I was swatching the base polish I used for these nails, Picture Polish’s shimmer-flecked nude, Cherish, when I thought lovely and delicate though Cherish is, it’s really kind of boring. So then I added a couple of coats of Revlon’s Moon Candy iridescent flakies in Eclipse, which I thought would give the nude base a shimmering, opalescent look. Which they did, very much so, although, parenthetically, FRUSTRATION, THY NAME IS FLAKIE! The darn things NEVER want to lie flat on the nail, even after multiple layers of a high gloss top coat, and nearly all of them have issues hardening up, another problem that trumps a quality topcoat. But pretty? SO pretty, and worth their inherent frustration, at least in the short term.
As the final, finishing touch, I dropped a gold-toned, “gemstone” encrusted star charm from Daily Charme onto my ring finger, its opalescent stones perfectly mimicking the delicate, colour-shifting flakies (which themselves occasionally flash gold, depending on the quality of the light.)
“If you liked it then you should have drawn a ring on it!” That’s totally how that song goes, right?
I LOVE this manicure, way more than I thought I was going to when I set out to create an entry for day 20’s theme of jewels in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. A while back I purchased a number of gemstone-type nail embellishments, including these oval opals, that I had yet to use; it suddenly seemed like the right time to put a ring on it, or at least paint one on my actual ring finger as an accent nail.
For this manicure, I painted my nails with three coats of Daydream, a minty-turquoise holographic lacquer from Enchanted Polish. That it’s the highly covetable robin’s egg blue of a Tiffany jewelry box is actually something of a happy coincidence – I actually chose it because it’s a recent addition to my collection and I had yet to swatch it. Once dry, I sealed in my Daydream-y base with one coat of Seche Vite. Then, with the topcoat on my ring finger still slightly tacky, I lightly dropped one of the opal gems onto the surface of my nail, gently nudging it into place with a toothpick. After allowing that to dry for 10 or so minutes, I then dotted on a gemstone-encircling frame and two horizontal bands with OPI’s My Signature is “DC”. Annnndddddd that’s pretty much it! Really easy, but amazingly effective, thematically appropriate and beyond pretty. And if that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. 😉
This manicure, inspired by opals, my favourite gemstone, is a great example of an easily created bit of nail art where the polishes you choose do all the heavy lifting. To achieve this look, I topped two coats of a sheer, slightly shimmery pale pink polish, Revlon’s Sheer Blossom, with two different flakie polishes, Revlon’s Moon Candy in Orbit, a purple-to-green leaning flakie, and Nails Inc.’s The Wyndham, a yellow-to-green leaning holographic flakie. The overall effect is indeed quite like an opal, and would look totally different depending on how much (or how little) you vary up the base polish and the colour of the flakies. And I just realized I’ve used the word “flakie” about 167 times in this single post alone. Flakie flakie flake! And hey look, there’s a cat fur painted into my nails. Again. Must be a day ending in Y.
But one word about flakie (heh) polishes: They do not dry. Not completely, not ever, not even after you’ve sat very still with your hands on your lap doing nothing like a Victorian lady for six hours straight (true story, although I did watch six very worthwhile hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during that time.) I don’t know what it is about flakie polishes that causes them to never fully dry (even with a quick dry top coat like Seche Vite over top, they still remain slightly mushy) but of all the ones I’ve encountered, they’ve all shared this similar “quirk.” So use a light touch when applying, and don’t expect your manicure to survive the long haul – this one’s strictly a dazzle ‘n dash.
Ooh, I just love opals! Any stone, actually, that runs through the purple/blue/pink end of the colour spectrum. Moonstones also apply, as does anything mother of pearl.
Speaking of mothers and opals, my mom’s engagement ring was an opal. I loved it so much when I was a kid, sometimes I’d just stare at it, entranced. My mom has impossibly tiny fingers, so I don’t believe I’ll ever get to wear it. Unless of course I go all gangster and wear it on my pinkie finger, above the knuckle, which…no.
These nails were really easy and super fun to complete – like sponge painting for your nails. The key is not to overlap the colours too much. If you do, things just go…brown. And brown’s not a colour that should ever be associated with a beautiful opal! But other than that small piece of advice, the sky’s the limit! Just grab your favourite pastels and get spongin’.