Friday, 28 September 2012

Watercolour Drip Nails

I'd been wanting to do watercolour nails for a long time, but the technique I've tried where you drop acetone onto blobs of polish didn't create the effect that I wanted. While the acetone does make a neat ring effect in the polish, I wanted a bit of a more brushstrokey, splodgey  look. I think I've achieved that with my American Apparel sheer polishes.

The best thing is, these are super easy to do with some good jelly polishes. I'd like to make a proper tutorial for the watercolour and drip effect in the future, so let me know if that's something you'd be interested in!

Left to right: American Apparel "Manhattan Beach", "Summerland Beach", "Pacific Beach", "Redondo Beach", "Moonlight Beach", OPI "Don't Touch My Tutu", Sally Hansen "White Out"
  1. Start off with a white base. I used two coats of a sheer white, OPI "Don't Touch My Tutu" to keep the transparency, but I don't think a solid white base would make a difference with all the layers we'll be doing.
  2. Take a jelly colour, and make random strokes and splodges.
  3. Repeat with all of your colours until your entire nail is covered.   
  4. Paint over everything with one coat of a sheer white. 
I really liked the resulting look, but I wanted to add some hard edges in there to break things up a bit. Then I remembered I haven't tried drip nails yet either, and this was definitely the perfect opportunity.
I loved it so much, I went for a full-blown drip mani.
Again, please let me know if you'd like to see a full tutorial for this! I'll be back next week with another "Alice in Wonderland" design. Happy Friday, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Alice in Wonderland Nail Art Series: Cheshire Cat

 "You may notice I'm not all there myself."

Hi friends! I'm happy today to make the first post in my "Alice in Wonderland" nail art series. I'll be doing a set of Wonderland themed nails every week, for the next several weeks. Hope you'll enjoy these! I've always loved the imagery from "Alice in Wonderland". It's crazy and can be a bit unsettling, but so colourful and fun.

These first set of nails are inspired by the Cheshire Cat, with his trademark grin, and disappearing stripes. If you look closely, you can see the pink stripes start solid on the middle finger, get slightly more transparent on the index, and then disappear completely on the thumb.

Left to right: OPI "Sparrow Me the Drama", Zoya "Reagan", Sally Hansen "White On", black striper
Here is how I created the Cheshire smile. The Zoya brush was very easy to maneuver, so the thick purple stripes are painted freehand.

1) Paint two coats of white and make evenly spaced stripes with a striper.
2) Cut a smile shape from tape. I just modified a binder paper reinforcement.
3) Line up the smile with your cuticle, and make sure it's pressed down completely. 
4) Paint a coat of white on the remaining area to cover up the extra stripes. Then a coat or two of pink.
5) Remove the tape the reveal your wide Cheshire smile.

Finished! If you have any suggestions for me or specific designs you'd like to see, just leave me a comment!

Alice in Wonderland Nail Art Series

    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    I Found My Nude!

    So my second nude/neutral polish purchase turns out to be a winner! And for a mere $4 at CNE (Canadian National Exhibit). Sweet! This is two coats of Sally Hansen "Malt" and Essie "Penny Talk" sponged on the tips, with a little bit painted directly on. The sponge texture almost gives it a burnished copper look. Subtle and classy, I like it!

    Malt reminds me of foundation. I suppose all nude polishes would have that quality. If it was a shade or two lighter, it would have been an even better match for my skin. The formula was awesome and opaque in two easy coats.

    Here was my first attempt with a nude and I have a swatch of Penny Talk here. I'm so happy to have found a great nude! Not exactly mannequin hands, but great nonetheless. What gives you mannequin hands (if that's your thing)?

    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Nail Art: Counting Sheep

    Warning: These nails may put you to sleep. Do not stare at them while driving or operating heavy machinery.

    Left to right: Revlon "Dreamer", Wet n Wild "Kaleidoscope", OPI "Jade is the New Black", Illamasqua "Milf", China Glaze "Lemon Fizz", Sally Hansen "White On" and "Black Out"
    Base: Start off with two coats of "Dreamer" (how appropriate is the name). Add a bit of glitter for stars.


    Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy...

    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Rainbow Clouds with Butter London The Black Knight

    While not participating in the 31 day challenge myself, seeing all the different and interesting designs people are coming up with is very inspiring! Recently, the theme was "Rainbow Nails", and I got the urge to do my own. This is a variation on the happy clouds mani I did before, and again, inspired by Jane from Nailside's rainbow design. Love!

    Another name I have for this mani is "Bleeding Rainbow" (some dark parody of "Reading Rainbow" perhaps). The colours bled out from the arc into the clouds and rain - is what I was going for here.

    My base is one coat of black with one coat of Butter London "The Black Knight". Then I painted the white arc first using the bottle brush, starting from the side of my nail and extending down to the tip in one stroke. For the rainbow clouds, it's easiest to get the rounded edges when you have a small bead of polish on the end of your brush (but not so that it's dripping). The raindrops were painted with a nail art brush.

    Yellow - China Glaze "Lemon Fizz"
    Purple - Zoya "Reagan"
    Blue -China Glaze "For Audrey"
    Light Purple - Nature Republic colour PP402


    The Black Knight has a sheer black base with predominately blue, red, and fuchsia microglitter. If you look real closely, you can see even tinier silver, yellow, and green glitter in there. On it's own, it would take three coats to become opaque, but if you paint a black base, you'll only need one.

    Closeup of the glitter - how amazing does that look??

    Hope you enjoyed this! I'm sure I'll be inspired many more times while this 31 Day Challenge is going on.

    Thursday, 6 September 2012

    Nail Art: Calvin and Hobbes

    Hello friends, long time no see. I've been pretty busy for the past week, hence the lack of posting, but I happily had time to sit down yesterday and paint something.

    I've been wanting to do Calvin and Hobbes themed nails for a while now. I bought several Calvin and Hobbes comic books at an amazingly inexpensive bookstore in Toronto, and they quickly became my favourite thing to read for a quick pick-me-up. Makes me think how much less boring it would be being an adult if I just had a stuffed tiger.

    The hard part was making a design that would show their friendship; something the comics express so plainly. I settled on this simple design with a simple message in mind: where some may see a stuffed tiger, Calvin sees his best friend.

    Left to right: Illamasqua "Nomad", Zoya "Arizona", Sally Hansen "White On" and "Black Out", Folk Art acrylic paint #949 "Skintone" and #509 "Sunny Yellow"

    I love how these turned out and I get happy when I look down at my fingers. These are probably not the last Calvin and Hobbes themed nails from me. Hoped you enjoyed this!