Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Black and Pink Ombre Nails

When the Spring/Summer 2012 shows took over the runways last fall, a few of the nail art designs that graced the models caught my eye. Some were gorgeous, albeit unreproducible without using gel/acrylics, like the pretty lucite and lace manicure that CND came out with to complement Joy Cioci's show. Lucky for us DIY nail art mortals, there were a handful of designs that looked easy enough to try at home. I tried my hand (pun very much intended) on the nails featured on the Jen Kao runway:

Aren't they just gorgeous?

My (humble) attempt at high fashion nails.

What I Used:
Black creme: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
Pink creme: Jessica #481 Harlequin
***I used cremes as more of a preference and because the inspiration nails also had a creme finish. I have seen shimmer/creme mixes that look amazing, so feel free to experiment with different finishes!

How I Did It:

While this looks deceptively easy, the slightest mistake makes it really easy to mess up, too. The trickiest part is making sure the two colors mixed in a way where the edges (the area closest to the cuticle and the area at the very end of the free nail) remain distinctly black and distinctly pink. I've learned that the best way to do that is to drag the polish around only in the middle area. Like so:
It is also very important to choose polishes that are highly pigmented and preferably opaque in one coat (but not on the thicker side as that will make mixing a tad trickier). This makes for less chance of encountering the problem of too much nail polish on the nail. Now, we don't want thick coats because that can lead to pooling (where the excess polish pools in your cuticles and nail bed) and bubbling (where you get bumps from air bubbles that surface once your polish has dried). Definite no-nos! If you do end up with some pooling, an easy way to get rid of the excess polish is to take away some from the sides using either your fingers, an orange stick or a tiny piece of paper towel as illustrated below:
I actually messed up my middle finger while applying top coat. You'll see a couple streaks of pink on the black area close to the nail bed because I got a bit of pink polish on my top coat brush. That's one of the hazards of working with still-wet nail color, so try to be really careful with your top coat application and preferably do it so that the brush doesn't touch the nail.

Doesn't it look good against black leather?

Again with the (by now, omnipresent) pink fabric rose.

Let's mix it up with some fabric rose petals, shall we?

I was looking for something that was black and edgy-looking to hold (so you can also see my thumb) and still compliment the rock chic vibe of pink and black.

I love how this turned out with the different textures.

Have you every been inspired by nail designs from runway shows or are the clothes more of an inspiration for you? What colors would you use if you tried your hand at this design? Would you rock this on your tips for a Valentine's Day dinner date?


  1. beautiful! I will have to try. What kind of brush did you use to mix the polishes?

  2. I did something like this a while ago, but with three polishes and sponging. It was also black and blue, so I feel kinda like ripped off my idea haha =)

    Beautiful mani and color combo!

  3. Thanks, Stephanie! I'd love to see your take on it. Any idea what colors you'll use?

    I used a detail art brush I got in a 10pc set from WalMart. In a pinch, you can also use an old nail polish brush (clean, of course). I guess it also depends on whether you want thin streaks or thicker ones to determine how big of a brush you might want to use. Hope that helps! :)

  4. Thanks, Sophie! :) Hahaha, maybe you actually were the inspiration that gave the designers the idea to do this particular design. Wouldn't that be cool? :) Although I did see that they had different color variations of this on the runway, like green and black, too, but that might have been the designers taking their own spin on your creation. ;)

  5. I like this pink and black combo though. I might give this a try

  6. Glad you like it, Naomi! I hope you do. I'd love to see your take on it. :)

  7. Well, I hadn't have my blog back then, lol. But yes, it would be cool =D I did it as a background for a night sky mani.

  8. This looks great!!! Love the color choices. I haven't tried anything runway inspired before.

  9. That sounds absolutely lovely! I hope you recreate it and show it on your blog. :) I sure would love to see it!

  10. Thanks, Marisa! I guess the colors I picked are right up your alley, huh? ;) Really? I find that a little hard to believe as you come up with some pretty awesome nail art!

  11. Hey! I commented on this post already!!!? Where is it? lol
    I've never tried the dragging back and fourth method with the brush before but I love the 'rustic' feel that it adds. Very pretty!!!! I also am a big fan of the photos you take ;)

    I would love to try this with some sponging instead (my kids don't often give me much time to let my nails dry ;) ) I have seen the inspiration photo and it keeps popping into my mind here and there urging me to try a similar look :)

  12. I love how you made this pink look edgy! You're so great at doing inspired nail designs! :)

  13. Oh noes! Really?? :( I'm sorry, Marta, my commenting system seems buggy at times. O.o Now I need to check to make sure I'm not missing any other comments apart from yours!

    Aww, thank you so much! I'm a huge fan of your photography, too, so I take cues from you. ;) Can't say I deserve all the credit!

    I hope you do, I think it'll turn out superb! (Have you tried drying drops? I swear by the Nubar Freeze Dry Drops; they really dry your mani in seconds!)

  14. Thanks, Mary! I do try very hard. I've got lots of great inspiration just between you and Marta! ;)


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