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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bright Cracked Nails

I wanted to do a bolder version of my 3D Nails and this is what I came up with.
 
 
Another design using layered stamping over a solid color. The Base color is China Glaze Snap My Dragon. The first layer is Bundle Monster plate BM-313 and Konad Special polish in Pink. The second layer is the same plate and Konad Special Polish in Black.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

3D Nails

Layers everywhere and not a one to spare.
 
 
(Konad Special Polish Black / White / Pink / Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep)
 
 The stamp I used for this design is Bundle Monster BM-313. Nothing to tricky about this one just paint a base color, I used Silver Sweep, and stamp away. Make sure not to cover up the design as you add each layer. I started with black, then stamped white over it, and followed up with the pink.
 
 
 So I doubt anyone would notice without me pointing it out but there was a guest star in my picture of this Manicure. If you look carefully, behind and above my pinky, you will see a blurry patch of striped fur. My cat Phnx crawled into my light box as I was snapping this shot. He loves the camera and seemed really interested in being on my blog so here is my favorite picture of him sleeping. I say favorite because between my husband and I we have a ton of these sleeping kitty shots. :)
 
 


Peacock Braided Nails

Without question I love the look of this trend and it is actually a whole lot easier than it looks. My previous post Braided Nails is a step by step picture tutorial if you haven't already mastered this technique. If you are already familiar hope you like the peacock color combo :)
 
 
Almost has an Egyptian kind of vibe going on. Completely unplanned and totally sweet!
 
 

(China Glaze Grape Pop/ Orly Luxe/ CG Sunday Funday/ CG Exotic Encounters)
 
In the tutorial I referenced earlier I only used three polishes (which gives you a little different look) here I used four. As you can see by using and even number of colors you get a half and half split design. In this case, one side green and gold and the other blue and purple.
 
 
At the top of each nail I added a little colored rhinestone for some sparkle. I don't use a whole lot of bling of this sort but when I do :) I use this little pink rhinestone picker upper thingy that you can find at your local Sally's for a couple dollars. It has a plastic tip and makes placing those tiny stones a breeze.
 
 

Breast Cancer Awareness 2

Today is the big day! I sit for my state Mammography board this afternoon :) So excited and nervous.
 
 
 
This is a theme I have done on black nails so this is my remix in lighter colors.
 
(Konad Special Polish Pink / Orly Winter Wonderland / CG Dandy Lyin' Around)
 
I was a little disappointed that Dandy Lyin' Around (China Glaze's new Avant Garden Collection) took three coats to be fully opaque. It is a beautiful color but China glaze has me spoiled into thinking polish should go on in no more than two coats and I'm such a huge fan of that about thier varnish.
  After a good amount of drying time... tick tock three coats :(... I added two coats of Orly Winter Wonderland. This polish is a gorgeous irregular glitter and one coat would have been great but I wanted to go in for the super glitz and glam. As you can imagine I waited a while to let all five coats of paint dry before I dared to attempt the actual stamping. The Ribbon stamp is from Bundle Monster plate BM-321.
 
 


Friday, February 22, 2013

Crocodile Skin Nails *Tutorial

I'm happy to say that even though my blog has only been around a short time I have been getting some pretty consistent traffic. It always lights up my day when someone is inspired enough to leave a comment or when I notice that I have a new follower.  However, looking at some of my previous posts with a critical eye, I have found some areas that need improvement. After reading one of my early posts I realized that I could really use some more pictures when describing some of the steps. I present to you... crocodile nails with photos of how to do junk. :)
 
 
Animal Print! Here is one way to wear green for St. Patrick's Day if you aren't a fan of leprechauns and shamrocks.
 
Step One: Lay down your base coat and allow it to dry (if you use such a coating... I myself usually do not but green tends to stain) and then start with your green polish. This is two coats of China Glaze Westside Warrior.
 
Step Two: This is purely optional but I think adding a little black gives the final finish more depth. An ordinary cosmetic wedge is my go to for gradients and sponging. I used China Glaze Liquid Leather. It really doesn't have to be a neat application because you are going to cover up most of it when you stamp on your croc skin. Don't be frightened if you notice how textured and gnarly it looks... I promise once you add top coat it will all sort itself out.
 
Step Three: Pick out your scale colors. From left to right I used China glaze Passion, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lickety-Split Lime, Konad Special Polish in Brown and in Green. Any combination of crocodile-y colors would work. I picked these because they all work great for stamping and the gold adds a little dimension and shimmer in the sun.
 
 
Step Four/Five/Six/Seven LOL: There are a few different snake and croc skin image plates out there and this technique works with all of them but I'm using Bundle Monster plate BM-224.
 
(First Plate Picture) Add some blobs of polish to your design in an irregular manner. I start with the gold painting a spot here and there then randomly drop the cream colors over and around it.
 
(Middle Picture) Use a toothpick or dotting tool to mix your polishes on the plate. I zig zag one way and then the other just enough to make sure I don't have any big solid blobs of one color anywhere. Work quickly because even though you should have more than enough polish they will dry up on you pronto.
 
(Bottom Picture) Use your scraper of in my case old gift card to swipe the excess polish off your plate and stamp as usual. :) Once your certain your design is dry top it all with some Seche Vite or your favorite top coat and viola!
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blue Bow Nails

Cute.
 
 
I bought some cheap plates off Amazon a while back (by cheap I mean they were inexpensive because the quality is really nice ) and thought that these little bows would be perfect for a French tip mani. I don't know what company manufactures the plates but the bows were on QA36. The blue polish is Sinful Colors Grecian Sun, the bows are Konad Special Polish in White.

Lucky Nails

St. Patrick's day is approaching and my big test is on Saturday... I need all the luck I can get.
 
 
The cream green is Revlon Jaded and over that I used a coat of Nina Ultra Pro Electric Slide. The stamp is Bundle Monster image plate BM-03 and Konad Special Polish in Green. I used a dotting tool to add some details and finished up with Seche Vite. I have to say that I am loving my new light box! This green is really true to life. You can even tell that I started to do a gradient with Paper Chasing and decided not to finish because it didn't really show up. Turns out it is slightly visible on the tips and especially on the tiny sliver of my thumb nail I though I so cleverly cropped out LOL

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Black Widow Nails

I know its too early for Halloween but I have done butterfly, ant, and ladybug nails so I wanted to round out my creepy crawly collection.
 
 
The Black is China Glaze Liquid Leather. I used two stamps for the cobwebs and spider. The web on my accent nail is from a plate labeled HD04 that I found on amazon and the rest is from Bundle Monster BM-13. The red on my black widow is a Migi nail art pen and that super shine is, of course, Seche Vite.
 
*This photo was taken before my discovery of the light box but black is black so no harm no fowl on the yellow hue giving me a fake tan :)

Green Glitter

I have been really disappointed in the lighting and colors in many of my pictures. No matter what I tried I kept getting inconsistent and yellowed hues from one photo to the next. I did a little Googling on the matter and turns out this is a common problem. Over and over I read that sunlight is the best option but I work during the day and don't have an endless supply of the suns sweet rays. My solution... drum roll... a light box.
 
Taken in the light box
 
Taken with a desk lamp
 
This is two coats of China Glaze Paper Chasing and two coats of China Glaze Graffitti Glitter. While I am a fan of how the desk lamp gives me a slight tan (does this light box make me look fat LOL) it's not really ideal for showing true to life colors of polish. I love how the light box even caught the green glitter that the desk lamp seemed to be unaware of for the most part.

Orange Butterfly Nails

I'm pleased with how these turned out and I might revisit this idea with different colors.
 
 
There were a few steps involved in creating these because they are a combination techniques.
I started with painting all of my nails with China Glaze High hopes. Once the base color was dry I painted a cosmetic sponge half with High hopes and half with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Snappy Sorbet and blended on the gradient. Blending the two orange colors evenly took three times with the sponge. While the gradient layers were drying I painted a thick coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust on my index and pinkie nails. For the butterflies I used Bundle Monster image plate BM-307 and Konad Special Polish in Black. After the stamp was dry I used Migi nail art pens to add some black and white detail to the butterfly's wings. To finish it all up I used a thick coat of Sech Vite top coat. This manicure took about 45 minutes because of all of the layers and dry time but I think it was worth it :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Matte Black Blood Drip Nails

I have been studying for my Mammo test and as a reward I plan on catching up on a little Dexter. I know the subject matter is a tad gory and early for Halloween but I had an idea and I ran with it. If you can get past the gross vampire-ish vibe here it's pretty awesome how the matte and glossy textures play off one another ;)
 
 
The black is China Glaze Liquid Leather and the red is Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby. I've only had the chance to try Orly's Matte Top and not only does it give a silky matte look to your polish it is also very easy to apply. I used the coffee straw method I used for all my other splatter nails only I really loaded it full of polish and blew from much closer than normal for big drips. Wicked.
 
 

Cracked Purple Ombre Nails

Love a smoky purple gradient!
 
 
This was yet another of my happy accidents. I planned on just doing an ombre but I never know when to stop adding junk to a manicure so this is what I ended up with. The Dark purple is Wet n Wild Disturbia and the light purple is China Glaze Light As Air. I used a cosmetic sponge to apply the lighter color and blend the two. There are two nail stamps in this both from Bundle Monster image plate BM-208. The black I used for stamping is Konad Special Polish in Black and for the tips China Glaze Liquid Leather.
 
 

Flowers and Wine Nails

Falling flowers over a wine background.
 
 
This is another design I found long forgotten and hiding in my camera. Not sure if I didn't like it or if I just didn't have the time to post but neither of those are true today so here it is lol. The base color is China Glaze Purr-Fect Plum. The white flower design is Konad image plate M51 and Konad Special Polish in White. I used a Migi nail art pen to add the pops of color to the petals and add the little dark centers.

Rainbow Checker French Tips

Fun French tips with a rainbow theme.
 
 
I don't even remember doing this manicure but those are my nails and it was on my camera so either its one of my designs or my husband is playing tricks on me. I recognize the checker stamp as Red Angle plate RA-101 and the colors here are the same polishes I use in all my rainbow manicures. Starting at the pinkie they are China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Adventure Red-y, Grape Pop, Man Hunt and Roguish Red. I guess my rainbow kick started long before this week.

Rainbow Slide Nails

Maybe I'm just stuck on another theme or maybe its because St. Patrick's Day is coming but either way I present to you another rainbow mani :)
 
 
This sky blue is two coats of Revlon Dreamer. My favorite brand is China Glaze but Revlon has some very beautiful colors and the application, dry time and shine is quite wonderful. The design you see in white is Bundle Monster image plate BM-209 and Konad Special Polish in... guess what... White. I used  a dotting tool and some basic color nail polishes to add the rainbow dots over the pre existing white dots from the pattern. Top it with a clear coat of Seche Vite and done. Easy Peasy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Playing Card Nails

Luck be a lady... with carefully manicured finger tips.
 
 
I always over look this stamp (BM-19) because it is too small to cover a full nail. Bundle Monster had some very cute designs in their first collection but sadly they were a smidge tiny. I used China Glaze White on White, China Glaze Adventure Red-Y, Sally Hansen Glass Slipper (the glitter over the white), Konad Special Polish in Black and a red Migi nail art pen.
 

Wine Lace Nails

Something simple and graceful.
 
 
This creamy wine color is China Glaze Purr-Fect Plum. I am a huge fan of the Safari Collection and this is a favorite for sure. The design is from a plate I found on Amazon that is only marked with QA36. I used Konad Special Polish in light pink and then added a few details with a white Migi nail art pen.

Mint Chocolate Nails

I can never predict what may give me an idea for a manicure and this one came from a nagging craving for one of those little Andes Mints. I never did get the candy if anyone is curious lol.
 
 
The creamy milk chocolate color is Sinful Colors Nirvana and I suspect with a name like that for a brown polish someone else had chocolate in mind. The green on my accent nail is Revlon Jaded. I used image plate Mash-46 and Konad Special Polish in light green for the pattern. Yum!

Presidents Day Nails

All kinds of American symbolism crammed into one manicure for your Presidents Day.
 
 
Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy President's Day! There is a whole lot going on in this crazy busy design so I'm going to pass on all the particulars but if anyone has a question feel free to ask and as for the plates check out the labels ;)


Red White Blue Splatter Nails

Messy little dose of patriotism.
 
 
I used the coffee straw method from my Blood Splatter nails to create this explosion of red white and blue. The colors are China glaze Adventure Red-y, Man Hunt and White on White. Very easy if you don't mind the clean up.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rainbow Melt Nails

This is another easy design that doesn't require a bunch of special tools. All you need here is a few bottles of polish and toothpick :)
 
 
There are six polishes here all China Glaze, from purple to red the colors are... Grape Pop, Man Hunt, Four Leaf Clover, Happy Go Lucky, Roguish Red and Adventure Red-y. You need to work with your polish while it's still wet so do one nail at a time. I'll use the thumb as an example... I painted half of my nail in Purple and the other half blue and immediately used a toothpick to zig zag the colors together all the way down my nail.  A little top coat and you have yourself a melted rainbow manicure. :) Way easy and the messier the better.

Watermelon Nails Remix

I found this photo going through my camera and while I didn't deem it post worthy before I guess it grew on me cause I dig it now.
 
 
The pink is China Glaze Heli-Yum and the darker green is China Glaze Four Leaf Clover. Over that I used an image plate I found on amazon QA3 for both the dots and lines. Both the black and light green are Konad Special Polish.
 
 

Unzipped Nails Remix

I couldn't take defeat so I decided to remix my earlier post with the colors I originally wanted to use. 
 
 
I had to change to a darker silver for the stamp so it would show better on the nude polish and I like this version much better than my first one. The colors here are China Glaze Liquid Leather and China Glaze Nude. The zipper is Bundle Monster plate BM-202 and China Glaze Awake.
 
 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gold and Black Nails

Elegant gold and black nails.
 
 
I have a theory that glitter nail polish makes your nails stronger... while you have it on anyways. I cant say that I have any evidence at all that this is true but I do layer on the glitz when my nails are a bit thin and vulnerable about the tips. Seems like all the tiny little pieces overlapping would lend some structural integrity but this may all just be another quirk of my particular brand of crazy. On to the manicure... the gold is three coats of China Glaze I'm Not Lion and the black is China Glaze Liquid Leather. For the stamp I used Bundle Monster plate BM-312 and Konad Special Polish in Black and for the accent nail Orly Luxe. Very beautiful in the sun and especially in moon light.
 

Unzipped Nails

Yep... still fiddling with my nails instead of studying for my Mammography test. I've had this zipper stamp for a while and have always overlooked it so ladies and gentleman... unzipped nail polish.
 
 
The base color is China Glaze Prey Tell. I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep and Bundle Monster image plate BM-202 for the zipper. The red on my accent nail is China Glaze Adventure Red-y.  My original idea for this design was to do a matte nude color peeking out under the zipper with shiny black polish around it (sort of a skin color leather jacket thing) but this particular silver didn't really show well over the nude :(  I gave up on the idea without much of a fight... maybe another time.

Abstract Dot Nail Design

Not really sure where I was going with this but here is what I ended up with. I was playing with nail art pens and experimenting a little and I thought this was interesting enough to take a picture.
 
 
 The pink is China Glaze Heli-Yum and the rest is all done with Migi Nail Art Pens. I painted a thick coat of  the hot pink and while it was still wet I added four big black dots, in the middle of each of those I added a white dot and then ran a toothpick down the center of them toward the end of my nail. Once that was dry I went back and put a few more dots all around the design. I think I like this happy accident but I'm not really sure what to call it. :) I guess more than anything this design is just a product of me procrastinating on studying for my big test next week :)
 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pink Gradient Valentine Nails

The holiday of love is in a few hours and I had to change my polish for the occasion. I didn't do as many Valentine Nail designs as I thought I would but I do love a theme so stayed tuned for my St. Patrick's day creations. :)
 
 
As much as I love stamping, I still enjoy manicures that don't really require any special tools or products and for this one all you need is two opaque polishes, a glitter polish and a cosmetic sponge. The pinks here are Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Presto Pink/China Glaze Something Sweet and the glitter is China Glaze Scattered and Tattered. I really love how the cream polishes blend together under the sparkle of the glitter and I'm predicting that I'll be trying this in different combinations.
 

Pinkish Purple Zig Zag Nails

Quick design with a slight gradient.
 
 
I have been studying to take my state mammography board and haven't had much time to dedicate to nails this week. I've been sporting this design for a few days now and it was fairly easy. I painted all of my nails with China Glaze Admire and then used a makeup sponge to add Kleancolor Metallic Pink to the lower half of all my nails. The design is Mash-45 and Konad Special Polish in Black.
I guess if I wanted to dig really deep I could call these Mammo nails. The zig-zags in this design could  represent radiation and the pink/purple could be for mammography :)
 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rose Layered Stamping *Tutorial

Roses and leaves.
 

 Thought I'd add a little bit of step by step on how to layer nail stamps into one design.

 
Step One: Paint all of your nails a solid color. This is China Glaze Life is Rosy from the new spring  Avant Garden collection. Big thumbs up on all twelve colors by the way.
 
Step Two: Stamp a design over your nails. This is Bundle Monster plate BM-323 and Konad Special Polish in Pink. (Notice I smudged my accent nail a wee bit... Plan on covering that up in the next step but to smooth out the ridge I used the lick your nail method. Kind of gross and probably not too healthy to be licking paint but it really works.)
 
Step Three: Add a coat of polish over part of your nail. This is China Glaze Westside Warrior.
 
Step Four: Stamp your second design over the second color. Full nail stamps are perfect for this because they have clean straight lines for borders. This design is Bundle Monster plate BM-19 and Konad Special Polish in Light Green.
 
Step Five: Sometimes I don't get the stamps perfectly lined up but a little nail tape can go a long way in covering little imperfections and giving a sharp divide.
 
Finally, add some top coat and brace yourself for... "How did you do that?"

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Edgy Valentine Nails

Not your average frilly Valentine Nails.
 
 
Little something for those who aren't into hearts and pink. The shimmery red is Sally Hansen Red Carpet and the black is China Glaze Liquid Leather. I used the same overlapping method from my Braided Nails Tutorial to do the accent nail. The lines here are nail tape and yes it is a little time consuming but I don't have the talent to do such fine lines in polish. It takes a little practice to learn all the tricks to using nail tape but it does open the door for a lot of neat designs.
 
 

Purple Ombre Floral

Dark purple fades to a dusty light purple under pink flowers.
 
 
The dark purple base here is China Glaze Grape Pop. I love that this purple is a one coat wonder and it dries pretty quick to a glossy finish. Again with the cosmetic sponge, from so many of my earlier posts, I added Sally Hansen's Lively lilac. The flowers are Bundle Monster image plate BM-221 and Konad Special Polish in Light Pink. This one is fairly simple and the spread out nature of the flower stamp makes little mistakes forgivable. ;)

Trippy Nails

For some reason these make me think of a 70's movie.
 

 
There are three polishes in the background and they are all from Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri collection. The base is a bright yellow named Lightening. I used a makeup sponge to add Snappy Sorbet and Flashy Fuchsia. When going for a smooth blend paint all three colors on your sponge (even the lightest base color) and blend like crazy. This took two go rounds with the sponge. The stamp is Konad M51 and Special Polish in Black. Very trippy manicure and this gradient color combo always gets the "How did you do that?".

Picnic Nails

Ants! Gross.
 
 

 
I saw an ad in a magazine that gave me the idea for these and I've never seen anyone do ants at a picnic before so I thought I'd give it a whirl. The base color is China Glaze White On White and the checker design is Mash-38 and Konad Special Polish in Red. For the ants I used a Black Migi Nail Art Pen. Summer picnic nails starring unwanted guests.
 
 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thief! Criminal Nails

While I realize that Presidents Day is in February and I am an Army veteran, sadly, my motivation for these nails was not patriotism. Times like these make me recall some great advice given by Thumper to Bambi, "If you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all.". I hardly ever take advice from cartoon rabbits so here goes... These nails are for the *&%$# Jack Wagon that stole my rear license plate.

I have been told the chances of ever catching the thief is slim to none but never the less I have been extremely inconvenienced by the whole situation and here is my wish for the criminal. I hope they see flashing police lights (red and blue nails) and are swiftly beaten about the head with billy clubs evoking cartoon stars to swirl around their head. In my dream revenge the police are 1920's cartoons that will drag the perpetrator off to prison and put him/her in a striped jumper and ball and chain. Now a days inmates rarely ever wear black and white stripes but in my fantasy they will be dressed like the monopoly guy is on the Go directly to Jail card. So that's my rant about that. I think the red polish strategically placed on my middle finger about sums up my feelings about the person who did this. Has this ever happened to anyone else?