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?

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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!

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?