Sandy Beach Nails

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through August already! I have no idea how time has been flying by. To be honest, I did these nails 2 weeks ago but am only just now starting to catch up with my blog.

In any case, I still haven’t been to the beach this summer because I’ve been so busy. The closest I can get to one is through some nail art.

I started by painting my nails with Born Pretty Thermal Gel in color BP-5730. I love thermal polishes for their natural gradient effect and also for their ability to entertain me in different temperature settings! This one looks like a pale periwinkle blue in warm temperatures and a deep royal blue in cold temperatures. It also has the perfect sprinkling of two different sized glitters in the formula which truly makes it look more special.

IMG_20180801_122915.jpgIMG_20180801_123047.jpg

 

I applied and cured this polish for about 1 minute and repeated the process for a second coat.

My next step was to create a sandy beach line along the half moon area of my nails.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Sweet Treats Manicure

It has been another insanely busy week for me. I just can’t seem to catch my breath, and it’s already the second week of July! Where has the time gone?

In any case, today’s nail art centers around sweet things: cookies, cupcakes, and saltwater taffy. This design was partially stamped and partially done with water marble but overall fairly simple to do if you are familiar with these techniques.

To start, I painted my nails with white and yellow colors. The white nails are simply to make my water marble more vivid while the yellow nails provide a happy background color for the design I will be stamping on top of them.

IMG_20170629_215638

The white base color is White Hot by Sephora by OPI. I did not go for full opacity as I knew that a water marble design would be applied over these nails later. The yellow color is called Metro Pollen-tin from China Glaze.

For the stamping, I used the design from the lower right hand corner of the Cake BPX-23 plate from Born Pretty Store.

IMG_20170606_025634

Sweets abound on plate BPX-23 from Born Pretty Store.

I stamped the design with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #15 (brown) and colored in the details directly on the stamper. To save time, prepare multiple stampers with the same design so that you can do all your coloring and transferring simultaneously.

IMG_20170629_215723

Colors used on this design are Vera by Julep for the cookies, Lollipop by Orly for the cupcake wrapper, White Hot by Sephora by OPI for the squiggle detail of the cupcake, and Cherry Red by Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear for the cherries.

After allowing the polish to dry completely, I stamped my colored in creation directly onto a nail and applied top coat to protect the design.

Next, I taped up my thumb, index, and pinky fingers and did a water marble technique using the lavender (Lollipop by Orly) and yellow (Metro Pollen-tin by China Glaze) colors that were previously mentioned in this manicure. After forming a bullseye in a small container of water, I swirled around the polish with a water marbling pen and dipped a finger into the part of the pattern that I thought would resemble saltwater taffy. With care, I was able to dip two fingers into the same bullseye pattern in order to save time and nail polish.

After removing the tape and cleaning up my cuticles, a layer of top coat was applied to the water marbled nails, and the manicure was finished!

IMG_20170629_215330

Sweets for the sweet!

It’s a little labor intensive to do reverse stamping, but the final look is super cute and detailed.

Hope you enjoyed this manicure, and I’ll see you again soon! Happy polishing!

Beachy Ocean Life Manicure

All the sunny days that we have been having in NYC have made me want to hit the beach. It’s still too cold outside to really enjoy a beach day here, but I can always live vicariously through my nails!

I used some water decals from Born Pretty for this manicure because I’ve been feeling lazy about painting my nails lately. These decals are perfect for when you want something fancy looking but don’t have a lot of time.

IMG_20170509_115804

Aquatic themed water decals, item BPY33 from Born Pretty Store.

Before I applied any nail polish, I cut out the portions of the decal sheet that I wanted to use and prepared a glass of water to dip them into later.

Next, I painted all my nails white with Brigitte by Julep, then added a subtle holographic top coat from Pretty & Polished called Halo TC over it so that it would have some shimmer to the tint. I don’t think it photographed very well, but in person, it looks as if someone sprinkled some fairy dust over my nails.

IMG_20170505_211838

After allowing my nails to dry for a bit, I put the cut decals I prepared previously into the glass of water, allowed their paper backing to soak through, and then slid them off the paper with my fingers. I used tweezers to pick them up one at a time and applied them to my nails. You can arrange the position of the decals on your nails easily as long as they are still wet. To set them into their final position, just dab them with a paper towel to absorb any extra water. You can clean up any extra decal print around the nail bed with a brush dipped into acetone before you apply a top coat.

I decided that a water marble design would look the best alongside these decals, so I made my bulls eye pattern with a combination of Brigitte (white), Shay (teal), and Penny (copper) from Julep and made zigzag patterns in the water to create the look below.

IMG_20170505_211227

Water decals and water marble are a match made in heaven!

I was pleased as punch about how nice the water marble came out. Seems like I’m improving with practice, which is nice to see!

IMG_20170505_210536

Hope the weather gets warmer soon so I can actually go to the beach! Happy polishing!

Chocolate Water Marble Manicure

Ready for another @glamnailschallenge prompt?  The theme for Feb. 19 was Chocolate, so I figured a nice marbled design would fit the bill perfectly.  You see fancy chocolatiers  put these designs on top of pieces all the time, so why not on my nails?

I started by picking out three shades of brown for the water marble.  They all happened to be colors from Julep: Vera, Olivia, and Skylla in order from lightest to darkest shade.  I painted all my nails with the lightest color to help with the opacity.

img_20170218_192037.jpg

Vera by Julep makes me want to have a nice cup of coffee with milk.

I usually suck at water marble designs, but I had decent luck with this one!  I used room temperature water in a plastic container, formed a bullseye by dropping each color of nail polish into center multiple times, then used a water marbling pen to draw out the design lengthwise first followed by a zig zag pattern.  I think the pointy tip of the pen really helped to make the marbling process easier.

photogrid_1487464348232.jpg

I used Scotch tape around my nail beds to make the clean up process easier, and because of the size of my container, I was able to dip two nails into the same pattern without totally ruining the surface.  Score one for saving time!

After some top coat, the look was ready to be served.

img_20170218_183324.jpg

Water marbled nails with a box of truffles from Russell Stover. Yum!

I think this water marble looks like chocolate especially because I chose all creme based shades.  Shimmery chocolate seems like it would be cool, but it’s just not realistic.

Hope you enjoyed this manicure and that it didn’t tempt you with any chocolate cravings too much.  Happy polishing!

St. Patrick’s Day Nails

I’m still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day, how about you?  Sorry for the late post, but you’ll have this tutorial ready for the next time you want to show some Irish pride!

It’s been awhile since I tried doing any kind of water marbling, and I felt like maybe I could make a nice cloverleaf pattern by using that technique.  I can’t stand the mess of cleaning up my nails with the tradition dunking method associated with water marbling, so I tried making decals this time around, which worked great.

I chose a nice assortment of green nail polishes for the marbling, and I threw in a glittery gold polish for good luck.

img_20160319_115248.jpg

Finger Paints Nail Color works exceptionally well for water marbling. From left to right: Masked Beauty, Monet Money, Peace, Love & Green, and Grassy Knoll.

To make the decals, I used a small plastic cap to hold the water and dropped in my colors one at a time.  Because my cap has a 1.5 inch diameter, it doesn’t take many rings to get the colors nicely packed.

img_20160319_115426.jpg

I work on a miniature scale. It takes only 12 drops of polish to get this bullseye to form.

I used a toothpick to bring the outside rings of the bullseye to a point in the middle.

img_20160320_191720.jpg

Not my most perfect water marble, but I repeated these steps a few times so I could pick and choose which decals looked the best.

I blew on the surface of the water to help the polish dry a little more before picking up the image with a large stamper.

img_20160319_115543.jpg

You can choose to stamp this directly onto your nails, but I set my stamper aside to allow the polish to dry to turn this into a nail decal.

After waiting a few minutes, the water marbled polish is ready to be peeled off the stamper head.  If it doesn’t lift easily, allow the polish to dry some more.  Having multiple stampers makes this process easy because as one decal is drying, you can make another water marble pattern to be picked up with a different stamper.

img_20160319_115708.jpg

After allowing the polish to dry, you should be able to peel off the layer. In this way, you can pick the best looking part of the pattern to use on your nail without making any mess.

I made several decals, although I only needed four of them in the end.

The process for the application is fairly easy.  I cut out the portion of the decal that I wanted to use and trimmed it to fit my nail.

img_20160319_120151.jpg

I do a rough cut of the decal before I trim it down to fit my nail.

I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI as a base color under the water marble.  I only used one coat of polish, and it doesn’t have to be opaque because the water marble will cover it up.  White helps the colors pop.

img_20160319_115855.jpg

One coat of White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

While the polish is still tacky, apply your decal and set it with clear top coat.

img_20160319_135518.jpg

I put the water marble design on my middle and ring fingers to form the shape of a cloverleaf.

img_20160319_115027.jpg

Extra supplies for part 2: White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Recollections Signature Glitter in Emerald.

I really wanted sparkly green nails, but I don’t own a green glitter polish, so I made my own with the following steps.

img_20160319_135950.jpg

I painted my nail with Monet Money from Finger Paints.

While the polish was still wet, I poured on green glitter.  I used a fan brush to sweep away the excess.

img_20160319_140230.jpg

Emerald glitter made by Recollections.

I then took Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and brushed on about 2-3 coats over the glitter so that it formed a smooth surface.  I wouldn’t have minded having some texture, but I wanted to paint belt buckles on top of the glitter.

img_20160319_140619.jpg

Sparkly emerald green nails!

To form the belt, I used the striping brush from Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black to make two parallel lines and filled in the section.

wp-1458411227729.jpg

My glitter just got black barred.

Using a detail brush and Masked Beauty, I painted a thin gold line above and below the black section and connected them to form the square buckle.

img_20160317_020053.jpg

Add some top coat, and you’re done!

It took awhile to finish this, but I love the results.

img_20160317_020249.jpg

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Happy polishing!

Water Marbling Comb Review

When I saw that Born Pretty Store had a water marbling comb on their website, I was intrigued and wanted to try it out.  I’ve always been frustrated with water marbling because of how inconsistent and time consuming the process can be, so the comb seemed like an interesting way to get a water marbled effect without having to use water.

The comb came packaged in a plastic resealable bag as shown below.  There is no brand name associated with it, although it might be written in Chinese on the label.  If anyone knows what the translation is, please feel free to comment the answer on this post.

wpid-img_20150805_215850.jpg

Water marbling comb from Born Pretty Store.

The comb was bigger than I thought it would be.  The metal spikes span the width of 2.25 inches and are 2.5 inches long, and the spikes are set apart from each other in a plastic handle at 0.5 cm intervals.  The size makes the comb easy to hold and handle, although I think the spikes are too long for the way I’ll be using this.  I’m guessing that if you use this in water for large scale real water marbling, the length will serve you well, but for nail art, there’s no way you would be using a container big enough to accommodate this comb.

wpid-img_20150805_215948.jpg

Size perspective against US quarters.

It should be noted that the spikes have slightly tapered but blunt ends.  You shouldn’t be in any danger of hurting yourself on the points, but I’m not going to say that it’s impossible!

I also noticed that the length of the spikes is fairly consistent but not 100% even with each other.  Again, if you were to use this with water for water marbling, this would be of no importance, but for dry water marbling, it’s going to mean that the points won’t touch the surface of the polish evenly.

wpid-img_20150805_225941.jpg

Look closely, and you’ll notice that the points don’t form a completely straight line. The 2nd spike from the bottom in particular is shorter compared to the spikes above and below it.

So how do you use this thing?  There aren’t any instructions that come with it, so I decided to wing it.

It’s possible to make nail decals on your own by painting polish on top of plastic wrap, so I took a piece of plastic (Saran) wrap and stretched it over a binder.  You can also use a Ziploc bag or other similar smooth surface.

wpid-img_20150805_220127.jpg

Not just any old binder- it’s a binder with a piece of plastic wrap taped over its surface.

Next comes the fun part: experimenting with polish and combing through it.  🙂

I painted generous stripes of polish next to each other on the plastic wrap.  You don’t want to have space in between the stripes, but you probably don’t want to contaminate your brushes with the color of the stripe that is next to it either.  You can simply wipe your brush on a paper towel until the original color is the only one you see before dipping it back into the bottle.

wpid-img_20150805_230137.jpg

About to comb through some stripes. Left to right the colors are Nellie from Julep, Mai Tai from nailtini, Life Gave Me Lemons from OPI, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime from OPI, Zing from Formula X for Sephora, and Haphazard from Formula X for Sephora.

After stroking through the polish from left to right, this is what the pattern looked like:

wpid-img_20150805_230344.jpg

Dry water marble stroking the comb from left to right.

It’s a pretty effect, but it should be noted that because of the unevenness of the spikes, the polish completely scraped away in some areas while that short spike I mentioned before hardly touched the surface of the polish.

After wiping the comb clean with a paper towel, I decided to comb through the polish going from right to left, fitting the spikes in between the pooled purple sections.

wpid-img_20150805_230523.jpg

Polish combed through in both directions.

I love the effect, but you also have to remember that not too many people have nails that are big enough to fit the entire pattern on them!  So from this I was inspired to use just 2 different colors to make a flame pattern.

wpid-img_20150805_220429.jpg

Stroking left to right with the comb through stripes of Mai Tai by nailtini and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.

wpid-img_20150805_220844.jpg

Stroking right to left to make flames.

I repeated this process a few different times on different areas of the plastic wrap so that I would have enough sections to cover my nails.  I also painted clear topcoat over these patches in order to facilitate removal of the pieces.  The thicker the coats of polish, the easier the sections will lift from the plastic wrap.  I allowed everything to dry overnight so that the next day, I was able to lift up these marbled sections easily.

wpid-img_20150805_221143.jpg

Lifting up the marbled pattern from the plastic wrap.

From here, I cut the pieces of dried polish into shapes that would fit my nails and adhered them by applying each decal one at a time.  I painted a base color first, positioning the decal on top of the wet polish, and then applied more topcoat to the decal to make it pliable.  I used an orange stick to push the decal down evenly across my nail bed.  You can see more of this process in my Flaming Nail Art post.

The resulting mani was pretty cool, and I didn’t even need water to get the marbled effect!

wpid-img_20150805_223930.jpg

These nails are on fire!

My overall impression is that the comb is pretty handy for making marbled nail decals in advance and that it is a fun tool to play with.  It’s extremely easy to clean the comb with just a paper towel, but the unevenness of the spike lengths negate the usefulness of having a wide comb.  Technically you could use a toothpick to create the same effect line by line, but it would be more time consuming.  But if you like having relatively uniform looking marbled patterns, this is a great way to get a consistent look across your nails.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this water marbling comb (retail price is $6.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/nail-water-marbling-comb-practical-marbling-comb-nail-tools-p-20690.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

rsspx31

Flaming Nail Art

I just got a water marble comb from Born Pretty Store and wanted to experiment with it, so my tests inspired me to do some flaming nail art.  After all, summertime is hot, and campfires are pretty common this time of year, so why not have some matching nail art?

The look requires only 3 polishes but needs a lot of prep work.

wpid-img_20150805_222842.jpg

Left to right: chelsea by nails inc., Mai Tai by nailtini, and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.

So about that prep work…  I decided to make flame decals with a dry water marble technique.  Never made decals before?  It’s a pretty simple concept.  Just paint nail polish onto some plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag, apply topcoat to it, let it dry, and then you can simply peel the decals off from the plastic wrap and cut them into whatever shapes you want to use.  It’s a bit of a time consuming process, but it gives you more control over the final look.

Because the water marble comb was big and I wanted to make sure I had enough decals to fit my nails plus some room to experiment, I stretched a piece of plastic wrap over a binder and taped the loose ends to the other side to create a large canvas for my artwork.

wpid-img_20150805_220127.jpg

My binder has one layer of plastic wrap over it. Try to get all the wrinkles out and make the surface as smooth as possible, or simply use a Ziploc bag.

Next, I painted 2 stripes each of Mai Tai and Life Gave Me Lemons so that the edges of the colors touched each other or at least had very little space in between.  It’s important to paint thick coats of polish so that the comb will be able to more easily marble the colors in the next step.

wpid-img_20150805_220318.jpg

Stripes of polish waiting to be combed.

I used a water marble comb to create the marbled effect, but you can also use a toothpick or a dotting tool to drag through the colors of polish one line at a time.

wpid-img_20150805_225941.jpg

This water marble comb is available for purchase at Born Pretty Store. Use coupon code RSSPX31 to save 10% off your order.

The fun begins when you comb through the stripes.

wpid-img_20150805_220429.jpg

Comb through the polish from left to right to create this pattern.

wpid-img_20150805_220844.jpg

Comb back through the gaps of the previously combed parts from right to left to get this pattern.

After getting a design that I liked, I applied Seche Vite topcoat to the entire polished section and let it dry overnight.  This will make the coat thicker and easier to peel away from the plastic wrap.  It probably doesn’t take that long to dry, but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have any problems for the next step.

The next day, I peeled my painted sections away from the plastic wrap.  The removal process was very easy.

wpid-img_20150805_221143.jpg

Dried nail polish should lift from the plastic wrap as easily as peeling away a Fruit Roll Up.

I had 5 sections from which to choose for my nail decals.  Experimenting is fun!

wpid-img_20150805_221342.jpg

A bounty of dried nail polish swatches.

To finish preparing my nail decals, I trimmed down a side and cut away slivers of polish with nail scissors to make the flame design.  This way I could make sure I used the part of the marbled design that I wanted.

wpid-img_20150805_221457.jpg

This nail polish is highly flammable!

To complete the decals, I cut my flames into nail sized sections for application.

wpid-img_20150805_221626.jpg

A set of fire decals waiting to be applied.

As for application, these decals need to be placed over wet nail polish in order to adhere properly.  I painted an opaque coat or two of plum black chelsea polish from nails, inc. onto one nail first.

wpid-img_20150805_222006.jpg

Still wet polish featuring chelsea from nails, inc.

I used tweezers to pick up a decal and set it where I wanted it to go.

wpid-img_20150805_222448.jpg

Laying a dried nail decal on top of wet polish.

Because the nail decals have to be thick in order to peel them away from the plastic, they don’t conform to the curve of the nail bed very easily at first.  Applying topcoat on top of the decal will make it more flexible, and then you can smooth it out evenly on the nail with an orange stick.

wpid-img_20150805_222649.jpg

Another coat of clear polish on top of the decal will help to melt it down to allow it to flex over your nail’s surface.

Repeat this process for each nail, then trim away any excess polish and clean up around the cuticles with cotton swabs and nail polish remover.  I used top coat one last time to even the polish out.

wpid-img_20150805_194236.jpg

The finished look.

In retrospect, I would have cut the decals a little shorter and made the bottom match the shape of my cuticle so that I didn’t have to do so much clean up afterwards.  It takes a lot of time to make this mani happen, but you can prepare the decals way in advance so that you have fire decals waiting at the ready for whenever you want them.  Experiment and have fun!  Happy polishing!