Friday, March 8, 2013

Money Smart Nail Art: matte stripes and roses tutorial!

Hey everybunny, happy Friday!! About a week or so ago I found out about the Money Smart Nail Art competition at MoneySupermarket. Basically for this competition the idea is to create a tutorial for nails that can be created inexpensively and make you feel awesome and pretty without spending a lot of money on a profesh manicure or lots of new clothes and jewelry and whatnot. I really liked the idea of doing a tutorial like that, but I've been so busy I was sure I wouldn't be able to pull it off in time.

Well, last night I was getting ready to do my nails and I was like, you know what? I'm gonna do it. I'm goin for it. IT'S TUTORIAL TIME. So I did some springy, pretty matte stripes with roses and then I made a tutorial!!

Dressed Up Nails - matte stripes with roses, spring/Easter nail art

I did this design first on my friend Brittony last weekend and she loved it, and I think it's really good for nail art on a budget because you only need a few things - some polish, a striping brush, and matte topcoat.

The polishes I used are all Sinful Colors, which are not only $2 each regularly, but also go on sale all the time. Right now they're actually on sale at Walgreens for 4/$5! You can buy a striping brush for only a couple dollars on eBay, Amazon, or Born Pretty Store. The matte topcoat I used is from MASH and is currently on sale for $4 - you can't beat that!

Dressed Up Nails - matte stripes with roses, spring/Easter nail art tutorial
LOOK AT THAT! Baby's first picture tutorial. This took me wayyy too long but I'm proud of how it came out, and next time it'll be a lot easier since I kind of have all the formatting and sizing down! You can also enlarge it to see the steps better. :)

1. Start with your base color. I used three coats of Sinful Colors Easy Going, a gorgeous suuuuper light pink that pulls almost neutral on me.

2. Using your striping brush and a second color, add stripes to your nails. I used Sinful Colors Sweet Tooth. The striping brush makes this so easy because all you have to do is sort of lay the brush on your nail and drag it. The stripes almost make themselves!

3. Using just the brushes from the polish bottles, make blobs of color at your cuticles. I used Sinful Colors Sweet Nothing (dark blue) and Sugar Rush (light blue). These can be as irregular and imperfect as you want.

4. Using your striping brush, add curved detail lines in opposing colors on the blobs. This doesn't have to be perfect either! Just picture the petals of a rose and paint curved lines haphazardly until it looks like you want.

5. Using your striping brush, add little leaves. I used Sinful Colors Mint Apple for my leaves. All you want to do is basically just touch the tip of your brush to the nail, which will make a nice little leaf shape.

6. Wait a few minutes, add your matte topcoat, and you're done!

Dressed Up Nails - matte stripes with roses, spring/Easter nail art

I like this design a lot because it's super cute and doesn't require a lot of effort or perfection. Doing stripes takes a little bit of practice, but it's amazing how fast you can get the hang of it. And if stripes seem too daunting, these would be just as cute without them!

Dressed Up Nails - matte stripes with roses, spring/Easter nail art

Dressed Up Nails - matte stripes with roses, spring/Easter nail art

When I first finished these I left them shiny and liked them okay, but once I added the matte topcoat I fell in love with them. This is the first time I've used the MASH matte top coat and it surprisingly ended up being my favorite that I own. I like it because it doesn't give a super dry matte finish - it's just the tiiiiniest bit shiny still, which I absolutely love the look of. It reminds me a bit of the Illamasqua rubber finish polishes. It also doesn't change the color of the polish as much as other matte topcoats!

I did a quick nail wheel comparison of this matte topcoat with the other two that I own. On the left is the MASH topcoat, middle is Essie Matte About You, and right is Butter London Matte Finish. They're all over China Glaze Fancy Pants (which is GORGEOUS) and I included Fancy Pants on its own at the top so you can see how each topcoat affects the color.

Dressed Up Nails - matte topcoat comparison with China Glaze Fancy Pants: Butter London, Essie, MASH

See what I mean about the MASH topcoat not being quite as matte as the others? I love it.

Whew, that was a BIG post! What do you guys think of my first tutorial? I'm really happy with the way it came out and it makes me excited to do more tutorials (including VIDEO tutorials) in the future!

MASH matte topcoat provided for review.


  1. Cute pattern! They look great. I love "Fancy Pants", wow! I just got Coconut Kiss and I'm not sure if it's a fake or not, it only has the one sticker on the bottom and applies horribly.

  2. They are adorable! The colours go so well together.

  3. what a great tutorial :)
    I love this idea- it's really cute !

  4. Beautiful! I always try to avoid using a striping brush cos I think of it as really difficult, but your tutorial makes it seem much simpler so I might get my striping brush out and try and get over my fear of it!

  5. This is pretty. I like the lines and the roses, it's so vintage :-D

  6. lovely..just loved the nail works in the blog. I always wonder how yo do this so beautifully.. It is really superb.. So pretty.. I also wish to do the same. :)

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