Sunday, December 23, 2012

Santa Nail Art featuring Butter LONDON Knees Up

Time for a fun Christmas mani! Are you ready, kids? Here we go!

My original idea didn't work out very well, which you will see if you read through to the end of this post. So I googled "simple Christmas mani" to get ideas on something I might actually have enough artistic talent to pull off. I sent a text to Jess, asking "Christmas lights, Santa, or snowman?" She said she wanted to see all three, so I eliminated Christmas lights and texted her again. "Santa or snowman?" She said Santa, so that's what I went with.

I found a cute mani on Pinterest, but I can't find the original source. I wish I knew who to credit for the inspiration, but none of the images led back to an original post anywhere. I took a quick picture of the image on my tablet so I could share it with you: 

I thought the Santa was cute, but the red didn't catch my attention. Wrong shade, not shiny enough, and I didn't want a French manicure with silver stripes--that's what I've got on my toes right now. So I took inspiration from the Santa face and did the rest in my own style.

I chose Butter LONDON's Knees Up, a gorgeous bright red metallic. It's got more of a blue undertone than the inspiration photo, which is exactly what I love in a red polish. I painted all my nails except for my ring fingers and had total gorgeous coverage in one coat. It's a brilliant, easy to use polish.

Then came the Santas!

I grabbed the trusty Sally Hansen Hard to Get and painted about 1/3 of my nail for the beard,. I tried to make sure it didn't form a straight line. Then I carefully painted lines up the sides of my nail to define the shape of the face. I then painted the base of my nail with the Knees Up to form the hat. I tried to bring the red down on one side to give the illusion of a drooped-over Santa hat. After the hat had time to dry, I used the Hard to Get to paint the fluffy brim of the hat. I used a Sally Girl bright pink and dotted on a nose, then Salon Perfect's Oil Slick to dot on two bright eyes, and voila! Santa Claus!

Then I did my right hand. And since I am definitely not left handed, the second Santa took four attempts. Unfortunately, I ended up with Santa's slightly demented brother, Ralph Claus, on that hand. I was overly enthusiastic with the beard, the hat's a little short, he's got a great big nose, and one of his eyes became one with the hat. Sorry, Ralph, I did the best I could by you!

Hey! So where was last week's post (you slacker)??

Last Sunday, I intended to do my first Holiday Season themed mani. I just wanted a simple candy cane stripe, and I thought I would be able to pin it down pretty easily using a roll of striping tape.

I painted my nails with Sally Hansen in my usual Hard to Get white, grabbed the striping tape (I think I used purple, but since I was throwing it away anyway I didn't pay much attention) and started applying stripes to my thumb nail. Then I applied a coat of Zoya in Blaze (gorgeous color!).
I had a fair bit of leaking around the edges of the tape, but thought maybe it would appear to smooth out with a generous top coat, so I kept going.
As you can see, it was downhill from the thumbnail. It didn't seem to matter if I pulled the tape when the polish was super wet or if I waited until I'd done a couple of nails before pulling the tape off. I was both frustrated and annoyed, so I grabbed the remover, took it all off, and went back to the drawing board.

My next big idea was to get the red and green striping tape and just use that to make colored stripes on white polish, with a couple of layers of top coat to hold it all together.

I managed one nail's worth of stripes before deciding I wanted way more color than the tiny little striping tape was affording me. So I peeled it off. Drawing board, take two!!

I finally decided to paint my nails using Zoya Blaze with Zoya Logan for the accent nail, and used white striping tape to apply the candy stripes. I put on two coats of Seche Vite top coat (just in case) after trimming the edges of the tape so nothing was hanging over an edge, tempting me to mess with it.

FINALLY! It was perfect! Exactly what I wanted...but I was frustrated, a little bored, and exhausted. I'd been feeling a little under the weather so I decided I'd finish my other hand on Monday and took a nap. 
Imagine my surprise when I woke up Monday morning and saw one of my stripes peeling up. I tried to take a picture, it's not very clear but the orange arrow is pointing at one of the stripes standing up from my nail. I was crazy busy on Monday so I peeled off the stripe, top coated that nail again, and leapt into the day. I didn't get to the other hand because I had so many other things I had to get done. And by Tuesday, I was sick and didn't feel like even dealing with it. Which might have been ok because by Wednesday, every stripe I had on my left hand had peeled up enough that I was compelled to pull them all off and remove all the damaged polish. And that's why you didn't get a post from me last week :)

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