Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Gold Swirls on Purple

Remember back in December when I did gift-wrapped nails? Well, today's design is a tad related to that. But first, let me explain. I've always loved wrapping presents. I guess it's another thing that I've gotten from my mom (I swear, the older I get, the more I become like her. Weird..) as she likes to say that presentation counts; it lends an aspect of thoughtfulness. I guess that's true for a lot of things, as with presents, pretty wrapping can heighten the anticipation and enthusiasm of the recipient. (I haven't met a single person who doesn't enjoy tearing through wrapping paper.) I suppose it also shows how much effort you've put into getting that gift. Now, if you're horrible at it, just attempting to do it goes a long way in my books. So really, it's not so much that it looks good, but that you've gone that extra mile. Makes sense, right? Anyway, I always have a bunch of gift wrapping supplies on hand but it wasn't until I was wrapping a particular present that I noticed how interesting the design was. (Isn't it funny how you tend to notice patterns and designs more after dipping into the nail art pool?) I knew I had to try my hand at recreating it on my nails and this is what I ended up with:

With the gift wrapper that started it all!

What I Used:
Purple base: Sally Hansen Extreme Lengths in Yoyogi Park
Gold foil for the swirls: Orly Luxe

How I Did It:
***Sorry, no graphic today. I realized that each finger was just too random that it really depends on how you go about recreating the swirls. It was too much of an "anything goes" sort of design that's easy to do even without a graphic step by step.

First, you've got to find a purple that works for you. I wanted a color that was the closest match to the wrapping paper so I used Yoyogi Park. I think this is from an older, discontinued line, but A England Avalon or some other red leaning purple should do the trick. Use that as your base color over your favorite base coat. Next, take some of the gold polish and place a drop or two on a piece of aluminum foil or plastic. Dip a fine tipped detail brush in the gold polish and draw swirls in random patterns, mimicking the pattern of the wrapping paper. It's best to work one nail at a time. I also chose different starting points to start the initial swirl to make each nail look distinct. Finish with top coat to seal everything in.

I've forgotten how much fun freehand nail art can be! The best thing about this pattern is that it doesn't need to be perfect. You can have your swirls as compact and tight or as spaced apart as you want. You can also opt to do it where the swirls connect to each other from one nail to the next. I only chose to make each distinct as it was the easier option and required less planning. But then, that's part of the fun: making it up as you go.

 Pretty close, right?

 Love how it glows in the light!

 I was looking for something purple to pose with and spotted this weekender bag I got for a steal ($25!) when my Ross haul in San Antonio didn't fit in my carry on luggage. (Oops. :P)

Full hand shot!

***If the photos look a little blurry, it's because of the resizing I did. I tried to see if picking the "for webpages" option was better to use with the image sizing on the blog. These should load faster since they're all smaller files. It looks like I'll probably go back to my original settings but if you prefer these image sizes, do let me know!

There are so many other color combinations that this can be done with and I hope you give it a go! How's your week been so far? I'm stoked that it's just two more days till the weekend! With awesome summer weather like we've been having lately, weekends become opportunities for mini-getaways. What's a summer activity you look forward to every year? What's the easiest freehand design you've tried? Are you a gift wrapper or a gift bagger?


  1. This is gorgeous! You're so talented!!

    Boston Princess

  2. I totally agree with the wrapping. It just adds so much to the gift, and it can be very relaxing (provided no one is bugging you, the kids are in bed, etc.). Your free hand skills blow my mind! I can't even get stamping right :(

  3. I had to re-read your post to double check that this is in fact freehand!!! WOW!!!!!!!
    Speaking of gift wrap, I tear into my gifts to uncover the treasures inside, but my sister will pick at the tape to preserve the wrapper and unknot the ribbons to reuse them later... Needless to say I was her gift opener at her baby shower ;)
    dots are the 'easiest' that I've tried when it comes to freehand... but they are not all that easy to place on the nail...

  4. *blushes* Not really.. but thank you so much, Elex! :) Have you tried doing freehand swirls?

  5. Oh, definitely! I know some people consider it a chore, especially during the holidays but I'd really rather wrap presents than write a stack of cards. :)

    Thank you so much, Shannon! Your kind words made me smile. :) These particular swirls aren't all that hard at all. I find that using the right tools often make freehand designs easier to do. I'm sure you'd be able to recreate this! I'm told it just takes practice. I'm no stamping pro myself; I still have trouble stamping straight and getting the images placed exactly where I want them but that doesn't keep me from trying anyway. :)

  6. It's not really that amazing compared to your own freehand skills. ;) The right brush makes it really easy to do these swirls. Thanks, Marta!

    Hahaha! I love it when people do that! I tend to be more like your sister but I like it better when the gifts I wrapped are happily torn up. :D

    Oh, I get what you mean! Especially of you're doing just the one dot; it can be tricky making sure it's smack where you want it. But painting a scene or character on to my nail is something I think might be beyond my skill set. I'll take dots and swirls any day! ;)

  7. Amazing! Can't believe how talented you are! I'm rubbish when it comes to freehand nail art, but I'm definitely going to have a go at this.


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