The theme for this week's Theme Buffet was "Oriental" (Although, I have to admit that the term kinda makes me cringe a little bit. I would have just gone with "Asian."). I have a ridiculous love for Asian aesthetics, particularly Japanese, and just couldn't decide on what design I wanted to do this week.
I was hemming and hawing all week long over what I was going to do. I've slowly been gathering all of the Japanese / Asian-themed stamping plates from MoYou London, so have plenty of images that would fit the theme. I played around with the idea of doing some sort of stamped or freehand cherry blossom look.... but that tends to look best in softer, pastel designs and I wasn't in a pastel mood.
What I finally decided on was this look. I had bought a couple of water slide decals from Born Pretty and really wanted and excuse to try them out. I had a few that could fit the Asian theme, but I finally decided on this plum blossom pattern. I'm pretty sure they're plum blossoms, at least!
They're styled more like plum blossoms than cherry blossoms, even though the paler pink is usually used for cherry blossoms. (Plum blossoms are usually stylized with dark pink or red coloring, rounded leaves and yellow stamens... and this is how we know I lived in Japan for too long :P). The gold glitter at the center of each blossom really gives the decal a little extra something special.
This was actually my first time trying to use water slide decals. First I painted a creme-colored base, over which I placed the decal. I completely screwed up the first one, but figured it out by the second. Sadly, this means that my right and left index fingers don't match (since I screwed up the matching decal), but it doesn't much matter with this pattern. Now I know for next time how to apply them!
I mentioned I didn't feel like doing a pastel look, so I went for red and black. The gradient made out of the glossy red and black cremes, topped with a coat of Seche Vite, gives my nails a look almost like lacquer. Err, not NAIL lacquer, but like lacquer wood / lacquered boxes, etc. They actually remind me of this really, really fancy pair of hand-made and hand-painted chopsticks that I got as a farewell gift from my coworkers in Japan. I originally was thinking of dabbing a bit of fine gold glitter polish on the black tips, but once I saw how beautifully smooth and lacquer-like they were, I decided against it.
So, what do you think? I really like the way this turned out, and it definitely made me want to give water decals another try. Have you ever used decals like this before? How did they turn out?
Polishes / Items used in this manicure:
- Red: OPI - Over and Over A-Gwen
- Black: Salon Perfect - Oil Slick
- Creme (base color below decals): Zoya - Jacqueline
- Plum Blossom decal: Born Pretty Store - Water Slide Decal #1594 (Use code NJX31 for 10% off)