Hello my little jewels, here I am, as promised! After a year of living out of boxes and having no place to really partake in nail art, I am settling in to my new apartment and finally unpacking my boxes (plural, eesh) of nail polish! It was a bittersweet unboxing. On one hand, I was seeing my babies again, but on the other, I’m not quite sure where the hell I’m going to put them all.
Anyhoo, lets move onto business. For my triumphant return to the nail art world, I decided to keep it simple, and thank goodness I did because I am rusty as a screw on a beach somewhere. Luckily it all came back by the end and I’m already contemplating the next mani.
Of course I’m also remembering how to blog as well. I like to let you guys know exactly what colors and brands of polish I use in case you see something that strikes your fancy and you want it for your own, but I forgot to. Sorry about that; I’ll remember next time.
Okay, enough talk, lets see the mani!
As you can see, I was a little influenced by my alma-mater and went for the striking contrast of orange and blue. Also, I really wanted a fall colored mani, but red is just wasn’t exciting enough for me for this mani. Orange screams fall, so I went with that!
For the contrast, I started with painting my accent nail blue, but it was just too plain for me, so I got out the dotting tool! I think it helped tone down some of the contrast and added some visual interest. Mostly though, it was really easy to do and I wasn’t feeling up to wrestling with rhinestones or glitter, let alone the ‘fun’ (notice the quotes?) of stripping them off later.
The right hand’s dots came out much better than the left, and its purely because my brain futzed out and forgot how to properly use the damn tool. Incase you are not familiar with dotting tools, the best tip I can give is to actually touch it to your nail. I weirdly hovered it until the polish touched the nail, which created droplets of polish (likes beads of water on a windshield) instead of ‘flat’ dots. So make sure the polish is dry and don’t be afraid to touch the tool to your nail! (Don’t press it too hard though – no one likes denty nails.)
Difficulty? 2/10 This is honestly one of the best techniques for beginners. Dotting tools are extremely cheap, so it’s not a huge investment. If you don’t want to invest in them, you can always use toothpicks or chopsticks to achieve great results.
Final Thoughts? For such a simple technique, there is so much that you can do with it. I did a very typical placement of the dots, but remember you can go across the tip like a french mani, dot up the side of the nail for a unique take, or even dot a crescent moon at the base of your nail like a reverse french mani. Try ombre dots, or rainbow dots! So many possibilities, so little time. Go out there and dot away!
Until next time!
Hello lovely little nail art aficionados, have you missed me? I am not lying when I say I’ve missed you! The last year as been a whirlwind but things are slowly starting to settle down and I am eager to get back to trying out new polishes, nail art techniques, and nail clubs! So do come join me, won’t you? And hey, the bright side of not painting my nails in over a year (!!) is they are strong, healthy, and ready to go!
With the last couple of posts, you might be wondering if this is still even a nail art blog. Well, that’s just silly of you, of course this is a nail art blog. With my new OPI Base Coat for Peeling and Sensitive Nails, my nails are actually returning to normal. (Do you remember how terrible they were? All peeling… ugh, like nails on a chalkboard (ha)! So annoying!) Anyway, with the new year in full swing, let’s get back to the good stuff, hm?
So, let us return to the manicure series I’m most excited about; the Game of Thrones manicures. If you missed the first in the series, here’s a handy link to the House Baratheon mani. (If you don’t know what Game of Thrones is, please head over to that link to read enough to understand what the hell I’m talking about.) To date, the Baratheon mani is still the most frustrating mani I have ever done. I think that’s why I’ve avoided Game of Thrones’ manicures since; PTSD. You’ll be happy to know that the next one I did was super simple and completely stress-free. Can you guess which house I did from the picture below? (Of course you know, I gave it away in the picture above. It was a rhetorical question, jeez.)
If you guessed House Lannister, you are correct! The title of this post was kind of a trick since their actual house words are “Hear me roar!” but who cares about that? (No one.) Their unofficial motto is much more bad-ass, especially if you come from a line of bankers. Anyway, their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson. With a sigil like that, the nail art design was a cake walk.
To start with, pick out a nice, rich red and a gold polish. Gold polishes are kind of all over the place (shimmer, glitter, hue, etc.) but I think they’d all work really well with this mani, so pick out your favorite. I went with Oi! Another Polish Joke by OPI for the gold because it was the smoothest (mine all have some sort of glitter in it) and wasn’t too dark. For red, I went with OPI’s Tomorrow Never Dies. It was the richest, brightest red I had in my collection. There are so many reds out there in polish land, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that works. (My trouble was deciding which one worked best.) If you happen to have this exact color in your collection, I advice to gently roll the bottle in your hands to mix, instead of shaking, and allow extra time to dry. The gold polish came out perfectly, but the red eventually succumbed to terrible bubbles. (Which is a step up from the peeling nails, which left weird, large bumps in the polish, but still sad.)
I’d like to say I had everything planned out perfectly, but I would never lie to you. I originally wanted to put a design on my thumb and index finger, my norm, but painted the index finger gold without much thought. Only when all my fingertips were painted and dry did I realize my error. My designs, created with stickers, were gold. Gold on gold does not work, so I improvised. Remember, nail art is fun, so don’t let little slips in foresight throw you. Just move onto plan B. (Or C, and then D) My plan B was to simply move the index finger design to the middle finger. Easy peasy. So let’s talk about what I actually did, instead of what I meant to do.
All fingernails get painted with your red, except the index finger which gets your lovely gold polish. Once dry, you can apply the stickers. You can get nail stickers all over the internet, as well in a lot of beauty supply stores such as Sally’s. I suggest thinking of a mani, then seeking out the stickers for it, instead of buying tons of stickers and having no idea what to do with them. I found some gold lion stickers that I knew would work perfectly, and on the same sticker sheet were tons of crowns to choose from. I hadn’t considered crowns, but the Lannisters are sort of running the show in Westeros at the moment, so it seemed to fit. I’ve been hoarding these stickers for when I finally did my Lannister mani.
Stickers are so much easier to use than I thought they would be. I used a small pair of tweezers and peeled the sticker up gently. Still using the tweezers, I gently laid the sticker on top of the nail and placed it where I wanted it. When it was in place, I pressed down gently with the pad of my finger, ensuring each edge of the sticker was firmly on the nail. This is quite easy when the nails are completely dry. If they’re not, you can warp or bubble the polish, which I sort of did with my little stone accents. (look closely, see the little bit of polish rising up the edges? I pressed too hard!) Anyway, I placed the lion, since his design was vertical, in the center on my thumbnail, while the crown I placed at the tip. You know, like my fingernail was crowned KING OF ALL FINGERNAILS.
Ahem. Sorry, got a little over-zealous there.
Speaking of accent stones, I used gold/yellow stones (again, check online for a wide variety) to sort of spice up the stickers. I placed three flaring around the stickers, and a single one on my pinkie. The single stone at the base of the nail seems to be very trendy at the moment, so if you don’t have stickers, you can always consider that idea. (One of the mani’s I’ve seen done that I really enjoy is a shimmer blue, a holographic if you have it, with small white pearls at the base. So classy! So elegant!)
There’s not much else to say about the mani really. Very simple, with lots of room to experiment with. With a few stripes on the index nail (tape off the gold, then paint on a red coat, remove striping tape and ta da!) you’ve got a Harry Potter Gryffindor mani complete with a necktie accent nail. If you’re creative, this could become an Iron Man mani. Red and gold always work well together, so have fun!
Difficulty? 4/10 This mani wasn’t difficult at all, as long as you have all your supplies and are ready to go. I highly suggest using tweezers to make it easier on you, and your freshly painted nails. Just make sure to put a nice thick layer of top coat on it once your designs are all in place, and you’re good to go.
Final Thoughts? The Lannisters might not get a lot of love aside from Tyrion, but I love them all. Cersei is such an interesting character to watch/read that I really enjoy her chapters. Do I like her? Not in the least. Everyone loves Tyrion (he’s my favorite character) so there’s no need to talk about him. Jamie really changed throughout the books and I grew to really like him. He’s already begun to change in the show, so I don’t consider that a spoiler. Tywin may be a terrible father, but damn, that man is genius. …Any other Lannisters aren’t worth mentioning (*cough*Joffrey*cough*). I hope my mani does them proud, as a lion should be.
Small edit: Fixed title because it was embarrassing me. :)
The Seven Deadly Sins – minus Brad Pitt, sadly. What the hell is that? It’s a blog tag I was invited to do via gingerlovesmakeup (click the link to check out her blog) and it just sounded like too much fun to pass up.
Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?
That is a really hard question to answer… I don’t tend to buy expensive stuff, just a lot of it! If I had to pick a single item, it would probably be OPI’s Marah Carey Pure. I think it was around $30, which for a single polish is a little nuts!
Wrath: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with?
This one is easy. Any glitter polish ever made by anyone. It doesn’t matter brand, color, indie or corporate. They are all so amazing, and yet so terrible to remove. I hate, hate the feeling of scrapping off glitter polish. The cotton ball gets all caught in it… it’s just bad. (But they’re so shiny!)
Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?
OPI for sure. 85% of my collection is OPI polish, with some other polishes sprinkled in. When I started nail art, I wanted a good variety of nail polish colors to do designs I wanted. OPI is a solid brand that rarely has issues (application, bubbles, etc.) so it made up the majority of my nail polishes. Recently however, I’ve been branching out into indies for the sheer variety. (Thermal nail polish? Yes, please.)
Sloth: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?
Makeup. Any type of makeup. I love makeup, don’t get me wrong, but I tend to go to work all natural. Do I have the natural beauty to pull this off? No, not at all. Lucky for me, only a few coworkers see me a day, and they’ll just have to deal with my hideous face! :D (Just kidding guys!)
Anyway, if I’m going someplace other than work, I put on makeup. Eyeliner is the product that gets sacrificed if I don’t have the time or energy.
Pride: Which product gives you the most confidence?
Well, do you mean gives me the most confidence, or I have the most confidence in? Well, the answer is sort of both. I love eyeshadow. When applied right, it makes such a dramatic difference, and I like that it brings attention to my eyes. It’s one of the most noticeable makeups too. The product I have the most confidence in is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer. I can sleep (trust me, I know) and my eyeshadow stays on, and not just a little dab on, but the full smokey eye.
Lust: What item is at the top of your list?
Any Deborah Lippmann polish I don’t own! Ugh, they’re all so interesting!
Envy: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?
Bright lipstick colors. Maybe I just view myself through a different filter than the rest of women, but I think bold, red lips look completely out of place on me!
Phew, that wasn’t too bad, was it? You all know me so well now (even if you didn’t want to)! What are your 7 deadly sins?
Tune in next time, for my next Game of Thrones’ manicure! (Spoiler Alert, the House sigil is a lion. :) )