#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 | Glam Rock Nail Art with a Simple Cheat

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It's the third Tuesday of the month, which means I'm linking up with the ladies from the #MonthlyMani group! This month's theme is metallics, and I have to admit I feel like I cheated a little on this one.

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I go through major phases when it comes to metals, and I'm thinking 2016 is the year for copper. I started this mani out with a metallic copper base. I knew I wanted to do something flashy and sort of glam rock, so I cut out a lightning bolt from washi tape and was planning to use it as a stencil.

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However (here comes the cheating part), once the blue glitter bolt was on my nail, I really dug it. So, all I did was add a clear top coat and called it a day!

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I had never used any kind of foreign object in my diy manis before, but I thought it worked really well. If you're the type of person who would be distracted by the somewhat raised surface, I would recommend using an incredibly thin material, like a foil or lightweight tape instead of the glitter washi tape.

If you're looking for some more metallic mani inspiration, check out the rest of the #MonthlyMani crew:

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali Melissa from The Fashion Huntress Kristi from Delightfully Kristi Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

Have you ever tried a washi tape mani?

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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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Five Minute Friday: Taking the Time to Feel Beautiful (plus a New Instagram Beauty Challenge!)

One of the goals I made for myself this month involved fixing my hair and doing my makeup everyday. I see how that might sound completely silly, but between a lot of work-at-home days and being a horrible sweaty monster moving into a new apartment, these things had really become last priority. And I was feeling much less than my most beautiful self.

The thing about it is, I truly love beauty: hair, makeup, nails, whatever. It's just fun, right?! So I set this goal to kind of challenge myself to bring the fun back into it, and it definitely has!

 

Whether it was trying a darker lip color, a fun mani, or an easy braid, I was really only spending a couple of minutes more than in my regular routine but it was a whole lot more inspiring!

I liked it so much, in fact, that I created a beauty-related Instagram challenge for July to keep the fun going!

I'll be going into more detail on Monday's post, but here's a sneak peek for now...

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I hope you'll join in and tag your pictures with #fwsbeautychallenge! There are so many reasons I'd love for you to take part (one of which is a PRIZE!!!). But like I said, more on that Monday. ;)

In the meantime, why not head on over to my Instagram and make sure you're following? July is already starting to look so much more beautiful!

 

Happy weekend, friends!

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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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