Instant Manicures


They go by a variety of names: nail wraps, instant manicures, etc. Every company seems to have them now. I’ve gotten them from Sally Hansen, Sephora, Essie, ModCloth, and Jamberry. With slight variations, they all work just about the same way. You get a series of strips with a design on them. You prep your nail by making sure the cuticles are pushed back and cleaning the nail with an alcohol swab to make sure there are no oils on them. Match up the size to the nail, take it off the backing, line it up carefully, and smooth it down to make sure there are no air bubbles. Then trim and file off the extra. Some kinds require a warming element, ¬†either by hand or with an external device, such as a hair dryer, before application. These adhesive manicures usually last anywhere from a couple days to a week, depending on the brand, the application, and the amount of abuse you inflict on them.

You can style them different ways. The most obvious would be wearing them on all your nails.


These star patterned nails were from Sephora. They were the shortest lasting, but they also had to live through my heavy crafting. Which is probably doom for any manicure.


This was from the Jamberry Junior’s collection. I loved the little foxes and the plaid. I’m able to wear the junior’s because I have tiny little baby carny nails.

You can wear them with an accent nail, like this:


These little Spring lemon wraps are from Jamberry. They do seem to last a while, but I’m still learning how to get a good even finish on them with the file. But Jamberry does have some of the most fun patterns. A look at their catalog and you’ll want everything. They are a little more on the pricey side, but you can cut the strips in half to get more out of them, depending on the length of your nail.

Or you can do more than one painted nail. This one was themed with “fabric textures”. The matte black is Zoya’s “velvet” and the matte red is a “leather texture” polish. The strips come from Sally Hansen, which honestly are the ones I’ve had the most success with thus far and the fairest priced. They are a lace pattern to round out the theme.


Then you can go totally nuts, like this:


The applique is on the ring finger, like an accent nail. It’s a silver snake print from Essie. The pinkie nail is magnetic polish from Nails Inc. There’s a plain silver on the middle finger and thumb. The index finger has bar glitter from the Ciate kit. It was a fun manicure. The glitter was the first to go, the ring finger was the last.

I still have some from ModCloth to try out, but I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up to so far. Have fun, play around with them, and you can have a bunch of really versatile looks. Enjoy!




And Here Are The Nails


So, after a quick scan I guess I really haven’t posted any nail stuff since June. It’s okay, I’d like to think my posts have content. But maybe you’ve missed the nail ideas. So I’ll post some now.

This is what I did tonight. I’ve never had any success with creating ombre with a sponge, so I’ll do it over the entire nails themselves.




These are the colors I used. L to R: elf “Dark Navy”, Nailslicks “Starry Blue”, Sally Girl “Mean Streak”, Color Club “Insta-this”, Bon Bons


Thanksgiving day I had time before getting down to the business of eating. So I tried to do something festive without being over the top.




The red is from Dots (no brand or color name), Essie “Marshmallow”, and Hello Kitty nails stickers from Sephora

Halloween was good this year. Since it was on a weekday, all the festivities were the weekend before. My costume was simple and 90% of it was either free or already in my closet.

Can you guess what it is?...

Can you guess what it is?…

I got the paint chips from the home improvement store. I already had the hoodie, shoes, skirt. I happened to find the socks at the Halloween store, when a friend pointed them out. Did you guess what it is yet?… 50 shades of grey! Ta-da! Okay, so I saw it on the internet. The only thing I hadn’t anticipated was the way the paint chips would crinkle up under a seat belt.

So in the same vein, I did a manicure to match.


Earlier in the month, I went to a friend’s wedding. This was the manicure I went with.



L to R: OPI "Caught With My Khakis Down", OPI "Metro Chic", and Essie "Sand Tropez"

L to R: OPI “Caught With My Khakis Down”, OPI “Metro Chic”, and Essie “Sand Tropez”

I created this one by painting the base color. Then I taped off at an angle, and used the secondary color, taping again at an opposite diagonal once that was dry for the third color. I alternated colors for base, 2nd, and 3rd. I think the color palette kind of had a fun poke at the bad color schemes of the late 80’s, with the graphic element to boot. Or at least that was my thought process.

Of course, if life was just successes, what would be learned? Here our hero learns that not everything you watch on the internet is for the amatuer. I saw a tutorial in which the artist picked out chunky glitter from a clear polish and created designs with it. It was labor intensive, and my results made it really not worth the effort.

Starting with a nude...

Starting with a nude…


Chunky glitter in clear base on foil, so you can (ideally) pick up the big glitter pieces with a toothpick.

Chunky glitter in clear base on foil, so you can (ideally) pick up the big glitter pieces with a toothpick.

first row

first row

2nd row

2nd row

3rd row, final product.

3rd row, final product.

Maybe practice makes perfect, and someday I’ll come up with something better using this technique….

I got some new texture polishes.

textured white and navy

textured white and navy

trying out variations with OPI's liquid sand. Glitter, crackle, plain, and then a regular gold.

trying out variations with OPI’s liquid sand. Glitter, crackle, plain, and then a regular gold.

I’m currently not terribly crazy about the texture polishes. I don’t really see much difference in them from some glitters. The white just reminded me of “way back when”, when I used to white out.¬†

To close out here’s a simple one with an accent nail. Nude and gold.



And now, I feel like maybe I’ve brought everyone a little bit more up to speed. I hope the nail fanatics hadn’t lost faith that I would continue to do fun nails stuff. I guess I didn’t want to be a nail blogger only. I don’t know that I can do a blog devoted to just one topic. I love a variety of things. Now that winter is creeping in, I’m sure you’ll get to see more art work as we all become sequestered until the green starts to poke out of the ground again… Not to mention there is Christmas crafting to come! So stay tuned for all the good things…