#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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#MonthlyMani: DIY Snake Print Nails

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It's the third Tuesday of the month, which means I'm linking up again with Delightfully, Kristi and the ladies of #MonthlyMani! Our theme this month is "Animal Instinct" so I decided to go for some metallic snake print nails. I really love this nail art technique because it is so much easier than it looks but really ends up looking chic.

 

To create this snake skin effect you need a few tools:

- three colors of nails polish (I used black, bronze, and pewter)

- a piece of tulle large enough to cover your nails (I used a larger and smaller tulle for variation, but that is entirely optional)

- a makeup sponge

- a cotton swab & nail polish remover

 

I started with base coat of flat black polish that I let dry completely before adding the print.

To start creating the snake effect, I covered the nail with the piece of larger tulle (meaning the holes are bigger). I have loads of material at home, so finding two sizes of tulle was simple for me. If you don't have anything like this on hand, fishnets or even a piece from a shower loofah could work just as well.

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Hold the tulle tightly over the entire nail then, using the sponge, lightly dab on the darker of your two colors. I found this worked best when the polish was very light on the sponge and I applied only a light pressure. I was a little heavy-handed on the first nail I tried and, let me tell you friends, it did not go well. So keep this step light and easy. Holding the tulle in place for about 15 seconds before removing also helped to create a good, clear design.

I used a very random pattern, just dabbing the color in spots and I really liked the way it turned out. I would say I covered only about 30-40% of the nail using the first color.

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Repeat this step with the second (lighter) color and the smaller tulle (or the same size if you're working with just one). I used a shimmer pewter color and again, a lighter hand is best for this. I used the same method as the previous step: using random dabs of color and covering 30-40% of the nail. I placed some on the black areas and some overlapping the bronze color to add texture.

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Again, hold the tulle in place for about 15 seconds before removing for a clear pattern. Once you've done this on all of your nails, your cuticle area is going to be a hot mess of sponged polish, like mine is above. Just take a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover around this area to clean it up. Add a coat of clear polish and you, my friend, are rocking one exotic mani!

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Make sure to check out how the other bloggers interpreted the "Animal Instinct" theme!

Piniel from Pins-Place Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali Kristi from Delightfully, Kristi

Have you ever created nail art using tulle?

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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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Top 10 Must-Try Beauty Trends for S/S 15

We're getting our first glimpses of Spring and I'm really starting to feel the excitement that comes with updating my look. Fresh, easy, colorful- all words I'm welcoming with open arms right now. If you're looking to shake up your beauty routine, too, here are my top 10 favorite beauty trends of the season for a little inspiration...

(Click an image to enlarge and activate slideshow.)

Which beauty trend are you most excited to try?

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Random Weekly Roundup #34

Sometimes life is steady and other times you're just thrown through loop after loop. And the latter, my friends, has been my emotional roller coaster of a week! I've had some pretty big lows and stressful moments and then would immediately get some good fortune and unexpected surprises. I guess if I can gain anything from all the ups and downs, it's that things can always change. As much as you can plan your schedule, your budget, your life goals, you can get a phone call literally any minute of the day that sends your whole plan in a different direction. So my focus this coming week is to try and take in and appreciate the whole ride, even the terrifying parts. Sure, some of it stinks. I never like the feeling of that slow climb up the hill, but I'm trying to accept it all as part of the ride and making sure to throw my hands up and really scream when the ride finally gets to the fun parts.

And now that I've completely overstayed my welcome on that metaphor, let's check out the most fun parts of the interweb this week...

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1  A brilliantly simple guide for styling an editorial-worthy console table. (The Hunted Interior)  |  2   Yes! Horoscope-inspired nail art with Susan Miller! That's mine above. And hold on to your hats, because apparently this year I will "surprise everyone with (my) sensational ideas and artistic expressions." Boom. Drop the mic. (Refinery29)

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3  I could spend seven years of my life watching this slideshow: The Rules of Style as Unofficially Told by Sarah Jessica Parker. (Man Repeller)  |  4  Mara Hoffman + Anthropologie = my new favorite couple. Her first ever home line officially launches tomorrow and it is gooood. (Anthropologie)  

5   Welp, I can officially cross "cry while watching a puppet video" off of my bucket list. I warned you my week was an emotional roller coaster, didn't I? (YouTube)

 

Etc., etc., etc....

I'm really curious about this new technique for creating beach waves. (Rachel Zoe)

Major supply envy. (Thanks, I Made it)

Pattie Boyd beauty tutorials c. 1965. (Garance Doré)

I love these blackout poems made from newspapers. (Austin Kleon)

I really want to take a weekend trip to Nashville and I wouldn't mind pretty much this exact one. (Wander & Whine)

Comparing the vocal ranges of top artists. (Huffington Post)

And some blog friends who are doing big things: Lacy Rose was named Ruchette of the Month (Ruche) and Girl About Columbus was voted #3 Best Local Blogger in the ColumBest 2014 awards (614 Magazine). Great job, ladies! You deserve it!

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