Friday, October 19, 2012

31DC: Galaxy Nails

I LOVE today's challenge! I am SO excited to keep working at the galaxy mani! This is such an easy way to do nail art because it is imprecise. I didn't muck it up too bad for my first attempt, which make me think you really can't botch this one. The effect is so amazing and looks so complex, but this went really quickly for me. I looked at a lot of tutorials and photos to get color and technique ideas because this looked so intimidating. I mainly used Adventures in Acetone's colors ideas (especially Nubar 2010) and Polish and Pearls' technique.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Fantasy Makers Nail in the Coffin
*Aengland Tristam
*China Glaze Elephant Walk
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green With Envy
*Color Club Wild At Heart
*Nubar 2010
*1 coat Wet n Wild Kaleidoscope
*1 coat Seche Vite

Nail in the Coffin was my only untried for this mani. It is rather thin, so I used 2 coats which built well. I strayed from my beloved Black Out cream because this one has some micro shimmer that I thought would add dimension. I used a small wedge-shaped makeup sponge that I ripped up for each color to add the layers. I started with Tristam because it is a gorgeous, holo-filled dark blue, which I almost used as my base. I realized afterwards that you really can't see this one, in photos or real life. Oh well!

After that, I sponged Elephant Walk around the edges of Tristam. I tried to focus on different areas of each nail, which I will probably work a bit more on in the future. After the gray, I used Green With Envy to further define the "arc" of my galaxy, if there really is one.

I used Wild At Heart because it is a gorgeous deep purple filled with holo glitter. This looked amazing! It was a little sheer in places, so I sponged layers until I was happy with how it showed up. After that, I sponged 2010 over the top, mainly though the purple areas. This flakey really doesn't show up well in the photos, but was a-mazing in real life! The red of the glitter really added a different aspect to this. I'm glad that I sponged it because it let me be more particular about where it went and it actually was pretty dense.

Over the top of everything I did one coat of Kaleidoscope. This glitter is so pretty and I don't use it nearly often enough! It is sparse enough to really let your base show through and has a good mix of micro and medium silver holo glitter. I know a lot of people use white or silver polish to dot on stars. The larger pieces of glitter in this really served that purpose for me. It made the look really come alive and reminded me so much of the night sky! I used a thick coat of Seche Vite not to really dry this, because the thin sponging dries really fast, but to amp up the shine. I also helps sort of blend everything together, giving a smooth finish to it all.

This was my very first attempt at a galaxy mani (I guess, in hindsight, I probably should have practiced before the challenge day!) and I love how it turned out! I know that there is plenty of room for improvement and technique tweaks, but I could not stop looking at my hands! I will fess up to the fact that I really haven't been able to do a mani each day with my work schedule. On Sundays I try to get my challenge posts for the week painted and photographed, and then post and write each night. This means I'm painting a lot of themes in a row and don't leave the polish on long. I also do the blogger-cheat and only paint my left hand. When I saw how this worked out, I couldn't resist painting my right hand too and wearing it until I changed for a pink mani. I cannot wait to do this again!
Have you played around with galaxy manis yet? Did you fall in love like I did? What colors did you find worked well? Any other cool tricks or techniques you discovered? I'd love to hear about them!

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