Unicorn Mermaid Nails

I’ve been holding off on using gel polishes after a bad skin reaction to the curing lamp a few months ago. I was really scared that my nails might fall off because my nail bed started peeling back, and the skin around the nails was itchy and getting hard before peeling off! Truly a nightmare. I’m a little wary about overdoing it with the lamp now (what, you’re not supposed to do gel manicures more than once in a day?), so I purchased some fake nails and decided to go about my swatches in this manner instead. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up doing sets for people now that I have all these fake nails!

In any case, I was super excited to use some holographic powder to create a fun and whimsical unicorn mermaid manicure, so as per the usual steps, I applied gel base coat from iMethod Beauty, cured that for 60 seconds, then applied and cured 2 coats of black gel polish. The color was 007 Blackpool from Aimeili, and it’s a trustworthy but affordable gel polish that provides the perfect base for chrome and holo powders.

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Disclaimer: this is an old swatch on my actual nails because I was too lazy to take a new photo of a polish that I already swatched.

I then applied a layer of no wipe top coat from iMethod Beauty and cured it for 60 seconds before burnishing in their holographic powder with a sponge applicator. After all the black polish was covered by holo, I swept away the excess powder with a brush and applied another layer of gel top coat.

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With a dazzling effect like this, who can say they don’t like holo?

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Mermaid Nails

Summer is pretty much right around the corner at this point, and the temperatures have definitely been rising in the city! It’s been making me crave a beach day, or at least some mermaid nails!

I started by painting my nails with a black soak off gel polish from Born Pretty. I applied and cured 2 coats of color and followed it up with a layer of Clavuz no wipe gel top coat. Each layer was cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp, and then a blend of teal and green chrome powders from iMethod Beauty was applied with a sponge applicator and sealed in with another layer of gel top coat.

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I applied teal chrome powder to the tips of my nails and green chrome powder to the rest of the area in order to create this gradient effect.

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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 48W 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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