Lucky Dog St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

This post is getting published a little late, but I wanted to show you the nails that I did for St. Patrick’s Day. I came up with a cute idea that took some of the main themes of the holiday (green, luck, rainbows, pots of gold, and 4 leaf clovers) and created something that wasn’t necessarily so clichéd with some freehand nail art.

It all started with this lovely shimmery bright kelly green shade from China Glaze called Paper Chasing.

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I applied 3 coats for maximum coverage and allowed them to dry before proceeding.

My idea was centered around a fictional dog named Lucky who has a cloverleaf marking around his eye. My breed of choice for this was some sort of terrier with floppy ears. I painted him mostly white with brown details and a pink tongue just for fun. I decided to place him on my middle finger so he would be the center of attention.

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This doggy is very happy to be so lucky!

On my index finger, I chose to write his name in script. My penmanship with acrylic paint has apparently gotten much better over time!

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I combined the rainbow and pot of gold elements together in the sense that I made a rainbow dog food bowl and filled it with golden dog kibble. While I used craft smart acrylic paints for pretty much all of the freehand work, I used a gold glitter polish from Nicole by OPI called Carried Away for the golden kibble. Continue reading

Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog Nails

Gung Hay Fat Choy! It’s the Year of the Dog! I’m not very Chinese by Asian standards, having been born in America, but it gives me an excuse to paint my nails and wear red!

For this manicure, I used a red creme shade that had a pretty gold shimmer undertone to it.

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Suzanne from Julep is a gorgeous color! I also happened to use this polish for the last Chinese New Year manicure that I did!

I gave my nails a lucky money envelope kind of look with some stamping using a plate from Bundle Monster and some gold stamping polish from Ya Qin An.

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I used the design in the upper left hand corner of plate BM-S229 from Bundle Monster.

Because there are so many lines in this pattern, one has to use a gentle touch when picking up the polish from the plate and applying it to the nails with the stamper, particularly if the stamper is squishy. If the same amount of pressure is not applied during both of these steps, the lines will warp and the design will not be straight.

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I tried to be as meticulous as possible with the stamping, but I still managed to slightly warp the design on my ring finger. Not to worry, though- I’m about to cover it up with a dog!

Because 2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, I wanted to add a cute little friend to this manicure as an accent nail. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day Nails

I’m still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day, how about you?  Sorry for the late post, but you’ll have this tutorial ready for the next time you want to show some Irish pride!

It’s been awhile since I tried doing any kind of water marbling, and I felt like maybe I could make a nice cloverleaf pattern by using that technique.  I can’t stand the mess of cleaning up my nails with the tradition dunking method associated with water marbling, so I tried making decals this time around, which worked great.

I chose a nice assortment of green nail polishes for the marbling, and I threw in a glittery gold polish for good luck.

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Finger Paints Nail Color works exceptionally well for water marbling. From left to right: Masked Beauty, Monet Money, Peace, Love & Green, and Grassy Knoll.

To make the decals, I used a small plastic cap to hold the water and dropped in my colors one at a time.  Because my cap has a 1.5 inch diameter, it doesn’t take many rings to get the colors nicely packed.

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I work on a miniature scale. It takes only 12 drops of polish to get this bullseye to form.

I used a toothpick to bring the outside rings of the bullseye to a point in the middle.

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Not my most perfect water marble, but I repeated these steps a few times so I could pick and choose which decals looked the best.

I blew on the surface of the water to help the polish dry a little more before picking up the image with a large stamper.

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You can choose to stamp this directly onto your nails, but I set my stamper aside to allow the polish to dry to turn this into a nail decal.

After waiting a few minutes, the water marbled polish is ready to be peeled off the stamper head.  If it doesn’t lift easily, allow the polish to dry some more.  Having multiple stampers makes this process easy because as one decal is drying, you can make another water marble pattern to be picked up with a different stamper.

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After allowing the polish to dry, you should be able to peel off the layer. In this way, you can pick the best looking part of the pattern to use on your nail without making any mess.

I made several decals, although I only needed four of them in the end.

The process for the application is fairly easy.  I cut out the portion of the decal that I wanted to use and trimmed it to fit my nail.

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I do a rough cut of the decal before I trim it down to fit my nail.

I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI as a base color under the water marble.  I only used one coat of polish, and it doesn’t have to be opaque because the water marble will cover it up.  White helps the colors pop.

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One coat of White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

While the polish is still tacky, apply your decal and set it with clear top coat.

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I put the water marble design on my middle and ring fingers to form the shape of a cloverleaf.

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Extra supplies for part 2: White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Recollections Signature Glitter in Emerald.

I really wanted sparkly green nails, but I don’t own a green glitter polish, so I made my own with the following steps.

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I painted my nail with Monet Money from Finger Paints.

While the polish was still wet, I poured on green glitter.  I used a fan brush to sweep away the excess.

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Emerald glitter made by Recollections.

I then took Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and brushed on about 2-3 coats over the glitter so that it formed a smooth surface.  I wouldn’t have minded having some texture, but I wanted to paint belt buckles on top of the glitter.

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Sparkly emerald green nails!

To form the belt, I used the striping brush from Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black to make two parallel lines and filled in the section.

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My glitter just got black barred.

Using a detail brush and Masked Beauty, I painted a thin gold line above and below the black section and connected them to form the square buckle.

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Add some top coat, and you’re done!

It took awhile to finish this, but I love the results.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Happy polishing!