The final installment in my Theme of the Month series is done! I’m just a little excited to be sharing these with you!!
And of course, most important to this post is —
Happy Birthday to all December babies!!
As some of you might already know, I started this monthly series of nail art designs quite a ways back. Like nearly three years ago. (Hence my patting myself on the back for finishing the series — better late, than never. Right? Right.) I’ve followed the same design outline of the birthstone(s) on the outer nails with the birth-flower on the inner nails.
While there are other modern choices, I settled on the more traditional of the assigned birthstone and birth-flower for December – Turquoise & Holly.
Oh, yes, I will definitely be publishing a round-up collection post of all twelve!! I’m just not sure when it will happen. In the meantime you can catch up on the other months’ posts here: Theme of the Month Series.
I had so much fun lead-lighting the Jack O’ Lanterns a couple months ago, that I couldn’t help do that again for the holly nails. Just like that time, I started with a dark base and stamped the image in white. After a top-coat layer, I then used jelly polishes to color the areas in. For these, I chose a detail brush for the leaves (with two colors – a dark teal and a yellow) and a small dotting tool for the red berries.
For the turquoise nails, I tried out a new-to-me technique: waterspotting. In case you’re not familiar with it, I’ll try my best to describe it:
The method is similar to doing a watermarble in that you start with a cup of room temperature water and drop polish onto the surface. With this technique however, usually you only use a single color (maybe 2 -3 drops). While that color has spread as a solid layer across the top, you spray alcohol (or a product containing it) which has a chemical reaction with the polish and spreads it out in a “spotted” disrupted pattern. You dip your finger in to “catch” the part of the pattern you want on your nail. Then, you finish up in the same way as the watermarble; by cleaning the water surface of the unused portions before taking your finger back out.
I chose to make the gold layer first, and then the black on top of that for the vein patterns of the stone. And maybe because I am a newbie at this, it seemed easier for me to decorate one finger at a time. So, I took a total of six dips into the polished water for these nails.
And, as expected with a first time go of it, I went through a few trials and tribulations until I was successful creating a pattern on the water like what you see on these nails. Here are a few tips/tricks I found helpful to remember:
- Bottled or distilled water is better than tap water.
- My final results this day were with bottled water.
- Be prepared to try different chemicals.
- I tried both 70% and 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (from the drugstore, poured into travel size spray bottles). They both worked, but did not make the pattern I wanted. I’ve read a lot of folks like using hairspray — I don’t have any. So, I tried a bottle of perfume, also used by others successfully and the result was close to my vision, but not quite what I wanted. Finally, I tried a cooling leg spray. Eureka!! I got the types of patterns I wanted. The only problem with it was there was an ingredient that left behind a grease, making the water unusable for another pattern (the polish just stayed a wet moisturized droplet). So, I switched to smaller dixie cups and re-filled them twice before getting a fresh cup (as it too would get too greasy). In hindsight, I might get a cheap bottle of hairspray if I want to try this again. 😉
- The pressure and angle of the spray makes a difference in the pattern you get.
- I found for these I liked to hold the bottle so that it sprayed straight down on the surface (instead of at an angle) and I was usually spraying about 4-5 inches from the water surface.
- Definitely protect the skin around your nail including all around your finger tip, at least up to the first knuckle. This makes clean-up so much easier. Liquid latex products are great, but if you are allergic you can use scotch or masking tape.
Both techniques of this design were interesting and engaging to do. I really enjoyed creating these nails, finding that I got very consumed in the activity. Also, I liked that both styles produce a free-form look and felt they went well together for that reason. What do you think?
It’s always fun when I get to use LOTS of items in making my “nailsterpieces”. I just made up a new word. Cool. Anyways…the point is, when I was finished, my work space was very messy! Quite unlike this organized photo below, LOL.
List of the main items shown in the photograph above:
- Black creme polish: Liquid Vinyl by Orly
- Turquoise crelly polish: Ocean Water by Colors by Llarowe
- Gold metallic polish: Crunchy Leaf by le Polish
- White stamping polish: Whiteout by Rica
- Stamping plate (holly): EJB-03 (Christmas) by Ejiubas
- Teal green jelly polish: Cuddle Weather by Lucky 13 Lacquer
- Yellow jelly polish: Muse, Myself by Essie
- Red crelly polish: Boudoir by Ciatē
- Latex skin barrier: PROTect by Clear Jelly Stamper
- Stamper: FUN XL Gold Stamper by Fab Ur Nails
- Brushes: Dual clean-up & detail Pretty In Pink Brush by Clear Jelly Stamper
December — Theme of the Month