Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blue-Green Square Manicure

actually started this design because I just bought a bottle of Essie Turquoise & Caicos and wanted to do something using complementary colors. As I started planning though, I realized that the shade wasn't the best match for the other color possibilities I had picked out for this mani -- China Glaze For Audrey (far left) and Sinful Colors Sweet Dreams (second from left).

I started with patches of For Audrey in opposite corners of my nails. I did some light clean-up as I was going, but for the most part I got the polish where it needed to be. Sweet Dreams was next in the bottom right corner of my nail. This was by far the messiest part of the mani. I ended up with polish all over my fingers and cuticles because the polish was so runny. Luckily, as soon as it dried enough I used some pure acetone and two types of makeup brushes (an angled eyeliner brush for the cracks near my cuticles and a medium shadow brush from Target) and managed to get most of it cleaned up. 

I actually swatched Sweet Dreams a while back and did a review, and wanted to amend my thoughts. I did a complete 180 from my last review: I loved the color this time, but wasn't thrilled with the formula. It wasn't the best choice for a mani like this, since I needed a thicker polish for better control (I would actually recommend trying this with older polishes that have thickened a bit or an OPI lacquer). Still, the color turned out exactly how I wanted it to and it looks great next to For Audrey.
As usual, the white square in this mani was done with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, and it was by far the easiest section to apply. I used a black It's So Easy Nails Stripe Rite brush for the black lines.
I actually think this mani would turn out really well with some striping tape (painting the nail black, applying striping tape in the grid pattern and then painting each section within the guides). It would definitely yield straighter lines, but since I felt like free-handing today's mani, this method worked pretty well for me. I love striping tape -- and it's made my life easier, in some cases -- but some days I just want to stick to the basics and trust my own two hands.

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