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.

img_20190704_200050

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!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Morbid Nail Art

You guys must think that I must be going through something based on the nail art that I’ve been putting out lately! This morbid manicure is the product of a plate I was sent for review and has nothing to do with what’s going on in my personal life, thankfully! But what I find interesting is how many different ways you can interpret the images on my nails, whether positive or negative. Such is the power of art!

I began by painting my nails a shimmery dark blue/purple shade that was a prototype from Elusive Fox Lacquer. This one of a kind polish has a rather long dry time even for just 2 coats of polish, but the formulas put out by this indie brand are gorgeous! Unfortunately, I ran into a lot of problems with my orders from them, so I don’t buy from them anymore, but there’s no denying the beauty of their polishes!

img_20190702_172035

This prototype from Elusive Fox Lacquer is a one of a kind shade marked with 57 on the bottle.

I used the Artist-L005 plate from Born Pretty for this manicure. The images on this plate look artsy, and there are a lot of depressing options here, but they all stamp really well.

Continue reading

Grape Manicure

Hello! Sorry to have been MIA again, but I was depressed about my peeling, brittle, breaking nails. In my haste to remove some of my last few manicures, I’ve been using 100% acetone, which really wreaks havoc on natural nails, so I needed a bit of a break. I ended up repairing a broken nail with some acrylic powder, which accounts for some of the lumpiness in the manicure you’re about to see because I didn’t apply it to the whole nail and apparently didn’t file it down very well, either. Oops. But hence the inspiration for my [sour] grape manicure.

In my head I saw grapes on top of a terracotta tile like the decor you might find at Home Goods, so I opted for a buff neutral color (Alison from Julep) to go with the nails that would have grapes on them. The other nails got painted with one of the accent colors that I planned to use for my grapes: Purple with a Purpose from OPI.

IMG_20180722_114813.jpg

I love the shimmer in the purple polish from OPI, and the buff/peach colored nails have what Julep calls a “soft focus finish.”

Continue reading

Patriotic Independence Day Nails

Happy July 4! It’s America’s birthday, so my nails are painted with red, white, and blue colors to commemorate our nation’s flag.

The easiest way to do this manicure is to start with a white base. I chose Ya Qin An Stamping Nail Polish in White because it dries quickly and is completely opaque in 2 coats.

IMG_20180704_012525.jpg

I used Bundle Monster’s BM-H25 plate to do the stamping. I featured the images on the top and right sides of the plate in this manicure.

IMG_20180704_012614.jpg

The stamping technique that I used requires the application of two different polish colors to the same design and a single scraping away of the polish so that a gradient effect is not created. It easily becomes a complete mess of colors if you’re not careful with this!

Continue reading

Globe Trotter Travel Nails

I have some serious travel envy after seeing people’s vacation pictures online! Meanwhile I’m stuck in NYC painting my nails. So what’s a girl to do? Make some appropriate nail art!

I started out by painting all my nails black because I planned to use a chrome nail powder on top of this to create that gorgeous blue background you see in the featured image.

IMG_20170513_115307

Seems like I’ve been using What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI a whole lot lately!

After letting the polish dry, I applied a layer of Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat to my nails and cured it under a lamp for 30 seconds. The chrome powder was applied with a sponge applicator onto the top coat layer, and I sealed in the powder with another layer of gel top coat and followed up by curing this layer for about a minute.

IMG_20170803_110140

Born Pretty chrome powder in color 3 has a royal blue tint with purple undertones when it is applied over black polish even though it looks like an iridescent white in the container.

Continue reading

Chocolate Bar Nails for National Junk Food Day, July 21

How many of you guys knew that July 21 was National Junk Food Day? It’s funny how everyday we can celebrate all these random things, but looking up the national days is a great way to get some inspiration going for my nail art!

I decided to paint some chocolate bars for my junk food, so I looked for a good brown polish to serve as my base color. I chose Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze for that candy bar look.

IMG_20170723_194517

Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze has subtle gold flecks in the polish that make it appear more luxurious… or more like crisped rice in my chocolate bar.

I defined the squares of chocolate in my bar by mixing shades of brown and black craft smart acrylic paint. I used a detail brush to paint the lines, but a striping brush can also do the job.

IMG_20170723_195129

I painted in the darkest lines first, outlined them in a slightly lighter shade, then highlighted sections of the lines to define the squares.

I made a French manicure by swiping a layer of Need for Speed by Formula X for Sephora across the tips of my nails to represent the foil wrapper around the chocolate bar, then applied a generous layer of Seche Vite top coat to finish off the look.

IMG_20170721_194547

It looks fairly convincing, no?

In terms of freehand nail art, this was relatively simple as the design consists of many different lines, but it always boils down to how much patience you have. The truly lazy will want to go with the route that I took with my right hand, which was to only apply the silver French tip on top of the brown base color. I mean, you can use your imagination to come up with the rest of the details… right?

Hope you enjoyed this sweet manicure. Happy polishing!

Review of Lylaa Silver Chrome Effect Nail Polish

How many of you are still drooling over the silver chrome look? I never thought that achieving this look would be possible with regular nail polish, so I was a little skeptical when I decided to get this set of Lylaa polishes from Beauty Big Bang. I’m not familiar with the brand, and most chrome polishes still have a brushed metal look rather than the mirror shine of it’s powder and gel combo counterpart, but this one does pleasantly surprise.

The set is a base coat and chrome polish duo. Each bottle contains 6 mL of polish, so the bottles are on the small side. The good thing is that hardly any product is used when you apply the formulas.

IMG_20170723_192115

This set of chrome lacquer and base coat comes in a small plastic bag. Beauty Big Bang stickers are applied to the bottoms of the bottles. No ingredients are listed.

The brush in the bottle is flexible and somewhat wide, so it is easy to paint your nails in about 2 strokes.

IMG_20170723_214412

Bottle shot of the silver chrome nail lacquer. Notice how you can see every bristle on the brush because the silver formula is so thin.

The base coat worked really nicely. The formula does not have a strong odor, but it does smell faintly fishy. This base coat really smoothed out the ridges on my nails and made them look really healthy. If you had any idea how damaged and dry my natural nails are from constantly doing nail art, you would realize that the way they look with this base coat is nothing short of a miracle!

IMG_20170723_191724

One coat of Lylaa base coat was applied to achieve this smooth and healthy gloss to my nails.

In order to successfully achieve the chrome look, you must fully allow the base coat to dry, otherwise the polish will distort with each brush stroke and look chunky once the chrome lacquer is applied.

Speaking of, the chrome varnish is very watery in appearance and smells strongly of paint. With one layer applied, you can see a smoky metallic finish start to appear, but ideally two coats of lacquer should be used to achieve the look below. Each layer of the chrome lacquer dries nearly instantly, which is another huge bonus.

IMG_20170723_191559

These nails are impressively shiny and reflective with 2 coats of chrome nail lacquer applied over Lylaa’s base coat.

Honestly, I have never seen a chrome polish really look like chrome. These nails got many compliments because they really stand out compared to your basic colors. It’s so rare to see shiny silver nails without having to use a gel polish and powder. I’m sure this will appeal to the many people who do not want to have to get a curing lamp or go to a salon to get this look!

On the downside, a lot of top coats tend to dull down the reflectiveness of the lacquer. I tried several different ones (Glisten & Glow, Seche Vite, Ya Qin An, and Dazzle Dry), and none seemed to preserve the original luster of the chrome look. The nails were still very attractive, but they achieved more of a brushed metal finish in the end.

You can try to wear the polish without applying any top coat, but the chrome lacquer rubs off throughout the day. Even with a top coat applied, the lacquer does not last very long. Something about the pigments in the chrome varnish make the top coat peel away fairly easily, and you will find it hard to survive a full day without some form of peeling happening. The actual silver color does stick somewhat to your nails so it doesn’t look as obvious as chipped polish does, but the smooth finish is ruined.

The polish can be removed with regular acetone, but the base coat does act a little funny and becomes slightly balled up and rubbery in texture as you try to dissolve it. You may need to use a little more elbow grease than usual, but it is nowhere near as hard to remove as glitter or gel polish!

In the end, if you love the look and don’t want to go through the hassle of a gel polish application or you don’t have a lamp to cure it with, you can go ahead and try this polish out. If you don’t mind the wear and tear that can happen to the finish of the polish throughout the day, then you will absolutely love it. But if you want to go the distance, I suggest you try the original gel polish and powder method of getting the mirror effect.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish set SKU:J2177 (retail price is $6.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code CHRISS will get you 10% off your order, and Beauty Big Bang offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/products/silver-mirror-effect-metal-nail-polish-varnish-top-coat-metallic-nails-art-tips-nail-polish-set

https://www.beautybigbang.com

10% off coupon code: CHRISS