Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine's Mani with Hearts and Pearls

I am starting off my V-Day manis (hopefully one of at least a few) with something very girly and cute! Here's the inspiration:

I think this is from Nail Up, though I can't remember which issue. I like the balance between whimsical and pretty; the hand-painted hearts are fun and unpretentious but the pearls add a bit of elegance.

Here are the tools I used:

Just a small brush (to paint the hearts) and some plastic flat-back pearls. You can find both of these things for very cheap on ebay.

The colors:

L to R: Essie Petal Pink, Essie Neo Whimsical, Catrice Lucky in Lilac

I started off with two coats of Petal Pink (sheer pink) just to correct the color of my nails (there is some staining) and to blur out the lunula a bit (the little white half-moon part at the cuticle). For the thumb and middle finger you can just paint the very bottom and skip the pinkies altogether. The sheer nail polish base will also make it easier to stick on the pearls. I then added three coats of Neo Whimsical, painting only the tips of the index and ring fingers, not painting the bottom part of the middle fingers and thumbs, and completely covering the pinkies. Next, I painted the hearts with Lucky in Lilac, which was the hardest part. It might be easier to use acrylic paint for this step instead of a polish, I'll have to try it next time. Finally, I used topcoat to stick on the pearls and then covered it all with more top coat.

Here is the finished product:

In hindsight, I should have painted on the hearts after adding the pearls instead doing the hearts before. I also planned on having smaller hearts (more like the original inspiration), but they were much harder to paint than I anticipated. Still, I am very happy with the result!

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