Lot of Summer Nails

Happy late summer!  Since it my neck of the world it’s still blisteringly hot, it’s not too late to sport cute summer nails!  I really haven’t done anything lately that seemed earth shattering or tutorial worthy, so I thought I would just highlight a bunch of the looks I’ve IMG_8158worn over the past few months.

These are pretty cute, right?  Every summer I end up doing some sort of neon citrus mani.  This is like a pink limeade look or something. This look is so cute with any combination of neon pink, orange, green, or yellow.  The trickiest part is painting the little white lines on the citrus.  I use my tiniest brush and acrylic paint for that part.  These nails just make me happy.

IMG_7674 I really liked these nails too.  The base is Funky Fingers – Mattely in Luv and the polish I used for stamping was Funky Fingers – Sandy Toes.  Sandy Toes is a really interesting color.  In the bottle it looks like a bright, but not neon red polish that leans a little pink.  When you us it for stamping, however, it turns out to be a neon coral color.  And this polish, even in the bottle glows under my black light, so I guess it is neon, even though it doesn’t actually look neon.  In my head, that’s the test if something is neon or not:  whether it glows under a black light.

These nails are pretty loud, right?   I’m pretty sure that I had some jumpers or scrunchies IMG_8015or something that looked like this in the late ’80s. I used the homemade decal method to do these, which turned out to be an error in judgement, so they look a little  messy.  If I do these again, I would paint my nails white and add a top coat.  Then I would use painters tape to block of the section of the nail that I wanted to be neon.  Next I would stamp the black pattern over the nail and quickly peel the painter’s tape off.  Then I would add the neon polish.

I went through a little spell this summer where I was into reverse stamping.  It’s pretty IMG_7941time- consuming, so I pretty much just stuck to doing accent nails. The effect is pretty cute, though!  This also gave me a chance to use IMG_7966some of my colored glitter polishes that don’t always get enough love. Ooo, I’m looking at that pretty  deep yellow polish and I think I might need to pull that one out again before summer is over.  I’ve got a fair complexion (sounds so much nicer than pale) and it’s hard for me to pull off yellow clothing.  Nail polish is a great way to wear a color that is a little trickier for you to pull off..  IMG_8999

What’s more summery than beach nails?  For these, I started with a coat of white polish and then I did a blue-to-white-to-khaki gradient with a damp makeup sponge.  To get the white swirls,  I used the same technique that I wrote about in detail here.  Really easy and such a cool effect!  These look so much more complicated than they actually are.   IMG_8163

I also wore some cute dry brush nails.  I enjoy dry brushing so much!  It’s seriously the easiest nail art ever.  It can barely be called art, it’s that easy.  Neon colors over a white base.  So cute, so easy, so summery.

IMG_8228And these nails…. I’m not really sure what I was going for here.  I think I saw a picture on pinterest.  They can’t all be winners, am I right?  The neon glitter polish on my middle finger Bitzy – Sweetie Pie.  Bitzy is a new makeup line that is exclusive to Sally Beauty Supply.  They are only $1.59 per bottle, and they have lots of fun polishes.  They are a great way to expand your collection without breaking the bank.  FullSizeRender

These are fun, right?  I have  a neon red polish that is just so darn bright that it actually makes me self-conscious to wear it.  I love it in small doses, though.  This was the perfect way to get just a little pop of neon into an otherwise classy manicure.  It’s a bit tricky to paint the underside of your nails, especially where your nail is connected to your finger, but I loved the effect!  I think there are so many fun combinations that you could do.  In October I might try deep purple nails with a neon orange underside.

These nails are kind of classy, I think.  This is just some gold stamping over purple nails.  Nothing fancy but they’re just pretty.   I’ve IMG_9055been doing a lot of nail stamping lately.  I realize that it’s sort of the lazy person’s nail art, but it’s just so fast and easy!  I still love doing the IMG_9070occasional freehand design, but right now, I’m definitely in a stamping groove.

Here’s another easy look thanks to nail stamping.  This is just a metallic teal polish stamped over a nude polish.  Metalic polishes tend to stamp really well.

IMG_8976And here’s one final mani.  If you’re not into freehand designs, and you don’t have any nail stamping stuff, you can always get a really fun look with a glitter topper.  Bitzy has a lot of really fun glitter toppers and so does Funky Fingers at Five Below.  (Yes, you are allowed to shop in there even if you’re over the age of 14.)  I think polish combinations like this look really fun with a matte top coat.

So those are the nails I’ve been wearing for the past few months.  If you have any questions about any of these, please ask!  Thanks so much for reading!

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Beach Inspired Nail Art

Here in PA, we have about one more month to sport overtly beachy nails, so let’s get to it!  I am still digging my current mani, so I asked my little sis if I could borrow her nails for this little tutorial.  Here’s the finished product:

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For this look, you will need polishes in these colors: White, light blue, darker blue, coral, nude, gold glitter.

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Specifically, I used (left to right):  Wet N Wild -French White Creme, Wet n Wild Megalast – I Need a Refresh-Mint, Jordana – Boy Oh Boy, Wet n Wild – Blazed, NYC – Fashion Safari, La Colors – Dizzy.  (Yeah, my bottle of Blazed got into a fight with a bottle of grey polish inside my suitcase on a flight.  The grey bottle lost.)

You will also need a disposable plastic container like a yogurt cup, Q-tips, a dotting tool, a makeup sponge, acetone or nail polish remover, and a pitcher.   The first thing you want to do is fill the pitcher with a quart of water and let it come to room temperature.   Seriously, that’s a real step in this process, but more about that later.

To begin, paint the thumb, index, and pinky fingers with the nude color to look like sand.  Then paint the middle and ring fingers light blue:

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Let them dry for 5 or 10 minutes.  Then, in order to make clean up easy in the end, tape around the fingers with the blue polish.  You’ll need two pieces of tape per finger: one about 2 inches long, the other about one inch long.  Take the longer piece of tape and place the center of it across the tip of your finger (behind your nail) and then press it down along the sides of your finger.  Then take the shorter piece and wrap it around your finger just below your cuticle.

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Then apply a coat of the glitter polish to your sand-colored nails.

The next thing you’re going to do is give your blue nails an ombre/gradient effect.  Take a makeup sponge and apply some of the darker blue polish to it.

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Then start dabbing the sponge lightly at the very tip of the light blue nails.  As the polish begins to dry on the sponge, continue dabbing about halfway up the nail.  Work carefully and don’t get too crazy here.  It’s easy to add more dark blue polish to the nail if you need to, but if you sponge too vigorously and get too much dark blue polish on the nail, there’s not much you can do to fix it.  Here’s what it should look like after this step:

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Pretty, right?

Next, take your small disposable container and fill it with your room temperature water.  I just pulled a yogurt container out of my recycling bin.   (What you do not want to use is a Styrofoam cup.   Nail polish will eat through Styrofoam and  leave you with a big mess.)

Then, take your white polish and drop a drop of polish onto the surface of the water.  It should spread out like this:

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If your drop of polish falls to the bottom of the container, you are holding your brush too far above the surface of the water.  If your polish doesn’t spread out like this, the problem is either the water or the polish.  If your water is too warm or too cool, the polish won’t spread.  Also, I just used tap water, but I know that some people claim that bottled water works better for this technique because it doesn’t have that extra stuff that can be in tap water.  There’s also a possibility that your polish just doesn’t want to spread.  Different formulas do spread on the water differently.  Any sort of quick dry polish is going to dry on the surface of the water too quickly for you to be able to work with it.  My $1 Wet n Wild worked well, so get yourself a bottle of that.

Now, spritz the polish that is floating on the water with an alcohol based spray from a distance of about 8 inches.  I used some old Bath & Body works stuff.  As you can (hopefully) see (in my crappy picture), this will cause the polish to break up.

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Next, dip your two blue fingers into the container and just hold them there.   I need to mention that this all needs to be done quickly.  The polish will begin to dry really quickly as soon as it spreads out on the water, so as soon as it spreads out, spray it, and within a few seconds of spraying the polish, dip your fingers in there.

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While your fingers are still underwater, blow on the surface of the water to dry the remaining nail polish.  Then while your fingers are still underwater, take a Q-tip and gather up all of the polish that’s still floating on the surface of the water.  You will be able to just sort of spin your Q-tip in the water and it will collect the polish.  Now it’s safe to pull your fingers out.

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Now you can see the reason for the tape.  It’s to keep all of that extra polish for sticking to your fingers, which will make cleanup a lot easier.

Just a little side note: If this whole messing with water thing just seems a little overwhelming, the middle and ring fingers would also look great with some blue, white, or sliver glitter polish instead.

Now it’s time to deal with our sand colored nails.  Take a dotting tool or toothpick dipped in your coral polish and make some starfish.  Use a stippling motion as you make each of the five starfish legs.   Starfish are sort of lumpy and irregular looking, so don’t worry if they don’t look perfect.  When the coral polish dries, go back and add some tiny white dots down each of the legs.

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Now that you’ve given your fingers a little time to dry, carefully take the tape off of your  Tweezers may help here.

Top everything off with a good, shiny quick dry top coat like Seche Vite.  After your nails have had a minute or so to dry, it’s time to clean up the extra white polish around your middle and ring fingers.  I like to use a little brush dipped in acetone.  Pure acetone is strong stuff, and it’s really drying to your hands and nails, but it gets the job done.

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The little brush I use is the e.l.f. concealer brush.  It works really well and it only costs $1.  In a pinch you can use a Q-tip, but it’s harder to get in really close to the edge of the nail.

And here’s the finished look!

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If you give this a try, I’d LOVE to see your recreations!  You can post a picture on our Polish Me Snazzy facebook page, or use the hashtag #polishmesnazzy on instagram so I can see your work!  Thanks for reading!