Monday, September 1, 2014

ESSC 2014: #Summer!

Howdy, folks! Guess who's finally back on the blog! I might have not been writing for the past few weeks, but I've been doing a ton of nail art, so whenever I can find it in me to get off my lazy butt and pull together a blog post, I'll be here. 

Anywayy, this month I'll be doing the Endless Summer September nail art challenge - the idea is about making summer last as long as possible. I'm actually a fall person, myself, but I loveeeee bright summer colors, so I'm super excited for this challenge! There are six different prompts for the month (one every five days), and I'm just going to post the picture instead of listing them all: 

Woo, sounds like a fun month, am I right? Today's theme is summer, and although I think this design doesn't scream "summer" when you see it, it reminds me of all summer used to be about when I was a little kid, which was staying outside out late, running through the grass in bare feet, and staring at the stars (oh, and side story: I originally got my inspiration for these nails while listening to this song, which somehow really brought back all these fuzzy nostalgic thoughts... something about the whole "night sky" line). Here I've got stars in the background, with blades of grass (or ya know, it could be a cornfield... there was plenty of that from my childhood in Illinois, too) in the front.

And of course my nail art posts wouldn't be complete without a breakdown of how I did it! 

I started out with two solid coats of white polish to really make the ombre pop. This is China Glaze - Snow Globe... or is it White on White? I honestly don't know why I own both, but I'm still 99% sure they're the exact same polish. 

Now it's ombre time, woot woot! Grab three different shades of blue polish, a dark, medium, and light. From left to right I have Julep - Michelle, China Glaze - First Mate, and China Glaze - Secret Peri-wink-le.

Whip out a makeup sponge, and... well, you all know the drill at this point!
If you're new to the blog, or gradients, it's super easy. Just brush all the colors onto the sponge like I did below (it helps to have them each overlap a bit) and then dab the sponge on your nail, moving both up and down, and side to side.

I'd recommend going over each nail with the gradient twice, just to get everything as blue as possible.

After finishing the gradient, slap on a quick topcoat ASAP to smooth everything down. Then, it's time for the stars! Grab a tiny dotting tool (or pencil, or toothpick, or whatever floats your boat) and the white polish you used for the initial white layers and dot on some little circles. Make them random. Put them in different places and make them all different sizes. Whatever you want to do will work! I chose to make one star on each nail larger than the rest, to stand out. I also didn't put stars on the lower third of my nail, since it will be covered up later anyway.

Now choose two stars on each nail to add some fanciness to. Draw vertical and horizontal lines spreading from the stars you chose (oh, I don't actually know how to explain this... just check out the picture). This gives them that shiny realistic star look.

Grass time! Use a black striper to draw thin little lines of different heights starting about a third of the way up the nail and going down to the bottom.

Then it's just time for cleanup, a topcoat, and then photos!

Ta-da, that's it! You can check out the #EndlessSummerNailChallenge and #essc2014 tags on Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram, maybe? I've never gotten into Instagram so I've got no idea on that one). I still have that one last bottle of polish I got from Italy to post a swatch of, and then I'll also be back in five days with a nautical style design. Hm, I'm going to have to get thinking on this one...
I'll see you all then! Here are some questions in the meantime:
- Does anyone else use music to inspire them when painting nails?
- What do you think of when you look back on childhood summers?
- Why in the world do brands make multiple, most likely identical, white nail polishes? Grr!


  1. Hi! I'm very happy that you have decided to participate to the Endless Summer Challenge. I like your nail art and I'm absolutely in love with the gradient of the background! ** You've got a very nice idea for this nail art, it's very suggestive. Answering to your question, I think it's a good idea listening to the music while we're painting nails. I usually do it and it helps me to find inspiration. :-)

    1. Thanks for inviting me to the challenge - I'm having a really fun time! :) And yay, I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses music for finding inspiration. It's so helpful!

  2. This is great! And I see a Summer Night in this mani!!

    1. Thank you! And I'm so glad you see it - I had a couple people notice my nails from a distance and without looking too closely, compliment me on the "great city skyline nail art." I finally gave up explaining that it was actually supposed to be a summer night theme, haha!


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