Thursday, February 21, 2013

Valentines Day Nails #2

Hello again! This is my second design (and my favorite - this one didn't last long enough sadly) for Valentines Day, posted well after the 14th. But I'm posting it anyway! :)


My base color was China Glaze Ahoy! (mentioned in my previous post). This one was a stamped design, but I did do something extra. I used a plate from my new set of Cheeky Summer 2012 plates (funnily enough, purchased in February of 2013) - CH53. This is the design I used:

I'm not entirely sure what is in the center of the hearts, but I really liked the hearts themselves. For the stamping I used Sinful Colors Soul Mate, my favorite coral pink. Then I used a dotting tool and just covered the weird lettering in the center of the hearts with my base color. Easy peasy! This design was absolutely my favorite. so pretty. And as always, I loved the contrast between the shimmery base color and the creme stamp on top. So nice. And as for the shimmer in Ahoy!, here's a really good picture I got (by accident) that shows off that glorious gold shimmer:

Isn't it just heavenly? It's my favorite pink. China Glaze also has another pink with gold shimmer in it called Strawberry Fields. They are similar, but they are definitely not the same. Trust me, it's worth it to have them both. 

So thanks for reading, have a nice day, and happy painting! :)

Valentines Day Nails #1

Hello! Yes, I'm aware it is well after Valentines Day. But I did paint my nails to celebrate (Singles Awareness Day, that is), so I'll share it with you anyway:

(indoors, natural lighting - with my newly fixed camera)

(indoors under a lamp with my iPhone - before my camera was fixed)

This was such a cute design. I wish the stamp had come out better, but oh well. They looked really nice and sleek if you didn't look too closely at them, haha. For this design, I used MASH plate 38. My base color was Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Petal Pusher, my go-to nude color. The color I used for the stamp was  China Glaze Ahoy!, one of my favorite pinks, if not my absolute favorite. I don't really like pink all that much, but Ahoy! is so beautiful. It has a gold shimmer in it that's very subtle, but perfect in every way. I used it again for another Valentines Day design, so I'll be posting pictures of it again later! 

So thanks for reading, have a good day, and happy painting! :)

Turquoise Star Nails

Hello there! I have another stamped design for you. :) My friend and I both got duplicate nail polish for Christmas, so we decided to swap. She gave me Essie Turquoise and Caicos in exchange for Sinful Colors Love Nails (and a few others, because a Sinful Colors polish is not an equal exchange for an Essie polish). I didn't know if I would like it, because I already had many different turquoise polishes, and this one seemed really ordinary. I was soooo wrong.

(taken indoors with my iPhone  - my camera was still out of commission at the time)

The base color is of course Essie Turquoise and Caicos. It's probably the most beautiful turquoise nail polish I've ever owned (my camera phone just doesn't do it justice). It's so simple, but the formula was fantastic, and if I do say so myself, I think it looked amazing with my skin tone. The formula seems really sheer at first, but I was able to get it opaque in two coats. The sheerness makes it look really delicate. I just really loved it. If you don't own it and you're an Essie fan, why don't you own it? You should go out and get it right now. 

I thought about wearing it alone, but why would I want to make it easy on myself? I added a coat of multicolored glitter, Sinful Colors Opal Glitter, and then I used the star design from MASH plate 49 with Sinful Colors Snow Me White (my favorite non-Konad brand of white polish for stamping). The matte white looked so cool over the glitter. In my last post, I made a comment about how long my manicure lasted (it was about 5 days - a really long time for me since my manicures only last about 2-3 days before I get bored with it/ it chips/ I peel it off during my classes). Well, this one lasted a full 7 days without chipping. I REALLY loved this design. So pretty. I hope you can try it out! A cheaper alternative for the Essie polish is Sinful Colors Mint Apple. It's not a dupe of the Essie polish, but it is still a very pretty turquoise and I almost used it instead of Turquoise and Caicos. I'm glad I didn't though, because this one is so lovely. Thanks for reading, have a good day, and happy painting! :)

Blue Glitter Sandwich Nails

Hello again! Still trying to catch up on my posts. This one was just a really quick manicure I did right after I saw Warm Bodies, because I only wore that design for opening night when I went to see the movie. This manicure is based on a video I saw on youtube, linked here.

(taken with my iPhone - sorry, my camera was out of commission for a few weeks)

I used China Glaze Ride the Waves and a glitter polish from Icing called Teal Me I'm Awesome. I really loved this manicure, because it was super easy and it lasted a long time. It was practically chip-proof. I don't know if it was because I just loved it so much that I was more gentle with my hands (usually my manicures only last a few days tops, because I work with my hands a lot and I tend to pick at the polish when I'm in a really long class - most times I just want to change the design, haha) or if it was because of the polish, but it lasted for about 5 days with very little tip wear. I was super happy about that! I hope you try it out. If you need any help, go watch the video I linked from PackaPunchPolish. She did a fantastic tutorial, and she can explain a glitter jelly sandwich. 

Thanks for reading, have a nice day, and happy painting! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Warm Bodies Nails

Hello again! Still updating all those posts that I meant to keep up with. This one is really late, because I painted these for the premier of the movie Warm Bodies when it came out on February 1st. Clearly it was a while ago, but I'm still going to post it. I didn't intend to make this a tutorial, but I took pictures (really bad pictures) for each step, so I guess I'll just go ahead and explain how I did this:

I designed it to look like R from Warm Bodies. I think they turned out pretty nice up close, but they're a little hard to tell what they are from far away. But they were still fun to paint, and pretty easy by my standards!

Here are the polishes I used:

From left to right: Seche Clear base coat, China Glaze Starboard, China Glaze Secret Peri-Wink-le, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Petal Pusher, Ulta Concrete Evidence, Wet n' Wild Wild Shine Red Red, e.l.f. Smoky Brown, e.l.f. Black, and Seche Vite topcoat. And if you look closely enough, you can see one of my unfinished paintings in the background. Yay!

First Step (and again, I apologize for the quality of these pictures):

First, add a base coat. Then, using a make-up sponge (I usually pull off a small piece of a larger sponge and use tweezers to grab it), dip/paint some green nail polish on to the sponge and then dab it LIGHTLY on to your nails in random spots. When I say lightly, I mean lightly. You don't want it to over power your other polishes, you just want enough on there to balance the red in your nails. In other words, it makes them look less alive. 

Second Step:

Repeat exactly what you did with the green polish now with the blue. You can use whatever blue polish you want, but I definitely suggest using one that has some grey in it. It makes the "skin" part look bruised and even more washed out. You wouldn't want vibrant splotches of blue on a design that's supposed to look dead. And again, make sure you use a light hand with this. It's important for the next part.

Third Step: 

Now you'll need a very sheer nude color. It needs to be sheer so it can pick up the green and blue undertones you just painted on your nails. If you don't have a sheer nude color (It needs to be close to the same color as your own skin), you may want to just forget that I told you to use a light hand with the green and blue and make the splotches more opaque. The goal of this is to change the color of the nude polish without using crazy techniques or finding a polish that is this dead color specifically. Unfortunately, you can't really tell from my photos, but the green and blue definitely came through the nude polish. And I'd just like to add that the nude is usually almost identical to my skin color, so you can see how much of a difference the green and blue make in the above picture! It's so pale and yellow now.

Fourth Step:

For this step, you'll need a light grey polish to make R's shirt. I basically just swiped it on my nail about 2/3 of the way up. I left plenty of "skin" showing, because that's an important part of this too! A great thing about this step: it doesn't need to be perfect! R is a zombie and his shirt is tattered and dirty. So you can be messy if you have trouble with things like this!

Fifth Step:

This is probably the most difficult step. It was for me, at least. If you look at photos of R close-up, you can see he has green veins in his neck, so I used the same green I used in the first step and a really small dotting tool to make random veins just above the shirt line. Unfortunately for me, they came out look like vines or some kind of vegetation rather than veins. I would suggest using maybe a tooth pick or a teeny tiny brush to make these. And possibly a sheerer green, if you have one! But I don't think you should just skip this step. It adds that last touch to the "skin."

Sixth Step:

Holy Saturation, Batman! I'm particularly sorry about this picture, the red looks crazy bright because of my camera. At least on my monitor, it does. But this is the next step! R wears a red hoodie, so I just added two quick swipes toward the top center of my nail, chevron style. Super easy! You might get your cuticles messy at this point (if you've avoided it thus far), because you really want to cover the entire tip of your nail. It is a jacket, after all.

Final Step:

This was my favorite step. Now you just get to make all your hard work look dirty! I took a dusty brown (I was afraid a regular brown would look too abrasive) and black polish and used the same make-up sponge technique from early to dab it onto the shirt and the jacket. I highly suggest using the brown more over the black, because I found that the more black I used, the more my nails looked like they had been singed in a fire. I also used a small dotting tool and the brown polish to kind of outline the neckline of the shirt because there was almost zero contrast between my grey and the skin color I had created. You may not have to do that, though! It just depends on your grey. Also very important for this step: Focus the brown and black mainly on the clothes. It's not a problem if you get a little bit of dirt on the "skin," but you don't want to cover up your veins or that nice, dead-looking skin you made. Plus, R isn't really that dirty in the movie. And the very last thing to do is just add top coat and clean up your cuticles, and tada! There you have it.

If you haven't seen Warm Bodies, go see it. It was an amazing movie, and I definitely plan on seeing it again! And if you haven't gone yet (or if you're going again, like me), maybe you could try this out! I know the movie has been out for a while, but there's still time! I hope you enjoyed this, I probably won't be doing very many tutorials, because I tend to keep my nails simple. This was a special occasion! Thanks for reading, have a good day, and happy painting! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

China Glaze Starboard Swatch

Hello again! Like I said in my last post, I'm just trying to catch up on everything I did with my nails the past several weeks. This time I just painted my nails one color, nothing special. But it was a very beautiful green China Glaze polish, called Starboard.

And here's where I tell you my camera bit the dust for a few weeks, so for the next few posts the pictures come to you from my trusty iPhone. The one thing I have to give to my iPhone is that I don't need to worry about it getting the color right as long as I take the pictures in the right lighting. These photos are really accurate to the color. The formula on this one is amazing, as most China Glaze cremes are. It was opaque in two coats for me, and it's just really lovely in general. It's strange - my favorite color has always been green, but I rarely wear green nail polish. I don't know why. This polish has convinced me that I need to change my ways! Green nail polish forever and ever!!

Ahem. Got a little carried away there. Anyway, thanks for reading, have a good day, and happy painting! :)

Matte Flecked Purple Nails

Hello there! I was worried that I wouldn't keep updating this blog, and see, that's exactly what I've done. But I'm back! And I have taken photos every time I painted my nails over the past several weeks, so all I have to do now is upload them all.

So I'll start with this manicure! I went to Ulta several weeks ago and found a Layla Ceramic Effects polish called The Butterfly Effect. It was absolutely beautiful, but out of my price range at the time. Plus, I knew I would be able to sort-of recreate the effect at home using some of my other polishes! Here is my result:

(Indoors - the first two photos with regular lighting, the second photo with flash)

I used two coats of Sinful Colors Let's Talk as my purple base color, and then a coat of Essie Shine of the Times. The Layla polish does not have a matte finish, but I really wanted the fleck polish to shine through, so I slapped on a coat of Essie Matte About You

I really wish the photos had turned out better; the last photo was waaaay too saturated because of the flash on my camera. But then I feel like the first two photos are washed out. The color in person was a mixture of the first and second photos. Very vibrant, but also toned down. I loved it! My favorite part about this manicure was the texture, honestly. I love the feel of the matte top coat. It's so smooth! 

Well, I hope you liked this one! Definitely give it a go if you have the polishes (or similar ones!). It was really awesome and got tons of compliments! Thanks for reading, have a nice day, and happy painting! :)