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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Neon Rainbow Pride Nails

It’s June, and pretty much the entire month is associated with Pride celebrations. I was playing with drag diva pianist Jacqueline Jonée for her shows, so I wanted to do a set of rainbow nails to complement her “50 Shades of Jonée” theme. I’ve been itching to try out my neon powders with stamping, so keep reading to see how this was achieved!

I started by painting all my nails black with Black Lace, a color from Sephora’s ancient “5 day shine” series of nail lacquers. This polish was part of a set that was gifted to me for my birthday 9 years ago, and it still works great!

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2 coat swatch of Black Lace from the Sephora 5 day shine collection.

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Patriotic Graffiti Nails

Ah, Memorial Day weekend! I finally have a little time for myself after an intense period of rehearsals and concerts, so here I am celebrating Memorial Day with some abstract red, white, and blue (and silver) patriotic nails for a different take on the flag.

To start, I painted all my nails with Jelly Belly + Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish in 621 Coconut. Can you believe I found this at Duane Reade the other day in the clearance section for just $1.24? I applied 3 coats to all my nails to get an even finish and waited for them to dry completely before continuing.

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I used the Nicole Diary-094 plate for the fun assortment of squiggles and shapes that it offered. Layering different patterns from it, I was able to make a graffiti-like version of the American flag.

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Vanishing Tax Day Nails

April always gives me anxiety because taxes are due on April 15 in the US. When I painted this manicure, I hadn’t finished filing yet. I wished the forms would just disappear, so I created this vanishing manicure with the help of a thermal top coat.

I don’t have an exact match for the blue color of the 1040 tax form, but Julep’s Matilda was a close enough option. I painted 2 coats of this pretty sky blue creme polish on all of my nails.

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Winter Floral Manicure

Welcome to March! I needed a little pick me up after having such a horrible February, so I came up with this glittery floral manicure. Hope you enjoy it!

I started by painting my nails with 2 coats of 127 Rosa Multiflora from Aimeili. This gel polish has a ton of pink foil flake glitter suspended in a pink jelly base. It’s super shiny and dazzling and would fit in perfectly at a disco.

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2 coats of 127 Rosa Multiflora from Aimeili were applied with each coat cured for 60 seconds in a 36W UV/LED lamp.

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Black and Gold Baroque Nails

Today’s design is a lovely black and gold baroque/rococo swirl that I put together because I thought the color combination would look nice.

I started by painting my nails with Aimeili Gel Polish in 093 My Fantasy Gold. This polish is a yellow jelly formula with lots of gold glitter flakes. This color has surprisingly good coverage, so it only took 2 coats to get the opacity shown below.

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Disclaimer: This polish photographed more orange than the actual color, but I couldn’t fix the tint without wildly making my skin tone look totally off. I would say My Fantasy Gold is more of a yellow marigold shade.

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Metal and Lace Manicure

Here’s a quick tutorial for this rather edgy looking metal and lace manicure.

I started by applying a gunmetal gray polish from Formula X for Sephora called Hypnotize. It is close to opaque in only one coat and dries with a naturally flat metallic chrome finish to look street chic.

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2 coats of Hypnotize from Formula X for Sephora were applied to all my nails.

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Cute Holiday Penguin Manicure

I was inspired by the cute images on the Beauty Big Bang XL-033 stamping plate to create this fun holiday penguin manicure. It combines a wrapping paper print with candy cane stripes along with it just for fun!

I started with an almost white base. This color is called Steph from Julep, and it has the slightest hint of pink along with a gorgeous shimmery finish. I didn’t pick a pure white because I knew I was putting the penguin on one of my nails, and I wanted his belly to be a pure white that would stand out compared to the base color.

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2 coats of Steph by Julep were applied for this swatch.

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Sophisticated Snowflake Manicure

Here’s a quick tutorial for the manicure that I sported at my concert last Sunday. Just like the snow we had last Thursday, it was here for a day and gone the next because I used a peel off gel base coat underneath these nails. I needed a design I could put together quickly the night before the concert because I unfortunately had mismatched hands due to my Cindy hand (right hand) having a traditional gel polish application that would go the distance and my left hand sporting a different manicure that had a peel off base coat.

I started by applying Born Pretty Peel Off Gel Base Coat to all my nails because I suspected that I wasn’t going to be able to do as nice of a job for this manicure due to time constraints. This layer was cured for one minute in a UV/LED lamp.

Next, I painted my nails black using Laguna Moon Classic Soak-Off UV-LED Gel Polish in color CL117. Two layers of polish were applied and cured at a minute per coat, leaving my nails glossy and completely dry for the next step.

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Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Manicure

We recently had our first snowfall storm in NYC, and wow, did it make a mess out of the city! Nothing takes the magic out of snow away like sitting in traffic on unplowed streets for hours and hours! The weather inspired me to create a gray skied manicure with a lovable icon of Christmas to try to bring the wonder back.

I started by painting my nails gray with Laguna Moon Classic Soak Off Gel Polish in color CL064. Because I was using gel polish, I applied 3 very thin coats cured at one minute each in a UV/LED lamp.

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3 coats of Laguna Moon’s CL064 shade turns your nails into a chic gray with the added reinforcement of a gel polish.

My initial plan was to mostly use stamping techniques for this manicure, although things did not go exactly according to plan for me as you will soon see!

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