Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Galaxy nails - then and now!

I think one of my very first attempts at nail art were galaxy nails. These ones:

I didn't know what I was doing but by golly, I was doing them! I don't think I had seem or read any tutorials but I gave the concept a go.

I have since watched a few tutorials and my latest attempt is far more pleasing:

The stars are a bit bigger and less precise than I would have wanted but the galaxies themselves look pretty good. I started with a base of 'Shruikan', a black holo polish by Celestial Cosmetics, and sponged on a white polish. I sponged a dark blue holo ('You Win or You Die' by Celestial Cosmetics also) around the other edges of the white with a lighter blue holo ('Sea of Tranquility' by Celestial Cosmetics) through the middle, blending the blues in a bit. I then went right through the middle again with the white, just a few dabs here and there at the centre of the galaxy. Finally, I neatened the whole thing up by sponging the black holo around the edges a bit.

The holo polish is such a good idea for galaxy nails. So easy to get the galaxy look with far less effort. I'm really quite pleased with the result!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Springtime jacaranda blooms

It's that time of year when jacaranda blooms burst onto the trees for a few weeks and make everything lovely before they fall to the ground and become mushy slippery messes. In celebration of this time, and in tribute to the fallen tree at Sydney University, the tree in front of which I had stood mere weeks ago holding up my graduation certificate, I painted little jacaranda branches onto my nails. Well, I attempted to paint them twice, failed miserably, and then sensibly practiced on paper a few times before I thought it looked right.

I really like the misty wispy cloud effect I've got going on these. I painted the nails blue ('Granny Panties' by Pretty Serious) and used a makeup sponge to dab on a gradient with the blue and 'My Boyfriend Scales Walls' by OPI, deliberately moving the sponge around in a random fashion in order to not end up with a neat gradient.

I painted on the branches using a striping brush and the flowers using a detailing brush, building three shades of purple on top of each other ('Eerie' by Picture Polish, 'Purple Rain Cocktail' by Celestial Cosmetics, and 'Hide and Seek' by Emily de Molly) using an almost dry brush.

The leaves were also painted on with a detailing brush, layering a couple of shades of green in order to match the blossoms ('Re-Fresh Mint' by China Glaze and 'Erratic Behaviour' by Emily de Molly).

Before sealing it all in with a topcoat, I added a couple of dots of purple to each flower using a Sharpie.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Halloween nails part II ... and a footnote that didn't deserve it's own post really.

I'll start with the footnote.

Halloween was on a Monday and my real Halloween nails had been on for quite some time. So slopped these on quickly that morning.

It's the usual paint-drip manicure turned blood-drip manicure.

The thing with trying to get red polish on a black base is that ... you can't. Not really. But what you can do is use red paint instead. However, as you can see in some on the nail, the red paint dried a bit orange so I decided to go over that with some red polish and then again with some red glitter polish. It looked better after that. Gloopier!

My real Halloween nails of this year were these:

I can't even begin to express how proud I was of these! I painted the nails grey and used a sponge to do a quick black-to-grey gradient on the top of each nail. Using a striping and detailing brush, I added the trees and the crosses and tombstones with black polish. Going with the experimental theme I had from my last manicure with the spiderwebs, I pulled out the acrylic paints and painted Jack on freehand. Much easier than using polish. Also, I could scrape mistakes away with a toothpick! I used a Sharpie to outline him and give him his stitched-up smile. Even though I applied the drying drops to this whole thing, I waited about an hour before attempting to topcoat it for fear of smudging his little face. It all worked out fine, though!

I wore these as they were for the most part and then added a matte top coat a few days in.

I had been resisting the matte top coat because I find that matte polish chips as soon as you look at it but I got a good few days of wear out of these after applying the topcoat, and I only did that when tip-wear was already beginning to show anyway. I really liked these matte-ified. I really like these nails!