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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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!

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!

Plaid Watermelon Nails

I’m not gotta lie; these took a long time.  While I did these nails plus my toes (which you’ll see on Wednesday), I watched almost the entire Blackfish documentary plus two episodes of Seinfeld.  (I needed to watch something a little lighter after Blackfish.) But aren’t they seriously cute?

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The first think I need to do is give Jaunty Juli credit for the design.  Her original version of this design is on her YouTube channel.  You should check her out.  She’s really good!

For this look, the only polish I used besides my base and top coat was a white. The rest of the color is actually acrylic craft paint.  Craft paint is easier to work with than polish, it washes off with water, and it’s really cheap, like $.65 per bottle.  Since they are water soluble, I just us a plate from my kitchen as a little pallet.  Works like a charm.  Just make sure you apply a top coat so you don’t wash your design off when you wash your hands.  That would be tragic.

Here’s how I did them….

First I started with 2 coats of white polish:

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Then I added thick crosses on each nail using light blue paint.  (I actually took some blue I had on hand and mixed it with a little white paint to get the color that I wanted.)  As you can see, I changed the placement of the lines on each nail just to sort of mix it up.  You don’t nee to paint them the whole way to your cuticle since we are going to be adding the watermelons later.

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I added some thin blue lines going vertically and horizontally wherever I had room.

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I then took a darker blue paint and my littlest brush and darkened the spots where the lines intersect.  This is what really makes the plaid look like plaid.

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I added a few neon yellow stripes with paint where I could fit them in.  In retrospect, I should have left a little more room for the yellow lines, but it’s all good. The yellow paint was pretty sheer, so it interacted nicely where it overlapped the blue to make a greenish shade.

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Next I started to add the red paint over my half moon area on my thumb, but I quickly realized the my neon red paint was not going to cover the blue polish near my cuticles.  I decided I needed to take white paint and cover up the blue paint where I wanted to paint the watermelons.  (I’m not showing  you my thumb, because it looked pretty messed up at this point.)

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Then I took my red paint and filled in most of the half moon area, leaving a little room for the rind.

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then I added a thin neon green stripe next to the red.

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Then I added a little black and green together to make a darker green and added a final thin stripe to make the rind.

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Can you tell I was using my palm to wipe my brush some at this point?  Anyway, with my littlest brush, I added in some black seeds and then applied a top coat.

Here’s what they looked like the next day in natural light where you can see the neon-ness a little better:

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Please let me know if you try these!  I’d love to see your recreations on facebook or instagram!  Oh, and check out Jaunty Juli on YouTube or instagram, too!

 

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!

Nails of the Day

I guess this post should actually be called “Nails of Last Week” since that’s more accurate.  I just realized that I never officially posted a pick of this really easy “doticure”.  No artsy skills required, just a few different size dotting tools. 

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These are two of the polished that I picked up in my Five Below Haul a few weeks ago.  These colors just make me so happy!  I loved this manicure so much that I kept it on for 8 days, and even when I took it off, I was tempted to just paint my nails again with these colors.  

Thanks for reading!  I’ll be back with a more substantial post on Monday!