Thursday, 14 November 2013

Curing Nail Artist's Block: A Mix & Match, Leopard Print Mani

Ever suffered from nail artist's block? It is one of the most frustrating things in the world. You sit there, dozens (if not hundreds) of beautiful polishes smiling up at you, begging to be used. Your nails are crying out: 'Please paint me, I'm so naked/chipped/sad!'. You scroll through your Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr feeds, greeted by so many gorgeous nail art designs, and immediately feel a pang of jealousy. 

You're desperate to do your nails, but you are fresh out of ideas.

Onlookers may roll their eyes and sigh with exasperation. 'Just paint them then? You've got so many nail polishes to choose from.' The thing is, when you dedicate a large portion of your life to coming up with new ideas, trying out techniques, executing complex designs and then sharing your creations across the good old Interweb, the simple 'slapping on' of a colour just doesn't cut it. You know that plain nails will bring nothing but disappointment, both for yourself, and for the friends that regularly anticipate a gorgeous, detailed manicure. 

So how do you solve this predicament? How do you cure the dreaded condition of nail artist's block? Well, my two failsafes are leopard print and mix & match. Leopard print is the go-to pattern for many; it is simple, yet effective, and allows for the use of any colour combination. Mix & match nails are also an excellent option: the most basic designs can be brought together, making for an eye-catching mani, and enabling you to combine tricky techniques with more modest methods. 

Here's what happens when you fuse the two...

The equipment:

Butter London 'Molly Coddled'
OPI 'Can't Let Go'
Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White'
Barry M black nail art pen
Nail art gems
Fine nail art paint brush
Essie 'Good To Go'

I used 'Molly Coddled' as a base for my little finger and thumb nails. This required two coats, but I could have easily got away with one. On my middle and ring finger nails I used 'Can't Let Go', which is a Liquid Sand lacquer from OPI's Mariah Carey collection. On my index finger, I used three coats of Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White'. Once all bases were dry, I started adding the details. I decided to give my thumb a full-on leopard print pattern, so dabbed on dots of 'Can't Let Go', and once dry, added extra patches with my black nail art pen. I then decided to involve love hearts in the design, and used a fine nail art brush to apply a 'Molly Coddled' one to my ring finger, and a 'Can't Let Go' one to my index finger.

I then added more leopard print to my ringer finger's heart. I dotted on white, and added final details with my nail art pen. On my white nail, I decided that the leopard print should be set behind the love heart, and so used 'Molly Coddled' along with black. My little finger looked a little bit sad, so I used a dark purple nail art gem to cheer him up. Though the texture and glitter of OPI's Liquid Sand polishes is gorgeous, I couldn't help but feel my middle finger was a bit of a Plain Jane, so I used another nail art gem!

As always, I topped everything off with a good top coat. Apparently you're not supposed to use top coats with Liquid Sand polish, but I think it actually looks much better, neatening everything up and adding an extra bit of shine. What do you think? What's your go-to mani when the dreaded nail artist's block strikes? Let me know!

*Please take this post with a pinch of salt - I am well aware that 'nail artist's block' is a trivial matter in the grand scheme of things. I'm not that much of a drama queen... Honest!



  1. love this combination :) this is a great mix of patterns and colours!


  2. Love these nails! The different hearts are really cute.

    Jennie x

  3. My 'go to' are dots! Can't go wrong with some good old dots x


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