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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Weekend Wedding Nails Plus a Refresh

Wedding Nails Left Hand CG Pastel With Heart CG Pink Holo With HeartOne of my friends all the way back from high school had her wedding reception this past weekend so I decided to do a simple white pearl manicure with heart accents to honor the festivities.  I achieved the shimmery white by using one coat each of three different polishes listed below.  The adorable gold hearts are from the stud set I previously spoke about from BornPrettyStore.com.

Halfway through the week I opted to refresh the manicure by painting different China Glaze polishes on each hand. The left hand got two coats of CG Seashell while the right hand got two coats of CG’s Holographic Not in This Galaxy.  I love how Seashell looks; it is painted over the white so I’m not sure how that influenced the color, but it’s a “just right”  color for me….and it’s very shiny.

The other CG polish has very fine holographic particles so it is quite subtle (not really noticeable indoors, sunlight really does the trick for this one).  When inside, it looks more like a metallic polish, when outside you can see the full holo spectrum.

I have to say the consistency of both these polishes was great (not thick) and the brush was high quality and thin for accurate application.  Even though it’s September I feel like I have February Valentine nails going this week!

Polishes Used:

  1. Seche Vite Base Coat
  2. Sally Hansen Satin Slipper (for the original white manicure)
  3. Jesse’s Girl Firefly (for the original white manicure)
  4. Ulta Diva (for the original white manicure)
  5. China Glaze Seashell
  6. China Glaze Holographic Not In This Galaxy
  7. Poshe Top Coat

Color Bases

Wedding Whites

China Glaze Pinks

CONGRATULATIONS LIESA AND JOHN!  I WISH YOU MANY YEARS OF JOY AND HAPPINESS…and beautiful nails 🙂

IMG_0327What a beautiful bride!

335x280 Emma Arnold banner

Beach Bum Thumb

Beach Bum

Beach Bum

I live in Sunny California, but sadly Northern Sunny California does not have the warm sandy beaches of my childhood in Los Angeles and San Diego.  Northern Sunny California has foggy, rocky, icy cold, windy, overcast beaches for the majority of the year; so even though I live about half an hour away from the beach, it’s not really a bikini kind of trip.  I’ve painted a Beach Bum (pun intended) in honor of the hot summer days we’ve been experiencing where I’m dreaming of warm sand!

This design is done with polish for the background beach colors of yellow and blue and acrylic craft paint for the actual body.  I tried the Orly topcoat first, but it was so-so…so I added another thick layer of Seche Vite (which I think is still in the lead right now).  Both coats had some micro bubbles in them.  I’m not quite sure how long she took me since I got in “the zone”, but it wasn’t a quick 5 minute job.  Hopefully she’ll keep me entertained while I’m working hard preparing for a meeting I have this weekend.  A girl can dream.

What’s your favorite beach you’ve been to?

Mine is on the shores of the Grand Cayman Islands!

Happy Fourth of July – Independence to Paint your Nails!

4th of July Nail Collage copy

This week’s fun (and first) installment of Emma’s Nail Notes is dedicated to one of my favorite holidays, the Fourth of July!  I was born in Canada, but raised in California since the age of 2 and I wholeheartedly consider myself an American.  Sure, we’re celebrating the country’s independence from Great Britain, but my real love of The Fourth comes from the inevitable fireworks (pretty sparkly things), BBQ’s, the heat, and, most importantly, a great excuse to play fashionista with the good ol’ red, white and blue.

A great way to make your mani’ work for both before and after The Fourth is to get a basic color gel set done and then just do your decorations in regular polish on top.  After the holiday you can just swipe off the patriotic design with regular polish remover, but still have your gel nails for a few more weeks!  Red, white or blue are obvious choices, but silver and black would make great bases for designs as well.

Here are my top ten picks for Fourth of July nail art this year:

10. If you’re rushed for time, just paint your nails alternating red, white and blue solid.

9. Crackle, use white as a base with red and blue crackles on top.

8. Blue nails with a red accent nail, put little white rhinestones on the blue for stars.

7. Fancy french tips, instead of white, alternate red white and blue on the tips.

6. Get mini star confetti and apply to a solid blue background.

5. Red, white and blue “dotticure” – just get a toothpick or pin and go to town!

4. Try your hand at taping some red and white stripes, you can buy thin striping tape for $1 on ebay.

3. Fireworks!  Use a brush and some silver or sparkle polish and make fireworks on a black or dark blue background.

2. Anything sparkly – you can’t go wrong with red, silver or blue sparkles.

1. The Classic Flag painted in neon or pastel hues for a current twist!  Just get a thin brush and it’s easy to do.

What are your 4th of July Nails?