Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yin Yang Nails

I've been really busy lately with work and spending time with Wendy now that she's on her summer break from dental school, so I dug this one out of the archives for today's post. The photo quality is a little bad, but on the bright side, the hubby and I celebrated our one-year anniversary last night and he gave me a fancy lightbox setup so my images should be crisp and clear from now on!

This is actually pretty basic nail art — I started with a French mani using OPI Alpine Snow, then freehanded a diagonal tip using Sinful Colors Black on Black.

Sorry for the short post today — and for my stained, dry cuticles! Until next time ...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Black and Red Michael Kors Print

This manicure came about as I was flipping through the pages of an old issue of Marie Claire. Some of my favorite fashion content from the magazine are the Shop the Shoot spreads, so when I came across this "Marrakech Express" page I thought the Michael Kors dress had the perfect print for a nail design (this is the only way I'll ever be able to wear that $1,000+ dress!). 

Red, white and black aren't really summery colors, but I figured what the heck — I wear flip flops during the winter, so why not black during the summer?

As usual, I started with a base of OPI Alpine Snow for the white. The polish, because it's so old, is developing a really thick consistency, so today I managed to get away with one coat.

I started out using tape (experimenting on my right hand), but when that made a mess of my edges, I gave up and decided to try my luck at freehanding. 

It's not as crisp as I'd like, but freehanding the design was much simpler than dealing with cutting the corners off pieces of tape. I started by using a thin brush to add two coats of Sally Hansen Diamonds & Rubies, followed by one coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black.

It's not my best work, but it's something different!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Neon Pink Triangles

I'm moving on from striping tape to freehand designs, which I really need to work on! I've fallen into a pattern where I'm going along great for two fingers, and then I think, "OK, this isn't as hard as I thought." And then I mess up.

Triangles seemed to be the easiest, so I grabbed one of my thin brushes and went to town.

My base color was three coats of Sinful Colors 24/7, a vibrant neon pink. I was really surprised at how the color came out — in the bottle, it's actually more of a muted hue. The formula is a bit thin, so I had to keep reapplying until I got the right opacity.

The triangles were done with Sinful Colors Black on Black and OPI Alpine Snow. I was dabbing the polish onto wax paper, but had so much trouble with clumping that eventually I started dipping the brush directly into the bottle. 

I really like the color combination here, but I definitely want to keep working on this technique, and maybe get some new brushes. If anyone has suggestions for good freehand brushes, let me know!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mint Candy Apple Stripes

White nails are becoming my latest obsession. Before I even decided what I was going to do for today's manicure, I started with two coats of OPI Alpine White. It's really the perfect shade for summer, and at work right now we're putting out our summer issue so my brain is apparently tuned in to that frequency.

To practice my tape techniques more, I decided to try a manicure using my thin striping tape (10 for $3 from China — eBay FTW). My pinky ended up a little clunky, and on my index finger you can actually see a few smudges from where I took too much polish off. Let that be a lesson in patience.

The always-lovely mint color is Annie's favorite, Essie Mint Candy Apple.  This is a fairly straightforward manicure (three pieces of striping tape over a base color and top coat), but my one takeaway for you is this: Don't try to correct your mistake after you pull the tape too soon.


My layers were a bit too thick on my index finger, so the polish actually bled into the gap created by the tape. When I tried to go back to correct my mistake, I ended up taking too much polish off because in my rush, I forgot to sponge the excess acetone off the brush.

Moral of the story: Go slowly! Be precise when doing tape manicures, and be sure to use thin layers when polishing so the polish won't bleed.