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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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Neon Rainbow Pride Nails

It’s June, and pretty much the entire month is associated with Pride celebrations. I was playing with drag diva pianist Jacqueline Jonée for her shows, so I wanted to do a set of rainbow nails to complement her “50 Shades of Jonée” theme. I’ve been itching to try out my neon powders with stamping, so keep reading to see how this was achieved!

I started by painting all my nails black with Black Lace, a color from Sephora’s ancient “5 day shine” series of nail lacquers. This polish was part of a set that was gifted to me for my birthday 9 years ago, and it still works great!

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2 coat swatch of Black Lace from the Sephora 5 day shine collection.

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Floral Vine Nails

We’ve been having such lovely weather lately where it truly feels like spring outside. I wanted my nails to match the season before it becomes insufferably muggy, so I created this pretty floral design.

To start, I applied 2 coats of Shell Me the Truth from Nicole by OPI. This pretty shade has a duochrome like effect where it appears either lilac pink or golden light pink depending on how the light hits it.

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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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