nail art challenge

Tri Polish Challenge: Coral, nude and turquoise gradient with stripes

I liked the idea of doing a gradient with the nude and coral polishes but wasn’t sure what I’d use the turquoise for this time. I thought about a plaid or grid-like pattern but thought it might be a bit overwhelming so I decided on very simple sketchy plaid design to one side of the nail. I was also running low on time as I was meant to be packing for my trip to the UK and needed a quick design I could do easily.

I’m quite pleased with the results and like how the sketchy plaid lines have come out. The gradient could have been a little smoother but I like how the colours work together.

My summer in the UK is going to be an extremely busy one so I’m afraid I’ll be scaling back the posts on here – it’s likely to be just one or two a week until September when I’ll be back home and back to my regular routine. I’m also minus my photographer/husband over the summer so forgive me if the pictures aren’t up to their usual standard over the next couple of months.

Anyhow, here’s my Tri polish mani:

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Tri Polish Challenge: Turquoise, Nude and Coral Dragonflies

I wanted to do something summery and I started thinking of the beautiful fabrics on Japanese yukatas, which I remember admiring when I lived there. A pattern that I really liked was one with simple dragonfly shapes and I saw in it loads of different colours and styles. I always liked the summer festivals in Japan with all the girls in traditional dress, food stalls and people carrying shrines through the streets.

I decided to try and recreate the dragonfly pattern with this month’s tri polish colours. I stayed by painting my nails in a nude shade and then sponged a coral polish over the top. It came out a bit more sheer than I expected and just kind of changed the nude polish into a pinky orangey one with a hint of a shimmer. Then I painted the very simplified dragonfly shapes in a dark turquoise shade and I think they came out quite well.

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I used: Don’t Pretzel My Buttons – OPI, Secret of Love – Anny, Life is a Freeride – Essence

Techniques Challenge: Watercolour Nails

I wasn’t sure exactly what water colour nails involved and I found various different techniques all labelled as watercolour effect nails. I quite liked the idea of the technique using blobs of polish spread around and marbled together using a piece of a plastic bag. I followed this tutorial by Makeup Savvy

I wanted to use warm feeling spring/summer colours and went for greens and yellows. It was a very simple technique to do but I think a bit more experimentation would get a better result. The bright green I used didn’t seem to spread as well as the other polishes and looks a bit blobby rather than smooth and marbled. I also have to admit that I fell asleep before these were completely dry so the might have a bit of a weird texture to them, most likely from my sofa…

I can definitely see myself trying this technique again and testing out different polishes and colour combinations (and not falling asleep!) to try and get a really smooth look.

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I used: Tracie – Zoya, Lime Cocktail – Sephora, Crush On You – Orly, Melodious Utopia – Orly

Tri Polish Challenge: Turquoise, Coral and Nude

I was glad to have a new colour theme and this is certainly an interesting one. Coral is a colour I’ve always struggled with and I don’t think I really own any true coral polishes, they’re either pink with a hint of orange or orange with a hint of pink! So I hope the ones I choose for this month will be coral enough, otherwise I’ll just have to go out for a little polish buying trip to find a nice coral or two…

This is one of my favourite turquoise polishes – Essie’s Where’s My Chauffeur? And I have quite a few turquoises. I don’t have quite so many nude polishes so this month will be interesting.

This week is a crazy busy week for me so I needed a nice simple design for my nails. And this is one of the most simple things I’ve had on my nails for a long time which made a nice change!

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Techniques Challenge: Newspaper Nails

Oh so horrifically late, I did these last week and completely forgot to post them before I went away on holiday to Portugal for a long weekend. I had tried newspaper nails once before on one nail but this was my first proper attempt at full on newspaper nails.

I found it took a bit of experimenting with different alcohols and paper/print types to figure out what worked best. It turned out that cheap tequila and a non glossy but colour leaflet were my best combo!

I wanted to try and get a regular print so used a phone renewal leaflet/brochure which had the same calling plan information on every page to try and get them all looking similar.

They didn’t turn out as neat as I’d have liked but I was happy enough for a first real attempt. I have two photos, one with the print backwards as it came out and then a flipped image so the text is readable. Which do you think looks better?

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Tri Polish Tuesday: Red, Green and Purple Splats

I’m just not managing to post on time these days, am I? Still, better late than never! I haven’t been all that keen on this month’s colours for the Tri Polish challenge and can’t say I’ll be sad to see them go and have new colours to work with next week.

I decided to try doing colour splats – I’d never tried this design before and thought it looked really fun. I found that it was trickier than it looked to get nice shaped splats and I have a feeling it’s one of those designs where less is more. Unfortunately I went for more and I think my nails look too busy and crowded.

At first I hated it and wanted to take it straight off, but it grew on me and the kids in my classes thought it was fun and crazy (which is high praise from 8 year old Spanish kids!)

If I try this design again I’ll limit the number of splats per nail and practise getting nicer shaped splats on paper before I go crazy on my nails!

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I used: My boyfriend Scales Walls РOPI, Are You Jelly? РChina Glaze, Knightsbridge Green РNails Inc, Play Date РCiat̩

Fingerfood’s theme buffet: Galaxies

It’s not been long since I last did galaxy nails, but they are a look I really love and want to learn to perfect so having missed a couple of weeks of the theme buffet challenge this was a great one to jump back in with.

I decided to go with a pink themed galaxy this time and think it’s turned out fairly well. I’m really happy with the thumb which I think has the right balance of dark and bright to create the illusion of depth that makes galaxy nails look so good.

I always enjoy doing galaxy nails as I love sponging and there’s something very satisfying about doing something which feels quite random and you’re not 100% sure how they’re gonna turn out and then getting a result you’re happy with (hopefully!) I also like that you can just keep adding layers til it looks right!

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I used: Inky Six – Butter London, Sky – Picture Polish, Fairy Floss – Picture Polish, Luna – Zoya, Incognito in Sausalito – OPI, Pomegranate – Barry M

Techniques challenge: Gradient

I was really sad to have missed last week’s prompt of water spotted as I’ve only tried this technique once and would like to give it another go. I’ll definitely try and do it when I have a day free.

Gradients are a technique I love and often but not always have success with. I tried a vertical gradient not all that long ago with pastel shades (check it out here I wanted to try this technique again with bright rainbow shades. I came across something similar by Sparrow Nails who I borrowed the idea of a glittery topper from.

Mainly this gradient went well but I’m not sure I used the glitter topper well. One some nails where the gradient was’t as smooth as I’d hoped I was glad of it as it hid the gradient a bit and made it look really fun and rainbows. But then there were some nails where I was thrilled with my gradients and felt sad to cover them up with glitter – plus I think I was a bit heavy handed with the glitter on the middle finger.

Overall I’m pleased with it despite my nails looking very short after a nasty break on my index finger a couple of days ago.

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I used: I Just Can’t Cope-Acabana – OPI, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, Pomegranate – Barry M, Violet Femme – Picture Polish, Baker Street – Nails Inc, Def Defying – China Glaze, Hello Holo – Essence

Techniques Challenge: Skittles

I’m not sure if these really count as skittles but I like them anyway! I was thinking of doing something cute and cartoony in a different colour on each nail and started looking for some inspiration. I came across these nails by Polish Art Addict. I loved them straight away and decided to try and skittle them by doing the paint drips in different colours.

I painted the stripes in first with a striping brush and then did the paint drips over the top, outlining them in black and adding white shine lines to try and make them look 3D. I think I did a fairly good recreation of the originals and was really pleased with the results!

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I used: My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, Lady in Black – OPI, Grosvenor Street – Nails Inc, I Just Can’t Cope-Acabana – OPI, Def Defying – China Glaze, Papaya Punch – China Glaze, Baker Street – Nails inc.

Tri Polish Challenge: Red, Green and Purple Sugar Spun Mani

I was a bit stuck for ideas with this new colour combination for Tri Polish Tuesday (yes, I know it’s Wednesday – late again!) and couldn’t think of a design that would look really good in these colours. I decided to use a technique I like instead and have another go at sugar spun nails.

They worked out pretty well but I’ve got to get some ideas going for the next three weeks of these colours!

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I used: Pistachio Drage – L’Oreal, Violet Femme – Picture Polish, Red Vamp – Layla, Just Gorgeous – Anny.