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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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!

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!

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!