Faces of a Relationship Manicure

Not every relationship is a good one, and there are two sides and more than meets the eye when it comes to each one. This manicure isn’t specifically based on anyone I know, but it’s just me expressing more of an artistic side.

I started by painting my nails a creamy off white color. This shade is B268 Coconut from the March Mani X Me Box from Maniology, and it’s opaque in 2 coats. Use code FINEPOLISH10 to save 10% off your order or $5 off a Mani X Me subscription!

This shade is B268 Coconut from the March Mani X Me Box from Maniology, and it's opaque in 2 coats. Use code FINEPOLISH10 to save 10% off your order or $5 off a Mani X Me subscription!

Continue reading

Phases of the Moon Manicure

Social media was buzzing with pictures of the blood wolf moon from a few days ago, so naturally it inspired me to do some nail art! Instead of doing a true eclipse sequence, I did phases of the moon.

I started by painting my nails with Celestial from Maniology. In the bottle, you can see lots of holographic glitter, but it didn’t show up nearly as well when painted on my nails.

IMG_20190125_102300.jpg

2 coats of Celestial from Maniology were painted on my nails. Unfortunately the glitter doesn’t shine through such an opaque formula very well. I’ll have to see if it fares better when used as a stamping polish.

Continue reading

Abstract Watercolor Flowers Manicure

Hello everyone! I’ve been super busy trying to gather all my paperwork together to do my taxes, so I apologize for not being that active as of late. I suspect that I’m going to have to take a break at least until after April 15!

In the meantime, I tried to slap together something that would be quick to paint and look cute for spring. I drew inspiration from a bouquet of carnations that a student gave me after a concert and a plate from Born Pretty Store. Let’s get started!

I first painted all my nails white. I looked for an unused polish in my collection and came up with this neon base coat from Formula X. Because it was meant to be used underneath other colors to make them appear brighter, it doesn’t really perform the best as a stand alone color, but it does the job.

IMG_20180407_002745.jpg

This neon base coat from Formula X has a slightly yellow tint to it. 3 coats of polish are pictured here.

To make the outline for the flowers, I used a plate from Born Pretty Store. The image in the top left corner is a beautiful abstract floral design that I loved for its hand painted look.

IMG_20180407_105720.jpg

Valentine’s Day BP-L001 plate from Born Pretty Store.

Because the pattern was so large, I was able to stamp various portions of it across all of my nails which added to the hand painted look. Continue reading

Birds and Music Manicure

As some of you know, I am a professional flutist and do this nail art thing as my hobby. It’s only fitting that today’s manicure pays homage to the job that pays my bills!

I wanted to create an antique parchment look for the background. It was hard to find exactly the right color, but I opted for this neutral tan called Samoan Sand from OPI to do the job.

IMG_20170424_132302

Samoan Sand by OPI. It takes a few coats to get it opaque, but it’s a perfect nude shade for your nails.

To stain the “parchment,” I used some alcohol ink made from a BiC Mark It Permanent Marker in Woodsy Brown. To do this technique, color part of a plastic bag with the permanent maker, then take a small brush, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and pick up the marker pigment with the brush. You can then paint with this alcohol ink on your nails.

IMG_20170424_132623

My attempt at creating a stained look with alcohol ink.

One thing I didn’t like about the color of the marker that I chose was that the brown had more of a red tint to it than I thought. It definitely changed the color of my base shade more than I would have liked, and I probably would have used a different base color had I known that that would happen. This was only one of many mishaps that occurred while I was painting this manicure.

Because of the 3-4 layers of nail polish that were needed to make Samoan Sand opaque, I had to wait quite awhile to let my nails dry enough before I could proceed to stamping my chosen pattern, shown on the plate below.

IMG_20170424_134525

Perfect for musicians: plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty Store.

Being a flutist, I’m always learning music that sounds bird-like so the image from the top row, 4th from the left appealed to me the most. Using black stamping polish from Ya Qin An, I transferred the image to my nails. I used a clear stamper to make sure the lines of the staves were fairly straight and perpendicular to my nails. I also took care to try to stagger the image to make the design look more unique.

IMG_20170424_133032

Stamping from a single image from plate BP-L059.

You’ll notice that there’s a suspicious looking burn mark in the middle of one nail. That was not supposed to be there originally. I made a mistake while double stamping the lower part of that nail- the first transfer had thin stave lines, so when I went over the bottom part a second time, I failed to line up part of the image correctly in one place. I tried to lightly rub the area with a cotton swab and acetone, but the black polish started smearing over the nearby areas. I ended up removing a larger section of polish than I had intended to, refilled it with Samoan Sand, and reapplied the alcohol ink, but the remnants of the smudged black polish still formed a ring around the area. I decided that this added to the antique flair and went with it. This just goes to show that sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but you can still roll with the punches.

Speaking of, I had also horribly smudged my pinky nail right before I was going to take the photos for this manicure, so I had to completely redo that nail for these shots as well. Sigh.

In any case, I applied a layer of Ya Qin An top coat to prevent the stamping from getting smudged, then applied a layer of Matte Top Coat from Sephora by OPI to finish up this manicure.

IMG_20170423_201051

This one’s for the birds!

Here’s to hoping that the next manicure won’t have so many nail fails involved! Happy polishing!

 

Elegant Stone Marble Nails

Looking for some subtle nail art for spring?  How about trying a marble design?  I’m not talking about water marble, I’m going for the rock!

I started by painting my nails a pale pinkish-gray color.

img_20170329_023111.jpg

The color is Thrilling from Formula X.

Next, I used the alcohol ink technique to provide a wash of gray ripples throughout my base color.  I colored a part of a plastic bag with my gray permanent ink marker (Sharpies or BiC Mark It pens are perfect for this) and then dipped a small brush into rubbing alcohol and mixed it with the marker ink applied to the plastic bag to make alcohol ink.  I dabbed the mixture over my nails to my liking, creating a smoky effect.

img_20170329_023454.jpg

Rubbing alcohol and a Stone Grey BiC Mark It pen were used to create the wash of grey color on my nails.

I could have easily freehanded the veins in the marble, but I went the stamping route for this one.

img_20170321_092444.jpg

BPX-L020 from Born Pretty Store was my plate of choice for this manicure.

Using the pattern from the bottom row, far right side, I transferred the design to my nails with b.m.c. nail lacquer in iced silver.

img_20170329_024259.jpg

The finished veined marble look.

I love how simple this design is, and it is the perfect color for spring.  I think this also works great for the working professional because the pattern is so subtle, and the neutral color is non-offensive and goes with everything.

Hope you enjoyed this one!  Happy polishing!

Watercolor Butterfly Nails

I’ve wanted to do some watercolor nail art for awhile, and after seeing a video of an artist using alcohol inks that a friend of mine shared on Facebook, I decided that it was finally time to put the technique to use.

img_20160724_185529.jpg

I started by painting all my nails white. This color is Alpine Snow by OPI.

img_20160724_191544.jpg

For the alcohol inks, I used BiC Mark It Permanent Markers. I got a good deal on a set of 37 of them from BJ’s, so I picked some pretty cool tones from the set.

img_20160724_191306.jpg

Rather than draw directly on my nails with the permanent markers, I scribbled a swatch of each shade onto a plastic bag to use as a palette.

For the next step, I poured some 91% isopropyl alcohol into a small container.  Using a fine brush, I dipped the bristles into the alcohol and then mixed it with the color swatch on the bag that I wanted to use.  The more alcohol on your brush, the more diluted the color will be.  You can easily add more color over the area to make the shade more intense.  Be sure to clean off your brush on a clean paper towel when switching between colors.

img_20160724_190947.jpg

The result after applying Fandango Pink with alcohol and a brush.

Continue adding colors until you are satisfied with the result.

img_20160724_192107.jpg

Pretty pastel watercolor shades. I love this look as is!

I used plate BP-X08 from Born Pretty Store to do the stamping.

img_20160725_212933.jpg

I used the butterflies in the bottom right corner of the plate for this manicure.

img_20160725_212135.jpg

I stamped the design at different angles so that the butterflies looked different on each nail. The polish is b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black.

img_20160724_184728.jpg

A nice topcoat adds a beautiful shine to this manicure.

I absolutely adore this watercolor look.  It adds a dreamy touch to the hot weather we’ve been having in NYC.  Hope you are all enjoying your summer!  Happy polishing!