Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beachy 3-D Shells Manicure

As you can see, I'm in "Goodbye Summer" mode too this month. Have you come up with your idea for the contest yet? If you don't know what I'm talking about, there's a link to the right for all the details. In any case, this week's nail art is inspired by the beach, complete with seashells. I picked up a bag of the smallest seashells I could find at the craft store, and sifted through them for the smallest shells I could find, then rinsed and dried them. I kind of wished I'd cut them in half, so more of the shell profile was visible. Next time.
I started with two coats of China Glaze "Passion" for the base color. It reminds me of warm sand. I used it on my toes too - more on that Thursday.
Then I added two coats of China Glaze "Tinsel" to glitter the tips. I think next time, I'd just do one coat over the whole nail to make the sand color sparkle, but I kind of like this silver/gold look too.
I started with my thumb, the only nail large enough for these teeny tiny clam shells. I used one coat of top coat, then set the nail in, pushing it through the layers of polish. Because the nail is curved and the curve of the shell doesn't exactly line up with that, I decided to put bouillon beads around the edge to cover a couple gaps between the shell and my nail. Worked great, except my top coat was old/thick. You really need a good thin top coat you can really glob on for nail art.
Then I decided to accent the smile line with the gold beads as well. I think that gives it a little more "flair". I added the beads to the rest of my nails before putting tiny snail shells on my ring and pinky fingers.
For the snail shells, I just globbed on top coat again, and pressed the shell opening down onto my nail. If I'd cut them in half first, the spiral would have been more visible.
Two shells on my left ring finger - looks like little snails crawling over my nails! After wearing the 3D roses for a week, I decided that the higher profile nail art needed to stay away from my index & middle fingers.
The shells stick up quite a bit off the nail, but they're so smooth and rounded that I barely notice them. They don't get stuck on clothes or in hair - they just kind of glide along. Very easy to wear (and the clam shells on my thumbs are lower and very smooth too - don't even notice those at all).
And here's the finished design! In case anyone is interested - for the last few weeks, I've been doing my manicures on Sat. nights, then on Sunday, wearing gloves to do heavy yard work. My hands sweat in the gloves, and next thing I know, I've got chipped polish and nail art falling apart. I had to fix these last night because I lost quite a few of the gold beads once my hands started sweating last Sunday.

I'm moving my manicure night back to Sunday, but also, I've found that wearing gloves is actually detrimental to my manicures, rather than protecting them. I helped my husband do some wood working without gloves, and my nails fared much better when my hands weren't all sweaty in gloves. I just thought I'd mention that in case it helps anyone else.
One final shot of the shells on my right hand - these have a little more color to the spirals, and I just left it to one shell on my ring finger. Like I said, my top coat is old, so excuse the somewhat mottled finish. I was waiting to order good Zoya topcoat until today, when the winter matte colors are available (hooray!).

I like this design - it's simple, calming, and just a little funky. Toes on Thursday, and sometime this week I'll have a post of all the new stuff I've gotten this week to show...stay tuned.