Friday, April 25, 2014

Gradient French Manicure

After trying out galaxy nails again, I decided to go with another old favorite (and my manicure that's by far gotten the most re-pins on Pinterest): the gradient French!

I started by painting my nails with two coats of Julep Layne, then applied a quick drying top coat and waited for them to dry.  Next, I put some Julep Brigitte and Layne on a makeup sponge, and sponged them on to the tip of my nail to create a gradient.  Added a top coat, and I was good to go!

Gratuitous engagement ring shot to re-create the original frequently re-pinned image.

I'm still considering doing this design on my wedding day (it is what I was wearing for my engagement pictures)..... but I'm also leaning towards just wearing a solid pink or purple (current frontrunner is Julep Evelyn).  Your thoughts?  Weigh in on this very important decisions! ;)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Julep Azure Duo

I just got the Azure duo from Julep with the colors Annie & Shenae.  I loved them so much I had to try them out together, so I did this quick triangle manicure.

I started by painting two coats of Shenae and added a quick drying top coat.  Once that was dry, I taped off the triangles (I used striping tape, but you can easily use any kind of tape) and painted on the triangles using Annie.  Then I applied a final top coat, and voila!  (I probably should've waited a little longer for the triangles to dry-- you can tell on my ring finger that the top coat caused the blue to streak a little.)

Pictures in the sunshine:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Egg Nails

Arden: Ok, here's my second try at Easter egg nails, and these were much more successful!  They might be the design I go with on Easter Sunday itself!

I was trying to go for the kinds of Easter eggs my family used to dye-- where you've drawn on designs in white crayon before you dye them, and then the dye leaves them unevenly colored.  Like this:

Using that as my inspiration, here's what I came up with:

How I Did It:
I started my painting each nail white (Sally Hansen White On) and then applied a fast-drying top coat (Essie Good to Go).  Once each nail was dry, I applied tape.  I used both striping tape for the thin lines and washi tape cut using zigzig scissors.  Then I applied several shades of the same color to a makeup sponge, and sponged over the tape.  I immediately removed the tape, and voila!  Easter egg nails!

Left hand pic!  I think my egg designs got better on my left hand, but sadly my hand positioning for pictures with that hand needs some work!
Colors Used (so many!):

Julep Marjorie
Color Club Ringo & Love Letter

Julep Drew & Helen
Color Club Hot Tub

Julep Bette, Charlotte, Joanna, & Helen

Julep Annie & Joanna
Essie Bouncer, It's Me

Julep Diana & Shenae
Color Club Double Dare

What do you think?  Have you decided on your Easter manicure yet?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rainbow Nails inspired by Kesha!

Arden: Hey everyone!  Oh my goodness, I am so excited to share these nails with you.  I was looking for some inspiration, and stumbled across a gallery of pictures from Coachella, and that led me to realize that Kesha currently has some AMAZING rainbow hair:

Full disclosure: I love Kesha.  She's just amazing.  (Also, she's from my hometown!  Woot woot!)

After I committed to doing something bright and colorful, I remembered this picture that Lisl posted from Coachella:

Super awesome, right?  I wanna go grab some glowsticks and do this to my hair right now!

Using the color scheme of Kesha's hair and the radiating shape of those glowsticks, here's what I came up with:

How I Did It: Started with a white base.  Then I applied tape (I used both striping tape and washi tape).  Then I applied all of the colors onto a makeup sponge, and sponged them on to each nail.  For my middle finger, I then applied more striping tape and painted white over it.

Colors Used:
Sally Hansen White On 
Sinful Colors Rise 'N Shine
Maybelline Color Show Shocking Seas
Color Club Hot Tub, Ringo, & Love Letter
Julep Korin and Bette

Bonus shots outside in the sun:

I just love the neons on these nails so much!!!  They really just scream "spring" to me.  I can't stop looking at them!  I hope they'd make Kesha proud.

Ocean Nails

Arden: All my kids at church have been on spring break for the last couple of weeks, and it's made me miss getting a spring break pretty bad!  Why can't they give you a mandatory week off work every spring?  There's just something about spring that makes you want to jet off to somewhere sandy and warm. 

My manicure today is inspired by this picture of the ocean I took at the beach a couple of years ago on spring break.  Isn't it beautiful?

I love how the ocean water changes from green to blue, so I created a manicure that did the same!

I worked on one nail at a time, and tried to apply each color while the previous color was still wet so they could swirl together a little.  (It's kinda hard to see this effect in the darker colors, but it come across pretty well with the lighter colors.)
Colors used (from dark to light):
Butter London Blue Coat
Color Club Blue Velvet
Butter London Blagger
Julep Diana
Essie Mint Candy Apple

I then added a top coat of Girly Bits Cosmic Ocean to give them that cool, glittery ocean look!

This post is part of a spring nail art competition Julep is holding; they are by far my favorite nail polish company, so you should definitely go check out their colors and consider getting some yourself!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dyed Easter Egg Nails

Arden: Hi friends!  So, I've been workshopping some Easter designs in anticipation of Easter on Sunday (still not sure what I'm definitely going to go with though!).  This manicure was inspired by this picture of cracked dyed Easter eggs (have you ever done this?  They look so cool!):

More specifically, my manicure was inspired by that pink egg there in the middle. 

I made these my painting my nails white (Julep Bunny), and then sponged on all the additional colors (Julep Paige, Helen, Veronica, and Greta) using Saran wrap!  I then stamped on the eggshell pattern using an incredibly old white polish I thinned a lot and the BM-313 stamping plate.  (Fun tip for anyone who hasn't been successful stamping yet: using a thin polish will help!)

What do you think?  I kinda think these would scream "Easter eggs!" more if I'd done each nail in a different color.  Oh well, I guess that's something to do next time. 

Has anyone else found a favorite Easter nail design?  If so, please share, cause I'm still on the lookout!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Galaxy Nails

My last stab at galaxy nails has become my most re-pinned pin on Pinterest-- isn't that interesting?  Apparently galaxy nails are universally popular!  It'd been several months since I'd done any that I decided I should try again!

My technique was basically the same as last time-- black base, then sponge on different colors to create galaxies!  At the end I added some white and gold dots for stars, and a glitter top coat.  Some of the colors used: Julep Estelle, Diana, Charlotte, & Drew; Essie Beach Bum Blu and Good as Gold; and Sally Hansen White On

Bonus picture of manicure in the sunshine!