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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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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Review of Mefa 12 Color Gel Polish Set

Who can say no to a good box set? I’m a sucker for buying collections of items, so it’s no shocker that I end up with so many nail polishes. They’re just so small and colorful! Today we’re looking at a 12 bottle set of gel polishes from Mefa. They are super affordable and come in a cute box set that is perfect for gift giving.

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The back of the package lists the ingredients and warnings. As with all gel polishes, you should test a little bit of the formula on your skin for a few minutes to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction to it prior to curing it on your nails.

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Easter Bunny Manicure

I know I’m posting this tutorial a little late, but at least it will be a reference for future Easters to come! After seeing the Easter bunny around town a few times, I decided to make some Easter bunny nails that didn’t look as creepy as the ones that I saw! Seriously, some of those bunnies are terrifying!

To start, I painted 3 coats of LV010 from Ünt. This company is best known for their legendary peel off base coat, a product that I use in combination with a lot of my gel manicures to make them easy to remove seeing as I change my polish quite often, but they also have a full range of colors and cosmetics. This beautiful light pink polish dried with a vinyl finish, but it also took forever to set and was streaky for the first 2 coats. If you have a lot of free time to do nothing, this is a good polish, but it definitely does not dry in a New York minute. It was disappointing considering how well loved their Ready for Takeoff base coat is.

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This beautiful swatch of LV010 from Unt needed a lot of time to dry, and it still wasn’t fully set when I started doing the rest of the nail art. Oops.

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Irish Unicorn Nails

If you blog, you’re almost always expected to come up with nails for every holiday. While I never used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all that much, my nails certainly have been on board for the past few years! This year’s inspiration came from a student of mine who dressed up as an Irish unicorn for her lesson. I became obsessed with her headband, so she gave me a homework assignment to create some nail art based on it.

My first step was to paint all my nails green. I used Paper Chasing from China Glaze.

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The perfect kelly green- Paper Chasing from China Glaze. Be warned, though- this stuff will stain your nails a shade that Elphaba would find normal!

For more impact and sparkle, I used Emerald City holographic glitter from Dimension Nails over the polish. To apply it, I painted a coat of Paper Chasing over a nail, dipped it into the pot of glitter while the polish was still wet, then used a fan brush to sweep away the excess. This process was repeated for each nail.

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Welcome to the Emerald Isle!

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