Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July Maven Turquoise Nails with Tutorial

I made a huge mess tonight, but I successfully pulled off a long standing item from my wish list: turquoise patterned nails. Growing up in the American Southwest in the 90s means that turquoise, copper, and those obnoxious little flat wooden coyotes wearing bandanas are etched into your being. I still love two out of three. First the mani, then how I did it, then I'll tell you about the rest of my July Maven box.
The technique I used was a mishmosh of online pictorials, Youtube videos, and techniques borrowed from other designs. I started out with the colors: Julep Lissa for my base, with Sinful Colors Nice Stems, NYC Color Robin's Egg Blue, Maybelline Color Club Bold Gold, NYC Top of the Gold Topcoat, Avon Opal Topcoat, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out. Other tools I used were tweezers, pieces of a makeup sponge, hairspray, a Chapstick, and a glass of water.


I started with a base of Lissa. Lissa was my first "swap out" with Julep's new customized subscription. Lissa's a "tumbled turquoise creme," and probably my favorite of the polishes I picked up this month. It's more blue based than I usually think of when I imagine a turquoise polish, but still solidly in that family. This is one coat (!). It does seem to have some staining issues, so while I very much recommend this color, use a base coat.
Next I sponge dabbed Nice Stems and Robin's Egg Blue across the nails, keeping them close but not quite overlapping. Both are milky blue based greens, with Nice Stems being a little bit darker. Using both marbled my "stones" and added depth.
Then I dabbed Bold Gold over the nails, sometimes in line with the other colors, some separate. It's ok if the gold is a little uneven and globby- with this metallic polish, the final result of heavy handed sponging is "flakes."

Finally, I added my flakies. I was nervous about using both gold and iridescent flakies, but now I wish I had added more. More glitter! I sponged these as well, sticking close to the other polishes, especially with the gold. I'm curious as to how it would look with a light layer of each without dabbing in specific areas, but I think keeping it more controlled allowed Lissa to still have a voice in this mani.

The last step was the one that made me most nervous: the water marbeling. I was almost sure this is where I would trash this promising young manicure. Turns out this is the easiest watermarble ever. Two drops of Black Out in tap water, then I sprayed a spritz of hairspray (rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle will also work, and make sure you're not using one of those hair healthy alcohol free sprays). This busts the black film to the stringy bits that form gorgeous black veins in your turquoise. Dip until you get the look you want. Swiping the Chapstick around the cuticles before dipping makes it easy to wipe off the excess. Unfortunately, I haven't watermarbled in a while, so I only Chapsticked right around the nail and left black smudges all over my fingers. Lesson learned-put Chapstick, petroleum jelly, or tape all the way to the knuckle for easiest cleanup. The biggest risk is getting too much black in any particular area. Very carefully touching the overdipped areas with an acetone dipped cotton swab rescued mine without having to start over.

I'm really happy with these, and very happy with Lissa! The other color in my Maven box was Vicki. It's described as "flamingo pink," I would call it hot pink. Unfortunately, my camera didn't pick it up very true to life. Pretty, and applies well, but a little loud for my mood today.
Lissa and Vicki, dry, no topcoat. If you look close, you'll see a tiny flamingo from a failed stamping attempt.
I also traded out the beach lotion to get Oxygen topcoat. It's not quite as shiny as Freedom, but it has a great texture. I used both the base and topcoat with my turquoise mani (I've been using the basecoat for a few weeks, and while it's hardly the miracle tonic the describe on the website, I like it and my nails seem pretty happy). I've heard rumor that Oxygen topcoat doesn't play well with non-Julep polishes, so time will tell.

What do you think of my second attempt at gemstone nails? And did you switch to the customizable Maven box this month?