Saturday, May 17, 2014

Spring Honey Bee Nail Art

It's been a crazy couple of weeks! I'm finishing up my masters degree, and finals week is finally drawing to a close.  All this time spent studying, finishing projects, and proctoring tests meant no time for manicures or even makeup!  What ensued were several sleepless nights and a whole lot of days spent with dry cracked lips and cuticles... and some scary eyebrows.  After a week like that, I needed some self-pampering to reset my system and motivate myself to tie up all of the loose ends of the semester.  At first, I was feeling a bit uninspired, but after a quick perusal of my stamping plates, I came across a honeycomb pattern and knew just what to do... a springtime honeybee manicure!

I could swear I cropped this photo at one point... huh!  Too lazy to fix it now.
I'm just a week away from moving all of my belongings down to Knoxville... just writing that makes my stomach flutter with excitement, and a little nervousness!  I've spent my whole life living in New York, and haven't been further south than Maryland (except for a layover in Charlotte, but I never left the airport so it doesn't count haha!).  Up in New York, it's been such a cold winter that the trees just leafed out (we had snow until the end of April where I am).  With the newly springy weather, the lawn has become polka-dotted with dandelions, and the bumblebees are everywhere!  Bees are such a sign of spring to me; while I give them a wide berth for both their sake and mine, I can appreciate the important role that bees and other insects play in the propagation of both wild and cultivated plants.  I won't write an essay here about the environmental impact of bees, but suffice it to say, they're fascinating little creatures!  I recently read an article about a book (I know, so meta) that was recently released by Laline Paul entitled The Bees, about a worker bee who challenges the hive hierarchy.  Its premise, being from an animal's perspective, brings Watership Down to mind, but as I've not yet read the latter, I can't comment.  I'm definitely planning to pick up The Bees when I have a bit more cash though!  Definitely looking forward to having some time to read again.

This one's name is Thumbelina.

ANYHOO.  Got a bit off track there, didn't I!?  My honey-bee inspired manicure was created with 3 thin coats of Julie G polish Canary Islands, which is a gorgeous, warm and saturated buttery yellow.  I stamped a honeycomb over the canary yellow with Sally Hansen Forsythia, which is a muted mustard with a hint of white shimmer.  I have had it forever, and I believe it is discontinued, which is a shame, as it's quite beautiful.  The bees were painted by hand using a very small brush, using China Glaze White on White, Sinful Colors Black on Black, and Julep Stella.  After I painted the bees, I accentuated the highlights and shadows of the honeycomb in the background with Julep Stella and Revlon Colorstay in Buttercup.

Some wonky bees on my right hand!
This manicure is so cheerful; from a distance it looks like little windows into a hive, with all the little bees bustling about.  I may or may not have worn giant enamel and rhinestone bee earrings to school today...

On a related note, I've been working on rehabing my nails from this terrible winter and getting into a cuticle care regime.  They're not quite there yet, but looking back at my spring dogwood blossom post, I think it's safe to say I've come a long way (with cuticle cleanup, too... yikes!).  I'm using Nail Tek II Intensive Therapy as a base, topped with Nail Tek Foundation.  While it recommends using the IT as a topcoat, I don't see much benefit, as it's not going to touch my nails, so I just use Salon Perfect topper.  Hopefully I can get some length pretty soon... more area to make pretty paintings on :^)