World Tour Nails

Happy September! I’m in the process of putting together my first passport application right now. It’s shameful that I still haven’t been outside of the US yet! I have some potential gigs coming up that will require a passport, so I figured that I better get that application in as soon as possible!

Today’s nail art features a world tour of sorts, containing all sorts of landmarks from different countries.

To start, I painted all my nails a pretty pearly light blue color to represent the sky.

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Faded Blues by Ulta Professional is a lovely sky blue that is opaque in 2 coats.

To give my sky texture, I went with a smooshy technique using 3 colors: light blue (Faded Blues by Ulta Professional), medium blue (What I Like About Blue by China Glaze), and iridescent white (Of Quartz You Can by Finger Paints). I applied dots of each polish onto a stamper and smooshed the colors together with another stamper so that I could apply the mixture of colors to my nails with both stampers. This allowed for a little more control over the smooshed look versus simply dabbing the polish straight from one stamper onto my nails.

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Holiday Stamping over Magnetic Polish

I’ve been on a gel polish kick lately, mostly because I keep using a peel off base coat underneath it now that I know what a pain it is to remove!  It’s such a shame sometimes because I do love the shine and the finishes of the polishes by Madam Glam, but a girl’s gotta paint.

This week I tried out a magnetic polish from Madam Glam.  I’m not ordinarily a fan of magnetized polish because the magnets don’t always work so well over curved nail beds.  However, the benefit to using a magnetic gel polish is that if you don’t like the effect, you can easily “reset” your color with another swipe of the applicator brush and try it out again.  The downside is that if you wait too long to cure your polish after applying the magnet, your design will fade as the polish starts to spreads out.  I did not want to get stuck curing one nail at a time, so you will notice that the magnetic effect does not look overly strong in my swatch.

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Flying Purple from Madam Glam applied straight from the bottle.

I used a magnet from China Glaze that I purchased separately seeing as the Madam Glam magnetic gels don’t come with one.

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This item from China Glaze has three different patterned magnets for use with your manicures.

Simply brush a layer of magnetic gel over an already cured layer of the color, balance the magnet over your nail for a few seconds, then remove it to see the pattern in the nail polish.  If you don’t like how it looks, brush the gel out and try it again.  It is one of the huge benefits to using a gel polish for this technique as the design won’t set until you cure it under a lamp.

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Flying Purple with the star magnetic effect applied on top.

The polish looks pretty enough on its own, so I didn’t want to do anything too crazy.  I opted to put some light holiday stamping as an accent nail using Jumbo Plate 6 from Cheeky Beauty.

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Cheeky Jumbo Plate 6 is great for your holiday needs.

I used the silver bells on the far right, 2nd row down from the rectangular images.  I only wanted one set of bells, so after stamping the image, I isolated the part I wanted to use by cleaning off the excess polish from the stamper using some Scotch tape.

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The silver bells were stamped with b.m.c. nail lacquer in iced silver.

Of course, within a few hours after doing this, the polish on my ring finger managed to completely peel off thanks to the super effect peel off base coat from Ünt that I used.  I didn’t want to change my nails quite so soon, so I applied a different polish to replace the lost chip instead.

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I opted to use the aptly named Silver Bells color from Finger Paints as an accent nail color.

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This time I stamped on a holiday ornament with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black. The image is on the far right side of the plate in the first row of rectangular designs.

I think all the different manicures here look cute and festive.  Do you have a favorite one out of the pictures here?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!

 

 

Election Day Voter Nails

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, not just for me, but for the nation.  I went to the polls immediately after I finished doing these nails, but I didn’t have time to post the tutorial until today.

I wanted an almost graffiti like look, so I went for a splatter technique in classic red, white, and blue colors.  Go USA!  This method was done with coffee stirrers that I cut in half so that the small opening could fill with nail polish easily (see the bottom right photo below for the size).  Simply brush the end of the straw with the color that you want to use and then blow through the other end to splatter the paint all over the place.  Things will get super messy, so make sure you protect all surrounding surfaces before starting!  Keep in mind that thin polish formulas work best for the actual splattering, and the farther away you hold your hand from the straw, the finer the splatter will be.

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  1. Paint your nails white.  I used wild white ways from Essence Cosmetics.
  2. Brush some red polish (And A Cherry On Top from Sephora by OPI) onto the end of a small straw or coffee stirrer and quickly blow through the other end to splatter the color onto your nails.  Repeat until you are satisfied with the coverage.
  3. Repeat the splatter technique with blue (royal blue from b.m.c. nail lacquer) and white (White Hot by Sephora by OPI) polish.  Obviously, white does not show up much, but it does look good when sprayed over large patches of red and blue.
  4. Be prepared for an intense clean up session!  I painted liquid latex around my cuticles, but I also washed my hands with a pumice scrub to get some of the polish off before wiping up the rest with acetone and a cotton pad.
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All cleaned up! Red, white, and blue patriotic speckled effect.

For the lettering, I cheated and used a stamping plate.  I seriously wish that companies would offer a full alphabetic plate, but I managed to make BM-426 from Bundle Monster work for this mani.

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Plate BM-426 from Bundle Monster. Vote can spelled from love and hate. How appropriate.

Because the letters have negative space, I filled in these parts with silver glitter polish (Silver Bells from Finger Paints) and did some reverse stamping.

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I used a clear stamper with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black to first pick up the letter from the plate, then I colored in the empty part with silver glitter nail polish and let it dry completely before transferring it to my nail.

Optional: Use a detail brush with black acrylic paint to correct and/or thicken up any lines as necessary.  I touched up some of the lettering after the stamping was done to make sure the word was visible enough even though most of the stamping came out perfectly.

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Repeat these steps until you spell out the word you want.  Then go out and vote!

I know that there are quite a few people disappointed in the results of the election.  I’m not going to voice my opinion here because this is a nail blog, not a political forum, so if you want to know my views, please talk to me in person.  It is our responsibility as a nation to try to get along with each other and accept the results instead of insulting people and their choices for supporting the “wrong” candidate.  Our voting system is the way it is for a reason, and all we can do is have faith that our president elect will make good decisions in the best interest for the country.  If not, we will have another chance to elect someone else in four years.

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People fought hard for the right to vote, so go out and register if you are able to do so.  It may not seem like one vote matters, but you never know how things might have turned out if everyone who could vote cast a ballot!

Take care, and happy polishing!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Nails

I’m still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day, how about you?  Sorry for the late post, but you’ll have this tutorial ready for the next time you want to show some Irish pride!

It’s been awhile since I tried doing any kind of water marbling, and I felt like maybe I could make a nice cloverleaf pattern by using that technique.  I can’t stand the mess of cleaning up my nails with the tradition dunking method associated with water marbling, so I tried making decals this time around, which worked great.

I chose a nice assortment of green nail polishes for the marbling, and I threw in a glittery gold polish for good luck.

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Finger Paints Nail Color works exceptionally well for water marbling. From left to right: Masked Beauty, Monet Money, Peace, Love & Green, and Grassy Knoll.

To make the decals, I used a small plastic cap to hold the water and dropped in my colors one at a time.  Because my cap has a 1.5 inch diameter, it doesn’t take many rings to get the colors nicely packed.

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I work on a miniature scale. It takes only 12 drops of polish to get this bullseye to form.

I used a toothpick to bring the outside rings of the bullseye to a point in the middle.

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Not my most perfect water marble, but I repeated these steps a few times so I could pick and choose which decals looked the best.

I blew on the surface of the water to help the polish dry a little more before picking up the image with a large stamper.

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You can choose to stamp this directly onto your nails, but I set my stamper aside to allow the polish to dry to turn this into a nail decal.

After waiting a few minutes, the water marbled polish is ready to be peeled off the stamper head.  If it doesn’t lift easily, allow the polish to dry some more.  Having multiple stampers makes this process easy because as one decal is drying, you can make another water marble pattern to be picked up with a different stamper.

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After allowing the polish to dry, you should be able to peel off the layer. In this way, you can pick the best looking part of the pattern to use on your nail without making any mess.

I made several decals, although I only needed four of them in the end.

The process for the application is fairly easy.  I cut out the portion of the decal that I wanted to use and trimmed it to fit my nail.

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I do a rough cut of the decal before I trim it down to fit my nail.

I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI as a base color under the water marble.  I only used one coat of polish, and it doesn’t have to be opaque because the water marble will cover it up.  White helps the colors pop.

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One coat of White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

While the polish is still tacky, apply your decal and set it with clear top coat.

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I put the water marble design on my middle and ring fingers to form the shape of a cloverleaf.

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Extra supplies for part 2: White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Recollections Signature Glitter in Emerald.

I really wanted sparkly green nails, but I don’t own a green glitter polish, so I made my own with the following steps.

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I painted my nail with Monet Money from Finger Paints.

While the polish was still wet, I poured on green glitter.  I used a fan brush to sweep away the excess.

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Emerald glitter made by Recollections.

I then took Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and brushed on about 2-3 coats over the glitter so that it formed a smooth surface.  I wouldn’t have minded having some texture, but I wanted to paint belt buckles on top of the glitter.

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Sparkly emerald green nails!

To form the belt, I used the striping brush from Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black to make two parallel lines and filled in the section.

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My glitter just got black barred.

Using a detail brush and Masked Beauty, I painted a thin gold line above and below the black section and connected them to form the square buckle.

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Add some top coat, and you’re done!

It took awhile to finish this, but I love the results.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Happy polishing!