Irish Unicorn Nails

If you blog, you’re almost always expected to come up with nails for every holiday. While I never used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all that much, my nails certainly have been on board for the past few years! This year’s inspiration came from a student of mine who dressed up as an Irish unicorn for her lesson. I became obsessed with her headband, so she gave me a homework assignment to create some nail art based on it.

My first step was to paint all my nails green. I used Paper Chasing from China Glaze.

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The perfect kelly green- Paper Chasing from China Glaze. Be warned, though- this stuff will stain your nails a shade that Elphaba would find normal!

For more impact and sparkle, I used Emerald City holographic glitter from Dimension Nails over the polish. To apply it, I painted a coat of Paper Chasing over a nail, dipped it into the pot of glitter while the polish was still wet, then used a fan brush to sweep away the excess. This process was repeated for each nail.

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Welcome to the Emerald Isle!

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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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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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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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Steampunk Nail Art and Review of Dimension Nails Notorious Stickers

I had my gears turning trying to come up with some nail art that would go with some 3D stickers that I got from Dimension Nails recently.

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3D nail art stickers from Dimension Nails in Gum Drop, Tsunami, and Notorious.

These stickers are made of foam and have adhesive on the bottom flat edge so that you can apply them to your nails without having to use glue.  They come pre-sliced into thin strips as shown, and you can choose to paint them before or after application.  If you’re feeling creative, you can cut the stickers to make different shapes and glue them to your nails in a manner other than the kind pictured on the box.

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Designs pictured from top to bottom: Tsunami, Gum Drop, and Notorious.

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My shipment also came with instruction cards and a Nail Art Cutter.

The ridges of Notorious spoke to me, so I decided to make some steampunk themed nails with gears.  Stay tuned to see how I turned the stickers into cogs!

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I used a brushed metal color palette for this manicure. From left to right: Iconic from Formula X for Sephora, Torque from Formula X for Sephora, Number One Nemesis from OPI, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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I painted all my nails with Torque, which has a gorgeous flat metallic finish.

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I used Harunouta plate L004 for the gears.

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Stamping was achieved with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, and a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI was applied over it to keep things looking industrial.

The gears were a bit of a pain to make.  I cut the foam at the peak of the design on the left and right sides of a strip and applied nail glue to connect the ends together.  My bottle of fast dry nail glue dried out, so I used Kiss Nail Art Glue and a pinching tool to hold the shape in place until it dried.  After realizing that my first gear would be rather large compared to my nail, I tried making two other smaller sized ones, but I found that the smaller the gear was, the harder it was to glue together because the shape wouldn’t hold.

In any case, I painted the inside ring of each cog with Number One Nemesis and the rest of the gear with Iconic.  It should be noted that I painted directly over the adhesive backing, so don’t worry about trying to get all the sticky stuff off first if you’re not using the product conventionally.

When the polish was dry on the gears, I attached them to my nails with Kiss Nail Art Glue, making sure to align them so that they locked into place.  I decided to not use the smallest gear that I made because I wanted the stamped gears to show through more, and I didn’t think I did a good job gluing it together.

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Almost looks like these gears can turn and do something- how cool is that?

The 3D stickers are also so lightweight, you’ll hardly notice that they’re there.  They stay in place surprisingly well!

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Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

Overall, the stickers from Dimension Nails were fun to use and allowed me to be more creative in trying to come up with a design.  I already have an idea for what I want to do next with them!  What would you create?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!