Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Exo Designs Master Post

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm super pumped about SM bringing EXO'luXion to North America! I'm even more pumped that exo will be coming to Canada (even though it's Vancouver which is all the way across the country) and that I'll be going to the concert!! 

For my fellow exo-l's who will be attending exo's NA tour dates, I've decided to make a compilation post of all of my exo nail designs to date in case anyone's feeling creative and wants to sport some exo-inspired nails on concert day! 

I'll be walking through each of the manicures and giving some details regarding what I believe to be the level of difficulty of each design as well as some tips on recreating them!
Most recent designs are listed first, (click on the date listed to be taken to the original post).

Hey Mama!
November 15th, 2016
Difficulty Level: Expert

2016 saw the debut of exo's first official (non k or m) subunit, exo-cbx! I really like the vibe of this unit (who wouldn't though with Jongdae, Baekhyun, and Xiumin's personalities) and I thought the mv was cool even if I had no idea what was going on. I had a hard time trying to summarize the music video in a nail design, but I'm pretty satisfied with what I came up with. The reason I say this is expert level is mostly because of the gun, though the logos are a bit intricate too. Check out the tutorial for this design here!
Dancing King
September 28th, 2016
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Ok, so I know this wasn't technically a promotional song but it was just such a fun song that I had to do a design for it. While this design is basically all freehand, it isn't super, super intricate so I think it falls into the intermediate category. You can check out the tutorial for this design here.

August 20th, 2016
Difficulty Level: Expert

Lotto was a pretty different song for exo but I really enjoyed it! The mv was pretty interesting too but didn't give me a lot to work with design-wise. The reason I think this design deserves an expert rating is that it's literally all intricate freehand; no easy shortcuts or techniques. If you're comfortable with small detail work then this design shouldn't be that hard to recreate, but if not then it might be a bit challenging. You can check out the tutorial here if you want to see how I did this design!

Lucky One

June 15th 2016
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

There isn't much freehand involved in this design, but I'll label it as intermediate anyways because of the numbers on the ring finger and the logo on the pinky. This isn't exactly my favourite exo design as of late, but the shattered glass on the middle finger is still such a fun and easy technique to do! Find the full tutorial for this design here!

June 12th, 2016
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

While the fake nail piercing and cut up jump rings might seem daunting, the rest of the design is relatively straight-forward to recreate. In addition, if you don't feel like cutting up any jump rings you can always swap those out for some silver polish, making the design even easier. Check out the full tutorial for the design here!

No Full Post Available
Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert

This is the second time now that I've been so hyped by the teasers for exo's comeback that I did a design inspired just by the comeback previews! Mind you it wasn't a full design, but I still couldn't resist painting the logos for "Lucky One" and "Monster" on my thumbs. If you want to recreate this: for Monster, check out my Moschino design from a while back to see bigger versions of the bones; for Lucky One, start off with a + and then add the round bits to the outsides!

February 12, 2015
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

My concert nails! I feel like this design is a hybrid of my CMB and LMR designs (see below). Freehand lettering is always a bit of a challenge, but since you can use vinyls for the other nails I think this design is around an intermediate level. As you can see, I changed the "02" to "88" since I'm Kai biased, but you can use whatever numbers you like for this design. Check out the video tutorial for it here!

Sing For You
December 19th, 2015
Difficulty Level: Expert

I really love this design, but I've yet to see anyone try to recreate it. This probably has to do with the intricacy of the design, but if you want to give it a go then the video tutorial for it (which can be found here) should give you a good idea of where to start!

November 14th, 2015
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Since this design is mostly just a galaxy base with some added stuff over top I don't think it's super difficult, but I know that lettering can be an absolute pain so I'll put this design in the medium-difficulty-level-category. This design also has a tutorial (yay!) so click here to see how to recreate this design!

Love Me Right
June 6th, 2015
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Again, I'm mostly just putting this in the medium category because of the lettering. Other than that the base is pretty straightforward - the acetone marbling is super fun and easy and the tips of the jersey-nails are done using striping tape. This is my most viewed tutorial on youtube (check it out for yourself here) and is probably tied with my CMB design for the title of my most recreated/uncredited design. (Please remember to credit!!)

Call Me Baby
April 2nd, 2015
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Lettering. Enough said.
This is another one of my favourite exo designs. It took me forever to design but I think the end result is so clean and really representative of that era. Aaaaaand as a little surprise in honour of the NA tour, I finally got around to filming a tutorial for this design (and only 9 months after the fact, lol)!

March 25th, 2015
Difficulty Level: Beginner

I'm just realizing now that this is literally the only design on this list without a proper tutorial. The process behind it is pretty easy though so I'll explain it now. Paint all nails solid black. Once the polish is completely dry use a makeup sponge to dab white polish in a semi-circle on the insides of your middle and ring finger nails. Once the white polish is dry, use a detail brush to paint a black semi-circle over top that doesn't quite reach the edge of the white gradient. Outline the semi-circles in white polish and use a makeup sponge again to dab a small circle of white polish at the edge of one of the semi-circles.

August 6th, 2014
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

More galaxy nails! This design was from when SM had just announced exo's official fanclub name and launched the official exo-l app. The constellations in the design were meant to represent the 11 members who were in the group at the time, but given the current OT9 status you may want to make some adjustments to that (or turn it into OT12. Whatever floats your boat). Tutorial for this design can be found here.

May 29th, 2014
Difficulty Level: Expert

Wow we're really getting back to my old designs here. Even a year and a half later I still look at this and marvel at my own patience with those hexagons. Obviously if you choose to recreate this design you wouldn't have to make the lines quite that thin if you don't want to, but whatever you choose, a tutorial for how to go about painting the hexagons can be found here!

Miracles in December
December 18th, 2013
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Ah, my MiD manicure. This is basically just exo's winter/snowflake logo painted over and over, but it's a pretty easy and cute design to replicate. The pictorial for this design can be found here, and the video tutorial for my Sing For You design (above) also shows you how to paint this specific logo.
July 16th, 2013
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

To be completely honest here, I'm not the biggest fan of this design and I almost didn't include it in this list even though it is an exo design and therefore belongs here. This design was inspired by exo's wolf drama version and you can see the individual scenes it was inspired by in the original post. I don't have a tutorial for this design, but here's a few tips: the eye was done with acrylic paint; the base for the index finger is black sugar polish; I blew red polish out of a straw for the blood splatter on the middle finger; the ring finger is individually placed gold caviar beads; and the pinky finger is freehand shimmery blue polish over beige.

June 1st, 2013
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

My first ever exo design! Tbh the only part of this design I still like are the wolves on the thumbs, but maybe that's just me being harsh on my past self. If you want to try this design out the video tutorial is here (also my first ever video tutorial) but uh, might I recommend watching it on mute? I may or may not cringe when I think about how poor quality basically everything about this video is so please keep in mind that it's definitely not up to my current standards, lol!

And there you have it: my entire collection of exo-inspired designs!

If you do decide to recreate any of these manicures for the concert (or any other time) please, please, please remember to credit me! I've spent countless hours planning, painting, editing, and writing about these designs and it's frustrating when I see someone post a manicure that is very obviously my design with no mention whatsoever of where they got their inspiration from.
For photos posted on Instagram and Tumblr the tag that I track for recreations of my designs is #looknyanails (I'd really, really love to see your designs!).

Now that I've gotten that bit of seriousness out of the way, I hope everyone going to the NA tour dates has a great time and if you're going to the Vancouver concert on Feb. 12th then maybe I'll see you there! I'm dragging my friend along with me so if you see an excited-looking blonde girl with her less-than-enthusiastic friend, come up and say hi! :D


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