Valentine’s Day nails: Neutral half crescents

This year, I’ve decided to shy away from all the pinks, reds, and sparkles, and opted for a more neutral nail design for Valentine’s Day. Why? It’s a strong reflection of where the minimalist wardrobe building has taken me and I really like it. This nail design isn’t specifically for Valentine’s Day and can be worn any time of the year because of its neutral-ness, but I do like the idea of sporting them as a little twist on classic solid neutrals for the upcoming weekend!


This nail design is really easy to do. All it requires is a bit of patience between layers for drying! What you’ll need are two different colours of nail polishes and a sheet of paper hole reinforcements.

Step one: Apply base coat and let it dry. One the base coat is dry, select one of your nail polish colours to be the base. This is what will show up as the peeking crescent design. I chose the lighter shade of nail polish for this. Specifically, I used Zoya’s Jacqueline. Make sure that this coat is completely dry before moving onto step two.

half crescent nail tutorial

Step two: Using the hole reinforcement stickers, go about 1/3 of the way up from your nail bed and stick a reinforcement onto your nail, making sure to press down firmly on the sides/corners of the nails. Pushing out any air bubbles will help to prevent nail polish from leaking.

Step three: Once the sticker is on, paint coat of your second nail polish colour from the top of the reinforcement to the tip of your nail. I used a darker shade, Zoya’s Rue, than the colour in step one. Peel the hole reinforcement off before the polish dries (this will help to keep a crisp edge).

Step four: Wait for the second shade of polish from step three to fully dry before applying the top coat. Once your top coat is dry, you’re done!

How easy is that? Such a sophisticated nail design in under 5 steps!

If you’re looking for something a little more pink and sparkly, here are some tutorials for Valentine’s Day nails from past years:

DIY heart nail decals

Valentine’s Day nails 2 ways


Valentine’s Day nails 2 ways

After playing around with some nail polish colour combos, I finally picked one that I felt wasn’t too in your face for Valentine’s Day and could easily be worn any other time of year. Here are two simple looks for this weekend’s celebrations (or this week, if you’re like me and having a hard time containing all the pink and red in your life haha).


Both of these looks are based off the same main glitter tip gradient for majority of the nails. Start with a solid base (I used three coats of the nude polish) before starting the glitter gradient. Apply a thin layer of glitter polish starting from the tip of the finger to the middle of the nail. From there, generously dab glitter on the tip of the nail. Let fully dry before finishing off with top coat.

For the first look, I did four coats of the glitter on the accent nail, letting each coat dry before applying the next.

For the second look, I used gold nail tape instead of glitter polish to do a more subtle accent nail.


The colours used in these looks were:
Butter London: Rosie Lee
Zoya: Rue


Currently: August 2013


Loving: Boxing classes, which a friend and I started to do at the beginning of Spring and sort of lost motivation to continue over the summer. Since our punch cards are going to be up in about a month, we started going back more regularly in the past few weeks and it feels so good to be back at the gym. The only downside is that I can’t paint my nails anymore. Wait, no. I could paint them, but there’s no point. I end up cracking at least one nail a week which is a huge bummer, but oh well. Small price to pay for trying to stay fit. I went all out with some Hello Kitty nail decals the last time I painted them, so I guess that’ll tie me over until the end of my punch card. :)

Watching: Project Runway is baaaaack! Every week, I’m so impressed with what Kate comes up with. She was absolutely adorable last season and I was sad to see her go during the prom challenge with Tu. This season is different because there’s blind judging on the runway, which I’m surprised only started to happen now. To know who designed what while seeing it on the runway seems like it could be so biased, but yay for changes!

Listening to: When I’m Small by Phantogram. Sarah’s voice is so… unexpectedly sexy. I don’t know how else to explain it! I’ve been listening to this song on repeat non-stop for this whole month and can’t get enough.

Reading: I started The Hunger Games trilogy at the beginning of the month (yeah, I know. Super late to the party on this one) and finished the third book last week. I originally bought the books because I was really confused after watching the first movie and had a bunch of unanswered questions. At the time, I saw the movie with another friend who had also never read the books and we were both confused together. The books have a ton more insight from Katniss’ perspective, which was way more helpful. I can’t wait for the second movie to come out this November!

Planning: Surprisingly, nothing! I gave myself the month off to not work on any side projects, which has been quite a good exercise for someone whose mind never seems to stop. I didn’t start talking about this more openly until recently, but I’ve been suffering from insomnia since the beginning of the year and it’s been a bit of a nightmare. Having less to think about in the future and focusing on the present helps put my mind at ease, which helps me fall asleep… sometimes.


Working on: Baking skills! Given how much counter space is dedicated to housing my stand mixer, you’d think I’d be using it more often, but nope! The last thing I made was a batch of pretzels (my first batch ever!) and realized how much I miss baking. Croissants are on my list of things to try making before the end of the year, but I might be in over my head with that one.


Weekend DIY: gold glitter tips

This week’s Weekend DIY is simple and easy way to spruce up the classic look of a french manicure. Instead of the classic white tips, we’re going with a pop of gold and some glitter! There’s no such thing as too much glitter, am I right? (Ok, too much glitter is totally a thing… but these nails aren’t glitter crazy. Promise!) Here’s the look we’re going for:

You’ll need:
base and top coat
dark base colour
accent colour
glitter colour (should match the accent colour)
invisible tape

For this tutorial, I used these specific colours:
Base colour: Julep Viola
Accent colour: Julep Kathleen
Glitter colour: Julep Vivien


1. Paint your base coat and then two coats of the base colour. Make sure that your nails are fully dry before moving on to the next step. I waited ~30 minutes to be on the safe side.

2. Cut 10 pieces of tape about 1.5″ long a piece.

3. Place a piece of tape on each of your nails, leaving a small space at the tip for the accent colour. Make sure to press down on the tape to get out all the air bubbles from the edge closest to the tip (this will help avoid leaking).

4. Paint a single coat of the accent colour on the tip of your nail (it’s ok to paint over the edge of the tape). While the polish is still wet, carefully peel the tape off your nail.

5. Let your nails fully dry before moving on to the next step. I waited about ~20 minutes to be on the safe side.

6. Using the glitter colour, gently dab on the painted tip area. Continue to dab until you have the desired amount of glitter on the tip.

Once the glitter colour is dry, seal with a top coat and you’re done!


Valentine’s Day nails: make your own heart decals

I’ll admit that I’m a pretty huge sucker for Valentine’s Day. Any excuse to wear pink and paint the town with hearts is my kind of “holiday”! Since hearts day falls on a weekday this year, I had to make sure that my nails would be work appropriate. Not to say that sporting hearts on the nail beds is super professional or anything, but it is fun to sneak in little accents here and there in places people least expect to see them. Here’s the look I went for:


Start off with a neutral base. I used two coats of Avery by Zoya, which is a beige with some olive undertones which worked perfect with my skin tone.

Zoya - Avery

For the heart decals, I chose to use two different shades of red. My colours of choice were Julep’s Scarlett (red with a hint of micro glitter), and Catherine (opaque red with no glitter). The reason I chose to do two different shades of red instead of sticking to a single one is because I initially couldn’t make up my mind. I wanted to see what both shades looked like over the Avery nude. I ended up using both and really liked the results.


Tear off two strips of invisible tape about 1.5″ long. Paint a layer of each color on each trip of tape and wait for the nail polish to dry. This shouldn’t take long, but I waited 15 minutes just to be safe.


Using a pair of scissors with thinner tips, cut hearts out of the strips of painted tape. Make sure that the hearts fit the size of your nail beds. Stick a heart on your fingernail, seal with a layer of top coat, and voila! Your Valentine’s Day nails are ready to strut their stuff!

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