Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holly Golightly Nails!!!

My aunt recently sent me a polish I've been wanting for a while: China Glaze For Audrey! As Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorite movies, and Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite actresses, I had to have it.

The manicure design was a no-brainer. It popped right into my head. It featured Holly Golightly and her cigarette holder - iconic images from the movie. I just had to do a Google search to find the image I wanted to use. Once I had it, I began my painting with a base coat and then 2 coats of For Audrey.

While they were drying, I made my decals. I considered using black polish, but decided it would be too complex for me. Instead, I painted 2 coats of topcoat onto a sticker sheet in 2 patches. The first topcoat I used was the China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat my aunt sent me. It was a little too fast! After about 7 minutes it became brittle, so it wasn't a viable option. Next, I tried the L.A. Colors Base Coat/Top Coat. This one stayed flexible after 30 minutes.

I drew the silhouette and cigarette holder on the clear polish decals with a black Sharpie. Then, I painted the silhouette's shape onto my ring finger with Nailene French Manicure White. I also painted the cigarette directly onto the decal. After they dried a bit, I peeled off the decals and placed them Sharpie-side down. I did this so it wouldn't mess up the drawing when I applied the final topcoat. I used the China Glaze topcoat, which brightened the color a little bit as well!

As I was typing this, I got a package in the mail. It was my matte coat I ordered from Copious. It's NYC Matte Me Crazy, and it only cost me a penny! (If you want a $10 credit just for joining, click here!) Since I didn't do anything special on my right hand, I tested the new matte coat on all my fingers. It dried almost instantly. I really love the effect! Then I got an idea. I added non-uniform droplet shapes on top with topcoat to represent the rainy scene at the end of the movie. It's herd to see the drops in the picture, but they're so cute!

I really love how this manicure turned out. It is even more perfect than I imagined! What movie would you like to see inspire a manicure?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Try It On Tuesday: Yoo-hoo Nails

So this week I discovered that "Try It On Tuesday" is apparently a thing. Luckily, my boyfriend picked up a surprise polish for me last night at the store. It is Finger Paints Art Nouv-Yellow. It is a slightly shimmery yellow that takes three coats to become opaque. It can look a little streaky when applying, but it's not noticeable once dry.

By itself, it looked a little plain. So I decided to try something else new as well. There was a Yoo-hoo box near me and the yellow is almost the exact same color. Along the top and bottom of the box, it looks like the chocolate drink is sloshing around, and that gave me the tipping idea. But I know I am not good with art using my left hand, so I decided to use a trick I picked up recently. I painted the sloshy tips on sticker paper. I chose China Glaze Mahogany Magic because it's a perfect chocolate color, and it's also my only brown. After waiting half an hour, I was able to peel them off and place them on my tips. Then I just filed down the extra bits and painted on an extra thick topcoat for it to re-wet the tips so they'll stick. And here's the finished manicure:

I would have liked to add some blue and red accents, but i didn't have any matching colors. While I am very happy with the results artistically, the color combination is not for me. What about you - could you rock the Yoo-hoo Nails?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alan Turing

I was inspired to create this look earlier this week for a Kyoti's Nails contest I am entering. It is to commemorate LGBT Pride Month. I chose Alan Turing for my inspiration before I realized that today is his birthday! Here's a video about him:

I went with a dot-matrix design of 1s and 0s because of Alan Turing's work in the field of computer science.
On to the manicure!!!

For this manicure, I mixed my Nailene French Manicure sheer pink and white as the base. All of the rainbow colors are custom made from eyeshadow that I got from Shiro Cosmetics. The red has a little polish in it too, as I didn't have a bright red shadow to use. It is made from Subrosia (no longer available) and China Glaze Riveting and Flirty Tankini. The orange is Ricky. The yellow is mostly Likelike with a dash of Goron (both sold out). The green is Farore's Wind. The blue is Oshus. And the purple is Majora's MaskHave all of these names sounded familiar? They are from The Legends Collection, inspired by The Legend of Zelda video game series.

I really hope you like the design and the thought I put behind it. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Next Project: Alan Turing

Today, 6/23/12, is Alan Turing's 100th birthday! I don't normally celebrate dead people's birthdays, but Alan Turing is one of my heroes. His work in cryptanalysis and computing is legendary. Breaking Germany's Enigma ciphers in WWII helped the Allies win. In 1952, he was arrested and convicted of homosexuality. He was chemically castrated by the British government. In 1954, he died of cyanide poisoning - suicide is assumed, but never proven. The general public was not made aware of his amazing contributions to the world until 20 years after his death. While PM Brown apologized for his treatment in 2009, the British Government continues to refuse to issue a pardon.

In honor of his birthday, I have created a manicure. I can't wait to show you guys, but the sides of my nails are a mess as usual. So check back later!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Nails are LAVA!!!!!

My last manicure chipped earlier than expected, and I had to come up with a new design on the fly. I kept staring at Riveting by China Glaze. It is a fiery, glittery orange that really is riveting. Then I remembered the abstract water marble that I did on one of my nails when trying out my Capitol Colours collection. It kind of looked like lava flowing down the sides of a volcano. So, I decided to do an entire manicure inspired by lava! For the black, I used China Glaze Smoke and Ashes. It is a glittery black with cool blue and green glitter, and it reminds me of the basalt columns I see around here that were formed by lava flows.

The effect I was going for was the slower flowing lava that creeps and gets a black crust from cooling. I wish the photos I took did justice to how vibrant the Riveting is. The glitters give it the illusion of movement, and it almost looks backlit!

I would tell you how I got the texture, but it was complicated and very messy. I actually finished it last night, but I had to wait until this afternoon before the extra polish started flaking off my fingers and I could wash the rest off. Plus, almost all of the lava manicures I've seen use crackle polish over red and yellow. It doesn't seem as natural. This is definitely my own original work, and a girl's gotta have her secrets!

Please let me know what you think of the manicure! Also, if you have any tips for getting better pictures, leave those as well. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Next Project: My Nails Are LAVA!!!!!

My Forest Gradient manicure started chipping this afternoon, so I polled my friends and family on whether I should just touch it up or start a new one. Everyone voted for a new manicure! So I had to come up with something quickly. After looking at my polishes, my eye kept going back to a fiery, glittery orange. And LAVA it is!!! This is turning into a 2 day project, so the pictures will be up tomorrow night.

Forest Gradient: Macro Pic

Anne had requested a macro pic of the Forest Gradient manicure. Here it is! I'll be announcing my next manicure soon, so check back in.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Forest Gradient

When I sampled the China Glaze Capitol Colours polishes that I bought the other day, I painted my left pinky with a gradient of Mahogany Magic and Agro. I didn't spend too much time on it because i was just testing the waters. It ended up being a favorite, so I decided to do all of my nails with the design. 

The first time, I applied the gradient to a blank nail just to see what it looked like. This time, I started with a clear base coat followed by a coat of my base color. I used the Agro as the base color and gave it plenty of time to dry. For the gradient, I used a combination of techniques from tutorials I've seen.

I started by moistening my cosmetic sponge with astringent. I did this for two reasons. First, I cleaned off my nails since I had been running my fingers through my hair. Second, I noticed that pieces of sponge stuck to my nail the first time. I was hoping the moistened sponge would help prevent that issue. And it did!

I then painted patches of the two colors right next to each other. I made sure that there was enough polish in each patch. Then I swirled the border together just a little bit so the line wasn't hard. I soaked up the polish with the sponge and rolled the color sideways onto my nails. I did this two or three times on each nail to achieve a good blend. I didn't bounce it, as that didn't seem to place very much color. To finish up, I painted a patch of just the Mahogany Magic to roll onto the tips for added opacity and added top coat.

My favorite part of this manicure is the blend of the metallic green and creamy brown. The mixture of textures is very pleasing. I usually see it with the metallic at the tip, but I thought the green base would pop a little more. I hope you like the manicure! Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Next Project: Forest Gradient

I really liked the gradient I did when sampling the Capitol Colors. So, I've decided to do a full set! I'm working on them now, so check back soon for the final photos!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Galaxy Nails #1

Well, I've been working and experimenting on these "galaxy nails" all evening. It took quite a few tries before I found a technique that worked with the colors I have on hand. I labelled this as "#1" because I will be doing this again when I have some more vibrant colors. The results of this attempt are below. Not too bad for my first go!

The base color I used on my thumb is Charcoal by Kleancolor. It is different from the rest because that is the nail I experimented on. It is an easier polish to remove in case of mistakes (which there were a few). Once I got the hang of it, I moved on to my other nails.

The base for those is China Glaze Smoke and Ashes (glittery black). I then dabbed on a mix of Nailene French Manicure's translucent pink and white. I then added a drop of China Glaze Hook and Line (shimmery grey) to the mix with another drop of the white and dabbed a little more for depth. This was followed by a drop of China Glaze Agro (shimmery forest green) and yet another drop of white. I dabbed this mix mainly along the edges of the white/grey. Next, I combined a tiny amount of L'Oréal Stroke of Midnight (shimmery dark burgundy) with a drop of white separately from the other mix. I used this to accent a few spots. Finally, I dotted randomly with the pure white to create stars.

It looked like a mess, but when I added a top coat, it kind of blurred together a bit. After staring at it for a bit, I thought it still needed a little bit more depth. So I created a thin, swirly water coat of the Smoke and Ashes to cover it all and add a little bit more sparkle. One last top coat and it was finished! How do you like it?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Next Project: Galaxy Nails

I'm a bit of a science geek. I love anything to do with math and any of the sciences. So when I saw photos of "galaxy nails" on Pinterest, I knew I had to try them. If you're not familiar with them, they look like one of those pictures of a nebula in outer space. They are very colorful and amazing to see! I plan on using some of the Capitol Colours I got yesterday to create this look. I will post photos as soon as I've finished, so check back soon!

Capitol Colours

On the way to dinner this evening, I stopped by Sally's. A China Glaze display caught my eye. It was the Capitol Colours collection inspired by The Hunger Games, and they were on clearance for $3.29 each! I selected three colors and checked out. With tax it came to $5.25. I looked quizzically at the salesperson, as three bottles should have come to more than that. That's when she told me there was a sale: all of the clearance items were half off the clearance price! With the price at $1.65 a bottle, I bought one of each of the remaining colors, seven in all. 

T: Hook and Line   I: Mahogany Magic   M: Foie Gras   R: Dress Me Up   P: Agro

Now, I have been recently introduced to Pinterest. Since I began, I have come across quite a few very interesting manicures I just had to try out with my new colors. Check them out:

The one on my pinky is a gradient from Agro to Mahogany Magic. This is my first gradient, and it turned out pretty well. My thumb is a standard water marble of Hook and Line, Foie Gras, and Dress Me Up. I didn't use a base color, as I wanted it to be subtle. My ring finger is my favorite. It is an abstract water marble using Smoke and Ashes and a touch of Riveting. By abstract, I mean I swirl it around a little bit, then I tear open the barrier around the edges to let the swirls expand. I followed this with a water coat of the Riveting so it would be translucent. It really looks like lava flowing down the side of a volcano!

I really enjoyed trying out my new colors. Let me know what you think!