stripes

He Picks My Polish Again!

I really enjoyed last month’s “he picks my polish” challenge and so did my husband, so I was happy to hear that there would be another round this month.

Ed took his time looking through my polish collection and tried to pick polishes he thought would go nicely together. I loved that he chose green and purple as it’s one of my favourite colour combinations. He chose these polishes:

20140503-134205.jpg

I Scream: Ice Cream! – Catrice, Bloomsbury Square – Nails Inc, Pearly Peacock – Kiko

I haven’t had much use out of the Nails Inc 3D glitter set so I was happy to see he’d chosen one of them. Although I loved the colours he’d picked for some reason I had a hard time thinking what to do with them. Finally I decided to go with a stripy taped mani as I’m still on a mission to improve my skills with striping tape.

I like the result but think it looks a bit like Christmas wrapping paper and perhaps isn’t the most seasonally appropriate mani I’ve ever done! It’s a fun combination of colours though and nice and bright and sparkly, so I can’t really complain! I think my striping skills are improving and are looking straighter and neater. Yay!

20140503-134741.jpg

Advertisements

Finger Food’s Theme Buffet: Dots and Stripes

I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do for this prompt, so started browsing through a whole load of dotty and stripy manis to see if something might jump out at me. And the one which stood out was this gorgeous mani by Nuthin But A Nail Thing. I loved her combination of dots and stripes and though it looked fun and playful at the same time as being a really cool looking design.

The only thing was it meant using tape, again. That’s my third taped mani this week! And it was also my most successful! maybe I’m actually starting to improve!

I painted all my nails orange and then randomly placed the striping tape to mask stripes of different widths and painted the gaps black, white and gold like in my inspiration mani. After that I added dots along the length of the stripes with two or three different sized doting tools.

Now the weird thing about this mani is that I used a white polish (My Boyfriend Scales Walls by OPI which is my go to white) and it somehow transformed into a pale yellow. The orange paint was 100% dry. I’m sure of this because I painted them orange the night before I did the stripes and dots, so there was a good 12 hours drying time plus a top coat between the white and the orange. Still it started to look a bit yellow just minutes after application, even stronger by the time I took the photo, and later on they were a fairly bright yellow colour! I’ve never had that happen before!

Despite ending up with yellow stripes rather than white ones, I enjoyed doing this mani and was pleased with the result.

20140314-223347.jpg

I used: Tulip – Rituals, Lady in Black – OPI, My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, A Piece of Forever – Essence.

GOT Polish Challenge: Blue

It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been away on my honeymoon and I feel like I haven’t done any nail art for absolutely ages. So a slightly belated New Year’s Resolution is to get my blog sorted out and get back to posting a bit more regularly. What better way to get myself motivated than to throw myself into a challenge!?! I’m joining this one a bit late and have missed the first two weeks of it (I may try and catch up with those first two weeks’ themes when I have time).
This one is being run by Crumpet’s Nail Tarts and involves using polishes you’ve owned for more than a year. I’m not actually sure when I bought a lot of my polishes but I’m going to try to only use those that I believe I’ve owned for that long!

My first effort isn’t spectacular but does feature a blue polish that I’ve always been very fond of. I bought it when I still lived in Japan and was first getting interested in nail art. It’s not a brand I’ve seen available in Spain so when it’s gone there’ll be no replacing it. The glitter is one I’ve never had much luck with and requires a lot of fishing and coaxing of the larger pieces into the right place – I’ve always wanted to love this polish but it’s a bit frustrating to use! I thought this mani would come out looking more fun than it did, but this is the first bit of nail art I’ve done in quite a while so I can’t expect it to be my best work!

20140124-005906.jpg

I used: Matt Aqua – BYS, Out of the Blue – BYS, Pure Pearl – Revlon

Here’s what to look forward to from the other days in this challenge:

20140124-010922.jpg

Couture Nail Art Challenge: Inspired by L’Wren Scott

I love L’Wren Scott’s designs so much that I could do a month’s worth of nails inspired by her! So it was really difficult to choose one design to base my manicure around for this day of the challenge. These dresses screamed nail art to me though, with their vertical stripes and black or white zigzag shapes.
I painted the stripes in with a medium sized striping brush and then used tape to create the black or white zigzags over the stripes.

I felt pleased with this design, it was fun but not too in your face – I’ll be sad to take this one off!

20130518-192853.jpg

I used: My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, French Quarter For Your Thoughts – OPI, Black Taxi – Nails Inc.

Stripes and Flowers

After my success with water marbling which I had been so worried about trying, I decided to give the striping brush (my least favourite tool) another try. I’d had a couple of goes with it when I first got into nail art and neither of them were particularly successful and left me feeling that it was too advanced for me and I actively avoided any designs that required stripes, or found another way around doing them that didn’t involve that brush!

Anyway, I was in a confident mood and when I saw Dressed Up Nails’ tutorial it looked so pretty and easy and I thought it was high time I conquered my fear of the striping brush.

Her tutorial was easy to follow and I appreciated the tip about laying the brush on the nail and then dragging it. My stripes were nowhere near perfect, but a lot lot better than the last time I tried using it and I won’t be so afraid to use it in future designs!

I received a lot of compliments on this manicure and really enjoyed wearing it.

20130321-094111.jpg

I used: Keep Calm Paint On – China Glaze, Matte Aqua – BYS, Pink Rose – GOSH, Holland Park Road – Nails Inc, Don’t Mess With OPI – OPI.

Rays with striping tape

After my first slightly frustrating attempt at using striping tape I decided to use it to mask rather than as decoration and chose to do some simple rays as inspired by The Manicured Monkey

It was more successful although my lines weren’t super sharp and I made the mistake of not waiting long enough for them to dry before top coating. I’m at the bottom of my top coat bottle and it’s gone a bit gloopy so that probably didn’t help… Luckily only the middle finger really suffered!

I had wanted to do a kind of rainbow stripe effect under the main colour, but with subtle, non-rainbow metallics. This didn’t quite work and the rays just look silver. Never mind. Lots to learn from this manicure!

20130228-204120.jpg

I used: Princess Tears – A England, Fit for a Queen – Ciaté and Crash + Burn – Urban Decay.

Purple Stripes

I have never really liked using tape but I thought if I finally bought some proper striping tape all that might change – as it’s mainly the cutting up little pieces of tape which frustrates me. So I bought one of those cheap cheap packs off eBay and they arrived the other day.

I didn’t want to do anything too difficult for my first attempt at using striping tape so after a quick search I found this design with three bands of colour by superwowstyle on YouTube.

It took me far longer than I had imagined and the result wasn’t as neat as I’d hoped for but I did like the effect.

However – I was seriously unimpressed with my tape as my manicure looked good for a couple of hours and then the tape started to peel off… (I know, I know – what kind of quality did I expect for 40 rolls of tape for £1.99… But still!) I tried adding an extra layer of topcoat but nothing I could do would get it to stick down again, so it was a case of getting a decent photo and using the tape only for masking in future and not as decoration.

20130225-220555.jpg

I used: My Boyfriend Scales Walls – OPI, Do you Lilac It? – OPI, Impulsive – Revlon

Pink Plaid

I wanted to try using the striper brushes I’d bought on eBay and the tutorials made it look oh so simple.  I’d seen several tutorials doing plaid designs, some that looked simple and some  a bit more complex.  I chose one to follow which looks simple, but soon learnt that straight lines are a skill that needs some practice!

I followed this Easy Plaid Design video tutorial.

The straight lines in the video came out beautifully straight and even, but I found that my first attempt at using the striper brush and creating straight lines was not going to be quite so successful.   It’s clearly a skill that requires time to master, and one that would be really useful to have, so I’m going to have to try again some time.  I found it difficult to get the right amount of polish on the brush, sometimes I had too much and ended up with a fat gloopy line and other times it came out thin and feint and needed repainting.

My lines are a little wiggly and uneven, but I still quite liked the overall effect.  They looked nice from a distance and I even received a few compliments on them, I just wasn’t quite so keen to let any of my admirers look at them up close.  I liked the accent of the gold glitter paint – I wasn’t sure about adding it at first, thinking it might look over the top, especially as I was using a very bright pink base colour, but it worked.

Practice makes perfect, and I’m not giving up on using the striper brush just yet!

I used:  Sensation – Color Addict, Black – Decorative Nail, Gold glitter – ?