Easter Bunny Manicure

I know I’m posting this tutorial a little late, but at least it will be a reference for future Easters to come! After seeing the Easter bunny around town a few times, I decided to make some Easter bunny nails that didn’t look as creepy as the ones that I saw! Seriously, some of those bunnies are terrifying!

To start, I painted 3 coats of LV010 from Ünt. This company is best known for their legendary peel off base coat, a product that I use in combination with a lot of my gel manicures to make them easy to remove seeing as I change my polish quite often, but they also have a full range of colors and cosmetics. This beautiful light pink polish dried with a vinyl finish, but it also took forever to set and was streaky for the first 2 coats. If you have a lot of free time to do nothing, this is a good polish, but it definitely does not dry in a New York minute. It was disappointing considering how well loved their Ready for Takeoff base coat is.

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This beautiful swatch of LV010 from Unt needed a lot of time to dry, and it still wasn’t fully set when I started doing the rest of the nail art. Oops.

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Outer Space Starry Nails

NYC experienced a very strange phenomenon last Thursday. It’s being dubbed the Astoria Borealis, and it was the result of an “arc flash,” so says Con Edison, although initial reports said that it was because a transformer exploded at the power plant, which is located in Astoria, Queens. What resulted was that the sky lit up bright as daylight with blue and orange lights that flickered much like they do when a fluorescent bulb starts to go bad. It was very alarming to see as it was after 9 pm when the sky is normally very dark, and the flashes continued for about 2-3 minutes. This light could be seen from miles away, and social media lit up with all sorts of images and videos from all over the area after it happened.

My initial thoughts were that either aliens had landed or that a bomb had gone off. So naturally that inspired some outer space nail art.

I chose a pretty jelly polish from Pretty & Polished called Don’t Be A Drag for my base color. It kind of looks like a galaxy with all the different kinds of glitter in the polish. You need to apply 3 coats to get good glitter coverage, otherwise the color is very sheer.

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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.

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Bunny by Julep.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

 

Rhythmic Gymnastics Nails

I’m very fortunate to have made friends with some very talented nail artists on Instagram through the magic of collaborations.  About a month ago, we started a group chat discussing the plan to do an Olympics theme, so each of us picked a sport to represent.  Because of the time differences between us 13 nail artists across the world, I was one of the latecomers to the conversation.  A lot of sports had already been picked, but when I saw that rhythmic gymnastics was available, I jumped on it!  I had visions of the ribbon twirling in my head.

For those who have never seen a routine, you really ought to watch at least a little bit of the video here!  The amount of skill needed for this sport is insane!

For the color palette, I picked the following polishes.

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Pictured from left to right: Bunny by Julep, Only Gold For Me by Sephora by OPI, Folies Bergère by Cupcake Polish, and Copa Girls by Cupcake Polish.

Because the mat in the Olympics is white, I painted all my nails with Bunny to serve as a base.

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Go for the gold! Bunny by Julep has gold micro glitter.

I tried to play up the gold of the micro glitter with Only Gold For Me, which is actually a glitter top coat.  I applied it with a sponge to soak up the extra fluid from the top coat, but it still makes a lovely natural glitter gradient.

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I used different colored acrylic paints by craft smart to paint the Olympic rings which were a required element for all the designs of the collab. I used a striping brush and a dotting tool with holo polishes from Cupcake Polish to paint ribbons and balls soaring through the air.

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You’ll notice that I added more glitter to fill in empty spaces around the Olympic Rings in the bottom left hand picture. I didn’t want any glitter getting in the middle of the rings, which is why I didn’t apply it over my entire nail to start.

I used a striping brush and a detail brush with black acrylic paint to outline the ribbons and the balls so that they would stand out more in the design.

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Five gymnasts usually compete as a team, so I had two ribbons and three balls represented in the design. Coincidentally, there are also five rings in the Olympic symbol.

I imagined that I would have a silhouette of a gymnast twirling a ribbon on my thumb.  I have pretty short nails, so this was the only space where I had room to do this.  I had to sketch this out with pencil and paper first before I tried to paint it.

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I used a detail brush with pink holographic polish to paint in a twirling ribbon, then I painted the silhouette of the gymnast with black acrylic paint and outlined the ribbon. The gray line is the handle of the ribbon.

Here’s the finished look!

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Yay for rhythmic gymnastics!

I had the foresight to use a peel off base coat with this design so that I can keep it forever.  For the record, Ünt peel off base coat really does work well!

 

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It’s sure a lot easier to arrange peelies for a pose than it is to get my hand in the right position!

As for that collab, I think that everyone did a fabulous job!

Best of luck to Team USA in all their events at the Olympics in Rio this year!  Happy polishing!

EKG Heartbeat Nail Art

Call me a romantic at heart, but I love the look of the EKG heartbeat in jewelry and nail art.  It’s such a cute idea to exploit the heart in the graph, so when I saw this plate from Born Pretty Store, I instantly wanted to use it.

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BP-71 plate from Born Pretty Store is for the romantics out there.  I used the design on the far right side of the plate for this manicure.

It made sense to have the background of the EKG be white with black lines for the graph, but I wanted to color in the hearts in with red glitter as well.  I ended up using the following polishes in this manicure.

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From left to right: Ring In the Red by China Glaze, b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black, and Bunny by Julep.

I decided to highlight the EKG on my middle two nails rather than stamp the same design across my whole hand.

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Bunny by Julep has some gold microglitter in it while Ring In the Red by China Glaze has densely packed different sized small red glitters throughout the entire polish.

Because I have short nails, I knew I would not have enough space to fit the entire 3 lines of the EKG design on them.  After stamping with noir black, I used Scotch tape to lift away one line of the design from the stamper.

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I stamped the entire design first and then used tape to erase parts of the image that would interfere with the look.

Using the revamped image, I stamped it onto my nails.

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Basic black can be cute.

I was annoyed that the image didn’t pick up clearly with the stamper alone, so I decided to take a detail brush and some black acrylic paint to neaten up the lines.  At this point, I might as well have painted the design by hand, but it’s a lot easier to trace over the stamped areas rather than draw it without a guide.

Next, I took a small dotting tool and used it to color in the hearts with Ring In the Red.  I left a little bit of a black outline around each heart to make it stand out.

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A neatened up version of the design with glittery hearts.

After applying top coat to all my nails, I added a black rhinestone near the cuticle of the nails painted with red glitter polish.  The gems looked like butterflies, although they could also be bow knots or X chromosomes for all I know.

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Butterfly rhinestones finish the look because when you’re in love, your heart is all aflutter.

It was sort of a cheesy concept, but I think it’s cute.  Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!  Happy polishing!

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