I tend to gravitate towards bolder, darker colors and jewel tones with graphic nail art elements. This week, however, I decided I wanted to try and do something a bit more subdued and subtle.
I usually post my Theme Buffet manicures later in the week, so am lucky enough to see some of the amazing entries that the other ladies put forth. When I saw some of the looks the others were creating, my jaw hit the floor. How was I supposed to match up with that? I'm pretty new to all this and I didn't feel like I was anywhere in the league of with the likes of this manicure by Sam, the challenge's founder, or this one-stroke beauty by Clair of Kerruticles, or the water color painting-esque look of this manicure by The Sparkle Queen.
So, I decided to just forget all of my doubts and just go for it.
I found, over the past two or so months of attempting nail art, that I really like doing gradients. It's and easy way to add a little dimension and interest to an otherwise flat look. My first attempts were kinda miserable, but I think I've finally gotten the hang of them. So, I decided I would try to do some subtle white flower stamping over a delicate-looking gradient.
Since my March Julep box containing this pretty cornflower blue creme (Margaret) had just arrived, I decided to use it in the manicure. I went back and forth over what color to pair it with for a gradient, but decided on the nude tan of OPI's Don't Pretzel My Buttons. (I've used this one a ton in nail art).
When I finished the gradient, the blue seemed JUST A TOUCH too bright for the look I was trying to achieve. I thought about painting a thin layer of Butter London - Cream Tea over everything to mute the colors a bit, but suddenly remembered one of the first polishes I reviewed: Butter London - Hen Party. I was curious to see how it would work over these colors. As it turned out, Hen Party worked PERFECTLY to tone down the blue, plus it added the polish's characteristic iridescent sheen.
Over this, I used Konad's special white polish with the Konad m36 stamping plate. This was actually my first time using this particular plate, and it stamps BEAUTIFULLY, particularly given how delicate the etchings are. Maybe I should start doing some stamping plate reviews?
I liked the overall look,but I felt as though something was missing. It needed something more to complete the delicate dream-like effect that I was going for. I decided to try a matte top coat to see how it would look. It was JUST the perfect finish, it turned out. Soft, like silk. Straight on, it looks great as a matte-covered creme, but from angles, you get surprise hints of violet iridescence from the Hen Party topper.
I still have this manicure on my nails as I write this and I just can't stop staring at my nails <3 The look turned out so multi-dimensional, soft and feminine (yet not TOO girly). I keep touching my nails because of the silkiness of the matte finish.
I think this is one of the first manicures I've done where I was pretty much happy with the results. I tend to be overly critical of myself and only see the flaws, but with this manicure, I was able to look past them. Was the stamping perfect? No, but it works. Am I the best nail artist in the world? No, but I'm happy with what I wound up with.
Polishes used in this manicure were:
- Tan: OPI - Don't Pretzel My Buttons
- Blue: Julep - Margaret
- Iridescent coat: Butter London - Hen Party
- Stamping: Konad - Special White
- Stamping Plate: Konad Plate M36
- Matte Topcoat: NYC - Matte Me Crazy
I think this is one of the first manicures I've done where I was pretty much happy with the results. I tend to be overly critical of myself and only see the flaws, but with this manicure, I was able to look past them. Was the stamping perfect? No, but it works. Am I the best nail artist in the world? No, but I'm happy with what I wound up with. (Wow, I got a bit wordy in this post, didn't I?)
How often are you completely happy with the nail art you produce? Is there a particular manicure that you've done that you are content with? I want to see it!
The other ladies who participate in the Theme Buffet do some amazing work. Be sure to check them out below!