Vampire Inspired Halloween Nails

Halloween is on a Monday this year, so all the parties happened on Saturday (yesterday).  I had at least two different ones that I could attend, so I needed matching nails!

I’m not sure what you would call my planned costume, seeing as it was a mix of different things and not just a pre-packaged store bought item.  I do love dressing up!  Let’s just say that it involved a lot of red and black stripes.

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The color palette from left to right: Ring In the Red by China Glaze, Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora, Curve-aceous by Sephora by OPI, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

I wanted to freehand glittery red blood dripping from the tips of some nails and stamp the pattern of my bodice for the other nails.  The stamping was done with plate BP-L020 from Born Pretty Store.

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Lots of lace on BP-L020 from Born Pretty Store.

The steps for this one are pretty simple.

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  1. Paint the index finger, pinky, and thumb with black polish (Dark Matter) and the middle and ring fingers with red polish (Curve-aceous).
  2. Stamp the lined pattern onto the red nails.  Other methods of achieving this are simply freehanding the lines with a striping brush or using striping tape as a stencil, but stamping is the quickest way to go for most people.
  3. Finish off the stamping by adding a lacey border along the cuticle line.  I used the pattern from the bottom row of the plate, 2nd image from the left.  Add blood droplets to the black nails with a dotting tool by forming a large dot where you want the drop to fall and dragging the top of the drop up to the tip of your nail.
  4. Paint red glitter polish along the tips of your nails to connect the drips together and add top coat.  Done!
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I think they match my costume pretty well, no?

The saddest thing was that after taking a disco nap on Saturday night, I woke up with a horrible headache complete with nausea, so I ended up not going to either party.  Boo.  How’s that for a trick?  I plan to make up for this by eating a lot of chocolate on Halloween.

Happy polishing to all you ghouls out there!  Be safe and enjoy!

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Spooky October Nails

It wouldn’t be October unless I had at least one Halloween themed manicure!  I’ve been dying to be able to paint, but I haven’t had the time, so I did some stamping instead.

To begin, I painted my nails with Funky by Formula X.  It’s a metallic chrome blue that has slight color shifting abilities where it turns more gold at different angles.

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Funky by Formula X.

I went old school this time and pulled out my original Bundle Monster Series 1 plate collection for the patterns.  These were some of the first plates that I purchased on Amazon years ago.

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BM 13 plate by Bundle Monster has some creepy crawly stuff on it, perfect for an October mani.

The stamping polishes used were gold and silver colors by Ya Qin An and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.  I used a double layer technique to make sure the images could be seen over the blue base color.

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I stamped my chosen designs with silver polish first. I stamped an extra bat on my middle nail to fill in the space. To make the spiders contrast with the web, I used gold polish. Using a clear stamper and black polish, I staggered the patterns just enough to form a highlight behind each image.

The truth is that if you try to stamp black polish directly onto the blue, you can’t really see the design, which defeats the purpose.  Double stamping is a great way to make the images really pop.

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I can’t say that this was quick to do, but the results came out nicely!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your October, and if you celebrate, have a Happy Halloween!  Happy polishing!

Gold and Burgundy Roses

Despite some of the warm weather that we’ve been having in New York lately, it’s still officially fall.  One look at all the leaves turning gorgeous colors outside show you what the real season is.

My inspiration for this one comes from the classic fall shades burgundy and gold.  I needed to do a simple and quick manicure that would get me out the door in time, so I turned to my collection of holo polishes first to see which shade spoke to me.

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The winner was Blood Hound by Cupcake Polish! Its dark and vampy color yells October.

I picked a nice plate from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.

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BP-73 is the name. Roses are its game.

The gold polish I used for the stamping was made by Ya Qin An.  I have used this in a few other recent manicures.  It has the best pigmentation!

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I used the pattern from the top of the plate to stamp this manicure.

I added a nice anti-smudging top coat also made by Ya Qin An and was able to get my photo and arrive at work in time without a hitch!  Can’t complain about that.

Happy polishing!

 

 

Balloons in the Sky Nail Art

Leave it to my precocious 9-year-old student to keep me on my toes with nail art ideas.  This time she wanted me to do balloons.  I envisioned a bouquet of them floating up into a sky with puffy clouds, kind of like in the movie Up (although I’ve never seen it).  I’m pretty sure this was not what she had in mind, but my muse doesn’t always cooperate!

The first step was to choose a nice sky blue.  I loved Destiny from Formula X for its pearlescent effect.  The color has subtle lavender and pink undertones that give it nice dimension.

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Destiny by Formula X.

After applying some top coat, I used Craft Smart acrylic paints to do the rest of the manicure.

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The clouds were simple to do. I painted a circle and added two more smaller [uneven] circles on each side of it to form each cloud. They kind of look like Princess Leia buns!

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The balloons weren’t too hard to do, either- they’re basically ovals in different colors that overlap each other. I used a thinned out striping brush to paint the strings and an ultra fine detail brush to paint in the little white highlight on the top right of each balloon. I added a little nub for a knot for the balloons at the bottom of the design.

The hardest part was really just having the patience to keep cleaning my brush in between each color balloon and making sure the paint was dry before moving on to the next color.

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Macro shot. My one complaint is that the balloon strings didn’t tie together at the exact center of my nail. Then again, I think I painted this at 1 in the morning!

It’s a very cheerful design that brings a smile to people’s faces.

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A friend noted that the clouds look somewhat 3D.  This is achieved in part by having the top coat applied before painting the clouds.  The clear layer in between means that they are literally floating over the base color.  Also, acrylic paint tends to have more texture due to its fast dry time, and my white is starting to get a little clumpy in the bottle if truth be told.  It worked in my favor for the clouds, but to counteract the thickness of the paint for the strings, I made sure that my brush was slightly damp with water before dipping it into the paint so that the lines would stay thin.

You better believe that my student loved the design in the end.  She thought I had either used stickers and/or stamping, so she was totally amazed to hear that everything was hand painted.  *pats own back*

In terms of freehand nail art, this is definitely on the easier side of the spectrum, but the scale of the design is what makes it hard to get right.  Don’t hesitate to try it, and let me know if you do!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Store Iridescent Chrome Powder #585

Have you jumped on the chrome powder bandwagon yet?  It’s so easy to fall in love with these powders, and they’re so affordable, too!

Today’s review is on an iridescent chrome powder from Born Pretty Store in color 585.  In all honesty, I couldn’t remember which color I ordered, so when I saw this beauty in the packaging, I thought it was for white iridescent nails.  More on this in a bit.

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Approximately one gram of Born Pretty Store chrome powder #585 is contained in a cute small plastic faceted jar with a Styrofoam seal covering the opening to prevent leakage. It also comes with a small sponge tip applicator and a holographic Ziploc bag.

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Open the jar and you will find the prettiest iridescent snow powder inside.

This powder consists of super fine glitter particles that change colors in the light.  It basically looks white in color with hints of pink, purple, and green.  It is ultra sparkly and really beautiful.

If you’ve used the classic silver chrome powder before, you’ll know that this powder works best with a gel top coat, so this is what I used to try out the product.

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After applying and curing a gel top coat over white polish, I applied some of the powder to my index finger. The color is iridescent and sparkly and apparently hard to photograph well.

The best part about these powders is that you don’t need to use a lot to get the effect to show.  I rubbed in a tiny bit of the powder with the sponge applicator from the kit, and the effect was instantaneous.

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Pearly white nails.

There is a bit of a mirror effect with this powder, as you can see in the photo below.

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Shot in natural sunlight outdoors, you can see the iridescent color shift more clearly.

My one critique is that some of the glitter particles in the powder don’t totally disappear into the gel top coat, so you do not get a totally smooth and uniform color effect.  I have heard that the best results happen when you apply the powder while your nails are still warm from the lamp light, but I do think that some of the glitter is on the chunky side.  No one will notice this though because your nails will look so chic!

It wasn’t until after I checked the link for the product on the website (listed at the end of this post) that I realized that the effect of the powder was to turn your nails into a chrome green color, which made sense because the other powders suggest that you use them over black polish.  I still maintain that the pearlescent white from my first try is a beautiful way to use the product.

Over black polish and a cured gel top coat, the powder turns a deep hunter green.

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The same #585 powder applied over black nail polish and a cured gel top coat.

The mirror effect is even more pronounced over the black base, and there is more of a gold to dark green color shift.  It’s amazing how the same powder can look completely different!

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I stamped on an accent nail with some gold polish to complement the pigment’s multichrome undertones.

The only other materials you need to get these nails are the powder, a curing lamp, and a gel top coat.  If you already do your own gel nails, you’re on your way to having some stunning nails with not much effort needed.  If you need a lamp, you can buy one from Born Pretty along with the powder.  Shipping from them is always free.  Try it out and see how amazing this product works first hand!  I guarantee that people will notice your nails.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this chrome pigment and top coat set (retail price is $7.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/1gbox-shinning-chameleon-mirror-nail-glitter-powder-gorgeous-nail-chrome-pigment-glitters-p-30738.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Review of Harunouta Plate 10

Fall begs for plaid and argyle prints, so this plate from Harunouta is sure to please the pattern obsessed.

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Harunouta plate 10 from Born Pretty Store.

You get five different patterns on this standard size circular plate, and because they take up entire quadrants, the designs are sure to cover wide and fairly long nails.

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The plate comes with a cardboard sleeve for storage, and it is also covered in a blue protective film which must be removed prior to usage.

The etching on this plate is nice and deep, so you can be sure that your stamper will not have any problems picking up the images.  It’s helpful to clean the metal surface with acetone first to guarantee good stamping results.

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Using the design from the middle, it is easy to create a nice accent nail.

The plaid print is a little on the large side, but it is still very cute.

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I recommend using a firm stamper with these designs so that the lines don’t distort when you stamp the images onto your nails.

The argyle print is ripe for reverse stamping.

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Using the brush from the bottle, I filled in some diamonds with a different color of nail polish. If you have more patience than me, you can make a patchwork design out of this with different colors for a mani that is truly unique.

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The finished preppy argyle nails here remind me of something out of Mean Girls.

I had a slightly hard time getting all the small lines to transfer from the argyle pattern, but I attribute that to letting the polish dry on my stamper for too long.  If you go through the steps quickly, you are sure to get good results.

The quality of the plate is excellent, and you will be able to create many different looks with it that range from classy to cute depending on your color choices.  Let your imagination run wild!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $2.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/55cm-round-nail-stamp-template-diamond-shape-design-image-plate-p-29550.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Agatha the Shihtzu Puppy Nails

October 1, 2016 marked the day that Tracy, a good friend from work, moved to New Hampshire.  If you met her, you would know that she’s one of the nicest people ever to grace this planet, and I was so sad to see her leave New York.  Knowing how interested she was in my nail art every week, I thought it only fitting that I do a manicure in her honor to send her off with some good vibes!  I made sure to paint this during the week of her departure so that she could see the nails in person.

Tracy has a shihtzu puppy named Agatha who is as cute as can be, so it seemed an obvious choice to do a dog theme.  After all, Tracy herself doesn’t have an Instagram account- only Agatha does!  The plan was to do pink nails with paw prints covering them because Agatha once had a bed with a similar pattern and then paint Agatha herself on one nail.  I find that I’ve been getting more confident about my painting skills lately, so I was ready to take on the task of trying to do something close to photo realistic resemblance.

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I started by painting my nails with Eureka by Formula X for Sephora.

I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paints from here on out.

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To make the paw prints, I used a small brush to paint a heart shape and then added four oblong dots around the sides. Accuracy is not so important here.

Alternatively, you can use black polish and a dotting tool to get the job done.  I wanted to try that approach, but my dotting tools have mysteriously disappeared!

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To start painting the shihtzu, I laid a foundation of light brown acrylic paint in her general shape.

For reference, I used this photo:

And after about 1.5 hours, this was my result:

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I still have no idea how I managed this.

Basically, I blended custom shades of white, tan, brown, and black to do the shading for the fur.  Plus I used a very tiny brush.  What impressed me the most was the scale of this little portrait.  My nail photos always make my designs look large, but my nails are pretty small.

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Agatha measured no more than one centimeter when all was said and done! Her personality remains larger than life.

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Here’s the completed manicure with topcoat applied.

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Agatha inspecting my work. I think she approves!

The best part?  I planned ahead to save the design, so I used a peel off base coat underneath it all.  Before Tracy left, I made sure to gift her my little painting.  Parting is such sweet sorrow!  But I love that I will always associate this manicure with all the good times we had together particularly in the last week before the big move.  I wish her the best of luck with everything and hope we will see each other still!

Happy fall, and happy polishing!