Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 16 (tribal print), Day 17 (glitter), Day 18 (half-moon) of 31 Day Nail Polish Challenge

So for my own peace of mind I will disclaim here that I've been stressed and "blah" and whatever, so I'm not as  satisfied with these manis as I'd hoped to be. But I did them, and here they are. On the plus side, I'm posting more often, so at least I haven't fallen off the face of the earth (aka I'm actually keeping up with something I'm supposed to be doing).

Day 16 challenge: Tribal Print

(right hand - daylight)

(left hand - daylight)

I started with a base of China Glaze "trendsetter", which I had never used as a solid color up until this point. Although it remained a simple one-color mani for a short time while drying, I wish I had gotten a picture of it alone. I was surprised that I liked this color on because it kind of reminds me a pea soup in the bottle - I had ordered in online on a whim and was kind of disappointed once it arrived. But having now seen it alone, I think it's kind of great on it's own since I can't really say I've seen any other color like it before. I'm not sure how well it would go with olive-toned skin, but on dark/African skin and very pale light skin I imagine it  looking great. I "winged it" with some nail art polishes in different colors. Sure, I looked up a bunch of wonderful photo references of beautiful tribal manis, but... I was tired and had no energy. So while I like when each nail is different in these sort of manis, mine is just an odd happening of random whatevers. And kinda sloppy. Ironically I got a couple of compliments on these nails for the day I had them on - go figure!

Day 17 challenge: Glitter

(window natural light)

(with bonus cat!)

I used a base of WetNWild Megalast "Sugar-coated", and a pink glitter polish by Butter London called "Rosie Lee". I used my dotting tools for the dots (that's a bit redundant huh?) but, while I had french tip sticky guides that I'd just bought sitting right in front of me I was much too impatient for the polish to dry completely enough so the base wouldn't peel up... so these tips are freehanded. They aren't perfect, but I don't think they're all that bad. Especially since glitter polish can lump together and make straight lines harder to achieve. That's my defense anyways. 

Day 18 challenge: Half-moon

(indoor light)

(window natural light)

So as I just mentioned, I bought some french tip sticker guides. I couldn't find page hole reinforcer thingies, which is what "everyone" says to use for half-moon manis. I could have looked in another store, but I didn't. And as you may have guessed, I learned the hard way about the base coat peeling off with the sticker guide if you aren't patient enough for your polish to dry. Not only do french guides not really provide enough curve for a good half-moon shape, but I had to use a teal-y nail art polish to cover up damage from my impatience the sticker guides. I wasn't unhappy with it, probably because I love the bright colors I used for this - but I wasn't happy. The colors I used were Orly's "Truly Tangerine" and "Purple Crush" (note: the purple looks more pink here because it was put on over the orange, so this isn't what the color truly looks like on its own).

Till next time!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 13 (animal print), Day 14 (flowers), and Day 15 (delicate print) of 31 day nail polish challenge

So I'm going to post some old manis that fit the theme to show some progression, and just to share more in general. Plus, I think it will help me see if I've gotten any better *fingers crossed*

Day 13 challenge - Animal Print

This was my very first attempt at a leopard print mani... and it was not that successful haha. It was sloppy and I didn't pay great attention to the spacing of my spots. My cat Peanut is in the picture, a strategic move on my part to distract from the poor mani quality ;-P

This is the leopard print mani I'd done in February for Day 3 (Green) of the nail polish challenge, and it is significantly better than the first. I was actually very happy with it, especially because I had not practiced at all. This was my second time ever doing a leopard mani, so I'm happy I got the hang of it on the second try!

This picture has to be from like, two years ago. Literally, the first thing I had ever done that was not a single plain color. I was happy with it then, and I'm happy with it now - even if some lines are thicker or longer than others. I think in general it'd be pretty darn hard to mess it up actually... as long as you can steady your hand enough, the lines don't need to be perfect. Actually, I had gone on new medications around when I did this mani and had hand tremors, so even if your hand is shaky this mani is easy to give a stab.

Finally, the mani I specifically did for this challenge. I kept it simple with the same easy cat-striped pattern. I used Nicole by OPI "Follow Me on Glitter" (a present from the boy) for the base and some black artist polish for the stripes. In the bottle you could see all different colored circular glitter flecks floating around in the black and silver glitter base. But when I applied it to the nail all the colored glitter kinda got lost and buried. The light just did not catch it the same on the nail as it did through the glass bottle. You can definitely find just as good black-base silver-glitter polish for cheaper. 

Day 14 challenge - Flowers

This is my first real stab at "nail art" from last summer, my first (and I just realized my only) go at cherry blossom nails. Of course it could be better, everything could always be better. But I was so proud of myself! I also had no dotting tools or paint brushes when I did this. I really don't know why I haven't done cherry blossoms again.

This was my first go at a french manicure. It's a horrible picture, but I still think it shows my ability to freehand a french (I've done taping twice in my life). The little dotted flower accents were done with the pointy end of a wooden barbeque skewer haha.

My freehand attempt last year at vines, just using one of those green nail art polishes from the dollar store. I like the idea, and it looked unique. But the design came out thicker than I had hoped. Eventually I'll try again.

This flower mani was from Day 3 (yellow) of the nail polish challenge. It was my first time using dotting tools, and I was really happy with this. It felt very springy =).

I did this mani this week (I'm so sorry for the horrible picture) and was trying to go for a color combination I wouldnt normally gravitate towards. I wasn't really happy with this, but I didn't hate it either - not just because I felt like the colors didn't quite pop together, but because I had shaky hands and just felt like I hadn't been consistent in the dotting. I used Essie "Jamaica Me Crazy" for the base, China Glaze "Trendsetter", and some generic black and red art polishes.

I decided to give dandelion nails a try, but I had very unfortunate timing. Not only did I not bother checking a photo for reference, but I hadn't slept properly for three nights in a row. When I decided to try this on the fourth night... well, could it have ended in any other way but failure? It looks nothing like a dandelion... or a flower at all. It kinda just looks like scattered matchsticks. I wasn't going to post this, but then I decided it'd be funnier to document the failures when I happen to have pictures of them. May as well laugh at it, right? It kind of makes me sad that I wasted some of my beautiful (and expensive!) Butter London "Victoriana" for the base. 

Day 15 challenge - Delicate Print

I wasn't sure what qualified as a "delicate" print. When googled, a lot of delicate flowery konad manicures came up. I really must admit, I have Mash and BundleMonster plates I've yet to get the hang of. I just can't seem to get stamping. I can never seem to get the polish to stick, and instead the stamped image is blotchy with empty spots. I've tried different kinds of polish, with no different results. Also, the stamp images just aren't big enough to cover the entire nail, which I guess seems to be common for the non-Konad-brand plates (as well as the problem of the stamp engravings not being deep enough to hold enough polish to sufficiently transfer onto the stamper). I read from one person that they just couldn't get it and in her frustration splurged on the "real" thing, konad plates and stamping polish - lo and behold, she was successful! I might splurge on Konad stuff... one day. I'll stick to freehanding for now. 
Speaking of freehanding... google search also turned up a lot of lace manicures, so I decided to try it freehand. Well, not totally freehand I guess. This was my first time ever using a nail polish pen! I can definitely see the usefulness of one, especially if you intend to write script on the nails or find you can keep your hand more steady in that position. I found that while it in some ways was convenient and a little faster, it wasn't exactly neater. I used Sally Hansen Gem Crush "Big Money" for the base, and the tip of the nail pen kept snagging on the bumpiness of the glitter. I tried putting a topcoat before using the pen and just found that it was much like trying to write on a plastic bottle with gel pen - streaky, and having to go over lines many times to even see it. I think I could do a better job using art polishes and/or a paint brush, but I'll give it a go another day. For my very first attempt at a freehand lace design, I don't think it's all that shabby. 

K thanx bai, till next time!