Nail Art Inspiration from Boulder Colorado - Sally Hansen #IHeartNailArt Contest

Boulder isn’t known for its bustling city life, at least not in the traditional sense. Never ending roads are replaced with winding switchbacks up trails to the iconic Flatirons, and overcrowded traffic is overrun by bicycle traffic. The city is unique in that sense, while still maintaining an exciting atmosphere.

Pearl Street is Boulder’s downtown hub. In the spring it comes alive with tulips, and at night it’s flooded with college life. Daytime friendly but still party-ready, Pearl Street is famous for its stores and visitors alike. If you’re not watching street performers, then you’re probably a few blocks over at the farmer’s market, or popping into one of its eclectic but oh-so-Boulder boutiques or head shops.

What I love about it, and about Boulder in general, is all the brickwork laid everywhere. As a transplant from earthquake-prone California, I was thrilled to see so much brick, and it never gets old for me. Pearl Street has it, the university has it, and most of the houses you see have it. It’s such a classic form of unconventional art.

Maybe my fondness for it is what drew me to my first inspiration for this editorial.  This building is one of the oldest looking buildings downtown, as you can see by its shedding siding. The peeling paint shows years of use by bums, bystanders and Boulder climate. It inspired me to create my peeling brick nail art for the Sally Hansen #IHeartNailArt contest.

The peeling brick look was done using three Sally Hansen products – Vanity Flare (a Triple Shine polish), a White striper polish from the I Heart Nail Art line and a brush from the I Heart Nail Art tool kit. First, polish your nails with two layers of Vanity Flare. Then, add horizontal lines with the white striper. Add some vertical lines between the horizontal lines, offset in each line. Now wipe your striper brush so it’s mostly dry, and splotch random areas of the nail with messy white designs. Now dip your nail art brush in acetone, and splotch the designs you just made, which will cause them to spread into faded designs, just like peeling paint. Be sure to finish with a top coat too!

Boulder’s also popular for its ingenuity in the business world and in its green-granola ways. While classic brick covers the town, modern marvels are similarly strewn about. The mix of brick with steel is striking, and captured my eye in my second inspirational piece.

This restaurant’s railings are perfect for oval nails. With just a touch of curve and a jagged edge to offset it, it makes great nail art. I love how it’s complemented by the brick path surrounding it as well.

Nail art inspiration never comes from just one source, and Sally Hansen wants you to express your love for nail art in their #IHeartNailArt contest. Enter to win $500 and a trip to NYC to compete in the Grand Finale, where the winner will receive $2,000! This month’s theme is Liquid Mani-a. Find out more at, or browse the #iHeartNailArt hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

sponsored by Sally Hansen


  1. Oh very nice designs! I like the purple the best :-)

  2. Hi Katy! Boulder is one of the prettiest towns in the country. I'm down here in Aurora, which is not one of the prettiest towns in the country. Love your blog!

  3. Girl, I loved this post! That pic of you in front of the distressed wall is phenom. Great nail art, as always :)

  4. You're so pretty! Wow, gorgeous nails AND a gorgeous girl :).


I enjoy comments of all types! However, please do NOT promote your blog through the comments of my own. If you would like to contact me personally, please use the Contact and Disclosure page at the top of my blog. Thank you and enjoy!