Shattered Mirror Nails

Not too long ago, I dropped my phone and cracked the screen for the first time ever! It’s limited to only 2 corners, so it doesn’t really get in the way, but for a perfectionist like me, it’s annoying! I’m due for a new phone upgrade anyway, so maybe it’s a sign… In any case, it inspired the creation of this shattered mirror nail art.

I began by painting all my nails with black gel polish. Because I knew I was going to apply chrome powder over my base, I didn’t mind using one of my lower quality gel polishes to do the job. This black gel polish in color 01 from Born Pretty’s Solid Color Series was the very first gel polish I owned and was part of their silver chrome starter kit. My, how far we’ve come since then! Now I know not to wipe off the tacky layer between coats of color and to use a good gel base coat with it! This shade still left much to be desired in terms of coverage as 2 thin coats still wasn’t very opaque, but like I said, I wasn’t picky about it because I knew I was topping it with a chrome powder.

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Each coat cured for 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

I then applied and cured a coat of Clavuz No Wipe Top Coat prior to applying a silver chrome powder from IMethod Beauty over it with a sponge applicator. The results are super shiny and reflective, and you can’t tell that the black polish underneath it had uneven coverage.

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Another layer of Clavuz No Wipe Top Coat was applied over the powder to seal it into place.

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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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My First Time Doing Drag Marble Nails

Having been doing nail art for a number of years now, you would think that I’ve tried pretty much everything nail related by now, but surprisingly I’ve never done a drag marble manicure! People like Sveta Sanders caused quite a stir when her short video tutorials using this technique went viral on social media, but I was too obsessed with stamping and freehand designs at the time to ever want to try it out. However, the acquisition of a 12 color gel polish set from Mefa (look for a review on my blog coming soon) made me want to use all the colors! Gel polish is perfect for doing drag marbles because it doesn’t set until you cure it under a lamp, and so this design was created. Forgive me if it looks underwhelming because this was my first time doing a drag marble manicure!

I began by painting my nails with Mefa 047, a light gray color. I applied and cured 2 coats of polish, each one setting in 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp. The coverage on my nails wasn’t the greatest, but I didn’t mind because I knew I was going to apply more polish on top of this for the drag marble.

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2 coat swatch of Mefa 047 gel polish.

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Review of Clavuz Neon Bling 12 Color Gel Polish Set

Shopping for gel polish online can be scary business. Not every brand is trustworthy, and things get especially questionable when the price seems too good to be true. However, I had such good results with a gel base and top coat set from Clavuz that I didn’t hesitate to try out this 12 color gel polish box set from the same company.

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The “neon bling” 12 color gel polish set from Clavuz comes packaged in a box ready to be wrapped for gift giving.

The outside packaging really doesn’t entice the buyer into purchasing the set. They don’t specify which colors are included, nor do they have pictures of the polishes included, but they do list all the boring stuff.

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The instructions are printed on the back of the box along with low resolution images of random fingers painted with colors that you don’t get in this set.

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One side lists the ingredients and warnings while the other side displays generic graphic outlines of 12 bottles of polish, not scaled to size.

The contents of the box are more exciting. The bottles, which are an 8 mL size and therefore a little small, are held in place in a plastic tray, and more detailed instructions along with a swatching wheel are included.

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Black and Gold Baroque Nails

Today’s design is a lovely black and gold baroque/rococo swirl that I put together because I thought the color combination would look nice.

I started by painting my nails with Aimeili Gel Polish in 093 My Fantasy Gold. This polish is a yellow jelly formula with lots of gold glitter flakes. This color has surprisingly good coverage, so it only took 2 coats to get the opacity shown below.

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Disclaimer: This polish photographed more orange than the actual color, but I couldn’t fix the tint without wildly making my skin tone look totally off. I would say My Fantasy Gold is more of a yellow marigold shade.

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Snowflake French Manicure

We’ve had little bits of snow here and there in NYC, although it melts not long after it falls. It’s proved to be the inspiration for this pretty snowflake tipped manicure.

I started by painting my nails with a silver and holo glitter gel polish from Aimeili called Silver Glitter Explosion (#023). It applies mostly clear and looks like fairy dust thanks to the sparkling glitter pieces. I used 3 coats for this manicure to get the coverage shown below.

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Review of Aimeili Gel Base and Top Coat Set

Lately I’ve been getting into gel polish. It’s rather ironic because I never thought I would, knowing how often I change my nails, but I’ve gotten into the habit of applying gel polish to my right hand (my Cindy hand) to protect my nails from getting beat up from using acetone so much. Between needing to remove polish on my hands and toes on a regular basis, Cindy also touches acetone while cleaning stamping plates and generally gets abused at work and while doing household chores. It made sense for me to apply gel polish, which generally doesn’t get affected by acetone when exposed for short periods of time, at least to that hand so that I didn’t have to worry about my nails becoming increasingly brittle over time.

It has been said that gel polishes work best when you use them with the base and top coat made by the same company, so I used a set by Aimeili along with one of their gel colors (110 Prunus Persica) for this review.

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This gel base and top coat set from Aimeili is packaged in a cute box and comes with an instruction sheet inside.

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