Some of you may have realized that I am involved in 3 nail art challenges this month. I could have been more, but I am trying not to go too challenge crazy! Why do I enter challenges? Other than the fact that they are fun, they push my nail art boundaries. Each time I have done a longer nail art challenge, like the ones put on by The Crumpet Nail Tarts, my nail art skills jump exponentially. It also makes me work on my freehand skills, rather than just stamping.
When I was in school, I just didn't get math (I know it seems like I am going off on a tangent here, but bear with me :) I struggled in elementary school, even going as far as going to the nurse during math with "stomach aches". No matter how I memorized those multiplication tables, I kept struggling, even with a tutor. In high school I skated by algebra and geometry with D's, which was unusual since I got A's and B's in all my other classes. Numbers were just a foreign language to me. Give me words and chemicals and I was in heaven, but numbers caused a quick slide into purgatory.
Jump forward several years to my freshman year in college. I had to take an introductory algebra class that I approached with trepidation. But something happened in that class, I discovered a way to look at numbers that wasn't just about memorization, it was about taking numbers apart and putting them back together in a way that I UNDERSTOOD! Suddenly numbers clicked for me. The light bulb went on and hasn't burned out yet. I even ended up tutoring for algebra myself! The way I put numbers together may not make sense to others (like my father, for one) but it WORKS for me and opened a whole other skill set.
All of that is to say I feel like, this month, with all these challenges, I have had that kind of experience in my freehand nail art skills. Don't get me wrong....there is nothing resembling the nail art I see others doing, but for me there has been an huge improvement. I no longer automatically look for a stamp image that will fit a prompt. Instead I get to think about what I would really like to create and practice my freehand skills on. Stamping will still be my first love, but now I have a whole other skill set, just like the number puzzle I piece together in my head.
The reason for all these words, is that I am VERY happy with what I created for today's prompt, flowers. It would have been really easy for me to grab a stamp, and I probably would have been happy with it, but doing this mani created a joy in me that comes from a job well done. I felt the same way about my Indian mani and more that I have already done for prompts on down the line. I don't expect you to like this quite as much as I do, but I am very proud of it. Now I will shut up and show you what I have been gushing about. Oh, and forgive all the pics, loved them too much to cut back :)
This mani was inspired by this center piece I created from the sunflowers and basil in my garden. It made me happy just looking at it, so I thought I would try to recreate the flowers on my nails.
This started with two coats of Julep Hailee. This is an olive leaning grey with a matte suede finish that Julep does so well. Every suede I have tried from Julep has applied like butter with decent wearing power. I think the secret is that the polish has a lightweight formula, unlike most mattes I have tried, so it can be applied in thinner coats, which means it dries faster and doesn't clump when you apply the second coat. It goes on streaky with the first coat but the second coat gives total and complete coverage. And, of course, if you have been paying any attention to my humble little blog, you know that I am infatuated with metallic matte finishes, so how could I NOT love this!
Next I randomly added the sunflower petals with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening, my go to yellow for nail art, and a medium paint brush. Then I added some Cult Nails Baker, a sheer peach shimmer, to the middle of the petals with a slightly smaller brush.
I then added some wispy strokes of OPI Schnapps Out of It with my thinnest striping brush. Finally I added OPI What Wizardry is This with a dotting tool to create that seed look. I had planned on stopping at this point, but felt it needed a little something more. Leaves of course!
I added leaves using Finger Paints Tough Art to Follow (dark green jelly), Zoya Shawn (dark green creme), and Zoya Josie (light green creme).
Although you can barely see the Cult Nails Baker, I think it gives it an added layer of depth and color. I am learning that good looking nail "painting" is about depth of colors so that it does not look so flat.
So what do you think, lovely readers, does this give you the warm fuzzies, like me? One last pic, my favorite!
Thanks for looking and putting up with my rambles! Take a look at all the other lovely flowers!