Colors: Sun-Sational (Ulta), Superstar! (Pure Ice), Orange (Kiss Nail Art)
Happy Halloween to all 1,313 of my followers! If you’re trick-or-treating tonight, be safe, have fun, and eat lots of candy!! :)
Want to replicate this candy corn nail art? Follow the tutorial here!
13 Manicures of Halloween - Day 13
Color: Cross Iron (China Glaze)
Retail Price: $6.50 (USD)
This shade is from the 2011 Haunting collection. It’s a burnt orange foil, and it goes on extremely streaky. Normally, I’d consider the streakiness to be a negative feature, but it actually looks a little like the texture on a pumpkin, hence the accent nail art here. Use a small dotting tool or a toothpick to draw on the black details for a jack-o-lantern. You can do one accent nail like I did, or draw different jack-o-lantern faces on all your nails.
Much like Crimson, also from the same collection, the formula for this nail polish is super liquidy, but then it’s also weirdly impossible to only get a little bit of nail polish on your nail, so the polish gets everywhere. Super annoying, but manageable if you really like this color. Personally, it turns me off because it’s the color of my favorite college football team’s rival! ;) But otherwise, I think this shade is actually the best out of the entire Haunting collection. Then again, with Crimson and Near Dark totally missing, Cross Iron is the clear winner almost by process of elimination!
Thanks again to those of you who have kept up with my 13 Manicures of Halloween! I hope to have more manicure themes on my blog because this was a lot of fun. :) If you have any theme ideas, feel free to let me know!
13 Manicures of Halloween - Day 12
Color: Black Lingerie (Revlon)
Retail Price: $4.99 (USD)
This shade is a creme black. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m always using it for nail art or just to paint my nails when I want them black. The possibilities are endless as far as Halloween designs go, but if you want to try something really simple, use dotting tools or the back end of a make-up brush and a toothpick to create eyes peering out from the “dark”. You can do so on just one nail as a manicure accent, or in different spots on all your nails to make your manicure truly unique.
The formula for this polish is great. It’s just thin enough for nail art, but very easy to control as well if you want to paint your whole nail. I needed two coats to achieve bottle color. There are a lot of good black cremes out there, but this is one of the three blacks that are my all-time favorites. Definitely add this to your stash!
13 Manicures of Halloween - Day 11
Color: Dream On (Sinful Colors)
Retail Price: $1.50 (USD)
This shade is a bright fuchsia color, sure to turn heads. The most astonishing thing about this is it dries matte, yet the bottle says nothing about it being a matte shade. So, if you want a glossy finish like on my nails, you will need to apply a top coat.
The formula for this polish is surprisingly opaque, and I needed two coats to achieve bottle color. I also really liked the brush! The bristles are kind of long, so when you press the brush onto your nail, it flares out really nicely. Hardly any work at all to create a clean manicure!
I can’t believe how much I like this color, so I decided to nail art-ify it!
I used dotting tools to create the polka-dots on my ring and pinky fingers, but if you don’t own dotting tools, use the back end of a make-up brush. Create a white dot, let it dry, and create a slightly smaller brown dot within it.
To create the owl that’s on my middle finger, start by painting a fuchsia oval on about 3/4 of your nail. Then, use a toothpick, bobby pin, small dotting tool, or striper to paint on two pointy ears for the owl, and use the same tools to add on two brown wings. Create the eyes just like the polka-dots, and use a toothpick for the tiny white dot. Also use a toothpick to create the beak. For the white feathers, use a dotting tool or the back end of a make-up brush to create three white circles on the owl’s belly. Once those are dry, use the same tools to add three more circles in fuchsia, slightly above where the white dots are. You should now have three half-moon shapes that are your feathers! Always make sure you wait for nail polish to completely dry before you add more nail polish on top of it (this is especially important when you’re doing nail art). Seal in your design with your favorite top coat, and you’re good to go!
Probably not the scariest Halloween manicure, but who says Halloween can’t be cute? :)
13 Manicures of Halloween - Day 9
Color: Concrete Catwalk (China Glaze)
Retail Price: $6.50 (USD)
This shade is from China Glaze’s Metro collection. It is a dark gray creme, the perfect shade for some tombstone nails. Use a striper, dotting tool, or toothpick to paint on the details on all your fingers, or just one finger as a manicure accent. Quick, easy, and festive!
The formula for this polish was a little thick, but that’s okay because it was easy to control and opaque. I needed two coats to achieve bottle color.
Overall, I really like this shade. Anything gray is a fresh twist on the neutral trend, and is definitely great any time of year.
Disclosure: Product sample provided by China Glaze.
Anonymous said: I know this is kind of a stupid thing to ask, but do you think you could make a tutorial on how to take photos? Every time you post swatches or nail art, the way you take the photo also seems absolutely flawless! Do you use a lightbox? And how do you manage to position all your fingers so nicely?! I'm sure there must be some kind of flair to it! Also, absolutely LOVE your blog!!
I’m flattered you like my photography! :) I’m not sure I could really make a tutorial for this. Honestly, experimentation is the key. There isn’t one correct angle/lighting that everyone must use to produce “good” photos; however, these are some things I use and/or consider:
- Invest in a decent camera. This doesn’t mean you need to splurge on a DSLR camera, though. Just don’t use your cell phone to take nail photos! I currently use a Nikon Coolpix P100 for the photos I post here, but I think pretty much any digital camera will be adequate.
- If you’re using flash to take a photo, but the flash keeps bouncing off your nails, move your fingers very slightly to figure out exactly where the flash is falling. Once you figure it out, move your fingers so the flash hits the skin above your cuticles. When you want to show off nails, I’d say it’s better to have slightly bright spots near your cuticles vs. white blobs of light/flash on your nails. This is a photo where I ended up doing that.
- The apartment I live in right now has an awesome lighting setup at my built-in desk. Here’s a photo of my desk. If you look behind pink Domo-kun, you can see I’ve removed the light cover. The light looks super bright, but all my walls are white, so the walls reflect the light really well. I get some great photos of my nails when I position them next to a white part of my wall. If you have a convenient lighting fixture like this, I think the most important things to remember are to make sure you’ve got a Daylight bulb (i.e. not one that produces “yellow” light) and to avoid placing your nails right under the bulb. In my case, if I take a photo of my nails right under the bulb, the Post-It notes reflect on my nails, but the shape of the lightbulb also reflects on my nails. Sometimes it might look nice or unnoticeable, especially if you’ve got a solid color on your nails, but if you’re trying to photograph nail art, the shape of the bulb might distract from and/or ruin your nail art photography.
- If you don’t have a funky desk light like mine, take advantage of actual daylight! If you don’t want to walk around outside to take photos of your hand (or live in an apartment complex and don’t want your neighbors to label you as The Lady Who Takes Photos of Her Hand Every Saturday), just stand next to a window and take photos of your nails. If you don’t like the scenery outside, tape a piece of white computer paper to your window. The daylight will come through it, but you’ll have a solid white background!
- I have horrid scenery, strange neighbors, and awkward-to-access windows at my apartment. Plus, I’m in grad school, so I’m usually at school or teaching during the day, and I do most of my swatching, nail art, etc. after midnight/after I take care of all my other obligations. If you’re in a similar situation, consider some of these digital photography hacks to manipulate lighting. I use the Party Bouncer Card trick all the time, which helps to defuse a harsh flash on photos, but I think the coolest tutorial on that site is the DIY light box tutorial. Some things to keep in mind if you want to create your own light box is you need to make sure you have space in your home to keep it (this isn’t something you can fold up and hide under your bed when you’re not using it as that will make the box all floppy for when you use it next), you will most likely need a tripod (or a giant stack of books, a counter, chair, or another sturdy table-like surface) for your camera, and it may be difficult to stick your hand into the light box to take nail photos unless you invest in a larger box (which means it takes up more space in your home). For the record, I don’t use a light box (I’m too smart to buy one, too lazy to make one, and don’t have enough space to keep one!).
- Play around with angles. I’m flattered you like the way I post photos of my nails here, but don’t try to imitate my photos it if it’s not working for you. Try out different angles, lightings, etc. Check out how many photos I took one of the first times I swatched a color! Now that I know more about the angles/lightings I like best, I end up taking about 10 photos of my nails any time I swatch a new shade or take photos of my nail art (and I generally delete the extras once I choose a favorite and crop, resize, edit, etc.).
- Don’t be afraid to use an image editing program to correct the lighting in your photographs. If you use a light box or natural daylight, you may need to add more yellow lighting to your photographs. If you take photos indoors at night, you may need to add more blue lighting to your photos. If you use the Party Bouncer Card hack, you may need to edit the red lighting in your photos. Sometimes I’m lazy, and I sit on my bed under the ceiling light/fan, balance my camera on my knee, and take nail photos! Talk about funky lighting! But I’m a web designer, so I already have Adobe Photoshop CS5 at my disposal, which is especially great for those situations. It’s kind of pricey if you want to purchase it at full price, but if you’re a student, you can get a huge discount on it (that’s how/why I have my copy!). You can also check out the trial version of Adobe Photoshop CS5, check out Adobe Lightroom, browse the App Store on your Macbook for photo editing software, and possibly check out a program called Gimp (I say possibly simply because I’ve never used it), which I think is freeware, but don’t quote me on that.
As for positioning fingers, I usually just grab a bottle of nail polish, make sure the front label is showing, exhale/relax, and then let my fingers naturally fall where they will. Simple as that! :) Don’t squeeze the bottle (it’ll discolor your skin around your nails, which will make your photo look strange). Once my fingers are set, I try to keep them the same as I move my hand so that the light hits my nails at different angles. And again, if you take some photos and decide you don’t like how your fingers look, release the bottle, take a breath, and try to hold it in a different way.
If you want to take nail art photos in the "claw" style I use, make sure your thumb and ring finger aren’t too far apart. And my personal preference for camera placement is straight above the nails. If you use flash, your fingers will create a dark shadow on your palm, which can possibly provide a nice dark background for your nail art.
And I guess that’s all I can think to say! I hope at least something in this post was helpful (and if it was/wasn’t, please feel free to let me know). Maybe I’ll organize this a bit better some day and create a proper tutorial if a few of you find it useful, but honestly, there isn’t much “flair” to this! You just need to figure out what works for you and stick to it. Good luck! :)
13 Manicures of Halloween - Day 6
Color: Irish Green (Sinful Colors)
Retail Price: $1.50 (USD)
This shade is an incredibly sheer neon kelly green. I think it would be perfect for a Frankenstein manicure. Use a black striper to draw on the scar across his forehead (if your nail’s big enough!) and his mouth, and a toothpick or dotting tool to create eyes and other facial details. Easy! Although, I think I ended up creating what looks more like Billy Butcherson from Hocus Pocus…lol!
The formula for this polish is average for a neon color, so I wasn’t too bothered that I needed four coats for full opacity. It was expected. For the price, I think this is a great nail polish to add to your stash, even if you only whip it out for Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day!
Halloween Nail Polish Giveaway!
Blanket Print Nails has reached more than 500 Tumblr followers in a little over a month! I’m not sure how all of you have come to find me, but THANK YOU for all your support! To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to have a nail polish giveaway.
In order to be eligible to win some free nail polish, you need only do two things:
1.) Follow blanketprint.tumblr.com.
2.) Reblog this post.
Note that you need to do BOTH of those things, and you may reblog as many times as you wish.
One winner will be selected at random on October 26th, 2011. The winner will receive OPI’s Pair ‘Em Scare ‘Em duo set, which includes a black shatter and the Halloween 2011 limited edition glow-in-the-dark shade, Zom-Body to Love (both are full-size bottles).
All countries welcome. Good luck, and thanks again for all your enthusiasm!
Colors: Macbeth (Butter London), Blagger (Butter London), Wild Thing (Pure Ice), Concrete Evidence (Ulta), The End (Hard Candy)
This trendy leopard print mani is actually easier to achieve than it looks. Paint your nails with a base color, and use a contrasting color (or colors!) to create spots. The spots don’t have to be neat, so don’t stress! Just plop a few onto your nail. Then, with a dark color like black, use a dotting tool (toothpicks or bobby pins are great substitutes for dotting tools) to create some parenthesis-like shapes around your spots. Lastly, fill in any extra gaps between your spots with some messy dots. Seal in your design with a top coat, and you’re all done!
Try out this design with your own color preferences. I’ve always thought a monochrome leopard print mani would look really cute. For instance, you could start with a light pink base color, use a darker pink for spots, and an even darker pink for lines/filler spots.
Trust me, this mani is way less tedious than it looks. Give it a try!
Colors: Black Lingerie (Revlon), Nubar 2010 (Nubar)
Nubar 2010 is Nubar’s 10th anniversary shade. It is flakes of iridescent glitter, and looks like fish scales that give off a hint of copper in the bottle. I don’t think this shade is meant to be worn alone; instead, it is meant for layering (and yall know how much I love layering!).
This post doubles as nail art and a nail polish review because Nubar 2010 is so stunning! It transforms any manicure into something pretty special, but I think it looks the coolest over black nail polish. As you can see in the photo, the flakes glimmer copper and green, but the neat thing about this shade is it reacts differently with other colors. For instance, over Butter London’s Scoundrel, the flakes look purple, pink, and blue.
This is a MUST in any nail polish stash. It can really shake up your everyday manicure, or revamp a manicure when you’re almost tired of it after having it on your nails for a week or so.
Looking for a dupe? Try Sally Hansen’s Hidden Treasure. It creates the same effect, but it takes two coats of Hidden Treasure to do what one coat of Nubar 2010 can achieve.