Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wildflowers on Watercolors

Not sure what came over me, but I woke up the other day knowing I wanted wildflowers. After Googling using multiple search terms, I found inspiration on Pinterest. While I don't pin myself, I always find interesting things when Google takes me to a nail art lover's pinboard. This time the design was a pastel watercolor floral from Celine Does Nails. (You can view the original pinned photo here.)



I'm not partial to pastels, so when I want to emulate a pastel based design, it usually comes out a little brighter than the original. This was no exception. My design ended up more summer than spring, but I think it came out well. I tried a few different types of flowers; some were good, some not so much, but for someone who loves florals as much as I do, practice is good. For this look, I polished each nail a different shade, then sponged the others on top. I topcoated to blend before painting on my floral pattern with toothpicks, a small brush, and dotting tools. Finally, I laid down two more layers of topcoat to seal in the design.




Now's also a good time to mention that I have a new topcoat, Glisten and Glow HK Girl Fast Drying+Super Shiny Topcoat. While I don't feel like I've given it enough time for a full review, after two manis (I also used it on my KISS tribute design), I'm ready to share first impressions.

I've heard a lot about HK Girl as a beauty blogger favorite and had to try it. I was happy to see that the price tag is nice compared to other boutique topcoats. I paid less than $10 for it after shipping, whereas my other current favorite quick drying topcoats, Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat (which I wasn't wowed by at first, and now I panic when I start to run out) and Oxygen Performance Topcoat, are almost $15 with Maven pricing and free shipping. If you're not a member of the Julep Maven subscription service, they're $18...plus shipping. Yikes! I'm pretty fond of Sally Hansen Mega Shine as well, which retails about the same as HK Girl and is available in drugstores, but takes longer to get completely hard than my Julep toppers do. HK Girl delivers on its promise to dry hard in a matter of minutes and it has a wet shine when dry. Lasting power seems to be pretty good as well. Downsides-it's a little thinner than I expected, and it smells dreadful. It's also only a 2-free formula (according to the website, it does contain dibutyl phthalate). While a 3, 4, or 5-free formula is a bonus rather than a must for me, it's important enough to some people that it's worth mentioning. All in all I like it so far, and it will be nice not to have to wait for a sale to get a topcoat with the qualities I want at a reasonable price, so I'll give it a few weeks to see if it has go-to potential. I'm especially interested in the claim that it maintains the same consistency without thickening for the whole bottle. If that's true (or if it thickens, but not past the thickness of a new bottle of Freedom) they'll have me hooked.

Colors Used
Base Nails:
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Lively Lilac (purple)
Sinful Colors Nice Stems (mint)
Julep Lilou (yellow)
Sinful Colors Cream Soda (pale orange)
Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Sweet Sunrise (pink)
Flowers:
Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Sugar Plum (dark pink)
Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Kiss of Pink (medium pink)
Sinful Colors Boogie Nights (medium orange)
Sinful Colors Cream Soda (pale orange)
Sinful Colors Rainstorm (dark blue; 
mixed with Sally Hansen french tip white for light blue accent) 
Revlon Jaded Night (dark green)
Sinful Colors Happy Ending (light green)