Unicorn Mermaid Nails

I’ve been holding off on using gel polishes after a bad skin reaction to the curing lamp a few months ago. I was really scared that my nails might fall off because my nail bed started peeling back, and the skin around the nails was itchy and getting hard before peeling off! Truly a nightmare. I’m a little wary about overdoing it with the lamp now (what, you’re not supposed to do gel manicures more than once in a day?), so I purchased some fake nails and decided to go about my swatches in this manner instead. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up doing sets for people now that I have all these fake nails!

In any case, I was super excited to use some holographic powder to create a fun and whimsical unicorn mermaid manicure, so as per the usual steps, I applied gel base coat from iMethod Beauty, cured that for 60 seconds, then applied and cured 2 coats of black gel polish. The color was 007 Blackpool from Aimeili, and it’s a trustworthy but affordable gel polish that provides the perfect base for chrome and holo powders.

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Disclaimer: this is an old swatch on my actual nails because I was too lazy to take a new photo of a polish that I already swatched.

I then applied a layer of no wipe top coat from iMethod Beauty and cured it for 60 seconds before burnishing in their holographic powder with a sponge applicator. After all the black polish was covered by holo, I swept away the excess powder with a brush and applied another layer of gel top coat.

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With a dazzling effect like this, who can say they don’t like holo?

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Little Red Riding Hood Nails

If you’re a fan of the musical Into the Woods, you’ll recognize the scene on my nails from the Little Red Riding Hood feature where the wolf and Red sing “Hello Little Girl.” Even though this manicure is stamped, it was probably one of the most labor intensive stamping designs that I’ve ever done and uses several different techniques to bring the images to life.

I started with a rich shimmery forest green polish from Julep called Giselle. You only need to apply 2 coats of polish to achieve the same color that you see in the bottle, and it’s beautiful all on its own.

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Koi Manicure

Feeling a little fishy? Here’s a manicure featuring koi. Did you know they are a symbol of love and friendship in Japan?

To give my fish somewhere to live, I first painted my nails a turquoise blue shade from Sephora by OPI called Bright as a Feather. This polish has shimmery silver particles in it that give the color more dimension. I applied 2 coats for the swatch below.

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Review of Harunouta-L072 Stamping Plate

Here’s a quick review of the Harunouta-L072 stamping plate. If you love nature, this is the plate for you!

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A blue layer of plastic film cover the top of the plate to prevent it from getting scratched. You must remove this layer prior to using it.

This long rectangular plate is mounted on a piece of plastic to prevent you from cutting yourself along the metal edges. It comes inside a cardboard slipcover that lists basic instructions for use on the back. A sticker with the item number seals the free edge to keep the plate from falling out of it during shipping.

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Mermaid Nails

Summer is pretty much right around the corner at this point, and the temperatures have definitely been rising in the city! It’s been making me crave a beach day, or at least some mermaid nails!

I started by painting my nails with a black soak off gel polish from Born Pretty. I applied and cured 2 coats of color and followed it up with a layer of Clavuz no wipe gel top coat. Each layer was cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp, and then a blend of teal and green chrome powders from iMethod Beauty was applied with a sponge applicator and sealed in with another layer of gel top coat.

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I applied teal chrome powder to the tips of my nails and green chrome powder to the rest of the area in order to create this gradient effect.

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Tropical Spring Break Nails

Everyone was going away for spring break recently, which was the inspiration for this manicure. I have one student who adores flamingos and had a “flamingo experience” where she got to interact with them in person while she was in Florida, which sounded amazing! These nails are dedicated to her.

I chose a rosy salmon pink as the base color for this design. This was achieved with 3 thin layers of Belen gel polish in color NU016. Each coat was cured for 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

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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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