Cementing their place in my heart as the best polish company around, Julep has started doing swatches on both light and dark skin. This gives me a way better idea of what will look good on me and I cannot wait for this gorgeous deep blue in my April Maven Box.
A couple of weeks ago, Chelle sent me an unsourced Pinterest photo explaining how to do glossy dots on matte nails. This week, when I received Donna from Julep, a intense, rich teal, I thought it might be a good time to give it a go, since it looked like it would be just as great matte. So, first step: Paint yo’ nails.
Come on. How gorgeous is that color? Step two: Make it matte!
I used Julep’s matte top coat, which is the best I’ve found so far. You can tell it’s ideal when your nails look like chalkboards.
Step three’s the tricky one. Pour out a little of your color and get out your favorite dotting tool. A straight pin stuck in a pencil eraser is a popular choice. I figured I should experiment, so my differently sized dots are from using a drink stirrer and both sides of a bobby pin. I liked the small dots from using the tip of the bobby pin. For pouring out small amounts of polish, paper plates are ideal, but I never have those, so I usually go with a tiny cup made out of tinfoil. This time, it was such a small quantity that I made this rig to keep it accessible.
…I have a lot of free time. Okay, when you’ve got your tool of choice, DOT ‘ER UP!
So easy! I had a lot of trouble getting my dots even, especially on the right hand (usually I’m okay, but you have to work quick so that the polish doesn’t dry on the dotting tool, and that threw me). I expect that I shall improve with practice.
This is Posh Plum, another of the three Sally Hansen Xtreme Wears from my impulse purchasing. You know I love a good hot pink. This one was a little purpler than pictured, but still super bright. Definitely a new favorite.
I was in a terrible mood and I thought maybe a new color would get my butt back into gear. So I turned to Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear. It’s my favorite for emergency situations because it goes on thick and is less than $3 a bottle. I found this one and kinda fell in love. It’s called Mint Sorbet and it made it hard to stop looking at my nails.
I never use crackle, in large part because I was introduced to it via Katy Perry’s OPI line and I can’t stand her. But every Maven box shipped with Glinda, one of their inaugural line of crackles. (Bonus: in honor of the season, they’re all named for witches. Glinda, Sabrina, Tabitha, and Ursula.) Turns out that crackle’s not so bad after all. I’m going to experiment with just how wide I can get the cracks, to see if I can use some more interesting polishes under there.
On a technical note, did you know that it’s the brush strokes that form the cracks? So for the first finger shown above, I used a standard vertical stroke. The second is horizontal and the third is diagonal!
The standard procedure for ombre nails is base color, sponging, top color. On these, I liked the effect after sponging so much that I didn’t bother with the top color. The base color here is Sarah by Zoya and the gold sponged on is Golden-I by Sally Hansen. With a silver instead of gold, this might be the perfect Christmas party manicure.
Melanie, by Julep. I’m in love. This is a perfect, soft blue. Different without being too much. It’s almost cornflower. I know I’m going to be getting a lot of use out of this.
Ciao Ciao by Tokidoki, impulsively purchased from the $4 bin at Sephora. It won’t replace my beloved Embrasse-Moi by Mattese Elite, but it’s a little less packed with glitter (this is three coats), so I bet I can find some top coat applications for it.
Primrose Park from the new Nails Inc Mirror Effects collection. This was an impulse buy and I had to know if it was really that mirrory. It reminds me so much of the chrome craze of a bunch of years ago. Only this one went on way less streaky.
Remember yesterday’s Pantone+Sephora Violet Quartz? Well, I also had a bottle of Reflecting Pond and finally finally managed to figure out ombre! I used a youtube tutorial by CreativeNailArt and a whole lot of patience. I haven’t been this proud of a manicure in ages.