Victorian Love Letter Manicure

February 15 was a vintage love letter theme for the @glamnailschallenge prompt.  I have to say, using peel off base coat is making it a lot easier to get myself to paint more because I keep losing nail polish off my fingers by accident, making it necessary to change my manicure!  Good thing that these prompts are so fun to fulfill.

The first step was to choose a nice base color.  I toyed with the idea of staining some tan polish with alcohol ink to create that old paper look, but I didn’t have that much time to paint my nails.  I found this beautiful crelly from Pretty & Polished in my collection that reminded me of pretty speckled stationery, so I went with it.

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This color from Pretty & Polished is appropriately named Antique.

I envisioned script overlaid with roses, but after digging through my extensive stamping plate collection, I couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted.  I made the gut wrenching decision to attempt painting the words myself.  Mind you, I have never felt comfortable with writing words on my nails because painting with a brush really doesn’t work the same way that a pen does.  I probably could have used a fine tipped Sharpie to do this, but I opted for the harder route and used acrylic paint with a fine brush and winged it.  A challenge for the challenge!

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In retrospect, a little planning would have gone a long way.  My first mistake was that I didn’t give myself enough time to do this manicure before having to leave for an appointment.  I actually had to apply topcoat after I took the upper right hand corner picture so that I could leave and come back to the details of the flowers later!  I took the most time with my index finger, which is why the text looks so much better and clearer than it does on the other fingers.  But unfortunately, acrylic paint dries quickly, and my mix of black and brown paint got thicker and thicker as I moved from nail to nail.  I guess I might need to get one of those fancy palettes that keep the paint moist.

I also felt like my text was too unevenly spaced, although perhaps that adds a more realistic charm to the look.  Ever try writing on an unlined piece of paper before?  I guess that makes my handwriting look more authentic.

My saving grace was being able to place the roses over the bits where I thought the penmanship looked too sloppy.  This was easily done with a few kinds of nail polish and some dotting tools.  The leaves are Monet Money from Finger Paints, and the different shades of pink are all colors from Nicole by OPI: (from darkest to lightest color) Berry the Hatchet, City-Pretty Rose, and Carnival Cotton Candy.

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The letter that I’m holding is a facsimile of one written by Eugene O’Neill to Beatrice Ashe on November 1, 1914.

The result turned out very pretty, and I’m sure that people will assume that I stamped the script when really I cursed a lot over the cursive writing!  While it’s not my best freehand work, I’m still satisfied with it.  I’ll just keep practicing my brushwork and see if I can do better the next time.

Happy polishing!

 

Hot Pink Argyle Print Preppy Nails

Wow, how is it September already?  School is back in session, and when I think of school, I think of all sorts of prints.  That’s why the argyle diamond pattern on a stamping plate from Harunouta spoke to me.

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Fabric patterns galore on Harunouta plate 10.

I chose to do a girly Barbie pink with green for contrast for this manicure.  The colors remind me of styles from movies like CluelessMean Girls, and Legally Blonde.

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Colors from left to right are City-Pretty Rose from Nicole by OPI, Pretty Edgy from Essie, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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On Wednesdays we wear pink!  I painted all my nails with City-Pretty Rose and let them dry.

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The argyle print was transferred from Harunouta plate 10 with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, and using the brush from the bottle, I filled in some of the diamonds with Pretty Edgy by Essie.

To help speed up the process, I used 2 stampers so that while I colored in the details of one stamper, it gave the other colored in stamper time to set.  It’s important that you wait for the polish to dry completely before transferring the pattern or else things will turn into a smooshy mess.

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If all goes well, you should be able to stamp the design directly onto your nail from the stamper.

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I repeated the process enough times so that I could apply the print to all of my nails, and then I applied Ya Qin An anti-smearing top coat to preserve the stamped image.

It does take awhile to color in the diamonds and let them dry, but it certainly makes the argyle pattern more eye catching.

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Hope you enjoyed this one!  Happy polishing!

Review of Konad Special Nail Polish #24 (Flash Black)

If you’re into stamping nail art, you have Konad to thank for that.  It’s safe to say that the original innovator of the technique is a trustworthy brand.  I’ve generally had good experiences with their stamping polish in the past, but I wanted to try one of their newest colors to see if there have been any changes made to the formula.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

What I love about this color is that it is a shimmery black, so it has more dimension to it.  Konad does offer a standard black color if this isn’t your thing.

The bottle is the same shape throughout the brand.  There is 11 mL of polish inside, so there is a little bit less than what you would typically get in a regular bottle.

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The brush is a little on the thin side, but you won’t need to use a lot of polish when you’re stamping. Just swipe one line of polish at the top of the design, scrape off the excess, and you’ll be good to go.

The formula looks to be the same as the original one.  It is not extra thick and has a regular nail polish consistency.  With some stamping polishes, it is not practical to use them as a stand alone polish color because they are so viscous, but this one paints like a dream and gives full coverage in one coat.  You could easily give yourself an entirely Flash Black mani, and no one would know that you used stamping polish.

The extra benefit is that because this is a stamping polish, it dries quickly and only requires one coat for full opacity.  As a stand alone color, this is great for people who are on the run.

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Stamping done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and Born Pretty Store BP-L005 plate over the following colors (left to right): White Hot from Sephora by OPI, City-Pretty Rose by Nicole by OPI, Make A Change by Nicole by OPI, and one coat of Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. Top picture is without top coat applied, bottom picture is with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Over each of the base colors, the Konad polish performed exceptionally well.  There is a good contrast between Flash Black over light and dark bases, and you can see more of a shimmer in the color once the top coat is applied.

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The shimmer in the formula compliments glittery holo polish well as seen in this chevron accent nail mani.

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I also used it for the same reason in this half-stamped/half-hand painted chessmen manicure.

Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black is perfect for your stamping needs, and everyone should have a good black stamping polish in their arsenal.  This is definitely it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $12.06 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off any regular priced items in your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/11ml-flash-black-konad-nail-stamping-polish-professional-stamping-polish-p-24402.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Shonen Knife Nail Art

Last Tuesday, my fiancé took me to see Shonen Knife perform with CJ Ramone at The Outer Space in Hamden, CT.  I’m still suffering from a lot of back pain and muscle spasms from my recent car accident, so it was no small feat for me to sit in the car for a road trip and then have to stand for 2 sets while trying to rock out to some awesome music, but it was a fun night.  Shonen Knife’s music always puts me into a happy mood!

If you’re not familiar with the band, here is a video of them in action performing “Buttercup,” otherwise known as the Powerpuff Girls theme song.

Equally as catchy as their music are their coordinated tunics, designed by original band member Atsuko Yamano.

Ritsuko, Naoko, and Emi

Ritsuko, Naoko, and Emi

I love her clean and poppy style, and I wanted to use her color block technique in a manicure.  There are 3 band members and 2 letters for the initials of the band, and what better way to showcase each element while giving the sign of the horns? \m/

Materials used:

Zoya- Dot
Nicole by OPI- City-Pretty Rose
China Glaze- Tip Your Hat
Sephora by OPI- What’s a Tire Jack?
Acrylic paint

I began by painting my index finger and pinky with What’s a Tire Jack? and the remaining fingers with Dot.  I anticipated using striping tape to help with the color block pattern, so while I waited for Dot to dry fully, I started trying to paint the S and K of the band’s logo onto my nails with white acrylic paint and a detail brush.  In order to make it easier for me to paint the letters, I needed to rotate the logo graphic.

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By the way, the graphic lists Naoko, Ritsuko, and Etsuko as the band members.  It’s because the graphic is taken from a DVD from 2009.  Naoko, Atsuko, and Emi played for the 2015 North America tour.

In any case, this was the design before the color blocking was added.  I like it a lot in its most simplistic form.  🙂

Shonen Knife rocks!

Shonen Knife rocks!

Just as an aside, I’ve never been good at making bubble letters even with pencil and paper, so I was kind of impressed that I was able to paint this upside down on my nails!  😛

In the meantime, I decided that I was too impatient to use striping tape to outline the color blocked parts, so I decided to add in the different colored sections freehand.

City-Pretty Rose added to start the color block pattern.

City-Pretty Rose added to start the color block pattern.

Starting to add Tip Your Hat and What's a Tire Jack?

Starting to add Tip Your Hat and What’s a Tire Jack?

Finished color blocking and tunic details

Finished color blocking and tunic details

Too bad I didn’t prepare this in advance of the show!  It would have been awesome to grab a pic of my mani with the band, but I’ll see them again soon enough.  🙂

Rock on!  \m/

Rock on! \m/