Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nail Art: Harley Quinn Inspired

Part 2: Dry Brush
Here's another quick, easy, and eye-catching Harley Quinn inspired nail tutorial!
You'll need:
Hot pink polish
Bright Blue polish
White polish
Clean up brush, acetone, and quick-dry spray
A paper towel or napkin
I'm sorry about the awful photos- I'm not sure what went wrong, but this is all I have to work with.  😐
This is a simple dry brush technique.  Start off with one coat of white polish, and let it dry to the touch. You HAVE to do this, otherwise it'll smear everywhere.  Now pick your first color (I started with blue) and wipe the brush off on the edge of the bottle.

  Then, wipe the remaining polish on the brush off on the paper towel, so you don't have much left.

Now, brush the stiff, slightly dry brush (get it?) across your nail, so you have streaks of color.  Like this:

Repeat with your next color.

If needed layer the blue and pink one more time to get enough color laydown.  Then dry brush over it with white, add clear coat, and bam!  That's all!

Dry brushing is one of my favorite techniques, and people always seem to notice it!
Later!  😗🙌😼§💅👻

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Black "mosaic" nail art

Just a quick post for today.  If you've already seen my Harley Quinn nail art post, you've already heard my basic warning about striping tape, which is a large part of this manicure.
You'll need:
Black nail polish
Basecoat (optional)
Clear nail polish (not quick drying)
Striping tape
Chunky glitter
A dotting tool
Clean up brush, acetone, and quick-dry spray
Now, about the "chunky glitter".  I got mine from a jar that was a decoration at a baby shower.  The jar came to me from a relative, so I have no idea what the glitter used in it is.  It's small shards and pieces of gold glitter, that could also be little bits of metal.  If I can ever find this product somewhere on the internet I'll post a link but for now, this is the closest that I can find.
EDIT: Soooooooo....  I was at Walmart the other day, and I saw my "chunky glitter."  They're freaking rock granules, and you use them in vases for either fake or real flowers.  I can't find a link, but I feel like an idiot.  I STUCK ROCKS TO MY NAILS AND WONDERED WHY IT WAS HARD TO REMOVE.
....  I'm an idiot....
Now, you can start with basecoat, but I skipped that step and went straight to taping.

I decided to use straight lines and tape my nails off into four different quadrilateral shapes.  After that, I just went in and painted over the whole  thing with black polish.
Paint two coats of black polish, then use your tweezers to take of the striping tape.

All right, now dump some glitter onto your work surface (I used a piece of parchment paper) and a drop of your clear nail polish.  This was impossible to get a picture of, but using your dotting tool (or end of a bobby pin) pick up a drop of the clear polish and sort of drag it along the lines between the black.  Now, using the slightly sticky bobby pin, pick up ONE piece of glitter, and place it on the line.  From there on, it's basically a game of mosaics.  Try not to go off the edges of your nail, and it's really cool if you fit the pieces together nicely.  However, this will take a very long time.  And by long, I mean two hours from start to finish.  
So, once you're done, apply topcoat, spray, and then start crying when you realize that getting the damned glitter off with acetone/remover will be next to impossible.  (trust me- it is)

Sorry about the cruddy pictures.  These were the only ones that were even remotely decent.  
Until next time!  🀚⛉♙😷😾

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Social Media

All righty then.  So, I can't get the blogger gadget with the cute little social media symbols to work properly, so until I can get that to work, all my social media links will be in this happy post which I will have as the featured post on the sidebar!
My YouTube channel is here.  So far, all I'm posting are lyric videos, but I'll probably expand to some fan videos soon.  Nail art, hairstyles, and DIY videos are still a future possibility.  My camera takes horrid videos, and I can't afford a fancy-pants video camera right now.
My pinterest is here.  I know, I know.  I need to do something more with it.  I plan to get more stuff pinned, and more boards created soon!
My Minds account is here.  Yes, I get it.  I kind of suck at social media.  I promise that'll change!
And if your're wondering why I'm using Minds instead of Facebook, it's because I'm cool.  😎
I think that's all for now.  There's another nail art post coming soon, and HOPEFULLY another DIY.  As long as I can get my rear in gear and finish it.
Later!  😉😒🙈♛🎴
PS. I have just realized that I can title my posts....  I am definitely NOT internet savvy.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nail Art: Harley Quinn Inspired

Part 1: Messy Striping Tape Mani

Hello, everyone!
Yes, I know no one is reading this blog.  The greeting is there for future viewers.
In any case, I was watching some snippets from Suicide Squad, and I really liked Harley's blue, pink, and platinum blonde hair.  (Who doesn't?)  So, I decided to start a Harley Quinn inspired nail art series, beginning with a colorful, messy look.  Kind of something Harley would do if she tried nail art.  Of course, before she's finished, the Joker would waltz in, and be like "Yo!  Let's go terrorize the locals!" and Harley just slathers on the polish 'cause she wants to get going.
(Don't judge; it's half past eleven)
So, moving on, I decided to go with a striping tape mani.  I used...
Striping tape (from Amazon)
Sally Hansen "Watercolor" (from Target)
OPI "Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!" (I think from Meijer-?)
China Glaze "White on White" (from Sally Beauty Supply)
ELF unnamed sheer pink polish (part of a gift set from Target)
L.A. Colors top coat (from the Dollar Tree)
An angled clean up brush, Acetone, and nail polish drying spray (more on this later)

I haven't had very good luck with basecoat lately, so I decided to skip it and go straight to striping tape.  I applied two pieces of tape diagonally to each nail, so I had three sections.
Do both hands at once; striping tape is a monster to apply with wet polish!
The blue and pink polishes stain horribly, so a put on a coat of the sheer pink polish to function as a barrier. Now, paint a slash of white polish down the middle.  Don't keep it on the middle section, but don't cover the whole nail either!
Now slather on the pink and blue on either side.  Overlap with the white, let the colors smear together- this is supposed to be messy!
Now, peel off the striping tape (a pair of tweezers helps!)
Continue with all of your fingers.
Now, striping tape is evil, and it will lift off the nail.  Or the polish floods the line when the tape is removed.  Whichever.  You might end up with polish on your stripes like this.  
You can leave it, or use your clean up brush and acetone to clear it up a bit.  
Clean up around the cuticles, add topcoat, spray, and done!

Now, about that nail polish spray.  This is a product that you spray on tacky nail polish to "instantly" dry it.  It works like instant dry topcoat, though faster.  There are two available that I know of.  One made by Leighton Denny which is ALWAYS sold out online, and one by Beauty Secrets, available exclusively at Sally Beauty Supply.  The Leighton Denny is the best, but the Beauty Secrets is cheaper, and easier to obtain.  I HIGHLY recommend this product, in any case.  😉
Bye all!  😃😀😋🐈🐈

Saturday, April 22, 2017

DIY: Yoshi Eggs

Here's a post for all you Mario lovers out there!  I spotted a tutorial on how to make Yoshi eggs and decided I would make some too (who doesn't love Yoshi?).  Of course, being an dork, I decided to take the tutorial and make it harder.  Yes, you heard that right.  Harder.
So, if you have spray paint handy, roll your eyes, move on, and make yourself some Yoshi eggs.  If you don't, but are interested in my convoluted method, keep reading!

You'll need:
Plastic eggs (I got a six-pack at Walmart for $.88.)
Spackle (I got a jar at the Dollar Tree for a buck)
Acrylic paint (White and whatever colors you want.  A bit of black can come in handy too)
Paintbrushes (A larger brush for painting the whole egg, and a small brush for painting the spots)
A piece of sandpaper (I used 80 grit, available at the Dollar Tree)
A glove (latex, vinyl, dishwashing gloves, whatever you don't mind getting plaster on)

Start by separating the two halves of your egg.  You can leave them together, but it's easier to work with in two pieces
Just cut the little tab thingy.

After that, cut any remaining connector.
This is optional, but you can sand the egg to remove the shiny surface.  I don't know if this helps anything adhere, but, hey, why not?
Now for the fun part.  Put the glove on your dominant hand.  Now slather on the spackle/wall filler/plaster.  Well, maybe not slather.  You don't need a thick coat, just enough to cover the whole egg, with little to no color showing through.  Now let it dry.  COMPLETELY dry.

Yes, this will take a while.  (The jar says 1 to 4 hours.  RubyDragon says up to 24 hours)
Once the egg is completely dry, sand the plaster to smooth out any unevenness or lumps.  Wipe off dust with a damp paper towel.
Now the ACTUAL fun part.  Paint the egg with one coat of white paint (or I think there's also a black yoshi egg with white spots) and let it dry.
Take your paint color (classic Yoshi green, or pretty much whatever color you like) and paint a rough circle where you want the spot.

 It doesn't have to be a perfect circle.  I painted shapes that were a bit closer to ovals.  Then fill it in.
TIP: Squeeze a blob of acrylic paint onto your work surface and cut it with about half as much Elmer's Glue, making sure to mix it in.  Also, fabric paint (the cheap kind available at the Dollar Tree) works fine for this application.
Spread your paint inward, and don't paint too many spots.

Lean the now spotted egg against a steady surface (try not to touch said surface with the wet paint!) to let it dry.

Then that's it.
You can use them in an egg hunt, or you can decorate with them.  You can always store them with your dragon's eggs in a pretty basket.

Isn't that just nice?
They are a little fragile, and the plaster can crack and chip, but otherwise, i think they'll ultimately hold up better than just plain painted eggs.  Here's what happens when you brush the paint onto the eggs.

Not pretty.  I know.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
See you around!  😜😸

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

DIY: Turning styrofoam balls into eggs

Just a quick and slightly odd DIY today.  When I was getting the supplies for yesterdays dragon eggs, I realized that styrofoam eggs aren't actually that easy to find.  Weird, I know.  Especially since Easter just passed.  In any case, I was able to find plenty of styrofoam balls (at JoAnns and Walmart).  I need small eggs for another project, so I decided to pick up a pack of 1-inch styrofoam balls and see if I could reshape them.
Turns out these things can be reshaped.  See?
I started with this....
And ended with this...
No, it's not perfect, but I'm satisfied considering it took no tools and about five minutes.
Start by holding the ball in between your thumb and middle finger like this-
Now press down.  This is the tricky part.  You need to squish the sides in gently.  It may take a few tries, but start gently and increase the pressure until the sides crunch and give a little.
You should end with this.
It kind of has a Death Star look to it, doesn't it?
Rotate it ninety degrees, and squish again.  You now have indentations on four sides.  If you're not already confused, you soon will be!  Now, using your fingers, smooth out the ridges into a nice egg shape by squishing the thing even more!
Of course, it would be easier  to buy the eggs already formed, or if you're handy with a penknife I suppose you could whittle an egg, but if neither work, try squishing it!
I hope this post was helpful to someone out there.  If not, hey, I tried!
Oh, this would probably work on larger styrofoam balls too, but would require more pressure. and you might have to use two fingers to squish with.
Bye!  😝☺

Monday, April 17, 2017

DIY: How to Make Dragon Eggs

Hello, everyone.  😊
SO, for my first DIY I decided I would do dragon eggs.  I love dragons, and I've wanted to do this project ever since I saw it on pinterest a few months ago.  Why it took me so long to make them, I'll never know, but here we go!
You'll need:
Styrofoam eggs (I got a nine pack of three different sizes for $5 at JoAnns)
Thumbtacks (a LOT of thumbtacks.  You can get packs of 300 at the Dollar Tree, and I bought three.)
Pieces of foam (I got a pack of 24 foam "gift tags" at the Dollar Tree)
Glue (whatever you can find)
Black nail polish (this isn't necessary, but it does help- more on that later.  I got a bottle of Wet'n Wild "Black Creme" at- guess where- the Dollar Tree)
Colored nail polish (I like metallic polishes best, but use what you like.  I used a Formula X polish [bought from Sephora} called "Legend")
Nail polish clear coat (available for a buck at the Dollar Tree)

Alright.  So, we start by sticking the thumb tacks into the pieces of foam so we end up with this.
Don't push them all the way down against the foam.  They need to be like this-

Unfortunately, I can't tell you how many thumbtacks you'll need.  I've made a total of four eggs- three in one size, and one in another.  I've used 150 tacks, 133  tacks, 160 tacks, and 244 tacks respectively.  The egg I'm showing you used 244 tacks, and they were made in three separate batches.  Just know this: make MORE than you think you need.  
Once all of your tacks are stuck into the foam, paint them with black nail polish.

If any of your tacks stick together like this...
Just use the point of a pencil to break them apart.
Now let the black polish dry.  Why use the black polish?  Because it forms a mostly opaque barrier between the shiny tack and the colored polish.  Metallics tend to be streaky, and the polish with silver showing through it just looks weird to me.  I usually let the polish dry for an hour, then I go in with one coat of colored polish.
Now let that dry for an hour before adding clear nail polish.  This isn't necessary, but I like shiny.  This particular polish dries kind of gritty, so I applied two coats of topcoat.  Let that dry for AT LEAST 12 hours.  Yes, you read that right.  Twenty four hours is ideal, but...
Nope.  They don't.
Once the tacks are dry enough, take them out of the foam.  Now, you  can start either from the top of the egg or the bottom- it's your choice.  Whichever you choose, stick a tack right in the middle of the end.
Now, you just work on building up a ring around it.
Keep doing this, overlapping the tacks, until you either run out of tacks and have to make more, or until you've filled in all but the last spot.  For the last tack, stick the end in a bit of glue (Elmer's, mod podge, superglue, construction glue, whatever's handy) and stick it in place!
Why stick the last tack down?  Because there's nothing else to hold it in place, and it'll fall out otherwise.  See?
If you're paranoid, paint over that last tack and surrounding tacks with clear nail polish.  Otherwise, you're done!
Isn't that just pretty?
If you don't want to paint the tacks, that works too.  And it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay quicker.
I hope you enjoyed this (long) post!  Now, go forth and create dragon eggs!  
See you later! 😃 😏

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hello, there, blogging world!
I'm Ruby Dragon: the crazy girl behind the madness that will be posted on this blog.
Like the blurb at the top of the page says, this is a blog about a little bit of everything.  I'll post DIYs, nail art tutorials, links to stuff I've written, videos, and, maybe eventually, hairstyles.
My camera skills are pathetic (hopefully I can improve that), so please be patient with the subpar pictures for the time being!
Also, I am operating off of a budget, so I like to buy cheap stuff, and see what I can do with it.  If you're wondering about all of the stuff I buy at the Dollar Tree, it's because it's one dollar.  And I like one dollar.  While on the subject of buying stuff, I am not currently using affiliate links, and I make no money from this blog.  If that should ever change, I will put the disclaimer out there!  So, take a look around, leave a comment, and have a nice day!
Thank you and enjoy!  💖
P.S.  I love emojis.  Just lettin' you know!  😃 🎈🌲🐬