Little Red Riding Hood Nails

If you’re a fan of the musical Into the Woods, you’ll recognize the scene on my nails from the Little Red Riding Hood feature where the wolf and Red sing “Hello Little Girl.” Even though this manicure is stamped, it was probably one of the most labor intensive stamping designs that I’ve ever done and uses several different techniques to bring the images to life.

I started with a rich shimmery forest green polish from Julep called Giselle. You only need to apply 2 coats of polish to achieve the same color that you see in the bottle, and it’s beautiful all on its own.

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Lacey Stained Glass Manicure

I wanted to create a pretty manicure after my 3D nail experiment, so I turned to a classy plate from Harunouta for inspiration.

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Lace for days: Harunouta plate L-009.

My eyes were drawn to the lace strip in the center of the plate, so I decided to do some stamping in black over subtle holographic hues.  Did you know that Urban Outfitters released a line of holographic nail polishes a few years ago?  They are some of the best purchases I ever made.

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Clockwise from top left: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, UO Nail Lacquer in Silver Holo, UO Nail Lacquer in Pink Holo, and UO Nail Lacquer in Green Holo.

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I painted all my nails with Silver Holo.

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I stamped the lace image with black polish and colored in the flowers with Pink Holo and the leaves with Green Holo.

Pro tip: Use several stampers so that you can let the polish dry completely as you fill in the image on the next stamper.  Failure to wait will cause the colors to smear outside of your outlines, and the decal will not transfer properly.

I used the brush from the bottle to fill in the design, but if you need more precision, a dotting tool or detail brush is handy.

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After stamping the design, some clean up, and top coat, your manicure is done!

The most time consuming work is coloring in the sections, but it really an easy manicure to do.  Plus it’s holo- how can you go wrong?

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Hope you enjoyed this design!  Happy polishing!

Chessmen Nails

Ever since I painted this design, people have been asking me if I play chess.  The short answer is no, although I vaguely remember the basic rules from when I was taught them a long time ago.  The last time I did any sort of chess game was online with a friend in the late 90s.  My claim to fame was beating my brother, who is nine years older than me, shortly after he taught me how to play the game at the age of 7.  I know he didn’t let me win because he wasn’t too happy about that one!

The inspiration for my chess themed nails comes from the checkerboard pattern on plate Qgirl-046 from Ya Qin An.

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I used the checkerboard print at the top of the plate for this manicure.

In retrospect, I would have painted the checkerboard by hand to get the lines more exact and consistent, but I didn’t have a lot of time to paint that night.  More about that in a bit.

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I started out by painting my nails with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer. Honestly, who doesn’t like a good holographic polish?

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I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black to do the stamping. Of course, I bumped my nail against something and was too lazy to fix it, so I left the damage there. After all, I knew I was going to paint over it anyway.

I want to also point out that it’s super hard to get a checkerboard pattern like this one all even and precise if you use a squishy stamper.  The softer head makes it easy to stamp over curvy nail beds, but it also distorts the pattern as it transfers.  So you can see the difference, I used my Konad stamper on my ring finger, but I didn’t scrape the plate very well so it picked up everything.  It’s funny because I’m so used to other stampers being more forgiving in that sense.

In any case, I know I did a hack job of the stamping, but it’s only the background so…

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I took a small brush and used craft smart acrylic paint in White to paint the basic shapes of the chess pieces. I decided on painting two pawns, a king, a queen, and a knight, which sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

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To make the pieces stand out, I outlined each piece with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. I also used the black paint to fill in any weird spots in the checkerboard print.

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I finished by applying Seche Vite Top Coat.

I was going to use Dazzle Dry Top Coat, but it started smudging my stamping with the first stroke, so I quickly changed plans.  Just remember that not every top coat will work with every manicure!

Hope you enjoyed reading about how to hide a bad stamping job.  😉  Happy polishing!