NAIL ART: 2019 #CBBxManiMonday Round Up

by - January 02, 2020

Happy New Year! I have to admit that something I'm super proud about this year was that I managed to keep up my #CBBxManiMonday posts every week for the entire year - which is a bit of a feat for me since I tend to start things with the best intentions, but don't have the best follow through. Doing this along with Jayne, Renee & Eithne has really been a motivator for me and I've been having so much fun doing our weekly posts in a shared theme. I really wanted to commemorate this and also put together one massive post that can be referenced if you're interested in finding out how I got any of the nail art looks I put together in 2019! I've been working on this post throughout the year and I really am taking a lot of pride in this - especially since I managed to keep my nails long and healthy until.... almost the very end of the year when two nail breaks absolutely broke my heart. 

To see one whole year worth of nail art with links to each individual Mani Monday post, keep reading!

THEME: Nails We Wouldn't Normally Do
We started off the year with a theme that was a bit of a doozy, but I'm so glad that we did it because a couple 3/4 of the things I'd never tried have become things that I really love. Since this theme, I've gone back to doticures, dry brushing and sheer polishes throughout the year and it really convinced me that I shouldn't avoid nail art styles and techniques without ever trying them out. For me, the only thing that didn't stick was using jewels in my nail art because I just can't handle having stuff on my nails. Either way, I loved this theme and I'm so glad that we did it.

THEME: Pink & Red
I have to say that pink and red aren't really colours that I personally reach for all that often, but this theme actually ended up resulting in three of my absolute favorite mani's this year. Granted, I did stick pretty much entirely to pink rather than red and I definitely defaulted back to techniques like smoosh mani's and gradients that I always love, but I really, really love how the first three mani's in February worked out. The only one that doesn't really do it for me is the last one, which I vividly remember doing while watching the Oscars, and I was just... a little bit distracted and uninspired.

THEME: St Patricks Day
If you were to ask me to choose between the two St. Patrick's Day mani's that I did this year for a favorite, I would legitimately not be able to choose. I'm a little bit obsessed with both of them and I don't have any idea how I'm going to top them this coming March because... I just love them so much. They're both very me - pairing a smoosh with stamping - but they both came out so different and I just... LOVE THEM.

THEME: Coral
After the long winter (and honestly while we were still deep in it) I was longing for spring and having coral as a theme really allowed me to bring some much needed brightness into my life. I really like both of these mani's and... I have little else to say, really. Coral is so great for nails and it really can be used in a million different ways.

THEME: Bridal Nails
I was actually the one who suggested this theme because I was deep in wedding madness being my best friend's MOH in April, so I had brides on the brain. The first mani I did, with the gradient and the roses, is another one of my absolute favorites of the year. Admittedly, I'm not so much in love with the pink doticure, it's just not entirely my thing, but at the point I was so busy helping with wedding stuff that I needed something quick and cute and this doticure definitely fit the bill.

THEME: Easter
My matte pastel smoosh Easter egg nails from Week 15 are another enduring favorite for me. I loved the way they turned out and how the different shades of pastels worked together to create a solidly Easter themed nail art that was entirely in my style. Honestly, the purple and yellow nail art from Week 16 is conversely probably one of my least favorites of the year because... it's just not very me, but it actually seemed to be received pretty well, so I'm happy that I did it.

THEME: Earth Month (Week 17)
I have a thing about leaves for my Earth Month nails, so I always tend to do some kind of leaves stamping. This year, I paired that stamping with a gradient of green and gold flakies and, though it turned out a little bit darker than I originally intended, I think it turned out really pretty. 

THEME: Florals 
Though I'm pretty happy with the mani's that I put together for the Floral theme for May, it was actually a bit of a struggle for me. You can do just about anything with flowers in nail art, but I definitely admit I was finding myself a little bit uninspired. That being said, the Nude & Gold Rose Nail Art that I did in Week 19 was one of my absolute favorite looks of the year and I often consider how I can recreate something similar using other themes because I loved it just that much. One thing that I was really proud of was the variety of mani's that I did for this theme, with each look being completely different from the others.

THEME: Brights 
This theme might as well have been gradients for me, since every single look I did for the Brights theme was a gradient. And honestly... I love them all. I cheated the theme a little bit with my Pastel Rainbow Butterfly nails - which are definitely NOT bright - but they were colourful so I feel like I got away with it at least a little bit. My favorite, though, is the Neon Gradient Mandala nails, which I feel like definitely ran away with the Brights theme. 

THEME: Brights
It's convenient that this last mani ended up being apart from the other three in the Brights theme, because this was my Pride mani for 2019. I always like to celebrate Pride Month with a rainbow nail art of some sort, as I consider myself an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, and I love the way this one turned out. I also really liked the idea of pairing the mandala, which represents unity and harmony, with the rainbow, because it felt really symbolic to me.

THEME: Canada Day
Obviously you can't have a Canada Day go by without some kind of maple leaf mani, right? At least for us Canadian nail artists. Because our theme for July was also glitter, I paired a bold red jelly sandwich with some white maple leaves (a little backwards, but worth it) and I felt super Canadian celebrating the holiday. 

THEME: Glitter
Of all of the themes this year, I feel like Glitter could easily have been the best, but unfortunately I feel like I just didn't bring my A-Game for this theme. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the looks I came up with, but I really do feel like I could have done better with this theme. My favorite of the four is definitely the Glitter Gradient + Geometric Stamping, which I think turned out gorgeous, but with the rest I definitely feel like I could have done better. 

THEME: Inspired By Instagram #SummerNails
Color Club pastel neons basically took over my nail art in August... and I feel like the results are pretty beautiful and surprisingly varied. Taking inspiration from the #SummerNails hashtag on Instagram was actually really freeing but also surprisingly difficult when it came to what I really wanted to put together on my nails. As you can see, I was definitely in a mood with a specific colour story, but I really genuinely love what I came up with to go with the Instagram inspiration, especially the Abstract Dry Brush Nails, which are absolutely going to become a bit of a thing for me. 

THEME: Colour Combinations
It was... a pretty steep shift from all of the pastel neons that I used throughout August into the VERY distinctly fall shades that I jumped right into as soon as September hit - but fall is my favorite season and I was really like getting into those rich, saturated shades that associate with fall right away. "Colour Combinations" is a SUPER wide open theme and I feel like it allowed me to do exactly what I was in the mood for.

THEME: Colour Combinations cont.

THEME: Halloween
Halloween is basically the best time of the year for nail art. There's a million things that you can do and the play aspect is just fantastic. For the past couple of years, I've done 12 Nails Of Halloween and this year was no different. I tried to choose some of my favorites for the Mondays in October, but the one that really, really jumps out at me is the Speckled Grunge Skull Nails because they're just... so very much my personal taste. You can check out all 12 of my Halloween mani's here in my round up!

THEME: Moody 
Some of my favorite manicures this year were in this Moody category. Admittedly, as much as I love pastels for spring and brights for summer, I'm a fall girl all the way - whether it's nails or makeup or my clothes. My absolute favorite mani from this category, though, was definitely the Green Flakie Nails featuring the nail flake from that I got to name called Turtle Reef. It's such a stunning flakie and paired with that rich green créme base, I just love it. But honestly, this really was probably my favorite non-holiday category of the entire year.

THEME: Christmas/Holiday
Annnnnnd finally, we have Christmas/Holiday nails. I love doing Christmas nails - though I do admit that I took some liberties with what I think of as "Christmas Nails" for my 12 Nails Of Christmas this year. Still, they are some of my favorite nail art designs of the year and I particularly love the ones that I shared for my Mani Monday posts - I saved my favorites to be posted on Mondays!

THEME: Christmas/Holiday cont.

I have to say, 2019 was kind of a shitty year for me personally and being able to sit down and play with nail art, learn new techniques and try out new things has really been a gift. I'm so happy with so many of the mani's that I put together this year and I feel like I've really grown a lot in both my skills and my creativity over the year. If you're interested in seeing more of my nail art, make sure to follow me over at @pblnails where I do post some things that don't make it to the blog!

I do hope that you guys will join myself, Jayne, Renee, and Eithne for more #CBBxManiMondays in 2020 - I feel like it's going to be a good one.

Thanks so much for reading and Happy New Year, all!

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