Sunday, April 27, 2014

Marvelous Monarch

I'm sure you've heard of and seen images of the monarch butterfly migration. It is truly an amazing feat, and when these gorgeous butterflies congregate in the forests of Mexico I imagine it is breathtaking. I wanted to do a monarch butterfly inspired mani today, and although it may be a bit abstract, I think I accomplished my goal.

The idea started last night when I was planning what I would do. I wanted to use my MoYou plates, which I've been practicing with here and there since my first attempt, and I chose the butterfly image from the Pro Collection (#05). From there everything else just fell into place, and I decided to attempt my first ever gradient manicure! I started with one coat of white to make sure the colors would pop, and then two coats of Sally Hansen Lemon Shark. After this, I applied some Elmer's glue around my nails to (hopefully) make the clean up easier. Like I said, this was my first gradient mani so I didn't really know what would work best for me. I thought this looked kinda funny, and kinda like breakfast, so I had to document it. :P

Then I used a makeup sponge with Lemon Shark and Sally Hansen Sun Sheen on it to sponge on the gradient. I had looked at a lot of different tutorials and videos, but I basically ended up doing what Sammy over at the Nailasaurus suggested. After the sponging, it looked pretty good if I do say so myself.

To really make the gradient nice and smooth (and to add some sparkle on top of Lemon Shark so it would go better with Sun Sheen which is very sparkly), I applied a thin coat of Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Vitamin C. This polish (not pictured below) is sparkly orange and fairly sheer so it just made the yellow a little more orangey. Once that dried, I stamped on the butterflies using OPI Black Onyx. I think I will end up investing in Konad black and white polish as suggested by many reviews and tutorials I've read. The stamping turned out fine, but it's not as opaque as it could be and the polish did this weird oil and water type separating thing. The only other issue with the stamping isn't related to the polish, but just to the size of the image relative to my nails, and the position of the image once I stamped it... like I said at the beginning, I think it ended up being a bit more abstract than an obvious "Hey, you've got butterflies on your nails!" but that's fine by me :)

I hope you like this as much as I do!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Deja Vu

Hi ladies! (And gents?!) Today's mani may look a tad familiar... it's pretty much a re-do of my last post. :P What can I say, I was really feelin' those cute little flowers! I am just soooo ready for warm weather and shorts and sunglasses and tans... I guess technically I'm ready to skip right past spring and kick off summer! I mixed it up a bit by putting the silver (again, OPI DS Radiance) on my pinky and pointer finger, and instead of minty-teal today I used shimmery sparkly pink, courtesy of Sinful Colors Glass Pink. Oddly enough, I also picked this one up at Wegmans but this time for only $1.99!!! Who knew Wegmans would be my new go-to beauty supply?! Glass Pink is really sheer so I used three coats but it goes on super smooth and easy. I did white flowers on my middle finger, same as last time, but then I also did white polka dots on the other two pink nails. After some of my previous fails, I was really happy with the way this one turned out. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ready for Spring

This is so embarrassing! It has been exactly one month since my last post. I never intended to go so long between posts, but various things have conspired against me. First off, I've been having trouble keeping my nails at the length that I like; I keep having one break off at the corner and then I have to file them all so that they look even. Secondly, I have done manicures since March 16th but I just wasn't happy with the results and was too disappointed to take the time to take pictures and blog about it. I think this is truthfully the main reason that I've been MIA since March. I keep telling myself that I named this blog "Progress through Polish" for a reason, and that I should focus more on enjoying the journey - getting better at nail art and better about my picking - and not so much just on the end result. I just have a really hard time getting past that frustration of not liking my finished mani! Lastly, I definitely had a "relapse" with my picking. Last week, my thumbs and lips were probably looking the worst they've looked in a year. Very disappointing, and I don't even really know why I started up again so bad. Work has been stressful, but it pretty much always is. I was going to take some pics and do a post about my picking but I'm worried that it will alienate anyone who comes here to look at nail art. Most people would just think it's gross and wouldn't understand. Anywho... we'll have to continue with that one on some future post...

For this manicure, I used Revlon Eclectic. I picked up this pretty lady yesterday when I was at Wegmans and "accidentally" wandered down the makeup aisle. The Revlon nail polish was on sale for only $2.99 so I figured it was worth bringing her to a good home! This polish is a lovely mix/combo of mint and teal. It goes on really sheer and a bit streaky so you have to work with her, and I think three coats is a must, but it's definitely not so difficult as to make you not want to use it. (Was that double negative confusing? Sorry!) My ring finger got two coats of OPI DS Radiance and one coat of OPI Pirouette My Whistle. (I thought that would add a bit of nice sparkly glitter to the silver but it was barely noticeable.) The middle finger got some cute spring flowers courtesy of my dotting tool and I used the silver for the center of the flowers as well as a single dot near the cuticle on the remaining fingers.

Enjoy the pics :)