World Tour Nails

Happy September! I’m in the process of putting together my first passport application right now. It’s shameful that I still haven’t been outside of the US yet! I have some potential gigs coming up that will require a passport, so I figured that I better get that application in as soon as possible!

Today’s nail art features a world tour of sorts, containing all sorts of landmarks from different countries.

To start, I painted all my nails a pretty pearly light blue color to represent the sky.

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Faded Blues by Ulta Professional is a lovely sky blue that is opaque in 2 coats.

To give my sky texture, I went with a smooshy technique using 3 colors: light blue (Faded Blues by Ulta Professional), medium blue (What I Like About Blue by China Glaze), and iridescent white (Of Quartz You Can by Finger Paints). I applied dots of each polish onto a stamper and smooshed the colors together with another stamper so that I could apply the mixture of colors to my nails with both stampers. This allowed for a little more control over the smooshed look versus simply dabbing the polish straight from one stamper onto my nails.

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Unicorn Pastel Smooshy Nails

Today’s manicure is all about trying to make some pretty looking nails. I haven’t done any smooshy nail designs since my first try in November, so I decided to use a pastel unicorn-ish palette with colors from the Life’s A Beach Sephora by OPI collection along with some stamping.

I started by painting all my nails white so the light colors would show up better.

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Sephora by OPI polish in White Hot.

To do the smooshy nails technique, I used a large stamper and dotted different colors of polish onto the surface. I immediately used the stamper to smoosh the polish onto my nails in a haphazard manner and repeated the process until I was satisfied with the look.

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I used light blue, peach, and lavender polishes for the unicorn palette. The colors are called Havana Dreams, I Gotta Blush On You, and It’s Hippo To Be Square respectively, all from the Sephora by OPI Life’s A Beach collection.

You will find that using liquid latex around your nails will help make the clean up process easier, but using regular tape will also do the job if you don’t own liquid latex. I used Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape here which removes fairly easily.

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My finished smooshy nail design. Excuse the liquid latex on my fingers as I kept it on to make cleaning up the stamping part easier.

The finishing touch was to add an avant-garde pattern over the smooshy design. For this, I used plate BP-L070 from Born Pretty Store along with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #2 (silver).

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This design used the 4th pattern from the top left side of plate BP-L070 from Born Pretty. It reminds me of Frank Gehry designed buildings.

The result is a gorgeous color combo worthy of any summer festival or brunch.

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Silver adds the final unicorn color themed touch to this manicure.

This look was super easy to put together, and it’s great if you like light colors.

Hope you have a great weekend ahead! Happy polishing!

Thanksgiving Cornucopia Nails

It’s funny how I yearn to paint more freehand designs these days.  I used to always favor simple nail art in interest of time, but now I don’t mind spending hours paying attention to details and shading.  With such high aspirations in mind, it only made sense that I try to paint a cornucopia in time for Thanksgiving.

I often have a hard time getting started with these projects, so I started off by painting my nails a nice gold color.

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Ambitious by Formula X is a matte metallic gold shade.

I figured that the lightest shade would be the best to use as a base color because anything darker would easily show up over it.

I picked out three more autumnal shades for the background of my design which I planned to smoosh together, and I chose a few extra polish colors which I used for the fruit in the cornucopia.

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Polishes used from left to right: Dusk by Formula X for Sephora, Caliente Coral by Sephora by OPI, Espresso Your Style by OPI, Legend by Formula X for Sephora, S’more Fun by China Glaze, and NY139 by Nicka K.

For the smoosh technique, I used a large stamper and dotted on my fall colors.  I used Ambitious, Dusk, Caliente Coral, and Espresso Your Style for the mix.

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Haphazard array of fall nail polish colors on my stamper head.

To achieve the smoosh look, I stamped the blend of colors directly onto my nails.  Continue to dot polish on the stamper and apply it to each nail until you are satisfied with the result.

It is recommended that you use a liquid latex peel off barrier around your nail beds for easier clean up because things can get messy during this process.  I still had to use cotton swabs dipped in acetone to clean up any excess polish on my skin.

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After clean up, a beautiful fall background is achieved.

What I love about the smoosh effect is how it almost looks like I painted leaves, but in reality it took hardly any effort!  I’m also just a little bit proud of my results because this was my first attempt at a smooshy nail design.  After doing nail art for four years now, it’s hard to believe that there are techniques that I still haven’t tried yet.

I applied top coat at this stage because I had to go out to dinner, so I continued with the painting of the cornucopia when I returned home.  I’m grateful that nothing got smudged or chipped while I was out!

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The cornucopia was done mostly with blends of craft smart acrylic paint with a detail brush. The bodies of the apples and grapes were made with some nail polish applied with a dotting tool, and selected grapes were outlined with acrylic paint so that they didn’t look like a blob of color.

I probably should have sketched out my design prior to painting it because it would have made arranging my pumpkins and fruit easier to do, and it would have saved some paint as I opted to paint whole items in the background first so I could paint the foreground items on top of them without having to worry about placement right away.

In the end, I think I spent about 3 hours painting all the cornucopia elements.  I had wanted to make it look more bountiful, but I got lazy and figured that I got my point across at this stage so I wrapped it up.

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So thankful that I finished the design without any horrible mishaps!

This design holds the record for the most time I have spent painting my nails.  Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it was definitely one of my most intricate hand painted works.

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I didn’t have the energy to paint corn, so I’m holding it in my hand instead. Candy corn counts, right?

I didn’t mind putting the effort into painting this, but I’m sad that I didn’t use a peel off base coat first so I could save my work of art in the end.  I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through my photos!  The saving grace is that I don’t have to worry about random nails losing their polish during my daily activities!

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!  Happy polishing!