Sunday, April 29, 2012

Update! Some new designs :]

My first attempt at water marbling did not go well AT ALL. I got so angry and frustrated and almost gave up altogether! I ended up taking it all off and trying again, and the second time it worked better but I still don't love it at all. I think it's mostly that I didn't use a base color, I just used clear base coat, so that would probably help alot. I used a black, pink and blue and I think without a base color the black just ended up looking grey. These are still not totally cleaned up, even though I used tape, but I figured I'd put it up anyway. I like how a couple of them turned out, but definitely would need more practice - if I can find the patience.

I also wanted to practice some designs on some artificial nails since I had some time this weekend. Well, I made some time - I really should be studying for a final and writing a take home final that are happening this week but I wanted some stress relief instead. So, here are some things I came up with!

My FA at argyle sucked. I've practiced a bit and improved a little since I did this, but I do like the colors so I thought I"d put it up anyway. I just need to make cleaner angles with the diamonds and criss-cross the x's a bit more. By the time I got to the pinky I just didn't care anymore :p
Then at the bottom, I tried a few things I've seen online in my searches. First is an attempt at plaid - I kind of like it, though it will need some cleaning up with practice. The second is just a two-tone with a dotting pattern (used a toothpick). Lastly I decided to attempt the feather-y design I saw done by the lovely Theodora (I hope she doesn't mind I tested it out)! Overall, I like how it came out but hers was much better!

Here I made a bug set! I've seen various bug-related designs while Googling, so I decided to put some together and make a set. I did a ladybug, a bee, a butterfly wing, an interpretation of the color of a beetle I saw online (it's an iridescent greenish purpleish that doesn't translate well in pictures), and a black widow (a sparkly dark red hourglass on a black background). Overall I really like them. I think my butterfly wing has improved a TON since the last one so hopefully I will just keep getting better :]

And, last but not least, my little shoes! I'm honestly not sure where I saw this idea, cause I've come across it several times, but I really really like it. I think they're adorable and the colors can really be played around with to fit any season, mood, etc. I felt like being bright and summery for mine! And I'm too lazy right now to list all the colors I used in the above posts, etc but if anyone is curious just ask!

So that's all for now - I finish up with finals on Wednesday and only have about a week and a half of work left so should have a bit more free time in the near future - hopefully that means I will be able to try some new techniques! I bought some new brushes today and I've been wanting to try a galaxy manicure so stay tuned for updates. Thanks for reading :]


Friday, April 27, 2012

Trying some new polishes :]

Haven't done too much art lately because of final presentations for school but I need feel a NEED to try out some of my new polishes that I got at Ulta the other day! I'm trying to grow my nails out, I'm really not used to them being so short, but I cut them at Easter to glue on artificial nails so they're still a work in progress. Also, ignore the cuticles - again, finals stress happened! :/

My first ever Zoya! This color is called Yara, and I LOVE it. It looked so much lighter in the bottle, it really reminded me of zombies and I was going to use it in a Walking Dead inspired mani I have been thinking about, but it turned out much more army green than zombie green. Still really cool color, and I love the gold sparkles in it, though they are hard to see in the picture.

Later in the week, I decided to add something to it by trying a gold glitter gradient. The gradient is Sinful Colors in Paris. I really like how this combination turned out.

Really hard to get a good picture of my toenails because the flash is either too much or not enough! I think I was getting so frustrated because this color (Orly - Oui) is so, so different in person. The camera can't capture all of the different colors and sparkles in this shade, it's so pretty. In person, it looks much more gold and sparkly than purple.

Trying to get a picture in more natural light. Still doesn't do the color justice. This was my first Orly polish and I love it - will definitely buy more in the future.

This weekend I plan to try water marbling and finish up my District 4 mani so keep an eye out for those! :]

OH, and PS - I just signed up for the Julep Maven special where you can get the monthly box for just ONE PENNY! I totally thought it was too good to be true, but I just did it and my box is now on its way and I literally did not pay more than one cent because of the free shipping. So, if anyone reading this wants an entire box full of nail stuff for only a cent, click this link and do the style quiz! There is no obligation to keep the account after you receive your box, so as long as you cancel a month after you order, you will never pay anything else. SUCH a cool deal :]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No nails tonight, but wallet is crying...

I have a presentation tomorrow so even though I really want to try some of my new colors, my next manicure will have to wait until tomorrow :[
However, I felt it was important to document the aftermath...Walgreen's Sinful sale killed me...and then I was near Ulta and that happened, too. Here's the damage:

The very last one was a surprise gift from my boyfriend! Supporting my new addiction...

PS: A District 4 nail is in the works, so that should be coming soon...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FA at Gradient + Leopard Toes

Good morning! I mentioned in an earlier post that I tried out the gradient technique a few nights ago and would post a picture post-cleanup. Well, here it is!

Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out, especially for my first try! It was really tough to get the sponge into the spaces right around my cuticles, so the white basecoat I used shows through in some spots, but other than that I like it. I used NYC Pink Promenade for the first color, then Sinful Colors Mama-San, and ended with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Gunmetal. The picture was taken the day after, once I had cleaned up all the excess polish from my fingers. Definitely something I want to try more in the future.

Also thought I'd share my current toenail design. I like it a lot but I hate my feet/toes so I really struggled to get a picture I felt was acceptable. For the colors on this design, I was mostly inspired by this tank top I have that has leopard print in these colors.

That's all for now, I love this gradient manicure so I want to try to keep it on as long as I can but I'm planning on trying some new designs on acrylics this week (if I have time)!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hunger Games!

So, I probably should have said this before, but most of these ideas I've gotten from just doing Google Image searches for things I like. So I'm not taking credit for coming up with most of these ideas. That being said, I found these awesome Hunger Games-inspired sets and I've started trying them out. Here are the first two:

A general Hunger Games set. I got this idea from and hers is obviously much better, but for me it's progress! The Mockingjay actually turned out a lot better than I thought it would, but it doesn't translate well in this picture.

This set is inspired by District 1, which is famous for luxury items, hence the glitter and sparkly things. I got the idea from but I didn't have a lot of the colors, jewels etc that she had so it's more of a toned down version. Overall, though, I really love it - I just need to make a matching set for the other hand. I plan on trying designs based on the other districts too, especially three and four, and I've seen some examples online, but I think I really want to try and think of my own design for each one. We'll see how that turns out! More to come later in the week - I also did my FA at gradient last night but it still needs cleaned up so I'll post that later.

Lazy Saturday morning so uploaded some pics I had from last weekend

Here are a bunch of random designs that I just wanted to try out. The pack of nails I bought has some nails that are much too big for any of my fingers, so I've been using them for practice.

Trying out some animals. Two different owl designs, a sloppy butterfly wing and a giraffe. I tried using acrylic for the giraffe, but I didn't like the texture at all, so not sure I'll be using that a lot in the future.

A few more designs I was just testing out. Tiger stripes, more houndstooth (clearly one of my favorite patterns), cupcake with sprinkles and a more natural leopard. I liked the color combination on the tiger stripe so much I decided to try making a set. Here it is:

Again, the stripes are Sinful Colors Nail Art (Lazy Girl and Flower Girl), and the main base is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Sonic Bloom. The ring finger is NYC in Spring Street.

The first full set I've made so far - this took me forever because I free-handed the squares and tried to make it look cleaner than the last one. Most of the square colors are Sinful Colors Nail Art.

Friday, April 20, 2012

First post showing my first few attempts!

First, just a bit of background. I'm currently a graduate student working towards my Master's in Clinical Psychology. Definitely a stressful time in my life, but I'm almost done! However, just because school is ending doesn't mean stress is - I've been trying (and failing) to find a job for months, questioning where to live, how to proceed since my degree is basically a glorified, very expensive piece of toilet paper, etc. Long story short, I was at the end of my rope - feeling depressed, anxious, irritable and just overall very worn down. One night while Facebook creeping (one of my strongest skills), I saw some photos of hand-painted nail art and loved it. After that, I started Googling like mad and that was the beginning of the end (of my financial security). I started trying to essentially copy some techniques I saw using how-to videos, etc. It didn't hurt (help?) that Sinful polish has been on sale at Rite Aid pretty much constantly. Painting different designs on my nails and focusing on that has been such a great stress reliever I've been amazed. When I had a huge paper due that was weighing on me, taking some time out to paint a couple of nails helps me chill enough to regain focus again. Or, I use it as something to look forward to when studying or doing assignments, for example - read two more articles and then I get to paint 2 nails. It's been a lifesaver. I've seen so many great nail blogs that have given me the inspiration for designs, I decided to document my progression. That being said - DISCLAIMER*** - I am not a professional by any means and I am literally just learning how to do this stuff. My first attempts are seriously shaky and my hopes are that someday I'll look back on this and see just how far I've come. Another hope is that other people just starting out with nail art will see that you have to start somewhere, and let it serve as motivation to keep going even when you suck! Well that's about all, I think I'll add just my very first new attempts at some different designs. Most of these pictures are going to be taken with my phone camera, so I will try my best but it may not be great. Any comments, ideas, suggestions - I'd appreciate the input but please be respectful! Hope you like my blog!
Peacock - my very first attempt! Also my FA at leopard.
Sloppy tiger stripes (I was still getting the hang of that) and I didn't know what gradient was yet, so I just tried fading the three colors together using clear - didn't work that well! Also a strawberry, which I smudged in the stem, and black with multi-color dots.
My actual nails, my FA at using tape to make clean lines/stripes. I used blue and gold, but the gold got bubbles in it so I tried to cover that up by using a gold glitter. Overall, for just starting out I liked the look of it. I'll try it again with different colors once I get better.

Purple houndstooth - still really shaky but the more I do it, the better it gets. I spent all day yesterday trying to perfect this pattern using the stripes/lines/checkers method I've seen online but just couldn't get it. Eventually I just realized that free-handing the squares and going from there was much easier and had much better results. Still pretty sloppy but overall I love this pattern!