Groove Is In The Heart Neon Nails with Stamping

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Where to begin?  You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in about 3 months and that my last post was something to the extent of “I don’t feel like writing, here are pictures”.  Well, when it rains it pours and unfortunately my father passed away from cancer along with another close family friend within a month of each other.  To top it off, these sad events happened during the holidays (I hosted Thanksgiving too)…oh yes, and I got a horrible full body rash (from stress I’m sure) that was unbearably itchy and horrendous and I would never wish it on my worst enemy!  I’m hopeful that the scarring will go away :\.

Point being, I fell off the bloggy wagon (even though I did continue to paint and photograph my nails) and so now I’m hopping back on, full speed ahead!

I’m jumping back in with a super bright manicure I did to match my dance performance costume.  I have been taking an adult hip hop class and this past weekend we had our performance – we danced to the song “Groove is in the Heart” by Deelite so I went for 60’s style bubbles with a heart on the accent finger.

I did my nails on Monday so they’d be ready for both dress rehearsals (plus group photos) and figured I’d have to do them again before the performance.  Well guess what?  I didn’t, because they lasted for the whole week.  Look at how they held up, the photo below was taken on Sunday.

Not only do I give credit to my Making Your Mani Last techniques, but I’ve also been doing a newer process which makes a big difference.  Do a layer of topcoat in between each layer of color for extra wear time!  This mani was done with cheap LA Colors and Sally Hansen polishes, so it’s not that I was using some amazing expensive magic polish.  I will give credit to Poshe Top Coat, though, because I used a super thick layer on top, so I’m sure that helped too.

The process was one layer base coat, one layer white, two layers neon colors, one layer INM Out the Door top coat, stamping with black, glitter on accent nail, dotting tools for pink and white circles, 1 layer Black Tie Optional on thumb and then a thick layer of Poshe Top Coat.

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Sunday nails that were painted at the beginning of the week, look how they held up!

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I shared my neon polishes with some of my dancing buddies 🙂

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Shout out to everyone Studio Gray for an amazing show!  I had so much fun and maybe I’ll post some action dance shots when I get them.

Polishes and Supplies Used:

  1. Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Top Coat
  2. 1 Coat Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On
  3. 2 Coats generic LA Colors neon pink and yellow (got a mini set from Ross, no color names)
  4. 1 Coat INM Out The Door Top Coat
  5. Wet n Wild Black Creme for stamping
  6. Salon Express stamping plate for the heart and Konad M85 stamping plate for the bubbles (I have a knock off konad plate from BornPrettyStore, but they are no longer selling it, same design)
  7. LA Splash Baby Octopus for the holographic silver glitter on the accent nail
  8. 1 Coat Hard Candy Black Tie Optional on the thumb
  9. Poshe Top Coat
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I Vant to Suck Your Blooood! Vampire Nails

After a lovely weekend of camping on the California Coast  at Costanoa KOA my nails were tore up (literally I tore a couple nails) so I decided to just chop them all off.  Even though they’re nubbins right now that doesn’t mean they can’t be cute!Vampire NailsI have to say there is something strangely comforting about wearing black and blood red nails.  I think because it harkens back to my childhood days when my sister was goth and Elvira was on late night.  Black nails were in 20 years ago and 20 years ago was a good time for me!

I used a fine paint brush and my homemade dotting tools to accomplish the designs and I think this design has a lot of versatility; you could just do the face and paint the rest of your nails black or red for a simpler version.

Polishes Used:

  1. Seche Vite Base Coat
  2. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Black Out for the black base
  3. Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On for the spider web stamping
  4. LA Colors Blood Red for the red pinky and blood drips
  5. Poshe Top Coat

Spooky Spiders and Wicked Webs – Halloween Nails

Spider and Webs

All weekend I was thinking about doing some kind of witch theme on my nails, but come Sunday evening I flip-flopped into designing a black widow spider and webs.

The spider is hand painted – first I made two dots to form the body and head, then used a fine paintbrush to do the legs and the distinctive red mark.  The web design is from my stamping Cheeky Jumbo Plate A – it was initially a pattern  I didn’t think I would use, but it is actually one that I gravitate towards the most and it was perfect to give the spider web vibe.  I think a cute alternative to doing webs on each nail would be to do black and white stripes; still very Halloweeny.

This was my first time using a mint Nailite polish that I got on clearance for a whopping 42 cents (directly from their website).  It took two coats to be opaque, and although it seemed a little streaky when applying, the color became even after drying.  The brush is pretty thin so you can’t cover your whole nail in one swipe, but nonetheless it turned out well.

Now all I need is a Spider WOman costume :).

Polishes Used:

  1. Seche Vite Base Coat
  2. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Black Out for the black base
  3. Nailite Polish Mint Green for the accent finger green base
  4. Sally Hansen Xtremewear White On for the spider web stamping
  5. Sinful Colors Under 18 for the red marking on the spider
  6. China Glaze Fairy Dust over spider web nails
  7. Poshe Top Coat

Sakura Cherry Blossom Nails with Matte Green Base

Sakura Cherry Blossom Nails

Happy Monday.  I’m submitting this post a little out of order because after I wrote my draft I somehow didn’t save it properly so I have to reeeewwwrrrriiittteee it.  Anyway, Arizona Iced Tea anyone?  I can’t say this mani was inspired by the drink of my childhood, however, it definitely is reminiscent of their old can.  I did also have someone tell me it reminded them of a porcelain teacup.

Polish Performance

This manicure was my first attempt at using a matte top coat as well as my first time using Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure line.  I will say I now know why this line runs for around $8 versus the the $2-3 you’ll pay for their Xtremewear line.  The brush is amazing!  I had to do ZERO clean up on this manicure because I had so much control with the brush and polish.  It’s very soft and it has a rounded shape that fit the curve of my cuticles perfectly.

I was quite surprised at how thin one coat of the polish is…so surprised that I took a photo.

1 Coat of Sally Hansen Jaded

1 Coat of Sally Hansen Jaded

I used two coats, but really I think this polish would be best with 3 or 4 if you want full opacity.  I definitely like the color of it too and I will say that these photos don’t do it justice (the pics look a little more grey and less green).

The matte topcoat did what it said, it turned super shiny polish into a smooth flat matte finish.  I did notice some micro bubbles and I’m not sure whether it was from the top coat or from not letting the colored polish below dry long enough.  I was on the fence about matte manicures for a long time, but this experiment has definitely changed my mind and I look forward to playing with more options!

Techniques:

The branches were just a simple few lines drawn with a fine paint brush and the flowers involved using one of my jenky homemade dotting tools (read: a sewing needle stuck into the pink eraser of a pencil).

Place 5 dots of polish in a circle and then place the needle in the center of each circle and drag a line towards the center.  This will create the look of dimensional petals.  I put a dot of CG Fairy Dust in the center of each flower for extra pop.  You can always use a different number of dots to get a variety of flower patterns.

Polishes Used:

  1. Seche Vite Base Coat
  2. Green Base – 2 coats Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Jaded
  3. China Glaze Matte Magic Top Coat
  4. Branches – Ulta Taupe On A Rope
  5. Flowers – Essie Luscious Lips
  6. Flower center accents and forefinger – China Glaze Fairy Dust

What are your favorite polish colors to make matte?

Jody’s Gray and Green Nails with Maybelline Color Show

Jody Gray and Lime Dot Nails

My friend Jody purchased some new polishes last week and requested I give her a doticure with them.  How could I say no?

On a side note, this may be my signature style manicure since I’ve had it requested by multiple people.

It was time well spent because we got to hang out and while I was at her house I learned about an organic farm festival happening the following day, which I ended up going to.  I also found out Jody has a pear tree she doesn’t pick; I think pears for manicures is a fair exchange :).

The polishes used for this manicure:

  1. Maybelline Color Show Impeccable Greys as base color
  2. Maybelline Color Show Go Go Green as lime green dots
  3. Maybelline Color Show Green With Envy as mint dots
  4. Sally Hansen Xtremewear Celeb City as silver dots
  5. I don’t know what polish the gold dots are
  6. Sally Hansen Nail Treatment Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

This was the first time I have used the Maybelline Color Show brand.  The brushes were workable and the colors are very current.  The gray definitely needs two coats to look good and you can see in the photo near the cuticles how it looks if there is only one coat.  The mint and green dots were opaque with one application and I think the glitters help tie the whole thing together.  I love this color combo and because we did the right prep her nails lasted all week!

Recycle, Reuse, Reduce – A Manicure Refresh

The polish from my “Holo Racing Stripe” manicure stayed on so well after five days that I decided to just do some stamping on top to give it a fresh look.  I’m not sure whether it lasted so well because of the polish, the topcoat, my “Making Your Mani Last” procedure or the perfect storm of all three.  Each hand is a little different, but I think they both turned out fun.  The two colors I used for stamping are Pure Ice “Silver Mercedes” and Sally Hansen’s “Sonic Bloom” – both work really well with stamping, although the Sonic Bloom stamping on the glitter accent came out textured.  The stamping plate I used was the Cheeky Jumbo Plate A.  No topcoat on these bad boys.

Left Refresh

Left Refresh

Right Refresh

Right Refresh

Super Sparkle Thumb With Dots

Super Sparkle Thumb With Dots

What do you do to “refresh” your manicures?

Summer Brights – A Neon Adventure

Glow

This mani was both fun and frustrating.  The fun part is that I love the design and I love the colors; the frustrating part is that I used some no-name brands, which resulted in difficulty painting as well as the polish rippling once I added the top coat.

The green nails are painted with 3 coats of Summer Brights Pastel Collection “Light Creme Green Mint” (a bottle I picked up at CVS).  I have to say I’m in love with this green; the camera just doesn’t capture how the color softly glows and I love that it’s bright without being obnoxious.  It applied a little uneven so it took the three coats to get a solid look.  It’s topped with dots of blue Expressions “Mint” and purple China Glaze “Neon Flying Dragon.  Seche Vite base and topcoats.

Sally Hansen Coral Reef, Sonic Bloom, China Glaze New Dragon (Neon), Expressions MintIMG_9673

The orange nails have a Sally Hansen “White On” base, then two coats of the orange-scented Ross-obtained Expressions “Orange”.  They’re topped with dots in Sally Hansen’s “Sonic Bloom” and “Coral Reef”.  PSA – Don’t ever buy the Expressions brand polish – actually, if you want to buy it for a little girl I’m sure that would be great because they’re cheap and scented with pretty simple ingredients, but the polish didn’t apply evenly and when the top coat was applied it became horrible mess…it never really dried completely.

To do this design all you need is something to make dots with.  You can either drop a couple dollars for an actual dotting tools set or if you’re like me and not willing to spend the $1.50, just stick some pins into the eraser end of a pencil or grab some toothpicks.

Homemade Dotting Tools

The design reminds me of something, but I can’t quite put my finger on it, maybe cartoon dinosaur eggs?  Even with the cheap no name polish issues I’m still happy with the way this turned out.

What’s your favorite cheap polish?