Hi everyone! I am back with exciting nail art…finally! This month’s outrageous workload may be wearing me down a lot, and we’re only one week in, but I still really wanted to do nail art so I made it happen.
Today I’ve got another seasonal design to add to my fall nail art catalog: a pumpkin patch! The idea for this design came about when I shopped at Julep’s secret store this month and picked up the “Pumpkin Patch” duo (Mariska and Lizanne). When I thought about the two colors together, I went with the obvious and decided to use both polishes, plus a whole bunch of others, to paint a pumpkin patch on my nails. Since this idea was pretty heavily related to Julep’s “Pumpkin Patch” duo, I decided to go with Julep polishes for the whole thing. Besides, so many Julep polishes are sitting in my box of untrieds – just waiting to have their moment to shine – so I thought I’d give a bunch of them a go. I have a mini-tutorial at the end for anyone interested in seeing the process!
There really have been quite a few fall designs that I’ve done recently. Autumn is definitely nail art season for me.
Given that I was going to use the two colors in the Pumpkin Patch duo (Mariska – vibrant orange, Lizanne – saturated green), I made all my polish choices on that basis. To add dimension the pumpkins and vines, I picked two additional shades each of orange and green: one lighter and one darker. I wanted the pumpkins and vines to be vibrant, like the colors in the duo, so I thought it would be good to use a subtle, muted background to avoid distracting too much from the pumpkins. I decided to do a smoky gray gradient as the background to offset the cheery pumpkins with something gloomy and mysterious. That would make the pumpkins really pop! All the polishes I used (in order) are:
- Julep Bergen (medium blue-gray shimmer) – base color and medium gradient shade
- Julep Isla (white chrome) – light gradient shade
- Julep Stevie (dark concrete gray shimmer) – dark gradient shade
- Julep Brielle (bunrt orange creme) – dark pumpkin shade
- Julep Mariska (vibrant orange subtle shimmer) – medium pumpkin shade
- Julep Saaya (light yellow orange shimmer) – light pumpkin shade
- Julep Lizanne (saturated medium green subtle shimmer) – medium vines shade
- Julep Ryan (dark muted teal creme with matte finish) – dark vines shade
- Julep Leah (bright grass green shimmer) – light vines shade
Whew! That was quite a list! I used a whopping 9 polishes here, though I’m sure I could have reduced it down to 5 if I didn’t do the gradient and I eliminated the two other greens. But I wanted to go all out on this manicure, so I incorporated all the polishes I desired.
While I do have a mini-tutorial at the end, I’ll describe the process in the text of this post as well. To begin, I painted two coats of Bergen (blue-gray), taped off my cuticles, and sponged the gradient on top with Isla (white) and Stevie (dark gray). Since I wanted a more subtle gradient effect, I didn’t put too much of the lighter and darker shades on the sponge, and didn’t go to full opacity with either of them. Here’s what the gradient looked like before removing the tape:
And after cleanup:
As you can see, the tape got quite heavily doused with excess polish, meaning that my cuticles didn’t have to take the blow. When I removed the tape, cleanup was SO much easier. I highly recommend taping off your cuticles if you do a gradient; you’ll save time (and stains!) in the end.
I wore the gradient around for a day, and then painted the pumpkins on. The process essentially involves using a small brush to paint all the details, so there aren’t any special tricks here. I began by painting on Brielle (burnt orange) using a flat brush that was rounded at the corners. This brush worked really well for making crisp boundaries for the orange blobs that would become the pumpkins. I then used a thin striper brush to paint on Mariska (vibrant orange) in curves going longitudinally around the blobs; these made the ridges of the pumpkins. To add the highlights, I carefully placed Saaya (light orange) in the middle of the ridges. On some of the pumpkins, I ended up going back with Brielle and Mariska to correct any imperfections with the ridge definition, and to blend all the colors nicely. For the vines, I painted on Lizanne (medium green) with a thin striper brush, and went over it selectively with Ryan (dark teal) and Leah (bright green) to add definition. To paint the heart-shaped leaves, I used the technique of placing a small dot using a brush, and then dragging the brush away to give the dot a tail. I then made another dot close by, and dragged the brush towards the tail of the first dot to create a point. And done!
I LOVE it! The bright pumpkins are the center of attention for sure, and they really pop against the muted background, which is exactly what I was going for. I really like how the gradient in the background is still interesting, while not being distracting. And all the detail work came out nicely in this manicure. Mostly, I’m just pleased with how festive and seasonally appropriate this nail art is!
To show you all the process, I made this mini-tutorial that shows the steps in the process with minimal descriptions. I didn’t think that a full tutorial would be appropriate since there aren’t any special tricks to this manicure that a tutorial would help clarify, and most of the work is just detail brush work anyways. At least it’ll give you an idea of how this all went down:
But wait…I’m not done yet! This post contains a sneak peek of my next manicure, and you get to see it since you made it all the way to the end. How exciting! My Julep October Maven box arrived in the mail two days ago, and considering how lovely the colors are, I’m eager to try them out in the near future. In some previous posts, I’ve mentioned that I want to make it a “thing” on my blog to do nail art featuring the new Julep Maven colors for each month. So I messed around a little on a piece of paper and came up with this idea (you’ll have to click on the link to see it).
What do you think? Let me know!