Watercolor Butterfly Nails

I’ve wanted to do some watercolor nail art for awhile, and after seeing a video of an artist using alcohol inks that a friend of mine shared on Facebook, I decided that it was finally time to put the technique to use.

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I started by painting all my nails white. This color is Alpine Snow by OPI.

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For the alcohol inks, I used BiC Mark It Permanent Markers. I got a good deal on a set of 37 of them from BJ’s, so I picked some pretty cool tones from the set.

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Rather than draw directly on my nails with the permanent markers, I scribbled a swatch of each shade onto a plastic bag to use as a palette.

For the next step, I poured some 91% isopropyl alcohol into a small container.  Using a fine brush, I dipped the bristles into the alcohol and then mixed it with the color swatch on the bag that I wanted to use.  The more alcohol on your brush, the more diluted the color will be.  You can easily add more color over the area to make the shade more intense.  Be sure to clean off your brush on a clean paper towel when switching between colors.

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The result after applying Fandango Pink with alcohol and a brush.

Continue adding colors until you are satisfied with the result.

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Pretty pastel watercolor shades. I love this look as is!

I used plate BP-X08 from Born Pretty Store to do the stamping.

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I used the butterflies in the bottom right corner of the plate for this manicure.

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I stamped the design at different angles so that the butterflies looked different on each nail. The polish is b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black.

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A nice topcoat adds a beautiful shine to this manicure.

I absolutely adore this watercolor look.  It adds a dreamy touch to the hot weather we’ve been having in NYC.  Hope you are all enjoying your summer!  Happy polishing!

Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast At Tiffany’s Inspired Nails

I have been hanging onto these Audrey Hepburn water decals for the longest time now, so I wanted to finally use them in a manicure.

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YE-261 water decals from Born Pretty Store.

This manicure is so simple to do once you have the decals.  I started out by picking out which ones I wanted to use and cut around my selections with a small pair of scissors.

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My left hand and right hand decal choices. The words have some typos (“beauliful” and “Angd an eaeth” should read “beautiful” and “Angel on earth”), but no one really notices that they are misspelled unless they look closely.

I also prepared a small container of water in which I could soak the decals later.

For the polish colors, I wanted white nails for the decals and black nails for contrast.

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Left: Johnny by Julep. Right: Alpine Snow by OPI.

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Does anyone else feel like playing Othello after seeing this?

I worked with the decals one at a time, first soaking the decal in water for about 10 seconds before sliding it off the paper backing, applying it to my nail, and blotting it dry with a napkin.

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Underwater Audrey.

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The decal can float on the surface of the water after you slide it off the paper backing.

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The final decal layout.

I wanted to add some pearl studs to liven up the black nails.  After all, Holly Golightly wears quite an impressive pearl necklace along with her iconic black dress.

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Pearl rhinestone decoration wheel from Born Pretty Store.

I opted to use two different sizes of pearls to mimic the necklace, so I placed a larger sized pearl in the center of my nail and flanked each side with a smaller pearl.  I used Kiss Nail Art Glue to secure the beads.

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The finished look. Of course I made sure that Audrey had her tiara on for her closeup.

I know using water decals is kind of cheating for a nail artist, but I really loved the artwork and couldn’t resist buying these.  I don’t think I’ve used water decals since I was in junior high (trust me, that was quite a long time ago), so it was great to see how much more advanced the artwork has become.

In any case, classy ladies will love this manicure, and if you have any friends who are fans of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, these decals make a great gift.  Using code RSSPX31 will save you 10% off any regular priced items in your order from Born Pretty Store.  Happy polishing!

Minions: the Nail Art

I had some friends request that I do Minions on my nails.  Before I was willing to do them, I watched Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, and ultimately finished with Minions the Movie so I could really find out what they were about.  Most fun research experience ever.  🙂

I had a few different ideas for how to recreate these adorable characters on my nails, but what I ultimately decided to do was paint Kevin, Stuart, and Bob along with some bananas.

Because I was going to paint specific minions, I needed to figure out what makes each one look different.  The most obvious difference with Kevin, Stuart, and Bob is that they’re different heights, and each one has a different hairstyle.  With that in mind, I already realized that I wasn’t going to have enough room to paint their overalls because I have relatively short fingernails.  That worked for me because I didn’t want to have to paint more details than I had to do.  😉

Here is the material line up:

OPI- Alpine Snow
Formula X for Sephora- Zing
Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 Day Shine- Banana split
Konad Special Nail Polish- Black
Formula X- Need for Speed
Sephora by OPI- Casanova Is So Into Me
craft smart Acrylic paint in White and Black
Cheeky- Jumbo Plate 7 (Home Sweet Home)
Googly (wiggle) eyes
Kiss Nail Art Glue
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Clockwise from top left: Alpine Snow by OPI, Need for Speed by Formula X, Zing by Formula X for Sephora, black acrylic paint from craft smart, white acrylic paint from craft smart, Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, Casanova Is So Into Me from Sephora by OPI, and Banana split from Sephora.

I wanted the minions to be on the center nails and surrounded by bananas, so I started by painting the backdrop colors.  I figured that the blue I was going to use for their overalls would contrast nicely with the yellow of the bananas, so I painted my thumb and pinky with Zing.  Because I didn’t want to end up with too many layers of polish for the minions, I only painted half of my nail beds with Alpine Snow.  If you want to be super anal about painting the white background, you can use reinforcement stickers to create the curve of the minion heads, but I’m far too lazy to do that.  😛

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Painting the backdrop for the design with Zing and Alpine Snow.

Next I started painting the yellow minion heads onto the white backdrops.  Kevin is the tallest followed by Stuart and Bob, so I varied the placement of the heads accordingly, leaving room to paint their hair on later.

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Eggs about to hatch- Kevin will be on my middle finger with Stuart to his left and Bob to his right.

I wanted to allow time for the polish to dry, so I focused on doing the banana portion of the design next.  I have a cute plate from Cheeky with bananas on it, so that eliminated the need for me to have to paint them by hand.

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Cheeky Jumbo Plate 7.

What I liked about using this plate is how I still had the ability to color in the design using the reverse stamping technique.

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Stamping with black Konad polish and a Konad stamper.

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Coloring in the peeled bananas with Alpine Snow and a dotting tool.

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Coloring in the rest of the design with Banana split. How appropriate.

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The transfer of the stamped pattern is complete!

I repeated this process for my pinky and applied topcoat to the stamped nails before going back to the minion portion of the design.

Because I was going to use googly eyes, I wanted to paint the silver outline of the goggles first.  In retrospect, I could have glued the eyes on first and then painted the silver outline around the eyes, but I wanted to avoid having the clean nail polish off my detail brush.  Have you ever done that before?  It’s kind of a pain.  Plus in the past I’ve had the eyes pop off randomly leaving the design looking a bit creepy, so I figured it would look less creepy if they had silver lenses on their goggles rather than empty yellow sockets [very creepy!].  The other reason for not adding the outline afterward was because I didn’t want to apply topcoat over the wiggle eyes.  I used Need for Speed with a large dotting tool and approximated how big the goggles had to be for an outline to show up around the wiggle eyes.

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Starting to paint goggles to make creepy looking alien minions.

Next I used black acrylic paint with a very fine nail art detail brush to paint hair and the goggle straps.

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Painting the hair and goggle straps.

The fun part was trying to decide what their expressions would be.  The easiest one to paint was the smile, which I gave to Stuart, who is the cool minion.  I gave Kevin an open mouth to express awe at the bananas in his midst.  I felt that Bob was the silly one, so I wanted to have him sticking out his tongue blowing a raspberry.

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The bases for the facial expressions.

The tongue obviously didn’t look like a tongue in that state, so I had to paint on some detail, and to keep Kevin’s mouth from looking like a nose, I painted in some teeth.  At this point, I had only enough room to draw a sliver of their overalls onto the tips of my nails.  I wish I had longer nails so I could make them look more like the movie characters, but c’est la vie!

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Almost complete!

I applied topcoat to the minion nails and then used Kiss Nail Art Glue to apply the wiggle eyes for the finishing touch.

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Minion nail art!

I love how cute this design turned out!  The googly eyes give them so much character and have been quite the source of amusement for me.  The only thing I regret is not being able to choose different colors for Bob’s eyes, but I’m sure a lot of people don’t mind that that detail is missing.

And in case you’re wondering, the new movie is super cute and entertaining!  😉

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Double the minions, double the fun! I kind of cheated on my right hand by making them all have smiles, but as is always the case, I tend to rush more through my right hand because I tend to photograph only the left hand. 😉