6/05/2013

Ocean Nails

Tada! Another of my favorite water marble designs! This is a (realllllyyyyy) long post, so make sure to click the read more button to read the rest! 


The picture above was taken by my roommate because she has nice camera...pretty. I'll take a little bit more time to describe this, since it's one of my favorites. This manicure is a combination of two techniques: gradients and water marbling. 

For the gradient, I started with a base of NYC: Cashmere Creme (one of my favorite polishes, and only $0.99!). I then added darker polishes away from the tip of the nail. The next darkest polish is a sheer blue Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear: Blizzard Blue. The darkest polish is Forever 21: Royal Blue. The Sally Hansen polish is quite sheer, so I had to use significantly more polish than the Royal Blue, which is much thicker. 

How I make my gradients:
Currently, I use makeup sponges (the wedge shaped ones) cut into smaller, thinner pieces to gently dab polish onto my nails. I used to use cotton swabs, but I've found the makeup sponges distribute the polish more evenly. Don't dab too much or too hard otherwise you risk wiping off any polish that is already on your fingernail! I'm not sure if I used cotton swabs or the sponge in the first picture, but the second is definitely with a makeup sponge. The gradient in the second picture is much smoother than the first.

For the water marble, I used Sinful Colors: Purple Diamond and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear: White On. (Wait, Purple Diamond? Isn't that purple? I don't see any purple on your nails!) Dingdingding! If you're thinking that, you're absolutely right! Purple Diamond is this very very very sheer pretty lavender color that looks better over another polish rather than on your nails all by itself. I made use of it in the marble by alternating drops of purple with drops of white. When I dip my nails into the pattern, the result is a white and shimmery purple striped pattern. Because the purple is so thin, I can take a cotton swab dipped in acetone and gently swipe the cloudy purple parts right off my finger, leaving the white wave-like design. What helps on this last step is adding a layer of clear before doing the marble (something I didn't do the first time) for protecting the gradient underneath from the acetone. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I've also read/heard that by replacing my purple polish with a clear polish you can achieve the same effect. My problem with this is that my clear polishes tend to be too thin and fast-drying for marbling, but if you find one that works, more power to you!


This picture was taken last month for the Rite Aid Pharmacy contest. I didn't make it into the finals, but it was fun redoing this design! For this water marble, I did each nail separately because I was trying to get a clear wave design on each one. My favorite is the thumbnail.

If you're wondering why my nails in the second picture look a little different, it's because I changed the gradient slightly. I added Zoya: Rocky as a base and used Sinful Colors: Love Nails (medium sheer blue) and Forever 21: Royal Blue to create the gradient effect. I dabbed just a bit of Cashmere Creme on the tips to lighten the Zoya polish. Also, instead of just the gradient underneath the marble, I also added Zoya's Maisie, a holographic teal fleck polish, as another layer of sparkly. It's most evident on my index finger in this picture. Below is an example of Maisie over Sinful Colors: Love Nails (blue-green sheer polish). Hard to photograph, but very pretty.


Wow, this was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be! Next time, sparkly stripes! If you actually read all of that, you can have a cookie. An internet cookie, but still. Thanks for reading!