Steampunk Nail Art and Review of Dimension Nails Notorious Stickers

I had my gears turning trying to come up with some nail art that would go with some 3D stickers that I got from Dimension Nails recently.

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3D nail art stickers from Dimension Nails in Gum Drop, Tsunami, and Notorious.

These stickers are made of foam and have adhesive on the bottom flat edge so that you can apply them to your nails without having to use glue.  They come pre-sliced into thin strips as shown, and you can choose to paint them before or after application.  If you’re feeling creative, you can cut the stickers to make different shapes and glue them to your nails in a manner other than the kind pictured on the box.

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Designs pictured from top to bottom: Tsunami, Gum Drop, and Notorious.

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My shipment also came with instruction cards and a Nail Art Cutter.

The ridges of Notorious spoke to me, so I decided to make some steampunk themed nails with gears.  Stay tuned to see how I turned the stickers into cogs!

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I used a brushed metal color palette for this manicure. From left to right: Iconic from Formula X for Sephora, Torque from Formula X for Sephora, Number One Nemesis from OPI, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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I painted all my nails with Torque, which has a gorgeous flat metallic finish.

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I used Harunouta plate L004 for the gears.

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Stamping was achieved with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, and a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI was applied over it to keep things looking industrial.

The gears were a bit of a pain to make.  I cut the foam at the peak of the design on the left and right sides of a strip and applied nail glue to connect the ends together.  My bottle of fast dry nail glue dried out, so I used Kiss Nail Art Glue and a pinching tool to hold the shape in place until it dried.  After realizing that my first gear would be rather large compared to my nail, I tried making two other smaller sized ones, but I found that the smaller the gear was, the harder it was to glue together because the shape wouldn’t hold.

In any case, I painted the inside ring of each cog with Number One Nemesis and the rest of the gear with Iconic.  It should be noted that I painted directly over the adhesive backing, so don’t worry about trying to get all the sticky stuff off first if you’re not using the product conventionally.

When the polish was dry on the gears, I attached them to my nails with Kiss Nail Art Glue, making sure to align them so that they locked into place.  I decided to not use the smallest gear that I made because I wanted the stamped gears to show through more, and I didn’t think I did a good job gluing it together.

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Almost looks like these gears can turn and do something- how cool is that?

The 3D stickers are also so lightweight, you’ll hardly notice that they’re there.  They stay in place surprisingly well!

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Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

Overall, the stickers from Dimension Nails were fun to use and allowed me to be more creative in trying to come up with a design.  I already have an idea for what I want to do next with them!  What would you create?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!

 

Coral and White Striped Mani

Welcome to the hot days of summer!  One of my favorite warm weather color combos is coral and white, so I wanted to do a fun little manicure with that palette.

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Polishes used from left to right: Sweet Daisy by Nicole by OPI, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in #4 and #8, Planks A Lot from OPI, and Meet Me At the Disco by Sephora by OPI.

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I began by painting all my nails with Sweet Daisy.

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Using plate Qgirl-046 from Ya Qin An and white stamping polish, I applied the striped pattern pictured on the right side of the plate to my nails. For the horizontal stripes, I only used the bottom half of the striped pattern and tilted my stamper accordingly.

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I did some reverse stamping using the flowers from Qgirl-046 and some purple polishes. To make it look more sparkly, I applied Meet Me At the Disco to the image first before coloring it in with lavender polish.

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I stamped the flowers directly onto my nails, and after applying Seche Vite top coat, I applied a drop of Kiss Nail Art Glue and added a rhinestone to the center of each flower.

It’s a very simple manicure, but it screams summertime!  If you don’t have the plate, you can opt to handpaint the lines with a striping brush or use some striping tape.  I’m sure the results will look just as fabulous.

Happy polishing!

Elegant Purple and White Mani

After so many fun hand painted manicures, I felt like stamping something elegant.  I was still pretty strapped for time, so after my last manicure peeled off unexpectedly, I needed to whip something together in a hurry.

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I started by painting my nails with this shimmery purple/blue chameleon polish MS03 from Ators.

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I used plate BPL-007 from Born Pretty Store to do the stamping. For this mani, I used the design in the top row, 2nd from the left for my middle two nails and thumb and part of the design from the middle row, 2nd from the left for my index finger and pinky.

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I used Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #4 (white) and a clear stamper to transfer my selected designs. For the index finger and pinky, I isolated the 3 leaves from the rest of the pattern by stamping the whole image first and removing the excess parts with a piece of Scotch tape.

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I glued a few rhinestones to the bottom center of the patterns to finish the look.

The ironic thing is that this Ators polish is water based and a peel off polish, so this design also started falling off in under 2 days!

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I got some souvenirs from this manicure!

I should have just used a regular purple polish, but it’s onto the next mani for me!

Happy polishing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elegant Blue Manicure

People always associate spring with pastel colors, but this beautiful blue really appealed to me, especially because it has been raining quite a bit over the last few days.  I drew my inspiration from my color palette for this manicure.

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Mood in blue. From left to right: Fathom by Formula X for Sephora, #19 from Ya Qin An, and Evolve by Divergent.

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I started by painting all my nails with Fathom.

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I added an iridescent sheen to the base color with a coat of Evolve.

I stamped on a pretty filigree border vertically on my index and ring fingers using a design from plate BP-35 from Born Pretty Store.

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I used the topmost design in the lower left hand quadrant of this plate.

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A very easy and simple manicure by itself, and yes, I intentionally did not stamp the border in the same place on both nails.

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I finished by gluing a few pearl rhinestones haphazardly to my other fingers with Kiss Nail Art Glue.

I think the look is very pretty and understated for the season.  I do hope we start getting warmer temperatures again soon, though!

Happy polishing!

Mermaid Inspired Nails

I know it’s a little early to be thinking of the beach, but I know a few people who recently went on vacation to Florida and Barbados, and I couldn’t help but be jealous.  The closest I’m getting to any sand these days is on my fingertips!

I also wanted to take advantage of these beautiful holographic vinyl stickers I got from Born Pretty Store.  They have a fish scale design, so I instantly thought of doing a mermaid themed design.

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These sticker templates are pretty even on their own. They are pattern JV203 by Tiebeauty.

As for the color palette, I tried to use glittery gold to represent sand and shimmery teal green and blue for the scales.

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From left to right: Glitz by Formula X, Cuckoo for this Color by OPI, Keep Me On My Mistletoes by Sephora by OPI, and Shay by Julep

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I started out by painting my middle two fingers with Cuckoo for this Color and my other nails with Glitz.

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To help aid with clean up of the gradient, I applied some liquid tape from Born Pretty to the skin around the teal nails.

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After making sure the polish was completely dry, I applied one of the vinyl stickers to my nail.

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For the gradient, I dabbed Keep Me On My Mistletoes and Shay onto a plastic bag and applied the combination onto my nail with a sponge.

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Keep sponging the mixture from the bag onto the nail until a nice gradient effect is achieved.

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After removing the sticker, you can see some parts are not perfect. I cleaned up excess polish by tracing the scale outline with an orange stick and filling in any gaps with the appropriate color.

I repeated the process with my ring finger.  To finish off the design, I added a few pearl studs, securing them with Kiss Nail Art Glue.

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She sells sea shells by the seashore.

Hope you’re enjoying the wonderful weather we’ve been having lately!  In no time, it will be summer.  Happy polishing!

Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast At Tiffany’s Inspired Nails

I have been hanging onto these Audrey Hepburn water decals for the longest time now, so I wanted to finally use them in a manicure.

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YE-261 water decals from Born Pretty Store.

This manicure is so simple to do once you have the decals.  I started out by picking out which ones I wanted to use and cut around my selections with a small pair of scissors.

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My left hand and right hand decal choices. The words have some typos (“beauliful” and “Angd an eaeth” should read “beautiful” and “Angel on earth”), but no one really notices that they are misspelled unless they look closely.

I also prepared a small container of water in which I could soak the decals later.

For the polish colors, I wanted white nails for the decals and black nails for contrast.

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Left: Johnny by Julep. Right: Alpine Snow by OPI.

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Does anyone else feel like playing Othello after seeing this?

I worked with the decals one at a time, first soaking the decal in water for about 10 seconds before sliding it off the paper backing, applying it to my nail, and blotting it dry with a napkin.

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Underwater Audrey.

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The decal can float on the surface of the water after you slide it off the paper backing.

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The final decal layout.

I wanted to add some pearl studs to liven up the black nails.  After all, Holly Golightly wears quite an impressive pearl necklace along with her iconic black dress.

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Pearl rhinestone decoration wheel from Born Pretty Store.

I opted to use two different sizes of pearls to mimic the necklace, so I placed a larger sized pearl in the center of my nail and flanked each side with a smaller pearl.  I used Kiss Nail Art Glue to secure the beads.

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The finished look. Of course I made sure that Audrey had her tiara on for her closeup.

I know using water decals is kind of cheating for a nail artist, but I really loved the artwork and couldn’t resist buying these.  I don’t think I’ve used water decals since I was in junior high (trust me, that was quite a long time ago), so it was great to see how much more advanced the artwork has become.

In any case, classy ladies will love this manicure, and if you have any friends who are fans of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, these decals make a great gift.  Using code RSSPX31 will save you 10% off any regular priced items in your order from Born Pretty Store.  Happy polishing!

Wintery Bridal Nails

Blame it on the exceptionally warm winter weather that we’ve been having, but I’ve been dreaming of a frosty winter wedding theme: silver and white and sparkly.

This manicure only requires two polishes, a stamping plate, and some rhinestones.

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The stamping will be done with plate BPL-028 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the lower right hand corner, but you could use any lace pattern and still get a beautiful result.

I wanted a low contrast look, so I picked a glittery silver stamping polish to go over a pearl white base.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Silver and mayfair by nails inc.

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Show us your pearly whites: mayfair by nails inc.

I used a squishy stamper and the silver nail polish to transfer the pattern from BPL-028 over to my nails.  I tried to line up the center of the design with the middle of my cuticle so that the circle would be in the same position on each nail.

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This metallic lace pattern could pass for snowflake crystals.

After adding topcoat, I used Kiss Nail Art Glue to secure a rhinestone to the base of each nail.

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All finished! I added a tiara ring for some extra bling.

If you don’t like the bling and would rather have a more subtle look, pearl studs would also work nicely in place of the rhinestones.

Whether you’re getting married or just want a wintry look for the season, this mani will get you in the mood.  Happy polishing!

Gothic Inspired Lace Manicure

I guess all the advertising for Halloween has been getting to me, and it’s not even October!  Funny how the goth look is considered a costume and not just a style, but it was a good excuse to break out my lace pattern plate from Born Pretty Store.

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BPL-030 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I wanted to do a metal and lace juxtaposition, so I started by painting my nails with Missy by Julep.

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Shimmery silver goodness: Missy by Julep.

I used b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black with the pattern from the 2nd row, right side of plate BPL-030 to stamp the flower part of the design on the top left section of each nail.

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Stamping with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store.

The fact that the lace looks almost like a spiderweb makes the mani Halloween appropriate.

All that was left to do was apply topcoat.  For extra bling, I placed a rhinestone in the center of each flower, adhering each jewel with Kiss Nail Art Glue.

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The finished Gothic lace look.

And that’s all you need to do in order to get a quick chic manicure!  Happy polishing!

Nail Art Problem #3 and Nail Aid No Rub Gel Remover Review

As annoying as it is to have charms fall off your nails before it’s time to change your mani, trying to get the darn things off when you want to take them off is just as bad!  Do I even have to mention glitter polish?  The struggle is real.

If I know I’m going to change my look up quickly, I’ll use the Elmer’s School Glue trick so I won’t have to deal with loads of acetone.  Don’t know about it?  It’s when you paint a coat of Elmer’s School Glue onto your nails as a base coat, let it dry, and then apply your polish (preferably in a thick coat) over it.  Depending on how much you wash your hands, the manicure you do over the glue can last, at worst, a few hours or maybe 2-3 days at best.  To remove the polish deliberately, use an orange stick to gently lift up a corner of the polish, and the whole thing will come off your nail lickety split.

When it comes to using rhinestones and studs, my intention is usually to keep them on my nails for as long as possible, but removing them is such a huge pain.  Whether you use polish or nail art glue to adhere them doesn’t make much of a difference- the suckers sometimes don’t want to budge.  Your only options are to either keep scrubbing away at them with nail polish remover and cotton balls or soak your nails in acetone, either in a dish or with the foil/cotton ball removal method.

But one day, while cruising the nail art section at Walmart, I found this product:

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Nail Aid to the rescue!

Could this be the answer to my problems?  I hate having to soak my nails in dappen dishes full of acetone, and I’m too lazy to prepare foil and cotton balls, so maybe a gel remover is the ticket to freedom.

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Instructions for use.

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Inside the magic jar lies a pink gel.

So let’s try using it on the rhinestones from my Sunflower/Black Eyed Susan manicure.  Warning: graphic, ugly pictures of nails lie beyond this sentence.  Proceed with caution!  You have been warned.  😛

I dipped my nails into the gel one at a time.  I probably could have just placed dollops of the gel right on top of the rhinestones because I already took off the surrounding polish, but that would take more effort.

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Gel remover on top of nails. I’m strangely in the mood to have a chocolate chip cookie after seeing this photo.

The instructions say to wait 4 minutes before attempting removal, so I sat around, awed by how cold my hands felt with gelled acetone on my nails.

After 4 minutes, I took an orange stick and pried each rhinestone off.  They certainly were not going to budge if I only used a paper towel to wipe away the gel, as is recommended in the instructions.  I can’t say that they all came off easily- some rhinestones came off without any issues while others required a little strength.  I know my nail beds could potentially get damaged from doing this if the polish isn’t totally softened, but I’m not planning to use any charms for quite some time after this manicure.

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After removing the rhinestones, lots of residue remains. At least the rhinestones came off!

After trying to wipe away the excess gel and polish with a paper towel, I washed my hands with soap and water.  The gel feels very slick when you try to wash it away, and it takes a little effort to make sure all the residue is gone.

I still had some nail polish on my nails, so I needed to go back and remove what little remained with nail polish remover and a cotton pad.  But Egad!  Something managed to stain my nails!

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All gone… except for some mysterious lingering rings where the rhinestones were.

I have no idea what caused that, but the stains will be covered up with a new manicure soon enough anyway.  😉

I’ve tried using this product with glitter polish in the past, and it did a reasonable job of taking off most of the glitter.  Is it better than the foil method?  In term of ease of application, most definitely!  In terms of clean up?  Not really.  What time you save in applying the gel gets added at the end when you try to wash it off…  and that’s if all your polish got removed the first time around.  I’m sticking to using Elmer’s School Glue as a base coat for ease of removal of glitter polishes.

In terms of using this for removal of nail art studs and charms, I would definitely use this again.  The gel stays put and doesn’t drip, and it manages to loosen the charms up enough so that you can remove them.  After that, it’s not a big deal to clean up the polish residue.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you want to find out more about No Rub Gel by Nail Aid, please visit their website at: http://www.norubgel.com/   Definitely go to Walmart to buy it rather than purchase it online if you have a choice.  It’s much cheaper at Walmart, although they don’t see it online.  Good luck with the nail art removal process!

Sunflower/Black Eyed Susan Nail Art

When I was doing my review for Temix Mini Nail Color yellow stamping polish, I had to find a plate that would go well with the shade I got.  The suns from Cheeky Jumbo Plate 2 looked like they could be turned into sunflowers or Black Eyed Susans very easily with some brown rhinestones, so I decided to make a full mani out of it.

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Cheeky Jumbo Plate 2. The design I used was 3rd from the left and 3rd from the bottom.

I liked the idea of having sunflowers being backed by a blue sky, so I used Blue Collar by Orly for my base color.

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A beautiful blue polish: Blue Collar by Orly.

After letting that dry, I went ahead and stamped the design from Jumbo Plate 2 with Temix Mini Nail Color in #3 and applied topcoat.

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Bright suns serve as the base for this floral design. Stamping is done with Temix Mini Nail Color in #3.

Afterward, I set dark iridescent rhinestones with Kiss Nail Art Glue into the centers of the suns to turn them into flowers.  The way the rhinestones protrude resemble the centers of Black Eyed Susans.

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The finished look against a bed of Black Eyed Susans.

Overall it was a very easy manicure to do, and it’s very eye catching and summery.  Happy polishing!