The following are some of the more recent nail designs I have done. Two are on my stepmom (who always comes up with the most interesting suggestions--in the past she's requested salad, Jewish fish, and Lady Slippers, for example), one is on my friend the Fairy Girl, and one is on my stepsister.
This hummingbird design was requested by my stepmom a week or two ago, and we kept just barely running out of time to do it. Last night, I was finally able to do her hummingbird nails. This is probably the most difficult design I've ever done on someone else, because hummingbirds need a lot of detail to be recognizable as hummingbirds and not some other unidentified flying object, and because they need to be pretty small to fit on a nail (sometimes two to a nail). I painted out a lot of really bad hummingbirds on paper before I finally found a way to do one that I was happy with, and then came the pressure of painting twenty-something of them on someone else's moving body parts (no matter how still you think you're being, I promise you that you are moving), and we actually did half of them before dinner and the other hand after dinner because it was so time-consuming. Hand Two, though, went much faster as I had kind of gotten into a groove with it. I was actually really amazed with myself that I was happy with all the hummingbirds when it was done (I did do an experiment with a lily flower on one of the nails in white, but wiped it off with nail polish remover and patched the pink polish right after I decided I hated it).
This design is painted with red, black, and white acrylic paint on top of a weirdly cool pink polish that I don't know the name of (I think it says Paris on it and came from Marshall's, but no guarantees) from some set I know nothing about except that it was a good deal and had three awesome colors in it (a pastel pink, a pale blue, and a black/red metallic kind of thing).
This design was for Fairy Girl (Can you see why we call her that? She's aDORable!!), and while kind of time consuming because of the crazy amount of layers involved was actually really easy. I've done this before in blue without glitter, which makes this one of only two designs I've ever done twice (although I've actually done this one now three times as Fairy Girl requested this exact thing done to her again two weeks later for a party; the other design I did twice was an under the sea sort of thing, although the two versions were pretty different from each other and the first version was, in my opinion, better). She couldn't possibly have been happier with it. Seriously, you should have seen her face. Oh, wait--it's right there, you can see it. :D
Seriously, that's the best part of doing these, is seeing how thrilled people are to have little artworks on their fingernails. People are fascinated and impressed and excited, and it thrills me to make them feel that way, which is why, although I request a donation to do the nails of people I don't really know and offer nail jobs as trades for rides and cooking ingredients, I also paint the nails of anyone who'll sit still long enough when I'm inspired.
The Pink Leopard is two coats of a color called Zippy by who-knows-who-made-it, a coat of purple glitter by some-company-or-other (Sorry, I should write this sort of thing when my nail polish and I are in the same house!), a 99-cent topcoat, silver foil from dollarnailart.com (applied with their foil glue), and black acrylic paint, plus two more topcoats.
My stepmom requested these because she and my dad (and myself, for that matter, and my brother's assimilating) are crazy about hot peppers. We basically buy Albertson's out of their habanero stock whenever we go there, and our front porch is now a jungle of exotic hot peppers (you can see them in Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock). Point being, habaneros are a big, important thing at our house (we cut up four or five of them each night for dinner between us), so I was expecting her to request habanero nails sooner or later. :)
These pictures were taken almost a week and a half after the nails were painted, so there has been some chipping at the tips, but they held up quite well overall. The gray is I think called "concrete," and it's by NYC if my memory serves me well. The silver overlay on the ring fingers is by Sinful Colors, and I don't know what it's called. Sorry. The yellow-and-green vines and the orange-and yellow peppers are mixed from my yellow, blue, and red acrylic paints. I topcoated twice, of course.
Graduation Flower Fix
My stepsister had regular French acrylics done at a nail salon near her boarding school in Arizona the day before her graduation, and despite her being very clear with the nail tech about precisely what she did and did not want, the nail tech did pretty much exactly what she didn't want. While I don't have the supplies or the know-how to do or fix acrylics, I could at least do some patchwork to distract from the too-low tip-placement. I tried two other simple black designs on her nails before I came up with something she was happy with. I cannot tell you how relieved I was that she loved the flowers idea as much as I did, because it turns out I'm much better at nail art than I am at customer service. In any case, we finally came up with a solution everyone was happy with, and she was thrilled with how it looked, and how well it distracted from the shitty acrylics (pardon my French).
Lest I sound disrespectful to the nail tech, I'd like to elaborate: even if the aesthetics of the tip placement, the too-shirt filing job, and the use of white tips instead of clear ones (clear tips with a more natural-looking French paint job were explicitly requested) were satisfactory and in accordance with my sister's requests, the acrylics were simply done wrong. The tips used were too big for her nails, so were painful when everything dried. The nail tech cut my sister's nails too short so that the nail glue attached to her fingers instead of just her nails, causing more discomfort. Furthermore, too much acrylic was applied on top of the nails and tips, and it was applied unevenly and overly thickly, so instead of looking like part of her nail they looked like they were sitting on top of her nails. My sister did still pay the full price, although, to be honest, I would not have.
My patch was just black acrylic paint and topcoat. To be fair, though, it is still looking good a week later. :)
Woo! Now you're up-to-date on all my nail adventures (how did you ever manage without knowing?)! :P
That's all for now.