Monday, August 20, 2012

Watercolour Flowers

Hello! Today I have a fun technique to share with you. I first saw it in this pretty manicure by Sarah of Chalkboard Nails. It's a 'watercolour' method that yields beautiful results with a simple technique. Here's a quick rundown on how I achieved this look:
  1. Paint your nails with your base colour. Apply topcoat and let it dry.
  2. Put a few tiny drops of polish to start off some of your petals at the center of the flowers.
  3. Dip a paint brush in nail polish remover and gently dab it onto the drops of polish.
  4. The polish should disperse and you can use the brush to drag the colour outwards to form the petals.
  5. Use the leftover polish on the paint brush to paint on the rest of the petals in your flower.
  6. If you accidentally remove the base colour or you need more vibrancy, just repeat the process until you cover things up or achieve the desired opacity! 'Less is more' is a key concept in this case- you don't want to end up with a giant blob of polish nor do you want to flood your nails with remover.
  7. Seal with topcoat and you're done!
So simple! I really like the finished product- it reminds me of pressed flowers! I'm looking forward to trying out this technique some more. I think it has a lot of potential for more intricate designs.

I used OPI Alpine Snow for my base. For the flowers I used OPI A Roll in the Hague, OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where? and OPI Kiss Me on My Tulips.

Still working on the photo setup business. It's working so far. Check out my new itty bitty watermark! I hope this one is effective yet minimally intrusive. I realize that it would be really easy to photoshop it out but I'm gonna go out on a limb and trust the kind people of the internet to leave it alone ;)

What do you think of the watercolour technique? Yay or nay? Have you tried it yet? (Feel free to link me with your versions!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dawn Til Dusk

It's almost the weekend, yay! This is both relieving and sad- next week is my last week of work. I've really come to enjoy it and I'll be sad to be leaving )': But university awaits!

Here's an edgy manicure that incorporates a lot of different elements: gradient, tribal, and cut-out hearts and suns! All of the polishes I used are by American Apparel- my favourite brand for cremes :) I'm happy with this look- it's the perfect way to end the summer.

You may notice that this photo looks a lot different from my usually ones. I always took pictures by a window with natural light and automatic camera settings. I haven't been very satisfied with this method lately so I decided that it was time for a change. I'm still using natural light but I'm playing with solid backgrounds, manually adjusting the white balance, and zooming out more. I like how this photo looks so hopefully this method will work in the future! I hope you like this new style too :)

I sponged a gradient on all of my nails with a makeup sponge and American Apparel ManilaAmerican Apparel Neon OrangeAmerican Apparel Sunset BlvdAmerican Apparel Poppy, and American Apparel Dynasty. Then I used black striping polish for the tribal print and the outlines of the shapes and American Apparel Hassid to fill.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Strawberry Gingham

I hope you're all having a splendid Saturday. It's been very rainy here and I think I'm feeling a bit under the weather (get it?) as a result of it. I love working, I really do, but at the end of the week I'm just physically and mentally exhausted. And now for a lengthy explanation to this posts' manicure...

I've had a mental to-do list of nail ideas that never came to fruition because I couldn't figure out a nice way to execute them. For one thing, I've been dying to use this sheer red jelly I acquired: Revlon Cherry Fizz. It's labeled as a 'Glimmer Gloss' and I had never heard of this line before. I snagged it by chance for around a dollar at a store closing sale. On top of that, I finally bought Milani Gems, the famed Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday dupe, and I knew I had to do a jelly sandwich with it. Lastly, I've been itching to try a gingham print but I was always really unsure of whether or not creme finishes could do the job. I now know: jelly finishes are the way to go!

So how did this jumble of ideas come together? Last week I saw this adorable manicure by the very talented Katy of Nailed It. (scroll to the bottom of the post, underneath those perfect swatches). I used her design as accent nails and a full gingham print on the rest of the nails. I'm pretty happy with the result, I think it came out really cute :) By the way, about jelly polishes and gingham: This method was so easy, no mixing for darker shades required! The sheer jelly built opacity nicely, simply by adding a dab of polish at the gingham intersections.

For the accent nails I started of with a base of OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where? Then I layered a coat of Milani Gems followed by a couple layers of Revlon Cherry Fizz. For the gingham I used OPI Alpine Snow for the base colour. I just used the brush that came with Revlon Cherry Fizz for the gingham. For the gingham tips I did the same thing but outlined the shape with a white striping polish first.

And there we have it! A high-gloss, summery picnic-desire-invoking manicure. Sorry for all the rambling but I hope you enjoyed this post :)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Daisy Chains

Good morning! To my fellow Canadians: I hope you're enjoying your long weekend! To everyone else: Haha suckers I hope your regular weekend is going well too! ;) I'm behind in posting which may be a good thing because I now have three posts ready to go for this week.

I was really liking the flowers from my previous manicure, Wildflowers, so I decided to try out those little flowers again. This time I arranged them in a more structured pattern, framing my nails almost like the border nail trend. I chose to go for a single accent nail in a happy, shimmery yellow that added just the right punch of brightness to the manicure.

On the accent finger I used American Apparel Manila with Color Club Daisy Does It (how fitting!) on top. For the rest of the nails I used American Apparel California Trooper. With a small brush I painted on the petals with OPI Alpine Snow and the leaves with OPI Green-wich Village. I used a dotting tool and the same yellow combo for the centers of the daisies.

As always, thanks for stopping by!