Easter Lily Nail Art

I’m such a bad blogger!  I’ve been so busy that I hardly have had any time for myself lately, and *gasp* I even had a day where I was seen in public without any nail polish on!

The very least I could do this week was to try and get an accent nail done.  Because I’m playing for an Eastertide service this Sunday and didn’t get any Easter themed nails done in time for Easter (sorry, everyone!), I chose to put an Easter lily on my ring finger.

Pastel colors are perfect for springtime, so I picked pink and lavender colors for the base of my design.

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Polish colors used in this mani include Pedal Faster Suzi! by OPI, Planks A Lot by OPI, b.m.c. nail lacquer in white, and Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in 37

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Perfect springtime colors.

Jumbo Plate 7 from Cheeky held my Easter lily image.

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The Easter lilies are in the 3rd row from the bottom, 2nd image from the right.

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Stamping was done with b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

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I just cut my nails, so I only had room on my ring finger to show one flower. I used tape to remove the portions of the design from the stamper that I did not want to use.

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A single Easter lily all in white is very classy, but I wanted to test my new clear stamper by seeing if I could stamp green polish over the leaves to color them in.

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I stamped the design with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in #37

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I used tape to remove everything except for the leaves.

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Looking through the opposite end of the stamper, I could easily line up the leaves on the stamper with the white leaves that were already stamped on my nail.

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Things didn’t line up perfectly, but it was pretty darn close! This would have been near impossible to do with a normal stamper.

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And just like that, my mani was done!

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If I had more time, I would have liked to add in some more details on the flower. It didn’t even occur to me until I saw an Easter lily in person for the picture.

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Next week is going to be another crazy period filled with students, rehearsals, concerts… and taxes.  If you don’t see me for awhile, you’ll know why!

Happy polishing!

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Springtime Leafy French Manicure

It’s been one heck of a week!  I had some surgery done last Tuesday, which is partially why I disappeared, but I’m doing well now.

One of the random fun facts that I learned at my pre-op appointment was that dark nail polish can interfere with the heart monitor they attach to your finger during surgery.  I definitely did not want to tempt fate knowing that tidbit, so the night before I went to the hospital, I decided to do a nice springtime French manicure.

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Fresh springtime colors for this manicure include (from left to right) Hi Maintenance by Essie, A Color That Can’t Be Tamed by Sephora by OPI, and #37 by Born Pretty.

I started by painting my nails the pretty sheer pink color that is Hi Maintenance by Essie.

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I’m in love with this color, but it took 3 coats of polish to get it to not look streaky.

For the French tips, I wanted to use plate m56 by Konad.

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You can jazz up any French manicure with this stamping plate by Konad. I used the leaf design pictured on the bottom.

I started by painting A Color That Can’t Be Tamed on my tips.

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A different take on a classic French manicure.

After I let the polish dry for a reasonable amount of time, I used a clear stamper to align the pattern from the plate onto the tips of my nails.

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Not my best stamping, but you can still see the leaf detail.

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Lighting was an issue when taking my photos because bright lights washed out the pattern.

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The result is still a fresh look for spring.

Here’s to having warmer days and more sunlight ahead!  Happy polishing!

St. Patrick’s Day Nails

I’m still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day, how about you?  Sorry for the late post, but you’ll have this tutorial ready for the next time you want to show some Irish pride!

It’s been awhile since I tried doing any kind of water marbling, and I felt like maybe I could make a nice cloverleaf pattern by using that technique.  I can’t stand the mess of cleaning up my nails with the tradition dunking method associated with water marbling, so I tried making decals this time around, which worked great.

I chose a nice assortment of green nail polishes for the marbling, and I threw in a glittery gold polish for good luck.

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Finger Paints Nail Color works exceptionally well for water marbling. From left to right: Masked Beauty, Monet Money, Peace, Love & Green, and Grassy Knoll.

To make the decals, I used a small plastic cap to hold the water and dropped in my colors one at a time.  Because my cap has a 1.5 inch diameter, it doesn’t take many rings to get the colors nicely packed.

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I work on a miniature scale. It takes only 12 drops of polish to get this bullseye to form.

I used a toothpick to bring the outside rings of the bullseye to a point in the middle.

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Not my most perfect water marble, but I repeated these steps a few times so I could pick and choose which decals looked the best.

I blew on the surface of the water to help the polish dry a little more before picking up the image with a large stamper.

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You can choose to stamp this directly onto your nails, but I set my stamper aside to allow the polish to dry to turn this into a nail decal.

After waiting a few minutes, the water marbled polish is ready to be peeled off the stamper head.  If it doesn’t lift easily, allow the polish to dry some more.  Having multiple stampers makes this process easy because as one decal is drying, you can make another water marble pattern to be picked up with a different stamper.

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After allowing the polish to dry, you should be able to peel off the layer. In this way, you can pick the best looking part of the pattern to use on your nail without making any mess.

I made several decals, although I only needed four of them in the end.

The process for the application is fairly easy.  I cut out the portion of the decal that I wanted to use and trimmed it to fit my nail.

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I do a rough cut of the decal before I trim it down to fit my nail.

I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI as a base color under the water marble.  I only used one coat of polish, and it doesn’t have to be opaque because the water marble will cover it up.  White helps the colors pop.

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One coat of White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

While the polish is still tacky, apply your decal and set it with clear top coat.

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I put the water marble design on my middle and ring fingers to form the shape of a cloverleaf.

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Extra supplies for part 2: White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Recollections Signature Glitter in Emerald.

I really wanted sparkly green nails, but I don’t own a green glitter polish, so I made my own with the following steps.

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I painted my nail with Monet Money from Finger Paints.

While the polish was still wet, I poured on green glitter.  I used a fan brush to sweep away the excess.

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Emerald glitter made by Recollections.

I then took Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and brushed on about 2-3 coats over the glitter so that it formed a smooth surface.  I wouldn’t have minded having some texture, but I wanted to paint belt buckles on top of the glitter.

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Sparkly emerald green nails!

To form the belt, I used the striping brush from Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black to make two parallel lines and filled in the section.

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My glitter just got black barred.

Using a detail brush and Masked Beauty, I painted a thin gold line above and below the black section and connected them to form the square buckle.

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Add some top coat, and you’re done!

It took awhile to finish this, but I love the results.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Happy polishing!

Green and Gold Nails

I’ve been swamped with work lately, which is a fortunate thing for a musician, but it has left me with little time to paint my nails.  Whenever I have a busy week and little inspiration because I’m too tired to think, I turn to my trusty collection of stamping plates.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I decided to go with a green base color first.

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Are you green with envy? This is Emerald Expressionism by Finger Paints.

I used plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.  What I love about it is that a lot of the patterns look like they are water marble inspired, so it’s easy to get a marbled look without the mess.

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Plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 2nd image from the right.

I used gold polish from Konad to do the stamping.  I was hoping that it would be opaque, but the color does not pop very well and is even harder to photograph.  The design is most visible only when the light hits it at a certain angle.  While I swear by the Konad black and white polishes, their metallic shades leave something to be desired.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold provides a subtle, shimmery look.

To get a varied look, I made sure to rotate the image when stamping it onto my nails.

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The swirls looks like they flow naturally from nail to nail rather than looking like they are stamped from the same image.

The effect reminds me of those mirrors with the gold marble overlay finish that were popular in the 80s.  I also think of the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.  In terms of a St. Patty’s Day manicure, I think I’ll be looking for my pot of gold elsewhere!

While this wasn’t a showstopping creation, I do love the elegance of the swirls.  Too bad they didn’t show up as well as I would have liked.  Guess I’ll need to purchase a better gold stamping polish.

Happy polishing!

Geometric MTA Inspired Nail Art

The MTA has been renovating the stations on the A train line here in NYC for quite some time now.  I haven’t had to take the train into the city for months, so I only recently saw the beautiful new panels they installed in the Rockaway Blvd. station.

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Morning light looks gorgeous through the little stained glass circles.

I wanted to capture the design in some nail art, so I thought the Infinite Ombré kit from Formula X would be perfect for this.

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The Infinite Ombré set from Formula X consists of the following colors (pictured clockwise from left side): Platinum Prime, Timeless Teal, Infinite Indigo, Limitless Lemon, and Boundless Berry.

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I started by painting all my nails with Platinum Prime.

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Using a striping brush and white acrylic paint by craft smart, I painted lines at various angles across my nails. The only thing I made sure to do was to make triangular shapes.

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I made little circles at each point of a triangle with a dotting tool and the various gel tints from the Infinite Ombré kit.

I have to confess that I work in a rather poorly lit area when I paint my nails, so there is a single green dot on my index finger in the above picture because I layered the yellow and blue tints over each other.  In dark lighting, it looked like it turned out to be the same teal color as the blue tint, so I didn’t bother trying to make green dots again.  It wasn’t until after I looked at the pictures on my camera that I realized the layering effect worked, so if you try this at home, you can add a few more colors into your mani by layering the gel tints over each other.

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A nice top coat smooths things over.

Let this be a lesson that you can find beauty and inspiration anywhere if you open your mind to it.  Happy polishing!