Swirly Blob Nails

These nails are so easy and require pretty much no skill whatsoever.  People never believe me when I stay stuff like that to them in real life, but 99% of the time, I really mean it!

IMG_7603Before I get into the nuts and bolts of how to get this effect on your nails, I’m going to ask you to please forgive my gross looking cuticles in this picture.  I know they look gross and dry and polish-stained.  You don’t need to tell me about it.

Okay, so for this look, you’ll need to pick out a few polishes in colors that will blend nicely with each other.  I opted for a pale yellowish-green, a deep teal, and a silver glitter.  I think if you pick more than 4 colors, it will just become a muddy mess on your nails.

After shaking up your polishes, just put a few drops of each polish on a nail polish safe surface.  I used my Bliss Kiss Simply Neat Miracle Mat, but really, a plastic lid from pulled from your recycling bin will work just as well.  Your drops of polish should be sort of IMG_7596touching and overlapping, but don’t think too hard about it.  Just blob it on on there.

Then take a plastic cuticle pusher or a wooden orange stick or just about any little tool you have laying around the house (the eraser end of a pencil, a Popsicle stick,…) and dip it into your blob of polishes.  Kind of try of get all of the polish colors IMG_7597onto your tool, but you don’t need to swirl them together or anything.  Then just dab the polish onto your nails with your little tool.  The polish will sort of swirl together while you’re dabbing it onto your nail.  Don’t worry about trying to get it to be perfectly neat, because you can always clean up polish that accidentally gets on your skin and cuticles with some acetone and a little brush.  (I always use my e.l.f concealer brush.  It’s a great little brush and it’s only $1.)

Give your nails a good long time to dry, since you are applying a pretty thick layer ofplay doh mixed together. polish, and then top them with a top coat.  I opted for a matte top coat, and the finished result reminded me of what play dough looks like when the colors get mixed together.

If you give this technique a try, please let me know!  I’m on instagram and facebook, so find me and tag me so I can see.  Thanks for reading and enjoy your summer!

Red and Green Christmas Nails

Hello, loyal subjects!  Today I shall teach thee how to create these super festive Christmas nails!


I really had fun wearing these!  They are pretty simple, but unmistakably Christmas-y.

Here’s what you need to do….

Start with a base coat like always, and  then paint all of your nails except for your ring finger white. Apply a quick dry top coat to your middle finger. Now, we’re going to deal with every finger except the middle finger because we need to wait for the polish to get REALLY dry.IMG_6585

For your ring finger you will need some kind of red glitter polish.  I used Funky Fingers – Ninny Muggins.   To get the glitter fully opaque, I brushed some of the IMG_6586polish to a make-up sponge, waited for a few seconds for the base polish to be absorbed into the sponge, and then I dabbed the glitter onto my nail with the sponge.  When you do this, almost all of the glitter will transfer from the sponge onto your nail.  This allows you to build up the glitter to full opacity with out having too much of the thick clear base polish. IMG_6587   You may need to do this a few times until you get enough glitter to fully cover your nail.  I use this little trick whenever I want a really sparkly over-the-top glitter accent nail!

IMG_6583For your thumb, index finger, and pinky finger, take your largest dotting tool and add three or four dots to each nail.  Space them out pretty well, so that you have room for some large red dots.  And that there is your next step:  take your largest dotting tool and add three or four large red dots to each nail.  After you are done with your large dots, fill in any remaining space with IMG_6584 smaller red and green dots.  Really, there’s no science to this.  Just fill things in the way you like them.

These polka dot nails look cute, right?  Dots are always a great look!  You might be seriously terrible at painting tiny designs on your nails with a detail brush, but get a few dotting tools, and you can make your nails look super cute!

IMG_6577Okay, onto the middle finger.  You can always just paint a little free hand Christmas tree with a little brush.  I decided to make it difficult, so I decided to make my own little Christmas tree stencil.  I started just by sketching some little trees, mostly to figure out what size would fit best on my nail.  It took some trial and error, but I finally figured out a good height and width for my little trees.

I then applied some painters tape to wax paper and folded it in half.  I used my little drawn tree IMG_6575as a guide to trace half a tree onto the tape, with the crease running down the center of the tree.  I then cut the tree out of the tape.  This took a few tries to get right, but I had a whole roll of painters tape, and a whole roll of wax paper, so no worries.  I eventually cut out two trees that were pretty similar!  Huzzah!IMG_6582

Now we come to the most important step of all: wait for the white polish on your middle finger to dry COMPLETELY before you stick your tape stencil onto your nail.  Bone dry.  Like absolutely dry.  This little picture shows what happens when you don’t wait long enough.  Yeah, I know.  Tragic.  And once you do this, IMG_6590there’s just nothing you can do.  You remove all of the polish from that nail and start the heck over.    And you have to make another little Christmas tree tape stencil since you gooped one of them up.  So that’s what I did.  And this time I waited a REALLY long time for the polish to dry before I applied my tape stencil.

So once your white polish on your middle finger is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DRY, peel your little stencil from the wax paper and stick it to your nail.  Make sure that your tree is centered on your nail, and press the painters tape down IMG_6599really well.  You don’t want any of the polish to seep under the tape.  Once you have your stencil where you want it, apply a generous coat of green polish over the stencil and then immediately and carefully peel the stencil off your nail.  You will be rewarded for your patience with a cute little tree with nice crisp lines!

Apply a top coat to your nails and you are ready to go!  Please let me know if you recreated this design.  I’d love to see it!

Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Striped Irridescent Nails

Within the last week, I’ve seen at least four nail bloggers and/or youtubers talking about this fun new trend in nails art: shattered glass nails.  They all say that this trend started in South Korea, and if everyone says it, it must be true.  Like Wikipedia.  If it’s on Wikipedia, it must be true.  So I’m just going to say what everyone else is saying.  This trend was stared in South Korea.

For the shattered glass effect, you pretty much take tiny triangles of iridescent tissue paper, and and apply them to your nails IMG_6456sort of randomly.  It looks really cool, but I wanted to try something a little bit different, since everyone has been doing the little triangles thing.  I opted for stripes.  Here’s how I got this look.

The first thing I needed to do was get me some iridescent tissue paper.  I checked around my little town first, but I had no luck, so I needed to head down the road a few miles to either a craft store or a party supply store.  Even thought I IMG_6430had a coupon for Michael’s, I opted to go to Party City.  In Party City, I can pretty much march right it, pick up the thing I need, pay for it, and get out.  Michael’s will suck me in for two hours, and then I end up spending $150 on enough supplies to make a bar of soap and crochet a scarf for every single person I know.  Plus maybe I want to take up beading and oil painting… Anyway, at Party City I got the smallest pack of iridescent tissue paper they had and it cost me $2.99.  Make sure you actually get the iridescent stuff, and not just the clear stuff.  It should shimmer pink and green.  By the way, they call it iridescent tissue paper, but it’s not actually IMG_6431paper.  It’s a really thin plastic type stuff.  And I’m getting tired of typing out “iridescent tissue paper” so from now on, I’m just going to refer to it as ITP.

So, I got my ITP home and I cut off a little triangle that was about 2″ x 3″.  In the end, I didn’t need nearly that much.  I cut it into little thin strips, and then cut the strips into lengths that were about a half an inch, give or take.  IMG_6435

I then painted my nails this dark berry color, Jordana – Hypnotizing.  This particular polish dries darker than it appears in the bottle. I sort of liked the color in the bottle a little better, but it’s still super pretty.  Really, any dark color will work for this look.  A dark blue or green would look great, and black would work just fine, too.  If you use a lighter polish, you’ll get a more subtle effect.  ITP tends to reflect gold/green/blue when it’s over dark colors.  Over light colors it reflects pink/gold.

IMG_6437While my purple polish was drying, I took one of my smallest dotting tools and dipped the end in wax from a candle I was burning.  When the wax cools, it remains just tacky enough to pick up IMG_6438the pieces of ITP.  This is actually a great little trick to pick up any little gems or glitter that you are trying to place on your nail.  It gives you a lot of control, and in the end, the wax just wipes off the dotting tool.  A toothpick dipped in wax would work just fine, too.

When my polish was pretty much dry, I applied a thick-ish coat of clear polish to one of my fingers.  (I wouldn’t recommend using a quick dry top coat for this step.  I think it would dry to quickly and you’d end up not really being able to get the strips of ITP to stick.)  I then picked up a strip of ITP with my waxy dotting tool and placed it in the IMG_6440center of my nail.  I then added a strip on each side. I pressed each strip down kind of firmly, but not too firmly.  I then moved on to the next finger.  Polish, strip, strip, strip.  Next finger: polish, strip, strip, strip… You get the pattern, right?

By the time I was done with my 10th finger, the first finger I did was pretty much dry.  I realized that my waxy dotting was leaving little wax smudges on the strips of ITP.  (See the picture on the left.)  Because IMG_6441the clear polish was pretty much dry at this point, I REALLY gently took a tissue and wiped down each nail.  This took care of the wax smudges.  Just be careful.  You don’t want to mess up your work thus far!  (See the picture on the right.)

IMG_6449I let them dry for a while, since I had so many coats of polish on at this point, but I eventually applied two layers of quick dry top coat.  Even after both layers of top coat dried completely, I can still feel the ridges of the ITP strips, so I think I might be adding a third layer of top coat.

I’ve been out and about a little bit, and I’ve gotten so many comments on these nails!  Seriously, they are quite show stopping!  I’ve got a few more ideas I’d like to try out using ITP, and I’ll make sure I write about it when I do.  Thanks for reading!  Let me know if you try this look!

Dry Brush Nails

Here are my current nails:

IMG_6388Pretty cute, right?  I’ve only done dry brush nails a few times, but every time I do, I’m reminded of how easy they are!  And they look really cool!  I’ve acquired a good pile of compliments on these nails so far, and nobody really believes me when I say these are super easy, so I figured I’d provide a little quicky tutorial on these.  Disclaimer: I totally didn’t invent this technique.  It’s been around for a few years now, and I really don’t have any idea who the originator is.  But I’m definitely sure that it wasn’t me.

First you start with your base coat and then a light, neutral polish.  This time I went with Wet n Wild – Yo Soy.   IMG_6386Seriously, this is such a pretty nude color and it’s only $.99!  I’m not sure how it works with other skin tones, but with my pale pinkish skin, it works really well.  This picture was taken without a top coat, so you can really see how shiny it is!  This is two coats, and it’s totally opaque.  For dry brushing, you can never go wrong with a white base either.

IMG_6393Now, pick a few contrasting colors.  I opted for Jordana – Hypnotizing, China Glaze – Budding Romance, and Fresh Paint – Let the Games Begin.  Budding Romance is the most sheer out of these three polishes, so I decided to use it last.  I decided to start with Let the Games Begin, the blue.

Shake (or better yet, roll) your polish like normal, but here’s the important part: after you open your bottle, wipe as much polish as possible off on the neck of the IMG_6399bottle.  Like, six times.  Just keep wiping.  You just want the littlest bit of residual polish on the brush.  After you’ve wiped all of the excess polish off of the brush, pick a direction, IMG_6387and drag the brush over your nail.   I decided to mix it up, so I dragged the brush down my thumb, middle finger and pinky vertically, and across my other two fingers horizontally.

I then did the exact same thing with the purple polish, and then with the green polish, kind of filling in the empty spaces.  Although I intended to take pictures of each step of this manicure, I didn’t.  Fail.  See, I’m usually watching something important on TV (like Sister Wives or Dance Moms) while I’m doing my nails, so I tend to forget to take pictures of each step.  I just crank along and then I’m like, “Oh dang, I’m done… And I only have 2 pictures.”

So anyway, after adding the purple and green polish, I finished off with a matte top coat.  I don’t know why, but I feel like dry IMG_6401brush nails look the best with a matte top coat.

Oh, cautionary tale time; there’s really only one way you can screw up dry brush nails, and that is by not wiping the brush off well enough.  Exhibit A is here on the right.  This is my ring finger on my right hand.  See that big blob of blue?  That’s where I didn’t wipe the brush off well enough.   Moral of the story: wipe the brush off.  A lot.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this inspires you to try this technique.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Until next time, happy polishing!




Monster of Frankenstein Nails

You know how facebook likes to show you what you posted several years ago on this same day?  Well, a few days ago, this atrocity popped up on my timeline: IMG_6309I made the image nice and big so that you can see just how terrible it is.  My black lines are terrible, apparently I’d never heard about clean up, and what’s with the grotesque hand pose?  I felt like I needed to recreate this look, only better.

Here’s what I did:

IMG_6334I started with a base coat, of course.  I’ve been using Rejuvacote for…. I’m not really sure.  Six month, maybe?  This is still my first bottle and I still have about half of it left.  It had really helped the condition of my nails.  They are just so much stronger and rarely peel anymore.  It’s about $10, but that’s not bad at all considering how long a bottle lasts.

IMG_6335Next I applied a coat of a sheer nude colored polish.  I think this is some old Mary Kay stuff that I’ve had for years and years.  I don’t even remember buying it, so I’m not really sure how I ended up with it.  I used this just to tone down the yellowness of my nails, but really, you can just skip this step if you feel like it.

I then applied some liquid latex around the sides of my nails.  This is just to make clean up easier in the end. The stuff I use IMG_6336is actually hair glue and I got it for super cheap ($2 maybe) at Sally Beauty Supply.  You could also use school glue instead.  Whatever you use, just make sure you let it dry before you move on.  Oh, here’s something that nobody ever mentions about liquid latex: it sticks to itself.  So, if you have the sides of your fingers covered with latex (like I do in this picture), you have to be really careful that your fingers don’t touch each other.  If the latex on one finger touches the latex on its neighboring finger, it will just stick together an pull right off one finger.

IMG_6337Next, I took orange, purple, and green polishes, and using the brushes in the bottles, I did two swipes on each nail to make a “V” shape.  I started about halfway down the nail and just sort of dragged the brush, aiming for the opposing corner.  If your lines aren’t perfectly straight, it’s not a big IMG_6339deal, because you’re going to go over them with black anyway.

I then went over each nail with a second coat to make sure that it was opaque.  Oh, and I painted my ring finger solid green.  It was at this point that I realized that I wouldn’t have had to put a coat of the nude polish on my ring finger or put latex on that finger either.  Oh well.  Stuff like that happens when you watch TV while you do your nails.

IMG_6340I then peeled off the latex.  Use tweezers or an orange stick or something to remove the latex.  Obviously, if you use your nails, you’re just going to mess stuff up.

As you can see, most of the extra polish came off with the latex, leaving IMG_6341just a little bit to clean up.  I then used my little $1 elf concealer brush dipped in acetone to remove the little bit of remaining polish around my nails.  Seriously, this is the best little brush.  And it’s $1.  Who doesn’t love good quality things that are also cheap?  These little brushes last for a pretty long time, too, and when they finally do wear out, hey, they only cost $1 to replace.  I usually get about 6 months use out of one of these brushes, and that’s doing my nails 2-3 times a week.

Okay, at this point, I got a little excited and sort of forgot to take pictures of each little step as I was doing it.  I’ll talk you through it.

I used black acrylic (or craft) paint and a thin brush that I got at Michael’s to line the “Vs” on my nails. For my thumb, I IMG_6342started on the left side of my nail and painted a thin line to the point of the “V”.  Then I started on the right side of my thumbnail and painted a thin line that I extended the whole way to the corner of my nail.

I then did the same thing on each finger (except for my ring finger), mirroring the design on each finger, just to keep it interesting looking.  lastly, I went back and added the “stitches”.   As you can see, I sort of added the stitches in pairs.

On my ring finger, started by making two black circles with my largest dotting tool right in the middle of my finger for the eyes.  Using my little brush, I added hair, a mouth (with stitches), and eyebrows.  I then took white paint on the same large dotting tool and added the whites of the eyes, being careful not to cover the entire black circle underneath it.  Then I used a little dotting tool with black paint to add the pupils of the eyes.  I pretty much did that IMG_6343immediately after I did the white dots, so the white paint was still wet.  Then I let it dry for a while.

Because they eyes had so many layers of paint, they definitely sort of stuck out.  After the eyes were dry to the touch, but not completely dried through (maybe 10 minutes), I carefully pressed the eyes down with my finger.  Here’s a sideways shot of my finger after I smooshed the eyes down.  Hopefully you can tell how I sort of flattened them.

IMG_6352I let them dry for a while longer before I added the top coat.  I’d made the mistake in the past of not letting the acrylic paint dry completely before applying top coat, and it really shortens the lifespan of your manicure.

So here’s the final look!  Much better than two years ago!

In case you’re wondering, the polishes I used are NYC – High Line IMG_6345Green, Sally Girl – Mango, and Ulta – Tinsel Town.

Well, that’s it!  you’ve got one more day to paint your nails for Halloween, so get crackin’!  Have a fun, safe, and smart holiday!  Don’t do anything stupid!

Thanks for reading!

Awesome Argyle Nails

It’s been way to long since I posted a good old fashioned tutorial, so today I’ll show you how I got these cute nails:

IMG_4932I was prompted to do these nails for the Weekly Nai Art Challenge (#wnac2015) on instagram.   This month’s theme is Paterns and this week’s prompt was coral.  It’s been a long time since I’ve done argyle nails, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity!  Here’s how to get this look…IMG_4917

1.  Start by picking three colors.  I opted for white, a neon coral (Fresh Paint – Guava), and a darker orangey-pink (Wet n Wild – Dreamy Poppy).  Paint alternating nails with the two lightest colors.   It’s easier to start with a base of lighter colors, because we’re going to layer the darker colors over top.  Obviously, It’s easier to cover a lighter color with a darker color than the other way around.  Let them dry really well.

2.  Take a 6 inch  (15 cm) strip of painter’s tape and stick it to a piece of

IMG_4918wax paper.  I cut my painter’s tape in half long-ways and then snipped it into little half an inch (8 mm) squares.

3.  Using tweezers, peel your little squares of painter’s tape off of your wax  paperIMG_4923 and stick them onto your nails.  Tweezers are helpful because they keep you from messing up your wet nails by picking off the tape with your nails, and it also helps to keep the tape from losing its stickiness by being touched by your fingers too IMG_4924much.

Take your time with this step.  You will want to put the corners of the tape in the middle of your nails.  While you’re sticking the tape on your nails, make sure that you are making nice right angles with the tape.  If your tape is nice and straight, you should have the illusion of two straight lines crossing on your nail like an “X”.

4.  Using the tweezers or a cuticle pusher, make sure the edges of the tape IMG_4925are pressed down well on your nails.  You don’t want any polish leaking underneath.

5.  Doing one nails at a time, take the polish that is a shade darker than your base color, and paint it over the exposed parts of your nail. Us a quasi thick coat of polish and make sure you have nice, even coverage.

IMG_4926 6.  Using the tweezers, peel off the tape.  Make sure you grab the part of the tape that is not covered in polish.  Look how nice and pretty and crisp the lines are!

The reason we do this step one nail at a time is because we don’t want the polish to start drying before we have a chance to peel the tape off.   IMG_4929

7.  After you’ve done this to all of your nails, it’s time for the step that makes them really look like argyle!  TakeIMG_4930 a really little brush and dip it in whatever of the three colors is missing from your nail.  Then paint four thin lines in a diamond shape on your nail.  You want the lines to parallel the “X” that is in the middle of your nail.  It’s okay if these lines cross each other at your cuticle, nail tip, and the sides of your nail, because that gives the illusion of the pattern continuing off your nail.   This is the step that requires a bit of a steady hand, but don’t stress.  Just relax and let the polish flow!

10.  Let your nails dry for a bit, and then add your top coat.  I opted for a glossy quick dry top coat, but this would look really good with a matte top coat, too.  Kind of like fabric.    IMG_4931If you give these a try, please let me know!  Tag me on facebook or instagram!  Thanks for reading, and happy argyle nails to you!

Fun With Painter’s Tape

We are in the process of redoing our living room.  Right now we’re painting.  I was actually supposed to be painting when I came up with these nails.

IMG_4705While I was getting ready to start painting, I saw a roll of painter’s tape laying there, and it hit me that painter’s tape should work really well to make my own nail vinyls.  And it did!   Here’s how I got this look…

FirstIMG_4719 I picked out five polishes that I liked together and painted each finger a different color.  Then, while my nails were drying, I took a piece of wax paper and stuck about a 10 inch piece of painter’s tape to it.

IMG_4702Then I took my zig-zaggy crafty scissors and snipped the tape into a bunch of little strips.   When my nails were really dry, I stuck a strip of my zig-zag cut tape down the center of each nail.

Then, one nail at a time, I painted the sides of each nail a different color.  I brushed a pretty thick coat down the sides of the nails because I wanted it to cover the polish that was underneath in one coat.

As soon as I painted both sides of the nail, I pulled up the painters tape with tweezers.  You don’t want to wait until the polish is dry, or the polish will come up with the tape.

The colors on my nails look pretty random, but there actually is a pattern.  I lined up my polishes in this order:  pink, yellow, periwinkle, coral, green.  For the sake of ease, let’s just number them 1 – 5.  I painted my nails with colors 1-5, starting with my thumbs.  on the sides of my thumbs, I used colors 2 and 3.  On my first fingers, I used colors 3 and 4, on my middle fingers I used 4 and 5, on my ring fingers I used 5 and 1, and on my pinkies, I used 1 and 2.

I topped these with a quick dry top coat, and I loved how glossy they looked!

I sort of felt like the end result looked like a pinata, but I really liked it!  The colors were soft enough to keep them from looking obnoxious.   These nails actually got a ton of compliments and they really weren’t hard at all!  I will definitely be using this technique in the future.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this inspires you to fancy up your nails.

Reciprocal Gradient Nails

It’s been too long, I know!  Today I have the day off.  I haven’t had one of those in forever.  I think my part-time job is actually going back to part-time, so I’m anticipating that I will have more time for the fun things in life again, like writing regular posts.  IMG_4636

I won’t delude myself by thinking that you all have nothing better to do than sit around and refresh your screens to see if I’ve posted something new, but I like to think I can add a tiny bit of pretty color to your lives.

I haven’t had as much time to devote to fancy nails lately, but I did try out a new (for me) technique that I wanted to share with you.

Behold the reciprocal gradient!  I’m not gonna lie – this was time-consuming.  Here’s how to get this look…

Start with doing a plain old gradient nail.  I leaned the hard way that this technique works best if your polish colors are not too drastically IMG_4625different.  A lighter and darker shade of the same color works well and the more opaque your nail polish is, the better.  I think pastel colors – like pink to green or purple to yellow – would work really well with this technique, too, as long as your polish is really opaque.

I took a bit of a short cut when doing the gradient for my first coat.  I just pained my nails two coats of the light pink and let that dry.  Then I brushed a little bit of the dark pink polish on a makeup sponge and dabbed that onto the nail, starting at the tip and moving up toward the middle of the nail.  As I blotted the polish from the sponge to the nail, the polish starts to dry, so less and less transfers to the nail.  That’s how you get the gradient effect.  I went over the tips again with a little more polish on the sponge just to make sure they were nice and bright.  After I finished my gradient, I applied a quick dry top coat to help blend it together.

IMG_4627 I don’t own little triangle stickers, so I took a sheet of labels, a ruler, and a pen and made my own little triangles.  I measured the length and width of my nail to figure out how what size I wanted my triangles to be.  Then I cut them out and stuck them to my nails IMG_4626after the gradient was dry.  To get the stickers to conform to the shape of my nails, I cut a little slit in the base of the triangle.  It’s important to make sure that you’ve got a good seal between the sticker and your nail when you’re doing nail art like this.  If there are any gaps or ripples between your nail and the sticker, the polish is going to get underneath, and you won’t end up with crisp lines.

IMG_4628Next I took a makeup sponge and brushed both my light and dark pink onto it.  One step I ALWAYS for get to do is to wet the sponge first.  If you wet your sponge and then squeeze out all the excess water, it won’t absorb nearly as much polish and it will help the colors blend a little better.  I never remember to do this until it’s too late, so I lose a lot of polish in my sponges when I do a gradient.

Anyway, now we get to the reciprocal part.  In my initial gradient, I had the light pink polish at the base of my nail and the dark pink polish at the tip.  The key to the whole reciprocal thing is to revers the gradient, so I sponged on IMG_4629the polish with the light pink polish on the ends of my nails and the dark pink polish toward the base.  See?  I worked on two nails at a time.  I blotted on several coats of polish until I felt like the dark polish on the tips was well covered by the light polish.

This was actually my second attempt at a reciprocal gradient.  My first attempt was a miserable nail fail.  In my first attempt, I used two really bright colors – a neon pink and a really bright blue.  The fail part happened when I attempted to do the second layer of the gradient.  My blue polish was not opaque enough to cover up the neon pink, so the blue ended up looking purple.  I did a ton of layers in an attempt to get the blue to look blue, but it just turned into a thick, gloppy mess.  That’s why it’s really important to make sure that the polish you use is going to be opaque enough to really cover whatever color is underneath.

IMG_4630After peeling the stickers off, I quickly applied a quick drying top coat.  I then cleaned up around the edges of my nails with a little brush dipped in acetone.

IMG_4633I was actually prompted to try this technique as part of a weekly nail art challenge on instagram.  (Check out #wnac2015 on instagram!)  The nails were also supposed to have an element of holographic-ness, so I added a little flower shaped holographic glitter on each nails as well as a top coat that had some holographic glitter in it.  I was actually really happy with how these turned out!

This technique is not really that hard, but it is time-consuming.  This is not the kind of thing you want to try to tackle if you have somewhere to be in a half an hour.  It’s more the kind of thing you can do while you watch your favorite long movie.  (The Sound of Music, Titanic, Gone With the Wind,…)  Let me know if you decide to tackle this technique!

So, thanks for reading, commenting, liking, and following!  Find me on instagram @polishmesnazzy !

Mastering the Homemade Peel-Off Base Coat

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with glitter polish.  It’s so sparkly and beautiful, but removing it with nail polish remover is next to impossible.  It’s even a chore with pure acetone.  To remedy this, somebody somewhere came up with a peel-off base, and soon the DIY-ers were coming up with homemade solutions, most of which involved Elmer’s School Glue.

I jumped on the glue wagon, and through trial and error, I think I’ve finally mastered the DIY peel-off base! IMG_4561

I found that it works best to take an old empty polish bottle and fill it half full with glue.  Application is just so much easier when it’s in a polish bottle with a nice little brush.  I used an old Seche Vite bottle.  (I cleaned out the bottle with Q-tips and acetone.)

After you fill the bottle half up with glue, fill it the rest of the way up with water.  When I tried to use straight-up glue without watering it down, I found that the polish would pop off way too easily with out me even trying to take it off.  Plus, it was just thick and hard to apply.  A 50/50 glue/water ratio seems to be just perfect.  Mix it up well.  A toothpick will help you get the job done well.

Once you have your watery glue mixed up, apply a thin layer to your bare nails.  Another early mistake I made was applying a base coat, then the glue, then the polish.  The base coat really did it’s job, and even with the glue layer in there, the polish was REALLY hard to peel off.

Wait until the glue is completely dry.  It’ll lose it’s shine and become semi-matte.  I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this.  We’ve all used glue before.

Once the IMG_4549glue is completely dry, add your polish.  It doesn’t have to be glitter polish.  Obviously, you can use this peel-off base with any polish, but the real benefit of the stuff is that it makes glitter polish easy to remove.  I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength – Wedding Crasher.  It’s just so pretty and sparkly!

IMG_4555I felt the mood to fancy it up a bit, so I added Sinful Colors – Love Sprinkles on top.  Really, I love this combo!  I wish I would have thought about it before Valentine’s Day, but I guess pink polish and hearts are okay anytime.

I did my nails on Sunday evening.  They lasted for about 48 hours before I got my first major chip.  They made it through two showers and lots of hand washing and cooking – not too bad!

Since I got a chip, I decided it would be a good time to test the peel-off-ability of the polish.  I had to work a little to get each nail sIMG_4559tarted.  I found that it was harder to peel the polish off from the cuticle end.  It was much easier to start at the tip of the nail where there was already a little tip wear happening.  IMG_4558I used a metal cuticle pusher to work the polish off the nail.  For most of the nails, the polish came off pretty easily in one or two big pieces.  Some nails took a little more effort than others, but overall, I felt the polish came off pretty easily.  For me, I felt this was the perfect balance between being easy to remove and not falling off before I wanted it to come off.  IMG_4560

Here are my nails after I peeled the polish off.  This is the state of my nails as I type this.  (Please ignore the peeling tips, yellow stains, and terribly dry cuticles.)  As you can see, there’s still a little bit of polish that I will need to use remove the last little bits of polish, but I can deal with that!  IMG_4562

Considering that I got a pretty good sized chip in my polish after only two days of wear, I don’t think you could make it for much more than 2 or 3 days using a peel-off base coat.  If I had plans to wear a glitter polish for a week, I would probably just use a regular base coat to ensure good wear and just deal with removing it the old fashioned way.

I’ve gotta go and put something new on my nails now!  Please let me know if you’ve had any experience with a peel-off base or if you are going to give the DIY version a try.  Thanks for reading!

Fun Times with Glossy on Matte

This past week I’ve done two different manis that have featured the same technique: glossy designs over a matte finish.    This technique is IMG_4465so simple, but the end result is pretty impressive looking!  I found that this works bet with dark colors that have a cream formula.  I tried this with some lighter colors and polishes with some shimmer in them, and it’s much harder to see the matte/glossy contrast.  So, here’s all you have to do:

1. Pick a nice, dark, cream polish and paint your nails.

2. Apply a matte top coat.  I use one from NYC that works just fine.  No need to purchase something fancy.

3. After your matte top coat is dry, add your dots or stripes or whatever to your nails with a clear polish.  Please note: you don’t want to use a fast drying topcoat as your clear polish.  It will dry up before you can complete your design and you’ll end up with a clumpy mess.  Just plain, clear Wet n Wild polish or NYC polish (the $.99 kind) works perfectly.

IMG_4478For the first look, I used Wet n Wild Megalast – Careful, It’s Vine-tage as my base.  This polish was from their limited edition matte collection that came out last fall.  Even though the polish was supposed to have a matte finish, it only looked semi-matte to me, so I put a matte top coat on it anyway. Then I took some various sized dotting tools and my $.99 clear polish and made some dots.  That’s it!

For my second look, I used Wet n Wild Megalast – Echo Dark, a navy polish from the same matte collection.  This polish bums me out a little because it looks navy blue in the bottle, but on the nail it really looks black most of the time.  Anyway, I applied a matte top coat, and then took my striping brush dipped in clear polish and made diagonal stripes on my nails.

The first time I ever tried this technique was back  in September and you can read about that here, if you so desire. I got way fancier with that design.

For some reason, I always do glossy designs on a matte base, but you could always switch it around and do matte designs on a glossy base.  Really, the possibilities are endless with this technique.  Any animal prints would look really cool like this, or you could even do something as simple as a matte nails with just a glossy french tip!  And since it works so well with dark colors, it’s perfect to do now before everything turns pastel and neon for the warmer months.

Anyway, I hope you feel inspired to make yourself some beautiful nails!  Thanks for reading!