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The Queen Series is a weekly feature happening on Wednesdays. Each week one of us from The Digit-al Dozen will introduce you to our blog, tell you about how we got started, and talk a little about how we ended up being the Queen of something. We all have unique talents when it comes to nail art, and our Queen titles reflect that. Check out past posts in this series.

Name: Jacki from Adventures In Acetone, (the Queen of Striping Tape)
Instagram: @adventuresinacetone 

Hey everyone! It's Jacki from Adventures In Acetone, and I'm here for this week's Queen Post! I've been named the Queen of Striping Tape and I'm going to tell you a bit more about myself today! 

During the day, I'm a stay at home mom to two kiddos: Hailey(6) and Owen(2). They keep me busy, so blogging has to get done early in the morning before they wake up (thank goodness for coffee!) or during nap time. It's definitely a balance, but I started Adventures In Acetone when my husband was deployed three years ago, so I've always had to balance blogging and parenting. 

Before we continue with my blog, let's go back in time a bit to high school. My earliest polish memory was matching my toenails each day to the outfit I was wearing to school. Was I crazy or what? I had a small collection of different colors and really liked them, but it was about ten years later before I stopped wearing acrylics on my fingernails and really started adding to my collection at home for doing my own manis. 

Back to when I started the blog: I had a lot of extra time on my hands after my daughter went to sleep when my husband was in Afghanistan, so I would Google Image search for nail art to try. I used to post my nail pictures on my personal Facebook page but eventually decided to spare my friends' feeds by creating a nail blog. The name of my blog was actually a Facebook friend's idea! I posted a status asking for blog name ideas and had tons of input before I decided on Adventures In Acetone. 

Shortly after the the blog was created, I was sucked into the whirlwind of nail polish collecting and my collection grew from less than 100 to about 1000 these days. I have more OPI polishes than any other brand, and I love using them for nail art. However, if I have to pick my favorite brand, it's Elevation Polish! Lulu makes top quality gorgeous colors with tons of different finishes and less glitter than a lot of other indie brands. After I got over the initial "indie polish craze," I've been glittered-out and lean much further to the shimmer and creme side of the polish spectrum because they are much easier for nail art. It's a rare occasion that I don't want at least a few from the new collections that Lulu comes up with for each month.

I think people read my blog for nail art and tutorials. I really enjoy making tutorials and try to do Tutorial Tuesday features as often as possible. Nail art can be easy enough for everyone with practice, and I love showing step-by-step photos at how easy it is for shapes and lines to create cute nail art. I love love love when others recreate my nail art or use a tutorial of mine! It means that people actually like something enough that I've done to wear it on their own nails! Is there a bigger complement for a nail artist? Not for me! (If you've recreated any of my nail art or tried a tutorial, I'd LOVE to see it! Please share your photo on my Facebook Page or use #inspiredbyadventuresinacetone on Instagram!)

Currently, my most popular post by page views is a Flowery Water Marble I posted over two years ago. I think I always get a ton of awesome feedback and views on water marbles because they don't look as easy as they are. You can see that post here: http://www.adventuresinacetone.com/2012/05/flowery-water-marble.html. My next video tutorial will be a flower watermarble! 

My nail art skills are always a work in progress. I currently wish I was better at floral nail art. I'm practicing though, and have been trying to post Friday Florals so you can follow me on my floral journey. I'm not sure why, but I've been keeping away from floral patterns for a long time. So here's to hoping I can improve!

My top polish tip is for bloggers or anyone wanting to take nail pictures! Cleaning up around the cuticles with remover causes dryness and that's not so cute for photos, but neither are oily fingers from freshly applied cuticle oil. Personally, right before I take my photos, I prefer to use a clean up brush and paint on some OPI Avojuice lotion around the nail on the cuticles and skin, avoiding the nails (don't want to mess up the fresh paint job!). Then, I gently rub in any excess that wasn't absorbed. You can do this with any non-greasy lotion. It gives your cuticles and skin back the moisture they need without making them shiny!

Want to know something cool? When we moved to this new house, Mr. Adventures In Acetone set up an awesome nail polish workspace for me! I have a long table desk, with my computer at one end, and my lightbox at the other. There are nail polish racks on the wall above the desk, and a tall Alex drawer system on the end by the lightbox. Guess where this workspace is?! In our dining room! We don't even have room for a table so we eat at the breakfast bar in the kitchen instead! Isn't he awesome? I love my nail area, you can see an older photo of it below from Instagram:

If I'm being honest with you, I can't pick a favorite Digit-al Dozen theme-- it's a tie between Book Week and Geek Week! During Book Week, I was able to draw from my kids' favorite books, while during Geek Week I was able to pull from Mr. AIA and my favorite shows! Together, they both encompass "me" so I'll have to go with both! Breaking the rules, aren't I?

My proudest blogging achievement to date was being accepted into the OPI Blogging Network last November. IT'S OPI!!! Only, like, the BIGGEST nail polish company that I've loved way back to when I would get pedicures at salons with my mom before my nail polish days started. I was in total shock when I received my acceptance email and we even went out for dinner that night to celebrate! Haha, don't judge me! ;) 

If I were stranded on a desert island and could only bring five polishes, they would be: Illamasqua Seance, RBL Aqua Lily, Elevation Polish Arabian Sea, Elevation Polish Angels Are The Yetis Of The Clouds, and KBShimmer You're So Shellfish. These are ones that I reach for time and time again!

Now that I've shared some random information about me, let's talk about striping tape! Out of our group, I am named the Queen of Striping Tape, and I mostly love using it in combination with textured polishes! Although striping tape can make awesome designs without textures, there is something about those clean lines and differences in texture and thickness where you peel the tape back up again. 

Here are some tips on using striping tape:
  • The number one most important thing is to make sure that your base color is COMPLETELY DRY before adding the tape. You don't want the base peeling up with the tape and having to start back at square one! 
  • Another tip: after you apply your striping tape, sponge or paint on the next color one nail at a time. As in, paint the top color on one nail, peel off the tape, and then move on to painting the next nail's top color, and so on. You want to peel up the tape while the top color is still wet.
  • Remember the order you placed the tape if they cross over each other. You need to peel them back up in the opposite order (last piece placed down will be the first one to be peeled up, etc.) to avoid messing up the design!
  • Get creative! Stripes are easy and look great, but you can also criss cross and make intricate designs as well! My favorite striping tape nails were where the tape criss crossed on the entire nail, and then the top layer was a gradient of texture polishes sponged on. You can see the tutorial below:
  • It may be helpful to cut all of the tape pieces at once and stick one end on the table so you can do all of the nails quickly after the tape is ready!
  • You can even use striping tape on the nail in the design, not as something to peel back up. For example, in my first experience using striping tape below, where I showed a few different options:

I have a few tutorials on my blog for easy striping tape nail art, here is a color blocking idea:

Need more tips for using striping tape? Check out our previous post on Striping Tape here on The Digit-al Dozen Blog!

Thank you so much for reading and learning a bit more about little 'ole me!