcoat: Seche Vite

Falling For Fall

Well, August is swiftly approaching its end, and the warm days of summer will be long behind us (well, you) soon. The cool, crisp mornings of fall are on their way, and I have to say that I'm completely jealous of those of you lucky enough to enjoy it. Fall is my absolute favorite season, and since I moved to Vegas, and then India, I haven't really gotten to enjoy it. I miss the warm scent of burning leaves in the air, the tartness of warm apple cider on my tongue, and the crisp blue skies of autumn. I know it's a month or so away, but it's already on my mind, especially seeing all the fall nail collections coming out. Growing up in the woods in Michigan, there was no shortage of Autumn experience, from the greenery-lined gravel roads of summer becoming ablaze with the flame of fall leaves, all red and orange and yellow, to the chill that forced a sweater over your shivering shoulders at night. I loved it all, still do.

Today's nail art is to bring a little autumn to my humidity-filled existence. :)

I used:

White: American Apparel Cotton
Dark Brown: Barielle Unraveled Rust
Medium Brown: China Glaze Mahogany Magic
Burgundy: CND Bloodline
Mustard: Barielle Aura Angora
Camel: American Apparel Trenchcoat
Yellow: American Apparel Manila
Bright Orange: CND Electric Orange
Medium Orange: Jesse's Girl Beauty Guru
Red-Orange: American Apparel Lopez Canyon
Copper: China Glaze Harvest Moon
Metallic Gold: ORLY Solid Gold
Topcoat: Seche Vite

What's your favorite season?

For the Record...

I remember as a kid, my sister and I hunted in our parent's attic for interesting stuff when we were bored. One day we came across my mom's record collection. Unfortunately, my mom has questionable taste in music, so her record collection consisted of what seemed like a BILLION Neil Diamond records, a Jesus Christ Superstar record, a Bill Cosby record, a record that I can only remember one of the songs off of (Happy Together by The Turtles), and one gem—The Beatles HELP! album. The only other record that my house sheltered was an awesome Captain Kangaroo tune that belonged to my sister. :-P  I always ALWAYS look at records when I go to antique stores, simply because I love the album art. I don't own a working record player, though I think Chris might (somewhere?).

I thought record nail art might be fun, with the brightly-colored labels and whatnot, so here goes!

I used:

Black - American Apparel Hassid
Green - Sally Hansen Grass Slipper
Red - China Glaze Hey Sailor
Yellow - American Apparel Manila
Orange - CND Electric Orange
Aqua - American Apparel The Valley
Topcoat - Seche Vite

Striped With Sophistication

I loooove sales. Love them. I love the thrill, the hunt, the attack. Why is this relevant, you ask? Well, let me tell you! Recently, I received an email in my Inbox like I'm sure several of you did, informing me of a Surprise Sale at Kate Spade. I love Kate Spade. I love the bright colors, the patterns, the simplicity. How could I pass up just a little peek? I couldn't, of course. I mean, for all intents and purposes, I'm broke. (I need to tell myself this so I can manage to save money—something that's hard for me!) :) Anyway, I did sneak a little peek, and while my (Kate Spade) wallet can sigh a little sigh of relief because I didn't buy anything, I came away from the website with some inspiration for a few new nail art ideas! :) Some are color combinations, some are patterns, some just made something else click in my head that was completely unrelated. So you're thinking, 'Hey Melissa...get to the point.' Right? OK, OK! Sheesh! :-D

Today's nail art was actually a color combination that I was inspired by. I thought it looked classy and elegant, but it had that awesome pop of color that I love so damn much! Well anywhoo- here ya go:

I used:

Topcoat - Seche Vite

Galaxy Nails! Nail Art Tutorial

Ok, so I have no idea who started the AWESOME Galaxy nail trend, but I'd love to shake her/his star-covered hand! (EDIT: Apparently it was Nails by Asami, which is no longer a site?!) This nail design LOOKS hard, but it's so easy it's ridiculous- you really can't screw up. The best part is? BECAUSE it looks so difficult, your friends will marvel at your nail art talents, and strangers will incessantly compliment your damn fine nails. :-D (You may even get a comment or two like the one in my tutorial video! :-D)

You can paint plain galaxy nails, or you can add the 'half moon' like I did in my previous post! :D Snazzy!

Hey, baby. Are you a satellite? Because I looked at your nails and said "Hubble Hubble"

It Was Elementary, Dear Watson! Nail Art Tutorial

What?! Another Back to School tutorial?! Dang, if I keep this up, you're going to be super ready for school days to start, and no apples for those teachers will be required! :D

Today I did a tutorial geared more toward the younger kids and the parents of younger kids- something you either loved or loathed - Manuscript writing! :D This tutorial is based off of the It Was Elementary, Dear Watson! design I did a while back.

What do you think? Is it teacher's pet material or does it deserve a detention!?

What was your favorite thing about the first day of school? I always loved wearing new clothes, and using new school supplies. *NERD ALERT*

Fly Me to the Moon

I've been wanting to do this Galaxy manicure fad since I first saw it forever ago—it's awesome, right? You know me though, I like to put my spin on things, so I've been thinking about how I go do just that.  I figured why not make a LITERAL half-moon mani?! I actually think I'm a little obsessed with this galaxy manicure thing, it's a wonder I held out until now. It's the best of both worlds- nerdy and pretty, with a bit of awesome thrown in for good measure! :D

So what do you think, did I up the nerd factor on this one, or should this design get lost in a black hole?

I used:

Black: American Apparel Hassid
Light Grey: butter LONDON Billy No Mates
Medium Grey: ORLY Mirror, Mirror
Dark Grey: Nubar Stronghold
Dark Teal: American Apparel Peacock
Turquoise: Zoya Robyn
Yellow: American Apparel Manila
Coral: China Glaze Life Preserver
White: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Topcoat: Seche Vite

If you hate it, think of the bright side: instead of the moon, I could've painted Uranus. :-P

I've Gotta Go No. 2! Nail Art Tutorial

So I hear it's Back to School time!  Man, is it happening earlier and earlier now, or is my memory shot? I could swear that we didn't usually start school til after Labor Day back when I was a kid? Well anyway- my oldness aside, I've got a fun Back to School nail art tutorial for you today!

This one is based off of the I've Gotta Go No. 2! design I did a few years ago. Look out for another Back to School themed tutorial soon!

Also- I've recently upgraded my method of filming tutorials- I'd love to know what you think! :)

Are you looking forward to going back to school (or your kids going back to school?)

All Things Being Equal

A while back after seeing some super awesome nail striping tape manicures, I decided to order some striping tape from eBay (the easiest place to order nail art things here in India). This design kinda hit me today, and I have absolutely NO IDEA where it came from, but it DOES use striping tape! The only other tool required is a cosmetic sponge! The thumb nail turned out to be my favorite, since it was the easiest to apply the tape to. I sponged the gradient first (over my yellow base color), then after that dried I applied a zillion strips of striping tape and painted the exposed nail black. Fairly easy, right?!  The hardest part is making sure the stripes are evenly spaced...or dare I say 'equal'? Get it—because its an equalizer?! *groan*

I used:

Orange: Zoya Arizona
Clear topcoat: Seche Vite
striping tape

Indian Flag Nail Art Tutorial!

You may know that I've been living in India for the past 9 months, and today is India's Independence Day! I could hardly do this Flags of the World tour and not include my current home, right? I figured that today of all days would be the perfect day to post it, too.

There's more to India than curry, saris, and Hinduism. I'll be the first to admit that this country is sometimes maddening, but to balance out the madness are some of the most kind, generous, and generally selfless people I've ever met.

In addition to my Indian flag, nail art tutorial, I wore a saree/sari to work yesterday! (We didn't have work today) I felt awkward and exposed all day, and have a whole new respect for the Indian women that choose to wear saris on a regular basis. I rewarded myself with wearing jeans today. :D My friend Sheba was an absolute godsend, since there was no way I could wrap this thing alone- every time I tried, it looked like a giant slate blue diaper.

At the beginning of the day- Jasmine flowers in my hair, bindi on, all put together. :D

My friend Diana fussing over my pleats to make sure they looked right :D

My friend Sheba fussing over my pleats at the end of the day before having pic taken again. Stupid things kept coming untucked.

The back view. I love the pallu (the hanging piece) of this sari- all gold and copper metallic threads. so pretty!


After some of the recent designs I've done, I wanted to keep it simple today. Super simple. This design was inspired by an interesting invitation fold where 4 semi-circles come together to make a cool looking center. The best part about this design is that is entirely done with a dotting tool! But wait–you don't have a dotting tool? How about a toothpick? Maybe a pin? A nail? Anything with a small, round tip can work! Easy stuff.

Another thing that is nice about this design is that it can be done in a zillion different color combinations if you don't like grey, purple, lime, hot pink, and turquoise! :D (But, let's be realistic- who doesn't like those colors?! Maybe not necessarily in this combination, but still! :-D)

I used:

Hot Pink: Zoya Lara
Turquoise: Zoya Robyn
Topcoat: Seche Vite

Disclosure: All Zoya links in this post are Zoya Love links, and points earned when you click on them, start an account, and make a purchase go directly back to you— as Giveaways!! :)

A Rebel and His Bike

Whenever I hear a certain song by The Champs, I can't help but think of one of the coolest guys from my youth. I think you ALL know who I'm talking about...a certain white-shoed, grey-suit, red bow tie wearing man who ALWAYS knew the secret word of the day.

Did you know that on this day in 1985 was the release of the Pee Wee's Big Adventure movie? How could I let that one slide by without a little nail art love? It's not perfect, the eyes ended up a tad wonky, but all in all, I totally dig the effect. I even like the suit pattern texture on the 'plain' nails!

I hope you guys like this one as much as I do! Sorry for all the pics. :) I got excited.

Who was your favorite Pee Wee's Playhouse or Pee Wee movie character?

I used:

Light Grey - Orly Mirror, Mirror
Medium Grey - Finger Paints Stunning Stilettos
Dark Grey - Nubar Stronghold
Brown - Zoya Codie
Flesh - Zoya Avery
Flesh Shading - Zoya Avery + China Glaze Mahogany Magic
Flesh Highlighting - Zoya Avery + Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Cheeks - Zoya Avery + China Glaze Life Preserver
Lips - Barielle Unraveled Rust + Zoya Avery + China Glaze Hey Sailor
Black - American Apparel Hassid
Topcoat - Seche Vite


Jamaican Flag Nail Art Tutorial, mon.

Feel the Rhythm!
Feel the Rhyme!
Get on up,

Ha ha, how could I do a post about Jamaica and not include a Cool Runnings reference?! I freakin' love that movie. lol

Of course, lots of good things are related to Jamaica... Marley, reggae, ska, amazing athletes, the movie Cocktail (Champagne- perfume going in, sewage coming out), Ian Fleming (he lived there), jerk chicken, Red Stripe... need I go on? No? Ok. Well in that case, here's my Jamaican Flag Nail Art Tutorial for your viewing enjoyment. (I hope?)

You want to kiss my egg?
I'm not kissing no egg.
Suit yourself.

That's a Wrap!

First off, thanks for the suggestions (and compliments) for my tutorials! I'm glad that you guys are liking them. I'll do everything I can to take your suggestions and use them to influence my future tutorials! Keep those suggestions coming though- don't be shy, I can take it! Don't forget- there's something in it for YOU too! :)

I work in an office, and our dress code by U.S. standards is pretty casual. Common attire is polo shirts and jeans, though the women usually wear kurtas (a type of tunic) with leggings or salwar (loose, pajama-y pants). I often wear kurtas with jeans, but when I don't, I wear cute, work-appropriate tops. Today my top, though bright-colored, felt a little plain, so I threw on one of my favorite scarves...I've had it for years, and it made the trip to India with me. I initially bought it because of the bold graphic print and the color combination, but it's grown to be somewhat of a frequent accessory in my wardrobe. Anyway, when looking at it today, I felt the desire to do a nail art design inspired by the print of the fabric. It's not the same, but it uses similar colors and patterns. The best part about this design? It almost exclusively uses a dotting tool to make the design, I only used the nail art brush in a few places!

I used:

Brown: Zoya Codie
White: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Pink: Zoya Lara
Turquoise: butter LONDON Artful Dodger
Green: Sally Hansen Grass Slipper
Topcoat: Seche Vite

Make me better!

I'm sure that you've noticed that I've been posting tutorials lately. Since I'm sort of new to this whole 'tutorial' thing, I'd love to know what you guys think I'm doing right, and what I'm doing wrong.

To get a better understanding of what is currently out there, I've been perusing YouTube myself, watching tutorials here and there, and there are YouTubers that make really great tutorials, some that are fun/perky, and some that make me want to sleep.

This inspires the question...

What nail art YouTubers do you currently love to watch? Why? What/who DON'T you care for? Why? I know what I like/dislike might be totally different than some, or even most of you.

Since I don't make these videos for me, I want to hear what YOU want and like!

Leave a reply in the comments- don't be shy! The more information you give ME, the better I can make these video tutorials for YOU!

Rumor has it that I'll select one commenter at random (using a random number generator) who will get their choice of one bottle of Zoya nail polish. (sorry, I can't afford a lot right now, I'm saving up for a big expense.)

Pirate Flag Nail Art Tutorial! YARRRR!

Yarrrrr!! As ye might be havin' noticed, I`ve been postin' nail art tutorials fer Jolly rogers o' th' World... thanks t' a fun suggestion (I think she be joking) from Chalkboard Nails, I decided t' do th' real Jolly Roger!

Hope ye enjoy 't! :)

Ok, that's about all the pirate talk I can handle... unless Johnny Depp is involved, savvy?

Mexican Flag Nail Art Tutorial!

I would kill for a cemita right now. I curse the day that my friend Patrick introduced this amazing treat to my mouth. If you're in Vegas, or in the vicinity of Vegas and willing to travel, please hit up Takeria Puebla just off the Ann St. exit, and have a carnitas cemita for me. You won't regret it...promise.

That semi off-topic comment was because of today's flag nail art tutorial! I had a few requests to A. FILM the Mexican flag tutorial, and B. Show it before the other 12 I have filmed!

Great, now I'm starving.

In any event, I hope you enjoy my Spanish 'lesson'.

El queso está viejo y pútrido. ¿Dónde está el sanitario? (I hope someone is as nerdy as me, and gets this?)

Curiosity Didn't Kill This Cat!

In case you were checkin' out the inside of your eyelids, or perhaps living under a rock, within the last 12 hours, we just might have landed on Mars. No, really. Mars. It's pretty damn amazing what mankind can do when they use their imagination. I can't even imagine being in that control room, just watching it I was grinning from ear to ear, and not just because of Mr. Mohawk!

This leads me to another point. Mr. Mohawk, otherwise known as Bobak Ferdowsi, the Flight Director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission, has become an internet sensation and the object of many womens' dirty thoughts literally overnight. Because of a handsome face, a daring hairstyle, and a larger-than-average brain, the internet is abuzz with this Pasadena, California-based space stud. 

Well, you know me, nerdy nails are definitely my forte, so how could I resist a nail art tribute to the events (and people) that filled today with excitement? 

I used:

Orange-red- Finger Paints Cordur-orange
Orange highlight - China Glaze Life Preserver
Orange shadow - Barielle Unraveled Rust
Skin color - Zoya Avery
Red Highlights in Hair - China Glaze Hey Sailor
Blue Highlights in Hair - ALDO Sea You in Ibiza
Blonde Stars in Hair - Finger Paints Catwalk Queen

Galaxy nail (behind NASA logo):

Finger Paints Catwalk Queen

So what did YOU think about the Curiosity Mars landing? How about Mr. Mohawk?

A Dash to the Finish Line

So I know I've been posting a lot of tutorials lately, and not as much nail art, so I decided to post something other than a flag today!! :-D  (Speaking of, are there any that you want to see? I have a few requests already, but I'll get to them!  :) )

It always amazes me how designs change even while I'm painting them. This design originated as dashes of all the same length in white over black, with an occasional red accent dash. It eventually evolved to different lengths of white dashes on back creating a wave-ish pattern with no red. Finally, I added color to each nail, making a sort of rolling gradient across the dashes. In retrospect, I wish I would've stuck to one color family for the entire manicure, instead of a different one on each nail. The orange and blue nails were my favorites...maybe I could've done an orange palette with a blue accent nail? (or vice versa?) Maybe next time?

I used:

Black: American Apparel Hassid
White: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Dark Orange: CND Electric Orange
Medium Orange: Zoya Arizona
Yellow: American Apparel Manila
Dark Green: American Apparel Hunter
Medium Green: CND Green Scene
Light Green: Sally Hansen Grass Slipper
Dark Teal: American Apparel Peacock
Medium Teal: Zoya Robyn
Light Blue: American Apparel American Denim
Dark Purple: Zoya Pinta
Medium Purple: American Apparel Imperial Purple
Light Purple: American Apparel L Esprit
Dark Red: CND Bloodline
Bright Red: China Glaze Hey Sailor
Pink: Zoya Shelby
Topcoat: Seche Vite

Finnish Flag Nail Art Tutorial!

I'll be honest, I can count the number of things I know about Finland on one of my hands. I know that metal band Lordi is from there (and I saw them in concert in Vegas, and they're cah-razy. Impressive show though), there are 35 species of mosquitos (and I thought India was bad), the capital is Helsinki, and the flag is blue and white. There, that's it, and I still have my thumb remaining. Oh! One more- Finland looks beautiful; the pictures I've seen are simply stunning.

I actually got TWO requests for the flag of Finland- so here you go! :-D

Get it, Finnish(ed)?!

German Flag Nail Art Tutorial!

Sauerkraut! Wiener Schnitzel! Beer!

In my trip around the world via nail art tutorials, I'm visiting Germany today! With my heritage being part German, I of course had to do the German flag, even though it's an easy one! Yay for tape manicures! (and finally figuring them out!)

Man, sauerkraut sounds soooooooo good. It's one of my favorite foods, I could eat it every day... cold, warm, hot, with sausage, plain, on chili cheese dogs, bratwurst, however you wanna serve it up. :-D

Fun fact: During WWI, it was called Liberty Cabbage in the US due to fear that Americans would reject a product with a German name. Freedom fries, anyone?

Easy as eins, zwei, drei.

Australian Flag Nail Art Tutorial!

G'Day mates! Shrimp on the barbie! Kangaroos! The Plastic Diaries! Sheila! Bloke! Koalas! The Dingo Ate My Baby! Thunder from Down Under! (my personal fave... sorry Kimmi)

Of course you know where this next flag is from—AUSTRALIA!!

What's your favorite Aussie export? 

Canadian Flag Nail Art!

Growing up in Michigan, Canada was our fun (and cold) neighbor to the North and East! Trips to Canada weren't super often, but we did visit Sault St. Marie (pronounced Soo Saint Marie, and otherwise known as 'The Soo'), Sarnia, and Windsor on occasion! :) Heck, my sister and I even took a roadtrip to Toronto once. :) (I love that city!) Everyone knows the stereotypes of Canada; eh, aboot (about), hockey, BEER, just to name a few! I'll admit, I couldn't help but add an 'Eh' in the intro...don't hate me!

I know that we say it in Michigan- the UP (Upper Peninsula) especially! Heck- lots of Yoopers (people that live in the UP) have bumper stickers that say Say Yah to da U.P., eh!, which is a parody of the Say YES to Michigan! state slogan. That makes it OK, right? Kind of like the excuse 'My best friend is...' preceding whatever offensive term/race/sexual preference, etc. was used. :)

Anyway, to our cold and friendly neighbors to the north with the CN tower and Labatt's (gag), I salute you! (and make you this flag tutorial) 

By the way- the maple leaf on the Canadian flag is a pain to paint and have look like a leaf. I redid this video THREE times to get it right!

Did you hear the one about how they named Canada by drawing letters from a hat? The first guy pulled out the letter C, eh!!, the second guy pulled out the letter N, eh!!, the third guy pulled out the letter D, ehhh!, and that was how Canada was named. :)  (I love you Canada, I swear!)

I'm gonna get killed for this. If you don't hear from me soon, check your local ice-fishing hole.