Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring Mani!

Happy first day of spring!  It's been a loooong time coming... this has been quite a winter!  I'm still up in Buffalo, New York, and there's still plenty of snow on the ground.  From what I hear, there is more on the way!

That said, signs of spring have begun to show up, even here.  The Canada geese are coming back, and we've had a couple of days above 40 degrees (F).  I'm still reaching for my boots to go outside, but I'm looking forward to sandal weather.

I have a special mani to show you today; I wanted to do something super springy, so I decided to do a handpainted floral design, inspired by this picture from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Entomology and Plant Pathology program:
This gorgeous bloom is from one of my favorite plants, the dogwood tree.  This, specifically, is a Cornus florida 'Cherokee Brave,' and it's part of the university's dogwood breeding program.  The UT Institute of Agriculture is located in Knoxville, the city I am excited to say that I will soon call home!  Each April since 1961, a festival has taken place in Knoxville celebrating the culture, arts, and natural beauty of the area.  The festival is held during the blooming period of the dogwood tree, which has become a symbol of the festival and of the beautification of the city.

Dogwood trees are pretty few and far between where I'm from because it's just too cold, but on the few occasions I've seen them in bloom, they're breathtaking.  Interestingly (from a scientific perspective!), dogwood flowers are actually the tiny, yellow-green nubs in the center of the bloom; the large, white to pink "petals" are actually bracts.  Fascinating!  The blooms are quite large, about the size of the palm of your hand, and the petals (er... bracts) are very stiff and tough, like leaves.

Anyhoo, I adore dogwood trees, and since it is the first day of spring and I will soon be moving to Knoxville, I thought there was no better ode to new beginnings than a dogwood manicure:

For this manicure, I did a gradient of China Glaze Budding Romance (perfect name, eh?) over Sally Hansen Hard as Wraps and two coats of Sinful Colors Adventure Island.  I used a teeny paintbrush to paint on branches with Julep Rooney, and painted on the flower petals using L'Oreal French Tip White.  Using the same small paintbrush that I used to paint the branches, I painted pink streaks on the petals with Ulta Fuchsiamania.  I added some other details in with the small brush using Adventure Island and Rooney, and then I did a little dot in the center of each bloom using Sally Hansen SALON Lacquer in Forsythia.  I topped it off with Salon Perfect top coat.

Over all, this mani took probably about two and a half hours, and I was pretty happy with the result.  I had a little trouble with my right hand (obviously), so it looks a bit like it was painted during a moderate-strength earthquake.  Honestly, though?  I'm fine with it.  Perfectionism isn't my bag.

Here's a closeup:

And heeeere's righty:

And a closeup of the right hand:
This was a really fun manicure to do, and I think I'll be doing more hand-painted manis in the future.  I hope that you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed preparing it!  Enjoy your first day of spring!

What is your favorite hand-painted mani theme (e.g. florals, abstract, etc.)?  Tell me in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment