Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blue Gradient Nail Art

Hey guys! Today I have a sneak preview of tomorrow's post for FingerFood's Theme buffet.  The prompt this time around is "Under the Sea" so I decided to start with a blue gradient to make it look like light was filtering down through the water.

I started with one coat of Sinful Colors Snow Me White on all my fingers.  Then I loaded up my make up sponge with four shades of blue, from lightest to darkest.

My colors in order were: NYC East Village, Sally Hansen Calypso Blue, Sally Hansen Sparkling Water, and Sally Hansen Wavy Blue.

I applied three coats of the sponging to get the color saturation I wanted, and then followed it with one coat of KB Shimmer Clearly On Top.

Clean up on the cuticles was really tough for this one!  Blues stain, and these were all shimmers or glass flecks, so they didn't want to get scrubbed off.

Once this was done, I decided I wanted to add some sparkle, so I added one coat of Sally Hansen Spectrum.

Spectrum is a beautiful sparkly duochrome polish, and is one of the first polishes I bought!  Sadly, it has never been able to be opaque on it's own, so I figured I'd try it over a gradient.

Check back in tomorrow to see this covered in under the sea themed nail art! And on Monday to see the swatches of the colors used in this gradient!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Lacquer Legion: Garden #LLGarden

Hey guys! Today is my first day participating in the Lacquer Legion nail art challenge!  I've been on the page for a while now, but I always seem to forget to do the manis.  But this time, I remembered!

The theme this time around is "Garden."  I love the veggies and herbs my mom grows in her garden, they always taste so much better than anything you can buy at the store.  So for my mani, I did a vegetable print.

I have a  lot of pictures of this one as I really liked it!  The first set of photos is without any top coat, and I kind of love the hand painted look these have.  The second set is with two coats of KB Shimmer Clearly On Top followed by NYC Matte Me Crazy.

I started these nails with two coats of OPI "My Vampire Is Buff" and followed with a butt ton of polishes to create the veggies.   I have tiny carrots, broccoli, peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans.  Overall a very yummy mix!

I used my tiniest nail art brush to make these, along with a very small dotting tool.

And here they are in matte! I honestly don't know which version I love more!

For my right hand, I wanted to do something garden-y but I didn't want to have to try to replicate that print.  So I did garden beds!  I later added some green dots to look like tiny baby plants, but wasn't able to get a picture of them before a chemistry field trip that WRECKED my nails.

 You may have noticed my very sad ring finger.  One of the drawers on my helmer got stuck, and while trying to fix it I broke that right down to the nail bed.  I hope it grows back soon because it looks a little ridiculous, haha.

So, did any of you participate in this month's Lacquer Legion challenge? What did you do for your manis?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet: Nature

Hey guys! Today is my first time participating in a challenge with the FingerFood Theme Buffet group!  This week's prompt was envisioned by Manda of Fledgling Nails, and it's a fun one: Nature!

I was wracking my brain trying to come up with something to do for this prompt. I have two floral manicures already in my drafts, but I wanted to create something special for this, and also felt like there would probably be a lot of floral manicures for this one (not that there's anything wrong with that!) So while talking to my mom about it, she came up with a great idea: a different ecosystem on each nail!

I started all five nails with two coats of Essie "Mint Candy Apple" as I figured the sky probably doesn't change too much ecosystem to ecosystem.  Then I brainstormed a list of different ecosystems I could paint (again with the help of my wonderful mom) and got to work!  These nails involve a LOT of mixed colors, for example I only have one gray polish (why is that?) so I mixed to get my mountains. So if you have any questions about any colors, please let me know!

My pinkie is the desert, and it features sand dunes, a cactus, and some scraggly desert grass.  I wanted to add a hot sun blaring down on the scene, but I was worried it would look like a kindergarten drawing with a sun in the corner!  I did mountains on my ring finger, which were actually a ton of fun! I used a combination of brushing on shades and sponging them in to get a rock-like texture.

The idea behind my middle finger was "forest," however, I couldn't paint a whole forests worth of trees without it just looking like a blobby mess.  So you really are unable to see the forest for the trees!  My index finger is supposed to be a grassland, but painting wildflowers that tiny is difficult!  I think it looks more like a meadow (and that's what my boyfriend thought it was when he saw these) but I'm okay with that.

And my thumb is, of course, the ocean! I really loved how this one turned out, it was a lot of fun to do too!  I did a gradient from light to dark blue to try to make it look like light filtering down through the water, and then added some sand, sea weed, star fish, and fishies!  The dark blue ones are supposed to look like they're farther back in the water, which is why they were left as silhouettes.

I really like this mani!  It was a ton of fun to do and I actually really like how it turned out.  Next time I do something like this I think I'll try to have it stretch across all four nails, I've seen some manis like that and loved them!

Be sure to check in next week for June 1st's "Under The Sea" theme.  I guess I jumped the gun on that one a little.... whoops!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Challenge Your Nail Art: Freestyle: National Nurses Day

Hey guys, welcome to the last day of the May CYNA challenge! Today's theme is "Freestyle," so I decided to go with one of the holidays that was in the poll but didn't quite make the cut.

Today's mani is celebrating National Nurses Day, which happened on May 6th! So I'm a little late, but better late than never, right?

My index finger has a little nurse with a hat, her base was OPI "My Vampire is Buff."  On my middle finger, we have a stethoscope done over a base of Wet 'n' Wild "I Need a Refresh-Mint."  My ring finger is a nurses uniform, and it's done with China Glaze "White on White" and OPI "My Vampire is Buff." My pinkie is a pill (I added the letter/numbers to make it a little more recognizable) and is done with Sally Hansen "Lemon Shark" and Wet 'n' Wild "Red Red."

My thumb is a thermometer, a syringe, and a band-aid done over a base of LA Colors "Tropical Breeze."

The additional polishes I used are as follows, if you have any questions about what's what let me know in the comments!: LA Colors "In A Flash," China Glaze "I'm With The Lifeguard," It's So Easy Stripe Rite in yellow and green, NYC "Brownstone," and Sally Hansen "Silver Argent."

Well, this challenge was exhausting, but a ton of fun!  I cant wait until June!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Challenge Your Nail Art: Circus

Hey guys! Welcome to the second to last day of the Challenge Your Nail Art May challenge!  Today's theme is "Circus" and while I had Brittney Spears' version stuck in my head the entire time I was painting my design, that's not what I ended up painting.

I went with a more literal interpretation of the theme and did some circus animals, a clown, some circus tent stripes, and some balloons.

On my index finger, we have my clown, who I think is kinda creepy. Then again, I think all clowns are creepy!  I started him with two coats of China Glaze "White on White".  Once that was dry, I used Wet 'n' Wild "I Need a Refresh-Mint" to do the blue above the eyes, Wet 'n' Wild "Red Red" to do the nose, NYC "Lincoln Square Lavender" (which is pink, not lavender) for the mouth, and Sally Hansen "Lemon Shark", LA Colors "Tropical Breeze", China Glaze "Make An Entrance", "Four Leaf Clover", and Finger Paints "Tangerine Tint".

For my middle finger, we have a little lion!  I started this nail with a base of China Glaze "Make An Entrance".  I used Physicians Formula "Fashion Icon" in yellow to make his face and ears.  For his nose, I once again used NYC "Lincoln Square Lavender", which I also used to add the pink in his ears.  For his mane, I used Sally Hansen "Play Koi", It's So Easy Stripe Rite in yellow, NYC "Brownstone", and Milani Nail Art in "Yellow Design".

My ring finger was done using a tutorial from Adventures in Acetone and while I don't think it's as cute as her version, I still like how it turned out!  My base on this nail is Wet 'n' Wild "I Need a Refresh-Mint".  I painted in my elephant using NYC "Sidewalkers", his ear was filled with NYC "Lincoln Square Lavender"and his water sprays are done using LA Colors "In A Flash".

My pinkie is a very simple design done with striping tape and Wet 'n' Wild "Red Red" over China Glaze "White on White".  My thumb is balloons!  I started with a base of Wet 'n' Wild "I Need a Refresh-Mint" and painted on my balloons using my biggest dotting tool and the following colors: Sally Hansen "Pep-Plum", Finger Paints "Tangerine Tint", and China Glaze "Four Leaf Clover".  I finished everything off with a coat of Seche to try to smooth out the bumps.

I think my favorite nail is the elephant, I love the cute little water sprays!  What's your favorite?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Challenge Your Nail Art: Peace Day

Today is day five of the May Challenge Your Nail Art challenge which means Peace Day manis! I'm actually pretty excited about this one as I suggested Peace Day as a holiday we could do.  After all, it comes with its own color scheme!

I started this mani by painting all of my nails with Sally Hansen "Lacey Lilac".  I then used my make up sponge and my regular technique to do a gradient on my index, pinkie, and thumb nails using Sally Hansen "Lacey Lilac", Wet 'n' Wild "On A Trip", Diamond Cosmetics "Purple Shimmer" and NOPI "Back In My Gloria Days".  I sponged this twice to get the opacity I wanted, and then applied a coat of LA Colors "Jewel Tone".

On my middle finger, I did a patchy gradient using the same colors, and then made a circle using Sally Hansen "White Blanc".  My original plan was to just have a white peace sign, but I messed up so I made the circle and drew the peace sign over it with Diamond Cosmetics "Purple Shimmer".

On my ring finger I tried to paint the peace dove.  It even has a little olive branch in it's beak, but it's kinda hard to tell! I think it sorta kinda looks like a dove if you know it's supposed to and you squint enough.  I used Sally Hansen "White Blanc" and "Black Noir" for my dove.

These reminded me of how much I used to love purple when I was little.  It was my favorite color for the longest time and I really need to use it in nail art more!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Challenge Your Nail Art: Armed Forces/Memorial Day

Hey guys, and welcome to day four of the Challenge Your Nail Art May Challenge!  Today's theme is "Armed Forces/Memorial Day" and I've decided to celebrate with a very patriotic mani!

I was originally going to do a skittle of different colored camos, but then I decided I really wanted to try my hand at poppies, so we got this instead!

I have camo on my thumb and middle finger, stars and stripes on my pinkie and ring finger respectively, and poppies on my index finger!

I'll go through the process for these nails one by one.  I started my pinkie with two coats of Sally Hansen "Blue Me Away" and then stamped on my stars using Sally Hansen "White Blanc" and Cheeky plate CH4.  My ring finger got two coats of Sinful Colors "Snow Me White" and I tried about 4 times to stamp the stripes on using the same plate before giving up and free handing them with Wet 'n' Wild "I Red A Good Book".

My index finger got two coats of OPI "My Vampire Is Buff". I then used the brush in the bottle and Wet 'n' Wild "I Red A Good Book" to draw on my petals.  I mixed my red with some black polish to make a deeper shade to do detailing in, and used my black and white polishes to make the centers.  I also used China Glaze "Four Leaf Clover" for the stems on the poppies.

For my middle finger and thumb, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen "Parrot".  I then made a camo pattern by randomly painting on spots of different shades of green using the brushes in the bottles.  The greens I used are: China Glaze "Four Leaf Clover", Sally Hansen "In Record Lime", and "Going Green", Maybelline Color Show "Go Go Green", and LA Colors "Spring Frost."

I finished everything off with a coat of Seche Vite and I was done!

Would you have preferred to see a rainbow camo skittle? Should I try that in the future?   Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Challenge Your Nail Art: Party On!

So today's prompt for the Challenge Your Nail Art challenge is "Party On!" which I interpreted as party decorations.

So for my manicure I did confetti, banners, and some presents on my thumb.

I started with a base of Essie's "Mint Candy Apple".  It was two coats since I was covering it with nail art, but if I were to wear it alone I'd have probably gone with three just to even some things out.

I then painted on the outlines for my banners in white (Using Sally Hansen "White Blanc") and let that dry.  I filled in the little flags with Sally Hansen "Knockout Pink", "Parrot", and "Mellow Yellow", and Wet 'n' Wild "On A Trip".  I then drew in the confetti and presents using the same colors and outlined the presents and banners in black using Sally Hansen "Black Noir".  I added some black dots to the nails with the confetti too to tie everything together.

So, do you think it's festive enough?  I really liked the confetti nails the best, they were crazy and a lot of fun to do!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Challenge Your Nail Art Mother's Day Tie Dye Nails

I'm pretty excited today because today is my first post for the "Challenge Your Nail Art" group!  Since today is May 18th, I'm posting Mother's Day nails.

My mom loves rainbows, and her favorite shirts are her tie dye ones.  She wears them all the time!  So for mom, I did tie dye nails.

I started with a base of China Glaze "White on White."  I then used my tiniest cut down nail art brush and started making some spirals out of tiny lines.  I started with my red, Wet 'n' Wild "I Red a Good Book" and then worked with my orange inside the red spirals. I used Sally Hansen "Sun Kissed".  I then worked outside of my spirals, starting with pink and working my way to green.  I used Sally Hansen "Knockout Pink", Wet 'n' Wild "On a Trip", Sally Hansen "Blue Me Away", Sally Hansen "Dive In", and Sally Hansen "Parrot".  I finished by going back into the center of the spirals with my yellow polish Sally Hansen "Mellow Yellow".

I left these without top coat because I liked the hand painted look they had.

So, what do you think of my not-so-traditional Mother's Day nails? I think they're perfect for my mom's wacky sense of style.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Prom Nails

Tonight is a pretty special night, as I'm going to senior prom with my boyfriend!  The dress I'm wearing is gorgeous, and I'm super excited to wear it! 

I've also got a beautiful bracelet my parents bought me that I'll update this post with a picture of.  I might also put a picture of me with the boy!

Anyway, enough yapping, here's the mani!

 I used a base of Sally Hansen "Dive In" and then used my tiniest nail art brush to do a sort of waterfall mani (a la the Nailasaurus.) I used Maybelline Color Show "Sapphire Siren" to do the dark blue by the cuticle, China Glaze "I'm With The Life Guard" for the the green by my free edge, and then added some yellow and black accents onto the green to copy the dress.  I used Sally Hansen "Mellow Yellow" topped with ORLY "Hook Up" to give it some shimmer, and OPI "4 In The Morning" for the same reason, shimmer!  I also added in some lines using "Dive In" because I felt my green was a little to solid.

After that I used the same teeny tiny nail art brush (I cut it down so it's just about 10 bristles) and Maybelline Color Show "Bold Gold" to mimic the gold webbing on the dress.  I tried to use the water spotting technique that cutepolish showed in one of her tutorials, but I couldn't get it to work.  I tried using spray body spray and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, but neither of them worked.  I guess you really do need the spray hand sanitizer!

For the first time in a long time I did the same design on my right hand instead of a simplified version.  Here's a few pictures of that, please excuse the weird hand poses, I still haven't gotten right hand posing down quite right yet!

And here's a picture of both hands with the dress!

I would have preferred being able to get the water spotted technique to work, as I think that's closer to what is shown on the dress, but this is a close second!

So, did you match your nails to your dress for prom? What are your thoughts on matching nails to outfits? I know some people say it's tacky but I think it's fun!

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