Friday, June 28, 2013

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Inspired Nails

Hello wonderful internet people! I've been slightly bored lately, which led me to rewatch the last season of Avatar: The Last Airbender (I really hope all of you have watched it. It is too beautiful and amazing to not watch. Plus, Zuko may be one of the hottest animated characters in the history of the universe. GO WATCH IT). With the show being in the front of my mind for the past week or so, I decided I wanted to do a tutorial related to it in some way. I planned to do a character on each nail, but after several embarrassing practice drawings of all the other characters, I settled on the most adorable little airbender (and the easiest character to draw), Aang. So... enjoy the tutorial!

Oh yeah, guess who discovered Tumblr. Prepare for an
onslaught of gifs in the coming weeks.

You'll need:
- base coat
- skin-tone polish
- scotch tape
- blue polish
- scissors
- black polish
- dotting tool
- top coat
- glow-in-the-dark top coat (optional)

So in case you didn't listen to my begging you to watch the show, Aang is the avatar in A:TLA, meaning he's the only human on the earth with the ability to manipulate all four elements (water, earth, fire, and air). He was born as an airbender, which is why he has the arrow tattoos. And that's all the details I'll give you- go watch the show to figure out everything else. ;)

Start off with your base coat and paint your nails a pale skin-colored polish.

Maybelline Color Show - Sandstorm

Cut a piece of tape and place it on a smooth surface, such as a CD case, that you'll be able to peel the tape off of later.

Paint a square of blue polish for each arrow. You can do all ten at one time, but I usually paint the main four nails on each hand and then thumbs separately, so I only did four here. You can add your glow-in-the-dark topcoat here or paint it on later. The GITD topcoat is meant to represent Aang's avatar state, so if you have one that glows blue or white, that would be the best, but I only own a green/yellow one, so I had to make due.

Sally Hansen - Blue Me Away

Once your polish is dry, cut out the squares one at a time (I apologize for the random cat hair on the tape - a wild Oscar appeared during this step).

 Cut off two corners of the tape to form the point of the arrow.

Then cut out the sides to complete the shape. 

Place it onto your nail and smooth it out. Then you can use a pair of scissors or a nail clipper to cut off the extra tape at the end. 

Once you've done this for each nail, add a top coat to seal the tape in. Now is another good time to add your GITD top coat (to the arrow only). If yours has a pretty weak glow, you could also add it multiple times during various steps to build up the effect.

Using the black polish and dotting tool, dot on two eyes.

Sally Hansen - Black Heart

Add the glow-in-the-dark to the eyes and add another top coat! After this step, I tested my nails a couple times to see how many layers of GITD I needed and continued to build everything up. I also used a few extra coats of my regular top coat to smooth out the tape more. Depending on how thick the arrows ended up being and how smooth you'd like your nails to be, you can add as many or as few layers of top coat as you'd like.
And then, of course, it's time for final pictures.

Have I ever mentioned my camera hates glow-in-the-dark? Sigh.

(Please tell me it at least resembles this? Maybe?)
And that's about it! I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know if there are any A:TLA characters you'd like to see in the future (Appa nail art, anyone?). Now excuse me while I start book 1 of the Legend of Korra again (Come on, book 2 release date, where are you...) - see you all next week! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Stripes

Hello there! Currently I'm suffering through painfully hot indoor temperatures, and although there isn't a beach for miles in central Illinois, that's certainly where I'd like to be right now. In an attempt to bring some beach indoors, this week I chose a tutorial with maybe my strangest inspiration  yet: beach towels. 

You'll need:
- base coat
- white polish
- top coat
- green and yellow polish (or any other colors of your choice)
- Scotch Tape
- matte top coat (optional)

You know what I'm talking about with the beach towels, right? The cute fun colored striped towels you see all over beaches in the movies and everything? Oh, I don't know. I found the green and yellow at Sephora the other day and really thought they looked summery, and the idea kind of sprung from that. 

Annyywayy, start off with a base coat and paint your nails white. Then add a quick drying top coat and let your nails dry as much as possible (if you don't, the tape will peel off the color later).

China Glaze - White on White

Cut out little strips of the scotch tape using scissors and place them on your nail to make a stripe pattern.

Paint your nails yellow (or whatever color you chose) and QUICKLYY remove the tape. The faster you go, the less smudging will happen.

Sephora by OPI - IM Beauty

Complete all of your nails and cover up with a top coat. This time I did two nails in each color, but you could alternate nails, use your ring finger as an accent nail, use a different color on each nail, or... do pretty much anything. 

Sephora by OPI - Read my Palm

I thought a less shiny look might represent a towel better (I still feel weird basing my nails off of towels, of all things...), so I added a matte top coat to change it up. If you're not a fan of matte, shiny still looks great.

Annnd multiple picture time, because I can never choose just one.

That's it for now! I hope you all enjoyed this post! And okay, it's been over a year, and I still don't really know how to end these posts. *sigh* catch you later!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Orange Geometric Print

Howdy, folks! Over the weekend I picked up a couple new polishes at Walmart, so instead of choosing colors to suit the design, I based this design around the colors. Enjoy!

You'll need:
- base coat
- off-white polish
- orange polish
- black striper
- top coat

First off, a base coat, of course! Then you'll paint all of your nails in the off-white (random story: this color matches my wall color exactly. Strange, huh?).

Maybelline Color Show - Sandstorm

Oh, warning in advance: my camera totally hated this orange. The pictures refused to focus and the lighting looked terrible. Ah, well. Anyway, first paint one diagonal stripe of the orange.

Revlon - Siren

Now do another diagonal stripe to form an X.

Outline the X using a black striper.

Art Deco - Black

After that, there's just a top coat and clean-up! 

I had fun trying out my new polishes with a random design. This one's quick and simple, so it's great if you don't have too much time on your hands but want more than one color on your nails. I'm really curious how it'd look mattified - if I try it I'll post a picture on Facebook/Twitter. So thanks for reading- catch you all later! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rubik's Cube Nails

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful week - I know I am! Our terribly unpredictable Illinois weather has FINALLY given us true summer temperatures. Time for tanning and the pool! But of course, I can't go outside without my nails painted... as they say, "you're never fully dressed without a manicure!" Today I have for you a slightly dorky, yet extremely easy tutorial: Rubik's Cube nails!

You will need: 
- base coat
- black striper
- dotting tool
- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white polish
- top coat

The first thing you're going to want to do is gather your polishes. This one uses a bunch, and it's better to have them on hand at the beginning then have to go hunting for them in the middle of your manicure. The colors on a Rubik's Cube are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white; I'd suggest getting a cube on hand to compare your colors to, but if you don't have a Rubik's cube or can't find a perfectly accurate color, that's okay. No one will notice! 
Paint on a base coat and then use the black striper to seperate each nail into nine squares. The lines don't have to be perfect - you'll cover them up later. 

Stripe Rite - Black

And now the fun (and time-consuming) part. Grab your colors, pick up your dotting tool, and fill'er in! The pattern is completely up to you - I made mine pretty random. Being the perfectionist I am, I did put a little thought into the colors: Since there are six colors, that's three left over spots on each nail, which total to 12 extra spots if you're not counting the thumb. Divide that by six, and that's two extra spots for each color. So I painted each color once on each nail, and then one extra time on two of the nails (if that made any sense!).
Don't worry about filling the squares in perfectly for now! We'll fix everything later.

Kiss Colors - True Red

Once you've used every color, your nails should look something like this. And since it's probably not going to fit in the caption, the colors I used are:
Orange: Sally Hansen - Sun Kissed
Yellow: Sally Hansen - Lightening
Green: China Glaze - Four Leaf Clover
Blue: Sinful Colors - Endless Blue
White: China Glaze - White on White

Gently add a top coat to smooth your nails out for the next step. Be light to make sure you don't smear any of the colors, or wait until it's all dry!

Seche Vite

Now to make them actually look like Rubik's Cubes! Using a black striper (and yes, I used a different striper than I did for the first step. I'm not really sure why.), go over the black lines again. You'll want these ones to be as clean and straight as possible.

Art Deco - Black

And then all there is left is cleanup and a top coat!

And some extra angle shots, because I can never take just one picture.

That's it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. These are a teensy bit time consuming, but totally worth it. 

Oh, yeah, what do you all think of the new blog layout? I was only intending to change the background color, but I got a bit carried away, and ended up changing... a lot. Let me know what you think of it! I added some nifty social network buttons on the side, too, so all you have to do now is click those to take you to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you want to go. You can also automatically pin my pictures to Pinterest now - just hover over the picture you want and the button should show up.

That's all for now! Comment below what you think of the tutorial, and the new blog design. I love hearing from all of you!