Chocolate Water Marble Manicure

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Ready for another @glamnailschallenge prompt?  The theme for Feb. 19 was Chocolate, so I figured a nice marbled design would fit the bill perfectly.  You see fancy chocolatiers  put these designs on top of pieces all the time, so why not on my nails?

I started by picking out three shades of brown for the water marble.  They all happened to be colors from Julep: Vera, Olivia, and Skylla in order from lightest to darkest shade.  I painted all my nails with the lightest color to help with the opacity.

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Vera by Julep makes me want to have a nice cup of coffee with milk.

I usually suck at water marble designs, but I had decent luck with this one!  I used room temperature water in a plastic container, formed a bullseye by dropping each color of nail polish into center multiple times, then used a water marbling pen to draw out the design lengthwise first followed by a zig zag pattern.  I think the pointy tip of the pen really helped to make the marbling process easier.

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I used Scotch tape around my nail beds to make the clean up process easier, and because of the size of my container, I was able to dip two nails into the same pattern without totally ruining the surface.  Score one for saving time!

After some top coat, the look was ready to be served.

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Water marbled nails with a box of truffles from Russell Stover. Yum!

I think this water marble looks like chocolate especially because I chose all creme based shades.  Shimmery chocolate seems like it would be cool, but it’s just not realistic.

Hope you enjoyed this manicure and that it didn’t tempt you with any chocolate cravings too much.  Happy polishing!

Black and Blue Broken Heart Manicure

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Are you guys sick of seeing pink and red colors all month?  Now that Valentine’s Day is over, here’s the opposite of all those lovesick manicures: black and blue broken hearts!  This was for a nail art collaboration put together by @nailcraftaddict on Instagram.

I started by picking a pretty jelly polish from Pretty & Polished called Heart of the Ocean to be my base color.

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I’ll never let go of this pretty jelly polish!

I used plate BP-61 from Born Pretty Store to do some stamping.

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I picked black polish from Ya Qin An to do a background of tied up hearts using the image from the top center of BP-61.

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Don’t pull on my heartstrings!

I tried to do double stamping with Konad Special Nail Polish in Silver along with the black stamping polish from Ya Qin An, but my broken heart design didn’t stand out as well as I thought it would.

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I used the image from the bottom left corner of the plate in its entirety on my middle finger and separated the pieces of the heart for the neighboring fingers.

Although I was trying to avoid doing this, I ended up taking a detail brush with craft smart acrylic paint in white to outline the heart shapes by hand.  At least the design wasn’t too complicated!

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Another layer of top coat finished off the look.

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Good thing it’s only the heart and not my nails that are broken!

As for the fab collab, check out our lovely collage!

Here's a fun black and blue heart collab that I participated in with a bunch of talented ladies. Thanks so much for including me! 💙 My solo shot will be posted soon. … The Ladies of Color proudly present our non-pink, non-red, beautiful, Blue and Black hearts for February. A great turnout from a lot of wonderful ladies. We hope you enjoy our non-traditional Valentines!💙♥💙♥ You can visit #ladiesofcolorbnbhearts2017 to see everyone's manis. Please check out all the participant's pages and art! They are listed here: @miss_chonails @dwooleybooger @cre8tive_nails_obsession @jamjams_96 @nailcraftaddict @nail.dazed @fyreblossomnails @damningeden @finepolish @mimi35c @susie_polish @painteddigits @nail_amazed @funnailsrandom @iampepperfan @busybee_nails @ttluvsnails @yayis_nails @gridqueen @theworldofcos @nailsover50 @nailsnartbyme @s._nailart 💙♥💙 #nailswithfriends #manicollage #manicollab #blueandblackvalentines #finepolish #manicure #mani #notd #nailart #nails #nailstagram #nailsofinstagram #nailpolish #cutepolish #nailsoftheday #nailspo #unhas #ongles #nailartclub #nailporn #instanails #prettynails #nailedit #nailspotting #💅 #nailsonfleek #nailswag #bbloggers

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It’s a cheeky manicure and all in fun.  See you soon for the next post!

Happy polishing!

Victorian Love Letter Manicure

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February 15 was a vintage love letter theme for the @glamnailschallenge prompt.  I have to say, using peel off base coat is making it a lot easier to get myself to paint more because I keep losing nail polish off my fingers by accident, making it necessary to change my manicure!  Good thing that these prompts are so fun to fulfill.

The first step was to choose a nice base color.  I toyed with the idea of staining some tan polish with alcohol ink to create that old paper look, but I didn’t have that much time to paint my nails.  I found this beautiful crelly from Pretty & Polished in my collection that reminded me of pretty speckled stationery, so I went with it.

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This color from Pretty & Polished is appropriately named Antique.

I envisioned script overlaid with roses, but after digging through my extensive stamping plate collection, I couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted.  I made the gut wrenching decision to attempt painting the words myself.  Mind you, I have never felt comfortable with writing words on my nails because painting with a brush really doesn’t work the same way that a pen does.  I probably could have used a fine tipped Sharpie to do this, but I opted for the harder route and used acrylic paint with a fine brush and winged it.  A challenge for the challenge!

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In retrospect, a little planning would have gone a long way.  My first mistake was that I didn’t give myself enough time to do this manicure before having to leave for an appointment.  I actually had to apply topcoat after I took the upper right hand corner picture so that I could leave and come back to the details of the flowers later!  I took the most time with my index finger, which is why the text looks so much better and clearer than it does on the other fingers.  But unfortunately, acrylic paint dries quickly, and my mix of black and brown paint got thicker and thicker as I moved from nail to nail.  I guess I might need to get one of those fancy palettes that keep the paint moist.

I also felt like my text was too unevenly spaced, although perhaps that adds a more realistic charm to the look.  Ever try writing on an unlined piece of paper before?  I guess that makes my handwriting look more authentic.

My saving grace was being able to place the roses over the bits where I thought the penmanship looked too sloppy.  This was easily done with a few kinds of nail polish and some dotting tools.  The leaves are Monet Money from Finger Paints, and the different shades of pink are all colors from Nicole by OPI: (from darkest to lightest color) Berry the Hatchet, City-Pretty Rose, and Carnival Cotton Candy.

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The letter that I’m holding is a facsimile of one written by Eugene O’Neill to Beatrice Ashe on November 1, 1914.

The result turned out very pretty, and I’m sure that people will assume that I stamped the script when really I cursed a lot over the cursive writing!  While it’s not my best freehand work, I’m still satisfied with it.  I’ll just keep practicing my brushwork and see if I can do better the next time.

Happy polishing!

 

XOXO Kisses Manicure

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It’s another @glamnailschallenge prompt day!  The theme is kisses, and I might have made this one a little more intense than it should have been, but there’s just so much love to give this time of year!

I started by painting all my nails pink.

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Carnival Cotton Candy by Nicole by OPI is a pretty pink, although it took 4 coats of polish to get it fully opaque.

Next, I applied a glitter top coat with a sponge to get better coverage.

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Nothin’ Mousie ‘Bout It from OPI has pink glitter hearts suspended in the formula, so I used a toothpick to pick and place them where I wanted them.

The first layer of stamping was done with a print from Cheeky Beauty Jumbo Plate 8.

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Cheeky Jumbo Plate 8

 

I used the lip print from the bottom center of the plate with light pink stamping polish from Born Pretty Store (color #16) over all my nails.  This probably would have been enough to fulfill the prompt, but I added more to the design for better or worse.

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The lip print could also double as a coffee bean print now that I see it in action.

The last layer of stamping was done with Ya Qin An stamping polish in Black and a few additional plates from Bundle Monster and Born Pretty Store.

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Plate BM-411 from Bundle Monster was used for the XOXO design.

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BP-X08 from Born Pretty Store was used for the kissing couple in the middle of the right side of the plate.

I thought it would be a good idea to make the background of the “just love” text from the BP-X08 design clearer by applying Carnival Cotton Candy over it before stamping it onto my nail (reverse stamping style), but it ended up smudging it.  Oops.  I always forget how easily nail polish can streak because I use special top coat from Ya Qin An over my stamped designs which eliminates this problem.

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Love and kisses!

I probably could have eliminated the glitter top coat, seeing as you can hardly tell that it’s there, but I was dying for an excuse to use it as it has been sitting untouched on my shelf for a few years.  At least the mylar glitter makes the background nice and sparkly!

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I wasn’t terribly thrilled with this to be honest because it’s not really my style, but I used a peel off base coat underneath it all that will make this super easy to take off and change.  It’s still pretty cute, and my fiancé heartily approved of it.

Happy polishing!

 

Wedding Cake Inspired Manicure

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I’ve surprisingly been able to keep up with the February @glamnailschallenge prompts so far.  Feb. 8’s theme was Wedding Cake, so I channeled my inner Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes to come up with a wedding cake design to put on my nails.

I started by painting all my nails white.  I chose Bunny from Julep because it has subtle gold microglitter in it that would match the gold stamping and accents that I planned to add later.

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Bunny by Julep.

For the icing scrollwork, I chose to stamp on a pretty filigree from plate BPL-027 from Born Pretty Store.

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I chose the pattern from the upper left hand corner for this manicure.

I used Charge It! from Sephora by OPI to do the stamping.  I tried to align the point of the design with the center of my nail, and I also left a little bit of space between the point and the cuticle so that it would more closely resemble a cake layer.

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Subtle gold stamping finished off with a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI to give it the look of fondant.

Because I wasn’t so sure about the next part of the design, I added pearl rhinestones from Born Pretty Store so I could get a “finished” shot before I proceeded just in case I didn’t like how it turned out.

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Tiny flatback pearl rhinestones were applied to the center of each nail in the same part of the design with Kiss Nail Art Glue and some tweezers. I am holding the color Charge It! from Sephora by OPI, which was used for the stamping.

The next part consisted of adding a band of gold fondant to the top of my cake layer, otherwise known in the nail art world as French tips.  I used the brush from the bottle of Charge It! to paint a stripe of polish across the top of each nail and then added gold striping tape underneath it to neaten up the line.  I applied some more matte top coat, and declared this manicure finished.

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I’m amazed by how much matte top coat makes this look like a layer of fondant.

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Requisite bottle shot.

It’s funny how I kept wondering what I was going to do for this theme, and I managed to put this look together in the end.  I feel like doing nail art is like choosing an outfit for a special occasion- you just have to look through everything you have and figure out what goes together the best.

Happy polishing!

 

Hibiscus Flower Manicure

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Hello!  It’s time to fulfill another @glamnailschallenge prompt.  The theme for Feb. 5 is Red Flowers, so rather than do something with roses, I chose to feature the hibiscus flower.  I have fond memories of these big red blossoms growing all over my mom’s garden, and they were always her pride and joy (aside from me, haha).

I used plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store for the design.  Something tells me that I’m probably going to end up doing a lot of stamping this month to keep up with the challenge prompts.

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Plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store has all the flowers you could want. I used the image in the bottom row, 3rd from the right.

I planned to put the hibiscus flowers on only my middle two fingers, so I painted my other nails basic black to keep the focus on the flowers.  I went with a gold polish for the middle and ring fingers because that was the lightest shade out of the colors that I planned to use for the hibiscus decal.

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Goldfinger! The gold polish is called Charge It! from Sephora by OPI, and the black polish is What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI.

Making decals is fun, although I really dread the application and clean up process.  I would have liked to simply reverse stamp it onto my nail, but I had to paint over pretty much the entire image, so it didn’t want to transfer in one piece as my botched right hand can testify!

The colors used are as follows:

Ya Qin An stamping nail polish in Black
Red: American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI
Gold: Charge It! by Sephora by OPI
Light Green: Tatum by Julep
Green: Little Butterfly by Cupcake Polish

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The making of a nail decal.

  1. I stamped the design with Ya Qin An Black stamping polish.
  2. (not pictured) I applied a layer of Ya Qin An top coat over the stamped image to prevent polish bleed and assist in making the removal of the decal easier.
  3. I used a dotting tool to apply the gold polish to the stamen of the flowers and used the brush from the bottle to apply the other different colors to the image.
  4. After letting the decal dry completely, I carefully removed it from the stamper with tweezers.
  5. I applied a layer of Glisten & Glow HK Girl Top Coat to a gold nail and placed the decal on my nail, smoothing out the surface.
  6. (not pictured) I used a cuticle pusher to cut away the excess decal from my nail and filed away the extra bit from the free edge.
  7. Repeat these steps to make additional decals for your nails.

After some additional clean up with acetone and swabs and brushes and a layer of Seche Vite top coat, I finally finished!

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Pretty, although it’s not 100% perfect.

I have to admit, decal transfer is still one of my weaker points, especially because my natural nails have some funky contours.  If anyone has any additional pointers, I’d love to hear them!

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Finished hibiscus manicure.

Incidentally, you might have noticed that I used three different top coats with the manicure rather than just one.  This is because I find that each top coat has certain strengths that I like to save it for.  For instance, the Ya Qin An top coat is the best thing since sliced bread for stamping.  It never smears the polish underneath it, no matter how many times you brush over the design.  Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat is supposedly a blogger favorite, but I don’t like using it because it tends to smear colors easily.  However, because of this, it “melts” decals quickly so that they conform to the nail’s shape in no time.  Seche Vite top coat remains my #1 pick as a finishing gloss because it seals all the layers of polish underneath it, dries super quick, and has the best amount of shine.  I say mix and match for best results!

See you in a few days for the next prompt.  Happy polishing!

 

 

Conversation Hearts Manicure

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Happy February, everyone!  It’s going to be a month of fun and romantic manicures because I’ve decided to join the February GlamNailsChallenge whenever I can.  I’m not convinced that I can get myself to change my polish often enough to keep up, but I’m going to try because the prompts look like a lot of fun!

Are you ready for the next month? 😃 We chose 8 themes based on Valentines Day. ❤🌹🎂💋💌🍫💑💔 we hope you like the themes, and you will enjoy making designs for them. If you joining please repost this photo, when you posting your designs use the #glamnailschallengefeb so we can see each others work. Invite some friends if you want to. Also follow us for a chance being featured here. Please tag us @glamnailschallenge on your photos because the hastag doesnt show up all the pictures! We hope lot of you joining, cant wait to see everyones creations! Thank you ❤️ #nail #nails #notd #nailpolish #instanails #körmök #nailartwow #nailswag #nails2inspire #nailartlove #nailitdaily #nailartdiary #nailgasm #nailsoftheday #nailartchallenge #naillove #nailfashion #nailaddict #nailartoohlala #nailsofinstagram #nailart #nailartclub #nailartcrazy #cutenails #💅🏻 #vdaynails

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For Feb. 1, the challenge was to come up with a heart themed manicure.  I tried to think a little more outside the box and decided to do conversation hearts on my nails.  I never liked eating them, but they’re pretty!

To start, I picked polishes in pastel pink, yellow, green, purple, and white that would match the candy’s colors.

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From the far left, the colors used are as follows: Ulta- Encore Pink, Sephora by OPI- Read My Palm, OPI- Rumple’s Wiggin’, essence the gel nail polish- wild white ways, and Sephora by OPI- IM Beauty.

I chose a random layout of the colors, but I purposefully did not want to put pink and purple next to each other because they look a little too similar.

A plate from Bundle Monster has a lot of the classic sayings from the candy, so I was able to save some time by stamping some of these onto my nails.

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Plate BM-425 from Bundle Monster.

Some care had to be taken to make sure the words would fit the nail I was stamping.  My nails aren’t very big, so I made sure to use the narrowest design on my pinky.

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Stamping was done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Red.

What I love about the stamping here is that it doesn’t have to look totally perfect.  The candy often has faded letters in some places, and the words are not always placed in the center of the heart.  If you decide to recreate this manicure, you will find that to be a very convenient excuse if things don’t work according to plan!

The last step was to paint a heart shape around the words.  Again, because my nails aren’t very wide, I couldn’t fit an entire heart onto the nail.  This allowed me to focus on just painting the top and bottom halves of the heart.  I used a detail brush with craft smart acrylic paint to do this, and I decided to outline each nail with a darker shade of its base color.  You can put a dot of color at the lowest and highest points of the curves of the heart and connect them in order to keep the outline more symmetrical as you initially paint the shape.

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Some of my paint pots are getting old, so the formula is more lumpy on some nails compared to others. Oops.

Add some top coat, and you’re all set!

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These hearts have a lot to say!

Part of me wants to do a cynical version of the hearts for an anti-Valentine’s Day theme, but that would require me to paint the letters by hand.  It’s definitely a fun take on this mani, so I’ll have to make this happen at some point!

Happy polishing!