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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beauty and the Beach

Late post, I know! I just wanted to make sure I got in this entry on time for the Travel Supermarket Beauty and the Beach competition, because, as usual, I am cutting it really close to the deadline! *sheepish grin*

The competition calls for you to submit your best vacation nails, and when I think of vacation my mind automatically goes to the beach. It's freaking hot here in the middle of the desert, and on 110 degree days, I often dream of lounging on a beach.

I really wanted to focus on the small details of a beach, though. I wanted to break it down and pay attention to some of the specific elements of a beach scene in a simple, abstracted way.


My mind immediately went to the sunlit patterns you'd see on the ocean floor. I'm not sure how to describe them -- reflections? Distortions? I love that they are constantly changing and moving. I tried to replicate the look of clear Caribbean ocean water on my nails by first creating a gradient of China Glaze For Audrey and white. Then, using an It's So Easy Nails Stripe Rite in white, I freehanded the patterns over the top of it.


On my accent nails, I wanted to try to convey the texture of sand. I started with a base of OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons and then added dots of lighter and darker nudes over the top.

The final accent on this manicure was a little coral colored starfish that I freehanded on using theBalm Orange You Glad You're Not Blue?. Of course, since this manicure is all about the details, I also added texture to the starfish's back.


I'm so pleased with the way that this turned out. I love the idea of zooming in on some specific elements of a beach, so you really need to look at all the nails together to get the full picture. It's kind of like what all those fancy chefs do nowadays, right? Deconstructed food? This is a deconstructed beach!

Thanks for reading!

53 comments:

  1. I think those look so great! I wish my cuticles could look at perfect as yours! Any tips? I do nail art too, so I would love if you dropped by my blog and check out my work :D


    Samantha
    NailArtCouture

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  2. Oh, I'm so loving this one! The water, the sand, the starfish, it's perfect :)

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  3. Sarah, these are beautiful! And totally perfect for a vacation theme too! I love the elements you focused on. I absolutely get that relaxing feeling of light dancing through the ripples in the water. Your sand is so nicely textured too, and tiny starfish for the win! The whole design is fabulous and fun, and it also has this great vibe that's happy and relaxed--everything a vacation is supposed to be! Best of luck in the competition! ^_^

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  4. I completely LOVE this! You captured all the textures so well!

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  5. wow the texture for your "beachsand" nails are epic!

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  6. OMG, so pretty! you really nailed all the details! awesome job!

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  7. i think this might already be the winner lol :)

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  8. Amazing! other contestants has no chance ;)

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  9. This is absolutely jawdropping! Since I'm a beach/sea/sun/summeraholic this mani makes me wanna plunge immediately *sigh*sob*
    ATM it's raining here, what for a nice flashback to my beloved summer!

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  10. Amazing nail art. You really nailed the sand... and that little starfish is adorable!

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  11. So pretty! and so clever!
    Looks amazing!

    Jazz x

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  12. How can you do that? Every time I stare at one of your new designs, open mouthed and completely breathless, I know there's absolutely no way to astound me any better.
    Yet - you break my mental limits every time!
    I don't even know the english words to express what I feel when I see this mani so i'll use amazingly beautiful. But it is so much more then that!

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  13. This is really gorgeous! Love it!

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  14. It is so realistic, the sand seems so true! I love this nail art it makes me want to go to the beach :)

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  15. Oh wow look at all that texture! These are sooooo beautiful!

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  16. Wow! This is so beautiful! Makes me want a vacation :)

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  17. I really, really love these. The water reflection pattern is so perfect.

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  18. Wow! This is absolutely stunning!! The sand look so real! I hope you win.

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  19. OMG!! It's a amazing nail art! Congratulations!!
    I'm your brazilian fan!!
    Kisses!

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  20. I love these so much! The ocean reflection nails are my favorite, they're the perfect color to match the Caribbean and the pattern looks realistic. I love the little starfish addition too :)

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  21. That is so beautiful.. you captured what you were going for SPOT ON. <3

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  22. OK, you are officially my nail polish HERO!!! OMG, this is soooo amazing!!

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  23. you're amazing - these are beautiful~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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  24. This is so beautiful, I love the beach :)

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  25. Wahoo, it's really beautiful! I a nail polish addict and seeing your nail art makes me want to improve my self in nail art. I think i'm in LOVE with your blog!! LOL

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  26. I love these!! It would have been cool if you sponged the first layer of your sandy nails to give it a slightly gritty texture

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  27. Love this I live in the virgin islands n this reminds of my fave beaches.....LOVE IT!!!!! I'm inspired to try it
    :-)

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  28. this is nice. very soothing to look at. And as always, very neat. :)

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  29. Stunning. This is so beautiful and captures the ocean perfectly :)

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  30. Wow! The "sand" is especially amazing.

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  31. Wow this is stunning! Looks amazingly like real sand!

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  32. This mani is freaking amazing! I wish I had half your talent! Just beautiful!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I'm a new follower, yay! =D

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  33. Totally awesome !! Saw you live in AZ too ? cool ! I have a small beauty blog would love for you to check it out :-) http://sparklemepink.com

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  34. Janica Jace JanssenJune 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    omg this is so cute, it's actually upsetting me.. LOL.

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  35. Just did this myself. Not as good as yours but for a month into nail art, not too shabby!

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  36. So cute !!!!

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