November 27, 2012

Week 9: Rainbow

Week 9 theme of the 52 week challenge is RAINBOW. This is also the first time I have done this technique on my blog. I decided I'm calling this a dripping paint rainbow.

Just for fun, I painted my nails with matte polish first for a nice contrasting base coat.

So here is my set up: Polishes for the nail I'm doing, 2 cut off plastic cups (one with a couple drops of each polish and one filled with nail polish remover), a thin paint brush or nail art brush, and a folded paper towel.

Below on the left is the red. On the right is after I painted the light pink and hot pink. Not much to this technique. I just dipped the thin paint brush in the polish and painted some thin stripes of alternating lengths.  I did this once with each color, then repeated each color to get a sort of layered look.

In between switching colors, I swished the paint brush in the cup with nail polish remover then wiped it off on the paper towel. 

Here's all the colors I used! (I listed them all left to right)

For Red/Pink:  Burgundy Flirt by Rimmel London, I'm Indi-a Mood for Love by OPI, and Brushstroke blush by Finger Paints

For Orange/Yellow:  Harvest Moon by China Glaze, Peachy Keen by China Glaze, and Pull Over by Sinful Colors

For Green: Navigate Her by Essie and Kissy by Sinful Colors

For Blue: Want my Bawdy by China Glaze, Why Not by Sinful Colors, and I Vant to be A-lone Star by OPI

For Purple: It's an original by Finger Paints and No Plain Jane by China Glaze

phew!! That was exhausting typing all those polish names out. Here's one more pretty dripping rainbow pic!

November 21, 2012

Week 8: Cling Wrap Technique

This week is week 8 of the 52 week challenge and the theme is Saran/cling wrap technique. If you've never heard of it before it is pretty simple... I'll list the basic steps with additional tips to this technique are at the bottom of the post. In my opinion this technique is easy to do, but it is difficult to get colors that look good using this technique. Some combos can look just messy or dirty.

Base Color used: Champagne Toast by Sally Hansen

Basic steps:
1. Paint base color. 
2. Paint second polish on.
3. Dab crumpled cling wrap on nail.  

Second color used: No Plain Jane by China Glaze.

- Let base coat(s) dry completely on all nails before you move on to steps 2 and 3.
- Do NOT let second polish color dry before moving to step 3. Do step 3 almost immediately after step 2.
- Do steps 2 and 3 on each nail right after another.
- Crumple up the cling wrap as tight as you can so you get a wrinkled surface like this.

- Your second polish must be a thick polish that doesn't dry two quickly. This technique only works if you can successfully pick up the second color with the cling wrap ball, and still get some to stay on the nail.
- Final and MOST IMPORTANT TIP: only dab the cling wrap 2-3 times. You want a nice balance of the two colors and more dabs will pick up too much of the second color and distort the design.

Overall, it took me a few tries to get colors that I liked together. I think I really only like metallic colors with this look. I tried solid grey and it just wasn't happenin.. looked too dirty and like I messed up. Here's one more pic with day light.

November 12, 2012

Technique: Create Your Own Ombre

Surprisingly, this is the first time I have attempted an Ombré. I guess I have been so involved in new and more complicated techniques so I haven’t attempted it. This week is the 7th week of the 52 Week Challenge and the theme is black and white. I haven’t done a black and white look yet, nor have I done an ombré so I decided to do this Create Your Own Ombré technique!

Basically the “create” part is just mixing some polishes. I really didn’t have the perfect colors for a black to white ombré so I created my own! Below are the 3 polishes I used. Black by Finger Paints, grey by Essie (not sure of actual name, woops!), and White On by Sally Hansen.

I started by painting these polishes by themselves on my pinky (White On), middle finger (grey), and thumb (Black). (sorry for the blurry pic!)

Mix 1: Then comes the mixing. For the ring finger color, I mixed equal drops of White On and the Grey polish. I used a cut off solo cup to hold the polish.

I just mixed it with the grey polish brush. You could use a separate brush if you are really worried about your middle color getting contaminated, but I made sure to drop all the polish I needed before I did my mixing. Then I painted both my left and right ring fingers this light grey color.

After you are done painting your ring fingers, wipe the brush you just used completely on a paper towel (do not use tissue or TP as that will leave paper residue on the brush). If you need to add a little polish remover to the paper towel, however I didn’t feel it was necessary.

Mix 2: Then I did the same thing as Mix 1, but with Black instead of white (equal drops Black and Grey). I then painted both my index fingers the dark grey mixed color.

Voila here is my black to white Create Your Own Ombré!!

Tips for the Create Your Own Ombré:
- Whatever you paint on your left hand, paint on your right hand immediately. This way is the most efficient and you don’t risk having mismatched mixed colors.
i.e. paint in this order: left pinky, right pinky, left middle, right middle, left thumb, right thumb, Mix 1, left ring, right ring, Mix 2, left index, right index.

- Make sure you make enough mixed polish to do 2 coats on 2 fingers. I used about 6-8 drops of each polish.

- For any ombré, make sure you use ALL crème or solid polishes or use ALL shiny polishes. It looks odd if you have a couple shiny/sparkly nail and the others are solid colors.

- Try to avoid sheer polishes with this technique! They will be very difficult to mix correctly and your ombré may not look just right.

- Here are some good 3 polish color combos that would work great for this Create Your Own Ombré technique.
       1. Red, Orange, Yellow
       2. Green, Blue, Purple
       3. Pale/light, Bright, Dark of any color.
Below is an example of a good light to dark blue trio. [Sea Spray by China Glaze, Dating a Royal by OPI, and Up All Night by China Glaze.]

This is super easy and fun! I will definitely be trying this many more times!!

November 8, 2012

Combo: Smoldering + Fowl Play

Yesterday, I was having a very hard time being inspired nail-wise. So I picked up a few polishes, walked over to my boyfriend, and asked “Which of these goes together well?”. I just love him. His response was, “Well, these two don’t ‘go together’, but I think they would look cool together”.  So this combo is all because of him, Thanks babe :). I think it turned out great!

First/Base Coat:  Smoldering by Revlon. This silver is really pretty because at first glance it looks like a plain old metallic silver, but when you move the nail you can see a little pale pink duo-chrome goin’ on.

Taping! This is just a simple vertical taping. Same old drill (Tape all of one hand, paint one nail, remove tape immediately, paint next nail, repeat…)

Second Coat: Fowl Play by Orly. I really couldn’t quite capture the beauty of this polish. It is so dynamic. It is a dark purple with a flaky pink and red glitter. I can stare at it all day!

Top Coat: Matte About You by Essie. I loooooove Fowl Play with the matte coat on top. You can see it better and it looks very modern.

Here’s some more pics!

November 6, 2012

week 6: inspired by a game

Week 6 of the 52 Week Challenge theme is “Inspired by a Game". I couldn’t think of a good idea for the life of me and then I looked at my desk and saw my Rubik’s cube. Not really sure it is considers a game, but I love playing/sloving it :) My best solve time is 1:26. I had to paint it with nail polish because I used it so many times and the colors were wearing off. Anyways, so that was my inspiration!

Here is my left hand with the first two colors.

Here’s the added blue. I just took my time and did it freehand, but you could also use tape for straighter lines.

Then I used a black nail art polish to do black lines separating the colors.

Here’s the steps to the Rubik’s cube I did on my thumb with the black nail art polish.

Here is the right hand with the orange, white and green polish. Turned out pretty good I think!

These are the colors I used. From left to right they are:
Pull Over by Sinful Colors, Why Not by Sinful Colors, Lacquered Up by Essie, Limelight by Ulta, White On by Sally Hansen, and Orange, It’s Obvious! by Essie.

November 4, 2012

Combo: Fresh Winter Snow

Ugh I am so embarassed. I had an old copy of the schedule so I thought that week 6 of the 52 week challenge was winter, but it is not! Whoops, it is actually "Inspired by a Game" so I guess I will have to do some new nails tonight! Darn it... the one week that I actually did it early haha oh well. Here's a pretty sparkly pale blue combo!

It's not quite winter weather yet here in the Chicago land area, but hey this combo is still pretty to look at :). I went for a simple combo of polishes to make a fresh winter snow look.

First polish: 2 coats of a pale blue or white polish. I used "I Vant to Be A-lone Star" by OPI

Second polish: 1 coat of a sheer, iridescent polish. I used "Rainbow" by China Glaze

Third polish: 1 or 2 coats of a pearlescent glitter. I used "Make a Spectacle" by China Glaze

Here's one more pic, but the one at the top of this post definitely looks the best on how this turned out.