Saturday, June 15, 2013

My mismatched, matching, minty mani...Mmm Mmm Mmm!

After my trip to Chicago, I've been feeling rather uninspired and blaah about blogging...figure that one out: Chicago should've been chock-full of inspiration!  And really, it was, but I think the trip and the last couple weeks have just taken a lot out of me.  Anyhoo, after poring over some really awesome nail art posts this week, and pulling from some old favorites as inspiration, I came up with this:

Left hand!!  Oh YESSS! 
I decided it was time to "go big or go home," so to speak, and I think I accomplished "big."  :-D  It's by no means perfect like so many more experienced nail art bloggers, and of course the area around the cutes is not immaculate and perfectly rounded (I cannot for the life of me figure out how they manage that, even with detailed, intense cleanup!), but anyhoo, I feel rather proud of this mani. :-)

On to what I used and the process!
L-R: Essie Fill the Gap basecoat, Maybelline Green With Envy, Skinfood 22W (Korean polishes & their numbers...sheesh!), Essie Mojito Madness, NYC French White Tip, Rimmel Hot Black To Go, Zoya Vespa, and Sally Hansen 4-in-1 Complete Care

I started with Fill the Gap which is my new base and I really love it!  It's almost like OPI's Barre My Soul, but it dries to a satin finish.  I have considered wearing it on its own, actually. ;-)  Last night though, it was behaving strangely and driving me nuts...the humidity here was pretty atrocious (which I think gave all the polishes a bad attitude last night :-P ) and we had a ceiling fan on over the table, so that probably added to the issues.  I actually had to redo the base coat on  my left-hand thumb and pointer.

 ANYways, I proceeded to lay down Rimmel Hot Black To Go on my thumbs and pinkies and Maybelline Green With Envy on the rest.

Not too shabby!  This was with no cleanup. :-D  If I were channeling Essie, I would've probably happily stopped here. ;-)  . . . But I couldn't quit!  Must. press. on!

Having done dots before, I knew they were relatively quick 'n easy, so I started with Skinfood 22W (a blow-your-mind bright sky blue metallic foil!) & used a good 'ol yellow wooden pencil tip as my dotting tool, making a diagonal line across my pointer and ring fingers.  I then added rows in Mojito Madness and French White Tip.  Sorry, it went so fast I didn't have time to take pictures! :-P  . . . so I'll just have to show you another one of the finished product! Oh bother!

The middle finger was originally going to be stamped with a Bundle Monster design, but the Rimmel black and a Revlon shimmery black were not stamping well, and I stamped crooked, tried a different design, even gave black acrylic paint a try!  But I just wansn't feeling it, so my eye spied the newspaper on the table & thought ah HA! I've been hankering to try the newspaper transfer technique!  Only took a little rubbing alcohol, some rubbing, and voila!

Here's a YouTube video with a few different techniques:

Then on to the most challenging part of the mani: the hand-painted roses. :-/  The blog I originally saw them on ( said they were really easy to do as the lines that form the petals are supposed to be "organic" and not "perfect."  That is correct, but it was still a painstakingly long process as I wanted them to be easily recognizable as roses.  Working with a Zoya Pixie Dust was a tad difficult as it dries to its gritty, lumpy texture relatively quickly, especially in such small quantities (for all the dots & the roses, I'd just place a dab of the polish on a piece of cardboard).  I don't have an actual set of nail art brushes, but my roommate just bought a huge pack of pretty good quality craft brushes, so I used a brush with a rounded point, 1/8" wide x 1/2" long bristles.  The technique itself is fairly simple: start with a dot (either centered or off-center, whatever strikes your fancy) and make curved lines radiating out from the center.

I ended up loving my left pinkie ^ and right thumb the best. 
Right pinkie was awful!  I ended up going back with black to "erase" some of the misshapen Vespa blobs & then redefining them with more Vespa.  Painstaking process, let me tell ya!  No wonder it took me like, 3 hours start to finish!  Gotta give a shout-out to my other roommate for helping me keep my strength up during this nail art marathon by literally feeding me grapes when I couldn't touch anything. :-D

Speaking of finishing, I believe this post is coming to a close - to which you are probably drawing a sigh of relief!! 
I finished the minty fingers with the Sally Hansen 4-in-1 clear coat (given to me by my sister - she wasn't a fan).  But I really like it as it can be used as a base that is really nourishing & also claims to help fill ridges (thanks to bamboo extract), and then as a topcoat which although is not nearly as fast drying as Seche Vite and doesn't have that thick, glassiness to it, but it does add a nice shiny protective layer WITH NO TIP SHRINKAGE! :-D lol  There are tradeoffs to everything, I guess. ;-) 

Decided to try a pose I saw on another blog...kinda "meh" about it.
Well, I hope you ladies like this "mismatched" look as much as I do and maybe it'll inspire you to try something similar!  Thank you again for bearing with me through a long post . . . apparently I can't be succinct to save my life!


  1. This is just really ingenious...and call me stupid, but I have seen the letters on other manis before and had no idea that's how you did it. And 3 hours? This would have taken me 7.

  2. LOL, I'm certainly not going to call you stupid! :-P There are a few stamping plates that have text images too. But I really like the ease of using newspaper or magazines. Watch the YouTube vid (if you haven't already) to see just how easy! Naw, I'm sure it wouldn't take you very long. Thank you for the kind compliment! :-D

  3. Well first off, I love that mint green and black by themselves, so chic! I may have to do that one, myself, and credit you, of course :) BUT that's as far as I'd take it... I don't think hand painted roses either look or would be easy to paint. You did a wonderful job with the whole thing and I don't blame you for not wanting to ever take it off ♥ And what a good roommate, feeding you grapes. Did you tell her to peel them?

  4. Oh, no worries whatsoever about crediting me! :-P Oooh, mint & black together?! :O How original! ;-)
    The roses really weren't too bad. If you did them with just regular polish, like say, red on light pink ooh or grey or something, I'm sure it'd be easier since it's the fast dry time & lumpiness of the Pixie Dust polish that made it the most tricky! But thank you for the accolades!! :-D I feel honored that you think I did a great job! My little nieces (3 & 5) were so fascinated by my nails when they saw me tonight. hehe
    YES, it was very kind of her! No, I didn't tell her to peel them ;-) She did ask: do you want me to dangle the bunch over your mouth, all romantic-like? :-P No thanks! So she just fed me like I was a baby bird (minus the regurgitation ;-) ). It was hilarious!

  5. LOL, you are right, I would have stopped there:) But what you did after is amazing! I have always loved the newspaper print nails. I thought of getting a nail strip with that look...and I still think I will. Great job!

    1. Hehe...well, I'm sure you could do something very similar, if not better! The dots are SUPER easy. You should TOTALLY do a version of this:

      I'm going to, one day. :-) Oh, did you watch the newsprint tutorial? SOOO easy! And um, virtually free! ;-) Thank you!!! :-D

    2. Oh wow, I love that one from ifeelpolished. No, I haven't watched the vid yet, but I sure will.

    3. I figured you'd like that. :-) The vid shows a few different solvents, but in a nutshell: just dip your finger in some rubbing alcohol, lay a piece of newspaper on it, press down gently & rub a finger back & forth on it for a bit, & lift it off! Ta da!! :-D