NOTD: Outer Space Mani with a Tutuorial

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Outer Space Manicure

I was inspired by this post from the e.l.f. blog to do an outer space manicure.  I thought the look was wicked cool and really wanted to give it a try myself.  This is my first attempt at free-hand nail art, and the first time I tried sponge painting my nails.  I think I may have been a little heavy handed with the glitter (stars), but otherwise, I’m really pleased with how it came out. (Click photos to enlarge.)

To accomplish this look, you will need the following:

  • Black (or near-black) nail polish
  • 2 colored shades that look well together and will layer well*
  • A paper plate, or piece of paper
  • Sponge
  • Glitter polish (stars)
  • Base coat and Top coat (optional)

The shades that I used

Here is what I did:

  1. Apply a base coat to avoid staining.  I used Seche Vite base coat.
  2. Paint your nails normally with black polish.  I used Wet n Wild Megalast (old version) in “Blackmail”.  Let nails dry completely.  You may wish to use a topcoat before moving on to step 3.  I chose to add a layer of Seche Vite top coat.  I’ve found in my stamping efforts that if I am careful, I can use a little polish remover to remove mistakes without messing up my base color if there is a layer of topcoat in between.  Since I’d never attempted this before, I assumed that I would mess up, so I wanted insurance.  As it turns out, I didn’t need to have used the topcoat because I didn’t mess up, but that decision is up to your discretion.
  3. Place a small pool of color polish #1 on a paper plate or a folded up piece of paper.  Use a damp sponge (I just used a makeup sponge) to sponge paint a layer over the black.  Don’t go too thick, or you will just end up with a colored blob.  If your polish is too sheer, do more than one layer.  Try not to cover the whole nail because you want some of the black to show through.  For this step I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in “Grape Going!”.
  4. Repeat step 3 with color polish #2.  You may want to go back and forth between the two polishes a couple times for added dimension (especially if you have really long nails), but it’s not necessary to achieve the look.  For this step I used O.P.I. Nail Lacquer in “La Paz-itively Hot”.
  5. Top with a glitter polish to add stars.  I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in “Twinkle Twinkle”.  If you find the glitter gives you a really uneven finish, you can also top with a thick top coat like Seche Vite to smooth everything out.

*The original image that inspired this look used pink and purple/blue shades, so I chose to go in that direction as well.  However, this look would look great with blues and greens, or red and oranges, so feel free to experiment.  Just realize that the sponge painted layers are really thin, so you don’t want shades that are going to look muddy when layered.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and let me know if you try this mani yourself.  🙂

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About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

3 responses »

    • Very cool! I have a question that comes from my ignorance on proper nail painting procedures (when I paint my nails, I rarely use a base coat or top coat, and it’s usually only one coat of color… profoundly lazy, I am): do you need to account for additional drying time when you use multiple layers of polish, or is the drying time for a given polish the same regardless of how many layers of paint it’s sitting on top of?

      I’d love to try a mani like this, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the time to do it at home…

      • Base and top coats usually dry pretty fast. Base coats are used to prevent staining and to help even out the surface of the nail to provide an even canvas to paint on. Top coats give a glossy finish and help wear-time. Some are specifically fast drying to help your manicure dry faster so you can get on with your life. Dry time varies from polish to polish, and yes, the thickness of the layer will effect dry time. A thin layer of polish dries super fast, so the sponge paint layers in the space mani don’t take very long to dry at all. If I’m doing a normal one color mani, I paint a base coat and let dry for a couple minutes. Then I do my first layer of color on all 10 fingers. By the time I’m done with my second hand, the first hand is dry enough for the second coat. I let that sit for another minute and then add my top coat. Some top coats dry in minutes and, as long as you’re not too rough, will let you use your hands right away without messing up your nails. Seche Vite is a great one for that. Revlon also has a good fast-dry top coat. I prefer not to take the risk, so I usually paint my nails while I watch TV and can avoid using my hands for a half hour or so, but not everyone has that luxury. If you don’t have a large block of time for your nails, try painting the black polish one night and then finish up the rest of the mani the next day. HTH

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