Springtime Floral Manicure

Ever have one of those days where you drop your nail polish brush and get polish on your pants and your camera and then find out that you smudged your nails in the process of trying to keep the brush from falling?  Yeah, that was me when I was trying to do this manicure.  I think I must be more burned out than I thought I was!

In any case, I love springtime because of all the beautiful flowers everywhere.  It started with seeing daffodils sprout up all over the place, but now the trees are also in full bloom.  It’s great that I have so many plates of floral patterns to match!

I decided to use plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store for this manicure.

wpid-img_20151003_183030.jpg

Flowers upon flowers! I used the image in the top row, 3rd from the right.

img_20160404_111231.jpg

Color palette for the day (left to right): Peace, Love & Green by Finger Paints, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12, Cab Fare by Sephora by OPI, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #10, and b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

img_20160404_120506.jpg

I started out by painting my middle and ring finger nails with Cab Fare and the other three nails with Peace, Love & Green

img_20160404_121339.jpg

After allowing the polish to dry, I applied gold striping tape to the tips of the green nails.

I wanted to get away with stamping the flowers on my nails without having to color in anything, but I wouldn’t have had a nice enough contrast in the design, so I had to make nail decals to color in the petals with white polish.

img_20160404_120843.jpg

I used Born Pretty Stamping Polish #10 to transfer the design to a stamper.

img_20160404_122419.jpg

With a small dotting tool, I colored in the flower petals with white stamping polish (used for its opacity).

img_20160404_121849.jpg

After applying a layer of clear top coat over the whole design and letting it dry, you can peel the nail decal off the stamper.

img_20160404_121722.jpg

After trimming down the decals to fit my nail beds, I applied another coat of clear polish over the yellow polish before placing the decals on top of my nails.

For the final step, I took advantage of my clear stamper to add green stamping polish over the stems and leaves of the pattern.

img_20160404_120727.jpg

I started by stamping the entire image with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12.

img_20160404_120609.jpg

Using Scotch tape, I removed the flowers from the design. I had to be quick so that the polish wouldn’t stick to the stamper, so I couldn’t be more precise about preserving every detail that I wanted to be green.

img_20160404_115719.jpg

The clear stamper makes it much easier to line up the design over the existing one.

I know it wasn’t a perfect transfer, but it created a bit of a 3D effect as one of my friends pointed out.  Besides, how gorgeous does that look?  The contrasting white and green polish over the orange and yellow really makes the flowers and leaves stand out.

I’m still trying to find time to finish my taxes, but I hope to have more posts up soon!  One day at a time for me for now.

Happy polishing!

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.

img_20160319_115248.jpg

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.

img_20160319_115426.jpg

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.

img_20160320_191720.jpg

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.

img_20160319_115543.jpg

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.

img_20160319_115708.jpg

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.

img_20160319_120151.jpg

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.

img_20160319_115855.jpg

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.

img_20160319_135518.jpg

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

img_20160319_115027.jpg

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.

img_20160319_135950.jpg

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.

img_20160319_140230.jpg

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.

img_20160319_140619.jpg

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.

wp-1458411227729.jpg

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.

img_20160317_020053.jpg

Add some top coat, and you’re done!

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

img_20160317_020249.jpg

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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