Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Design With Options!

Wow, it is definitely the holiday season. How do I know? Because I've been sick for probably the last 6 weeks. None of it is life-threatening, thankfully, it's just frustrating and annoying. So many plans, and so little actual ability to accomplish anything!

I decided to play around a bit with color blocking. You can really use whatever colors you want, and I'll be showing you several options a little farther on in this entry. However, let me explain my process for this one.

I started the way I do all my designs- with a good base coat. This helps the polish adhere longer and can also prevent staining. It can be very frustrating removing a favorite color only to find you have zombie hands!

I then decided to paint random sections on my nail. If I were doing this as a whole-hand manicure, I don't think I'd make all the nails look alike. However, you totally could make them all alike and it would be lots of fun.

So, I started with the yellow polish, painting a triangle-ish shape in the center of my nail. I let that dry for a bit, then went back for the top and bottom sections and filled in with my teal and black polishes. After a few more minutes drying time, I went in with my silver striping polish and added a stripe to cover the lines where the polishes join. A coat of Seche Vite finished everything off, and I was quite happy with this design.

You could also do lots more with this type of design. You could use glitter for the stripes, you could do gradients for one or all of the sections (imagine having the gradients go in different directions!), you could go in with rhinestones or stickers... you're really only limited by your imagination. I didn't even experiment with other patterns! So, enjoy this set of mockups that all use this basic design.

So what do you think? Do you enjoy seeing these variations on a theme to see just how different the same design can look with just basic color changes? I really enjoy showing how a simple design can look so very different based on who's doing it and what spin they put on it.

Leave me a note if you like this design and definitely let me know if you enjoy these mockups. And have a belated Happy Thanksgiving for all the US people!

Some polishes may have been provided by the brands for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Orange Rays

Wow, looks like I had a couple of extra Halloween nails hiding that I didn't get to share with you. That's ok, though, because this is a lovely technique you can use with any colors you like, to create something soft and subtle or bold like I'm showing.

I started this nail using a Milani's High Speed Fast Dry Polish in Jiffy Orange, an intensely pigmented orange creme that does indeed dry quickly. Once it was dry, I added strips of nail striping tape radiating out from one spot on the lower left of the nail. I made sure to cut the tape long enough to leave excess on the end so that I could remove it easily once the next polish was on, and I pressed all the strips down carefully to make sure they were solidly adhered.

Again, let me repeat that it's crucial that your polish be completely dry for this step. If it isn't, you end up with some really funky stuff that needed to be removed so you can try again. It's not worth trying to rush it.

Once the striping tape is applied, I went over the top of the whole nail using Wet n Wild's Black Creme, which is unsurprisingly a black creme polish. As soon as the polish was applied I pulled each strip of tape off one by one, leaving crisp orange lines across the nail. Once again, I let this dry for a few minutes.

Because I felt the nail was still lacking something, I decided to add a spot of glitter. I used Milani's Gold Glitz, which added a bit of glam to the design. After giving this a couple of minutes to dry I then topped the whole thing off with a couple of coats of ProFX topcoat and called it a day.

I've put together a few examples of different color combinations to show just how versatile this design can be. I think it would be fun to do a rainbow ombre for the base coat, with an opaque creme on top. Or you could do the base coat in a dark glitter like Milani's Silver Dazzle and a bright gradient on top!  Hopefully you'll see something that inspires you to play!

Some polishes were provided by the brands for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Building a Design on a Background

Yesterday I posted photos of a nail design that was in progress. I could have happily worn that design on its own, but I wanted to add another design element to it. I decided to go with a tropical theme and add some big flowers.

I worked on two nails this time, one with a pastel gradient and one with the white pinstripes over the pastel gradient. I used creme polishes in bright pink and orange for the large flowers, and then added smaller flowers in a light dusty blue. I used deeper tones of pink and orange to add a bit of dimension to the flower centers, then used tiny white dots to help tie everything together. I also added leaves in a couple of shades of green to help fill in blank space. I did same thing to the nail with the white pinstripes.

Comparing the two, I think the nail with the pinstripes is a bit more finished-looking. I'm not sure why, but I feel like the white lines somehow add more of a unified feel to the design. That's always a good thing, right?

Now I find I'm wanting to experiment with another floral design, this time all in pale pastels. What's wrong with me?? *laughs*

I'll leave you with more photos of the pretty...

Some polishes were provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, November 2, 2012

More Experimenting With Striping tape

I recently mentioned that I've been experimenting with striping tape. I've got an in-progress design to share with you tonight, and I'm absolutely in love with this one! It's pretty labor-intensive, but it's a really special look and it's not all that difficult.

For this design, I started with a sponged gradient. I chose five pastel polishes that looked soft and pretty together. I created my sponged gradient onto this nail (and another, which you'll see in my next post) and let it dry. It's important to let this totally dry, because if the polish is at all wet, the striping tape will make quite a mess.

Once the nail was dry, I started cutting pieces of striping tape to apply to the nail. I tried to keep the tape fairly evenly spaced to create a diagonal across the nail. This was harder than I expected, but I still think it's something that can be done if you really want to. You could also leave wider spaces between the tape to end up with something like my last design. The tape is going to be a mask for our next layer of polish, so the more open space you leave between the tape, the less of the gradient you'll see once you're finished.

Once all the tape was in place, I applied a fairly thick coat of white polish to make sure it was opaque. Then while the polish was still wet I peeled the striping tape off. You can see toward the middle of the nail where I tried to pull two pieces of tape off at once and actually lifted some of the white polish right off the nail. Oops!

I then let everything dry for a few minutes, then added a coat of Pro FX. Unfortunately, my bottle had gotten a bit thick and I tried thinning it down right before applying it. Talk about a bubble fest! If you need to thin your topcoat, do it a few hours before you need to use it!

That's all there is to creating this look! If you find the written instructions confusing and would like to see a video on how to do this, leave me a comment. I could probably be persuaded to show you how to do this on YouTube. :D

Also, be sure to come back tomorrow to see how I dressed this patterned nail up! I'm super happy with how this came out, and I can't wait to share it with you!

Some polishes were provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.