Monday, August 11, 2014

Easter Egg Inspired Faux Tape Manicure (+ Tutorial)

Hello lovelies! I'm truly hoping someday soon my health will not hinder my life so much and I can get back to doing more fun & intricate nail art as well as blogging regularly. My beautiful polishes sit in a corner (in addition to boxes under the couch...heh) and get used by my friends more than myself. Today's nail art is from just before Easter. I never got around to posting it because I didn't think it came out quite how I was hoping; but the more I see it and know how much I struggled to sit up and finish the look I feel it needs to be shared, because I was so proud I finished them.
I'm going to get slightly personal for a bit, so please feel free to skip ahead (to the tutorial) if that's not your thing. I recently lost one of my jobs due to my health; and my other job is quite demanding; thus, I feel I'm only hanging on by a thread there. I've always struggled with odd health issues the doctors had pawned off as "in my head,"  "anxiety," "teenager," "college" student, "night-shift" scheduling related, "stress," "fatigue," etc.; because testing never revealed anything abnormal. Eventually, I accepted I would always feel "off" and figured maybe they (previous 8 physicians/specialists) were right and this was all just me getting older despite the fact this started in my teens.
For nearly a year, I have been seeing a cardiologist for tachycardia (fast heart rate) - although I did wait years to see one because I believed it was low blood sugar and night shift stressing my heart out as did my PCP. Once started on medication my heart wasn't raising as quickly; and I began to exercise and attempt to live a bit more normal life. Then in late February 2014, I started to crash much more quickly - first having (still unexplained) abdominal swelling/third-spacing accompanied by multiple other symptoms. These episodes caused severe dehydration, my heart condition to worsen, and blackouts/fainting. I still have episodes of swelling; but it wasn't until it had been 3 weeks after one that I realized I was still having problems with lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, blackouts (now with showering and standing), etc., and my heart was actually getting much faster with orthostatic changes (sitting & standing up).
Again, I started pushing doctors for answers and seeking out new specialists to see. I have now been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - which explains my childhood weight gains and many symptoms I will leave for another post if anyone is interested. I'm also seeing a neurologist, in addition to my cardiologist, for dysautonomia/autonomic dysfunction, i.e. the part of my nervous system that controls my sympathetic and parasympathetic responses is not working properly (i.e. my whole body is pretty much out off kilter). This however, is just the beginning, because we now have to identify the type of dysfunction (which I and the doctors suspect is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and then get to the bottom of the cause - which likely stems from something in my past or an undiagnosed genetic disorder.
The hardest part for me is waiting; it takes month(s) to get to specialists and then the testing; and in the mean time I continue to decondition despite my best efforts (autonomic exercises, increased salt intake, etc.). Imagine going from running 5Ks to blacking out while going to the store, taking a shower, or just sitting on the couch. I pray none of you, or anyone for that matter, has to go through this. I am determined to be my best self; and I'm trying to learn to be patient in getting there.  Also, I still want to keep up with my blog as much as I can because it helps to have something positive and enjoyable to look forward to.
And now onto the nail art; including a simple how-to:
1. Apply you base coat and white polish.
2. Use a nail art brush (may dip in acetone for a watercolor effect as on my nails) or sponge to dab on the first color of your eggs to each nail & let dry completely. Optional - apply thin layer of topcoat to protect base color.
3a. Use a nail art brush (may use watercolor effect again) or sponge to layer on your second egg color. I suggest thinking about what colors you like to dip your eggs in together and layer for a neat effect. You may choose to leave certain areas uncolored here to lessen polish removal in step 3b.
3b. With a nail art brush dipped in acetone slowly swipe your brush over the areas you want your base polish to show through; thus, creating a rubber banded or striped effect. If you remove too much of your base color just use the same brush with a tiny bit of polish and dab back over the area; rotating until you get your desired look.
4. Repeat on all nails and seal with topcoat. Consider using a matte topcoat for a truly egg-cellent finish.
This method also works great with a watercolor effect as seen on my nails here (another watercolor example: Seashell Nails). You may also choose to use the traditional striping tape method for this look- thus applying striping tape prior to step 3a - but be sure to give yourself plenty of drying time before doing so. The nice thing about removing polish if you apply too much and/or going back in to fill the area is it's quick and produces fairly clean lines - which I'm still working on with striping tape.
I know it's a little off season, but I decided it was still worth sharing now rather than next year. Also, how cute are the eggs I decorate from the previous year (2013)!
Thank you for letting me share a little piece of my life, which I know I usually keep separate. The above content is only a small piece of what I've been experiencing; so please in no way assume I'm making light of a serious condition or overreacting to a lesser one. I'm happy to answer any of questions or post more about a specific subject if there's interest.