4th of July Nails + Update

I love how these 4th of July inspired nails look! It was really fun doing them too, since I was just randomly applying foil without worrying about a set pattern. For the base color, I used one coat of Kleancolor Metallic Aqua, a super opaque and pretty shade. I then applied the silver foil which didn’t require foil glue, and finally the red last, which did need glue to stick.

As for the Glam Nails Challenge for June, I unfortunately wasn’t able to finish it, and probably won’t. I did do the bird design and will upload that soon, and I might do a couple of the other prompts in the future.

For now I’ll be taking a short rest from nail art due to possible Tendinitis, but I do have a couple of recent nail art designs to post in the meantime. I hope to be actively doing nail art again by August!

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Earth Day 2018 Nails

Happy Earth Day! I was going to do something a bit more involved, but liked this idea better; a sunset landscape inspired by a photo I took. I began by painting one coat of white polish, then let that dry. I then sponged on a gradient of 5 colors: Sinful Colors Pull Over, OPI Color Paints Primarily Yellow, Sinful Colors Beverly Hills, Ciaté Chinchilla, and Orly Snowcone.

Even though I covered most of the yellow with the black, I like the amount that peaks through, especially when the grass slopes down. I didn’t add the trees right away, but it looked too empty without them. I was originally going to do pine trees, then I realized I’ve done too many of those before, so I went with something a bit more tropical-looking.

I thought I had been doing Earth Day nails every year, but when I checked I only had one for 2014! If you want to check that one out, click here!

Stamped Easter 2018 Nail Art

This design took me a while, but I love it. I used stamping plate L033, an Easter-themed one with several bunny and decorative egg designs. Since I bought stamping polish in different colors a while back, I had intended to use my jelly stamper which I really enjoy, but it would not fully pick up the images. I’m not sure if they’re too shallow or if it’s something else, but I had to switch to my rubber stamper.

To color in the images I used a mix of OPI Color Paints and Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pens in various colors. There was some smearing when I first added the color over the black stamp, but I solved this by applying top coat after stamping.

Valentine’s Hearts Drag Marble Nails

Here’s an easy heart and rose petal drag marble design for Valentine’s Day! I applied two coats of China Glaze Rose Among Thorns (Neon) for the base color then let it dry. Once I was ready to start the drag marble, I applied a third coat and then quickly dotted Sinful Colors Tutu, a sheer pink, on the sides. Using a thin liner brush, I dragged through the middle of the dots to form the petals. Then, using Sinful Colors Tokyo Pearl, I added two small dots in the middle of each pair of petals and dragged down to create the heart shape.

I’m happy with how it turned out and it wasn’t that time consuming. A design like this would also work well as an accent nail if you don’t want to go through the trouble of doing it on all of the nails.

Valentine’s Freehand Floral Nails

For my first Valentine’s themed nails this year I went for a mix of things. I combined Salon Perfect Pink-y Swear, a neon pink, with Revlon Coy, a pastel. It turns out once I had applied the pastel pink, I didn’t like it at all. So I left it on just one nail and partly covered it with a freehand floral design. The other two pastel nails I replaced with Sinful Colors Supernova, a rose gold metallic. The heart and stripe accents are actually Art Club Nail Art Rose Gold Shimmer, which is slightly more cool toned.

I really like these nails! My plan for this month is to do several Valentine’s Day designs using different techniques, so we’ll see how far I get. I did this and the next design on both hands too, and neither was that time consuming, although my left does look significantly better!

New Year 2018 Nail Art + Gel Top Coat

Happy New Year 2018!

I got a 12W Kedsum LED Lamp for Christmas, so this is my very first try doing gel nails, at least partially since I only used a gel top coat. As a disclaimer, I wanted the lamp to try out nail powders, not for long-wear gel nails, so I didn’t follow all the recommended steps for a regular gel polish application.

I began by applying UNT Peel-Off Base Coat since I didn’t want to deal with the complicated process of taking them off after only a few days. Then I used a coat of regular black polish and let that dry. Once that was done, I applied OneDor Gel No Wipe Top Coat, cured it for 30 seconds, then rubbed the powder on the nails (Born Pretty Chameleon Holo Flakes Powder in blue). I struggled a bit with this step. I’m not sure if the bigger flakes made the application less smooth, or if it was something I did wrong, but there were a few spots that didn’t take the powder evenly. After stamping on my design using plate Celebration BPX-L013, I then applied another layer of the gel top coat and cured for another 30 seconds.

For a first try I think they came out decent, though I don’t love this powder as much as I thought I did – maybe I just need to play around with it more. I have some more nail powders I ordered that I want to try eventually, but I think I’ll stick to regular polish for the most part.

Chimney Santa Nails

Merry Christmas! These nails are inspired by a sweater I have that shows Santa going down the chimney. It’s so funny to me, so I tried my best to recreate it on my nails. Let’s assume Santa puts out the fire before he reaches the bottom! ;)

I got a professional manicure the other day, so the red base polish on the index and little nails (Tammy Taylor Sea of Roses – regular version, not gel) isn’t my own, but the rest of the polishes I used for the actual design are below:

Ciaté Chinchilla
Sinful Colors Nirvana, Pull Over
Kleancolor Blood
Fresh Paint Steampunk
Sparitual Kindness

For the lettering and smaller details I used various colors from Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pens.

Stamped Kwanzaa Nails

I really love how these festive Kwanzaa nails look! The only thing I would change would be to use a greener green – the one I used for the stripes, Revlon Wild, looks more like gold. For the red stripes I used Revlon Ravishing, a bright tomato red. I really like how the accent nail turned out, considering I’m not a huge fan of bar glitter. It took about 4-5 coats of Revlon Golden Confetti for almost full coverage without a base color.

Stamped Hanukkah Nails

I meant to post these a couple days ago, but I wasn’t happy with how the photos were turning out. Originally, I had done a different background for the stamping. Instead of a gradient, I used a dry brush technique to create lines on half the nail. I thought it would be too harsh once I stamped over it, however, so I softened it by sponging a gradient of Revlon Dreamer and Fresh Paint Blanche on top.

For these nails I used a pattern from stamping plate BP-L056 and a silver nail art polish to stamp with. I only have white and black stamping polishes currently, so I had my doubts about whether the silver would work, especially with my jelly stamper, but it did a pretty good job.

Check out my previous Hanukkah inspired nail art from 2016 and 2015!

Abstract Christmas Nails

I’m really loving these nails, I think they look so festive! They were quick to do and I didn’t use any special tools. On Cyber Monday I purchased this year’s Julep #Coveted set of mini nail polishes (I’ll have swatches and a review of that up soon), so I used several of those in this design.

For the pink glitter nails I used Julep Azalea, a pink holographic glitter with a yellow/gold sheen. I didn’t use sponging for the glitter since it was pretty dense, but I did apply three coats which made it nearly opaque.

For the striped nails I used Julep Fran, a bright red, and a rose gold nameless polish from Academy of Colour. I like the red, but it takes several coats to achieve full opacity. I did two coats on these nails and there were some areas that still looked semi-sheer. What I should have done was use the red as a base, then paint the stripes with the rose gold, but instead I did all the stripes separately which ended up being more work.

Finally, for the Christmas tree nail (my favorite), I began by applying two coats of Julep Yixi, a pretty mint shimmer for the background. Using Revlon Parfumerie Lime Basil I then painted a curvy line down the nail to resemble the tree shape. To give it more dimension, I painted a thinner line over it with Julep Jolene, a greenish-gold metallic. I added the star by dabbing Julep Marisol, an orange shimmer, on the top of the tree.