Hibiscus Flower Manicure

Hello!  It’s time to fulfill another @glamnailschallenge prompt.  The theme for Feb. 5 is Red Flowers, so rather than do something with roses, I chose to feature the hibiscus flower.  I have fond memories of these big red blossoms growing all over my mom’s garden, and they were always her pride and joy (aside from me, haha).

I used plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store for the design.  Something tells me that I’m probably going to end up doing a lot of stamping this month to keep up with the challenge prompts.

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Plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store has all the flowers you could want. I used the image in the bottom row, 3rd from the right.

I planned to put the hibiscus flowers on only my middle two fingers, so I painted my other nails basic black to keep the focus on the flowers.  I went with a gold polish for the middle and ring fingers because that was the lightest shade out of the colors that I planned to use for the hibiscus decal.

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Goldfinger! The gold polish is called Charge It! from Sephora by OPI, and the black polish is What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI.

Making decals is fun, although I really dread the application and clean up process.  I would have liked to simply reverse stamp it onto my nail, but I had to paint over pretty much the entire image, so it didn’t want to transfer in one piece as my botched right hand can testify!

The colors used are as follows:

Ya Qin An stamping nail polish in Black
Red: American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI
Gold: Charge It! by Sephora by OPI
Light Green: Tatum by Julep
Green: Little Butterfly by Cupcake Polish

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The making of a nail decal.

  1. I stamped the design with Ya Qin An Black stamping polish.
  2. (not pictured) I applied a layer of Ya Qin An top coat over the stamped image to prevent polish bleed and assist in making the removal of the decal easier.
  3. I used a dotting tool to apply the gold polish to the stamen of the flowers and used the brush from the bottle to apply the other different colors to the image.
  4. After letting the decal dry completely, I carefully removed it from the stamper with tweezers.
  5. I applied a layer of Glisten & Glow HK Girl Top Coat to a gold nail and placed the decal on my nail, smoothing out the surface.
  6. (not pictured) I used a cuticle pusher to cut away the excess decal from my nail and filed away the extra bit from the free edge.
  7. Repeat these steps to make additional decals for your nails.

After some additional clean up with acetone and swabs and brushes and a layer of Seche Vite top coat, I finally finished!

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Pretty, although it’s not 100% perfect.

I have to admit, decal transfer is still one of my weaker points, especially because my natural nails have some funky contours.  If anyone has any additional pointers, I’d love to hear them!

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Finished hibiscus manicure.

Incidentally, you might have noticed that I used three different top coats with the manicure rather than just one.  This is because I find that each top coat has certain strengths that I like to save it for.  For instance, the Ya Qin An top coat is the best thing since sliced bread for stamping.  It never smears the polish underneath it, no matter how many times you brush over the design.  Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat is supposedly a blogger favorite, but I don’t like using it because it tends to smear colors easily.  However, because of this, it “melts” decals quickly so that they conform to the nail’s shape in no time.  Seche Vite top coat remains my #1 pick as a finishing gloss because it seals all the layers of polish underneath it, dries super quick, and has the best amount of shine.  I say mix and match for best results!

See you in a few days for the next prompt.  Happy polishing!

 

 

Springtime Tulip Manicure

Nothing says spring like seeing tulips in bloom!  I wanted to put them on my nails, so I took advantage of plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store to help me out.

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Blooms galore! I used the pattern in the 2nd row, 2nd image from the right and the single tulip image on the bottom left corner of the plate for this manicure.

The tulips that I have seen around here are mostly red, white, and yellow, so I used those colors for my palette.

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Colors clockwise from the left: Cab Fare by Sephora by OPI, American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI, Konad Special Nail Polish in both White and Red, and Brigitte by Julep.

To start, I painted all my nails with Brigitte except for my ring finger, which I painted with American as Apple Pie.

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Looks like a Valentine’s Day manicure so far.

I used a reverse stamping technique to color in some of the tulips, so after stamping my image with Konad Special Nail Polish in Red, I colored it in with a dotting tool.

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I used Cab Fare to fill in random flowers on the image.

After letting the polish set for a little bit, I stamped the image onto my nail.

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Repeat the above steps for the rest of the white nails, and you will end up with this look.

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To make the stems green, I dipped a striping brush into craft smart acrylic paint in Grass Green and traced over the image.

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I stamped a single large tulip onto my ring finger with Konad Special Nail Polish in White.

I also smudged my pinky in the process, but I was able to fix my mistake by scraping off the discolored white polish with an orange stick and filling in the area with Brigitte.  I use Seche Vite top coat, which smooths out uneven polish quite nicely, so you can’t even tell that made a mistake when you see the finished manicure.

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After coloring in the stem and applying top coat, this manicure is done!

What do you love most about spring?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!

 

Chinese New Year Monkey Nails

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate!  I don’t really get into the festivities that much other than wearing something red and getting some lucky money, but it’s still a holiday of note in my family.

2016 is the year of the monkey, so of course I wanted to paint monkeys on my nails.  I decided to do a red base color (of course) with gold glitter on top for luck.

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My choices for a lucky Chinese New Year manicure: American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI and Rich Gold by Sephora + Pantone Universe.

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American as Apple Pie has a slightly opalescent sheen to it by itself.

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The glitter in Rich Gold is holographic when it hits the light. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

I would have liked to use nail polish to paint the monkeys, but I didn’t have time to let the coats of polish dry completely in between steps, so I used acrylic paint instead.

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craft smart Acrylic Paint in Black, Brown, and Golden Brown.

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Using brown paint, I colored in the heads of the monkeys at varying angles around my nails. I wanted them to be peeking out of the corners of my nails because they can be mischievous animals.

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I filled in the ears and the faces with golden brown paint.

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Using a detail brush, I painted their mouths and noses. A dotting tool was used to paint their eyes.

After some top coat, I was done!  It didn’t even take that long to do- maybe an hour or less if you don’t count the time I spent taking pictures of the steps.  Lucky me!

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Monkey madness!

Hope this year brings you luck and fortune as well!  Happy polishing!