Saturday, July 25, 2015

HPB Presents: Starry Summer Nights

This month's Hobby Polish Bloggers theme is "Starry Night Sky." I chose to create a dusky sky when the stars just start to appear. My goal was to depict a view from a mountain overlooking a distant horizon shortly after the sunset. You know that magical time when the surroundings are silhouettes and the sky is filled with deepening color on a clear summer night? It's my favorite.


Starry Night Sky nail art


I used several polishes for this mani. To create the gradient, I used: Butter London - Royal Navy, Essie - Aruba Blue, Zoya - Blu, and China Glaze - Sun Worshipper.

The grayed-out ground in the distance is Essie - Lapiz of Luxury and the black is Orly Instant Artist - Jet Black.

The "stars" at the top of the gradient and on my index and pinkie fingers are from one of my all time favorite polishes, Model City Polish - Geminids. These photos do not do it justice. I love it so much (for many reasons), but the tiny bar glitter makes it special. Reminds me of shooting stars (as in the Geminids meteor shower).


Starry Night Sky nail art


For this mani, I tried out the liquid latex technique that has been gaining popularity. Since I was doing a gradient, this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. Gradients are messy. I painted liquid latex on the skin around my cuticle. The one I used is called Liquid Latex Fashions in teal. Found it on Amazon.


Latex Technique for Nail art


And then proceeded with the gradient. I used a makeup sponge to make the gradient. See the glorious mess created by the gradient? Blue polish is a pain in the arse to remove from skin, too.


Latex Technique for Nail art


After 3 layers of the gradient, I painted the tree silhouettes with Orly Instant Artist. It's one of those nail art polishes with a tiny, thin brush.




Next, time to peel off the latex! It came off really easily and revealed (mostly) clean skin. Success!


Latex Technique for Nail art


Clean up a bit with some acetone, glaze it over with top coat, and the gradient looks smooth. Since it was nighttime when I did this mani and the lighting in my home isn't the best for photos, I opted for a refrigerator-lit photo. I think the cool-toned LEDs in the fridge capture the richness of the blue polish rather nicely.


Starry Night Sky nail art


This mani makes me want to go stargazing. Living in suburbia, I don't regularly get to see views like this so putting it on my nails is the next best thing!


Starry Night Sky nail art


If you'd like to see more Model City Polish, check out her Etsy shop.

Happy Summer to all! Thanks for reading.

Check out the fabulous Starry Night Sky manis from other Hobby Polish Bloggers below!


-Melissa

All polishes and products used in this post are from my own collection and were not provided for review. 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Seafoam and Sparkling Sand

I have a beachy mani for this week's post. I've been itchin' to try the "water spotted" technique that's been floating around the internet for a while now. Here's a link to the beach nails tutorial from elleandish that I used for this mani. I basically followed the tutorial and didn't get too creative with it for my first attempt with this technique.

For polish, I did a base layer of white (Zoya - Purity). Then, with a makeup sponge, I dabbed on a gradient using Essie - Sand Tropez, Zoya - Wednesday, and Zoya - Robyn. Next was the "foam" layer. I dabbed a little Essie - Pure Pearlfection over Sand Tropez for some sparkle. My ring finger is Zoya - Godiva for a sparkly, sandy effect. For the "foam," I used Zoya - Purity.


Zoya; beach; ocean; seafoam; sand; blue; green; Essie
Direct sun

To add to the beachy effect, my camera opted to portray my hands in a lobstery shade of red.


Zoya; beach; ocean; seafoam; sand; blue; green; Essie
Indirect sun
To make the foam, fill a cup with room temperature water and drop some white polish in it, waiting for the polish to spread in the water, as if doing a water marble. Then lightly mist a body spray that contains alcohol over the polish until you achieve your desired effect. Little holes form when the spray hits the polish. Then pick your spot and dip your finger in. It helps to tape around your nail or use some liquid latex for easy clean up. Slap on a top coat to smooth everything out and you're done.

It was exciting to see this mani come together. It really reminds me of foamy salt water at the seashore. I can't wait to try some more looks with this water and body spray technique.

Thanks for reading!

- Melissa



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Metallic Floral Stamping

My goodness, how quickly the time passed between now and my previous post! During that time, I acquired a new job, which has limited my time for nail art (alas!). It has also resulted in plain manis that I felt weren't worthy of posting here. I do, however, have one for today. 

I was going for a monochromatic stamped look with this one, choosing a green base, Zoya Josie, and a green foil, Sally Hansen Color Foil- Minted Metal, for stamping. The metallic appears more silvery in this combo so it's not exactly what I had in mind, but I think it looks nice, nonetheless. For the stamp, I used Vivid Lacquer plate, VL033.

stamp; green; vividlacquer; zoya; floral; metallic; sallyhansen
Shiny! Direct sun lighting

I managed to get the stamp on the entire nail, well, except for a bit on my index finger. This, to me, was miraculous. I don't know if it's because my nails are rather curved, or if it's simply a practice thing, but I tend to have difficulty getting the stamp to cover my whole nail. So hooray.

stamp; green; vividlacquer; zoya; floral; metallic; sallyhansen
Direct sun

The lighting really affects how the green polish looks. The indirect sun lighting below is more color accurate.

stamp; green; vividlacquer; zoya; floral; metallic; sallyhansen
Outdoors, indirect sunlight
Metallic polishes are my favorite for stamping. They go on so easily. Pretty much any brand metallic foil polish will work, too.  If you're interested in Vivid Lacquer stamping plates, you can find them on their Etsy page.

Thanks for reading!
-Melissa



All polishes and products used in this post are from my personal collection and were not provided for review. All opinions are my own.