Lacey Stained Glass Manicure

I wanted to create a pretty manicure after my 3D nail experiment, so I turned to a classy plate from Harunouta for inspiration.

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Lace for days: Harunouta plate L-009.

My eyes were drawn to the lace strip in the center of the plate, so I decided to do some stamping in black over subtle holographic hues.  Did you know that Urban Outfitters released a line of holographic nail polishes a few years ago?  They are some of the best purchases I ever made.

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Clockwise from top left: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, UO Nail Lacquer in Silver Holo, UO Nail Lacquer in Pink Holo, and UO Nail Lacquer in Green Holo.

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I painted all my nails with Silver Holo.

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I stamped the lace image with black polish and colored in the flowers with Pink Holo and the leaves with Green Holo.

Pro tip: Use several stampers so that you can let the polish dry completely as you fill in the image on the next stamper.  Failure to wait will cause the colors to smear outside of your outlines, and the decal will not transfer properly.

I used the brush from the bottle to fill in the design, but if you need more precision, a dotting tool or detail brush is handy.

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After stamping the design, some clean up, and top coat, your manicure is done!

The most time consuming work is coloring in the sections, but it really an easy manicure to do.  Plus it’s holo- how can you go wrong?

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Hope you enjoyed this design!  Happy polishing!

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!

 

Antique Damask Print Nails

I have a lot of friends who recently got married, so it was in my head to do something with light blue polish in the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” tradition.  I turned to my stamping plate collection for the rest of the inspiration.  I ended up using plate BP-X01 from Born Pretty Store for the damask print.

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My choice was the design in the middle of the top row as well as the two images in the bottom left corner for this mani.

I wanted a subtle blue print, so I chose a base color that was only slightly lighter than my stamping polish color and then used gold and silver stamping polishes for the antiques.

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Colors from left to right: Infatuated by Formula X for Sephora, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #9, Ya Qin An polish in Gold, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Silver.

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I first painted all my nails with Infatuated.

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Using a darker light blue stamping polish with BP-X01, I varied the angle of the damask pattern on my nails.

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For the mirror, I stamped the design with gold polish and then filled in the empty space with silver polish. I waited several minutes for it to dry completely before stamping it onto my nail.

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I stamped the candelabra on my middle finger, which gave this mani a Beauty and the Beast vibe.

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After adding top coat, I glued small pearl rhinestones to my antiques to make them look more distinctive.

And there you have it!  It’s an easy manicure that looks very pretty.  Good luck to all the brides and brides to be out there!  Happy polishing!

Review of Konad Special Nail Polish #24 (Flash Black)

If you’re into stamping nail art, you have Konad to thank for that.  It’s safe to say that the original innovator of the technique is a trustworthy brand.  I’ve generally had good experiences with their stamping polish in the past, but I wanted to try one of their newest colors to see if there have been any changes made to the formula.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

What I love about this color is that it is a shimmery black, so it has more dimension to it.  Konad does offer a standard black color if this isn’t your thing.

The bottle is the same shape throughout the brand.  There is 11 mL of polish inside, so there is a little bit less than what you would typically get in a regular bottle.

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The brush is a little on the thin side, but you won’t need to use a lot of polish when you’re stamping. Just swipe one line of polish at the top of the design, scrape off the excess, and you’ll be good to go.

The formula looks to be the same as the original one.  It is not extra thick and has a regular nail polish consistency.  With some stamping polishes, it is not practical to use them as a stand alone polish color because they are so viscous, but this one paints like a dream and gives full coverage in one coat.  You could easily give yourself an entirely Flash Black mani, and no one would know that you used stamping polish.

The extra benefit is that because this is a stamping polish, it dries quickly and only requires one coat for full opacity.  As a stand alone color, this is great for people who are on the run.

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Stamping done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and Born Pretty Store BP-L005 plate over the following colors (left to right): White Hot from Sephora by OPI, City-Pretty Rose by Nicole by OPI, Make A Change by Nicole by OPI, and one coat of Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. Top picture is without top coat applied, bottom picture is with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Over each of the base colors, the Konad polish performed exceptionally well.  There is a good contrast between Flash Black over light and dark bases, and you can see more of a shimmer in the color once the top coat is applied.

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The shimmer in the formula compliments glittery holo polish well as seen in this chevron accent nail mani.

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I also used it for the same reason in this half-stamped/half-hand painted chessmen manicure.

Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black is perfect for your stamping needs, and everyone should have a good black stamping polish in their arsenal.  This is definitely it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $12.06 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off any regular priced items in your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/11ml-flash-black-konad-nail-stamping-polish-professional-stamping-polish-p-24402.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Fishnet Stockings and Leg Garter Manicure

I can’t believe I’ve been doing nail art for over four years, and I’ve never done any overtly sexy or suggestive!  To get your mojo flowing, I used fishnet stockings as the inspiration for this manicure.

The whole process is very easy if you have the right tools.  I started off with a nude color polish.

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This color is called Let’s Plié from Sephora by OPI, a pale peachy pink with a touch of shimmer in it.

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I used plate BP-X03 from Born Pretty Store for the patterns in this manicure.

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I stamped the fishnet design on all my nails with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. My index finger does not look as shiny because it does not have top coat on it yet.

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I stamped the bow design from the lower right hand side of the plate and colored it in with Shopping Frenzy from Sephora by OPI using the brush from the bottle. If you need more accuracy, feel free to use a detail brush or a dotting tool.

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Because I colored in the design on the stamper, I simply waited for the polish to dry and then stamped it onto my ring finger.

It’s pretty simple to be sexy!  Happy polishing!

Chessmen Nails

Ever since I painted this design, people have been asking me if I play chess.  The short answer is no, although I vaguely remember the basic rules from when I was taught them a long time ago.  The last time I did any sort of chess game was online with a friend in the late 90s.  My claim to fame was beating my brother, who is nine years older than me, shortly after he taught me how to play the game at the age of 7.  I know he didn’t let me win because he wasn’t too happy about that one!

The inspiration for my chess themed nails comes from the checkerboard pattern on plate Qgirl-046 from Ya Qin An.

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I used the checkerboard print at the top of the plate for this manicure.

In retrospect, I would have painted the checkerboard by hand to get the lines more exact and consistent, but I didn’t have a lot of time to paint that night.  More about that in a bit.

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I started out by painting my nails with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer. Honestly, who doesn’t like a good holographic polish?

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I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black to do the stamping. Of course, I bumped my nail against something and was too lazy to fix it, so I left the damage there. After all, I knew I was going to paint over it anyway.

I want to also point out that it’s super hard to get a checkerboard pattern like this one all even and precise if you use a squishy stamper.  The softer head makes it easy to stamp over curvy nail beds, but it also distorts the pattern as it transfers.  So you can see the difference, I used my Konad stamper on my ring finger, but I didn’t scrape the plate very well so it picked up everything.  It’s funny because I’m so used to other stampers being more forgiving in that sense.

In any case, I know I did a hack job of the stamping, but it’s only the background so…

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I took a small brush and used craft smart acrylic paint in White to paint the basic shapes of the chess pieces. I decided on painting two pawns, a king, a queen, and a knight, which sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

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To make the pieces stand out, I outlined each piece with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. I also used the black paint to fill in any weird spots in the checkerboard print.

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I finished by applying Seche Vite Top Coat.

I was going to use Dazzle Dry Top Coat, but it started smudging my stamping with the first stroke, so I quickly changed plans.  Just remember that not every top coat will work with every manicure!

Hope you enjoyed reading about how to hide a bad stamping job.  😉  Happy polishing!

Chevron Holographic Mani

Ever since I finished my last manicure, I’ve been eyeing my bottle of Meet Me at the Disco from Sephora by OPI.  Technically the bottle says it’s a top coat, but I wanted to slather it all over my nails because of its beautiful holo glitter.

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Silvery holographic goodness from Meet Me At the Disco by Sephora by OPI.

Because Meet Me At the Disco is supposed to be a top coat, the density of glitter in the polish is a little on the thin side in order to let a base color show through.  In order to not have 10 layers of polish on my nails, I applied it with a makeup sponge so that the excess fluid would get absorbed by the sponge.  Pretty crafty, eh?  Glitter can get chunky in places with that kind of application, so I did end up brushing on an extra two coats of polish straight from the bottle to even out the texture.

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Obligatory out of focus picture to photograph the holographic effect. It’s hard to take pictures of holo polish!

For an accent nail, I stamped a chevron pattern onto my ring finger with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and plate BM-423 from Bundle Monster.

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Easy chevron nail art accomplished!

Hope you’re having a great summer so far!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Springtime Tulip Manicure

Nothing says spring like seeing tulips in bloom!  I wanted to put them on my nails, so I took advantage of plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store to help me out.

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Blooms galore! I used the pattern in the 2nd row, 2nd image from the right and the single tulip image on the bottom left corner of the plate for this manicure.

The tulips that I have seen around here are mostly red, white, and yellow, so I used those colors for my palette.

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Colors clockwise from the left: Cab Fare by Sephora by OPI, American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI, Konad Special Nail Polish in both White and Red, and Brigitte by Julep.

To start, I painted all my nails with Brigitte except for my ring finger, which I painted with American as Apple Pie.

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Looks like a Valentine’s Day manicure so far.

I used a reverse stamping technique to color in some of the tulips, so after stamping my image with Konad Special Nail Polish in Red, I colored it in with a dotting tool.

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I used Cab Fare to fill in random flowers on the image.

After letting the polish set for a little bit, I stamped the image onto my nail.

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Repeat the above steps for the rest of the white nails, and you will end up with this look.

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To make the stems green, I dipped a striping brush into craft smart acrylic paint in Grass Green and traced over the image.

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I stamped a single large tulip onto my ring finger with Konad Special Nail Polish in White.

I also smudged my pinky in the process, but I was able to fix my mistake by scraping off the discolored white polish with an orange stick and filling in the area with Brigitte.  I use Seche Vite top coat, which smooths out uneven polish quite nicely, so you can’t even tell that made a mistake when you see the finished manicure.

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After coloring in the stem and applying top coat, this manicure is done!

What do you love most about spring?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!

 

Funky Paisley Nails

Like the look of mandalas but don’t feel like spending all that time coloring in all the details?  Try stamping over a gradient base when all else fails!

For the pattern, I used plate BP-35 from Born Pretty Store.

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BP-35 has quite a few random patterns on it, but the paisley quadrant on the lower right hand side is what I used for this manicure.

I felt like using a funky color combo for this, so I opted for black stamping over a gray and chartreuse gradient.

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From left to right: Frankly, I Don’t Give A-dam by Sephora by OPI, S’more Fun by China Glaze, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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I started by painting all my nails gray.

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On a silicone mat (a plastic bag will also suffice), I applied a generous line of gray and chartreuse polishes side by side as shown.

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Using a sponge, I layered on the polish from the mixture shown above this photo to form a gradient.

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I stamped the paisley pattern so that different portions of the image were on each nail.

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After adding some topcoat, the manicure is done!

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Pictured near some grass on 4/20.

The whole manicure took hardly any time to do, all things considered, so having the gradient underneath the stamping is a great way to jazz things up.

Happy polishing!

Green and Gold Nails

I’ve been swamped with work lately, which is a fortunate thing for a musician, but it has left me with little time to paint my nails.  Whenever I have a busy week and little inspiration because I’m too tired to think, I turn to my trusty collection of stamping plates.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I decided to go with a green base color first.

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Are you green with envy? This is Emerald Expressionism by Finger Paints.

I used plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.  What I love about it is that a lot of the patterns look like they are water marble inspired, so it’s easy to get a marbled look without the mess.

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Plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 2nd image from the right.

I used gold polish from Konad to do the stamping.  I was hoping that it would be opaque, but the color does not pop very well and is even harder to photograph.  The design is most visible only when the light hits it at a certain angle.  While I swear by the Konad black and white polishes, their metallic shades leave something to be desired.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold provides a subtle, shimmery look.

To get a varied look, I made sure to rotate the image when stamping it onto my nails.

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The swirls looks like they flow naturally from nail to nail rather than looking like they are stamped from the same image.

The effect reminds me of those mirrors with the gold marble overlay finish that were popular in the 80s.  I also think of the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.  In terms of a St. Patty’s Day manicure, I think I’ll be looking for my pot of gold elsewhere!

While this wasn’t a showstopping creation, I do love the elegance of the swirls.  Too bad they didn’t show up as well as I would have liked.  Guess I’ll need to purchase a better gold stamping polish.

Happy polishing!