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.

img_20170208_194556.jpg

Bunny by Julep.

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

img_20170208_193623.jpg

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.

img_20170208_195247.jpg

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.

img_20170208_194929.jpg

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.

img_20170208_190001.jpg

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

img_20170208_194234.jpg

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!

 

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.

img_20160913_165043.jpg

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.

img_20160905_022136.jpg

Pretty iridescent magic in a jar!

img_20160915_091853.jpg

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.

img_20160816_235822.jpg

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.

img_20160915_091308.jpg

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.

img_20160917_010234.jpg

img_20160916_214752.jpg

img_20160917_010042.jpg

Hope you enjoyed this look!  Happy polishing!

Wintery Bridal Nails

Blame it on the exceptionally warm winter weather that we’ve been having, but I’ve been dreaming of a frosty winter wedding theme: silver and white and sparkly.

This manicure only requires two polishes, a stamping plate, and some rhinestones.

img_20151129_124034.jpg

The stamping will be done with plate BPL-028 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the lower right hand corner, but you could use any lace pattern and still get a beautiful result.

I wanted a low contrast look, so I picked a glittery silver stamping polish to go over a pearl white base.

img_20151228_011731.jpg

Konad Special Nail Polish in Silver and mayfair by nails inc.

img_20151228_012216.jpg

Show us your pearly whites: mayfair by nails inc.

I used a squishy stamper and the silver nail polish to transfer the pattern from BPL-028 over to my nails.  I tried to line up the center of the design with the middle of my cuticle so that the circle would be in the same position on each nail.

img_20151228_012252.jpg

This metallic lace pattern could pass for snowflake crystals.

After adding topcoat, I used Kiss Nail Art Glue to secure a rhinestone to the base of each nail.

img_20151228_012327.jpg

All finished! I added a tiara ring for some extra bling.

If you don’t like the bling and would rather have a more subtle look, pearl studs would also work nicely in place of the rhinestones.

Whether you’re getting married or just want a wintry look for the season, this mani will get you in the mood.  Happy polishing!