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Happy Blogiversary and How to Paint Your Nails

24 Oct

Today is my one year blogiversary!  I can’t believe it’s already been a year!  Whoa.  In the month of October 2011 I only had 11 page views.  A bleak start, but I had high hopes.  370 posts, 2144 comments and over a quarter of a million page views later, I don’t feel quite so much like a newby anymore and am happy to say that I’m still enjoying myself.

In honor of the celebration, I’m sharing these fabulous looking festive candles that I did for my birthday.  You can find the original post here.

I’ve had a few ladies ask me recently how I polish my nails.  If this is an area you feel like you could use a little practice and how-to in,  make sure you pin or bookmark this illustration by Lacquerized for future reference.  It’s the best one I’ve seen.

Click photo to link to Lacquerized’s post.

Click photo to link to Lacquerized’s post.

The only thing I would add is to make sure you wrap your tips.  Otherwise, this is exactly how I do it.  Then I though, what the hay, I’ll make a how-to video.  These are totally on the fly.  I’m no professional videographer, but they’ll do.

First we have a video of the technique I use to polish my nails. You’ll find it’s much like the illustrations above.

Next is how I clean up as I go with an orange stick.

I hope you found some tid bit of information that was useful to you! Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Jack-O-Lantern Tutorial

13 Oct

I decided I would go ahead a do a picture tutorial for the Jack-o-lantern manicure I posted the other day.  Below, you’ll find step by step pictures and explanations.

Click to enlarge

Step 1:  Polish with your background color.  I used Color Club Gossip Column.

Step 2:  Just using the polish brush, add your pumpkin.  I used Julep Parker, two coats.

Step 3:  Using a fine striping brush, add your darker orange accent lines.  Round them to follow the contours of your pumpkin’s shape.  I used Jordana Orangesicle.

Step 4:  Add your stem with a small detail brush.  Overlap it a tiny bit on to your pumpkin and make it slant to one side so it looks more organic.  I used Sinful Color Nirvana for my stem.

Step 5:  Using a small, pointed detail brush, outline your jack-o-lantern’s face with black.  I did a classic, happy face, but you can do whatever face you’d like to try.

Step 6:  Fill in your face with black.  I used China Glaze Liquid Leather.

Step 7:  Add a yellow highlight to make your pumpkin glow.  I used Sinful Colors Pull Over.

Step 8:  Make your sky twinkle by adding some tiny stars.  I used Julep Brigitte, the lightly brushed some thinned NYX Ink over the top of them to soften up the stark white.

Step 9:  Finish it off with a top coat!

Now repeat on all your nails, or you could just do an accent nail or two.  Now you have a super cute Halloween mani to show off!

Argyle Nails Tutorial

16 Jan

The pictures should speak for themselves for the most part.

Yes, you could just make an “X”, but I tend to mess that up, so doing each line individually is easier for me.

Don’t worry too much about how smooth things are.  A good top coat will conceal any lumpies.

The above picture is just to show you how I avoid having a large ball of polish on the end of my brush.  Dip and drag.

I used Sally Hansen Wet Cement for the base color, white Stripe Rite (which is acrylic paint, not polish) and China Glaze Liquid Leather for the “stitching.”  Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or message me if you have any question!

Thumb Print Tutorial

2 Dec

This was seriously so much more difficult than you would have imagined.  Stamping your finger print on paper with ink is child’s play.  Getting a print where just the ridges showed up, not so easy.  I did try this with ink.  It looked okay, but you couldn’t put a top coat over it.  The top coat would basically eat the ink and it would disappear.  I knew that was too easy.  I read where someone simply painted polish on their finger, stamped it on a paper until they saw a good print, them stamped it on their nail.  I tried that and still, it wasn’t what I was looking for.  Here’s the ridiculous explanation of how I achieved this look.
Obviously you need to choose a base color first.  I went with Orly Green Apple.  I love this bright green color, but it stains the crud out of my nails.   Let this coat dry.  Now the ridiculousness starts.  I hope I can make this make sense to all of you.  Get a non-acetone nail polish remover and wet a cotton ball.  Swipe it over your starting nail a couple times to make it sticky or soften it, I guess.  That probably doesn’t make any sense.  You want the nail polish remover to just eat at the very top of the polish, which will leave it sticky to the touch.

Now on the finger or thumb that is going to do the stamping; dampen it with the same cotton ball.  Damp, not wet.  Take your stamping polish and brush it over the dampened part of your finger.  Not too thick, not too thin.  Try to get even coverage.  Brush back and forth until any thick spots are spread out.  Now here’s the crazy variable; blow on the polish for 25ish seconds.  You want to almost dry it.  About 25 seconds was the magic number for me.  Your lung capacity may dictate a different number for you.  Now firmly press your finger to the nail that you made tacky earlier.  I started on one edge and slowly rolled my finger so I could cover my entire nail.  If your nail was sticky enough and your stamping polish was just the right amount of dryness, your finger should be sticking to your nail nicely as you roll it.  Clear as mud?

If your stamping polish was too wet you ended up with more than just the ridges stamped on your nail.  If it was too dry, you likely ended up with spotty ridges stamped on your nail.  If either of these is the case, this is where you go back to your cotton ball and clean off only the stamping polish.  This is why it’s important for you to use non-acetone remover; it will easily remove the stamp, but will take a bit more elbow grease to take off your base color.

Now if you ask me, it’s important to top coat this with Seche Vite and only Seche Vite.  I’ve tried many top coats and so far Seche Vite is the only one that doesn’t smear my nail art.  This print is made up of such intricate details that it will look totally muddy if you use a top coat that smears.  Go ahead and try whatever top coat you want, but be forewarned, it might ruin all your hard work.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I know this was the most precise tutorial you’ve ever read, right?

Lace Nails Tutorial

1 Dec

When I guest posted on Amandalandish last week, I promised a tutorial for these awesome lace nails. Here you go!  For my lace I headed over to my local fabric store and bought some lace trimming.  I got 18″ just to make sure I had plenty.  I didn’t want to mess up a few times and run out of lace.  It was only like $1.25.I started with a base color of Sinful Colors Mint Apple.  While that was drying, I cut my lace.  I held the lace up to each nail to decide how I wanted it to line up.  I started with the rough shape and size of my nail and continued to trim here and there until it was just right.  I used very sharp, small craft scissors and tweezers to hold the small pieces.  You can wait to trim the length until after you’ve “glued” the lace to your nail.  I’ve heard of people using sharp nail clippers to do this.  I found it easier to trim it to size first.  You can sort of use the design of the lace as a grid to help you keep track of where to cut.

You can see here that there is a piece of lace customized for each nail.

To “glue” them down I used a thick top coat that dries a bit slower than Seche Vite.  This Jordana top coat is very comparable to Seche Vite, but doesn’t dry quite as fast.  Go one nail at a time.  Put a generous coat of your chosen top coat on your nail, grab your piece of lace with your tweezers and lay it on your nail.  You have some time, so make sure you get it on straight.  Now you want to press it down a bit with your finger.  If you lick your finger, it won’t stick to the polish.  I’m sure you could get it wet in the sink too. 😉  Once you get each nail glued, add your finishing top coat.  Go slow when you brush it on to avoid air bubbles.  You’re done!

Ta da!  And you thought lace nails were going to be hard!  Cutting the lace to size is the time consuming part.  Now you can totally customize your lace nails.  You can pretty much use any lace and pair it with any polish color.

I used 2 coats of Seche Vite to finish off this mani.  It was still a bit bumpy and the edge of the lace around the edge of my nail was a bit scratchy.  These were surprisingly easy to take off too.  Once you get the top coat off with your polish remover, you can peel the lace off, then remove the underlying polish.

I loved this mani and was sad to take it off.  I didn’t eve get to show it off; not even to my husband.  I’ll definitely be doing this again.  If you try this design, send me a link; I’d like to see it.  Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or if I missed anything.

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