Friday, January 12, 2018


I may live in Canada, but I'm not a big fan of the cold weather. Regardless, I'm always excited for December because of EXO's Winter Album releases! This year they released their Fourth Winter Special Album with the title song Universe, and the cafe theme of the music video gave me some fun ideas for a nail design!

I always have a soft spot for exo winter albums, but I thought that this one was particularly good; I really enjoyed all of the songs, especially Universe and Been Through!
The music video for Universe was really pretty aesthetically, and really balanced soft browns and creams with darker black. I wanted to capture that colour scheme in the design while still reflecting the cafe concept.

Of course the nail that I was most adamant about including in the design - the middle one with latte art - turned out to be the most aggravating nail. My original plan had been to hand paint the latte art, but I quickly abandoned that idea after trying to paint it and seeing how off it looked. After removing that messy attempt I reevaluated and realized that water marbling would probably be the easiest way to get natural looking curves and gradients for the design. Clearly, this was easier said then done. I had gone out to buy a new warm-brown polish for this design because all of mine are cooler, and thank god it was on sale because I used probably a third of the bottle trying to drag the polish around the way I wanted. I haven't done watermarbling in years and it was definitely more of a struggle than I remember. I feel like most of the hardship came from wanting the marble mimic a very specific look, so that's something that I'll have to remember for future designs.

I was actually pretty surprised at how well the steam on the pinky nail came out. I usually use this technique when I want to make a shape with hard outlines, but this time I was more interested in creating a soft, smokey look. In order to accomplish this I gently scratched off some of the hard outlines after soaking up excess paint.

While I do like all of the different parts of this design, I think my favorite one has to be the thumb nail.
I got some new, legit nail art brushes from Mitty as a late Christmas present and this was the first time I tried them out. I can't even begin to tell you guys just how much of a difference it makes working with actual good quality brushes. I honestly didn't think it would be that different, but you can really tell how much better they are than the brush I've been using for the past few years. I used 000 Peachy and 00 Candy to paint the cup on the thumb and even though it was super intricate and required a lot of shading I didn't have any problems with it at all. The stiffness of the brushes made it so easy to paint the outline of the cup, and the smallest brush made painting that tiny little exo logo way easier than I thought it was going to be. Overall super impressed with these brushes and so happy with how this nail turned out!

If you're interested in recreating this design or just want to see the process behind it, I filmed a tutorial for it which you can check out below! If you do recreate this design for yourself please remember to credit me and tag your pics with #looknyanails so that I can see them!


Products Used:
CND - Clear Top Coat
CND - Svelte Suede
Essie - Grow Stronger Base Coat
Essie - Licorice
Essie - Mink Muffs
Essie - Mochachino
L'Oreal - Moka Chic
Nature Republic - Shy Yellow
OPI - I Blanked Out
OPI - My Vampire is Buff
OPI - Primarily Yellow
Sally Hansen - Eel Skin
Sally Hansen - In Nude-tral
Sally Hansen - Seize the Gray
Sally Hansen - White On


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