Glittery Pressed Flower Nail Art

Today’s manicure features dried flowers, something I’ve never worked with but always wanted to try. I used an assortment from Born Pretty Store that contained a few different types of flowers, so let’s get started!

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Just a few of the pretty blooms in this set from Born Pretty Store. If you have allergies, you might want to stay away because they’re real and full of pollen!

For this design, I focused on using the bright yellow flower on top along with black nail polish. Before painting my nails, I had to prep my flower pieces. I carefully plucked out individual petals and trimmed the ends and did the same with portions of the leaves underneath. I also cut away small fragments of the center part to leave myself options for creating the design.

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The individual petals look like feathers.

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Burgundy and Gold French Manicure

I had to go tame with the nail art for a concert over the weekend, so I stayed classy, San Diego with this simple French manicure in classic fall colors.

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I started by painting my nails with Define Good… by China Glaze.

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After allowing my base color to dry, I painted the tips of my nails with Wrapped in Ribbon from Finger Paints.

I did not paint the tip of my ring finger so that I could turn it into an accent nail with some stamping.

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I used the pattern from the bottom row, 4th image from the left on plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store to create a fall looking accent nail.

Initially I stamped the full image from the plate but then removed extraneous parts around a single vine from the stamper with some tape.  The idea was to let the vine curve along the tip of the nail in place of the classic French tip.

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I used Ya Qin An polish in Gold to do the stamping.

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As an afterthought, I applied Rich Gold from Sephora + Pantone Universe over the entire ring finger for some additional bling.

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Macro shot from the other side so you can see the detail of the vine creeping up the side of my nail.

The look is elegant with just enough sparkle for the holidays.

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More than anything, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that my nails have been growing out longer and healthier since my departure from a job that required some very hand abusive activities!  It was nice to be able to paint some French tips, which is something that I haven’t done in a long time.  Now let’s hope all this cold and dry weather doesn’t ruin my hands instead!

Happy polishing!

 

Chinese New Year Monkey Nails

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate!  I don’t really get into the festivities that much other than wearing something red and getting some lucky money, but it’s still a holiday of note in my family.

2016 is the year of the monkey, so of course I wanted to paint monkeys on my nails.  I decided to do a red base color (of course) with gold glitter on top for luck.

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My choices for a lucky Chinese New Year manicure: American as Apple Pie by Nicole by OPI and Rich Gold by Sephora + Pantone Universe.

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American as Apple Pie has a slightly opalescent sheen to it by itself.

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The glitter in Rich Gold is holographic when it hits the light. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

I would have liked to use nail polish to paint the monkeys, but I didn’t have time to let the coats of polish dry completely in between steps, so I used acrylic paint instead.

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craft smart Acrylic Paint in Black, Brown, and Golden Brown.

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Using brown paint, I colored in the heads of the monkeys at varying angles around my nails. I wanted them to be peeking out of the corners of my nails because they can be mischievous animals.

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I filled in the ears and the faces with golden brown paint.

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Using a detail brush, I painted their mouths and noses. A dotting tool was used to paint their eyes.

After some top coat, I was done!  It didn’t even take that long to do- maybe an hour or less if you don’t count the time I spent taking pictures of the steps.  Lucky me!

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Monkey madness!

Hope this year brings you luck and fortune as well!  Happy polishing!

Squirrel Themed Nail Art

Anyone who knows me also knows that I love squirrels!  I might even be considered something of a squirrel whisperer.  Here’s a video of me interacting with a very tame squirrel at the park a few years ago.

And here’s another one of me getting the opportunity to pet this wild squirrel!

But whether or not you have a fondness for squirrels, these cute little furry rodents also happen to be quintessentially associated with fall, the time when you can see them gathering and burying nuts all over the place.  Squirrel themed nail art has been a long time coming for me, but I’m glad that I waited until my skills improved some more so that I could do the animal some justice.

Let’s start with the nail polish palette:

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Left to right: I’ll Take the Cake! by OPI, I Think I Cayenne by Sephora by OPI, Espresso Your Style! by OPI, and Rich Gold by Sephora + Pantone Universe Jewel Dust Nail Lacquer.

For the acorns and the squirrel, I used acrylic paint by craft smart.

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Acrylic paint by craft smart in Black, Dark Grey, White, Golden Brown, and Brown.

I almost never use sheer polishes, but I wanted a neutral looking background for everything.  I’ll Take the Cake! has a nice shimmer to it while providing a hint of color to smooth things out.

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You can get a gorgeous nude shimmery mani from I’ll Take the Cake! by OPI.

I planned to paint a squirrel head on my ring finger, but I wanted a fall colored gradient on the tips of my other nails.  Using a sponge, I applied one color at a time.

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In order for the acorns to show up clearly, I had to start with my darkest color first. This rich brown is Espresso Your Style! from OPI.

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I continued to sponge on I Think I Cayenne from Sephora by OPI, a beautiful russet color, over the dark brown.

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The last layer of the gradient was Rich Gold from Sephora + Pantone Universe. The glitter is holographic when it catches the light, so the picture really doesn’t do it justice.

The gradient on its own makes for a lovely fall manicure, as it looks like piles of autumn leaves swirling in the wind.  I was tempted to leave it alone, but I wanted my squirrel to have some nuts!

The rest of this manicure was done with acrylic paint so I could clean my brushes easily.

The acorns were pretty simple to do.  I used Brown to create the bottom half of the acorn, swiped Golden Brown across the top and added a stem to the hat of the nut, lightly applied a cross hatch pattern across the top with Brown, and finished by outlining the major sections of the image with Black.

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How to paint an acorn.

I couldn’t afford to take so many pictures while painting the squirrel because I was blending colors together to get different shades and had limited time to use the paint before it dried.  To get the general shape, I painted an outline of the head with Dark Grey and tweaked the shading from there.

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Looks like an locked item from a video game! The squirrel is but a shade of itself.

Blend different amounts of brown and grey, brown and black, and white and grey to get the shading right on the face and ears.  I outlined the head with a combination of grey and black to give my guy a softer look.

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I get super happy whenever I see that cute face on my nail!

Operation Squirrel Manicure accomplished!  Hope you have all your nuts gathered and accounted for over the upcoming holidays!  Happy polishing!