Dream Catcher Nail Art Design

Hello Lovelies!  I wasn't going to share these because this is one of those cases that the design looked better in my head.  We've all been there.  I decided to share them though, because I like to share everything with you plus I have a tip on how to speed up the gradient process.  I created these nails for this week's Nail Polish Queen Dream Catcher challenge...

Materials I used:
Base coat - Seche Vite
Polishes - China Glaze 'Don't Honk Your Thorn' (tan), 'Towel Boy Toy' (blue), 'Community' (brown), 'Release' (grey), 'Beach Cruise-r' (pink), and 'Boundary of Memory' (glitter)
Mani mask - Ellagee 'Lickity Split Latex Mani Mask'
Top coat - Rica 'Glossy Glam'
Makeup sponge
Small brush
Small dotting tool

I created a gradient for my background on all fingers except my pinky but I used a slightly modified method to speed up the process.  Typically, when creating a gradient you either want to use a white or light colored polish to sponge over.  This allows the gradient colors to be more vibrant and takes fewer sponged coats.  However, using a white or one shade of color may not be ideal in all situations.  For instance, the blue that I used was a bit jelly like and if I applied the tan on my entire nail it would have changed the color slightly, also the blue was to dark to put under the tan, and quite frankly I didn't want to bother with white undies.  So here is what I actually did...

I applied my mani mask around my nails to protect my skin and speed up the clean up process.  I then painted the upper half of my nail with the tan polish and the lower (free-end) portion of my nail with the blue.  I allowed the colors to overlap slightly and wasn't to concerned with perfection at this point.  It is important that no matter what color undie you use that you let it dry before sponging the gradient.  If you sponge on wet polish, you will remove the base polish and end up with bare spots.  After giving my two-tone base a few minutes to set, I then used a makeup sponge and applied my sponge gradient, blending the line between the colors.  I have not tried this method with three colors, just with two.  This method is great for colors that are a bit sheer or if you don't want to sponge many layers to get a heavy opacity.  It took me two sponge applications to achieve the blend and opacity that I was looking for.  On an average when I create a gradient, I typically do 3-5 sponge applications over white or light base. 

I then removed my mani mask, did a quick clean up and applied a layer of top coat.  I also applied a glitter to my pinky this time just to change it up a bit.  I'm really beginning to like pinky bling.

I then hand painted a dream catcher on my ring finger.  Using a small brush, I started off by dotting three dots in a half circle at my cuticle to use as a guide.  I drew the half circle, spokes, and three strands hang from the catcher with my brown polish.  On the center strand I drew the outline of a feather with the same brown polish.  I roughly filled in the feather with tan polish and then highlighted it with some of my glitter polish.  I finished up the design by dotting some brightly colored beads with a small dotting tool.

On my three remaining fingers I painted a single feather in the same manner that I did with the feather on the dream catcher.  The only difference is that I curved the feathers slightly.

I've always liked hand painted feathers in the nail art designs I've seen and other artists make them look so easy, but sadly these didn't come out exactly the way I had hoped.  Perhaps, if I try them with acrylic paints versus the polish I will get better results.  I really like the gradient though, the gradient colors I used are two of my favorite CG polishes of all times.  I hope you found the gradient tip useful, thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Leopard Print Glitter Tint

Hello Darlings! Sorry for my brief absence, I had a busy weekend full of friends and flying.  It was a really great weekend!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too.  I actually started this nail art on Friday, but I never finished it and the glitter base I had applied was destroyed by the time I got back to it, so I had to start all over again today.  I created this nail art for this week's Nail That Technique Instagram challenge glitter tint prompt...

Materials I used:
Base Coat - Yellow Stopper (because this is a peel off base I typically only use it for glitter designs or designs I don't intend to wear for long).
Latex Mani Mask - Ellagee 'Lickity Split Latex Mani Mask'
Glitter polish - Ciate 'Confetti'
DIY Tints - I used Sinful Colors 'Clear Coat,' 'Dream On' (purple), 'Endless Blue,' 'Happy Ending' (green), 'Let's Meet' (yellow), and Sephora by OPI 'What Aura Gonna Wear?' (pink).
Black polish - Sinful Colors 'Black on Black'
Make up sponge
Small brush
Small dotting tool
Top coat - Rica 'Glam Gloss'

I just wanted to take a minute and give you a pointer on applying glitter polishes.  I personally have a love-hate relationship with polishes.  I hate applying them and I hate taking them off, but I love the way they look.  Well, when I first applied this glitter polish I Friday I was too lazy to get all my nail art stuff out so I just went ahead and applied it using the applicator brush in the bottle.  After four coats I finally had the opacity I was happy with... (Please excuse the dark picture, I didn't have any of my photo set up out either.)

In my opinion four coats of any polish is way too much, three is usually pushing it for me.  So, when I re-applied this glitter polish today I started off by prepping my fingers with my favorite latex mani mask from Ellagee.  Just a note on latex, don't let your fingers touch where the latex is applied.  It sticks together (duh!).  I had to re-apply the latex after this picture because it pealed off most of my fingers when I separated them.

I then used a makeup sponge and sponged the glitter onto my nails, pretty much in the same manner that you would sponge a gradient.  Except I was aiming to apply glitter to my entire nail.  How is this any better or easier than using the applicator brush?  Well, the sponge absorbs much of the suspension base that the glitter is in, so when you apply it to your nail you get more glitter and less base.  With the sponged application I applied two coats versus the four with the previous application.

Because I don't own any tints I had to create my own.  This is very easy to do, and doesn't require many supplies.  You simply need a clear polish and colored polishes of your choice.  Some people mix the tints right in the bottle.  However, I am not that committed to anyone or few colors, so I just mixed mine in a painters pallet.

I mixed all my colors up front so that I could just get right into painting.

With my colors mixed and ready to go, I used a small detail brush and randomly applied tint over various areas.  I didn't do a specific pattern and I didn't worry about colors overlapping.

I repeated this process on all my nails.  I thought my tints were a little too thin so I did about three applications to get the opacity that I wanted.  When I was happy with the glitter tint, I applied a layer of top coat.

When my top coat was dry, I used the smallest dotting tool I own and created a leopard print.  This is essentially random weird circles, most of them open as well as some oblong random dots.

On my ring finger I created the print on my entire nail but on the rest did a cascading pattern.  After a couple minutes of drying time I applied a final layer of topcoat.

Sadly, because I am falling behind on my nail art challenges I only did one hand for this nail art design.  I usually do both hands and wear them for a couple of days but I don't want to get much further behind on my challenges.  But I did put together a little macro collage to give you a close up of the glitter, glitter tint, and glitter tint with leopard print.

I really like the nail art design, it is something I'll definitely be recreating again in the future.  I really wish I had more time to wear it.  I hope you enjoyed this nail art design as much as me.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Holo Creme Metallic Watermarble

Hello Lovelies!  I have seen so many beautiful watermarble manis lately, that I decided it was high time I sat down and tried this out for myself, again.  The last few times, I've tried to create a beautiful watermarble design I have ended up frustrated and with less that desirable nail art designs. I sat down and decided to practice and try some different polish types out and I ended up creating this...

Materials I used:
Base coat - Seche Vite
Three shades of polish - I A.M...Custom Color '30 Minute Work Week,' 'Secret Society of Poobahs,' and 'Space Frog Follies' (these are all part of the Fraggle Rock collect, checkout swatches here).
Top coat - I A.M...Custom Color 'Diamond Pro' top coat
Bottled Water
Clear short solo cup
Dotting tool
Mani Mask - Ellagee 'Lickity Split Liquid Latex Mani Mask'

Now as I previously mentioned, I have not had much luck creating watermarble nails.  I do not now the perfect formula, what polishes are perfect, or the best procedure.  The only thing that I have determined from what I have read and discussed with other nail art addicts, is that creating a successful watermarble involves a lot of trial and error.  Here is how I created this design...

I started with a base of '30 Minute Work Week' on my thumb, pointer, and mid-finger.  I used 'Secret Society of Poobahs' on my ring finger and 'Space Frog Follies' on my pinky.  Most people use white undies (white base polish) under their watermarble, and that does help to brighten the colors.  You can also use the lightest shade of polish you are marbling with, however, this may change the appearance of some of the colors in the watermarble design.  Either way I highly recommend you use some kind of base color, the first watermarble I did, I did them on naked nails and the colors were so muted you couldn't even tell it was a watermarble design.  Since, I was doing this design as more of an experiment and wasn't having any great expectations for creating an awesome nail art design, I decided to watermarble over a holographic and metallic polish to see how it affected the design.

I prepped my fingers with a liquid latex mani mask from Ellagee.  I received this as part of my Indie Mani Bunny Box and I'm not really sure how I ever lived without it.  However, if you don't have liquid tape I highly recommend protecting your skin with scotch tape or Elmer's glue.  Watermarble is very messy and if you don't protect your skin you'll spend more time cleaning than creating.

For my watermarble I use bottled water because I know I have hard water and the few times I have used tap water I have had nothing but problems.  I keep a bottle of water in with my nail art supplies so that it is always at the perfect room temperature.  Many people have used tape water and have not had issues.  I recommend that you try your tape water, however, if you have problems with your polishes spreading or sinking it may because of your water.

For my first attempt at creating a design I tried for a flower-like pattern but after a few tries I couldn't get it right.  I was having a hard time with the holographic polish breaking and bleeding into the other colors, making the marble messy and not at all pretty.

I decided to try for a zigzag pattern and had much greater success.  In the pictures below I inserted arrows to show you the directions I dragged to create this pattern (I figured this might be easier than trying to describe it).  Once I was satisfied, I targeted an area of the design, plunged my finger, cleaned the remaining polish off the surface, and slowly removed my finger from the water.  I only did one finger at a time, since I am a total plebe when it comes to watermarbling.

After repeating this process for my pinky finger, I removed the mani mask.  As you can see, it saves on a lot of clean up.  However, I didn't apply my mask high enough on my mid finger but still far better than no mask at all.

Originally, I was going to watermarble over the purple crème too, but I felt like I was pushing my luck.  Instead, I decided to apply two side dots of 'Space Frog Follies' with a medium dotting tool over the crème nails.  I then performed a clean up with brush and acetone and topped it all off with IAMCC 'Diamond Pro' top coat.

It is really interesting to see how using a different base polish changes the appearance of the colors in the watermarble design.  The metallic green on my pinkies really muted the colors, giving them a slightly yellowish appearance.

If you take a close look at the watermarble over the holographic purple polish on my ring fingers you can almost see a bit of the holographic shimmer through the design.  It also made the purple crème much brighter.

I am so ecstatic about how this turned out.  When I started this project I completely expected to end with a mess on my nails and less hair on my head.  For those of you who have tried watermarbling and have given up because its such a pain and seems impossible, just keep at it.  Just like any other kind of nail art design this requires practice.  But once, you find something that works it is so worth it.  I hope you all enjoyed this nail art design, thank you for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Clustered Dotticure

Hello Lovelies!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Today's nail art was created for this week's Freehand challenge on Instagram.  The prompt for this week is a dotticure.  I personally love creating dotticures, in my opinion they are one of the easiest form of nail art out there.  All you need is a dotting tool, a toothpick or bobby pin will work equally well and, of course, some polishes.  I've created a few different dotticures so I tried doing something a little different for this one, this is what I came up with this time around...

Materials I used:
Base coat - Yellow Stopper
White base polish - Color Club 'Blank Canvas'
Three shades of polish - Essie 'Sittin' Pretty,' 'Serial Shopper,' and 'Vices Versa'
Three dotting tools - small, medium, and large
Top coat - Rica 'Glossy Glam'

I started out with three thin coats of my white base polish.  This is not my usual go to white, I often use Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White' but I decided to give this one a try.  Though it takes an extra coat to get the desired opacity it isn't as thick and has a smoother application.

I then proceeded with my dotticure.  For this design, I started with my smallest dotting tool and dotted a cluster of three dots in each of my polish colors.  I did two more layers of dots, increasing the dot size with each layer.  I overlapped some of the dots and the color pattern is random.  I topped it all off with Rica 'Glossy Glam' top coat, now that I've figured out the base time/way to apply this top coat it has become my favorite.

The colored polishes I used for this design are from last year's Neon collection from Essie's.  In all honesty, these are the worst neons I have ever worked with but they were perfect for this design because of the white base coat I used.

This is a great color scheme for the coming months, perfect for summer.  Its bright and eye-catching.  I can imagine wearing this to the beach, oh how I miss the beach, and summer, and all things warm.

I had a lot of fun creating this design.  I really do like creating dotticures, I could wear them everyday.  Dotticures are great for beginners and are a great way to test out different color combinations.

I hope you enjoyed this nail art design, I highly recommend giving a dotticure a try if you haven't tried one already.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

Geometric Gradient

Hello Lovelies!  This week's Nail That Technique Instagram challenge is geometric gradient.  I wasn't exactly sure what this means, but I figured if it involved a gradient and some kind of geometric pattern that it would probably be good enough.  I've actually had the idea to do this nail art design for a while, so this prompt was just the thing I needed to get it done.  Here is what I came up with...

Materials I used:
Base coat - Seche Vite
White base polish - Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White'
Three colors of polish for gradient - Lucky Lacquer 'Teal We Meet Again,' 'Spring Charm,' and 'Sweet Pea' (see swatches here)
Single chevron vinyls from nailvinyls.com
Liquid latex (not shown in picture) or something to cover the skin around your nails to make clean up quicker.
Makeup sponge
Top coat - Rica 'Glam Gloss'

I started off with my white base polish and allowed it to dry completely.  Some people prefer to use their lightest shade of polish when creating a gradient.  I choose white because of the design, and because it helps to brighten the sponged polishes without too many layers.

I then used my single chevron vinyls and created a boxed pattern.  Yes, I did intentionally make them off center.  If you would like your box pattern to be more centered, I would recommend using straight vinyls or striping tape and create a t-shape centered over the entire nail and then use individual tapes or single chevrons to do the corners.  After I placed my vinyls I applied my liquid latex mask around my nails to help with clean up, the mask I'm using is from Ellagee.com.  I then used a makeup sponge and sponged my gradient over the white. Top to bottom on the sponge the colors are 'Teal We Meet Again,' 'Spring Charm,' and 'Sweet Pea.'  I sponged about three coats and then removed my tapes and mask.  I performed a bit of clean up with acetone and a brush, I also touched up some of the white stripes with a white nail art stripper.

I created the geometric gradient on my mid and ring fingers.  Originally, I had intended to leave all my other fingers white, however, I really like this gradient combination so I just did a basic gradient on all my other nails.  I also topped this off with Rica 'Glam Gloss' top coat for extra shine.  I have had problems in the past with this top coat bleeding, but I gave ample time for the nail art to dry before applying the top coat this time and I had no problems.

This gradient kind of reminds me of a sunset, well the colors not the geometric pattern part of it.  However, I thing the geometric design changes it up a bit.  I did debate putting China Glaze 'Fairy Dust' over the top of this but I decide not to do it this time, since I did it on the previous gradient I created.  Did you notice that both of my hands are in some of the pictures?  I finally got a new tripod, so I can start doing double hand shots again.

If you are a newbie nail artist that is looking to improve on your photography set up, I highly recommend you invest in a tripod for your photo equipment, even if you are using a cell phone.  Not only does it allow you to photograph both of your hands, but it helps create consistent, clear pictures.  I have very unsteady hands, trying to hold my camera to take a pictures is not very reliable, they often come out blurry and out of focus because I can't keep still.  Just a minor pointer for those of you looking to up your nail art photography game.

I hope you like this nail art design, and found the tutorial and my little photography recommendation useful.  Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Your Fellow Plebe,

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