5 Years of Painted Fingertips | Top 10 Nail Art Looks

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Hi everyone!

On Wednesday, Painted Fingertips is turning 5! Over the past 3 years, for each blog birthday, I’ve shared my top 10 nail art looks from the preceding year to celebrate my blogging anniversary. This year, I have something else to celebrate the actual day. I’ll give you a hint – it involves 5 very special polishes, and a giveaway, so be sure to check back then! I still wanted to share my top 10 looks from the past year as well – and it seems appropriate to have a little more celebration after 5 years of blogging. On my first blogging anniversary, I shared how I had improved in one year. After that, to celebrate two years, three years, and four years, I shared my top 10 looks from the preceding year. I always enjoy looking back on those posts!

It’s become a bit of a tradition to include a little life update each year in this post, so if you’re only here for nails, scroll down to see my top 10!

My blog’s birthday is always a reminder that it’s been another year in the US for me, my husband, and our cute kitty-cat. We’ve been here for 3 years now! I can hardly believe it. It definitely doesn’t feel that long. Sometimes it feels like our time here is running out, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here at least for now, and we’re exploring the US as much as we can. In last year’s update, I mentioned that I was going to start learning to play saxophone, which had been a lifelong dream for me. I did, and I am so glad that I am doing it! It can be frustrating at times, when I wish I could improve faster, but it is really rewarding as well and I’m ecstatic that I get to fulfil this dream. It was also about a year ago that I upgraded my camera and my photos took a huge step up – perhaps part of the reason I’ve had a few more swatching opportunities this year!

I don’t really have big news to report this year; it’s been a year of continues for the most part. I’ve continued with my PhD, presented at a couple of conferences, met with collaborators, and I’m working on writing an article and on getting some of my most important results. I continued as a TA, helping to teach different courses in the Spring and Fall semesters and a field camp in the Summer. In my free time, I’ve managed to make sure I haven’t had a second of free time – between saxophone playing, running, blogging, and reading (I’ve read a lot this past year!), it seems like every moment has been busy. My husband got me a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday in December, and it has taken me back to a time of constant reading, devouring book after book. Did you know that a huge amount of classics are available for free? With a Kindle, you don’t even need to pay for the physical paper and printing, many classic books can just be (legally!) downloaded. I just recently finished reading the full Sherlock Holmes compendium!

As for the coming year, there will probably be a few more continues – in terms of my PhD, and I hope in terms of the saxophone, running, blogging and reading as well. Perhaps there will be some new things as well, we’ll see what the next year brings us! As for my blog itself, despite sometimes feeling like I can’t keep up or post as often as I’d like to, I now have well over 800 posts on here. I’ll continue with The Digital Dozen, which I’m really enjoying. I don’t think I’ll be able to do the 31 day challenge this year; I’m just too busy to make it happen. I’ve had a few opportunities to swatch this year, which I have really enjoyed and appreciated. I posted my first Youtube video, a drip marble tutorial, and I had high hopes for a monthly video – but never managed to get another one up. Maybe in the coming year I’ll be able to! Videos are difficult because they take a lot of time, but I enjoyed the one I did get to make. Polish Con is coming here to Minnesota next month, and I am really looking forward to going – it will be my first Polish Con! I also recently found out that I was selected as an official blogger for the con, so I should have some con exclusives to show you soon! Things seem a bit crazy, and busy, but I keep on doing my nail art and posting about it, and sometimes I manage to do something really cool. I think the coming year will be no different. With that….

My top 10 nail art looks of the past year:

It was hard enough selecting these 10, there’s no way I’d be able to put them in any kind of order – so I’ll share them in the order they were published.

1) The simplest look in my top 10, and a reminder that you don’t always need to do something difficult or complicated to have a winning nail art look. In fact, this combination of glitter gradient and stamping was a part of my #5MinuteNailArt series! That reminds me, it’s been ages since my last 5 minute nail art! This look was done back in October last year, and I think what really made it was the custom CrowsToes glitter topper, Buy Polish, which I won in a giveaway from Be Happy and Buy Polish.

Painted Fingertips | #5minutenailart - glitter and stamping

2) November 2017 was a good month, nail-wise. Maybe it was something in the air! It started off with this mermaid nail art. Those glitters are just amazing – and I have more, I should use them again! The problem is that it’s hard to imagine another way I could use them that would be as good as this one.

Painted Fingertips | Mermaid Glitter nail art

3) A second look from November 2017 was probably my most out-there nail look of all time: my metal-dipped fingers that were a part of The Digital Dozen’s Futuristic week. This look was obviously intended as art alone, but I still love it. Honestly, I’d wish looks like this were the fashion if they weren’t so impractical to actually wear.

Painted Fingertips | Metal-dipped futuristic nails

4) I told you November was a good month, didn’t I? The third look from that month was this Jupiter drip marble. Not only was this a gorgeous and hugely successful drip marble, but it also started a bit of a drip marble craze for me. I love the effect of drip marbles – I need to do another one ASAP!

Painted Fingertips | Jupiter nail art

5) In December last year, the Digital Dozen theme was ‘my home’, and I did this Jacaranda flower nail art that reminded me of the city where I grew up – Pretoria, South Africa, which is also known as the Jacaranda City.

Painted Fingertips | Jacaranda flower nail art

6) At last, we are on to 2018! In February this year, I did this freehand dragon nail art. I was really lucky to get my hands on the base polish, Quixotic Basant, in a giveaway. I loved the combination of green base and fiery shimmer, so of course I painted a dragon on it.

Painted Fingertips | Dragon nails - The Digital Dozen Does Mythical Creatures

7) The dragon was a part of The Digital Dozen’s mythical creatures week, and so was the next look, inspired by a basilisk. The combination of flakies and stamping I used here just looked amazing! I need to use my loose flakies in nail art more often. Painted Fingertips | Basilisk Nails - The Digital Dozen Does Mythical Creatures

8) On to March 2018, when I did these lovely floral stamping decals. These were my favourite stamping decals for sure – the perfect image for this technique, and the glittery flowers look so pretty!

Painted Fingertips | Flower stamping decals with plate BeautyBigBang10 - The Digital Dozen does Stamping

9) When I did these sheep nails in July, I can’t say I was expecting it to be in my top 10 – but I wound up loving the stamped background and the cute little sheep faces!

Painted Fingertips | Sheep Nail Art - The Digital Dozen does White

10) Last but not least – I actually have a look from this month! The Digital Dozen week this month was themed tropical, and I loved this neon sunset look I did using my own homemade neons.

Painted Fingertips | Neon sunset - The Digital Dozen does Tropical

Phew, what a mega post! Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday, my actual blog birthday, for a big celebration and giveaway!

Which of these 10 was your favourite? Are there any other looks from the past year that you think should have been on this list?