You know why summer is one of my favorite seasons?
Okay, I mean besides the sun, the warm weather, the blockbuster movies, the lighter traffic on the highways (because school is out), the beach days, swimming pools, and aaaaaaall of that stuff. Besides all of that, do you know why summer is one of my favorite seasons?
One word: color! Summer is a fantastic excuse to go buck wild with color.
For those three months, it’s everywhere you turn — on lips, cheeks, eyes, and yes, also nails.
And what better way to celebrate the coming color storm than with some of the neat neon nail colors popping up in summer collections.
Here’s an easy neon nail art tutorial that you can do even if you’re pressed for time. And you can also try some different color combinations to suit your mood.
Step 1: Start with a bright base
First things first, apply a base coat, followed by a layer (or two) of your favorite neon nail polish. Here, I’m using a creamy bright orange (just because I think it’s summery and fun).
Wait until that’s completely dry before moving on to the next step…
Step 2: Add your stripes
Tabs, a self-proclaimed feline expert in stripes, insisted that I do mine freehand, painting them directly on my nails. For this look, I used a bright creamy neon pink.
Before I let the brush touch a nail, I try to remove as much excess polish from the brush as I can by running it against the mouth of the bottle. Then, with the lightest touch I can manage, I draw each stripe, beginning at the base of the nail and brushing up toward the tip.
When I’m done with the first layer, I wait for it to dry, and then repeat the process (if necessary, depending on the opacity of the color you’ve chosen) for extra intensity.
Now, you can draw your stripes anywhere you want. Remember, this is all about you going buck wild. But I prefer to draw them slightly off the center of each nail.
Why? Because I like my stripes like I like my cat — bold and kinda chunky!
But thin stripes are cool, too. I’ve done it both ways.
If you have trouble painting your stripes freehand, clear scotch tape can help. Just lay two strips of tape down along the sides of each nail to create a homemade stencil, and then paint in the middle.
When the stripe is completely dry (removing it too soon can pull up some of the polish or cause it to migrate beyond the edges), gently remove each piece of tape.
Oh, it can also help to weaken the tape’s adhesive first by sticking each piece to a slick surface, like a plate, before removing it and using it for your nails. That seems to weaken the adhesive a little and makes it less likely to pull off your nail polish when it’s removed.
Step 3: Add a top coat
That’s it! Step three was a short one. You’re done.
A couple of color combinations…
So maybe orange isn’t your thing, but how about bright pink and yellow?
Or neons and nudes?
Instead of starting with a bright base, you could try a neutral instead, like a creamy peach. Then, add your bright neon stripes as accent colors.
Before you go, it’s contest time!
How do I enter?
- Visit www.flickr.com and upload a photo that displays you “living life vividly,” as well as a short caption (200 characters or less) that explains the photo.
- Mark the photo as “public” (so I’m able to view it).
- Tag it with the following tag:
- Post a link to your Flickr photo in a comment at the bottom of this post (or on one of the next two upcoming posts in this series).
How will my entry be judged?
Tabs and I will pick the winner based on the following criteria…
- Creativity/originality (33%)
- The overall quality of your submission (33%)
- How well it displays you “living life vividly” (34%)
What’s the prize?
A $500 VisaÂ® gift card and an assortment of BuxomÂ® cosmetics, including two (2) Buxom Color Choreography eye shadow palettes, one (1) Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish, and one (1) Buxom Lash (volumizing mascara).
Approximate retail value: $609!
What about the small print?
- The contest is open to adults 18+ in the US only (sorry, international babes!)
- The last date to enter is June 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time
- Up to 3 entries per person (yup, you read that correctly: 3)
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. Good luck!