As the delightfully weird Andrew W.K. once said. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Whatever Irish-inspired tomfoolery you get up to today (including, but certainly not limited to, drinking whiskey, sporting enormous curly hair, dropping the H in certain words so everything comes out as “tis,” “tat” and “the udder ting”, eating a mountain of colcannon, having freckles that number in the millions, picking fights with your relatives, drinking more whiskey, breaking your ass while attempting the two moves you remember from your one (hated) year of Irish dance, hanging out with anybody named Sean, Fiona, Liam, Seamus, Kelly or some combination of the above, running out of whiskey and deciding that five-year-old flavoured vodka mixed with white wine will make an acceptable substitute (it doesn’t) or getting rowdy down at the pub) please keep it safe and responsible, yeah? Pretending to be Irish for the day is no reason to act like you’ve lost your freakin’ mind. I mean, sure, you’re willingly ingesting cheap, domestic beer that’s been “enhanced” with green food dye and probably dancing in public – badly – but there’s no reason to go all the way off the rails now. So stay safe, friends, and party responsibly.
And when the party finally stops (curse the drinking holiday that falls on a weekday), you’ll have no problem hailing a cab with hands sporting this pretty, festive manicure. Here I layered Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s green and gold holographic glitter, There’s No Place Like Home, over a basic black, Pure Ice’s Black Out, and then in a sort of top-down gradient over another Pure Ice polish, a green and gold shimmer called Lucky Charming. Sláinte!
I knew this manicure, a purple-on-black gradient topped with blue-leaning, iridescent flakies, was going to look cool, but I had no idea the little blue flakies would pull so much light from the dark polish and glow neon blue! It’s such a cool effect – like tiny LED lights for your nails – and one that remains that way no matter the angle of your hand, the quality of the light or, apparently, your choice of matte or shiny topcoat. Neat!
Here I’ve shown a touch-too-dark gradient of OPI’s purple Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm? over Pure Ice’s Black Out, topped with the blue flakies from Revlon’s double-ended Moon Candy polish in Orbit. And going for two different looks from the same mani, I sealed the whole works off first with a coat of ultra shiny Seche Vite before finishing up with a coat of Essie’s satiny Matte About You. Either way, the light from the iridescent flakes blazes through, elevating this simple glitter-on-gradient manicure above the of-the-moment flakie fray.
Here’s a bit of free-handed, nuthin-but-brush nail art using a trio of Sally Hansen’s new Color Foil polishes that was so dead easy, I can lay it out for you in a simple written tutorial, no need for elaborate photos (nice as they are, this is one of those “go where the wind takes you” kind of manis and there is no catastrophically right or wrong way to achieve this effect.)
Here I started with two coats of a tried and true black polish, Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear in Black Out. I then chose three colours from Sally Hansen’s Color Foil line, Rose Copper, a silvery-rose chromatic, Purple Alloy, a a lavender chromatic, and Leaden Lilac, a periwinkle-hued metallic. This technique works with any combination of polishes, but I love the way the liquid foil polishes blend into one another, creating a sort of metallic rainbow effect.
Starting with the polish of your choosing, uncap the bottle and brush nearly every bit of polish off the brush. What you’re looking for here is a near-dry bush (and that includes making sure there are no up-the-brush blobs just waiting to rain down and destroy your pretty manicure.) Look at it this way: A lot like salting your food, you can always add more polished brushstrokes later, but you can’t take them away should you go overboard, so dry your brush off more than you’d think reasonable.
Then, taking your dry brush and starting at the top of your nail, brush downwards towards the tip of your nail. Add a second stroke starting in maybe the middle of your finger if you’re feeling cocky. Move on to your other nails, varying up the brushstrokes with each subsequent nail as you go. After waiting for those brushstrokes to dry, lather, rinse and repeat with the remaining two colours, filling in any gaps or aggravating spots as you go. Top with a good quality top coat and bang, yer done. I’m not sure it could be simpler or more effective (and isn’t that just so aggravating?! It’s always the ones that took 20 minutes that people love and not the manicure that took you two hours and claimed a small piece of your sanity. Eh, I guess simplicity sells.)