American Flag French Manicure

If you’re in America, there’s no doubt that you knew it was Independence Day recently. Whether you were having a barbecue, watched fireworks either live or on TV, or just saw a lot of red, white, and blue decor everywhere, there’s no way you totally forgot about the holiday. And if you’re a nail blogger, there’s almost no excuse for you to go out without some sort of appropriate manicure!

Seeing as I did a patriotic manicure fairly recently, I wanted to create a more subtle look this time around. The idea was to do a flag French tip design over a nude base. If my nail beds were in better shape (they’re looking super sad right now after a bad reaction to too much UV light and acetone exposure from all the gel polish swatching that I’ve been doing), I would have left my real nails exposed for a “negative space” look, but I needed to use some sort of foundation to cover up the damage. Good thing I have a nice collection of nude pink colors from which to choose! I selected Privacy Please from OPI for this manicure. It’s sheer, but it’s a little streaky (maybe due to age), so I applied 3-4 coats to each nail to even out the color.

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This lovely blush pink shade hides your nail imperfections in 3-4 coats.

While my polish dried, I prepared a stamper with the flag design from the Konad m45 stamping plate. This was one of the first plates I ever bought, and I remember wondering how on earth you could produce a true red, white, and blue flag image with it. Now that I’m more experienced, I know how to do these things!

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Mermaid Nails

Summer is pretty much right around the corner at this point, and the temperatures have definitely been rising in the city! It’s been making me crave a beach day, or at least some mermaid nails!

I started by painting my nails with a black soak off gel polish from Born Pretty. I applied and cured 2 coats of color and followed it up with a layer of Clavuz no wipe gel top coat. Each layer was cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp, and then a blend of teal and green chrome powders from iMethod Beauty was applied with a sponge applicator and sealed in with another layer of gel top coat.

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I applied teal chrome powder to the tips of my nails and green chrome powder to the rest of the area in order to create this gradient effect.

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Shattered Mirror Nails

Not too long ago, I dropped my phone and cracked the screen for the first time ever! It’s limited to only 2 corners, so it doesn’t really get in the way, but for a perfectionist like me, it’s annoying! I’m due for a new phone upgrade anyway, so maybe it’s a sign… In any case, it inspired the creation of this shattered mirror nail art.

I began by painting all my nails with black gel polish. Because I knew I was going to apply chrome powder over my base, I didn’t mind using one of my lower quality gel polishes to do the job. This black gel polish in color 01 from Born Pretty’s Solid Color Series was the very first gel polish I owned and was part of their silver chrome starter kit. My, how far we’ve come since then! Now I know not to wipe off the tacky layer between coats of color and to use a good gel base coat with it! This shade still left much to be desired in terms of coverage as 2 thin coats still wasn’t very opaque, but like I said, I wasn’t picky about it because I knew I was topping it with a chrome powder.

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Each coat cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp.

I then applied and cured a coat of Clavuz No Wipe Top Coat prior to applying a silver chrome powder from IMethod Beauty over it with a sponge applicator. The results are super shiny and reflective, and you can’t tell that the black polish underneath it had uneven coverage.

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Another layer of Clavuz No Wipe Top Coat was applied over the powder to seal it into place.

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Floral Jelly Polish Manicure

Spring is coming- are your nails ready?

I decided to make a DIY glitter jelly polish out of Aimeili’s 065 Pink Nude gel polish and some pink holographic flakes from Born Pretty. To try to keep things neat, rather than mix the polish and glitter together first, I created a “jelly sandwich” by layering the flakes between coats of jelly polish.

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I applied and cured 2 coats of 065 Pink Nude from Aimeili. This color is a transparent pink whose shade deepens with each layer.

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Musical Nails

As you probably know, I’m a flutist who just happens to paint her nails a lot these days. It’s only natural for me to try to hunt out nail products that feature music notes, and I decided to feature one of my finds in this manicure, for better or worse, as you will soon learn!

I picked Aimeili’s 016 Tinsel Toast Gold Diamond gel polish as a base because of its dusky rose gold color. It surprised me that it painted on as a jelly with silver glitter because I was expecting it to be more gold because of its name, but it happens to match my gold and silver flute, so I was ok with this.

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2 coats of 016 Tinsel Toast Gold Diamond from Aimeili were applied with each layer cured for 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

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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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Rose Fishnet Manicure

The entire month of February feels like a romantic month to me, so I decided to create this sexy rose fishnet manicure to go along with the theme.

I started by painting my nails with 3 coats of 036 Soft Pink from Aimeili. Each layer was cured for 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp and provided the perfect nude color for the base of this design.

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036 Soft Pink gel polish from Aimeili has peachy undertones.

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Purrfect Together Valentine’s Day Manicure

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤ I’m going to show you a “Purrfect Together” Valentine card design that I created for the occasion.

I started by painting my nails with 022 Rose Nude from Aimeili. It is a beautiful classic sheer light pink creme shade. I applied and cured 3 coats for one minute each in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

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022 Rose Nude from Aimeili.

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Phases of the Moon Manicure

Social media was buzzing with pictures of the blood wolf moon from a few days ago, so naturally it inspired me to do some nail art! Instead of doing a true eclipse sequence, I did phases of the moon.

I started by painting my nails with Celestial from Maniology. In the bottle, you can see lots of holographic glitter, but it didn’t show up nearly as well when painted on my nails.

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2 coats of Celestial from Maniology were painted on my nails. Unfortunately the glitter doesn’t shine through such an opaque formula very well. I’ll have to see if it fares better when used as a stamping polish.

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Review of Beauty Big Bang BBBXL-033 Stamping Plate

I’ve been reviewing a lot of Beauty Big Bang stamping plates lately because I received a set of five Christmas plates from them. The BBBXL-033 plate is the last one out of the bundle for me to show you, so let’s take a look!

The plate comes with its own exclusive cardboard envelope where it lists the name of the item and has a unique bar code on the back. The illustration on the front is there to indicate that the designs included pertain to the holidays, but they are not actually depicted on the plate. As you may already know, it is a pet peeve of mine that companies don’t show the plate designs on the packaging because if you use the envelope to store the plate to protect it from getting scratched, you will have to remove it in order to see what images are on it. It’s not really a big deal, but it will slow you down if you’re looking for a pattern to inspire you.

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