Day 7: Black & White Nails (31dc2014)

The hubby gets credit for these nails.  Not for actually painting them, but for coming up with the idea.  The conversation went like this:

Me: I need to do black and white nails tomorrow.  What stuff is black and white?…

Him: Piano keys are black and white.

Heck yes, they are, so that’s what I went with.  Here’s the finished product:

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Please don’t count how many notes are in my octaves.  Also, I took the easy way out for my right hand.  I still made it black and white, but I didn’t do piano keys.  Here’s what I did:

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And a bonus picture of my cute nephew being all limp while he sleeps:

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I guess I shouldn’t have cut my sister’s head out of the picture.  I was just so focused on my cute little nephew.   See you tomorrow with some metallic nails!

Day 6: Violet Nails (31dc2014)

I’ve been wanting to try this particular technique for a while.  I’m not sure if it has a real name or not.  Some people just call it a pond manicure.  It’s when you do a layer of jelly polish, then some sort of design like a flower, then another layer of jelly polish, then add more flowers, then another layer of jelly polish,…  The end result looks like your design is suspended at different levels within the polish.  Here’s how mine turned out:

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I used Wet n Wild – Deception from a limited edition collection back in the spring.

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Here’s a final look:

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I am really happy with how they turned out, and I’m sad that it’s time to take them off so that I can do my Day 7 nails.  See you tomorrow!

August Favorites and the 31 Day Challenge

So, I only have 3 new polishes that I’ve particularly loved in August.  I guess  there’s nothing wrong with that.  

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The first is China Glaze Peonies & Park Ave from the City Flourish Collection.  I’m not really sure when this collection came out, but I think I got this polish on clearance last summer.  I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to find this in stores, but you can still buy it online.  It’s just a really pretty almost-neon pink.  I used it as the base for my scrapbook nails, and it was while I was wearing those nails that I realized how much I love this color.

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The next one is Sinful Colors – Snow Me White.  I keep not putting this polish away, so it’s been sitting on my coffee table for pretty much the whole month.  Because of that, I keep using it.  I think it’s the only white I’ve used all month.  I’ve used it at least 4 times, and it’s just great and easy each time.

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My last favorite polish this month is Orly – Hot Tropics from the Summer 2014 Baked collection.  I was able to get mine on clearance, and I’ve seen this color still in stores recently.  It’s the most beautiful bright purple.  The thing that makes it special though, is the gold shimmer in it.  SO pretty in the sun. I haven’t put it on my toes yet, but I think this would be a great toe color.

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That’s it for my August favorites, but I want to fill you in on what I’m doing from September 1 to October 1.  I’m doing the 31 Day Challenge!  If you’re not familiar with this, it’s something that a lot of nail artists and bloggers undertake just to stretch themselves and improve their nail art skills.  Here’s the list of each day’s challenge.  Really, you can do it anytime, but most people do it starting September 1.

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I thought about doing this for a half of a second last year, but it just seemed too overwhelming.  I’ve been contemplating this for a few weeks now, so I think I’m ready to go for it!  My plan is to post a picture of my nails with a little description each day, but no real tutorials.  If one of the looks seems worthy of a tutorial, I’ll tackle that after the whole challenge is over. 

By the way, this is not any sort of exclusive thing.  Anyone who feels like it, can go for this challenge.  A huge part of the fun of this is checking out everybody’s nails each day on Instagram/facebook/nails blogs.  Feel free to join the fun!  Chalkboard Nails has been a great promoter of this challenge.  Check out her blog for inspiration, if you need it. 

Anyway, I look forward to sharing this big undertaking with you!  I’ll be back on Sept 1 with some red nails!

 

Tip Top Nails Competition

I learned from Wonderful Wolf, a fellow nail blogger that Tip Top Nails, a South African nail polish company is hosting a nail art competition on their facebook page.  Here are the rules:

1.  You can only use 3 colors and they need to be chosen by a male in your life.

2. Your focus needs to be on an accent nail.

3.  No acrylic paint or stamping.  This is supposed to show off your freehand skills.

4.  It’s also a photo contest, so your picture needs to somehow reflect your inspiration for your nail art.

This just sounded fun to me.  When I told my hubby Mike about it, he did some sort of evil laugh and said something about how he had all the power.  He chose a hot pink, bright blue and white.

Then I hunted around the house for some inspiration and I found some cute cupcake scrapbook paper that seemed to have potential.  Here’s the look I ended up with:

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I haven’t officially submitted my entry yet.  I think I might submit the picture with the close-up of 3 fingers since that shows the detail on the accent nail the best, but I’m not sure yet.

Anyway, you have until the end of August to enter this contest if you’re interested!   Check out Tip Top Nails South Africa’s facebook page for all of the details.   Let me know what you think and if you are going to enter!

 

Scrapbook Nails

You know how you can transfer newspaper print onto polished nails using rubbing alcohol?  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “newspaper nails.”)  Well, I started to wonder if you could just transfer ink from any paper onto nails with alcohol.  Specifically, I started thinking about how cool it would be to transfer the print from scrapbook paper onto nails.  I mean, you can get a whole huge sheet of scrapbook paper for like, $0.59 at the craft store, which is way cheaper than any sort of nails stickers.

When I first started thinking about this, I did a little searching online to see if I could find any info anyone who had attempted something like this.  I did find some people who had printed out digital scrapbook paper and successfully transferred it to their nails.  I’m a little stingy with my printer ink, though, and so I didn’t really want to pay for downloadable scrapbook paper and then use a million dollars worth of ink to print it out.  Plus, I wanted an excuse to go to the craft store.  So that’s what I did.

I figured it would be best to use the thinner scrapbook paper instead of the really heavy-duty kind.  I also looked for a pattern that was had some cool small detail, and here’s what I picked out:

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Then I cut out some little nails-size pieces.

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I painted my nails like this:

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The pink is China Glaze – Peonies & Park Ave.  It’s an almost-neon pink, and the more I wear it, the more it grows on me!  I let my nails dry for about a half an hour before I moved onto the next step.

I poured a little rubbing alcohol into the lid.

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After a little trial and error, I found that it worked best to dip the paper into the alcohol and then press it print side down onto my nail and hold it for about 30 seconds.

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Really press it down well, especially around the edges of the nail.  If it looked like it wasn’t transferring very well, I used a brush dipped in alcohol to re-wet the paper while it was on m nail and then I pressed it down a little longer.

Here was my first nail!

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After removing the paper, there was often still some paper residue stuck on my nail.

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To remove that, I just made a finger on my opposite hand wet and gently rubbed the nail.  The paper residue would sort of pill up while I was rubbing it, and I could easily brush it off.  I was really careful while I was doing this so that I didn’t rub too hard and remove the ink.  Once all of the paper was rubbed off, I applied  Seche Vite top  coat.

Here are the finished nails on my right hand. Oh, I added some stars to my pink nails..

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And here’s my l left hand:

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While the ink didn’t transfer 100% perfectly, I am pretty happy with this first attempt!  If you give this a try and figure out any tips along the way, please let me know.  Make sure you post a picture on facebook or instagram and use the hashtag #polishmesnazzy so that I don’t miss it.  Happy polishing !

Jelly Sandwich Time!

Jelly sandwiches are not really a new thing in the nail polish world, but I run into enough people who give me a blank stare when I use the term that I thought it warranted a post.  A jelly sandwich is a layer of glitter that is sandwiched between a few layer of a jelly polish. 

What is a jelly polish, you ask?  Thank you for asking.  A jelly polish is a sheer, colored polish that generally looks like a Jolly Rancher when it dries on your nail – colored, but still see-through and really shiny.  The appearance of wet jelly polish always reminds me of the paint you used to paint those plastic faux stained glass sun-catcher things as a kid.  Do you know what I’m talking about? 

Sometimes polish brands will release a collection of jellies, but I think most lines of polish have a few jellies in the mix already.  Sometimes you can tell a polish is a jelly just by looking at it in the bottle, but the best way to tell is to open up the bottle and look at the polish on the brush and around the neck of the bottle.  If you can see through it easily, you’ve got a jelly.  If you can just sort of see through it, you may have a “crelly” on your hands.

A crelly is somewhere between a cream polish and a jelly.  (I feel like it’s a dumb word, and I avoid using it if possible, but really, there’s no other word to describe polishes like this.)  Have you seen those glitter polishes that are in a light colored, milky sort of base?  That’s  a crelly base.  Crellies work well for jelly sandwiches too. 

Here is the first jelly sandwich I ever attempted:

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Eh, it turned out okay.  I didn’t love it.  This was with a sheer nude polish from Avon called Barely There that I’ve had forever.  I would call this one a crelly.  The glitter polish I used is Fantasm from Valley Girl Lacquer.   (Valley Girl Lacquer is an indie polish company.  Check out their etsy shop.  They have some awesome glitter polishes!)

Just for reference, here’s what Fantasm looks like over black:

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you can definitely see how when you sandwich the glitter between the layers of “jelly” how it mutes the glitter effect. 

Here’s another jelly sandwich that I did using Fantasm and a purple limited edition polish called Deception from Wet n Wild.  I love this purple, and I’m sorry you can’t get it anymore. 

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I LOVED this manicure! Deception is so sheer that I think I used 2-3 coats of polish under the layer of glitter and then another 2-3 coats over the glitter, but gosh it was beautiful!  The way the glitter reflected light through the polish made my heart so happy. 

Here’s one final jelly sandwich:

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This is using Wet n Wild Megalast Bubblegum Pop and China Glaze Glitter Up.  (This Wet n Wild color is exclusive to Dollar General / Family Dollar as far as I know.)  This one I medium liked.  This pink is really fun but really… pink.

What are your thoughts about jelly sandwiches?  What are your favorite jelly polishes? 

Cow Toes!

I’ve been painting “cow toes” forever.  Not painting the toes on actual cows, (Do they even have toes?) painting cow print on my own toenails.  By “forever” I mean close to 20 years.  Back in olden times – the ’90s – I was a camp counselor during the summers. I definitely remember sporting cow-print toes a lot back then and also painting cow-print on my fellow female counselors’ toes. 

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This pattern is so easy that it doesn’t even really warrant a full tutorial.  You just paint your nails white, and then using either a dotting tool, tooth pick or just the brush that comes in the polish, make irregular black splotches on the nails.  Really, it’s that easy. 

If you want to paint a little cow face on your big toes like I did here, just start with a white nail then add a pink semicircle for the nose.  Add two black dots for nostrils and two black dots for eyes.  If you have a little brush and you want your cow to look a little more feminine, add eyelashes.  Then fill the space around the face with a few black splotches.  Here’s a fuzzy closeup of one of my big toes.  I know, toes are gross.

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And finally, here are my cow toes hanging out the window while going for a ride in the country.  It seemed appropriate.

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Seriously, this design is super easy and always get tons of positive comments from people.  Give ’em a try while we can still wear sandals!

 

Mannequin Hands… And Then I Added Stuff.

I while back, I went on a quest to find my perfect “mannequin hands” polish.  By that I mean a polish that was as close to a perfect match to my skin as I could find.  I had heard that Deborah Lippmann had a polish called Naked that was a good match for a lot of people who are fair like me, so I checked it out at Sephora.  Yep, it’s a great nude shade that was a really close match to my skin, but you know what?  Deborah Lippmann polishes cost $20 and I absolutely refuse to spend $20 on a single polish.  Nope, I’m never going to do it.  I can’t imagine any possible scenario in which I would spend $20 on a single polish.  If I’m spending $20 on polish, you’d better believe that I’m going to be getting like, 10 bottles for that price.  Okay, let me get back on track…

So, this one time I was at Kmart and I spotted a color that I had never noticed before from NCY from the In A New York Minute line called Fashion Safari.  I did that thing that you’re not supposed to do (even though everyone does it) and opened up the bottle in the store.  I had polish on my nails already, so I just brushed a tiny bit of the polish onto the back of my hand and it blended right in!  best of all, it cost under $2!  I feel bad for the suckers who buy Deborah Lippmann Naked when there’s NYC Fashion Safari in the world.  Anyway, here it is with a matte top coat:

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Fun, right?  My hand really almost looks like a mannequin’s, right?  By the way, this is the color I used for the sand colored nails in my Beach Inspired Nail Art. In that tutorial, I actually painted my sister’s nails and her skin is definitely a shade or two darker than mine.  It’s a little hard to tell in the picture, but in person, you could definitely see that Fashion Safari was lighter than my sister’s skin.  I also used it in my Real Seashell Nails with a pearly color shifting polish over top.

Well, my mannequin hands fascinated me for about 24 hours, and then I decided that I needed to add something to them.  I opted for some of the chunky glitter that is Funky Fingers Pep Rally and I ended up with this look:

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I didn’t actually just brush the glitter onto my nails.  I used a little dotting tool to pick the individual pieces of glitter off the brush and placed them where I wanted them.  It’s a little time consuming, but not very hard.  I also opted to top them with Sech Vite, since it’s thick enough to smooth out this really chunky glitter. 

That’s it for today!  As always, thank you for liking, following, and sharing!  Come find me on instagram and facebook!

Frankenpolish Strikes Again!

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of cute nail art around that starts with a base that is sort of a light nude color.  You know, not as dark as a “mannequin hands” nude, but definitely not white.  I didn’t have a color like this, but I’m trying (although my hubby may not believe it) to not buy unnecessary nail polish.  

Then I remembered that I bought a bunch of white polish so that I could compare them, and really, who needs 5 bottles of white?  You know what that means?  Frankenpolish time! 

My initial plan was to add some of NYC – Fashion Safari to NYC – French White Tip.

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I realized pretty quickly that I was going to have to add a ton of Fashion Safari to get my desired shade, so I raided my nail polish rack and found these two:

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Wet n Wild Megalast – Haze of Love is a beautiful brownish-reddish-raisinish color that I love to wear in the fall.  Spoiled – Permission to Proceed is just a true green.  I knew if I just added Haze of Love to the white, it would end up being too pink, so added some Permission to Proceed just to mellow out the pinkness. I didn’t really keep track of how much of each I added to the white.  I would just add some and then shake-shake-shake the bottle, assess the color and then add some more of the colored polish as needed. 

In the end, I wound up with the color on my middle finger:

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(Sinful Colors – Snow Me White is on my first finger, and Fashion Safari is on my ring finger.)

So, I think I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  Sometimes when I look at it, I think it might still be a little too pink.  Maybe I’ll add a few more drops of green polish to it.  Not sure yet.

Do any of you have any Frankenpolish stories?   I’d seriously love to hear them!

Adventures with Elmer’s Glue

Glitter polish.  I love it as much as the next person.  (Actually, I think it’s safe to say that I love it more than the next person, since at any give time there’s a good chance that my husband is the “next person” to me.)  It sure is a bugger to remove, though.  Even when using straight acetone, it can still be a pain to remove completely.  

Then one day, someone somewhere had the brilliant idea of applying a base coat of Elmer’s School Glue on the nails before applying glitter polish so that you could just literally peel the polish of when you were ready to remove it.  When I first heard about this, I just about fell over.  I’m pretty sure that I went out that same day to buy some glue.   

Attempt #1:  I applied a medium-thick coat of glue to my bare nail with a little brush and let it dry completely.  I then applied a few coats of a really dense glitter polish.  It really seemed like everything was going well until I woke up the next morning and found that one of my one of my nails had just fallen off while I was sleeping!  (Well, the nail didn’t actually fall off, but the polish did and it looked just like a press-on nail.)  By the time I was done making breakfast, four more nails had fallen off, so I just easily popped the rest of them off, too.  This all happenbed pre-blog for me, but I actually did take a picture of it at the time:

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So, Attempt #1 was a fail.

Attempt #2:  After lamenting about how my beautiful polish just fell off on facebook, someone suggested that I apply a base coat first, then apply the glue, then the polish.  So, that’s what I did.  The good news was that the polish did not fall off.  The bad news was that it was really, really hard to get the polish off without nail polish remover, and I actually did a little damage to the top layer of my nails when I ripped the polish off.  So, Attempt #2 was another fail.

Attempt #3:  Somebody – and I forget who, so if it was you, let me know so that I can give you credit – suggested that I water down the glue before applying it, so that’s what I did.  I mixed together roughly equal parts water and glue and brushed it only my toenails.  Adding the water made it easy to apply a really thin coat of glue.  I let it dry completely and then painted my toes with my currently favorite glitter polish, Funky Fingers – Sand & Stilettos.  Well, the next morning, none of my toenails had fallen off, so that was a good thing.  The polish actually survived 6 days, including a day at the beach until I noticed that the polish had popped off of my middle toenail on my right foot. 

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(Yes, I’m fully aware that I have stubby toes, so you don’t need to tell me that in the comments or anything.)  Well, since one of the nails was bare, I decided that I might as well take the polish off the rest of the toes.  I took a little bit of picking around the edges with tweezers, but all of the polish on the little toes came off in one chunk.  The polish on the big toes came off in a 4 or 5 chunks.

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In the end, all of the polish came off pretty easily with little to no damage to the nail!

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I just gave my toenails a quick wipe-down with some acetone to remove a few stubborn pieces of glitter, but that was all I had to do!  Attempt #3 was a Success!  (And there was much rejoicing, yay.) 

So, I haven’t actually tried the watered down glue on my fingernails yet, and I know they take a lot more abuse than toenails, but someday I will and I’ll let you know how it goes.  And if you give it a try, please let me know how it works for you!