Monday, 17 February 2014

Nailed It!

I may have used that title before, I can't remember...

Anyhoo, I mentioned in my last post that I got some nail art bits and bobs for my birthday, and since then I've been looking online for inspiration. I had to wait for my cold to pass - can't really paint your nails when you're blowing your nose every five minutes, can you? - which gave me time to decide on my first design.

Friday the 7th February was Wear Red day, raising awareness for the British Heart Foundation. I wanted to do something a bit different rather than just painting my nails red, and I eventually came across this design on Google images. I don't know if this is the one I saw, there are so many, and it's probably impossible to credit the original source, but you get the idea.

Image source

So I had a go at this. The white base colour was easy enough. I found a tutorial for getting the heart shape by cutting it out of sellotape. Of course, you could do it freehand but I had visions of me making a right mess of it, so I decided to try the tape option. It was a bit tricky getting the right sized heart, but I managed it second time around. For the red lines I started off using some red nail polish that I already had, but it was quite difficult to work with as it was a bit thick and gloopy. I swapped to the red polish that came with my nail art kit, which seemed to be a bit thinner and easier to use.

I left them for a few hours before I applied a clear top coat, but I can't have left them long enough, as it started to drag the red into the white slightly on a couple of fingers. At this point, I stopped and waited till the next day to apply the top coat. I didn't actually get around to taking a photo of them for a few days. Wear Red day was on the Friday, but I knew I wouldn't have time to do my nails on an evening, so I actually did them the weekend before. I took this photo on Thursday, so by this point they were starting to chip a bit on the ends. Anyway, this was my first attempt at a bit of nail art:

I removed it on Friday night, and then at the weekend I had a go at another design, again just using Google images for inspiration. Oh and also Pinterest. The only things on my pinterest home feed are nail art designs and crochet!

During the last few weeks I've also treated myself to lots of new nail polishes, some colours that I wouldn't have necessarily chosen, but I thought I'd try them to do different designs.

The next thing that caught my eye was the trend for ombre nails. I think this has been around for a while, and it might even be going out of fashion, but I'm always late to the party so nothing new there. If anyone ever asked me if I follow fashion, I'd say "I couldn't if I wanted to, because fashion left without me and I didn't see which way it went".

So yes, ombre nails. Again, there are loads of images online, some of which I've decided are photoshopped. This one kept jumping out at me though. Again, I'm not sure of the original source, but I'll link to where I got this picture from in the caption:

Image source
Actually, you can see the web address on the photo, but the link should take you to a brilliant tutorial on how to do ombre, or gradient, nails. I think I followed this tutorial, or one very similar to it, not exactly to the letter, but fairly closely.

I looked at all the polishes I'd bought recently and found that I had three pink shades that looked fairly similar, from light to dark. After my base coat, I did just one (I think) coat of the palest shade. Waited for that to dry, and then painted all three shades onto a sponge and then dabbed it on my nails, obviously making sure to get it the right way round! Again, I had to make sure I waited long enough before I applied the top coat, although in this case a bit of colour drag probably wouldn't have mattered. In fact, I think the top coat did help to blend the shades a bit more.

I was really pleased with my nails on this attempt, although there's always room for improvement. I felt like I could see the pattern of the sponge on the nail more than you can in the example above (and others), and I don't think that's how it's meant to be, but otherwise I don't think I did a bad job.


They're not great photos, again I forgot for a few days to take a pic and actually took these at my desk at work! Hopefully you can see that they get gradually darker towards the tips.

They lasted about a week, but on Thursday evening I washed my hair and a big chunk chipped off the middle finger on my left hand. The rest of them were still looking ok, so I removed the polish from this nail, repainted it with the darkest shade of pink, and then did a top coat of glitter. It hides a multitude of sins!

Friday night I removed all the polish, and gave my nails a bit of a general tidy up - filed them all down so that they were a bit shorter but near enough the same length. I thought I'd try a square 'end' for a change, but didn't quite manage it on all of them, they're more 'rounded square'. My usual routine now seems to be putting on a base coat on Friday night, and then trying to do the design across Saturday and Sunday, depending on how complex it is. It also depends on what else I have to do - it's hard to not smudge your nails when you're putting loads of washing into the machine, or doing housework!

I was thinking of just doing a plain colour for this week, with no pattern, but in the end I couldn't resist trying something else. So this time I've gone down the dotty route! There wasn't one particular image that inspired this idea, there are loads and loads of pics with various polka dot designs.

I've got a base colour which in the bottle looked more like a metal grey, but actually on the nail it's almost black (Revlon 'Iconic') - I didn't really want it to be that dark, but hey-ho. On my left hand I've got an accent nail in pink, and on my right hand, an accent nail in green (Barry M 'Strawberry Ice-Cream' and 'Mint' if I recall correctly). Then I've swapped those two colours to do the dots, and the accent nails have got grey dots.

Photos taken at my desk at work again - very glamorous!

  And that's where I'm up to so far! I've got a few more days to decide on my next design!

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