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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Morbid Nail Art

You guys must think that I must be going through something based on the nail art that I’ve been putting out lately! This morbid manicure is the product of a plate I was sent for review and has nothing to do with what’s going on in my personal life, thankfully! But what I find interesting is how many different ways you can interpret the images on my nails, whether positive or negative. Such is the power of art!

I began by painting my nails a shimmery dark blue/purple shade that was a prototype from Elusive Fox Lacquer. This one of a kind polish has a rather long dry time even for just 2 coats of polish, but the formulas put out by this indie brand are gorgeous! Unfortunately, I ran into a lot of problems with my orders from them, so I don’t buy from them anymore, but there’s no denying the beauty of their polishes!

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This prototype from Elusive Fox Lacquer is a one of a kind shade marked with 57 on the bottle.

I used the Artist-L005 plate from Born Pretty for this manicure. The images on this plate look artsy, and there are a lot of depressing options here, but they all stamp really well.

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Review of Harunouta-L072 Stamping Plate

Here’s a quick review of the Harunouta-L072 stamping plate. If you love nature, this is the plate for you!

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A blue layer of plastic film cover the top of the plate to prevent it from getting scratched. You must remove this layer prior to using it.

This long rectangular plate is mounted on a piece of plastic to prevent you from cutting yourself along the metal edges. It comes inside a cardboard slipcover that lists basic instructions for use on the back. A sticker with the item number seals the free edge to keep the plate from falling out of it during shipping.

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Review of Nicole Diary-093 Stamping Plate

Here’s a look at a sweet square plate from Nicole Diary that is super easy to use and works really well!

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The Nicole Diary-094 plate features 6 flowery mandala designs on it.

This plate comes in a cardboard sleeve and has the typical blue protective plastic film covering the surface. This needs to be removed before you can use it. Do use caution when handling square plates though because there is a higher risk of cutting yourself on one of the metal edges if you grip the sides too hard.

Once removed, the beautiful designs of the plate can be seen more clearly. Each image measures 1.5 cm by 2.5 cm and is etched deeply so that every detail comes through when stamped.

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Review of Nicole Diary-094 Stamping Plate

Today we’re going to look at the Nicole Diary-094 stamping plate. It’s an item that I didn’t expect to love as much as I did, and it’s definitely worth the feature!

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The Nicole Diary-094 plate is the standard size for circular plates. A layer of blue film covers the surface to protect it from getting scratched (don’t forget to remove and discard it before using the item), and it is packaged in a cardboard sleeve. This company leaves a circular cutout in the back of the cardboard holder that allows the user to see some of the images on the plate without having it to take it out but isn’t so big as to allow the plate to fall out of the packaging.

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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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Review of Born Pretty Chinese Style L005 Stamping Plate

Today we’re going to look at the Chinese Style L005 stamping plate from Born Pretty. At first glance, you will think that this plate is only good for Chinese New Year, but it can be used for all sorts of manicures.

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The plate arrives in a cardboard sleeve, and the metal portion is covered with blue plastic film that must be removed before using it.

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