Friday, September 6, 2013

Koi Mani

Koi Markings mani - Shade
Koi Mani

Hi folks! I'm out of town for the weekend, but I'm so excited about this manicure that I couldn't wait until Monday to feature it.  Its inspired by Koi and the various markings each breed has.  I've always thought Koi were beautiful creatures and their colors are perfect for this transitional period between Summer and Fall!

I used this photo for inspiration and reference.

Left Hand
Pinkie = 8
Ring = 13
Middle = 17
Index = 19
Thumb = My own creation

Right Hand
Pinkie = 32
Ring =  18
Middle = 35
Index = 21
Thumb = 7

Zoya - Kyle2;  Starrily - Walking On Fire;  Zoya - Kate

JulieG - White Orchid;  Zoya - Ginessa

JulieG - Black Sheep;  Starrily - Flight of the Bumblebee

Top Coats
Zoya - Hurry Up Fast Dry Drops*;  Zoya - Chloe;  Sally Hansen - Diamond Flash

I started with a coat of JulieG - White Orchid on all of my nails except my right middle finger and right thumb.  I followed the white with a coat of Zoya - Ginessa.  For the bare thumb and finger started with a Jelly Sandwich of Zoya - Kylie2, then Starrily - Walking On Fire, then Zoya - Kate.

From there, I used a dotting tool to make the patterns and markings on the nails, sometimes overlapping colors (like on the left Index finger).  The more imperfect it is, the better it looks- it reminded me of doing leopard print in that sense!  Anytime I wanted orange in places I followed the same Jelly Sandwich process to keep the look congruent.

For the black areas, I kept the Flight Of The Bumblebee sparse, and overlapped onto the white just a little to get a few of the tiny black glitters to show up. I did the same in a few places with Walking On Fire, just to add to the 'scale' look.  I added Zoya - Chloe over each nail before topcoating.  Chloe really shows off her magic over dark polishes, and in this look she adds a slight 'scaley' texture to the black areas without adding color.

My left thumb ended up with a Gradient/Jelly Sandwich combo, which I think turned out really cool.
Koi Markings mani - Sunlight
Direct sunlight

I tried a more simple, abstract version of this before removing it and trying for more realistic markings.  I think this lovely too and perfect for someone who wants this look but isn't confident in their nail art skills.  Its just layering glitters over base colors!

Abstract Koi markings achieved by layering glitters.
Abstract Koi markings achieved by layering glitters.
For this I used:
JulieG - Black Sheep
JulieG - White Orchid
Zoya - Kylie2
Starrily - Walking On Fire
Starrily - Flight of the Bumblebee
Starrily - White Noise
JulieG - Cleopatra's Cobra
Zoya - Chloe
Sally Hansen - Diamond Flash Top Coat

You could also change this up by doing the solid orangey-coral color on all your nails and doing a Koi Pattern on an accent nail if these are too busy for your liking.

So there's some ideas for a different animal print to try out!  You could use any orange, black, or white polish, and several brands make Mylar top coats now, but I must say that Starrily's glitters** are fabulous for this look!

If you decide to recreate these looks, please share some photos with me at or on The Dragon's Vanity Facebook page!  Have a great weekend everyone!

*There are a LOT of layers in this look so the Fast-Dry Drops helped ensure each layer was cured before the next layer went over it.  You could probably do this look without them, but it would take forever for it to dry.

**No, I am not being compensated for mentioning Starrily, I just really like their products and believe in supporting small businesses.

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