This will probably be my last entry for the April 30 Day Challenge, it was a lot of fun – thanks to Short and Sweet in Texas for organising and well done to everyone who managed to participate every day!
I had seen a pair of jeans with a printed pattern that I really liked which I was going to use for my inspiration for this manicure, but when I started I got more interested in recreating the denim texture, so I decided to go with denim effect nails.
I looked at a couple of tutorials but liked this one best.
I used: Vintage Blue – Marionnaud, Floral Street – Nails Inc, Sea Blue – Kiko, Boot Camp – GOSH
After the April challenge which I only participated in a few times a week rather than every day, I was going to have a break from challenges, but then I saw this one: the Around the World Challenge hosted by Guilty as Charged and it sounded like a lot of fun, plus it’s only once a week. I’d thought about doing a series of designs based on countries around the world as I love travel and learning about other cultures, so this one seemed perfect for me. There’s also a fantastic giveaway associated with this challenge, so even more reason to participate!
Anyway, the first in the challenge is New York. I’ve never been to New York, but the city’s famous skyline was the first thing I thought of for the design. I saw a lot of beautiful sunset over the New York skyline pictures when I did a google image search so decided to do a sunset gradient. It turned out a bit too bright and tropical, but never mind!
I used: Mellow Yellow – Sally Hansen, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, Westferry Circus – Nails Inc, black acrylic paint.
I know this one isn’t exactly metallic but I’d intended to use some gold leaf which I had in a set of nail art decorations. When it came to it, though, I just didn’t feel inspired and I couldn’t find any pics of gold leaf nails that looked particularly exciting on the Internet. There were some pink sequins in the same set which inspired me much more and I’d wanted to try mirror ball nails for a while, and they’re kind of metallic, right?
I saw some really great examples and especially liked these ones on Very Emily.
It didn’t take as long as I thought it would but I decided to do something different on my right hand and just did a line of sequins rather than full coverage.
I used: Chic Reloaded – Essence and mini pink sequins.
For me this one was all about the right colours. I was tempted to go for a classic dark red shimmer with a gold pattern over the top, but was drawn to the rich purple and brown which I finally used.
The silver and purple pattern was inspired by some fabric I found an image of and the brown and gold design was inspired by a tile from a medieval building.
I was fairly happy with this one. It’s not the most exciting thing I’ve ever done but quite pretty and I’m getting more confident with my striping brush.
I used: Delinquent – Urban Decay, Crash + Burn – Urban Decay, Sand Dune – Ciaté, Fit for a Queen – Ciaté
This was the first time I’d ever tried doing caviar nails. I’ve always been a bit wary of the practicality of sticking things to my nails and don’t do it very often!
I was given a caviar set as a gift and thought it was the perfect time to give it a try. I liked the look and even quite liked the feel, but also found it frustrating. The little beads looked great right after I did them but when I washed my hands I noticed that some of the colour had started to fade in the beads. So I went back and top-coated them which made the colour fade even worse than just washing them! So I only top-coated one hand. The beads stayed put on the hand with top-coat for the full 24 hours I wore this mani but the non-top coated hand was almost devoid of beads by the time I got the polish remover out. So I felt it was a choice between bright colours, longevity and clean hands!!! I guess other colours/brands of beads might not fade so much either with top coat or water – what are other people’s experiences of this?
I can only imagine wearing this for a special evening and one where I would have to avoid washing my hands at all costs!
Luckily I had a feeling it might not be the most durable mani ever and got them photographed the moment I finished them!
I used Knickerbockerglory – Ciaté, Candyshop (pearls) – Ciaté.
I wasn’t going to participate in this day of the challenge as floral nails is something I’ve done before and I couldn’t think of a new technique to try or anything clever to do with the theme. Then as I was browsing through the Internet I came across this painting of some slightly abstract flowers which just inspired me and I wanted to give it a go.
I sponged a little bit of colour on top of my neutral base shade and then painted very rough flower petal shapes and finally added thin black sketchy lines. I think the bright colours were quite successful but the dark purple isn’t all that great as the black lines don’t stand out against it.
I used: Porchester Square – Nails Inc, Westferry Circus – Nails Inc, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, Light Blue – Kiko, Prom-berry – Essence, You’re Such a Budapest – OPI
I’ve never been a huge fan of the border mani so I wasn’t sure what I’d do for this day of the challenge. At first I thought it was just the colour combination that would make it work for me, but while looking at other people’s attempts at border nails I came across this gorgeous mani by Kayla Shevonne and knew I wanted to give it a try.
I’ve never really got the hang of stamping – there are a thousand other techniques I prefer but I was so inspired by Kayla’s mani that I thought it was time to have another go at it. It still came out a bit messier than I’d hoped but I did end up with a border mani that I quite liked!
I used: Floral Street – Nails Inc, Baker Street – Nails Inc.
I tried sugar spun nails a while back but it wasn’t particularly successful and they ended up really blobby and not at all like spun sugar. I was happy to see it was in the challenge as I wanted t have another go but felt a bit wary of it as I wasn’t sure how to do better than last time.
It turned out that all I needed was a bit more patience! It took quite a long time for the polish to go thick and stringy and I think that’s where I went wrong last time. I still didn’t manage to get the really fine strings and some still came out a bit blobby but I think it was a huge improvement on last time!
I used: Princess Tears – A England, Black – Decorative Nail, White – Bonbon.
When I first thought about the Ancient Rome theme I thought of columns, mosaics, all the usual… But when I was walking through the centre of Cordoba, I realised there was Roman architecture all around me and the bridge or Puente Romano is one of the most beautiful sights in the city. So I decided to base my manicure on it this time.
It didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. It’s recognisable as a bridge but I’m not quite enough of an artist to make it look like Cordoba’s Roman bridge. I had fun making the swirly water though (which in reality is kind of brownish coloured)
I added a little tower to represent the Torre de la Calahorra which is at the end of the bridge on the south side of the river.
I used: Light Blue – Kiko, Rambo No.5 – Catrice, Peacock Green – Kiko, Princess Tears – A England, Don’t Mess With OPI – OPI, Kalahari Kiss – China Glaze, Cadogan Square – Nails Inc,
And here’s a picture of the Roman Bridge courtesy of Ed Wong (my personal photographer and husband to be!)
I was happy to have another go at water marbling after my first successful attempts last month. I encountered my first difficulty with the technique when one of the polishes I initially chose just didn’t want to spread out in the water. After a few tries, I abandoned it for another polish which worked fine.
The last time I tried water marbling the patterns I did we’re completely random and I loved that, but this time I wanted to see if I could get a more regular look across my nails and try to have a similar pattern on all of them.
I used: Mellow Yellow – Sally Hansen, Jungle Queen – China Glaze.