So, VD, we meet again. No, not a social disease - Valentine's Day, of course! Arguably the most mixed-feeling holiday of the calendar, I've long had a love/hate relationship with today's commercialized guilt-trip towards both those who are in relationships and those who aren't. If you're in a relationship, there's all this pressure to be romantic (and we all know how sexy it is to feel obligated to show affection), and if you're single, there's little escaping the signs all around that everyone in the universe has someone EXCEPT YOU! It's crap and you're danged either way.
However, I suppose if there's any place on earth where you're allowed to be a little girly, it's in nail art, so I tried to put together a Valentine's Day manicure that wasn't too pink and frilly while still containing some feminine, romantic elements and likewise commemorating today's festivities. I also really wanted to try to make a gradient with Rimmel's Space Dust collection (which was a mess, as you'll see) - so may I present to you the results.
So, yeah. Let me start by saying that I am testing piCture pOlish Revolution as my base coat for this look, because those Space Dusts are packed full of glitter and I knew I would need a few coats for opacity. I probably want to do a full review of this product in another post, but let me sum up my results: yes, it was a little easier to get all that glitter off my nails, but it still left a massive amount of glitter cleanup afterwards (seriously, it was like a faery puked all over my hands). I believe I will probably use this for less dense glitter manis and for topcoating foils while I experiment with other glitter bases for looks like this.
My gradient consists of Rimmel Space Dust in Aurora, Luna Love, and Moon Walking, in that order from cuticle to tip. I used a standard sponge technique, and it took me about 3 coats to get an opacity with which I was happy. I did not use any kind of oil or barrier around the nail before doing this, and in hindsight that was a VeryBadThing(tm). Here's why:
|See all those glitters? Yeah. I'm still finding them on my workstation.|
I *almost* didn't top coat because of course it ruins the textured finish, but I was going to have to wait overnight before I was able to stamp, and I didn't want to risk any chipping, so I applied a coat of SV to seal it in.
The following day, I picked out my lovey-dovey stamps, both of which came from the Bundle Monster Create Your Own Collection. I opted for the claddagh ring on pinky, middle, and index, and the XOXO full nail pattern (where some of the Os are replaced by hearts) on my ring finger and thumb.
The claddagh ring, of course, is a well-known Irish symbol for love (heart), loyalty (crown), and friendship (hands). I used to have one, given to me by an ex a loooong time ago, but much like the relationship, the ring tarnished and I had to get rid of it. Ahem. Moving on.
I went back and forth with a LOT of different stamping polishes until I found one that stamped well AND was visible but subtle on top of the gradient. Eventually I settled on Essie Nothing Else Metals, a lilac metallic polish that usually stamps beautifully.
As you can see, the stamping isn't perfect and has a lot of skips in it (I think probably a mix of spending too long lining up the images and the textured polish is the culprit there). That said, I actually don't mind the places where there's skipping, because I think it helps accentuate the curves of the images, and it makes each nail a little bit different even though they all use the same 2 images.
Of course after everything was stamped, I topped it with another coat of SV. In retrospect, it might've been way cooler to matte the glitter and stamp over that - but taking it off and starting over? Ain't nobody got time for that! (Yup, I still say that. Don't care.)
And of course, the macros:
I hope that regardless of your relationship status, you have a fantastic weekend and treat yourself nicely. If you love this look (or hate it, whatever), I'd love to hear about it!