Monday, March 10, 2014

Opal Nail Pictorial

As I mentioned on the Story of This Blog, my mom has gorgeous nails that she always tries to keep beautifully polished. While I choose natural over acrylic (she started out natural and switched to acrylic over time to maintain consistent length, where I wear mine shorter) and do my own nail art rather than having it done by a professional, I still consider her my nail muse. She's always loved opals, and when I saw the opal nails tutorial on xoVain, I knew I'd have to try it in her honor, especially after I picked up a bottle of the now unavailable Avon Opal Top Coat at a flea market. My technique was slightly different than xoVain's, as I wanted a more milky, white opal look. I'm pretty happy with the finished result:






The colors I used for this design were Sally Hansen XTreme Wear in White On (base), Pure Ice in Strip Tease, Wet n' Wild Mega Last in Retro Mint, Glitter Gal in Turbulence, and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Black and Blue (marble), Avon Opal Top Coat, and Julep in Dakota (gold edge). I chose polishes that have different types of shimmer (superfine glitter, holo, and duochrome topped with a flakie) to make my look shine from every possible angle.

I started with a white creme, with one coat of color, then a layer of matte topcoat and another coat of white.


I waited for that to dry, then sponged on Turbulence, which looked slightly grey and shimmery on the white, and Retro Mint.












I used my oh-so-professional baggie/postcard palette to soften the accent polishes, dipping a cotton swab in acetone and swirling it with a drop of polish, then applying the polish with a sponge or occasionally directly with the cotton swab. I really like Pure Ice polishes for sponging- they're very inexpensive and sparkle subtly, and I love their glitters.









Once I had all of the colors sponged on, I added a bottom frame of Julep Dakota.













After the frame, I added the Avon opal polish to finish the look and make my nails look as close as possible to an actual opal. I finished it all off with two coats of Julep Freedom Polymer topcoat.











And that's it. Gemstone manis have been very popular over the last few years, and I think they're gorgeous. What gemstone inspires you?