First off, I’d like to say again- THANK YOU for all the support, and for all the interest in the giveaway!
As I mentioned on Facebook, I drew the names of the winners last night, and they have already responded! So big congratulations to Tina, Patricia, and Cayce!! 2 of the 3 winners will have their packages on their way to them tomorrow- the 3rd (at her request) will be getting hers mailed as soon as the Olympics are over. My first international winner!
Be sure to post pictures on my wall when you make a fuzzy monster mani, guys!
Now onto today’s post- Olympic Nails. Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which is always possible, I’m fairly in the dark with news a lot of times), you know that the Olympics began this weekend. Go Team USA!
I will freely admit, this is not my best work. But the kids were screaming, and I’m sure it’s fun to see the ‘fails’ as often as the wins. The idea is good though, in my opinion! Maybe you can recreate it a bit better 🙂
Here’s the first round of polishes I used. This is OPI’s DS Radiance, Essie’s Penny Talk, a franken thrown together 5 minutes earlier by me, Color Club’s mini gold with no sticker (from May’s BirchBox), and Julep Kate. (Or in other words- you need white, gold, silver, bronze, and (optional) patriotic topcoat)
I had planned to use Pretty and Polished’s Freedom Calling, but I couldn’t find the bottle for the life of me. I know it’s around here somewhere. That is a good one to use though, it’s fairly similar to this one but not identical. Same idea- red, white and blue mixed glitter.
I painted white on my thumb and pinky, and did the 3 medal colors across the inner fingers, like so:
Next round of colors:
You’ll need black, green, yellow, red, blue, and some straws (cutting them is up to you- but you’ll need 5 ‘sides’). I used Cult Nails Nevermore, Julep Emilie, Sinful Colors Pull Over, Zoya Sooki, and Sinful Color’s Rain Storm. For cleaning purposes, I also used a paper plate, but a piece of paper will also work.
Now we’re going to use these colors to create the Olympic rings on our thumb!
To make the rings, I dipped the tip of the straw into a little blob of polish. If you don’t know off the top of your head (I didn’t), the rings go blue-black-red, and then yellow-green below them. So I began with blue, and worked my way down!
Here’s the tip of the straw with polish on it. Then you’ll place the straw end where you want the first ring, and gently rock it around to ensure the polish gets on the nail around the entire circle. On my first circle, I lifted up after just placing it on my nail, and 1/2 the circle was missing. When I re-did it, it made it look a bit ‘off’. Do make sure you have a good bit of polish on the straw, but it doesn’t have to be dripping.
My nails, in addition to being shorter, are not very big. I could *barely* fit the rings on my thumb, and they were all overlapping each other. If you have slightly smaller nails, I’d advise trying out a coffee stirrer straw instead of a standard one. If I had any, that’s what I would have used!
I didn’t take photos of the next step (because my husband wasn’t home to help with pictures), but I wrote ‘USA’ in red and blue polish on my pinky. I did this using a paintbrush, but you could easily do it using nail art stripers, or maybe even a standard brush if you’re patient.
I then finished it all off with my red, white and blue topcoat over the gold, silver and bronze nails. Obviously, if you’re not from the USA, Britain, or another r/w/b country, you can use something else to represent your colors!
And I didn’t realize my USA was upside down in the swatches until after I’d taken pictures. I didn’t want to redo the entire nail, so I hope you guys understand 🙂
If you do any kind of Olympic mani, even if it’s completely different from this, please link up on my Facebook page- I’d love to see it and feature it!
Good evening everyone! Today’s mani came out SO much better than I had hoped. I LOVE it!
A good friend of mine has been asking about gradient nails for awhile. While I was very familiar with the basics, I had never actually attempted it before. So earlier today, I decided today’s post would be a perfect time to remedy that!
In the past I’ve seen a number of amazing tutorials for how to do this, but I went on my own using knowledge I got from everywhere for today. I know there’s a number of pins floating around Pinterest of this technique.
First off, the supplies! You’ll need tape, sponges, a white polish, the colors for your gradient, and a topcoat if you choose. I used Orly Dayglow, Sonnetarium Samurai Princess, Color Club Pure Energy, and Color Club Ultraviolet.
The sponges are makeup sponges (cosmetic wedges) that I got in a giant pack at the dollar store.
First, you’ll want to paint your nails white. I really like Dayglow- there’s a very very faint blue shimmer to it that’s barely noticeable. It was part of Orly’s Feel the Vibe collection this summer- and I got it for $1 this weekend at Sally’s 50% off clearance sale! I’m just sad I couldn’t find the others I lacked 😦
Anywho… on to the gradient part!
Here’s a picture of my thumb nail taped and ready to go. You’ll want to cover most of the skin- but from experience, don’t cover the painted part of the nail. I pulled off some of my white basecoat on other nails because the tape was on it, and it messed up the mani a bit. This will help you avoid major cleanup- but some clean up is going to be necessary 🙂
I also advise taping all your nails first before painting. The colors I chose were not the most opaque, so I had to do multiple sponge coats for the gradient- it was easier to be able to do all 5, giving enough dry time between them for a second coat.
For those unfamiliar with cleaning up a mani- here’s what I do. I use a small paintbrush- it has a fairly small brush and is also moderately stiff (soft, but holds its shape while I use it). I dip the paintbrush into 100% pure acetone, and run it along the outsides of the nail and cuticle area, wiping off on a small tissue or pad. There’s lots of amazing tutorials out there if you need more help! If you need help finding one, let me know in the comments and I’ll find one.
In my infinite wisdom, I didn’t take an ‘after’ photo of just the gradient. Whoops! But you guys get the idea 🙂 I just love where the 2 colors meet to form a blue-purple!
So to make it more fun, I added my very favorite black and white glitter I own, Sonnetarium’s Samurai Princess.
Seriously, I adore this glitter. Of course it looks similar to Connect the Dots and it’s many dupes, but I prefer this one- it lacks the crazy big hexes that I’ve never liked much. This is 1 coat of Samurai Princess- some dabbing for placement over my messed up polish sections 😉
Ultraviolet and Pure Energy were part of Color Club’s Electro Candy collection from 2009… you can still get these online, and I recently saw a set in Ross (for only $8!).
See you all tomorrow for Try-It-On Tuesday!
I hope everyone had a good weekend! Ours was ok… quiet, relaxing, but slightly boring. Back to the busy week!
Once again I’ll be starting off the week with a Mani Monday! As I sat down to work on this yesterday, I struggled with what to do- and then it hit me! I just recently ordered my very first stamping plates- Cheeky’s 2012 Collection bundle– and hadn’t used any yet!
When I say hadn’t used any- what I really mean is that I have never used a stamping plate- ever. I’d long drooled over designs that I saw people do with the plates but had never bought any. Laziness, again. Stamping plates aren’t something you can just pop into the drugstore and buy.
There are a lot of various brands you can buy stamping plates from- Konad (my stamper is from Konad), Bundle Monster, Cheeky, Red Angel, Shany, Mash… and many stores offer their own line. Ninjapolish.com offers some really interesting ones, Llarowe just announced that they’ll be carrying a line, and you can even find them on etsy, like at Vivid Lacquer’s store!
How cool is that, though? She makes her OWN stamping plates!
So back to the mani… One of the major designs I’d seen people do was a leopard print design… or more specifically, a NEON snow leopard design. Be still my neon-loving heart.
I honestly don’t remember the first place I saw this crop up, though I do have have Steffel’s post on it saved in Pinterest, so that’s the one I’m going to credit. She used the Bundle Monster plate, which is a little different than the Cheeky design.
For this, I used a base of Essie Marshmallow (can anyone suggest a good, plain white? My only one is Sinful Nails Snow White and I’m not a fan), Cult Nails Nevermore for stamping, Cheeky plate CH2, and my Konad stamper. I pictured the Konad scraper, but I ended up using an old gift card (I’ll explain below).
For the neon accents:
I have a lot of neon colors. I picked these out mostly for their brightness factor, but also because they seemed to work well together. From left to right: Sinful Colors Pink, China Glaze Sun Worshipper, Sinful Colors Neon Melon, Color Club What A Shock!, Color Club Pure Energy, and Color Club Ultraviolet. The last 3 are part of Color Club’s Electro Candy neon set from 2009, and I won’t lie- they’re by far my very favorite neons of every color- especially Ultraviolet. You can still find this collection (cheap) at Ross sometimes, and can definitely find it on Amazon.
I didn’t detail the stamping process. I had planned on it, but the photos my husband took just turned out terrible- I probably should’ve given him a clear cut list of how I wanted things, but I was working quickly with both kids screaming for dinner. Luckily, there’s a ton of amazing tutorials and videos all over the internet.
Basically, you paint over the design to be stamped on the plate, scrape off the excess (leaving paint in the design indentations), smoosh-roll (new word) the stamper across the design, and quickly roll it over your nail. Almost every nail blogger I’ve read suggests using an old credit card/gift card instead of the scraper included- and I 100% agree! I initially tried out Konad’s scraper, but was having absolutely no luck. It wasn’t getting all the excess paint off, and by the time I went over it again I’d lose paint in the design or the design would be dry. The first time I tried a gift card was the first time I had a successful stamp on my finger!
*SQUIRREL* moment incoming:
Did I mention my very favorite animal ever is a snow leopard? Has been since I was really little 🙂 We took the kids to the Chattanooga Zoo in September, and I was so excited to see the Snow Leopard was not only hanging out right by the glass… but she had a baby! They quickly became Syd’s favorite animal, too!
So here’s my nails without the neon accents, looking like lovely snow leopards:
Time for neon! To add the neon, I used toothpicks. I didn’t want to have to clean paint brushes, so I simply dipped the end of a toothpick into the color on the brush, and then dabbed it where I wanted it. After I finished all the colors, I added 1 coat of Poshe Fast Drying top coat.
As an afterthought, I threw on a topcoat of fine glitter. Because really, the only way to make neon better is to make it sparkle. Or am I the only one that thinks that??
I wanted the effect to be subtle (believe it or not), so I used the finest glitter I could find in my Helmer. This Avon glitter is simply called ‘Purple Glitter’ (yes, it used to be purple) and it’s from approximately 2003. I also have ‘Pink Glitter’ and sadly it looks the exact same as this one 9 years later. Proof that my nail polish hoarding began a long, long time ago 🙂
So there it is! I apologize for not having a thorough explanation this week, but I’ll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have- just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you! See you all tomorrow for Try It On Tuesday! And if you haven’t hoped over to my Facebook page, please do! I love being able to interact with everyone!