Friday, April 23, 2010

Exotic plumes

Hello ladies,

Today my nails remind me of the plumage of tropical birds. I used Hard Candy Frenzy for the base and created a gradient with pink and green glitter. Date Night and Sweet P sparkle from my tips.

I love the silky touch of clematis petals. This flower is the result of my friend David's fine gardening skills.

Hard Candy Frenzy was opaque in two coats. I used three for surety under bright sun and magnification. The creme formula applied well, but was not wholly colorfast with quick dry topcoat. The color became darker and slightly greener after one coat of CND Air Dry. I experimented a bit and found the longer I let Frenzy dry before adding top coat, the less pigment change I experienced.

Using a polish with fine glitter to create a gradient is more challenging than working with larger glitter pieces, but not impossible. I would recommend being comfortable with the gradient technique first. I made some modification to my usual method when applying Date Night and Sweet P. I recommend reading my tutorial first before continuing.

I painted a basic French using Date Night and let the tips dry completely. Then I worked nail by nail to form the gradient. I reinforced the French tip with a second coat and painted a line beneath. I applied the Smudge Fixer to the upper 70% of my nail. I emptied the brush of product and used it to tap the glitter down the nail. Working with smaller glitter is less precise. I ended up lightly dabbing pink glitter to the nail to cover spots that seemed too bare. I applied Sweet P last. I brushed most of the polish on the inner neck of the bottle and carefully dotted the nail randomly to create a mix of color.

This technique was certainly experimental. I'm looking forward to trying it again in a variety of palettes.

Hard Candy Frenzy and Date Night were sent to me for review. Sweet P is part of my personal collection. To learn more about Hard Candy cosmetics and nail color, please visit These polishes are available for purchase at Walmart retail locations and on-line at For a chance to win the entire collection of 16 Hard Candy Just Nails polishes, stop by the contest post to enter.

Happy painting, ladies!


  1. I love this! It really does remind me of tropical birds.

  2. Lovely colors!:D

    Have a relaxing weekend!:D
    ...and everything girly under the sun!

  3. This is a really beautiful mani!!

    And for David - nice gardening skills! Does he want to come spruce up my sad garden? :)

  4. What a beautiful mani. I've never tried a gradient, so what you're saying for a newbie it is better to use larger glitter pieces?

  5. Jean: Thank you so much! It's a shame I couldn't model my nails with a parrot! ;)

    Marie: Thank you! I love experimenting with color. I hope your weekend is lovely as well. <3

    Brooke: Thank you! I appreciate your kind words. It's a shame you don't live next door to David. He helps with gardening in exchange for his neighbor shoveling the walk during winter.

    Lacquer Ware: Thank you! I would recommend starting with larger, uniform glitter until you feel confident. Any polish from the Color Club Glitter Vixen Collection is a great choice. It's a fun technique to play with. :)

    Evil Angel: Thank you so much! I could write that same comment on your blog every day. xoxo!

  6. Adore the Clematis ring! David's very talented! Has to do with the sexy man hands I think ;) your mani is beautiful too, the colour is very vibrant! Love it xx

  7. Frenzy is just a great color! and those glitters omg I just a great touch! ~Patricia

  8. I love the bright contrast here! I'm not so good at gradients yet, but I love the look, especially on longer nails.

  9. Ooo, I really like it! I love glitter =]

  10. I love doing gradient nails with glitter. I'll have to try aqua with the green/gold some time.

  11. That's gorgeous ! I really love that turquoise base !

  12. The Diva's Polish: Danielle, thank you! David appreciated your compliments about his hands and related skills. I loved wearing this manicure. It was such a cheerful mix of bright shades. <3

    peripatetic33: Thank you, sweetie! <3

    Charity: *curtseys*

    ~Patricia: Thank you! I love bright shades on warm days. Glitter is such an eye catching addition.

    Lacquer Muse: Thanks! If there is any way I can help you with gradients, let me know. Drop me an e-mail. :)

    nihrida: You would be able to spot me at a distance with this look. ;)

    ShortAndSweetNails: Thank you! Creating glitter gradients is one of my favorite techniques. I will certainly do more of them. :)

  13. Silhouette Screams: Thanks so much, sweetie! <3

    Jessica: Thank you! I lined the three bottles up and loved how the colors worked together. I had to create a look with them. <3

    Kara: Thanks so much! Sweet P and Date Night are fabulous glitter polishes!

    Katrina: Thanks! Yes, do try it!

    Starlight: Thanks so much! I appreciate your sweet comment!

    Ayuu: Thank you! Frenzy is definitely an eye catching bright blue. :)

  14. Wow- I LOVE this look!! It reminds me of sari fabric and one of my belly dance costumes. Love, love, love!!

  15. Lisa: Thanks! Your comment reminds me of our discussion about belly dance theme nail polish. It would be fun to create looks based on your costumes. <3

  16. Beautiful! Love your gradient manicures. A bird with it's tropical plumage would be jealous of your manicure. David must have some mad gardening skills. The clematis is lovely. You should do some manicures as a theme using his garden.


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