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The Lacquer Legion: REINVENTION...Reinventing the Gradient for Valentine's Day

 press sample 
I'm so excited to show you my first mani as part of The Lacquer Legion. If you're not on board...it's easy...and there's still time! The Lacquer Legion is a low commitment, monthly nail art challenge, designed to celebrate the range of talent in the nail art community. Just interpret the monthly prompt any way you want, share your mani, and use the designated hashtag. That's it! Join when you can and no worries when you can't. How fun is that? This month's theme is REINVENTION (#LLreinvention). I was looking through my blog post commitments coming up and realized this was my one and only chance to get in a Valentine's Day look. So with that...here's my Valentine-hued gradient with a gradient.

Lacquer Legion Reinvention Gradient OPI Valentine Nail Art

This is actually a reinvention of last year's Valentine's mani that I produced for the 2013 Zoya Valentine's Day promotion (see it on the Zoya blog here). If you can't tell, I love striped manis. I also love pink and red together. I was toying around with the idea of layering a gradient going in two directions. For the base, I used the sponge technique to apply OPI Red and OPI If You Moust You Moust, placing the red at the cuticle. I gotta tell you, the hardest part about this mani was the clean-up. I had lobster fingers and cuticles that no amount of acetone would remedy. I ended up using topcoat, then waiting until this step was completely dry so I could give my hands a good scrub.

Lacquer Legion Reinvention Gradient OPI Valentine Nail Art

Last year's mani was all about perfect lines. This year I wanted more painterly stripes. So I free-handed the stripes using acrylic paint and a small nail art brush (my new favorite...it's a La Corneille 18/0 liner that I got at Michael's for like $4).  I placed two pink stripes at the cuticle (within the red) and two red stripes at the tip (in the pink). Then I mixed the two colors equally and drew the middle stripe. All that was left was to make a slightly more pink version for one side and a slightly more red version for the other. Seven stripes in all. Since the acrylic stripes had some depth to them, I finished with two coats of OPI Top Coat so the finish was absolutely smooth.

I love that when I look at it, it's not obvious what colors are stripes and what colors are the base...it all sort of melds together. It's totally the image I had in my mind. It's similar to my original, and yet so different at the same time. I can't wait to see everyone else's manis!


More on The Lacquer Legion: The Lacquer Legion, conceived by Sarah of Chalkboard Nails (myself, The Nailasaurus, and Rebecca Likes Nails are admins), will release a new nail art prompt every month. Join the fun by posting your mani on the designated day using the assigned hashtag. There's no commitment...participate as much or as little as you'd like. Get involved in the community and show your stuff! Everyone is welcome! Follow The Lacquer Legion on Facebook for upcoming prompts and info.