Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tutorial: Abstract '80s


Hi everybody, welcome to my tutorial for the abstract '80s design! One thing I like about this design is the translucent triangle, for which I can use my sheer polishes. I normally avoid those because they take so many layers to get opaque, but from now on they have a purpose! (Next to glitter sandwiches. ;-)) But the sheer triangle comes only at the end, so apart from a sheer polish you'll also need a basecolor and a polish for the angled shape in step 4. Let me show you how it works then!


Start by cutting a few straight pieces of tape. I do it by taking of a little piece (±1inch/2,5cm) off the roll first which I cut in smaller strips lengthwise. You don't have to cut it in smaller pieces, but I always do because smaller pieces adapt better to the curving of the nail, plus I don't like to waste things unnecessarily.
Please note that I only use the colored tape you see for the pictures of this tutorial. Normally I use regular stationery tape. The translucency can be a great advantage in some cases, but for pictures it makes the tape harder to see.


Then apply the base color you like (if necessary with a basecoat underneath) and let it dry completely. To speed up the drying process you can apply a fast drying topcoat. I personally like Seche Vite, which lets my polish dry in about 10 minutes.
Now we're going to make an angled shape in the corner of the nail. Just take two tape strips and one by one place them on the nail like shown in the picture, covering up the parts that shouldn't get painted. (The exposed area is how your shape is going to look.)
Carefully apply your layering polish with a thin and even coat and remove the tape right away. By removing the strips right away, you'll prevent the polish from sticking to the tape which can cause rough edges. Remove the strips individually, if you can. Most of the time this will keep your lines crisper.
If your first shape has dried properly, we can start on the second one; a triangle. Place three tape strips individually on the nail, forming a triangle. Make sure to overlap part of the first shape for that playful see-through effect.
Now apply the sheer polish on top, also with a thin and even coat and remove the tape strips right after. Finish with topcoat and your design is done!


Finally some useful tips:
  • For my tape manis, all I use is regular stationery tape. But you might prefer something else, so just experiment with different sorts of tape to figure out what works best for you.
  • For your base color you can use any polish you like, however one-coaters will allow you to place the tape much sooner because those are usually fast drying. Of course you can also quicken the drying of polishes that require several coats to cover, by applying a fast drying topcoat. (I use Seche Vite). 
  • Your layering color(s) can be either a one- or two-coater. Because you've already applied a base color, most polishes that usually take two coats to cover now will do with one.
  • You might want to leave the cut strips somewhere else than the edge of your desk/table, to prevent them from getting stuck to the surface while you're busy. You do not want to have to peel them off with your freshly painted claws!
  • Apply your layering color in one thin (but opaque) coat, this will create crisper lines.
  • When you're removing the tape strips, try to remove them individually, if you can, because most of the time your design will come out neater this way
  • Using tweezers to remove the tape strips can prevent your freshly painted nails from getting smudged.
  • It's not always necessary to start all over if you've messed up your design, often a little touch-up with a nailart brush can solve the problem.
  • If you want to use a matt topcoat, use a regular one underneath. My experience with matt topcoats is that they smudge the design very easily, even when it's completely dry. Applying a normal topcoat first will prevent that.
  • Moisterize your skin afterwards, because the tape can really dry it out!
  • You can practice this tutorial on your old mani that you applied a day (or more) before. That way it's certain that the base color is dry.
  • Have fun and practice makes perfect ;)

I would absolutely love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!



Polishes I used in this post are OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, Orly Ancient Jade and Color Club Warhol.

Monday, September 17, 2012

'80s Accent Nail


Hi guys! After a day I decided to change the accent nail of my previous mani. Not because I didn't like it anymore, but because I just needed to play with my polish again (like a little girl with her dolls, haha). I went for the abstract '80s pattern that I showed you earlier this year in this post. It's so much fun to watch a new shape appear where the pink and mint green overlap. :3 I used OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui for the basecolor and Color Club Warhol and Orly Ancient Jade for the shapes on top. (The pink is Essence Sending You Kisses.)
Many of you had asked for a tutorial for this design, so I took this opportunity to finally make one. :-) It's coming!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tutorial: Vertical Lightning Bolt


Hello everyone! Welcome to my vertical lightning bolt tutorial! You may have already tried its siblings the lightning bolt French or double lightning bolt, if you like those but want to step it up a notch, then this fellow is the right thing. It involves more individual tape strips and precision than the previously mentioned designs, so using it on an accent nail only is recommended if you don't have too much time. But if you enjoy the process as much as the end result, such as myself, why not go all the way for a special occasion? Let's begin!


Start by cutting the tape strips. You'll need two triangular pieces and two straight strips. I make them by taking of a little piece (±1inch/2,5cm) off the roll first which I cut in half diagonally for the triangles, or lengthwise for the straight strips.

Please note that I only use the black tape you see for the pictures of this tutorial. Normally I use regular stationery tape. The translucency can be a great advantage in some cases, but for pictures it makes the tape harder to see.

Apply your basecolor and leave it to dry. The polish must be absolutely dry before starting with step 3, so you may want to use a coat of quickdrying topcoat to speed things up. (I personally like Seche Vite.)
Now it's time to place the tape strips. To maintain the ratio of the lightning bolt each time, I always place the four strips in strict positions in the following way:

- First I place a straight strip on the surface. It starts at the upper left corner and goes down to the middle of the tip.
- Then I put a triangle on top, with one acute corner pointing upwards and also going down to the middle of the tip
- The second triangle goes at the top, with the acute corner pointing down, just without facing the first triangle
- And at last I complete the shape with the second straight piece, starting at the upper right corner of the nail and meeting the first triangle at the bottom for the pointy tail of the lightning bolt


If the strips are in the right position, carefully apply your layering polish with a thin coat and remove the strips right away.

Finish with topcoat and your lightning bolt is done! Prepare to hear a lot of "HARRY POTTER!". ;-)





Finally some useful tips:
  • For my tape manis, all I use is regular stationery tape. But you might prefer something else, so just experiment with different sorts of tape to figure out what works best for you.
  • For your base color you can use any polish you like, however one-coaters will allow you to place the tape much sooner because those are usually fast drying. Of course you can also quicken the drying of polishes that require several coats to cover, by applying a fast drying topcoat. (I use Seche Vite). 
  • Your layering color(s) can be either a one- or two-coater. Because you've already applied a base color, most polishes that usually take two coats to cover now will do with one.
  • You might want to leave the cut strips somewhere else than the edge of your desk/table, to prevent them from getting stuck to the surface while you're busy. You do not want to have to peel them off with your freshly painted claws!
  • Apply your layering color in one thin (but opaque) coat, this will create crisper lines.
  • When you're removing the tape strips, try to remove them individually, if you can, because most of the time your design will come out neater this way
  • Using tweezers to remove the tape strips can prevent your freshly painted nails from getting smudged.
  • It's not always necessary to start all over if you've messed up your design, often a little touch-up with a nailart brush can solve the problem.
  • If you want to use a matt topcoat, use a regular one underneath. My experience with matt topcoats is that they smudge the design very easily, even when it's completely dry. Applying a normal topcoat first will prevent that.
  • Moisterize your skin afterwards, because the tape can really dry it out!
  • You can practice this tutorial on your old mani that you applied a day (or more) before. That way it's certain that the base color is dry.
  • Have fun and practice makes perfect ;)

I would absolutely love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!



Polishes I used in this post are Essence Sending You Kisses and Essence Romeo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sending You A Lightning Bolt


Hi folks! I missed having pink polish on my nails and wasn't ready for my next challenge yet, so I'll be squeezing a couple of pink posts in between the 31 Day Challenge. For this mani I used two coats of my new favorite pink Sending You Kisses from Essence's limited Ready For Boarding collection. The silver is Essence Romeo, the shimmer version. Lately I've been really getting addicted to this 'new' form of a lightning bolt. I don't know why I particularly like lightning bolts so much. Perhaps it's the fierce shape, or the comic feel. Whatever it is, I'm not done with them yet! :-P Anyhow, unlike the lightning bolt French and double lightning bolt, this fellow has a vertical and diverting shape. So refreshing after having done so many horizontal ones. And yes, a tutorial is on its way. ;-) So stay tuned!
P.S. I didn't notice how cruel the title of this post actually sounds when I first came up with it, but I'm sticking with this silly wordplay anyway, hee hee.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

31 Day Challenge, day 9: Rainbow


Day 9! This time the challenge was to make rainbow nails. I was looking really forward to this challenge, even though I knew it was going to be challenging indeed. In the end I came up with this very simple look with colored strokes. Basically I used the technique I also use to make my cloud manis, only using a different color with each stroke. I really like the end result, all the colors together make me so happy! Maybe also because they remind me of a box full colored pencils. :3
If you like this look, I hope you try it out yourself too. It's a quite easy way to create that oh-so-lovely rainbow effect. ^^ Thanks for reading!

Polishes I used over China Glaze Snow:
Essence - Beauty On Tour
H&M - Peach Me Soon
Color Club - Almost Famous
Catrice - ACid DC
Safari - #100
Essence - Via Airmail!
China Glaze - Gothic Lolita
Essence - Sending You Kisses

Saturday, September 01, 2012

31 Day Challenge, day 8: Metallic


Hello everyone! Today I'm showing you what I've made for the metallic challenge. I hadn't done lightning bolts in a while, so I went for those in one of my favorite colors combinations: blue and gold. The muted blue is Orly Sapphire Silk and for the lightning bolts I used H&M Golden Treasure.
Overall the mani is quite dark, but I'm still excited to wear these to a party tonight. That reminds me... I've got to get ready! See you next time! :-)