Thursday, February 12, 2015

D.I.Y. Ombré Nails

If you couldn't already tell from my posts this week, I love Valentine's Day!  I get the whole argument that you should show people you love them every day (and I try my hardest to!), but it's nice having a dedicated fancy date night in the middle of winter when a lot of people choose staying in over going out.  I don't have my outfit picked out just yet, but I definitely have my nails done!  If you've met me, you've probably noticed that my nails are always red; I love how classy and feminine it is.  Well, I finally tried something different!  I painted an ombré look for the occasion, and I totally love it!  A fiery red subtly transitions into a girly pink, making a perfect color palette for Valentine's Day!  Best of all, you can do it yourself and avoid paying salon prices.  Though I'm definitely an advocate for a good manicure once in a while...

As you can clearly see in the photo above, I'm not really a nail polish snob in terms of brand - except for red.  It's a color that can look great on anybody, but you have to choose the right tone for your skin, or it's guaranteed to wash you out.  I'm not quite "fair," but definitely "light," with some pink undertones, so I always buy softer reds that have a rose tone rather than a fire engine red.  I love Essie's "Really Red," which can be bought at most drug stores.  After I painted a clear Orly base coat for protection, I painted this red tone on my whole nail, and let it dry for about 5 minutes.  

The trick with the magenta mid-tone is finding a color that isn't totally opaque.  I used one of my hot pinks that typically requires 2-3 coats of polish; these are usually a) a shimmery color, or b) at the end of it's nail polish life.  I made sure that the nail polish brush was only lightly coated with the magenta (swipe along the sides of the bottle several times), and gently painted from the tip of each nail to 2/3 of the way down.  Because the color isn't totally opaque, it takes on some of the red in the background, which helps the colors blend.  I let this dry for about 5 minutes, and then created my own mixture consisting of 2/3 magenta polish to 1/3 light bubblegum pink polish.  Paint this about 1/3 of the way down your nail, and sponge a little extra of the magenta polish to blend the ombre, if necessary.  For the "sponging," I hold the brush vertically and pat color down rather than paint it on; I made sure to do this while the lighter pink polish is still wet to blend it better.  After a final coat of clear polish, you have the perfect ombré nails for Valentine's Day!

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