Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekend Nails: Robin Moses Lovebirds Re-creation

This weekend I tackled a look by Robin Moses featuring a cute pair of lovebirds. I've seen so many amazing bird-themed nail designs, but I haven't had much luck with getting a recognizable silhouette on my nails, and that makes me sad. Robin's birds were super simple and sweet. Since I don't have the 20+ years of experience and raw artistic talent that she does, I was a little intimidated by her video at first, and almost decided this design was over my head. However, with a few modifications, this technique is doable, even for the artistically challenged amateur.

I started with a basecoat, then applied a rainbow gradient using small pieces of a makeup sponge and tweezers. Try not to overthink this part-just line up your colors in a configuration that looks good to you and blot them on loosely with two or three colors per nail. I shot for formulas that were creme or had very subtle shimmer in a creme base. You can pick any colors you like, but I recommend something in the same family so no one color looks out of place.

For a rainbow look with a smudgy, watercolor style gradation, I used a whopping fifteen colors, plus base and topcoat, on this design! You by no means have to use such an expansive palette, but that was part of the fun for me. The colors I used, shown left to right below, were: Pretty in Plum (Nicole by OPI, Selena Gomez collection), Lively Lilac (Sally Hansen Insta Dri), Lacey (Julep), Blue Me Away (hiding in the back, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear), Octavia (Julep) Fashionista (Revlon), Jaded Night (Revlon), Retro Mint (Wet n Wild Megalast), Mellow Yellow (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear), Die Hard Fan (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails), Nan (Julep), Tough Love (Sally Hansen Hard as Nails), Black Mark (Jordana Pop Art Striping Polish), Turbulence (Glitter Gal), and Black Out (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear) with Mega Shine topcoat and NutraNail Green Tea Strengthener basecoat. Whew!

After sponging on the rainbow gradient tips, I dabbed Turbulence, a sheer linear holo, along the line where the bare nail met the polish. This was a calculated risk, but it came out very subtle, and I just adore the tiny bit of sparkle it added.

Then I formed the branches with the Jordana striping polish. In the tutorial, Robin Moses references the little dots around the ends to make it look "like lace," so that's what I thought about when placing them with a toothpick, going for a more decorative than literal look. Be sure to leave a "perch" for your lovebirds on your accent nails.

The lovebirds were fairly simple, just a small and large dot with a dotting tool and two lines with a toothpick below the branch for the tail. My daughter, who's usually pretty quick to decipher my nail art, had trouble figuring out they were birds, so I'll probably make them a little bigger next time, but overall, I think it came out really nicely!

I'm excited about this pretty and surprisingly simple at-home recreation of a professional look. Which nail artists inspire you?

Update: The popularity of this post has pushed my "secret" blog to over 200 page views! That's so exciting! I'd love to get to know the people reading, so I've started a Facebook page for the Super Secret Nail Blog. Check me out on Facebook. 

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