So for this look, I wanted it to to have a gradation in texture, pattern and lustrous colour – as this was inspired by “One Thousand and One Nights” (English translation – Arabian Nights).
No doubt you’ve read or been read one of these amazing folk-tales, as OT&ON is a massive collection of stories from West and South Asia, complied in Arabic. Popular tales featured in these texts (dating back to the Islamic Golden Age) are “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” “the Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor” and “Aladdins Wonderful Lamp.” All sprinkled with strong female heroines, typical kissy-face stories (blek), tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and various forms of erotica – and yet they live on… somewhat sanitised and read to children, who knew?
You know the drill – Prep + Prime, thin base coat – cure.
Rounding up my talon looks:
Pinky and Index are a mid-tone teal (you could easily substitute a similar hue, keep it subdued and not too bright) this colour will also be the base tones for both the thumb and middle finger. I didn’t want the colour pay off too intense, as the emphasis is the contrast in texture for aFrench Manicure using matte and gloss topcoats. Pinky and Index really are the backup dancers… they can look pretty, but don’t draw focus.
For all digits, excluding ring finger apply 2 – 3 layers (depending on opacity) of mid-tone hue – I used Harmony Gelish Garden Teal Party – cure. (Leave thumb and middle finger alone at this stage)
For pinky and index apply 1 thin coat of a mattifying topcoat, I used Gelish Harmony Matte top coat – cure.
With your gloss topcoat, following the natural line of your nail length paint your French tips on – cure.
Thumb is a South Asian inspired henna – very fitting considering the subject matter and I have included a quick scribble so you can try this looks out (see below)!
Using a stylus and a metallic contrast in gold, I used Harmony Gelish Meet the King – follow the above diagram and work through the steps to reproduce the henna pattern. Once your happy with the look – cure. Topcoat with glossy topcoat – coat. Three piggies down, 2 to go!
Middle finger is inspired by all those gorgeous Asian silks – think caravans hauling these bolts of exotic fabrics through the Silk Road. Lines of vendors with camels as far as they eye can see, who travelled for months with the constant threat of ambush. Their precious cargo; beautifully textured, offset by the emphasis of the lustrous colour vs. decadent gold threads woven through the warps and wefts. An alien concept now, but fully explored in OT&ON and this is what makes it so appealing to audiences now.
Never been one to really doll up my mid-section – due to my preference to discrete bird flipping. And before you start; the gesture is not in disrespect, more to throw people of their stride. Start with a really excitable, animated wave – and then freeze to a total deadpan bird flip. It’s. Bloody. Riveting.
Again I have included a quick scribble so you can try this looks out (see below)!
Using your stylus, blot a straight lines of dots with your gold polish onto the manicured nail. Then drag the stylus through the blotted spots, to created a line. Note this doesn’t need to be perfect line – gels are on the fluid side of viscous and you’ll need to work quick. Repetitive movements tend to create more issues than smoother line work! Also, the glitter of the gold vs. the block creates a pseudo-silk feel similar to the look and finish of textiles. Once your happy with all your line work – cure. Apply a glossy topcoat – cure.
Now for a bit of a naughty one, and be gentle this was my first time – the nude feature nail. *Gasps* THE HUMANITY! Well not totally nude, like… a classy burlesquey type nude, although would still be arrested walking down the street – because My Darlings, pasties are not street appropes. Even in Australia where Ugg Footwear is deemed evening appropriate – I know. I know, Down-under is a little upside-down? Moving on!
Ring finger, which is my personal favourite feature nail – it kind of just stuck that way, even my Mother queries why I’m so fussy with this talon. Cannot provide a logical excuse, other than it’s fabulous, Darling!
Begin with a black half-moon French manicure – I used Harmony Gelish Black Shadow; try and get a clean line against your cuticle with this one – the amount of contrast, it’s really noticeable if you go over a week between manis. With another contrast hue, and you can choose a higher tonal value than your base – I used Harmony Gelish You Glare I Glow and apply a French nail tip – Cure. Reapply another coat of both the black and the contrast – cure.
With the same gold from the previous digits, using your stylus trace the outer edge of your black half-moon and the dot junction between the French tip/exposed nail bed – this step can be used to tidy up any wobbles in your line work and ensure both hands are symmetrical. Once you’re happy with the symmetry – cure.
If you have a clear polish with a little glitter, bit not too much to draw focus from the lines you’ve been busting your camel hump on (lol, pun) – apply a layer of the clear glitter, I used Harmony Gelish Silver Sands (I hardly use this one, but its a gorgeous AB crystal finish) – cure. Apply a layer of top-coat, remove residual and apply cuticle oil/balm.
And you’re done – this one is one of the ones I started just after dinner and finished just before midnight. I absolutely adore this look, and even though it may be a little over-the-top and decadent – it’s a throwback to a time where there wasn’t instant gratification or international overnight shipping. Textiles, spices, precious stones – were coveted not only for their beauty, because procuring them was fraught with peril. Tales like the ones in One Thousand and One Nights would keep these merchant’s spirits up, distract them from the gruelling reality of their livelihood -bringing treasures from one side of the continent to nobles, royalty, sultans… Fabulous.
Disclaimer – I apologies if there’s any spelling errors – recovering from wisdom teeth removal surgery, and am coming down from pain medication.
Bastards even made me de-talon – exact words used…”We’ll you need you to remove those acrylics”…
I would of made a witty/snarky comment, but they would have full access to my unconscious body and would had to wake up with one missing eyebrow or better yet a kidney.
Although, I must admit – I do like to have a glass of wine with a post… but that’s a no-no for now.
So what you think, Darling?
Share your experiences with contrasting colour and pattern stories below – what worked, what didn’t work and Darling, how did you work it?!
Remember – there’s no such thing too much combinations!