Radioactive Frankenstein Manicure

It’s less than a week away from Halloween! Do you know what you’re putting on your nails yet?

I’m probably going to end up changing my manicure again before the big day, but I wanted to do a cute take on Frankenstein first! It’s been awhile since I’ve done some freehand nail art, so it was nice to pull out the brushes for this one.

I started by painting my nails black except for my ring finger, which I painted green. I used What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI for the black color and Radioactive from Formula X for Sephora for the green shade.

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This color combo looks very Wicked!

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Spiderweb Manicure

When it’s late October, the countdown to Halloween starts! There are so many fun things you can put on your nails at this time of year to celebrate the day, but I’ve chosen to highlight spiders and their webs first.

To start, I used a sparkly black holographic polish from F.U.N. Lacquer called Last Doubt. This allows for some slight contrast against the black spiders that will be put on top shortly.

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2 coats of Last Doubt provide the perfect sparkly base for this spooky manicure.

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Fun Halloween Themed Nails

Happy November! This post is coming a little late because I’ve been swamped with trying to get a lot of pictures edited and ready for the blog (not to mention work!), but I think you guys will still enjoy seeing my journey for this manicure!

I did my nails the night before Halloween, and while I didn’t have any spectacular plans to go out, I did want to be festive. I went with a various selection of stamped images on top of a dark background.

To start, I prepared my nails with Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape and then painted my nails with Legend from Formula X for Sephora.

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I kind of wish I hadn’t painted the peel off tape first because this shade is gorgeous and deserved its own swatch photo!

Next I took a small piece of a makeup sponge and applied Jetsetter from Formula X and blended it with Legend to create a vampy gradient.

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Because each shade has shimmery particles in it, the textures blend extra well together.

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Skeleton and Bones Manicure

Hi, everyone! I know I’ve been missing in action as of late, but I’ll have posts to make up for it coming soon. My bathroom was being renovated, so I couldn’t access my nail art supplies (GASP!) for awhile. Now that is a horror story! You would think that the time off from nail art would allow my nails to become healthier, but they stayed dry and brittle to the point where eventually 3 of them broke the day before I planned to paint them. In desperation, I applied a full set of acrylic sculpted nails, which seems to be working out rather well for me this time around! I have to say that I’ve grown to love the extra strength and instant length that I can get from acrylics, and while I probably should have taken photos of me trying to apply them, the fact remained that this was my first full set with very minimal experience prior to this. My tips are way too thick, and I’ve also been sleep deprived, so my attempt at a French manicure came out looking less than stellar but not altogether horrible. If my nails look a little funky for the next few posts, you’ll know why!

Onto the tutorial!

Because it’s almost Halloween, I went with a skeleton black and white theme. The first step was to paint all my nails with Black Diamond from Sally Hansen, but any black polish will do.

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Black Diamond from Sally Hansen is a sparkly dark graphite color.

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Vampire Inspired Halloween Nails

Halloween is on a Monday this year, so all the parties happened on Saturday (yesterday).  I had at least two different ones that I could attend, so I needed matching nails!

I’m not sure what you would call my planned costume, seeing as it was a mix of different things and not just a pre-packaged store bought item.  I do love dressing up!  Let’s just say that it involved a lot of red and black stripes.

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The color palette from left to right: Ring In the Red by China Glaze, Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora, Curve-aceous by Sephora by OPI, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

I wanted to freehand glittery red blood dripping from the tips of some nails and stamp the pattern of my bodice for the other nails.  The stamping was done with plate BP-L020 from Born Pretty Store.

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Lots of lace on BP-L020 from Born Pretty Store.

The steps for this one are pretty simple.

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  1. Paint the index finger, pinky, and thumb with black polish (Dark Matter) and the middle and ring fingers with red polish (Curve-aceous).
  2. Stamp the lined pattern onto the red nails.  Other methods of achieving this are simply freehanding the lines with a striping brush or using striping tape as a stencil, but stamping is the quickest way to go for most people.
  3. Finish off the stamping by adding a lacey border along the cuticle line.  I used the pattern from the bottom row of the plate, 2nd image from the left.  Add blood droplets to the black nails with a dotting tool by forming a large dot where you want the drop to fall and dragging the top of the drop up to the tip of your nail.
  4. Paint red glitter polish along the tips of your nails to connect the drips together and add top coat.  Done!
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I think they match my costume pretty well, no?

The saddest thing was that after taking a disco nap on Saturday night, I woke up with a horrible headache complete with nausea, so I ended up not going to either party.  Boo.  How’s that for a trick?  I plan to make up for this by eating a lot of chocolate on Halloween.

Happy polishing to all you ghouls out there!  Be safe and enjoy!

Spooky October Nails

It wouldn’t be October unless I had at least one Halloween themed manicure!  I’ve been dying to be able to paint, but I haven’t had the time, so I did some stamping instead.

To begin, I painted my nails with Funky by Formula X.  It’s a metallic chrome blue that has slight color shifting abilities where it turns more gold at different angles.

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Funky by Formula X.

I went old school this time and pulled out my original Bundle Monster Series 1 plate collection for the patterns.  These were some of the first plates that I purchased on Amazon years ago.

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BM 13 plate by Bundle Monster has some creepy crawly stuff on it, perfect for an October mani.

The stamping polishes used were gold and silver colors by Ya Qin An and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.  I used a double layer technique to make sure the images could be seen over the blue base color.

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I stamped my chosen designs with silver polish first. I stamped an extra bat on my middle nail to fill in the space. To make the spiders contrast with the web, I used gold polish. Using a clear stamper and black polish, I staggered the patterns just enough to form a highlight behind each image.

The truth is that if you try to stamp black polish directly onto the blue, you can’t really see the design, which defeats the purpose.  Double stamping is a great way to make the images really pop.

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I can’t say that this was quick to do, but the results came out nicely!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your October, and if you celebrate, have a Happy Halloween!  Happy polishing!

Hannibal Lecter Nail Art

Every once in awhile, I’ll have a friend request that I do specific nail art.  At the beginning of October, I was approached by Sung Jin Hong, the conductor of One World Symphony, with the idea of doing some Hannibal Lecter themed nail art to commemorate the October 25 world premiere of his Hannibal opera.  You can find the details of the upcoming concert here if you are interested in attending.  I kind of love the challenge of coming up with a look to fit the theme as it always gets my creative juices flowing, so I agreed to it even though I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a good looking mani.

The first order of business was to watch Silence of the LambsHannibal, and Red Dragon to see what would inspire me and what I could paint to represent Hannibal Lecter.  The only thing that really made sense to me was to paint his face in the mask, which appears in the first two movies.  I could have painted some of the finer things that he adores, but I felt like nothing would stand out as distinctly Hannibal unless I painted the man himself.  That’s when I knew I was going to be working for a long time on this manicure.

The plan was to paint Hannibal’s face in the mask across both hands because my nails are too short and small to be able to give him enough detail on one hand alone.  I’ve never considered myself a real artist, and I’ve definitely never had to paint a realistic looking face before, so I wanted to give myself some room.  I figured 3 nails would be sufficient for the width, so I put him in the center and planned to do a bloody splatter on the surrounding nails.

But first, I had to pick some colors.  Nothing is worse than digging through your nail polish collection when you haven’t finished a design, so I always try to plan ahead.

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Left to right: White Hot, Give Peach a Chance, and Caught with my Khakis Down by Sephora by OPI, and Janae by Julep.

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Left to right: Sweet Daisy by Nicole by OPI, Tip Your Hat by China Glaze, and Blue-Mmmm by Piggy Polish.

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Clockwise from top left: acrylic paints by craft smart in White, Dark Grey, Black, Bright Red, Golden Brown, and Brown.

With this design involving two hands with differing elements, there are twice the number of photos.  Let the slideshow begin!

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The left hand starts out with White Hot on my thumb and pinky while the other nails get Give Peach a Chance. This will become the top half of Hannibal’s face.

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The right hand gets White Hot on the thumb and pinky again, Caught with my Khakis Down on the middle finger, and Give Peach a Chance on the outside 3/4 of nails. This will be the bottom part of the mask, so the peach color is supposedly the skin of his neck.

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After allowing the peach color to dry for a little bit, I finished off the shape of the bottom of the mask by painting Caught with my Khakis down.

A few notes about the mask.  I realize that in the movie, the mask is more of a flesh color, which is what makes it look that much more terrifying.  I don’t own many polishes in that color family, and I didn’t want to have to paint an entire nail with acrylic paint, so I went with the khaki color.

Also, were I to do this again, I would have made the shape of the mask less chunky.  Anthony Hopkins’ face looks much slimmer through the jawline.  But as I said before, I haven’t had to paint a realistic looking face… on my nails…  with my left hand (I’m right handed, FYI).  So I think I’m allowed a few concessions.  😉

I wanted some time to gather the courage to finish the rest of the face, so I went on to do the blood spatter (or splatter) portion of the design next with Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.  You can read the tutorial on how to create this murder scene look on my previous post.

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Left hand with the splatter added.

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Right hand blood splatter.

With that much done, I decided to try to finish the right hand details.  I always like to paint with my non-dominant hand first whenever I’m not sure if I can pull off a design or not.  The theory is that if I can get my right hand painted, then my left hand will look even better.  🙂

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Start by using a detail brush and Golden Brown acrylic paint. The dots are the ventilation holes in the mask, and the rectangular sections are where the nose and mouth openings are. Sounds creepy already!

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The lower lip is the only one you can see through the mask, so I applied Sweet Daisy with a dotting tool. I wonder if Hannibal would approve of the shade- it’s from the Carrie Underwood collection from Nicole by OPI. 😉 The only reason I didn’t use acrylic paint here is because I don’t own a pre-made pink color and was too lazy to mix one. 😛

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Some nostrils and the opening of his mouth are added with black acrylic paint. I also fixed the shape of the nose holes by adding a dab of Caught with my Khakis Down.

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Hannibal gets some pearly whites with some acrylic paint. I used a dotting motion with a detail brush to give a more realistic look to the teeth without having to outline each one.

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The metal bars are painted over the mouth area and between the nostrils with Dark Grey paint.

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Some contouring of the sides of the face and nose is done with a sponge and Janae by Julep to try to give some depth to the image. I also changed the color of the metal bar between the nostrils to black. In hindsight, I should have also painted the metal bars over his mouth black as well because the grey color blended into the khaki color once topcoat was added.

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The finished right hand! Hey, that wasn’t too hard…

One hand down, one more to go.

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Using a striping brush, I painted the outlines of the mask with Caught with my Khakis Down. For the middle section, I used the brush from the bottle.

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I filled in the outlined area using the brush from the bottle.

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Where did all this detail come from? Almost everything new in this photo is done with acrylic paint and a detail brush except for the blue eyes, which are painted on with a dotting tool and Blue-Mmmm by Piggy Polish. It’s a shimmer polish, so it gives the eyes more dimension.

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The last few steps were to add the hair, ears, and eye detail with acrylic paint.

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A little more contouring done on the mask with Janae and a sponge, and the left hand is done! Yay!

I love how I can use my left hand alone to add some creepiness to everything.

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This photo was taken a week after painting Hannibal, but I had to keep him around for at least the first rehearsal for the opera!

The finished look is just as disturbing.

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Hannibal the Cannibal.

This was an amazing thing to paint, at least for me.  I know it looks cartoony, but considering that I have no experience with portraiture, I’m impressed that I got some of the resemblance down!  It was nice to have the challenge, and now all that’s left is to premiere the opera on Sunday.  Wish me luck!

Happy polishing!  🙂