Monthly Archives: July 2011

Feather Nails

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Feather accessories are all the rage right now. Feather earrings, feather hair extensions, feather headbands…feather everything! Well I figured it was fine time to extend this trend to my favorite accessory, my nails. For this look I applied 3 coats of Sally Hansen HD Spectrum, a turquoise foil finish polish color that I recently picked up on clearance at Target. I chose it because it appeared to be a blue-purple duo chrome polish in the bottle and while there is no duo chrome effect on the nail, the finish is still very pretty. I then applied one coat of OPI Top Coat (my fave nail glue alternative) and took pheasant feathers (a $1.99 bag from JoAnn’s) that I had pre-cut to be slightly smaller than my nail and applied them one by one. One coat of Seche Vite Top Coat to finish it off and Voila! Feather Nails!

I’m keeping it short because I’m ready to get out and enjoy my Sunday. Hope you all are having a great weekend!

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Work Appropriate with a little Sparkle

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Fun fact: I actually have a regular job in a regular office complete with my humble abode of a cubicle. While our work style of dress would best be described as business-casual, I’m fortunate to work in a department that is relatively free-spirited when it comes to self expression in the form of nail colors. I haven’t worn any of the stiletto nails to work because I can’t type with them, but I get compliments all the time and many of my coworkers watch out for the days when I come to work with a new nail design.

I realize that many women work in more conservative work environments and are limited to nude and neutral shades for their fingernails. To these women, I say wear some closed-toe shoes and rock some crazy colors on your toenails! But on your fingernails, there may still be ways to sneak in a little bit of pizazz. This nail look was pretty much stolen from one of my nail diva high school classmates I saw this past weekend during my 10 year high school reunion (*gasp* I’ve revealed my age!). The restaurant was dimly lit but her nude polish with a glitter accent finger really appealed to me. So I stole it…she knows I had plans to steal it though 😀

If you’ve scrolled through my blog, you’ll see that the great majority of my designs are not conservative-workplace-appropriate but I hope you nail divas with constraints can try this look.

I painted all but my index fingers with Essie Ballet Slippers, a very pale and sheer cool pink color. It actually took 4 coats for me to get it this opaque :-|. This required a great deal of dry time between coats to avoid bubbles later. Sorry folks, I’m not a sheer polish fan but I love this color and it’s been sitting in my collection for months waiting to be used for the first time. For my index fingers I used 2 coats of Orly Tiara, my go-to silver microglitter polish, and 2 coats of Sally Hansen Extreme Wear Set the Stage, a clear top-coat based polish with large gold hexagonal glitter pieces and smaller gold microglitter pieces. I topped it all off with CND Super Shiney because I don’t think my nails could’ve taken the thickness of my normal Seche Vite.

So what do you think? Do you think you could get away with this bit of pizazz? Maybe on a Friday?

P.S. Here’s the manicure I rocked for my high school reunion last weekend. I kept it simple. Two coats of Essie Shift Power, a gold polish that is neither creme nor a true shimmer but awesome, and thin stripes with my black Art Deco Nail Art Striper.

China Glaze Crackle vs OPI Shatter

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Alright folks, after trying OPI Shatter in Black and Silver I really didn’t have a strong desire to buy any of the first line of China Glaze Crackle Polishes. Then the China Glaze Crackle Metals came out…and I thought the Tarnished Gold Crackle deserved a place in my nail polish collection. So on a trip to Sally Beauty a few weeks ago, I picked it up…and forgot about it. But last night I remember it again! And I wanted to pit it against OPI Shatter in the same nail design. For this design, I wanted a bright summery base so I chose Sinful Colors Neon Melon, a color I thought was a fluorescent yellow when I bought it but really has some green undertones that reminds me a lot of China Glaze Electric Pineapple. I think I would best describe the color as that of a tennis ball. I then painted a single white line down the middle of each nail using my white Art Deco Nail Art Striper. Last, I painted China Glaze Crackle in Tarnished Gold on the left and OPI Silver Shatter on the right.

Now lets talk about smoothness of application…I did not find it easy with China Glaze at all. It was quite clumpy. Because of the thickness, it didn’t spread on the nail easily and it takes a much longer time for the crackling to get crackin’. OPI Shatter begins shattering moments after application but with the China Glaze, I left it on for severak minutes to allow the crackling to take place before applying a top coat. I wasn’t really a fan of that.

I think OPI Shatter wins the battle this time. I may try a couple drops of nail polish thinner in the China Glaze Crackle before using it for another manicure. :-/ Did any other nail divas struggle with China Glaze Crackle Metals?

P.S. Check out that morning light streaming into that top picture! Manicures look so much better in natural light.

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Bellatrix Lestrange-Inspired Stiletto Nails (Harry Potter Nails)

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I have been a huge fan of the Harry Potter book and movie series for years and in honor of the release of the final movie :`-(, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, I had to do a manicure. My inspiration for the manicure wasn’t Harry, Hermione, Ron or Hogwarts. I’ve seen so many manicures dedicated to the good guys. I really wanted a manicure that reflected the dark side, so my inspiration was Bellatrix Lestrange. In brainstorming, ideas for design I knew that Bellatrix would definitely have stiletto nails. I’ve done a Less Extreme Stiletto Manicure but Bellatrix’ nails would be true stilettos.

Check out this artist’s interpretation…

For this manicure, I filed artificial nails down to stilettos then applied 2 coats of Wet n Wild Fast Dry Ebony Hates Chris, a black creme polish. On the thumbs I painted the sign of the Deathly Hallows in white. Last, I painted on the kicker…what really makes this manicure pop..two coats of Glow In The dark polish from Sally Beauty’s Halloween line last year. I was shooting for a faint eery glow…I think Bellatrix would rock my look. 😀

I updated this pic to show the green glow more clearly.

And I’m not one to leave any surface unpainted so I painted the undersides of my nails using Wet n Wild Fast Dry Grey’s Anatomy, a color-change shimmer that looks purple, gray, or green depending on which way the light catches it. Very much a part of the Wizarding World I believe…

Playing with Layering – Shimmer and Glitter

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As an nail artist (or artiste as I like to call myself) I try to stay abreast of the nail trends professional nail techs are buzzing about. One such trend is the concept of layering nail colors to create custom colors for customers. The idea of layers is not a new one for me…you need only scroll through my previous posts to see that I’ve been layering colors to create fading effects before I knew it was a trend. Fun Fact: I actually took serious art classes for years as a kid with a group called Young Artists & Co.—charcoal, pencil, oil paint, watercolor, and acrylic paint, and a little bit of mixed media/sculpture. When I got into nail art last year, I learned that nail polish can behave like an oil paint in that you can use a palette to mix colors then apply the combination to the nail but nail polish also behaves like watercolor in that you can layer colors on top of each other to create something completely new.

Among professional nail artists/techs, it seems some clients are no longer looking for the new hot line of colors from their favorite professional nail polish brands…clients are looking for custom colors, created on the spot just for them. In comes layering. Now the professionals are layering Minx, gel, acrylic and all sorts of other nail materials. Me? I’ve got polish…and jelly polishes work well for layering because the formulation is often less pigmented. For this look I’ll be giving you the step by step for how I created this oh-so-sparkly-glittery design. While the pros are using layering to offer custom colors to their clients, I believe layering can stretch the at-home nail diva’s collection infinitely. Imagine the possibilities!

I started out with 2 coats of Wet n Wild Fast Dry in Ocean Grotto, a fun yellow-green shimmer jelly polish. You may notice a bit of Visible Nail Line (a term I’ve often seen used by the editor/owner of All Lacquered Up) with these 2 coats. If I was going to wear this color alone, I’d definitely add a 3rd coat, but I’m not…there are more layers to add!

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For the next layer, I covered my entire nail in a thin layer of Orly Tiara, a jelly-based silver glitter polish. I had to keep that layer thin because it is CHOCK FULL of glitter. Seriously, Orly has some of the most dense glitter polishes in existence. I’m really looking forward to removing it…NOT. At least there’s a relatively quick trick for removing glitter polish. Click the link for the method I use.

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Next I added a layer of Wet n Wild Fast Dry in Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire, a light blue shimmer jelly polish, to the bottom half of each nail, closest to the free edge.

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Last I added a layer of Wet n Wild Fast Dry Party Of Five Glitters, a jelly-based glitter polish with 5 different glitters of varying colors, sizes, and shapes, along the tip of my nail, much like I would have done a white tip in a French manicure.

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Voila! A custom color, packed with glitter and shimmer :-D.

Just to give you a peek into the thought process that goes into my nail art. The fake nail on the right was what I decided on for this manicure but my runner up was the nail on the left. I tried several other colors for the contrasting color (I knew I wanted Ocean Grotto for the base) but most of my polishes are very pigmented professional brands. As it turned out, this drug store brand polish had enough pigment to *pop* but not so much that I couldn’t do the layering technique. I used Wet n Wild Fast Dry Teal of Fortune in the nail on the left.

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I hope you enjoyed!

Optimus Prime-Inspired Manicure

Transformers is huge right now with the recent release of the 3rd movie installment ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. I still remember the Optimus Prime of old, though…when he looked like this.

I guess the creators of this millennium’s Transformers series thought ol’ Optimus needed an updated paint job because now he looks like this.

Well I love makeovers and I’m a fan of the red-blue flame look. The following picture (a real life rendering of Optimus Prime in his ‘disguise’) gave me inspiration for this manicure.

For this manicure I used the following colors:

Base color: China Glaze Jitterbug (gunmetal)

Red/Orange: Wet n Wild Fast Dry 9.0.2.1.Orange, Wet n Wild Fast Dry Everybody Loves Redmond, Essie Forever Young, China Glaze Phat Santa [I used 9.0.2.1.Orange as the base color the sponged on the other 3 colors one after the other in order to create that fade from orange to dark red]

Blue Flames: Wet n Wild Fast Dry Saved by the Blue

Aaaaaand it’s an Enamelista Signature mani so it looks different dependent upon the angle you view my hands. I hope I did Optimus Prime proud. Transformers was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. 😀