Monday, July 29, 2013

Vacation Gradient Nails!

Howdy folks! I just got back from a gorgeous vacation in Colorado, so this is just a quick post to show what I wore on my nails on the trip! 

My original plan was the gradient you see here, but with added clouds and a sun as inspired by all the air travel and amazing view I'd have on the vacation. Once I'd done the gradient, though,  I was really satisfied with how it turned out, and I didn't want to mess it up, so I left it as is! I know almost everyone in the nail polish world knows how to do a gradient by now, but I couldn't stop myself from taking a picture of every step (plus, every person does a gradient differently, so I figured it'd be fun to show you guys which technique I like to use). Enjoy!

You'll need:
- base coat
- white polish
- dark and light blue polish
- makeup sponge
- top coat

Start off with a base coat and paint your nails white. 

China Glaze - White on White

The gradient technique I like to use is to paint three colors together, overlapping each one slightly, onto a makeup sponge. They can overlap as much or as little as you want, but make sure not to skimp on the polish. You don't want enough that the polish stops soaking into the sponge, but you want enough that you're not running out of stuff to put on your nail before you're done perfecting how it looks.

Light blue: China Glaze - Secret Peri-Wink-le
Dark blue: China Glaze - First Mate

Lightly dab the sponge up and down while making sure to apply polish on all of the nail. You can move the sponge up and down more for a smoother gradient look, or less for less combination of the three colors. It's okay to get polish on your skin!

I also like to apply my top coat one nail at a time to smooth out the gradient a bit before the polish can fully dry. I'm really not sure how well this works, though, so if you want to get it all done at the same time you can use your top coat on all the fingers at once at the end.

All that's left is cleaning your cuticles! Hooray! I prefer to use a cotton swab on the skin part and a smaller brush for the actual cuticles, but do whatever works best for you!

Aannd picture time!

And of course I had to take a picture of my nails with the clouds as my background - it's not a backdrop I get to use very often! :)

So... I hope you all enjoyed the post! I've got another one almost pulled together, so you should be seeing that later this week. And as usual, if you want to be notified whenever there's a new post, make sure to follow my blog with any of the social networking buttons on the side! See you all in a couple days!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rainbow Galaxy Nails

Ello there party people! Even though I decided not to post last week, I still had a crazy time trying to figure out what to do for today's tutorial. Do you guys ever have those days (weeks) where you just have no inspiration whatsoever? I even tried out a few designs, and they all failed. After feeling like I was in a total rut, all stressed out because nothing I was doing was working, one of the most amazing people I've ever had the privilege of knowing sent me a link to this video. Anyone who's stuck with whatever they're doing, go watch that video (heck, even if you're not having trouble with anything, watch it anyway). Although I've been painting my nails as a hobby for a year or two now, I still consider myself a beginner, and I'm always way too hard on myself. Thanks to that video, I was inspired to just work through it, and pull together another design. So thank you so much, Kathryn, for sending me that video, and thanks to everyone that reads my blog and inspires me to keep going, and to work through things when I'm stuck in a rut. Enjoy today's rainbow galaxy nail tutorial, which is the third design I attempted today, and by far the one I'm most proud of. 


You'll need:
- base coat
- black polish
- makeup sponge
- white polish
- a rainbow of colors (go for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, but if you don't have all of those, that's okay, and if you want to use more than just the basics, that works too)
- small dotting tool/toothpick/etc.
- top coat

Start off with a base coat and paint your nails black. It shouldn't be streaky, but it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth because the sponging later will cover everything up. I only used one coat here instead of the usual two just because I wasn't worried about it being exact and perfect. 

Sally Hansen - Black Heart

Sponge on the base for your galaxy design, white. This is what makes the colors show over the black, and it's also your basic outline for the rainbow later. Here I sponged in a kind of squiggly pattern, but you can do any design you want.
China Glaze - White on White

Now grab your rainbow of colors and start sponging. I started with a dark plum/red on the far left, which you can't see all that well in the pictures for some reason, and went on to red, then orange. My biggest two suggestions to make this work the best are to have each color overlap the next a bit, creating a gradient effect, and to to continue the color on the right of the nail onto the left of the next nail. You can see that with the orange on the index and middle finger, and later on with the light green and light blue.

Dark red: Sally Hansen - Cinna-snap
Red: Sinful Colors - Gogo Girl
Orange: Sally Hansen - Sun Kissed

Time for the yellow and green. Here I blended the yellow into the orange and green more than I'd originally planned, but it ended up looking very... gradient-y. I also used both a light green and dark green because I wanted to include more colors. How many shades of each color you use it up to you (or up to how large your stash is) so just do what you think looks best!

Yellow: Sephora by OPI - IM Beauty
Light Green: China Glaze - Four Leaf Clover
Dark Green: Sinful Colors - Envy

I finished up the colored section with a light blue, regular blue, and purple. The purple isn't as visible as I wished, but it's one of those colors I've got almost none of, so I had to make use of a darker one. Oh well!

Light blue: Sally Hansen - Blue Me Away!
Blue: Sinful Colors - Endless Blue
Purple: Orly - Wild Wisteria

Break out the dotting tool (or toothpick or pencil or whatever you want to use) and add the stars. The object you use is up to you (I've had the same amount of success with a toothpick as I had with the dotting tool this time), but you want the point to be small to dot in those tiny stars. Try putting a few larger stars over the colored part of the nail, and then smaller ones on the rest of the nail. Have a few clumps of multiple dots, as well as a few all on their own. Your pattern is up to you, which is the best part of galaxy nails - it's impossible to make any two look the same!

Add a top coat (and clean up your cuticles from all that sponging) and you're good to go!

Of course, no post would be complete without a smorgasbord of pictures of the completed nails.

Oh look, another gif!

(And yes, I'm still addicted to Tumblr, thanks for asking)

So again, thank you for reading! I know I said that up in the intro, but I definitely feel like I don't thank you all enough. What would this blog be without all its amazing, supportive readers? I'm getting pretty sentimental here today, aren't I... Anyway, that's it for today. If y'all want to be alerted when I write a new post, there are links to all my social networking sites on the right hand side of the blog. See you all next week!