Radioactive Frankenstein Manicure

It’s less than a week away from Halloween! Do you know what you’re putting on your nails yet?

I’m probably going to end up changing my manicure again before the big day, but I wanted to do a cute take on Frankenstein first! It’s been awhile since I’ve done some freehand nail art, so it was nice to pull out the brushes for this one.

I started by painting my nails black except for my ring finger, which I painted green. I used What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI for the black color and Radioactive from Formula X for Sephora for the green shade.

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This color combo looks very Wicked!

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Spiderweb Manicure

When it’s late October, the countdown to Halloween starts! There are so many fun things you can put on your nails at this time of year to celebrate the day, but I’ve chosen to highlight spiders and their webs first.

To start, I used a sparkly black holographic polish from F.U.N. Lacquer called Last Doubt. This allows for some slight contrast against the black spiders that will be put on top shortly.

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2 coats of Last Doubt provide the perfect sparkly base for this spooky manicure.

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Fall at Sunset in the Park Nail Art

Oh, fall. It’s the perfect time to bring out all those toasty, golden colors that match the leaves outside. While most of the leaves are still green in NYC, I decided to get a jump start on the season with my nails.

For my base, I used a shimmery lemon shade from Julep called Nadia.

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2 coats of Nadia by Julep were applied for this swatch.

To create fall vibes, I used a fan brush to streak Pam from Julep (holographic orange) and Charge It! from Sephora by OPI (gold) across my nails. I used a slightly wavy motion to get a wind swept effect.

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Fun Halloween Themed Nails

Happy November! This post is coming a little late because I’ve been swamped with trying to get a lot of pictures edited and ready for the blog (not to mention work!), but I think you guys will still enjoy seeing my journey for this manicure!

I did my nails the night before Halloween, and while I didn’t have any spectacular plans to go out, I did want to be festive. I went with a various selection of stamped images on top of a dark background.

To start, I prepared my nails with Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape and then painted my nails with Legend from Formula X for Sephora.

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I kind of wish I hadn’t painted the peel off tape first because this shade is gorgeous and deserved its own swatch photo!

Next I took a small piece of a makeup sponge and applied Jetsetter from Formula X and blended it with Legend to create a vampy gradient.

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Because each shade has shimmery particles in it, the textures blend extra well together.

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Skeleton and Bones Manicure

Hi, everyone! I know I’ve been missing in action as of late, but I’ll have posts to make up for it coming soon. My bathroom was being renovated, so I couldn’t access my nail art supplies (GASP!) for awhile. Now that is a horror story! You would think that the time off from nail art would allow my nails to become healthier, but they stayed dry and brittle to the point where eventually 3 of them broke the day before I planned to paint them. In desperation, I applied a full set of acrylic sculpted nails, which seems to be working out rather well for me this time around! I have to say that I’ve grown to love the extra strength and instant length that I can get from acrylics, and while I probably should have taken photos of me trying to apply them, the fact remained that this was my first full set with very minimal experience prior to this. My tips are way too thick, and I’ve also been sleep deprived, so my attempt at a French manicure came out looking less than stellar but not altogether horrible. If my nails look a little funky for the next few posts, you’ll know why!

Onto the tutorial!

Because it’s almost Halloween, I went with a skeleton black and white theme. The first step was to paint all my nails with Black Diamond from Sally Hansen, but any black polish will do.

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Black Diamond from Sally Hansen is a sparkly dark graphite color.

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Vampire Inspired Halloween Nails

Halloween is on a Monday this year, so all the parties happened on Saturday (yesterday).  I had at least two different ones that I could attend, so I needed matching nails!

I’m not sure what you would call my planned costume, seeing as it was a mix of different things and not just a pre-packaged store bought item.  I do love dressing up!  Let’s just say that it involved a lot of red and black stripes.

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The color palette from left to right: Ring In the Red by China Glaze, Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora, Curve-aceous by Sephora by OPI, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

I wanted to freehand glittery red blood dripping from the tips of some nails and stamp the pattern of my bodice for the other nails.  The stamping was done with plate BP-L020 from Born Pretty Store.

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Lots of lace on BP-L020 from Born Pretty Store.

The steps for this one are pretty simple.

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  1. Paint the index finger, pinky, and thumb with black polish (Dark Matter) and the middle and ring fingers with red polish (Curve-aceous).
  2. Stamp the lined pattern onto the red nails.  Other methods of achieving this are simply freehanding the lines with a striping brush or using striping tape as a stencil, but stamping is the quickest way to go for most people.
  3. Finish off the stamping by adding a lacey border along the cuticle line.  I used the pattern from the bottom row of the plate, 2nd image from the left.  Add blood droplets to the black nails with a dotting tool by forming a large dot where you want the drop to fall and dragging the top of the drop up to the tip of your nail.
  4. Paint red glitter polish along the tips of your nails to connect the drips together and add top coat.  Done!
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I think they match my costume pretty well, no?

The saddest thing was that after taking a disco nap on Saturday night, I woke up with a horrible headache complete with nausea, so I ended up not going to either party.  Boo.  How’s that for a trick?  I plan to make up for this by eating a lot of chocolate on Halloween.

Happy polishing to all you ghouls out there!  Be safe and enjoy!

Spooky October Nails

It wouldn’t be October unless I had at least one Halloween themed manicure!  I’ve been dying to be able to paint, but I haven’t had the time, so I did some stamping instead.

To begin, I painted my nails with Funky by Formula X.  It’s a metallic chrome blue that has slight color shifting abilities where it turns more gold at different angles.

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Funky by Formula X.

I went old school this time and pulled out my original Bundle Monster Series 1 plate collection for the patterns.  These were some of the first plates that I purchased on Amazon years ago.

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BM 13 plate by Bundle Monster has some creepy crawly stuff on it, perfect for an October mani.

The stamping polishes used were gold and silver colors by Ya Qin An and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.  I used a double layer technique to make sure the images could be seen over the blue base color.

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I stamped my chosen designs with silver polish first. I stamped an extra bat on my middle nail to fill in the space. To make the spiders contrast with the web, I used gold polish. Using a clear stamper and black polish, I staggered the patterns just enough to form a highlight behind each image.

The truth is that if you try to stamp black polish directly onto the blue, you can’t really see the design, which defeats the purpose.  Double stamping is a great way to make the images really pop.

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I can’t say that this was quick to do, but the results came out nicely!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your October, and if you celebrate, have a Happy Halloween!  Happy polishing!

Gold and Burgundy Roses

Despite some of the warm weather that we’ve been having in New York lately, it’s still officially fall.  One look at all the leaves turning gorgeous colors outside show you what the real season is.

My inspiration for this one comes from the classic fall shades burgundy and gold.  I needed to do a simple and quick manicure that would get me out the door in time, so I turned to my collection of holo polishes first to see which shade spoke to me.

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The winner was Blood Hound by Cupcake Polish! Its dark and vampy color yells October.

I picked a nice plate from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.

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BP-73 is the name. Roses are its game.

The gold polish I used for the stamping was made by Ya Qin An.  I have used this in a few other recent manicures.  It has the best pigmentation!

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I used the pattern from the top of the plate to stamp this manicure.

I added a nice anti-smudging top coat also made by Ya Qin An and was able to get my photo and arrive at work in time without a hitch!  Can’t complain about that.

Happy polishing!

 

 

Balloons in the Sky Nail Art

Leave it to my precocious 9-year-old student to keep me on my toes with nail art ideas.  This time she wanted me to do balloons.  I envisioned a bouquet of them floating up into a sky with puffy clouds, kind of like in the movie Up (although I’ve never seen it).  I’m pretty sure this was not what she had in mind, but my muse doesn’t always cooperate!

The first step was to choose a nice sky blue.  I loved Destiny from Formula X for its pearlescent effect.  The color has subtle lavender and pink undertones that give it nice dimension.

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Destiny by Formula X.

After applying some top coat, I used Craft Smart acrylic paints to do the rest of the manicure.

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The clouds were simple to do. I painted a circle and added two more smaller [uneven] circles on each side of it to form each cloud. They kind of look like Princess Leia buns!

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The balloons weren’t too hard to do, either- they’re basically ovals in different colors that overlap each other. I used a thinned out striping brush to paint the strings and an ultra fine detail brush to paint in the little white highlight on the top right of each balloon. I added a little nub for a knot for the balloons at the bottom of the design.

The hardest part was really just having the patience to keep cleaning my brush in between each color balloon and making sure the paint was dry before moving on to the next color.

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Macro shot. My one complaint is that the balloon strings didn’t tie together at the exact center of my nail. Then again, I think I painted this at 1 in the morning!

It’s a very cheerful design that brings a smile to people’s faces.

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A friend noted that the clouds look somewhat 3D.  This is achieved in part by having the top coat applied before painting the clouds.  The clear layer in between means that they are literally floating over the base color.  Also, acrylic paint tends to have more texture due to its fast dry time, and my white is starting to get a little clumpy in the bottle if truth be told.  It worked in my favor for the clouds, but to counteract the thickness of the paint for the strings, I made sure that my brush was slightly damp with water before dipping it into the paint so that the lines would stay thin.

You better believe that my student loved the design in the end.  She thought I had either used stickers and/or stamping, so she was totally amazed to hear that everything was hand painted.  *pats own back*

In terms of freehand nail art, this is definitely on the easier side of the spectrum, but the scale of the design is what makes it hard to get right.  Don’t hesitate to try it, and let me know if you do!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Store Iridescent Chrome Powder #585

Have you jumped on the chrome powder bandwagon yet?  It’s so easy to fall in love with these powders, and they’re so affordable, too!

Today’s review is on an iridescent chrome powder from Born Pretty Store in color 585.  In all honesty, I couldn’t remember which color I ordered, so when I saw this beauty in the packaging, I thought it was for white iridescent nails.  More on this in a bit.

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Approximately one gram of Born Pretty Store chrome powder #585 is contained in a cute small plastic faceted jar with a Styrofoam seal covering the opening to prevent leakage. It also comes with a small sponge tip applicator and a holographic Ziploc bag.

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Open the jar and you will find the prettiest iridescent snow powder inside.

This powder consists of super fine glitter particles that change colors in the light.  It basically looks white in color with hints of pink, purple, and green.  It is ultra sparkly and really beautiful.

If you’ve used the classic silver chrome powder before, you’ll know that this powder works best with a gel top coat, so this is what I used to try out the product.

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After applying and curing a gel top coat over white polish, I applied some of the powder to my index finger. The color is iridescent and sparkly and apparently hard to photograph well.

The best part about these powders is that you don’t need to use a lot to get the effect to show.  I rubbed in a tiny bit of the powder with the sponge applicator from the kit, and the effect was instantaneous.

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Pearly white nails.

There is a bit of a mirror effect with this powder, as you can see in the photo below.

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Shot in natural sunlight outdoors, you can see the iridescent color shift more clearly.

My one critique is that some of the glitter particles in the powder don’t totally disappear into the gel top coat, so you do not get a totally smooth and uniform color effect.  I have heard that the best results happen when you apply the powder while your nails are still warm from the lamp light, but I do think that some of the glitter is on the chunky side.  No one will notice this though because your nails will look so chic!

It wasn’t until after I checked the link for the product on the website (listed at the end of this post) that I realized that the effect of the powder was to turn your nails into a chrome green color, which made sense because the other powders suggest that you use them over black polish.  I still maintain that the pearlescent white from my first try is a beautiful way to use the product.

Over black polish and a cured gel top coat, the powder turns a deep hunter green.

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The same #585 powder applied over black nail polish and a cured gel top coat.

The mirror effect is even more pronounced over the black base, and there is more of a gold to dark green color shift.  It’s amazing how the same powder can look completely different!

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I stamped on an accent nail with some gold polish to complement the pigment’s multichrome undertones.

The only other materials you need to get these nails are the powder, a curing lamp, and a gel top coat.  If you already do your own gel nails, you’re on your way to having some stunning nails with not much effort needed.  If you need a lamp, you can buy one from Born Pretty along with the powder.  Shipping from them is always free.  Try it out and see how amazing this product works first hand!  I guarantee that people will notice your nails.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this chrome pigment and top coat set (retail price is $7.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/1gbox-shinning-chameleon-mirror-nail-glitter-powder-gorgeous-nail-chrome-pigment-glitters-p-30738.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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