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.

img_20190420_012830-1

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.

Continue reading

Glittery Flowers and Leaves Manicure

Hello! Today I’m bringing you a floral season crossover manicure that fits spring and summer months equally well. Let’s get started!

For my base color, I picked a light pink from Ulta’s Salon Formula collection called Encore Pink. Honestly, now that I’ve tried out this line, I wouldn’t use it again because it took 3-4 coats to get even coverage across my nails, and it took forever for it to dry properly! I do love the pink color though.

IMG_20180615_094317.jpg

Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Encore Pink.

I wanted to use leaf and flower patterns for this design, so I sourced them from two different plates from Born Pretty Store.

img_20170321_091758.jpg

I used the 3rd image from the left of the bottom row of the Floral BPX-L018 plate from Born Pretty for my index, pink, and thumb nails.

IMG_20180615_094441.jpg

The flowers from the 2nd row, 2nd image from the left of plate BP-L066 from Born Pretty were used on my middle and index fingers.

Continue reading

National Doughnut Day Nails

National Doughnut Day was on June 2 this year, and I totally missed it! I love a good doughnut and wanted to show my appreciation, so I came up with these delectable nails to celebrate in my own way.

I cheated by using a stamping plate to make the doughnuts, although in retrospect this would have been a lot faster doing the design by hand! So do be warned, if you try this at home, it will take a few hours to complete all the steps for all 10 nails.

IMG_20170606_025634

The Cake BPX-23 from Born Pretty Store has lots of yummy looking images on it.

Because the plate did not have a full size doughnut image, I decided to make my own out of the image in the 3rd row, 2nd from the right. I used the Lotus Mat from Bundle Monster to make the decals, but you can use a plastic sandwich bag or something similar in lieu of a silicone mat instead.

Start by applying thick swatches of top coat to your mat that are big enough to cover each of your nails and allow them to dry completely. I used HK Girl top coat from Glisten & Glow for this step.

Next, take a dark brown polish (Olivia from Julep) and stamp the doughnut image multiple times onto each dried swatch of top coat. Stamp as many or as little times as you like, but try to think of how you want the placement of the design to look on your nail.

Now the fun part: adult coloring time! Pick a color you would like your doughnut base to be (a light brown like Vera from Julep works well) and a color for your frosting on top. Because it was taking forever to make these decals, I stuck with a strawberry pink for all my donuts (Carnival Cotton Candy from Nicole by OPI), but you can come up with whatever flavors you like- vanilla, chocolate, blueberry, grape… you get the picture. Try to stay within the lines, although your patience might get the better of you. Using a dotting tool or a small brush can help fill in all the details.

PhotoGrid_1496730895959

Time to make the doughnuts! Decals are just as time consuming to make.

Allow the decals to dry completely, but in the meantime you can apply a base color to your nails. I chose a nice blue for my background that contrasted nicely with the pink frosting on the doughnuts.

IMG_20170606_024103

For Audrey from China Glaze channels the iconic blue Tiffany’s box.

Allow your base color to dry before you attempt to apply your decals. Gently peel a decal from the mat, trim it to the approximate size of your nail, apply top coat to the back of the decal to allow it to become pliable again, then place it onto your nail in the position that you would like it to go. Do this to all your nails, trimming away any excess, and finish by cleaning up around your nails with a brush or cotton swab dipped into acetone. Apply an additional layer of top coat to bring back the shine and further seal the decal into place.

IMG_20170606_025517

The finished doughnut nails!

These nails channel one of my favorite moments from The Simpsons during a Treehouse of Horror episode where Homer finds himself in an alternate reality. D’oh!

Hope you had the chance to enjoy a nice doughnut to celebrate the holiday! Happy polishing!

 

Minnie Mouse Themed French Manicure

Hello, lovelies! I’ve got a Disney themed manicure for you today inspired by Minnie Mouse. This is dedicated to my toddler niece Sarah, who isn’t even old enough to appreciate nail art yet, but she loves Minnie!

This design was also done in part to fulfill the French manicure requirement of a nail collaboration I participated in on Instagram, which required that the design be done freehand. Done and done!

My nails have been slightly discolored from different past manicures, so I first applied a sheer pink polish to my nails to make my nail beds look like they’re naturally healthy.

IMG_20170421_103641

This is one coat of Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails in Pink Whisper Creme.

Next, I took a bright red color and painted the tips of my nails for a simple French manicure. Those with unsteady hands can use vinyl guides to keep the lines crisp. After allowing the polish to set a little, I dipped a striping brush into craft smart acrylic paint in black and drew a fine line between the tip with the nail bed. I planned to paint Minnie’s ears with her signature bow on my ring finger, so I outlined the top of her head and added more red polish in a bow tie shape for that nail.

IMG_20170421_115722

That gorgeous red is NY139 from Nicka K.

To finish up, I placed white polka dots on the red tips and the bow with b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White and a dotting tool and outlined the bow and added the knot details with more black acrylic paint.

IMG_20170421_120455

A very French Minnie Mouse!

IMG_20170416_145241

Macro shot of the bow design for the collaboration.

My only grievance with this design is that my nails aren’t wide enough to really show Minnie’s ears. You can only see a hint of them along the sides of my nails, but it’s not very obvious because my nails also have a defined C curve. That’s why I can only call this inspired by Minnie Mouse.

IMG_20170415_211620

A look that Minnie would love to rock as well.

On a side note, this is probably the longest length that I have grown my nails, and I know they’re not even that long! I love the way they look, but it’s so uncomfortable for me to do normal activities like write and put in my contact lenses! Does anyone else feel this pain?

I’ll catch you guys again once I trim and file my nails. Happy polishing!

 

Victorian Love Letter Manicure

February 15 was a vintage love letter theme for the @glamnailschallenge prompt.  I have to say, using peel off base coat is making it a lot easier to get myself to paint more because I keep losing nail polish off my fingers by accident, making it necessary to change my manicure!  Good thing that these prompts are so fun to fulfill.

The first step was to choose a nice base color.  I toyed with the idea of staining some tan polish with alcohol ink to create that old paper look, but I didn’t have that much time to paint my nails.  I found this beautiful crelly from Pretty & Polished in my collection that reminded me of pretty speckled stationery, so I went with it.

img_20170215_172343.jpg

This color from Pretty & Polished is appropriately named Antique.

I envisioned script overlaid with roses, but after digging through my extensive stamping plate collection, I couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted.  I made the gut wrenching decision to attempt painting the words myself.  Mind you, I have never felt comfortable with writing words on my nails because painting with a brush really doesn’t work the same way that a pen does.  I probably could have used a fine tipped Sharpie to do this, but I opted for the harder route and used acrylic paint with a fine brush and winged it.  A challenge for the challenge!

img_20170215_224057.jpg

In retrospect, a little planning would have gone a long way.  My first mistake was that I didn’t give myself enough time to do this manicure before having to leave for an appointment.  I actually had to apply topcoat after I took the upper right hand corner picture so that I could leave and come back to the details of the flowers later!  I took the most time with my index finger, which is why the text looks so much better and clearer than it does on the other fingers.  But unfortunately, acrylic paint dries quickly, and my mix of black and brown paint got thicker and thicker as I moved from nail to nail.  I guess I might need to get one of those fancy palettes that keep the paint moist.

I also felt like my text was too unevenly spaced, although perhaps that adds a more realistic charm to the look.  Ever try writing on an unlined piece of paper before?  I guess that makes my handwriting look more authentic.

My saving grace was being able to place the roses over the bits where I thought the penmanship looked too sloppy.  This was easily done with a few kinds of nail polish and some dotting tools.  The leaves are Monet Money from Finger Paints, and the different shades of pink are all colors from Nicole by OPI: (from darkest to lightest color) Berry the Hatchet, City-Pretty Rose, and Carnival Cotton Candy.

img_20170215_173248.jpg

The letter that I’m holding is a facsimile of one written by Eugene O’Neill to Beatrice Ashe on November 1, 1914.

The result turned out very pretty, and I’m sure that people will assume that I stamped the script when really I cursed a lot over the cursive writing!  While it’s not my best freehand work, I’m still satisfied with it.  I’ll just keep practicing my brushwork and see if I can do better the next time.

Happy polishing!

 

Hibiscus Flower Manicure

Hello!  It’s time to fulfill another @glamnailschallenge prompt.  The theme for Feb. 5 is Red Flowers, so rather than do something with roses, I chose to feature the hibiscus flower.  I have fond memories of these big red blossoms growing all over my mom’s garden, and they were always her pride and joy (aside from me, haha).

I used plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store for the design.  Something tells me that I’m probably going to end up doing a lot of stamping this month to keep up with the challenge prompts.

img_20160214_155213.jpg

Plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store has all the flowers you could want. I used the image in the bottom row, 3rd from the right.

I planned to put the hibiscus flowers on only my middle two fingers, so I painted my other nails basic black to keep the focus on the flowers.  I went with a gold polish for the middle and ring fingers because that was the lightest shade out of the colors that I planned to use for the hibiscus decal.

img_20170205_212030.jpg

Goldfinger! The gold polish is called Charge It! from Sephora by OPI, and the black polish is What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI.

Making decals is fun, although I really dread the application and clean up process.  I would have liked to simply reverse stamp it onto my nail, but I had to paint over pretty much the entire image, so it didn’t want to transfer in one piece as my botched right hand can testify!

The colors used are as follows:

Ya Qin An stamping nail polish in Black
Red: American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI
Gold: Charge It! by Sephora by OPI
Light Green: Tatum by Julep
Green: Little Butterfly by Cupcake Polish

img_20170205_211302.jpg

The making of a nail decal.

  1. I stamped the design with Ya Qin An Black stamping polish.
  2. (not pictured) I applied a layer of Ya Qin An top coat over the stamped image to prevent polish bleed and assist in making the removal of the decal easier.
  3. I used a dotting tool to apply the gold polish to the stamen of the flowers and used the brush from the bottle to apply the other different colors to the image.
  4. After letting the decal dry completely, I carefully removed it from the stamper with tweezers.
  5. I applied a layer of Glisten & Glow HK Girl Top Coat to a gold nail and placed the decal on my nail, smoothing out the surface.
  6. (not pictured) I used a cuticle pusher to cut away the excess decal from my nail and filed away the extra bit from the free edge.
  7. Repeat these steps to make additional decals for your nails.

After some additional clean up with acetone and swabs and brushes and a layer of Seche Vite top coat, I finally finished!

img_20170205_211722.jpg

Pretty, although it’s not 100% perfect.

I have to admit, decal transfer is still one of my weaker points, especially because my natural nails have some funky contours.  If anyone has any additional pointers, I’d love to hear them!

img_20170205_183141.jpg

Finished hibiscus manicure.

Incidentally, you might have noticed that I used three different top coats with the manicure rather than just one.  This is because I find that each top coat has certain strengths that I like to save it for.  For instance, the Ya Qin An top coat is the best thing since sliced bread for stamping.  It never smears the polish underneath it, no matter how many times you brush over the design.  Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat is supposedly a blogger favorite, but I don’t like using it because it tends to smear colors easily.  However, because of this, it “melts” decals quickly so that they conform to the nail’s shape in no time.  Seche Vite top coat remains my #1 pick as a finishing gloss because it seals all the layers of polish underneath it, dries super quick, and has the best amount of shine.  I say mix and match for best results!

See you in a few days for the next prompt.  Happy polishing!

 

 

Photobombing Polar Bear Nail Art

It has been a rough week for me as my LG G4 phone went into an unrecoverable boot loop, meaning that I lost a bunch of pictures, texts, and other such data.  I’m waiting for my replacement phone to arrive while I use a cheap substitute in the meantime, but my whole routine has been upset, and it has caused me to be in a creative slump.

My last manicure was starting to chip, so I forced myself to try to come up with something else.  Because I’ve been so uninspired, I opted to do the @clairestelle8challenge prompt for the 14th: Animal.  I figured that I could do a cute polar bear over a cool toned gradient, and to make it easier to paint, have the bear “photobomb” the scene so that I would only have to paint the upper half of its face.  The photobomb idea also came from the fact that I have small nails that make it hard to paint too much detail, so I was trying to work with my canvas size.

I picked a nice cool toned blue for my base color.

img_20170113_004055.jpg

Maltilda by Julep.

The gradient was a mix of the base color, a shimmery holographic ice blue, and a white shade speckled with silver microglitter.  I applied stripes of each polish onto a nail art mat and used a sponge to dab the mix onto my nails.

img_20170113_005646.jpg

Pictured from left to right: Matilda by Julep, Tali by Julep, and Dandy Lyin’ Around by China Glaze.

img_20170113_005605.jpg

The finished icy gradient looks like snow drifts blowing across an open field.

For the bear, I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paints in blends of White, Dark Grey, and Black.

img_20170113_010729.jpg

I painted the general shape of the bear on top of the gradient with white paint.  Then I blended a little bit of Dark Grey with White to tint the ears.  I also slightly shaded the face around the eyes and snout area with an even lighter version of the mix that I used for the ears.  Finally I added the nose and used a dotting tool to make the eyes with black paint.

After applying some top coat, the bear is done!

img_20170113_011750.jpg

Peekaboo! I see you!

I apologize if the photos don’t look as nice here because I typically use apps on my phone to do the editing, and I got stuck using an old tablet instead this time.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running on the warranty replacement phone this week, but until then, stay warm, and happy polishing!