Dots

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This week I was inspired by a suggestion that you can create more precise polka dots with the head of a nail. I know, sounds so easy that you should have thought of it yourself, right?

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This comes from the Pinterest link that leads to this tutorial:

http://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-dotter-for-your-nails/

My first manicure came from one I saw online based off a dress. It was grey, with small gold and white dots. I added some nude to mine.

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I think the nude may have been to close of a shade to the grey.

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I didn’t do it intentionally, but it does match my softball t shirt for this season. We call ourselves “13 Shades of Gray”. And then I randomly acquired a grey lighter. Synchronicity strikes. 

Then this weekend, I was quite delighted to have a visit from my friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth is an artist who grew up in Pittsburgh, but moved to New Jersey during high school. She currently lives on the other side of Pennsylvania, but we keep in touch. 

Sunday there was a brief patch of warm sun on an otherwise 50 degree day. Elizabeth is an avid nail polish fan as well, so we thought it would be fun to make a cup of tea, sit on the back patio in the sun. She offered to paint my nails.

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The inspiration was 80’s glam rock. 

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We used a larger nail head for a bigger dot.

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It was a great visit. 

Now back to busy. Art All Night project to finish, and a lawn to manicure on Earth Day, oddly enough. Looking forward to sharing more with you soon!

 

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Accent Nails, Glitter, and New Colors

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The accent nail.

This trend reminds me of when I was a youth and I’d paint each nail a different color. Sometimes I’d try to do a rainbow, or a variation on a theme. 

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The premise is that you paint one nail, generally the ring finger, in a different (usually contrasting) color. 

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Glitter. You see it a lot in the world of nail polish. There are fans, and there are people that hate it. I think, like all things, it has its place. I like when it is unusual or interesting in some way.

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That’s alternating black and silver nails with black and silver crackle. 

And combining these 2 ideas, I give you the accent nail look with glitters. Bonus? They are also some of my most recently acquired polishes. 

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This color is called “Insta-this”. It seemed to go on thick and kinda streaky, and chipped on the first day.

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The glitter is a Nicole clear multi glitter. 

These are from the Jessica brand, part of their Fall 2012 collection. I couldn’t even find them on their website, but a friend pointed me to Amazon. Gingersnap and Pumpkin Spice.

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The Jessica polishes lasted over a week before they started throwing in the towel. Of course by then I started remembering that I don’t really like brown polishes on myself. But I did enjoy these colors and found them pretty close to the swatches on the site.

Thanks for reading! 

Art Kid Nails

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Here I am trying to be creative:

I may be dating myself with this one. The other day a friend and I were reminiscing about the days when you could only find black polish on Halloween, and if you wanted any color other than the standards (such as blue, green, yellow, or purple) you had to color your nails with a marker and put a top coat on it. Now if you can dream it, it’s out there. Usually in a kit or an instant mani.

But there are those of us who still like a little DIY now and again. So here are some of my attempts.

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This is me trying to do a fishnet pattern. Admittedly, I did use a nail polish pen to do the lines. So I can’t say I was hardcore “MacGuyver” on this one. This was about a year and a half ago.

This one is the “newspaper manicure” I found online:

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It’s pretty easy. Paint the nail and allow it to dry. Pre top coat, take whatever you want to transfer (newspaper, comics) and soak it briefly in rubbing alcohol. Press that print side down onto your nails. Then top coat it to seal, once that is dry.

There are all kinds of variations and tutorials for this on line, so if you feel inspired, look them up. It’s nice to still find some crazy stuff out there to do, like being a kid again. A kid with cute nails.

Press and Stick

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Today I’m going to post some photos of nail stickers, press on manicures, and nail tattoos.

Press on manicures:

I’ve had some success with these, and some failures. Surprisingly, my success was with the Sally Hansen brand that you can get at the drug store. My biggest failures were the ones I got from Sephora. Here’s the one that lasted a long time. It matched my dress from the prom benefit I went to. I was rather pleased because it matched my shoes and dress pretty perfectly.

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They came in a little kit and went on quite nicely and hung around over a week.

For every success, one finds a failure. As pretty as they were, I just don’t think I live the life of luxury to have rhinestones on my nails. That didn’t stop me from trying.

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They popped off pretty quickly. 😦

Unlike the Hello Kitty stickers.

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In the reviews on the Sephora website everyone seemed pretty disappointed in them, but I was pleased. They lasted about a week, and were almost tough to take off when the time came. I did put clear coat on top of them, for the record.

Then there are the nail tattoos from BigRuby. They are kinda like the stick on tats you had as a kid. You press them on your nail with a damp cloth. They can be a teeny bit tricky, making sure they are straight and that all of the tattoo has come off onto your nail, but I was very pleased with the look. Plus, they had octopi…

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As always, questions comments, opinions, suggestions, etc. are all welcome. Feel free to leave some love.

On Being Trendy…

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I subscribe to Birchbox. It’s a service that sends you some pretty sweet beauty samples for about $10 a month. The idea is that you’ll do reviews for extra points, and just even getting a box every month you get points. These points give you money off purchases. The samples are supposed to get you hooked on a product and then you need the full size of it. 

They’ll also send you cute tips, or this month a fall “look book”. One of the things mentioned was the french tip manicure with contrasting colors. I saw this a little over a year ago, on the young ladies on the bus and whatnot, and tried my own. Traditionally, the French tip is done by doing an undercoat of a lighter color. Then blocking of the tips and doing the pink color on the rest of the nail. I’m not a terrible fan of the traditional look. 

I did mine in reverse. I did the under color and allowed it to dry. Then I took masking tape across most of the nail, and painted the tip. I chose orange and gold glitter.

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(I know the quality of the photo is crap, but this was from a while ago, when I wasn’t thinking of “how it would look on my blog”.)

And in the same vein, here is further experimentation of “tone on tone” with 2 different yellow colors. Some of them I blocked off with the masking tape. Some are more free form (the dots or the stripe down the middle). 

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As usual, I’m always begging for feedback, ideas, suggestions, or stories from readers. So if any of these apply, holla! 

OPI Matte Finish Top Coat and Me

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Kinda like Marley and Me, but a much happier ending.

I had seen some series of photos Sephora posted, maybe about a year ago, of different interesting manicures you can do at home. A few of them featured the OPI Matte Finish Top Coat. So I decided to try it. The first bottle I ordered was broken, snapped off at the thread to screw the lid on. I will say the Sephora customer service was fantastic. No muss, no fuss, I got a replacement. 

I hadn’t used it for a while. But this summer I started seeing a lot of neon going around and I thought it would really pop with the matte finish. So first I looked for a good neon yellow.

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This is Spoiled by Wet N Wild in “Did I Dye It Too Blonde?” I had to use a coat of white underneath, because as often the case, I was worried that the yellow would be too sheer on its own. 

I thought the yellow came out well, but I was also on a quest for a good, bright, orangey-red like I’d seen on a lot of manicures out and about. I ended up finding Maybelline Color Show in “Keep Up The Flame”. It, too, needed a coat of white underneath for the same reason. I wasn’t as fond of it, but I’m never keen on red polish on myself.

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This week I wanted to try a more neutral color so I opted for OPI’s “Caught With My Khaki’s Down”. Image

My only beef with the top coat is that it seems to actually soften the layers underneath it, or maybe it just takes a longer time to dry. It seems to smudge and get dented easily, until it is fully dry, and even then it seems soft. I don’t know if a clear top coat on top would ruin the “matte finish”, but one might want to try. I am also rather spoiled because 99% of the time I use a quick dry top coat from Sally’s and it’s done in 15 min or less, and I’m out the door. 

Bonus Story:

Nail Tattoos – 

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This may be the first Instagram photo I ever too. Awww. These fun little “stick on nail tattoos” come from bigRuby and they come in a bunch of different themed sets. This particular set, I just really wanted the hand grenade on the middle finger, but decided to do the rest as well with the ones from the “His” and “Juju” sets.

Next I’ve been pondering a “Starry Night” theme by doing the navy I have with the Mad Hatter-esque multicolored glitter I have. I would try swirls, but any time I’ve tried it, I’ve failed fairly atrociously. Anyone else have much success? Feel free to let me know the tips… 

More Nails…

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Well, it looks like I got way more views when I talked about my nails, so I guess I’ll try it again today and see if it was a fluke, or if that is really what the people want.

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This is my most successful attempt thus far at the “half moon manicure”. The half moon manicure was popular during the 1940’s.  I used the Elf light pink and a dark plum Avon color. The theory is simple enough. You paint the light color and let it dry (and that is KEY, I can’t emphasize it enough). Then you can use little hole protector stickers, like I did, or I’ve also seen them use the stickers for french manicure tips. Use them on the bottom half and then paint the darker color on the top.

The traditional one looks kinda like this:

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But you can do fun combinations like this:

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Here’s another one. I know that the crackle has kind of come and gone, but I thought it would be fun and textural to do a tone on tone with a silver and a plain grey underneath.

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The grey is Essie’s “Cocktail Bling” and the silver is OPI for Sephora “Silver Blast”.

Let me know what you think and as always, if you have something you’d like to share, feel free to comment.