Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring ASBMF Challenge #1: Spring Pastels

Yes, I entered my first challenge.  I can't believe it either.  I see people doing different challenges online all the time and it's like boom, boom, boom...they just keep spitting out new designs every couple days.  I don't know how they do it all, I think I'd give up after like day 3!  But then Hannah from Polished Prisms suggested a more laid back challenge on Facebook and she came up with this Spring "April Showers Bring May Flowers" Challenge.  We don't have set dates.  Everyone can do it at their own pace, according to what meets their schedule, which is perfect for me since I usually only change my nails once a week, maybe twice.  A few people are already on ladybugs, but that's the whole do it when you can.  I just need to remind myself not to panic when I start to see more people getting days ahead of me, lol.  If you're interested in joining the challenge yourself, Hannah set up a group on Facebook, April Showers Bring May Flowers Challenge.  You don't have to have a blog, you can join the Facebook group and post your challenge pictures there instead.

So I was planning to start this a few days ago, but for some reason I really hit a brick wall trying to decide what to do.  Since Easter is this weekend, I wanted to kill two birds with one stone and pastels work great for Easter anyway.  I did have this elaborate idea for small Easter eggs all over my nails, which I actually attempted.  The end result though just reminded me that I need to invest in a small kit of acrylic paints for more intricate designs like that.  It actually was not completely hideous, lol, but because the nail polish is not as opaque as acrylic paint, I really had to layer the nail polish on to get the designs to show and that just made the whole thing a lumpy mess!  Off it came and on went plain polish just to get me through the next two days at work.  Last night I came home and grabbed a bunch of pastels ready to tackle the challenge.  I started with 3 coats of Orly Lemonade, hoping for inspiration.  I was planning to do a patchwork scotch tape design with Lemonade and two other Orly colors, Prelude To a Kiss and Jealous, Much? but then the idea of a water marble popped into my head and that somehow led to the idea of doing a splatter manicure instead.

I've never done a splatter mani before, but I've seen them online and I absolutely love them.  A splatter manicure is basically dipping a drinking straw in some polish and then blowing air into the straw with strong, quick puffs to make the polish splatter over your nails.  You repeat that with different colors to get a messy, but very cool effect.  I think mine was a success and a disaster all at the same time.  In the end, it was a success but along the way I definitely had some disaster moments and this is a technique that takes both practice and luck.  Since I was doing a splatter, I also decided to add another color, OPI Rumple's Wiggin', which is pastel purple.  The picture above is of the final manicure, which includes a coat of Essie Matte About You.  I decided to make it matte before even thinking to take a picture of it still glossy, d'oh!  So here is a picture of my right hand, which I don't usually photograph since I'm right handed and taking pictures with my left hand is a royal pain in the rear.  But I wanted to show how it looked with just plain top coat, so I snapped a pic of my right hand, before adding the matte top coat to finish it off.

If you've never done a splatter manicure and are interested, there is a good tutorial from The PolishAholic's blog that you can read and I would also suggest checking out the different splatters that Sarah from Chalkboard Nails has done.  If her splatters don't inspire you to try it, then nothing will!  Here's a link that will take you to a list of all her blog posts tagged with the splatter label,

A few things that I learned while doing this for the first time: practice and experiment!  There are various methods to do this and you might find one way works better for you than it does for someone else.  It definitely helps to hold the straw a few inches away from your nails.  Too close and you might get big blogs of polish that just flood your entire nail.  It also takes some practice to figure out exactly where to hold the straw.  I can't tell you how many times I tried it and the polish splattered in a circle around my nail without any of it actually hitting my nail!  I held my nails over a paper plate, which was resting on a big piece of cardboard.  I wasn't sure how far the polish would splatter, but it didn't go any farther than the edges of the plate.  It all will depend on how far away from your nails you hold the straw.  Just be sure to cover and protect the surface you are working so you don't get polish all over the place.  Here's a shot of how my paper plate looked after I was done with all 10 nails.

Even though it can be pretty messy, I definitely plan to try this technique again with different colors.  The edges between the splatters of color seemed to be more defined before I added top coat.  The next time I do this, I'm going to try to be more patient with drying time before adding top coat, to see if that will cause the end result to have some more sharp edges between colors.  But for a pastel splatter, I do like the way the colors kind of melted into each other.

***Edit*** April 8th 11:41pm: I had to come back and add a picture of my thumbs, especially my left thumb.  Even though my thumbs ended up having the least amount of splatter on them, I think I like them the most.  I don't know if it's that Orly Lemonade is just that pretty or if it's the subtle splatter versus the bigger blobs on all my other fingers, but I have been just constantly staring at my left thumb all weekend with this manicure.


  1. Cool. I have to work on my first mani today for the challenge. Excited about it and I love how this came out. Really cool look.

  2. Nice job! I am going to have to try this technique.

  3. I love this! Great job and I definitely want to try it! They look like speckled eggs :-)

  4. Lovely! What also helps me before I do a splatter is testing if the polish is runny or more thick. I've found that runnier polish splatters best! Great job Sarah, I love it!



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