Geometric MTA Inspired Nail Art

The MTA has been renovating the stations on the A train line here in NYC for quite some time now.  I haven’t had to take the train into the city for months, so I only recently saw the beautiful new panels they installed in the Rockaway Blvd. station.

img_20160306_101039.jpg

Morning light looks gorgeous through the little stained glass circles.

I wanted to capture the design in some nail art, so I thought the Infinite Ombré kit from Formula X would be perfect for this.

img_20160306_094929.jpg

The Infinite Ombré set from Formula X consists of the following colors (pictured clockwise from left side): Platinum Prime, Timeless Teal, Infinite Indigo, Limitless Lemon, and Boundless Berry.

img_20160306_100608.jpg

I started by painting all my nails with Platinum Prime.

img_20160306_100718.jpg

Using a striping brush and white acrylic paint by craft smart, I painted lines at various angles across my nails. The only thing I made sure to do was to make triangular shapes.

img_20160306_100750.jpg

I made little circles at each point of a triangle with a dotting tool and the various gel tints from the Infinite Ombré kit.

I have to confess that I work in a rather poorly lit area when I paint my nails, so there is a single green dot on my index finger in the above picture because I layered the yellow and blue tints over each other.  In dark lighting, it looked like it turned out to be the same teal color as the blue tint, so I didn’t bother trying to make green dots again.  It wasn’t until after I looked at the pictures on my camera that I realized the layering effect worked, so if you try this at home, you can add a few more colors into your mani by layering the gel tints over each other.

img_20160228_191057.jpg

A nice top coat smooths things over.

Let this be a lesson that you can find beauty and inspiration anywhere if you open your mind to it.  Happy polishing!

Stained Glass Suncatcher Manicure

I recently played for a small production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, a lovely yet heartbreaking one act opera whose cast consists mostly of nuns.  Appropriate to the libretto, the performance took place inside a church, so my inspiration for the week were the stained glass windows there.

If I had more time, I would have hand painted the framework for the glass panels, but I was already going to be sleep deprived doing the stamping for this design.  The two plates I used for this manicure were BM-402 from Bundle Monster and BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store.

wpid-img_20151115_234031.jpg

BM-402 from Bundle Monster assisted me for one of the stained glass patterns. I used the design at the topmost position for two of my nails.

wpid-img_20151115_234358.jpg

BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store has an assortment of patterns, but I chose the one on the bottom row, 2nd from the left to put on my thumbnail.

The Infinite Ombré set from Formula X was perfect to color in the patterns because the gel tints have the ability to be layered over each other to create other colors.  Because I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, I chose to put stained glass patterns on 3 out of 5 nails on each hand and paint the other two nails black.

wpid-img_20151116_001909.jpg

Colors for this manicure include the following: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, Platinum Prime by Formula X, Black lace by Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 Day Shine, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Formula X gel tint colors in Boundless Berry, Limitless Lemon, and Timeless Teal.

I planned to turn the design from plate BM-402 into a mirror image so that it would fill two nails, so I allotted space for this on my middle and ring fingers.

wpid-img_20151115_235103.jpg

Prepping the canvas with Black lace and Platinum Prime.

The idea was to make the circular part of the pattern from BM-402 look as if it were the sun casting out rays of light, so I stamped one nail with the circular part facing the nail that will picture the inversion of the same design.

wpid-img_20151115_235835.jpg

One part stamped, one more to go.

To make the mirror image, I couldn’t just turn the design upside down because there is a slight variance between the top and bottom halves of the pattern.  Instead, I chose to make a nail decal with a form of reverse stamping.  After stamping the image, I brushed clear coat over the design, waited for it to dry, and then I removed the dry polish from the stamper with tweezers and cut the piece down to the approximate size of my nail.

wpid-photogrid_1447651366400.jpg

Do it yourself nail decals are easy to make once you brush top coat over a stamped image. I used Seche Vite top coat for this and then cut the decal down to size.

The mirror image is the side of the decal that the topcoat was placed on, just in case this isn’t apparent.  I slightly confused myself when I was doing this as well.  Note that if you turn the decal over so that the side that was on the stamper is now facing up, you will end up with the same image as if you directly stamped onto your nail, so that would defeat the purpose of making a decal.

To apply the decal, simply apply clear topcoat over the desired nail and smooth the decal over the nail while it is still wet.

wpid-img_20151116_001156.jpg

The mirror image is complete.

All that remained was to color in the empty spaces with the Formula X gel tints.  I made things a little easier for myself by applying a little color theory so that I could layer colors with other colors to get different shades.  Yellow and red make orange and yellow and blue make green, so I was able to paint Limitless Lemon over quite a few areas before overlapping the yellow tint with Boundless Berry and Timeless Teal.  I used the brush from the bottle because I wanted to get things done faster, but you can opt to use a detail brush or dotting tool if you want more precision.

wpid-img_20151116_001509.jpg

A delightful suncatcher look made with gel tint colors from Formula X.

I still had a thumb to stamp and color.  Unfortunately, the images on BPL-005 are a bit on the small side compared to Born Pretty Store’s other plates, so it was tricky to get the placement right on the first try.  I used a marshmallow stamper so I could push it down completely over my nail, and I put a dot of black polish on the center of my thumb first so I could line up the dot from the center of the pattern with the dot on my thumb.

wpid-img_20151116_014058.jpg

A successfully centered stamped thumbnail which was not very easy to accomplish when the design on the plate was almost the same size as my nail. You can see the raised dot of polish I applied to the middle of the nail so I could position the stamper correctly over it.

I’ve griped about how my squishy head stamper doesn’t transfer images as nicely as my Konad stamper, so you can see that the entire design didn’t make it onto my thumbnail near my cuticle.  I fixed this with Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black.

wpid-img_20151116_014244.jpg

With a little help from a striping brush and black polish, you can’t tell that the image didn’t fully transfer the first time around.

After coloring in the sections with the same technique as before, the manicure is done!

wpid-img_20151112_171707.jpg

A stained glass inspired suncatcher manicure.

I guess this wasn’t the best choice for a quick manicure, but it looked pretty!  Now to finally get some rest…  I’ve still got rehearsals to attend, but I won’t have a performance until the beginning of next month.  In the meantime, happy polishing!