Friday, February 28, 2014

Vera Bradley Adoration Nails

As promised, here is a nail design based on an item I adore: my red Vera Bradley purse. This design is inspired by the February Lacquer Legion prompt, which is Adoration.

In general, I'm not nearly as in love with Vera Bradley as the rest of the Midwestern U.S. seems to be. At best, I can usually take or leave their purses. However, this one was a Christmas present from my mother in law, and I instantly fell for it. Bright red? Paisley? Pleats AND quilting? Yes please!

By sheer coincidence, the first time I carried this purse the other day (I don't carry anything really nice when I'm sure to drop my purse in a mud puddle), I realized that I already had all the colors I needed to pay homage on the way in a neat little package. I took this as serendipity and immediately started studying it for design ideas.

As I am wont to do, my first instinct was to try to do too much. I sometimes forget that less is often more with nails. First round, I had five different purse-inspired designs, including a decent-for-a-first-try quilted pattern. While none of them (well, one of them) were tragic on their own, all together it was much too busy, especially when the colors I chose had such subtle contrast. I cleared them all off (which is bad, and as you see, my cuticles paid for it) and stuck with the design I liked best on all of the nails. It's a simple pattern that's not as directly representative of the purse, but the things I loved most, the color combination and the vintage lines, are still there. The colors I used are some of my best Julep purchases yet, Catherine, Nellie, and Gayle. I used a toothpick and a small nail art brush to flesh out the shapes and add in the accents.

I had fun with this first attempt at fashion inspired nail art-I'm looking forward to raiding my wardrobe for more nail looks. Have you transformed a favorite item of clothing into an awesome nail look? Share below, or hit me up on Facebook and Twitter!
Twitter: @SecretNailBlog

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Adoration Twitter Teaser

This week I started using what I lovingly refer to as "the Twitter." I don't quite get Twitter, but I'm having a lot of fun connecting with fellow nailophiles. I'm especially awed at the talent the nail art talent in the UK- you ladies are incredible! When I discovered that my new polishes arrived today, I tried to post a teaser of my Lacquer Legion "Adoration" design. Unfortunately, the Twitter hates me and wouldn't let me post it. It did let me post it as my background photo to my profile, and here it is again:

Ooh! Ahh!

This week has been crazy busy, so it's been slow for posts, but I'm pumped to show you what I came up with for this month's Lacquer Legion design, which I should be posting about in the next day or so.

The polishes, though, I'll tell you about now. As I mentioned last week, I've been waiting for Julep Nellie, Gayle, and Catherine, and all three are fantastic! I can't wait to wear them on their own. While I'm pretty much in love with all of them, I'm especially excited to wear Nellie as a base color (it's an accent for the Adoration design). Maybe I'll try my hand at a swatch post this weekend. None of them are new colors to longtime Julep fans, but I would definitely call them instant favorites in my collection.

So follow me on the Twitter at @SecretNailBlog, and get ready for Lacquer Legion. I can't wait to see your posts!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nude Party Nails

I actually have plans tonight, so I chose an easy nail look to celebrate the birthday of a friend whose personality matches this design: sparkling yet subtle.

This design uses one of my favorite polishes as the base, Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Bare Naked. This is my go-to nude polish. It's warm and shiny with a very slight touch of sparkle that gives it depth. Here it looks browner than it does on, in person it's more beige/pink. I have a couple of Lasting Finish polishes, and I highly recommend this line. It's also the only one of the flat, wide "professional" style brushes I like. The bristles are a little firmer than the others I've tried, so they give clean lines rather than splaying everywhere the second they touch my nail. I really like the square bottles, real nail art related reason, I just like them.

Bare Naked and Lips are Dripping Honey
The polish I used for the the gradient was Nicole by OPI Lips are Dripping Honey, a chunky glitter which you may remember from my Straight Edge Challenge post. This is one of my newer polishes, and I'm still learning how to work with it. The clear base is a bit thick, so I had some trouble controlling my coverage this time. Initially I used the bottle brush to place a dot of polish at the base of my nail, then spread it out by gently dabbing it outward with a cotton swab. That worked pretty well, but I was getting some fuzz, so I switched out for a fan brush.

I like these simple nails. They've got the perfect amount of high impact sparkle for my weekend plans and will look great with whatever I decide to wear. What's your go-to nude? Do you amp it up with glitter, or prefer to keep your buff nails buff?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekend Nails: Monochrome Chevron Filigree

The inspiration for tonight's design was the super cute floral chevron design from Wondrously Polished. I thought it was quite pretty and creative, and I loved the bright colors against the black base, but I decided a black and white variation might be a good place to practice my developing filigree skills. Black and white isn't typically my style, but I think the idea has potential. Close up I'm not as happy with it, but from normal nail viewing distance, it's actually pretty impressive. I may try this again after my stamping kit and striping tapes arrive, because I think if this look was crisper, I could love it. I used Sally Hansen XTreme Wear in Black Out and White On.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sparkle Madness: Round 2

I liked my sparkly pastel green holo mani so much I decided to try it with the same technique with a purple...and things got a little out of hand. I feel like the Tim Taylor of glitter right now.

For this variation, I used Rimmel 60 Second Mirror in Misty as my base. This one's been sitting in my collection for a while; it's a dusty metallic lilac. I layered Glitter Gal Turbulence over it thinly, and gradated it with Julep Joelle, just like in the previous post. My accent nails were a thin layer of Turbulence followed up by layering Joelle until the sparkle level was appropriately ridonkulous. Then I used Misty and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Glazed Sand to paint a simple daisy pattern on the accent nails with a dotting tool.

That's when things started to get crazy. Turns out metallics really make Turbulence pop, and I miiiight have decided another pass of Joelle on the tips was a good idea. Admittedly, this look may be a bit too blingy for everyday wear, but I can't seem to stop staring at it. Holo glitter, why can't I quit you?
Holding Joelle

Slightly blurred, look at all the colors!