Leopard and Jungle Print Manicure

It’s a jungle out there, and here are the nails to prove it!

I started by painting my nails with Aimeili gel polish in 073 Kale. This army green provides the perfect backdrop for jungle foliage. 3 thin coats were applied and cured for a minute each in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

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Aimeili gel polish in color 073 Kale.

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Icy Winter French Manicure

Ah, winter. The snow and the ice sure make the season beautiful, but it’s also flu season, and guess who is still recovering from that? Yep, you guessed it- it’s me! I didn’t intend to take another break from doing nail art, but I was horribly ill for many days, unable to do anything but sweat from my fever and sleep. I’m doing better now 2 weeks later, but I still can’t get rid of my cough! It’s only just slightly nerve wracking when you want to paint your nails.

In any case, I decided to make a snow drift inspired French tip design for this week. I started by painting all my nails a beautiful icy light blue color using the aptly named polish Silent Snowfall from Femme Fatale.

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It only took two coats of polish to get this light shade perfectly opaque. It also has the prettiest shimmer thanks to the fine holographic glitter added to the formula.

The French tips were done with plate B119 from Blink and Ya Qin An Stamping Nail Polish in Silver. Continue reading

Holographic Pink and Black Lace Manicure

Today’s nail art is based off a pink and black color theme, which is always a classic combination. I also really was in the mood to use some holographic polish because it’s been awhile since I enjoyed some rainbow action!

I started by painting my nails with What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI and Born Pretty Holographic Stamping Polish in color #2.

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Everything is so shiny! These nails look killer already even without any nail art.

I wanted to do French tips combined with stamping, so I applied an extra swipe of black polish across the tips of the nails that were painted with the pink polish.

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Half of a French manicure in action.

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Texas Strong Nail Art

Apologies for the lack of activity lately. The beginning of the new school year is always a tiring and busy time for me, and I haven’t had much time to paint my nails.

A friend from Texas had requested that I do some Texas Strong nails in light of the recent hurricane activity there. The victims of Hurricane Harvey have been pushed aside in the minds of many after Hurricane Irma hit the US not long afterward. Many prayers go out to those who are still recovering from both disasters. I’m grateful that those that I know who are in the affected areas are safe.

In any case, the first thing that came to mind with my Texas Strong design was to paint the state’s flag and a small version of the state on my nails. For those who don’t know what the Texas flag looks like, here it is:

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Public Domain, Link

I started by painting my index finger blue and the rest of my fingers white.

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The blue polish is called Oceanic and the white polish is called White Matter, both from Formula X.

I did the star by hand with a small brush and craft smart acrylic paint in White. To get a more symmetrical look, I placed dots where the 5 points of the stars would be and then connected the dots.

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To ensure that I got straight lines between the white and red sections, I applied a piece of striping tape to use as a painting guide, then I brushed on red polish (Pyrotechnic by Formula X) over the top part of my nail.

The text “Texas Strong” and the state of Texas on my pinky were hand painted with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. A generous amount of Seche Vite top coat finished off the look.

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It’s a simple design that gets the point across. I wish I could have done something big and grand, but I’m still struggling to find the time to do everything these days.

Hope everyone is safe and well out there! Happy polishing!

Wedding Cake Inspired Manicure

I’ve surprisingly been able to keep up with the February @glamnailschallenge prompts so far.  Feb. 8’s theme was Wedding Cake, so I channeled my inner Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes to come up with a wedding cake design to put on my nails.

I started by painting all my nails white.  I chose Bunny from Julep because it has subtle gold microglitter in it that would match the gold stamping and accents that I planned to add later.

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Bunny by Julep.

For the icing scrollwork, I chose to stamp on a pretty filigree from plate BPL-027 from Born Pretty Store.

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I chose the pattern from the upper left hand corner for this manicure.

I used Charge It! from Sephora by OPI to do the stamping.  I tried to align the point of the design with the center of my nail, and I also left a little bit of space between the point and the cuticle so that it would more closely resemble a cake layer.

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Subtle gold stamping finished off with a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI to give it the look of fondant.

Because I wasn’t so sure about the next part of the design, I added pearl rhinestones from Born Pretty Store so I could get a “finished” shot before I proceeded just in case I didn’t like how it turned out.

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Tiny flatback pearl rhinestones were applied to the center of each nail in the same part of the design with Kiss Nail Art Glue and some tweezers. I am holding the color Charge It! from Sephora by OPI, which was used for the stamping.

The next part consisted of adding a band of gold fondant to the top of my cake layer, otherwise known in the nail art world as French tips.  I used the brush from the bottle of Charge It! to paint a stripe of polish across the top of each nail and then added gold striping tape underneath it to neaten up the line.  I applied some more matte top coat, and declared this manicure finished.

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I’m amazed by how much matte top coat makes this look like a layer of fondant.

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Requisite bottle shot.

It’s funny how I kept wondering what I was going to do for this theme, and I managed to put this look together in the end.  I feel like doing nail art is like choosing an outfit for a special occasion- you just have to look through everything you have and figure out what goes together the best.

Happy polishing!

 

Review of Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Pigment Powder #11

Looking for nails that are great for clubbing, or do you just desire a burst of bright neon color?  The neon pigment powder in today’s review is just the thing that you’re looking for.

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Born Pretty Store’s neon pigment powder in color #11.

The powder is a very fine loose pigment that is stored in a small faceted plastic container with a screw top lid.  Unfortunately, it does not have a seal over the mouth of the jar, so some of the product does leak out into the bag during shipment.  It is, however, only a fine dusting that makes things a little messy.  On the plus side, the powder is inexpensive and Born Pretty manages to fit two grams of it inside the container as opposed to the normal one gram that is inside most of their similarly packaged glitters and powders.

The bag itself has a zip seal running along the top, so you can always store the container inside the bag if you are concerned about it leaking out again.

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Also included in the package is a sponge tipped applicator.

I would suggest that you place a piece of paper or a tissue underneath the container and over your work area before opening it and using it to allow for easy clean up later on.  Wearing a face mask and eye protection is also recommended if you are sensitive to dust.  I’m sure it is cosmetic grade and safe to use, but the powder is very fine and can therefore easily float into the air and be inhaled.

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Bright neon yellow powder.

When I first used this powder, I tried it over black nail polish and soon found that it did not turn out very cute.  I also found out that it does not work well will negative space manicures because the powder smears across everything once another layer of top coat is applied.  Also, being neat is very important when using this product.  Below are the pictures from my first failed attempt, so live and learn by my example!

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Things that I learned from using the product the first time: Neatness counts, negative space manicures aren’t a good idea for this look, and using black polish as a base color will make the powder appear green.

I also discovered that the powder looks AMAZING under the gel curing lamp and under blacklight.  It doesn’t mean that the manicure glows in the dark, but if you’re going to a rave, these nails are definitely going to stand out!

Below is a proper tutorial for how to use this neon powder.

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Paint your nails white or a color that matches the color of the powder. I used b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

If you are using regular nail polish, allow the color to dry completely first.  For either gel or regular polish, apply a gel top coat over the base color being very careful to not let it pool in the sides of your nail bed or your cuticles.  Cure your nails for about 15 seconds so that the formula stays tacky.  This is necessary to get the powder to adhere to your nail.

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Using the sponge applicator that comes with the set, apply the powder over the half cured gel top coat. It does not take much powder to get full color coverage.

Pro tip: For extra easy clean up, use a liquid latex barrier such as Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape around your nails.  You don’t have to do this as the powder will easily wash off your skin after you apply and cure another layer of gel top coat, but it does keep things looking more neat.

Once the powder is applied over the base color to your liking, use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails.  Take special care to clean any powder from your cuticles.

Once you have removed the excess pigment, apply another layer of gel top coat to your nails and cure it fully as directed on the package.  However, despite clean up, do be aware that there will be a chance that your brush or bottle of top coat will get contaminated with the powder.  You can wipe your brush on a clean tissue before dipping it back into the bottle to help prevent this, or pour out a small amount of top coat into a different container for use if you are especially paranoid about contamination.

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The finished look! Bright and shiny neon yellow nails.

The color is extremely vibrant, so the pigment works great.  Its real appeal is what it looks like under blacklight.

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This stunning pigment really pops under a blacklight.

Because the color reminded me of the newer hazard road signs, I decided to make a Santa Sleigh Crossing Sign version with acrylic paint over this neon base.

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While it is messy to use, this neon pigment has serious color payoff.  It is especially eye catching under blacklight, but the color is attention grabbing even in normally lit situations.  Just make sure to use a white base color when using it to get the best effect.  Judging by how much powder gets used for a manicure, this container will last forever, so don’t just save it for special occasions.  Get creative!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this neon powder pigment (retail price is $1.99 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/2gbox-neon-phosphor-powder-nail-gradient-pigment-powder-manicure-nail-decoration-p-36691.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Back to School Chalkboard/Bus/Crayon Nail Art

Who is ready for the upcoming school year?  Not me!  Most NYC schools don’t start until after Labor Day, so I’ve got a little bit more time for myself before the crazy student hustle begins again!

I teamed up with @tamiiinails on Instagram this time to do a collaboration to celebrate the return of the school year, so we both agreed to have some kind of chalkboard element in our designs.  The rest was up to us!

I decided to use the chalkboard as my accent nail and paint the stripes of a yellow school bus across the other nails.

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I used Lighthouse by China Glaze and Johnny by Julep for my base colors. I guess the shimmer makes my school bus look more magical!

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I painted my nails with the corresponding base colors that would go with my concept.

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I used a striping brush and black acrylic paint to make the double stripe pattern across my nails. I later refined the lines with a detail brush to get them filled out and straight. Then I painted the 1+1=2 on the black nail with white acrylic paint and a super fine detail brush and applied matte top coat from Sephora by OPI over the chalkboard design. Regular top coat from Seche Vite was applied to the other nails for shine.

It’s a fairly simple design, although getting the details to look perfect is where a steady hand and some OCD come in handy!  Believe me, I wish I had black striping tape that I could have used instead!  Speaking of which, if you don’t think you are capable of painting straight lines, you can lay 3 pieces of striping tape on top of the yellow polish to form a stencil for the black lines and paint over the empty spaces with black nail polish.  Personally I’m faster at painting them freehand, not to mention that I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to waiting for my polish to dry before applying striping tape!  But this technique may work better for you.

Also, it occurred to me afterward that the lines resemble the ones on crayon wrappers, so you can also opt to change the colors on your nails and purposefully turn them into crayon nails.  Of course, you can also eliminate the chalkboard altogether and do only crayon nail art as well.

As for the collaboration, here it is!  Simple but cute.

Best of luck to everyone in the new school year!  Happy polishing!