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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Green and Gold Nails

I’ve been swamped with work lately, which is a fortunate thing for a musician, but it has left me with little time to paint my nails.  Whenever I have a busy week and little inspiration because I’m too tired to think, I turn to my trusty collection of stamping plates.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I decided to go with a green base color first.

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Are you green with envy? This is Emerald Expressionism by Finger Paints.

I used plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.  What I love about it is that a lot of the patterns look like they are water marble inspired, so it’s easy to get a marbled look without the mess.

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Plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 2nd image from the right.

I used gold polish from Konad to do the stamping.  I was hoping that it would be opaque, but the color does not pop very well and is even harder to photograph.  The design is most visible only when the light hits it at a certain angle.  While I swear by the Konad black and white polishes, their metallic shades leave something to be desired.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold provides a subtle, shimmery look.

To get a varied look, I made sure to rotate the image when stamping it onto my nails.

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The swirls looks like they flow naturally from nail to nail rather than looking like they are stamped from the same image.

The effect reminds me of those mirrors with the gold marble overlay finish that were popular in the 80s.  I also think of the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.  In terms of a St. Patty’s Day manicure, I think I’ll be looking for my pot of gold elsewhere!

While this wasn’t a showstopping creation, I do love the elegance of the swirls.  Too bad they didn’t show up as well as I would have liked.  Guess I’ll need to purchase a better gold stamping polish.

Happy polishing!