Little Red Riding Hood Nails

If you’re a fan of the musical Into the Woods, you’ll recognize the scene on my nails from the Little Red Riding Hood feature where the wolf and Red sing “Hello Little Girl.” Even though this manicure is stamped, it was probably one of the most labor intensive stamping designs that I’ve ever done and uses several different techniques to bring the images to life.

I started with a rich shimmery forest green polish from Julep called Giselle. You only need to apply 2 coats of polish to achieve the same color that you see in the bottle, and it’s beautiful all on its own.

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Flowering Tree Nail Art

I know flowering trees are mostly a spring thing, but there was one that was in bloom in my neighborhood that left its remnants all over my parked car the other day! Here is some nail art featuring this allergy inducing arbor.

I wanted to have a sky blue background, so I chose a nice color from Wet n Wild that I thought would fit the bill. There was no identifying label for the shade on the bottle, but it came from a 10 piece set called Pretty & Posh that was purchased at Five Below. Wet n Wild is known for its affordable cosmetics, and while the polish is dirt cheap, it did take 3 coats to get it opaque. It does dry quickly, so that is a huge plus!

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It’s not the most smooth finish, but it does the job! Top coat will help to even out the color.

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Cherry Blossom Nails

I love seeing all the flowering trees in the spring! NY has only started seeing cherry blossoms come out because of our crazy long winter this year, so this manicure was inspired by their beauty.

I started by painting my nails with Born Pretty’s BP-GT05 Cerulean Stars glitter thermal polish. I applied 3 coats to try to get more opacity in the color as it is a pretty pale sky blue when cold and more glittery and clear when warm, but it’s still a very sheer shade.

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Funky Pineapple Nails

As a flute teacher, I have to be inventive while teaching my students. One of the rhythms that has been somewhat problematic for them is the one with an 8th note followed by two 16th notes, so to try to help them out, I tell them to think of saying the word “pineapple,” emphasizing the “pine” part so that they hold that syllable a little longer. It was only a matter of time for me to do nails based on the fruit, seeing as I end up saying “pineapple” during the day quite a bit!

I decided to swatch this bright shimmery yellow polish from Sally Hansen’s HD collection called Lite. You’ll see that I ended up changing the colors on two of my nails after taking this photo, but I have a goal of trying to get swatch photos of all of my polishes. I think it’s going to take awhile, though!

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2 coats of Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Nail Color in 05 Lite were applied for the perfect shimmery canary yellow shade here.

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Tropical Flamingo Nails

Schools have their winter recess now, so there are quite a lot of folks who hit the road (or skies) for warmer destinations. Unfortunately I am not one of those people, and I can only live vicariously through my nail art, so I created a tropical scene for this design.

I started by painting all my nails with Coconut Milk, a beautiful creamy white polish from Dimension Nails. It’s totally opaque in 2 coats and has the best painting consistency out of a lot of polishes that I have tried.

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Classy Fall Manicure

When you think of elegance, pinecones and acorns are probably the last things that come to mind! I somehow managed to create a look that includes both those things yet still looks very classy. Keep reading to find out how!

I started by painting my nails a nude pink shade using Laguna Moon Classic Soak-Off UV-LED Gel Polish. I applied 2 coats and cured each layer for 30 seconds in a UV/LED lamp.

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Chocolate Bar Nails for National Junk Food Day, July 21

How many of you guys knew that July 21 was National Junk Food Day? It’s funny how everyday we can celebrate all these random things, but looking up the national days is a great way to get some inspiration going for my nail art!

I decided to paint some chocolate bars for my junk food, so I looked for a good brown polish to serve as my base color. I chose Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze for that candy bar look.

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Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze has subtle gold flecks in the polish that make it appear more luxurious… or more like crisped rice in my chocolate bar.

I defined the squares of chocolate in my bar by mixing shades of brown and black craft smart acrylic paint. I used a detail brush to paint the lines, but a striping brush can also do the job.

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I painted in the darkest lines first, outlined them in a slightly lighter shade, then highlighted sections of the lines to define the squares.

I made a French manicure by swiping a layer of Need for Speed by Formula X for Sephora across the tips of my nails to represent the foil wrapper around the chocolate bar, then applied a generous layer of Seche Vite top coat to finish off the look.

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It looks fairly convincing, no?

In terms of freehand nail art, this was relatively simple as the design consists of many different lines, but it always boils down to how much patience you have. The truly lazy will want to go with the route that I took with my right hand, which was to only apply the silver French tip on top of the brown base color. I mean, you can use your imagination to come up with the rest of the details… right?

Hope you enjoyed this sweet manicure. Happy polishing!

Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year Nails

Hi, everyone!  Chinese New Year is right around the corner as it falls on January 28 this year, so I made a red and gold manicure for the occasion.

I started by painting my nails a beautiful red color.  I chose Suzanne from Julep for its subtle gold shimmer.

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Suzanne from Julep.

I wanted to have a lucky money type print in gold over the red, so I picked a pattern from plate BM-S228 from Bundle Monster to do some stamping.

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Plate BM-S228 from Bundle Monster is all about celebrating Chinese New Year.

I used the image from the upper left hand corner all over my nails.

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Gold coin madness using Born Pretty Store Stamping Nail Polish #1 (Gold).

2017 is the year of the rooster, so he had to represent.  I put him on my ring finger and used two different sized detail brushes and a mix of craft smart acrylic paints to make him come to life.

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The colors used on my bird were mixes of brown, orange, bright red, bright yellow, and black. I was pretty pleased by the shading of the feathers.

After adding some glossy top coat over everything, the manicure is done!

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Get ready to crow for the New Year!

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Show me the lucky money!

Hope you have a prosperous lunar new year ahead of you!  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!

Groundhog Day Nails

How many of you guys trust Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog to predict the weather?  2016 is supposed to have an early spring, if the little fella is to be believed.  We’ve had a pretty warm winter overall, despite that blizzard from a few weeks ago, so maybe there is something to his prediction.

My idea was to paint a little groundhog and surround him with green grass on the tips of my nails.  I picked out a nice sky blue nail polish and a bunch of different greens for the grass.

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The grass is definitely pretty green on this side with an early spring predicted for this year! From left to right: Monet Money by Finger Paints, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime by OPI, Havana Dreams by Sephora by OPI, Leonardo’s Lime by Finger Paints, and Garden Galaxy by Piggy Polish.

I started off by painting all my nails with Havana Dreams.

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Havana Dreams by Sephora by OPI.

The groundhog was my main concern, so I picked out some acrylic paint colors in a brown color scheme to paint him first.

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

I started off by painting the shape of the head with brown acrylic paint.  I didn’t paint in the body at this point because I thought I would have the head peeking out from behind the grass, but I changed my mind after I finished the details of the head.  I did some highlighting and contouring with a detail brush and different blends of brown, golden brown, and black to add some dimension to my guy.  I went for a cartoony look because that’s how I roll.

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Painting the groundhog.

The fun part was painting in the grass with a fan brush.  I’ve never tried using a fan brush for anything except dusting off pigments and glitters, so I was pleased with how easy it was to make the grass look artistic.

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Using one color at a time, the grass was painted on with a fan brush. Garden Galaxy (the glitter polish) was applied with the brush that came with the bottle as a finishing touch.

A little top coat made my groundhog shine, although I have to admit, he looks kind of tired of looking for his shadow.

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Looking forward to an early spring!

NYC is actually expecting some snow tomorrow, so go figure.  The tradition is all in good fun, though!  Happy polishing!