Dry Brush Nails

Here are my current nails:

IMG_6388Pretty cute, right?  I’ve only done dry brush nails a few times, but every time I do, I’m reminded of how easy they are!  And they look really cool!  I’ve acquired a good pile of compliments on these nails so far, and nobody really believes me when I say these are super easy, so I figured I’d provide a little quicky tutorial on these.  Disclaimer: I totally didn’t invent this technique.  It’s been around for a few years now, and I really don’t have any idea who the originator is.  But I’m definitely sure that it wasn’t me.

First you start with your base coat and then a light, neutral polish.  This time I went with Wet n Wild – Yo Soy.   IMG_6386Seriously, this is such a pretty nude color and it’s only $.99!  I’m not sure how it works with other skin tones, but with my pale pinkish skin, it works really well.  This picture was taken without a top coat, so you can really see how shiny it is!  This is two coats, and it’s totally opaque.  For dry brushing, you can never go wrong with a white base either.

IMG_6393Now, pick a few contrasting colors.  I opted for Jordana – Hypnotizing, China Glaze – Budding Romance, and Fresh Paint – Let the Games Begin.  Budding Romance is the most sheer out of these three polishes, so I decided to use it last.  I decided to start with Let the Games Begin, the blue.

Shake (or better yet, roll) your polish like normal, but here’s the important part: after you open your bottle, wipe as much polish as possible off on the neck of the IMG_6399bottle.  Like, six times.  Just keep wiping.  You just want the littlest bit of residual polish on the brush.  After you’ve wiped all of the excess polish off of the brush, pick a direction, IMG_6387and drag the brush over your nail.   I decided to mix it up, so I dragged the brush down my thumb, middle finger and pinky vertically, and across my other two fingers horizontally.

I then did the exact same thing with the purple polish, and then with the green polish, kind of filling in the empty spaces.  Although I intended to take pictures of each step of this manicure, I didn’t.  Fail.  See, I’m usually watching something important on TV (like Sister Wives or Dance Moms) while I’m doing my nails, so I tend to forget to take pictures of each step.  I just crank along and then I’m like, “Oh dang, I’m done… And I only have 2 pictures.”

So anyway, after adding the purple and green polish, I finished off with a matte top coat.  I don’t know why, but I feel like dry IMG_6401brush nails look the best with a matte top coat.

Oh, cautionary tale time; there’s really only one way you can screw up dry brush nails, and that is by not wiping the brush off well enough.  Exhibit A is here on the right.  This is my ring finger on my right hand.  See that big blob of blue?  That’s where I didn’t wipe the brush off well enough.   Moral of the story: wipe the brush off.  A lot.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this inspires you to try this technique.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Until next time, happy polishing!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Just a Bunch of Summer Nails

And the award for Most Infrequent Posting goes to…. ME!  I apologize for my absence.  I’m sure it’s left a gaping hole in your summer.  I’m here and I’m fine and I’m still painting my nails.  I’ve just been busy.  It’s summer, so I can be outside doing stuff.  In a few months it will be cold and miserable and I’m sure I’ll be posting much more regularly then.

I thought I’d just highlight a few manicures that I’ve sported over the past month or so.  Here we go…

IMG_4983Turquoise and red with white polka-dots.  Aren’t these cute?  I really liked them.  I didn’t know until I did them how retro-looking they would be.  And they were so shiny!  These were super easy, too.  You only need a dotting tool.  This is such a fun way to try out different color combinations.  I wish I had a dress that looked like these nails.

IMG_5005

Glittery plaid print.  No picture could do these proper justice.  The base polish was Funky Fingers – Sand & Stilettos which is a crazy sparkly holographic micro glitter.  It’s like camping… It’s in tents.  (Intense.  Get it?)  The pink and blue polishes were both jellies,so the glitter was still visible.  So, so sparkly.

IMG_5019 Dry brush tie-dye.  I started with a white base and then just did a little dry brushing, starting with the yellow at my cuticles.  I just made sure that each of the colors overlapped a little.  The dry brush technique is super easy, by the way.  You just wipe almost all of the polish off the brush on the neck of the bottle and then drag the “dry” brush over your nails.  No tools or artistic skill required!

IMG_5031Neon orange citrus nails.  I should call these neon orange orange nails.  The base color was Orly – Tropical Pop and the darker orange was a Sally Girl polish from Sally Beauty Supply.  To pull off orange polish, I always have to wait until I get a little bit of a “tan”. I don’t really tan.  According to my foundation, I go from “fair” to “light”.  These were so bright, but you know how it is to photograph neons.  IMG_5040

Oh, I also took a picture of these nails while riding the Sky View at Hersheypark.  I really, really liked these nails!  By the way, Hersheypark is where I spent a significant amount of time in June.  It’s an awesome place to go before the crowds get really heavy in July and August.

IMG_5045Metallic butterfly nails.  I’m not sure who came up with butterfly wing nails originally, but ever since I first saw them a year or so ago, I’ve wanted to try them.  I finally got around to it.  These were a little time-consuming, but not really too bad.  I was going to use a pink/purple/blue neon gradient for the base, but I opted for a softer, more realistic green/purple gradient instead.  I also went with a matte top coat to make it a little more true to actual butterfly wings, also.

IMG_4955 Wavy teal nails.  These nails just sort of happened.  I thought they might look like lace of maybe fish scales, but they ended up looking more like waves.   I pretty much just used a doting tool to make rows of dots that touched each other.  I started at my cuticle, and then just picked a contrasting color and overlapped the next row of dots.  I didn’t love these at first, but they sort of grew on me.  IMG_4963

Jaunty Juli recreation.  I can take no credit for this design.  Jaunty Juli came up with it, and lots of people have recreated them.  I had to jump on the bandwagon. Super cute, right?  That Jaunty Juli is so creative!

IMG_4940Matte pastel with gold glitter.  These are pretty much a recreation of some nails that I did last summer and really liked.  I just love how gold glitter looks under a matte top coat.  Its just so frosty and beautiful!  This is another fun way to play with color combinations that requires pretty much no artistic skill either.

So, Those are a bunch of my summer nails!  Between fancy manicures, I love wearing obnoxiously bright neon polishes.  Someday I’ll be too old and they will be out of style, so I’m going to carpe diem.

Thanks for reading, following, liking, commenting, sharing, and whatnot!

March Favorites

March.  For those of us in the eastern half of the US, it was one more month of winter weather when it should have been feeling like spring.  It was a heck of a lot better than February, though.  Am I right?

Anyway, onto what you are actually here for: my favorites from March.

IMG_4691Again March I participated in the Weekly Nail Challenge (#wnac2015) on instagram, and the theme for the month was holographic.  For that reason, a lot of my monthly favorites were holographic polishes.  Let’s start with the top left…

This is IMG_4587Nicole by OPI – Rock the Look from the Roughles collection.  This came out awhile ago on clearance… I’m thinking it was last spring or summer.  This was one that sat in my untried pile for months.  I haven’t been big into the textured polish thing, but I figured I should finally try it.  The longer I wore it, the more it grew on me!  It was just so soft looking and different from anything else I wear on a regular basis.  The feel of the textured polish took a little getting used to, but I really liked it!  I think I’ll be wearing this one again!

IMG_4633Next is Nicole by OPI – Party Bus.  I got this one on clearance for $149!  I mostly got it for the large flower shaped holographic glitters in it.  These are great to fish out and use for glitter placement manis.  Like most holographic things, it’s hard to catch the true beauty and sparkly-ness of these glitters. IMG_4642

The next two polishes become a monthly favorite when they are paired together.  Pictured is Revlon – Matte Pearl Glaze over NYC – Lexington Yellow.  I love yellow, but like most light-haired white girls, yellow doesn’t love me back.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked happy yellow clothing of the rack while shopping only to discover in the dressing room that it makes my complexion look sickly.  It’s so sad.

When I first put on Lexington Yellow, it really didn’t look that great with my skin tone, but then I added Matte Pearl Glaze, and it transformed it into this soft yellow with a pinkish glow that was actually wearable for me!  Plus, my nails reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the beast.

IMG_4592Next we have Orly – Mirrorball.  Here’s the story with this polish.  Back before Christmas, when this polish came out, I stared at it in the store.  I held it.  I caressed the bottle.  Then I practiced some self control and put it back on the shelf.  I had been regretting that decision ever since.  Then one day last month, I was down in York, PA and I stopped in the Sally’s there.  Lo and behold, they had two bottles of Mirrorball in their clearance bin!  I couldn’t believe my good fortune!  My only regret is that I only bought one bottle.

IMG_4603Mirrorball has a fairly sheer formula, so it actually works really well as a topper to other polishes.  Here it is layered over Wet n Wild -I Need a Refresh-Mint.  (By the way, the current version of I Need a Refresh-Mint is a much brighter blue than the version I own.  The older version is pretty much a dead on dupe for China Glaze – For Audrey.)  I can’t wait to layer Mirrorball over all sorts of neon colors this summer.

IMG_4646The next polish is just like camping… It’s in tents.  (In tents… Intense.  Get it?)  Polish Me Silly – Tealing No Lies is the most holo of the holo polishes that I own.  The linear rainbow is just so strong.  Someday I’ve got to order me some more Polish Me Silly polishes.   IMG_4647Here’s some really simple flower nail art I did using Tealing No Lies as a base.  (I just used my biggest dotting tool to make 5 petaled flowers with a really light blue polish, and then I made slightly smaller petals with a deep blue polish over the light petals.  Then I used a little dotting tool to add some dots to the centers. Super easy and no artsy skills required!)

IMG_4341The last polish that was  monthly favorite was Fresh Paint – Honeydew.  I used this in several Easter manis, and I’ll show you those pictures in a separate post.  I’m pretty sure this polish qualifies as pastel neon.  It’s light and bright at the same time.  It water marbles well, and you can get away with almost one coat.  I think it will look great in the summer when I’ve got a bit of a tan.  (I’m foundation shade “fair” in the winter, but with a tan I’m can wear “light” colored foundation.)

So, that’s all I have for you today.  Thanks for reading!  I do post realy regularly on instagram, so follow me there if you want to see my nails as I do them and not a month after the fact.  Happy Spring to you all!

Fun Times with Glossy on Matte

This past week I’ve done two different manis that have featured the same technique: glossy designs over a matte finish.    This technique is IMG_4465so simple, but the end result is pretty impressive looking!  I found that this works bet with dark colors that have a cream formula.  I tried this with some lighter colors and polishes with some shimmer in them, and it’s much harder to see the matte/glossy contrast.  So, here’s all you have to do:

1. Pick a nice, dark, cream polish and paint your nails.

2. Apply a matte top coat.  I use one from NYC that works just fine.  No need to purchase something fancy.

3. After your matte top coat is dry, add your dots or stripes or whatever to your nails with a clear polish.  Please note: you don’t want to use a fast drying topcoat as your clear polish.  It will dry up before you can complete your design and you’ll end up with a clumpy mess.  Just plain, clear Wet n Wild polish or NYC polish (the $.99 kind) works perfectly.

IMG_4478For the first look, I used Wet n Wild Megalast – Careful, It’s Vine-tage as my base.  This polish was from their limited edition matte collection that came out last fall.  Even though the polish was supposed to have a matte finish, it only looked semi-matte to me, so I put a matte top coat on it anyway. Then I took some various sized dotting tools and my $.99 clear polish and made some dots.  That’s it!

For my second look, I used Wet n Wild Megalast – Echo Dark, a navy polish from the same matte collection.  This polish bums me out a little because it looks navy blue in the bottle, but on the nail it really looks black most of the time.  Anyway, I applied a matte top coat, and then took my striping brush dipped in clear polish and made diagonal stripes on my nails.

The first time I ever tried this technique was back  in September and you can read about that here, if you so desire. I got way fancier with that design.

For some reason, I always do glossy designs on a matte base, but you could always switch it around and do matte designs on a glossy base.  Really, the possibilities are endless with this technique.  Any animal prints would look really cool like this, or you could even do something as simple as a matte nails with just a glossy french tip!  And since it works so well with dark colors, it’s perfect to do now before everything turns pastel and neon for the warmer months.

Anyway, I hope you feel inspired to make yourself some beautiful nails!  Thanks for reading!

Conversation Heart Nails

Valentine’s Day.  Some folks love it, others hate it.  I rolled my eyes a lot at Valentine’s Day stuff when I was single, but since I’ve got a good hubby now, I find the day to be perfectly pleasant.  The lamest Valentine’s Day that I can remember was in 2003.  I liked a guy who totally had me in the friends zone.  The guy I liked had a roommate who was totally not my type, but he liked me.  Somehow on Valentine’s day, I ended up going to Wendy’s for dinner with both of them and then we went and saw Shanghai Knights (stupid movie).  I sat between the two of them in the theater… The guy I was pining for on one side, and the guy who was pursuing me one the other.  I was like Emma between Frank Churchill and Mr Elton…. I so glad I found Mr Knightly… And my hubby is older than me so this whole analogy really works well!  Anyway…

IMG_4249Regardless of your feelings on Valentine’s Day, it is the perfect opportunity to sport some cute nails.  Today I bring to you a simple conversation heart inspired mani.  This is so simple that it’s really not worthy of a tutorial.  I just painted each finger a different pastel color and then took my littlest brush in some craft paint and added the “conversations”.  I used red paint, but I added a little white to it so that it would be that sort of washed out color that you have on real conversation hearts.  I topped it off with a matte top coat.

While looking through my polishes for pastel colors, I realized that I had very few.  I actually ended up making the light orange and light purple polishes by mixing some of my polishes in with white polish.  The light green was a polish that I frankenpolished last summer.

To keep things real, here is my seldom seen Cinderella hand:

IMG_4247That is, the had that does all the work but receives none of the glory.  My right had never gets to go to the proverbial ball.  Never gets any of the praise on instagram.  If my hand had feelings, I’m sure it would feel a little put out.  Overworked and neglected.

Really though, painting tiny letters is not the easiest thing, and painting tiny letters with your non-dominant hand?  Extra hard.  That’s why you don’t usually see my right hand.  It’s usually just a sloppy version of my left hand.

Once in a while someone will ask me if I always do both hands, and the answer is yes, 95% of the time.  The only time that I haven’t always done both hands was back in September when I did the 31 Day Nail Challenge when I did my nails every day for 31 days straight.  A lot of those designs were really time-consuming and intricate, and I just didn’t have the time or the skills to always do my right hand.  Even when I wouldn’t make my right hand completely match my left hand, I would still do my nails on my right hand so that they complement my left hand.

Okay, I’ve rambled on far too much here, so I’ll wrap this up.  Thanks for reading, commenting, liking, and following!

Ferny Nails and My Pile of Untrieds

So, first off, here are some ferny nails that I did:

IMG_3905

These were inspired by Mr Candii Pants, who actually is a miss, not a mister. Check her out on youtube and/or instagram.  She does some of the coolest free hand nail art.

The base color for these was Fresh Paint – Firefly.  It’s an almost-white-but-actually-a-pale-bluish-grey color.  And it’s a one-coater!  By the way, do you prefer “gray” or “grey”?  I like “grey”.  It just seems like a nicer, softer spelling.

I painted all of my purple ferns first, then blue (I think), and then green.  It’s just way easier to do all of one color at a time, when possible.  I used a shiny top coat, but I think these would have worked well with a matte top coat also.

Now onto a completely different subject:  My untried polishes.  Here they are:

IMG_3936

Now, some of these are untried because I got them on clearance when they were out of season.  Others are untried because… I don’t know.  I don’t really have any good reasons.  I decided that I really need to tackle this pile, so I’m going to make a good effort to reach for these polishes until they are all tried!

I’ve tackled two so far.  Here’s Wet n Wild – Echo Dark from the recent matte collection:

IMG_3934

It’s a little tough to see, but I actually did a jelly sandwich with this polish.  I was pleasantly surprised that the polish still looked blue in person instead of black.  I didn’t love the formula though.  I can’t quite pinpoint why I didn’t.  It took a while to really dry, so my nails ended with some little marks in them.  That irritates me like crazy.

I also tried Sally Hansen – 3K or More:

IMG_3939

The sun came out for me, so I got a nice sparkly picture!  This is a nude polish with a gold shimmer in it.  I don’t know how I feel about this polish yet.  I feel like it looks really pretty in the picture, but I don’t think this shade of nude looks the best with my really light skin.  There’s a bit of a yellow undertone, and I generally do better with cooler shades.  It’s growing on me, though.  This is a good pallet cleansing polish.  After wearing Echo Dark for a few days, I felt like I needed something a little more neutral.  This polish might be a little hard to find.  I got this in a clearance bin awhile ago.

Oh, can you tell my nails are shorter in the last picture?  I had some nail peeling going on, so I just gave them all a chop before one just broke off.

Well, thank you all for reading!  Find me on instagram and facebook!