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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Sandy Beach Nails

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through August already! I have no idea how time has been flying by. To be honest, I did these nails 2 weeks ago but am only just now starting to catch up with my blog.

In any case, I still haven’t been to the beach this summer because I’ve been so busy. The closest I can get to one is through some nail art.

I started by painting my nails with Born Pretty Thermal Gel in color BP-5730. I love thermal polishes for their natural gradient effect and also for their ability to entertain me in different temperature settings! This one looks like a pale periwinkle blue in warm temperatures and a deep royal blue in cold temperatures. It also has the perfect sprinkling of two different sized glitters in the formula which truly makes it look more special.

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I applied and cured this polish for about 1 minute and repeated the process for a second coat.

My next step was to create a sandy beach line along the half moon area of my nails.  Continue reading

Jellyfish Ocean Manicure

Happy summer, everyone! Who is looking forward to going to the beach? I have to live vicariously through my memories of previous summers for now because I’ve been ridiculously busy this month with gigs, so I brought the beach to my nails with this jellyfish design.

I started by painting my nails with Recall from Born Pretty’s Flower in Sunshine Series. It’s a beautiful mermaid turquoise green color with a pearl pink sheen and holographic sparkles.

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To create an ocean effect with some depth, I sponged on dabs of Diva into the Pool from Nicole by OPI.

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For more contrast, I added a few dabs of Queen for a Night from Finger Paints. This was also a good choice for me because it alludes to the Queen of the Night character from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, which I am currently playing!

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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!

 

Holographic Bubble Nail Art

I’ve still been feeling rather lazy and uninspired, so I again turned to the @clairestelle8challenge to help me through the week.  The prompt for January 21 was Circles, and I could have easily turned to my stamping plate collection, but I decided to challenge myself a little bit and try my hand at painting bubbles.

I started by applying a pearly white base color to all my nails.

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Of Quartz You Can by Finger Paints.

I came up with a rather clever trick to make bubble decals on a silicone mat.  The mat is from Bundle Monster, and I used Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat to form the base of the nail decal.  I brushed an unused pencil eraser lightly with holographic polish and stamped it onto the dried top coat on the mat.  I repeated this technique many times and also with 2-3 different polishes applied to the same circular stamped area in order to get the mix of colors that you would typically see in a soap bubble.

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Rainbow colored holographic bubbles on my silicone mat. The polishes used include Pink Holo, Green Holo, and Purple Holo from UO Nail Lacquer and Tali from Julep.

To use the decals, I carefully peeled the layer of polish from my mat and cut around the bubble(s) that I wished to use.  After painting my nail with a layer of Seche Vite top coat, I immediately placed the decal where I wanted it and allowed it to set.

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Nebulous orb shapes. They already looked like bubbles, but they needed a little more help.

Using a detail brush, I outlined each bubble with craft smart acrylic paint in dark grey.  I also added a little bit of dimension to the bubble by adding a white highlight to the top right and bottom left side of each circle.  The dark grey paint contrasted too much with the design, so I ended up tracing the outlines again with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer to make them blend more with the colors in the bubbles.

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Finishing touches.

After another layer of top coat over everything, my design was done.

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Soap bubble nail art. Just wish I had a thinner detail brush for the outlines.

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To be honest, they didn’t come out exactly as planned.  Holographic polish tends to be pretty opaque with even just a thin layer applied so my bubbles didn’t look as ethereal and transparent as I wanted them to be.  Also, the pencil eraser technique worked great, but it didn’t allow for any variation in size unless I purposefully wanted to carve down an eraser.  It still came out kind of cool, at least in concept.

Hopefully I get my inspiration back soon!  Happy polishing!

 

Snowflake Glitter Placement Manicure

Happy New Year, everyone!

With so many things going on at the end of 2016, I hardly had any time to do my nails.  I opted to do a fairly quick and easy glitter placement accent nail with French tips so that I could look somewhat festive for New Year’s Eve.

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I started by painting my nails a shimmery midnight blue. This color is called Lolo from Julep.

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I used Born Pretty holographic diamond shaped glitter for the snowflakes.

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The French tips were done with Metal Medium from Finger Paints.

To apply the glitter, I tried to use a top coat that did not dry too quickly and applied each piece with a damp orange stick.  Another layer of top coat over the glitter helped to seal the deal, although you will find that two layers of top coat work best.

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The look is reminiscent of snowflakes, the ball at Times Square, and Hannukah all rolled into one, so it’s very appropriate for the season.

Have a great 2017!  Happy polishing!

 

Green and Gold Oriental Dressing Screen Manicure

With all the holiday activities going on lately, I have hardly had any time to do my nails.  In the interest of getting things done quickly, I resorted to stamping to get me through this busy period.

People most commonly think of doing red manicures around this time, so I decided to buck the trend and do green and gold for something different.  There are some gorgeous emerald green shades out there that don’t get enough of a shout out, and Emer from Julep is a fine example of one.

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I began by painting Emer from Julep on all my nails except for my ring finger, on which I used Masked Beauty from Finger Paints.

For the stamping, I used plated BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.  It’s more of a springtime plate, but I wanted to do a dressing screen type of theme, so this suited my purpose perfectly.

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BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.

The stamping was done with Konad Special Nail Polishes in Black and Gold.  The patterns that I used are from the bottom left hand corner of the plate.

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It’s easy to see the Oriental influence with the pattern and color scheme here.

While understated, it still feels festive for the season but classy.

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Hope you enjoyed this simple look.  Happy polishing!