Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 9: "Vintage" Mani & a Bonus mani

It's that time of the week again! I've seen two different interpretations of this theme: painting your nails in the way they did in the past, like the 20s or 30s, or using an old pattern or picture as the theme for your nails. The former interpretation didn't even occur to me until I saw the first handful of this week's manicures start popping up on the blogs!

Since an old pattern is what I thought it was about when I read the challenge list, I googled "vintage" in the image search, and saved off a handful of pictures that I thought I might be able to use. Here's the one I ended up going with:

As always, if you click on that, it'll get bigger. ::blinkblink:: Is it just me, or does that phrasing sound kinda wrong? Probably just me; my brain's not the cleanest spot in the house.

The carpet in that bottom picture sort of caught my imagination, and I decided that I could recreate it...or you know, at least approximate it. :) Here's my attempt!

This is turning out to be a long post, so I'll cut it here and let you click if you're interested in the details.

I don't know if anyone will notice if I didn't mention it, but my nails are significantly shorter here than they were a few days ago.

That would be because I spent yesterday evening cleaning out my laundry/storage room, installing shelving, and then hauling everything back in and organizing it. A few of my nails suffered for it, so I filed them all down to match as best I could. I had started to try out square nails as they got longer, but square just doesn't work on shorter nails for me, so I rounded them back off. I'll try again as they grow back out! :)

Regrettably, I didn't have quite the shade of green in my polish stash to match that carpet in the picture, so I chose the closest I could come to it, which was China Glaze Tree Hugger. I used NYC Prospect Park Pink and Sinful Colors Snow Me White for all of the flowers. The difference is that some of them I used white for the base and pink for the detailing, and the others had a pink base and white detailing. I think it made a nice contrast; do you? All of this art was done with a dotting tool, so I guess if I don't manage to finish the art I'm working on for the dotting tool contest, I can always submit this! :) The leaves were done with Sinful Colors Exotic Green and just a tiny line here and there of Secret Admirer for accenting.

As you can see, I'm still working on doing better clean-up. I didn't realize 'til I looked at the pictures how bad of a job I'd done on cleaning up that thumb. On the to-do list is to buy a firmer brush for clean-up; I've tried using all the different brushes I have and it's not to my satisfaction yet. Live and learn! That's the point of this blog, after all - to point out to other new nail artists that no one's perfect to begin with, and to show my improvement over time. At least, I hope there continues to be improvement! ::grin::

And lastly, a picture without flash:

I'm working on getting some better lighting for my pictures, as well, but there's only so much money in our household budget for my "hobby"! I'm hoping to buy a couple of full spectrum light bulbs this coming month and then I'll try setting up two lamps with those and seeing how well the pictures come out.

Oh, right, I mentioned a bonus mani, didn't I? ^_^ Okay, okay, keep your shirt on. (Where exactly did that expression come from, anyway?)

So my friend Vicki, whose hands will probably grace this blog often, was over yesterday and I did her nails. Minimal "art" was involved, since this was after the reconstruction of the laundry room, and Vicki doesn't stay up as late as I do, so we had a limited amount of time. (She hinted that she might get me something to speed up drying times for my birthday this year. :) We looked through my polish stash and my pinterest inspiration page, and she ooh'ed and aah'ed over every picture with glitter. So I pulled out all my glitter/effect polishes and showed her swatches online of what they looked like on the nail. We decided to layer Essie's LuxEffects As Gold As It Gets and Sinful Colors All About You over black. After we'd put down two coats of Sinful Colors Secret Admirer (never hurts to add another layer of shimmer to a mani like this) I added a thick coating of As Gold As It Gets. While that was drying, we were continuing to browse pinterest, and when we came across the following picture, she squealed out loud:

This is one of those that I can't find an original source for, so if you happen to know who did this manicure, please let me know so I can attribute it properly? Thanks! Anyway, I could have recreated it more if she'd found this picture before we'd gotten started, but I figured I could work a bit of a gradient with the final glitter layer. So I painted All About You sparingly from 3/4 down the nail, and then went back over heavier and heavier towards the tip.

I took over a half-dozen pictures and could not get a good one - if I used flash, the glitter blurred the image badly, and if I didn't use flash, the picture was too dark for you to really get an idea of how well the gradient came out, but here's the best of the batch:

Vicky was really excited with how it came out, which was the important part, of course! :) Here's one of the blurry shots to show you just how awesomely this puppy *sparkled*!

So, thanks for reading my little ramblings, and please leave comments on whatever pops into your brain, especially if it's constructive criticism!


  1. your roses are amazeball! I really love them!
    For cleanup, I love using those pointy q-tips, maybe it can work for you too :)

  2. Also! I nominated you for some awards on my blog :)

  3. I love your vintage mani! Those flowers are so prettty and the pink & green look great together! Also love the bonus mani, lots of sparkly fun! I also use pointy q-tips for clean up but they don't always get everything. I've been meaning to get a brush for cleanup purposes but I haven't gotten around to it yet... I'll let you know if I find a good one!