American Flag French Manicure

If you’re in America, there’s no doubt that you knew it was Independence Day recently. Whether you were having a barbecue, watched fireworks either live or on TV, or just saw a lot of red, white, and blue decor everywhere, there’s no way you totally forgot about the holiday. And if you’re a nail blogger, there’s almost no excuse for you to go out without some sort of appropriate manicure!

Seeing as I did a patriotic manicure fairly recently, I wanted to create a more subtle look this time around. The idea was to do a flag French tip design over a nude base. If my nail beds were in better shape (they’re looking super sad right now after a bad reaction to too much UV light and acetone exposure from all the gel polish swatching that I’ve been doing), I would have left my real nails exposed for a “negative space” look, but I needed to use some sort of foundation to cover up the damage. Good thing I have a nice collection of nude pink colors from which to choose! I selected Privacy Please from OPI for this manicure. It’s sheer, but it’s a little streaky (maybe due to age), so I applied 3-4 coats to each nail to even out the color.

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This lovely blush pink shade hides your nail imperfections in 3-4 coats.

While my polish dried, I prepared a stamper with the flag design from the Konad m45 stamping plate. This was one of the first plates I ever bought, and I remember wondering how on earth you could produce a true red, white, and blue flag image with it. Now that I’m more experienced, I know how to do these things!

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The m45 plate from Konad features French tip designs. I used the one at the 9 o’clock position for this manicure.

To start, I applied a metallic blue stamping polish from Beauty Big Bang (SKU: J6415TM-1A) to the star portion of the design and then applied a red creme stamping polish (SKU: J6415TM-6A) to the stripes (Hint: use code CHRISS to save 10% off your order at Beauty Big Bang). I scraped away the excess polish with one swipe at the same angle as the split in the design so that the colors would not blend together and picked up this image with a stamper. After allowing the polish to dry on the stamper for a little bit, I covered the entire stamped image with Ya Qin An stamping polish in White so that the stars would be white in the design. Care must be taken to try to apply only one brush stroke of white polish to prevent it from “melting” the other colors underneath it.

After repeating this process with 5 stampers to cut down on time, I carefully transferred my newly made flag tip decals to my nails. I had a little trouble keeping them perfectly straight, so I ended up angling the tips slightly. It still looks nice even when it’s a little slanted.

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This macro shot isn’t so forgiving as you can see all the little imperfections like the bleed of the red polish into the white and places where the stamper didn’t totally pick up the design, but the viewer knows instantly what this manicure is!

I’m just happy that I figured out how to use that plate after all these years!

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Hope you had a great 4th of July. Happy polishing!

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