Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Thanksgiving Nail Art

Thanksgiving may not be as big as Christmas or Halloween, but it is our favorite "Turkey Day" and it brings families together.   So I looked for designs to try that represented Fall, turkey feasts and pilgrims.

Design 1:  Fall Leaves

This was my very first Ombre design.  Ombre is when you start with a white base color to make your design really stand out.  Then paint 2 different colors in stripes across the edge of a makeup sponge, and repeatedly blot those colors over your nail to create a "blending color" effect.  For this design, the original artist (and I) used orange above yellow, to represent a Fall "setting sun" skyline with brown leaves drifting about.  The orange I used was actually lighter than the orange used by the original artist (mine was a cream, but she used more of a burnt orange).   I was still happy with the results, though.

However, when you do an ombre design, blotting paint with a sponge over your nails gets A LOT of paint on your skin!   Clean up was a bit of a pain, having to dip a Q-Tip in some nail polish remover and rub the polish off my skin.   That was the only part I really hated, lol.    I wish I had one of those peel-off coatings you can paint around your cuticles and finger tip so you could just peel the mess away.   One of these days I will get some.  But this design was a hit, especially at work (I work in retail).  A lot of customers noticed them and I got a ton of compliments.  

Design 2:   Turkey Nails

This design was pretty easy, from YouTube.   Just a white base color, and a tiny brush to pain the "feathers".   The rest of the work was done with different sizes of dotting tools (the turkey's body, eyes and beak).  These were also an attention grabber-- that white background really catches people's eye and when they look closer, they delight in the cute turkey design.

Design 3:  Water Marble Turkey

This was my first ever attempt at "water marble" nail art.    What is water marble?  Well...   Its a technique of dropping different colors of polish into a water cup/dish and using a needle or tooth pick to create designs in the paint, then dipping your finger into the design.    The design sticks to your nail when you remove it from the water, and you have an awesome design that would be difficult, if not impossible, to paint free-hand!

Again, I got this design from a YouTube video.   Basically, the water marble is being used to create the turkey "feathers".  Then the turkey body and face are painted free-hand.

So for anyone else interested in trying water marble, let me offer you a few tips that will make your first attempt a success.   I got all these tips from a water marble do's and dont's video, and I can honestly say that video was probably the only reason my first try was such a success and a positive experience.  Too many people write off water marble as "too hard" or impossible, because they didn't know these simple tips:

1.  Use a SMALL water container.   A narrow cup is best.  It wastes less polish and the polish won't have to spread so much, or be too thin.

2.  Use ROOM TEMPERATURE water.   Distilled or bottled / filtered water is best, because the stuff coming out of the tap has things in it that mess up the quality and spreading of the marble design.   Also if the water is too hot or cold, it can ruin the design. 

 3.  Use thinner polishes.   Thicker ones don't spread as well and can sometimes sink to the bottom.

4.  Keep the brush VERY close to the water when you drop the dot of polish.   Dropping from too far up can cause the polish to sink to the bottom, or not spread.

5.   Work quickly!   Keep the caps/brush handles unscrewed and open on all your bottles, to help you switch colors faster.   Working quickly is the big key, as leaving the colors to set too long will allow them to dry and make the polish impossible to work with.

6.  Drag a needle or tooth pick through the rings of polish, to create a design.   When you go to dip your nail in, your nail should face DOWN, directly over the part of the design you like best.

7.   Keep your nail under the water, while you clean up the surface.   To do this, use a Q-Tip to sweep up the extra polish out of the water and away from your finger, on all sides.   Blow on the on the extra polish before sweeping it up.   This will dry it and make it easier to sweep up.   If you don't get rid of the extra polish, it will stick over your design when you pull your finger out of the water, and ruin your design.

Ok, now that you have all the important tips, here is how to water marble!

Paint your nails white, to make your marble design shows up nice and clear.   Then put some tape around the sides, tips, front and back of your fingers, to protect your skin from the polish and make clean up much easier.   You can also use a peel-off, like liquid latex.  Cover everything except the surface of your nail, as much as possible.

Have your water in its container and loosened/open polish bottles ready.   Its best to only work with 2 or 3 colors in marbling, but not more.   I didn't use all of these colors in the marble; some of them were for hand painting the Turkey features.   Basically, for the feathers, I used solid/opaque/cream colors of yellow, orange and brown.

Drop your polish on the water, placing one color dot inside the other.  You will notice the lighter colors and thinner polishes spread faster than the darker and thicker polishes.   For this reason, its best to alternate lighter/thin polished with dark, to help the darker ones spread.    Drag a needle or tooth pick through the rings of polish to create a design.   I drug mine toward the center to create rounded shapes like fanned out feathers. 

Dip your nail into the polish, following the tips above and keeping your nail face down.   Try to aim so that your favorite part of the design will be on your nail.  While you hold your finger under the water, sweep up the extra polish with a Q-Tip.  Remove your nail from the water to see your design.

Peel the tape off your fingers, and clean up the edges of your cuticles, either with a Q-Tip or a small flat brush, dipped in nail polish remover.   Try not to wipe any color off your nails, as you do so.  Its best to use as little nail polish remover as possible, because completely soaking the Q-Tip / brush can cause the polish remover to run onto your nails and damage your design.   Try not to touch your nails as you clean up.   

Finish with a clear, instant-dry top coat to protect your design and add a nice glossy shine, and you're all done!

Design 4:  Thanksgiving Skittle

For this one, I looked around online for designs that included a little of everything to do with Fall and Thanksgiving-- turkey, pies, pilgrims, leaves.   I found a good one on google images.   This was a lot of fun to do!   On the thumb, we have a pumpkin pie with whipped cream in the middle.   Then a pilgrim hat, lattice crust cherry pie, a turkey, and some Fall leaves.   Adorable!  I wore this one for the last week of Thanksgiving and it got a lot of attention.  

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