#MonthlyMani: DIY Brushstrokes

I'm linking up again with my gal pals for our #MonthlyMani! I was half-tempted to skip out on this month because, after working on our Alternative Fashion Week collection for the past month, my nails and cuticles have seen better days. But since this month's theme, Art-Inspired, was so close to my heart, I couldn't pass it up! So here it is, dry skin and all, my DIY brushstroke mani.

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I was drawn to this idea of creating abstract brushstrokes for a number of reasons. Firstly, I love a splash of color and this look has that in spades. Secondly, it just doesn't get much easier than randomly placed paint dollops and in my book that is something to celebrate.

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To get the look, I started with a nude base coat. Then I chose my rainbow of colors and instead of flicking on the color with the nail polish brush, I used a paintbrush for a more jagged edge. To switch colors, all you have to do is swish the brush around in some nail polish remover, pat dry on a paper towel, and you're good to go.

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I've loved that every time I look down and get a glimpse of my hand, I have all these great colors looking back at me! I think this mani was one of my favorites to date. It's what I consider the perfect combo- pretty and a little messy- and the art inspiration really suits my personality.

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Make sure to check out the other art-inspired nail looks from these ladies:

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

Would you wear this artsy mani?

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#MonthlyMani // Simple Nail Art Inspired by Candy Buttons

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It's the third Tuesday of the month, which means I'm linking up once again with the ladies of #MonthlyMani! Our theme this month was Candy Colors, and with so many pretty options I had a really hard time coming up with this one. I was in idea overload!

I considered all the bright, crazy-patterned options, but it when it comes down to it, I'm really most inspired by more minimal nail art lately. I am also loving simple geometric shapes likes dots and stripes.

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So this look, inspired by old-fashion candy button strips, gives me the best of both worlds. It's simple, both in looks and effort, but still has a great splash of color. While I'm sure a dotting tool would work wonders, I've never owned one because I think the tip of a bobby pin works perfectly.

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I just dotted the design on, one color at a time. The only thing slightly tricky here is getting them centered and keeping your hand steady. A trick I learned in art school is to rest your elbow on something and your hand instantly becomes steady.

Overall, I love the look! It's fun and graphic without feeling too in your face. If you wanted an even more toned-down, office-ready look, using a muted purple, gray, or black instead of the candy colors would be gorgeous!

Check out these ladies for some more candy-colored inspiration!

Kristi from Delightfully, Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

 

What's your vote on nail art? Do you like more minimal designs or are you in the more-is-better camp?

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DIY NAIL ART | A Pantone Gradient Mani Featuring the Colors of 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity

  A gradient, or ombre, mani is by no means a new idea. I've been pinning them on Pinterest for years, and yet I still hadn't actually tried the process out myself. When I found out the theme for this month's #MonthlyMani was Pantone's Colors of 2016, I realized the time to ombre had inevitable arrived. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to blend the two hues. I think they look so perfectly pretty together and even mimic a cool, pastel sunset.

 

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Luckily, as this was my first time trying out the gradient sponging technique, it turned out to be really easy and now I can't stop looking at the results. So soft, so romantic, and just so darn pretty. Here's how to get the blended effect.

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What you need.

-Two nail polish colors. I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear in Tickled Pink and Babe Blue. This is not my favorite type/brand of polish, but the price is great and the Pantone colors are spot on!

-Cosmetic sponge. For applying/blending gradient effect.

-Cotton swab and nail polish remover. For clean up.

 

What you do.

Paint a light base coat.

I used the bottom color of my gradient- the blue- and it worked really well. Let your base coat dry completely before moving on.

Paint the sponge.

Apply the pink and the blue polishes, one on top of the other, so that the polish stripes bump into one another. Make sure the design will cover the width and length of your nail bed.

Lightly sponge/roll onto the nail.

Emphasis on lightly. I was too heavy-handed the first time around and had to start over. You are aiming for light layers here and you can expect to do at least three for full coverage.

Clean up the edges.

Use the cotton swab and the nail polish remover to clean up around cuticle and under the nail.

Apply a top coat and you're done! Simple as that! :)

 

 

Check out more DIY Pantone manis from the ladies of #MonthlyMani!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

 

Have you used this gradient technique before?

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#MonthlyMani: A Practice in Negative Space

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! I don't really do anything to celebrate the holiday since I'm in that space in my life where I'm a lot less interested in binge drinking in crowds but also don't have kids to do fun all the fun themed Pinterest-y things with yet. I will, however, be wearing my green, especially since I'm already rocking some in my new negative space mani!

Have you tried doing negative space nail art yet? I've been wanting to try it forever and taking part in Delightfully Kristi's #MonthlyMani linkup (my first time!) gave me the perfect opportunity to finally give it a shot! This month's theme was St. Patrick's Day, obviously, but since I'm not really going all out with the celebrating, I wanted to do something that was a more subtle approach to the festive mani. Something I could wear for the rest of the week without screaming "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

So I opted for a black and nude negative space mani with just a few pops of green. And let me tell you friends, for my first ever nail art post, I have to say some lessons have been learned.

1. It is WAY harder to photograph your own hand than you would imagine.

2. Manicure pics without background colors or props turn out really boring.

So, bear with me and my rough/boring pics this time and hopefully next month I will have enlisted help and employed some more interesting photo techniques. (Click images to enlarge.)

How to do it:

1. Start with a bare or nude nail. I actually prefer the look of a bare nail, but had bright blue polish on my nails last week and they still had a bit of a blue tinge, so I opted for the painted look. If using polish, make sure it has plenty of time to dry or you'll find yourself in a very sticky situation (pun, yes, but also horribly true).

2. Mask off the areas that will become your negative space. You can make each nail have the same design or get completely random, like I did here. Nail art striping tape is generally recommended for this, but I just cut thin strips of clear office tape and it worked perfectly fine.

3. Add your polish to the exposed areas. I used two colors- black and green- and the trick here is to move very quickly because step 4 is crucial.

4. Peel off the tape immediately, while the paint it still completely wet. This seems strange at first, but if you wait for the paint to dry, you run the risk of it coming off and taking parts of the design with it.

5. Add clear top coat.

6. Voila! (See the all-green accent nail? It's my version of a negative space four leaf clover. Like I said, subtly festive. ;) )

 

I have to say, although I'm not crazy about the pictures, I am loving this negative space manicure! It was a lot easier than I anticipated- it probably took only about 5 minutes for the tape and polish- and although a little shaky, I think it ended up looking pretty good! I can't wait to try the look with bare (non-blue) nails and employ even more negative space.

 

Looking for more #MonthlyMani ideas? Check out the St. Patty's day nail art from my fellow linkers:

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Piniel from Pins-Place

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Erika from Erika’s Style Diary

Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty

 

Have you tried a negative space mani?

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