American Flag French Manicure

If you’re in America, there’s no doubt that you knew it was Independence Day recently. Whether you were having a barbecue, watched fireworks either live or on TV, or just saw a lot of red, white, and blue decor everywhere, there’s no way you totally forgot about the holiday. And if you’re a nail blogger, there’s almost no excuse for you to go out without some sort of appropriate manicure!

Seeing as I did a patriotic manicure fairly recently, I wanted to create a more subtle look this time around. The idea was to do a flag French tip design over a nude base. If my nail beds were in better shape (they’re looking super sad right now after a bad reaction to too much UV light and acetone exposure from all the gel polish swatching that I’ve been doing), I would have left my real nails exposed for a “negative space” look, but I needed to use some sort of foundation to cover up the damage. Good thing I have a nice collection of nude pink colors from which to choose! I selected Privacy Please from OPI for this manicure. It’s sheer, but it’s a little streaky (maybe due to age), so I applied 3-4 coats to each nail to even out the color.

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This lovely blush pink shade hides your nail imperfections in 3-4 coats.

While my polish dried, I prepared a stamper with the flag design from the Konad m45 stamping plate. This was one of the first plates I ever bought, and I remember wondering how on earth you could produce a true red, white, and blue flag image with it. Now that I’m more experienced, I know how to do these things!

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Thermal Forest Landscape Nail Art

Awhile back, I tried out a holographic thermal top coat on my tax day nails and wasn’t so satisfied with the results. I vowed to try the top coat out with a different design that would really showcase its gorgeousness, so here I am presenting some thermal top coat nails, take two!

Because I knew that the thermal top coat had a slightly grayish undertone to it even when warm, I decided to pick a polish color that belonged to the same spectrum. Pictured here is 3 coats of The Color to Watch from OPI. It’s beautifully shimmery and has a slight pink-lavender shift.

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Fun fact: this was one of the first bottles of OPI polish that I ever bought!

Knowing that my thermal top coat would make this color darker, I decided to make a forest landscape scene across my nails to mimic the look of dusk turning into evening. To accomplish this, I used the Harunouta-L072 plate.

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Review of Born Pretty Melody Life Series Stamping Nail Polish in BP-ML01 Nirvana

I’ve always loved Born Pretty stamping polishes, and this green one from their Melody Life Series does not disappoint.

The color of this polish is called Nirvana (BP-ML01), and it’s a pigmented yellow green that reminds me of Kermit the Frog.

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Grape Manicure

Hello! Sorry to have been MIA again, but I was depressed about my peeling, brittle, breaking nails. In my haste to remove some of my last few manicures, I’ve been using 100% acetone, which really wreaks havoc on natural nails, so I needed a bit of a break. I ended up repairing a broken nail with some acrylic powder, which accounts for some of the lumpiness in the manicure you’re about to see because I didn’t apply it to the whole nail and apparently didn’t file it down very well, either. Oops. But hence the inspiration for my [sour] grape manicure.

In my head I saw grapes on top of a terracotta tile like the decor you might find at Home Goods, so I opted for a buff neutral color (Alison from Julep) to go with the nails that would have grapes on them. The other nails got painted with one of the accent colors that I planned to use for my grapes: Purple with a Purpose from OPI.

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I love the shimmer in the purple polish from OPI, and the buff/peach colored nails have what Julep calls a “soft focus finish.”

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Glittery Flowers and Leaves Manicure

Hello! Today I’m bringing you a floral season crossover manicure that fits spring and summer months equally well. Let’s get started!

For my base color, I picked a light pink from Ulta’s Salon Formula collection called Encore Pink. Honestly, now that I’ve tried out this line, I wouldn’t use it again because it took 3-4 coats to get even coverage across my nails, and it took forever for it to dry properly! I do love the pink color though.

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Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Encore Pink.

I wanted to use leaf and flower patterns for this design, so I sourced them from two different plates from Born Pretty Store.

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I used the 3rd image from the left of the bottom row of the Floral BPX-L018 plate from Born Pretty for my index, pink, and thumb nails.

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The flowers from the 2nd row, 2nd image from the left of plate BP-L066 from Born Pretty were used on my middle and index fingers.

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Dried Flower and Damask Print Nails

I’m bringing you some more flower nail art to brighten your day today!

Again, I’m featuring some dried flowers from Born Pretty Store. Stay tuned for a review on these flowers coming soon to the blog!

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This time I used the little lavender blooms from the far left. Some prep work is needed before starting to paint.

I gently pulled the petals from the husks and trimmed down the brown parts with a small pair of scissors before setting the blooms aside. Be very careful that the area is not drafty because the petals can blow away very easily!

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Dried flowers can be messy, so work over a piece of paper for easy clean up.

For the nails, I started by painted everything with a shimmery lavender polish called The Color to Watch from OPI.

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This polish is a little sheer, so it takes 3 coats to get the look in the photo.

I wanted to add some stamping to my nails, so I picked some pretty prints from the L026 plate from Harunouta to do the job.

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I chose to stamp with the 2 square designs in the top and middle rows, 2nd column from the right.

I alternated my chosen patterns on each nail, turning the stamper 45 degrees for a diagonal placement to change the look. That pretty lavender lacquer is Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #271.

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A very subtle and classy damask print design will complement the flower petals that are added next.

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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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