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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Computer Geek Nails

I have to get my fingerprints taken for a job application, so I thought it would be cool to do computer circuit board nails.  I’ve been wanting to do this idea for years but never got around to it until now!

I went with yellow-green for the base color and decided to stamp with gold polish.  I added the last two polishes after literally sleeping on that idea.  More on that in a bit.

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Colors from left to right are Hot Fun In the Summer-Lime by OPI, Ya Qin An polish in Gold, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12, and What’s A Tire Jack from Sephora by OPI.

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I painted all my nails with the light green color first.

For the circuit board, I used the pattern from the bottom right hand side of plate L004 from Harunouta.

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Harunouta L004 plate.

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I stamped the pattern across my nails with gold polish.

I had done my nails super late at 3 am (night owls, can I get a holla?) so after getting some sleep, I decided that I needed an accent nail to break up the design.

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I removed the polish from my ring finger and painted the nail black instead.

Binary code is always appropriate when it comes to computer themed nail art.  I used the same pattern to make Matrix themed nails last year, but I finally have a good quality light green stamping polish to use with it!

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Hey look, another circuit board! Plate BM-415 from Bundle Monster.

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I finished up by stamping the pattern from the top of the plate onto my accent nail.

It was a cute and simple manicure that geeks like me can really adore.  Wish me luck now that I’m entering the system!  Happy polishing!

Groundhog Day Nails

How many of you guys trust Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog to predict the weather?  2016 is supposed to have an early spring, if the little fella is to be believed.  We’ve had a pretty warm winter overall, despite that blizzard from a few weeks ago, so maybe there is something to his prediction.

My idea was to paint a little groundhog and surround him with green grass on the tips of my nails.  I picked out a nice sky blue nail polish and a bunch of different greens for the grass.

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The grass is definitely pretty green on this side with an early spring predicted for this year! From left to right: Monet Money by Finger Paints, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime by OPI, Havana Dreams by Sephora by OPI, Leonardo’s Lime by Finger Paints, and Garden Galaxy by Piggy Polish.

I started off by painting all my nails with Havana Dreams.

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Havana Dreams by Sephora by OPI.

The groundhog was my main concern, so I picked out some acrylic paint colors in a brown color scheme to paint him first.

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craft smart Acrylic Paint in Black, Brown, and Golden Brown.

I started off by painting the shape of the head with brown acrylic paint.  I didn’t paint in the body at this point because I thought I would have the head peeking out from behind the grass, but I changed my mind after I finished the details of the head.  I did some highlighting and contouring with a detail brush and different blends of brown, golden brown, and black to add some dimension to my guy.  I went for a cartoony look because that’s how I roll.

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Painting the groundhog.

The fun part was painting in the grass with a fan brush.  I’ve never tried using a fan brush for anything except dusting off pigments and glitters, so I was pleased with how easy it was to make the grass look artistic.

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Using one color at a time, the grass was painted on with a fan brush. Garden Galaxy (the glitter polish) was applied with the brush that came with the bottle as a finishing touch.

A little top coat made my groundhog shine, although I have to admit, he looks kind of tired of looking for his shadow.

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Looking forward to an early spring!

NYC is actually expecting some snow tomorrow, so go figure.  The tradition is all in good fun, though!  Happy polishing!

Santa and Elves Nail Art

Who is still getting ready for Christmas?  Me, for one!  I could use some elves of my own to finish buying and wrapping gifts.

For my nails, I decided to dedicate this week to Santa and his band of helpers.  Let’s hop to it and see the color palette!

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From left to right: Tip Your Hat from China Glaze, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime by OPI, White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Keep Me on My Mistletoes by Sephora by OPI, and Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora.

I began by painting my nails green and red.  There can only be one Santa nail, so I let him be the accent nail on my ring finger.

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Very basic Christmas mani using Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime by OPI and Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.

The next step was to add the zig zag edges of the elves’ tunics and the white fur trim of Santa’s suit.  To make an easier chevron, you can use pre-cut tape as a guide, but I used the brush from the China Glaze bottle and tried to swipe at a 45 degree angle across the tips of the elf nails.  For the fur, I used a large dotting tool with White Hot to get the fluffiness of the trim down.

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First level of detail done.

For the belt, I purposefully used a mini bottle of polish for the smaller sized brush so I could swipe the color across my nail in one stroke.  Alternatively you can use a striping brush to mark the top and bottom of the belt and fill in the section with a dotting tool.

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Censored Santa and elves? Nah, it’s just the beginning of the belt detail.

Using a sparkly gold polish like Keep Me on My Mistletoes and a detail brush, I painted the outline of a square in the center of each black section and then applied topcoat.

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Santa and his gang like gold belt buckles!

For a little extra detail, I added a gold stud at the base of each elf nail so that it looked like a button on their tunic.

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Finishing touches.  Now everyone can get to work!

I hope you have a great Christmas if you celebrate.  Happy Holidays to all, and as always, happy polishing!

“The Matrix” Nail Art

When I need inspiration, I like looking through my stamping plate collection to see what catches my eye.  This time, a plate from Bundle Monster stood out.

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Plate BM-415 by Bundle Monster

The binary code totally reminded me of the The Matrix, so I decided to do a black base with green on top.

Step 1- Paint your nails black.  I used What’s a Tire Jack from Sephora by OPI

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I love a chic black mani! This one features What’s a Tire Jack from Sephora by OPI.

For the stamping, I ran into a bit of a dilemma.  I don’t own a green stamping polish, so I decided to experiment and create a Frankenpolish of my own using the bottles of polish pictured below.

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The candidates for my experiment, from left to right: OPI- Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri- Lickety Split Lime, Sephora by OPI- Gleek Out, BMC Nail Lacquer- white, BMC Nail Lacquer- liquid gold.

In my head, I imagined that I would be able to mix enough polish to do all the stamping with one batch of Frankenpolish.  I did my mixing on a plastic bag because it’s easy to clean up.  Once the polish dries, you can peel off the patch, and the bag can be reused as a palette again.  Waste not, want not!

What I did was put drops of Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime, Gleek Out (for shimmer), white, and liquid gold on the plastic sheet and mixed it together with an old nail polish treatment brush.  To be honest, I forgot that I owned Lickety Split Lime or else I might have had less mixing to do.  😉

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It’s alive! Frankenpolish time!

I tried stamping this concoction on my middle finger, and it came out pretty good.  By the time I tried to use my Frankenpolish a second time, the polish thickened up too much, and I was unable to use it.  I didn’t want to have to mix another batch again just for one nail, so this was when I remembered that I owned Lickety Split Lime.  I decided to try swiping that on the plate along with liquid gold to avoid having to mix the polishes separately.

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There’s a stripe of liquid gold underneath the stripe of Lickety Split Lime. The gold adds shimmer to the polish and darkens the color.

I stamped that onto my ring finger, but I wasn’t as pleased by the results.

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Frankenpolish mixed separately on plastic for the nail on the left and 2 stripes of polish blended by scraping them together directly on the plate for the nail on the right.

I’m thinking that maybe I should bottle that sparkly green Frankenpolish combo I made the first time.  😛

In any case, for the other nails, I wanted to use holographic green nail foil I bought from eBay to make stripes.

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Beautiful holographic nail foil! The pattern consists of tiny squares and looks like holographic green static.

With a striping brush, I painted lines of ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever at full strength onto my nails.  After letting the glue dry clear, I applied the nail foil.

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Binary code with stripes of nail foil.

I have to say, the nail foil looked better on the roll than it did on my nails.  😛  To jazz it up, I applied Garden Galaxy by Piggy Polish over the stripes.

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The finished look. Time to dodge some bullets.

Am I in love with it?  No.  This totally did not come out looking the way I thought it would.  I need to wipe the slate clean!  But there’s always room for a sequel, and this time the sequel will be better.  To be continued…

Water Marbling Comb Review

When I saw that Born Pretty Store had a water marbling comb on their website, I was intrigued and wanted to try it out.  I’ve always been frustrated with water marbling because of how inconsistent and time consuming the process can be, so the comb seemed like an interesting way to get a water marbled effect without having to use water.

The comb came packaged in a plastic resealable bag as shown below.  There is no brand name associated with it, although it might be written in Chinese on the label.  If anyone knows what the translation is, please feel free to comment the answer on this post.

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Water marbling comb from Born Pretty Store.

The comb was bigger than I thought it would be.  The metal spikes span the width of 2.25 inches and are 2.5 inches long, and the spikes are set apart from each other in a plastic handle at 0.5 cm intervals.  The size makes the comb easy to hold and handle, although I think the spikes are too long for the way I’ll be using this.  I’m guessing that if you use this in water for large scale real water marbling, the length will serve you well, but for nail art, there’s no way you would be using a container big enough to accommodate this comb.

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Size perspective against US quarters.

It should be noted that the spikes have slightly tapered but blunt ends.  You shouldn’t be in any danger of hurting yourself on the points, but I’m not going to say that it’s impossible!

I also noticed that the length of the spikes is fairly consistent but not 100% even with each other.  Again, if you were to use this with water for water marbling, this would be of no importance, but for dry water marbling, it’s going to mean that the points won’t touch the surface of the polish evenly.

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Look closely, and you’ll notice that the points don’t form a completely straight line. The 2nd spike from the bottom in particular is shorter compared to the spikes above and below it.

So how do you use this thing?  There aren’t any instructions that come with it, so I decided to wing it.

It’s possible to make nail decals on your own by painting polish on top of plastic wrap, so I took a piece of plastic (Saran) wrap and stretched it over a binder.  You can also use a Ziploc bag or other similar smooth surface.

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Not just any old binder- it’s a binder with a piece of plastic wrap taped over its surface.

Next comes the fun part: experimenting with polish and combing through it.  🙂

I painted generous stripes of polish next to each other on the plastic wrap.  You don’t want to have space in between the stripes, but you probably don’t want to contaminate your brushes with the color of the stripe that is next to it either.  You can simply wipe your brush on a paper towel until the original color is the only one you see before dipping it back into the bottle.

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About to comb through some stripes. Left to right the colors are Nellie from Julep, Mai Tai from nailtini, Life Gave Me Lemons from OPI, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime from OPI, Zing from Formula X for Sephora, and Haphazard from Formula X for Sephora.

After stroking through the polish from left to right, this is what the pattern looked like:

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Dry water marble stroking the comb from left to right.

It’s a pretty effect, but it should be noted that because of the unevenness of the spikes, the polish completely scraped away in some areas while that short spike I mentioned before hardly touched the surface of the polish.

After wiping the comb clean with a paper towel, I decided to comb through the polish going from right to left, fitting the spikes in between the pooled purple sections.

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Polish combed through in both directions.

I love the effect, but you also have to remember that not too many people have nails that are big enough to fit the entire pattern on them!  So from this I was inspired to use just 2 different colors to make a flame pattern.

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Stroking left to right with the comb through stripes of Mai Tai by nailtini and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.

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Stroking right to left to make flames.

I repeated this process a few different times on different areas of the plastic wrap so that I would have enough sections to cover my nails.  I also painted clear topcoat over these patches in order to facilitate removal of the pieces.  The thicker the coats of polish, the easier the sections will lift from the plastic wrap.  I allowed everything to dry overnight so that the next day, I was able to lift up these marbled sections easily.

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Lifting up the marbled pattern from the plastic wrap.

From here, I cut the pieces of dried polish into shapes that would fit my nails and adhered them by applying each decal one at a time.  I painted a base color first, positioning the decal on top of the wet polish, and then applied more topcoat to the decal to make it pliable.  I used an orange stick to push the decal down evenly across my nail bed.  You can see more of this process in my Flaming Nail Art post.

The resulting mani was pretty cool, and I didn’t even need water to get the marbled effect!

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These nails are on fire!

My overall impression is that the comb is pretty handy for making marbled nail decals in advance and that it is a fun tool to play with.  It’s extremely easy to clean the comb with just a paper towel, but the unevenness of the spike lengths negate the usefulness of having a wide comb.  Technically you could use a toothpick to create the same effect line by line, but it would be more time consuming.  But if you like having relatively uniform looking marbled patterns, this is a great way to get a consistent look across your nails.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this water marbling comb (retail price is $6.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/nail-water-marbling-comb-practical-marbling-comb-nail-tools-p-20690.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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