Easy Accent Nail Manicure

As previously mentioned, it’s hard to find time to do your nails when you’re taking care of squirrels! I decided to ditch my long nails so that I could work with my favorite rodents better, and I did a super quick and easy manicure to keep my nails from drying out from all the extra hand washing.

Everyone knows how hard it is to remove glitter polish, so I chose this gorgeous silver holographic flake polish as my base for some durability. The color is called Jubilee and comes from Cupcake Polish. 2 coats is all you need for a perfect manicure.

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Who needs nail art when you have a color like this?

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Cat Lovers Nail Art

Welcome, spring! I wanted to do something soft and pastel for the season, so here are some cute and cuddly cat nails in pink and gray!

I started by painting my nails a pale pink. This one is color 003 from Mefa. I applied 3 thin coats, curing each layer for 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

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3 coats are necessary to get full coverage with Mefa gel polish in color 003.

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Irish Unicorn Nails

If you blog, you’re almost always expected to come up with nails for every holiday. While I never used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all that much, my nails certainly have been on board for the past few years! This year’s inspiration came from a student of mine who dressed up as an Irish unicorn for her lesson. I became obsessed with her headband, so she gave me a homework assignment to create some nail art based on it.

My first step was to paint all my nails green. I used Paper Chasing from China Glaze.

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The perfect kelly green- Paper Chasing from China Glaze. Be warned, though- this stuff will stain your nails a shade that Elphaba would find normal!

For more impact and sparkle, I used Emerald City holographic glitter from Dimension Nails over the polish. To apply it, I painted a coat of Paper Chasing over a nail, dipped it into the pot of glitter while the polish was still wet, then used a fan brush to sweep away the excess. This process was repeated for each nail.

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Welcome to the Emerald Isle!

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Dried Flower and Damask Print Nails

I’m bringing you some more flower nail art to brighten your day today!

Again, I’m featuring some dried flowers from Born Pretty Store. Stay tuned for a review on these flowers coming soon to the blog!

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This time I used the little lavender blooms from the far left. Some prep work is needed before starting to paint.

I gently pulled the petals from the husks and trimmed down the brown parts with a small pair of scissors before setting the blooms aside. Be very careful that the area is not drafty because the petals can blow away very easily!

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Dried flowers can be messy, so work over a piece of paper for easy clean up.

For the nails, I started by painted everything with a shimmery lavender polish called The Color to Watch from OPI.

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This polish is a little sheer, so it takes 3 coats to get the look in the photo.

I wanted to add some stamping to my nails, so I picked some pretty prints from the L026 plate from Harunouta to do the job.

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I chose to stamp with the 2 square designs in the top and middle rows, 2nd column from the right.

I alternated my chosen patterns on each nail, turning the stamper 45 degrees for a diagonal placement to change the look. That pretty lavender lacquer is Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #271.

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A very subtle and classy damask print design will complement the flower petals that are added next.

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Glittery Pressed Flower Nail Art

Today’s manicure features dried flowers, something I’ve never worked with but always wanted to try. I used an assortment from Born Pretty Store that contained a few different types of flowers, so let’s get started!

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Just a few of the pretty blooms in this set from Born Pretty Store. If you have allergies, you might want to stay away because they’re real and full of pollen!

For this design, I focused on using the bright yellow flower on top along with black nail polish. Before painting my nails, I had to prep my flower pieces. I carefully plucked out individual petals and trimmed the ends and did the same with portions of the leaves underneath. I also cut away small fragments of the center part to leave myself options for creating the design.

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The individual petals look like feathers.

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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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Elegant Wedding French Manicure Nail Art

Today I wanted to bring some pretty and easy nail art to the table. Weddings were my inspiration for the week, so I brought together glitter and pearls to come up with this look.

For my base color, I chose Perky Pink from Sally Hansen. It’s a beautiful pink jelly that has iridescent glitter suspended in the color.

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I wanted some noticeable glitter coverage, so I used 3 coats of Perky Pink to achieve this look.

For the French tips, you can either paint them by hand or use a stamping template to help you out. I recently acquired the French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty Store, so I used the pattern from the upper right hand corner to easily stamp some pearl polish onto my nails.

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French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty Store.

The pearl white stamping polish (Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #54) provided even coverage over the pink base, and thanks to the stamping plate, my smile lines were nice and even.

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To add a little something extra, I applied a simple flower design to my ring finger using Harunouta plate L025 and some black stamping polish from Ya Qin An.

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The pattern for my accent nail comes from the 2nd row of the left side of the plate.

I isolated one group of lines and flowers from the design and stamped it at a slight angle on my nail.

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This look can easily be recreated with a thin striping brush and a dotting tool.

To finish off the manicure, I applied Seche Vite top coat and immediately placed two small silver microbeads from the Recollections Signature brand to the centers of the flowers before the polish set.

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I’m in love with these nails and think they look super pretty and feminine without being over the top. Wear them for a special occasion or everyday. Life is too short to save good things for later!

Happy polishing!

Blue-Green Fall Multi-Chrome Mani

After I did my iridescent nails, a few things occurred to me.

  1. I can’t commit to gel nails.  I got sick of having the same manicure for so long without having an excuse to change up my polish.  On the other hand, it was nice having a chip-free week!
  2. Gel polish removal sucks.
  3. The iridescent powder that I used was actually a chrome pigment that was meant to be used over black polish!  I still loved the pearl finish.

In any case, I had to see what the powder looked like over a black base, so that was my inspiration for this week.  I used a peel off base coat this time so I wouldn’t have to deal with that horrible gel removal process though!

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I started out by painting all my nails with Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora. I only needed one coat for full coverage.

After applying a gel top coat and curing it (I used Born Pretty Store Soak-off Gel), I rubbed in the chrome pigment with a sponge applicator.

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Still looks like an iridescent powder to me, but just wait until you see it over the black polish!

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A totally different look! This pigment has a mirror finish and shifts from dark green to gold to teal blue in the light.

I applied another layer of gel top coat to seal in the pigment and cured it.

Because of the gold tinge in the chrome finish, I decided to use gold polish from Ya Qin An to do some stamping with Harunouta Plate 10.

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Patterns upon patterns on Harunouta Plate 10.

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Originally I went with the plaid pattern, but I felt like it covered up too much of the lovely chrome finish, so I ended up taking it off right away. A huge benefit to using gel is that you don’t have to redo your base color if you didn’t like what you stamped.

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I switched it to the design from the center of the plate and made it a single accent nail instead.

Notice that you can see my blond hair reflected in the finish of the polish.  It has the same mirror effect as the silver and gold chrome mirror pigments but with a teal hue instead.  It’s definitely eye catching, and several people have told me that they loved the polish, so that makes it all worthwhile, right?

Happy fall and happy polishing!

Classy White Pearl Iridescent Gel Nails

Due to my very hands on side job, my nails have been a wreck lately.  Peeling, breaking, dry- just name it and it probably describes in what kind of condition my nails are.  I heard that gel polish can really help protect natural nails while they grow out, and although I never thought that I would take that plunge, I decided to do it anyway…  at least in part.

The big dilemma is that being a nail art blogger, it’s hard to commit to just one shade of polish for a long period of time.  When gel polish is applied correctly, the manicure can last for weeks, and that just doesn’t cut it in the nail art world!  As much as I would like to take a bit of a break, I feel compelled to try to produce something at least once a week.  So what’s a girl to do?

I thought that a white base would serve my purposes the best.  It intensifies whatever color you paint on top of it, so it was a pretty good trade off.  Plus I could try out one of my new chrome pigment powders on top of it to give it a pearly look.

With a good gel application, thorough preparation is key.  I began by lightly removing the shine from my natural nails by filing the surface with the coarse side of a buffing block.  After brushing away the dust, I put on a coat of Nail Tek Step One primer.  It is essentially alcohol with some additives, so you can also simply wipe your nails down with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad.  Once the alcohol evaporated, I applied a thin coat of Structure base coat from Red Carpet Manicure and cured it under a light.

I made a jelly sandwich by using regular nail polish over the gel base and sealing it in with a gel top coat.  I own one gel polish color right now, but I have hundreds of bottles of regular nail polish, so it would be a shame not to use part of my extensive collection!  My white base this time was wild white ways by essence.

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This white polish was opaque in just two coats, and contrary to the name, you do not need a light to cure the polish.

Because I was using regular nail polish, I had to wait for a bit to make sure the polish dried fully before I applied gel top coat.  I used Born Pretty Store Soak-off Gel Polish top coat for this manicure.

After curing the top coat, I applied my magical shimmery fairy dust, otherwise known as Born Pretty Store Chrome Pigment #585, with a sponge applicator.

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Pretty iridescent magic in a jar!

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Whoever came up with the saying that you can’t wear white after Labor Day obviously never meant the iridescent kind!

I applied another layer of gel top coat over this and cured it.  This means that beautiful pearly white gets sealed in until I officially remove my gel polish!

These nails already look fit for a bride, but I jazzed it up with an accent nail by stamping a floral design from Harunouta plate L009 onto my ring finger.

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Any one of these patterns would look lovely over a white base, but I chose a bunch of flowers from the right side of the plate for this manicure.

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The stamping polish used is Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

To allow myself the ability to be able to change up my nails, I applied Seche Vite top coat over the stamped nail.  The next time I want to paint my nails, I can easily remove only the stamped portion without affecting the base color.  This is also a great hack for those who like to stamp because you can erase any bad transfer jobs by using regular nail polish remover with a cotton pad, and you won’t have to start over from scratch.

Photographing how beautiful these nails are was quite difficult as the color changes in different light settings, so I’m humoring you with a few different shots.

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Hope you enjoyed this look!  Happy polishing!