Red and Green Christmas Nails

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

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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!

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Happy New Year!

I have been a terrible blogger for the past few weeks.  Seriously, I haven’t posted anything since before Christmas, and that’s downright shameful.  Here are my excuses:

1. Christmas.  It’s just busy.  Lots of baking and cooking to be done, festivities to attend,… You know how it goes.

2. Myrtle Beach.  IMG_4155My parents’ Christmas gift to my three sibs and our spouses and kids was  trip to Myrtle beach, SC for the week after Christmas.  That’s a super affordable place to visit this time of year, and even though it’s not WARM warm, temps in the 50s and 60s feel pretty awesome compared to this below freezing nonsense that pretty much the entire midwest/mid-atlantic/north east of the US is dealing with now.

So, those are my excuses.  I have so many things I need to get caught up on.  I was sent my first Influenster box, so I need to review that product, and I also need to do my December favorites, plus, I’ve got at least one tutorial that I’ve done but haven’t posted.  I think I’m going to spread it out so that I don’t try to cover too many things in any one post.

For now, I’ll just leave you with a look at my super sparkly New Year’s Nails:

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Are you blinded by the sparkle?  The details on this polish will be in my next post, I promise!  Thanks for reading!

Nativity Nails

I love nativities.  I have a beautiful olive wood one that I inherited from my grandparents that I love!  I’ve got a big one in the front yard.  I’ve got lots of little nativity ornaments on my Christmas tree.  For me, these serve as a great reminder of the reason we celebrate Christmas: Christ’s birth.  Because of this, I really like to take a break from the Santa/snowman/candy cane manis and replace them with some nail art that reflects the true meaning of Christmas.

I had a couple ideas rolling around in my head, so I decided to make my right and left hands each a little different.  Here’s my left hand:

IMG_4090The black is craft paint.  The rest is nail polish.  The star glitter was fished out of a glitter polish from a Wet n Wild Fergie polish.  I love these nails!

Here’s my right hand:

IMG_4091I don’t do a lot of these vertical type manis, but I thought this would be a good opportunity.

Here’s a close up of my Baby Jesus nail:

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Except for the blue base color and the sparkly background “light”, this was done entirely with craft paint. It always creeps me out a little to see a picture of my nails this close up.

And here’s the reason you should keep practicing your nail art:

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These are the nativity nails that I did last year.  I have since had a TON of practice, learned a few tricks and techniques, and gotten a finer paint brush.  Sometimes progress comes in such tiny steps that it’s sort of hard to see, so looking back a full year to see my improvement is really encouraging.  I’ve still got lots of room for growth!

Thanks for reading!

Candy Cane Water Marble Adventures

I’m finally getting around to my first post this week.  Pathetic, I know, but this time of year gets a little cray-cray.  I’ve seen lots of cute red and white water marble nails on instagram and that inspired me to take another stab at water marbling.  I painted my nails white, and then I made my “bullseye” with alternating rings of red and clear polish.  Here was my first attempt:

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The results were “meh” at best.  My top coat streaked the polish, plus I somehow buggered up my middle finger.  I did, however, like how this finger turned out:

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Hmmm…. the picture looked much clearer before I zoomed in.

Anyway, a few days later I decided to take another stab at it.  This time I opted for a white polish with a frost finish for my base color.  I also decided to create my “bullseye” using red, then clear, then green, then clear, then red…

Here are those results:

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I was much happier with these!  I don’t usually love a frost finish, but I think it’s perfect for this look!  Here’s my favorite nail:

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This one felt like a victory for me!  I wish I had a peppermint scented top coat.  That would be so perfect!  Anyway, thanks for reading!

How I Accidently Un-thermal-ed My Polish

I just recently placed my first order with Polish Me Silly, an indie polish seller on Etsy.  I oped to order from Polish Me Silly because they offer a generous mini size polish of 9 ml in every color of their polish for $650-$7.50.  That’s one ml more than a full sized Julep polish, and let’s be honest:  it’s a rarity to use a a 15 ml bottle of polish.

Alas, half of the order is for my sister for Christmas, so I can’t really swatch those polishes for you, and the other half of the order is for me for Christmas, and the hubby shammed me into putting them away until Christmas.  I did convince him that I should be able to keep out one polish to use before Christmas since it’s so blatantly Christmas-y looking that I wouldn’t want to use it after Christmas.  And this is it:

IMG_4050   It’s called Are U Elfin Kiddin Me?  I’m not a swearer really, but the name cracks me up a little.  The reason I really felt I needed this polish is because it’s a thermal polish.  My hands were ice cold when I did my nails, so this pretty dusty bluish-green is the “cold” color.  Now, from looking at other reviewers pictures, I know this polish is supposed to change to white when it’s warm, and since the part of the nail that extends beyond the nail bed usually is usually the “cold” color even when your hands are warm, I was anticipating having white nails with green tips a lot of the time.

Oddly though, even when I would stick my hands in REALLY hot water, I couldn’t get the polish to change really white.  Here’s  a picture right after I got out of a hot shower:

IMG_4056They are obviously a lighter green, but they are not white.  The only thing I could figures is that somehow either my base or top coat made a difference.  The base coat I used was Orly – Bonder and the top coat was INM – Out the Door.

To make a long-ish story a little shorter, I eventually painted a stripe of the polish on some aluminum foil.  On top of the polish, I painted a little stripe of INM – Out the Door and NYC – Clear, the only two topcoats I had on hand.

Here’s my little swatch after running it under cold water:

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And Here it is after running it under hot water:

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Ah-HAH!  Mystery solved!  You see that spot that stayed green?  Well, that was where I put the INM – Out the Door.  I haven’t really researched the science behind these thermal polishes, but there is something in my Out the Door that un-thermal-ed this particular polish.

By the way, I put this polish on my toes with the same Orly – Bonder base coat and the NYC top coat and they change color just fine.

So, the moral of this story for me is that the next time I get a thermal polish, I’m going to do a test swatch with my base and top coats before I dive in and do all my nails.

Now I’m a little torn.  Should I take off this polish that isn’t even showing any tip wear and redo them with the NYC top coat or should I give it a few days before I redo them?

Oh, and I fully intend to swatch and review the other polishes I got after Christmas, and if my sister is agreeable, I’ll show you the polishes I got for her, too.

Thanks for reading!

Sparkly Red Snowman Nails

Let the Christmas manis begin!  Here’s how I kicked things off this year:

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The red and white are nail polish, but all of the details on the snowman are craft paint.  Here’s a better view:

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I was tempted to add stripes to his scarf, but I just didn’t quite trust that I wouldn’t screw up the whole thing.

Oh, and I must tell you about this amazing red polish.

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It’s Broadway Nails – Hot & Sexy.  It’s a red micro glitter in a red jelly base.  When you apply it to your nail, the glitter sort of sinks down so that the surface of the polish is incredibly smooth and shiny.  You know how some micro glitter polishes have a textured finish and if you want them to really be sparkly, you need to add like, four layers of top coat?  Well, this is not like that at all.  The sparkle on this polish has such depth!  I’m really going to have to fight the urge to make this the base of every Christmas mani.

That’s all for now!  Thanks for reading, liking, following and commenting!