I really do think this is my best nail art I have ever done, in the nearly two years I've had this hobby. It looked for all the world like decals, or store bought nail polish strips, it was so amazing! I couldn't believe I had done this!
As for how I got there, well, I read a lot of blogs. Seriously, I have 378 blogs in my feedly under the category "Nails". Of those, only TWELVE blogs are also in the category "Art". These are the people who do actual artwork on the tiny canvases of fingernails. Of those, most of them use acrylic paints to do the artwork. I still absolutely adore admiring their artistry; however, I have no hope of recreating those manis on my own nails because I stick just to nail polish. There are a few of them, though, that do amazing, amazing! things with lacquer. Base Coat Top Coat is one of those peeps. Her gemstone series just blows me away. If you've never gone to check out her blog, I highly recommend setting aside a few hours to go through the archive. It's amazeballs, really. She also does amazing tutorials, but this is the first time I've attempted one.
I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do on my nails, and since I was on the phone with my bestest bud V already, I asked her to just pick a color. It gave me a place to start. She said purple, so I scanned through my nail art pinterest board (where I pin the manicures I might want to try someday, along with some that just make me go WOW even though I know I can't ever do them) and this tutorial for "layered purple flowers" from BCTC hit me. I was fairly sure it was going to come out crappy - it tells you to do the flowers first and then fill in the background, and I was certain I was going to screw that up - but I wanted to give it a shot anyway.
I started with Wet N Wild Who is Ultra Violet? for the "dark" purple and Rimmel I Lilac You for the light. Sinful Shine Dark Room is used for all the black and Milani Whitest White for all the white sections, and Sally Girl Banana was used for the tiny yellow dots.
I followed this tutorial to the T as best I could (although on my dominant hand, I didn't make the figure eights; I just used a wider brush to splotch the petals on and the results came out pretty similar) and my results, I think, speak for themselves. (Which doesn't seem to stop me from babbling, of course.)
I kept this on my hands for an unprecedented entire week, because I couldn't bear to take it off. I was seriously getting the urge to paint new designs at least two days before I gave in and hit the acetone. I can't pick and choose the best pictures for this one, so I'll just put the picture spam below a cut for faster loading time.