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Work Appropriate with a little Sparkle


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.

Playing with Layering – Shimmer and Glitter


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


I hope you enjoyed!

Peach Rings Update

Last night, a friend — and nail art fan — commented that I should use glitter to mimic the sugar on the peach rings and I thought that was a BRILLIANT idea. I did some experimenting on my right hand and after testing out a few methods, I decided on a very thin coat of Orly Tiara on top of yesterday’s mani. I wanted to post these pics last night but I had a feeling that sunlight would show it off better and I was right. 😀 I think the glitter mimics the sugar pretty well and it also adds quite a bit of shine to the overall look.


Sadly I didn’t have any peach rings for props in this photo because I ate them yesterday as soon as I was done taking pictures….