Flaming Manicure

Not too long ago, I played the opera Die Walküre by Richard Wagner, the 2nd of 4 [very long] operas that make up Wagner’s Ring cycle. Everyone was expecting some appropriate nail art from me, so I chose to do a fire design based on the last scene of the opera. It’s the only place where I had to play the piccolo in my part, so it just made sense to me.

Because it’s a fiery scene, I started by painting my nails with a red based black polish called chelsea from nails inc. It’s perfectly opaque in 2 coats, although you can see more of a red tint if you only use one coat.

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Easter Bunny Manicure

I know I’m posting this tutorial a little late, but at least it will be a reference for future Easters to come! After seeing the Easter bunny around town a few times, I decided to make some Easter bunny nails that didn’t look as creepy as the ones that I saw! Seriously, some of those bunnies are terrifying!

To start, I painted 3 coats of LV010 from Ünt. This company is best known for their legendary peel off base coat, a product that I use in combination with a lot of my gel manicures to make them easy to remove seeing as I change my polish quite often, but they also have a full range of colors and cosmetics. This beautiful light pink polish dried with a vinyl finish, but it also took forever to set and was streaky for the first 2 coats. If you have a lot of free time to do nothing, this is a good polish, but it definitely does not dry in a New York minute. It was disappointing considering how well loved their Ready for Takeoff base coat is.

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This beautiful swatch of LV010 from Unt needed a lot of time to dry, and it still wasn’t fully set when I started doing the rest of the nail art. Oops.

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Irish Unicorn Nails

If you blog, you’re almost always expected to come up with nails for every holiday. While I never used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all that much, my nails certainly have been on board for the past few years! This year’s inspiration came from a student of mine who dressed up as an Irish unicorn for her lesson. I became obsessed with her headband, so she gave me a homework assignment to create some nail art based on it.

My first step was to paint all my nails green. I used Paper Chasing from China Glaze.

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The perfect kelly green- Paper Chasing from China Glaze. Be warned, though- this stuff will stain your nails a shade that Elphaba would find normal!

For more impact and sparkle, I used Emerald City holographic glitter from Dimension Nails over the polish. To apply it, I painted a coat of Paper Chasing over a nail, dipped it into the pot of glitter while the polish was still wet, then used a fan brush to sweep away the excess. This process was repeated for each nail.

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Welcome to the Emerald Isle!

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Winter Landscape Nails

I mentioned the other day that my work with New Camerata Opera was hugely inspiring and that it spurned the creation of some glam punk sheep nail art. I didn’t want to leave the 2nd production of the double bill out, so for closing night, I did nails that were loosely based on the opera Savitri by Gustav Holst.

I used the trees from the projection and the color palette of the costumes as the inspiration for some winter landscape snowy trees nail art.

I started by painting my nails a pale shade of blue. This polish from Julep is called Joanna and is a cross between periwinkle blue, lavender, and gray with the prettiest shimmer in the formula.

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2 coats of Joanna look like sheer heaven.

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Glam Punk Sheep Nails

I had the wonderful opportunity to play with New Camerata Opera last week for their double bill of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Savitri by Gustav Holst. Everyone sounded amazing, but I was especially inspired by the costuming for the production of Venus and Adonis. They went for an MTV 80’s glam rock/punk interpretation of this 17th century opera with vibrant neon pinks and black mesh, leather, and lace.

After our first dress rehearsal, I promptly went home and created these nails.

I started by painting my nails white with Laguna Moon Classic Soak-Off UV-LED Gel Polish in color CL361.

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2 coats of gel polish were applied with each coat cured at 30 seconds with a UV/LED lamp.

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Radioactive Frankenstein Manicure

It’s less than a week away from Halloween! Do you know what you’re putting on your nails yet?

I’m probably going to end up changing my manicure again before the big day, but I wanted to do a cute take on Frankenstein first! It’s been awhile since I’ve done some freehand nail art, so it was nice to pull out the brushes for this one.

I started by painting my nails black except for my ring finger, which I painted green. I used What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI for the black color and Radioactive from Formula X for Sephora for the green shade.

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This color combo looks very Wicked!

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Lucky Dog St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

This post is getting published a little late, but I wanted to show you the nails that I did for St. Patrick’s Day. I came up with a cute idea that took some of the main themes of the holiday (green, luck, rainbows, pots of gold, and 4 leaf clovers) and created something that wasn’t necessarily so clichéd with some freehand nail art.

It all started with this lovely shimmery bright kelly green shade from China Glaze called Paper Chasing.

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I applied 3 coats for maximum coverage and allowed them to dry before proceeding.

My idea was centered around a fictional dog named Lucky who has a cloverleaf marking around his eye. My breed of choice for this was some sort of terrier with floppy ears. I painted him mostly white with brown details and a pink tongue just for fun. I decided to place him on my middle finger so he would be the center of attention.

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This doggy is very happy to be so lucky!

On my index finger, I chose to write his name in script. My penmanship with acrylic paint has apparently gotten much better over time!

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I combined the rainbow and pot of gold elements together in the sense that I made a rainbow dog food bowl and filled it with golden dog kibble. While I used craft smart acrylic paints for pretty much all of the freehand work, I used a gold glitter polish from Nicole by OPI called Carried Away for the golden kibble. Continue reading