Nail Art- The Flaky Polish Trend (On a Budget!)

Hi there!

How’s everyone doing today? It’s kinda cloudy and grey here. Luckily, the sun came out for just a little bit, so I could get my sunlight pictures for the nail polish I have to show you today! The weather wants my blog to be successful, thanks weather! So without further ado, let’s get to the polish!

Recently, “flaky” nail polishes have been taking beauty stores by storm. They were (and still are) an “it” polish trend. They really began when the brand Finger Paints released its “Special Effects” collection in early 2012 (a great review of these polishes was done by Jen from the Polishaholic, viewable here). These polishes looked all the same in the bottle, but when you applied them over a black polish, the iridescent, irregularly shaped glitter shards would illuminate with another color. Other brands have released similar products, such as the polish Luxe and Lush, released in the China Glaze Hunger Games collection, or the entire Revlon Moon Candy nail art collection. Essie also released flakies in their “Luxeffects” 2011 Holiday Collection (the polish was called Shine of the Times). And of course, who could forget Sally Hansen’s Hidden Treasure, which is essentially the original flaky. No matter how you slice it, flakies are an on trend nail effect that people love. The problem? They tend to be super expensive. The Moon Candy polishes retail for $8.99 a piece, Essie is usually $8-$9, the Finger Paints are $5.50 (and retired). Luckily, I’ve found an inexpensive (and still quality) substitution for the ridiculously high prices.

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Introducing Funky Fingers Flaky polishes. Recently, I reviewed another Funky Fingers (the FiveBelow nail polish brand) polish called Jawbreaker. These polishes are $2 a piece, or 3 for $5. Much much MUCH cheaper than other flaky brands. This particular polish is called Taken, and has red, blue, and greenish flakies in a super sheer blue base. Really, this base barely changes the color of the base polish, so it’s still good for layering. The flakies in this polish do not need to be placed, they apply evenly, and don’t have much curling off the nail (I had that problem when I used to use China Glaze’s Luxe and Lush). The flakies in this polish are a lot bigger than the flakies in Finger Paints or Essie, but they’re pretty much on par with Luxe and Lush and the Moon Candy collection. In the pictures included, I wore the flakies over two different base colors. The sky blue is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Blue Me Away! and the black is Love and Beauty Black. Over the blue, the colors are much more muted, and the red flakies shine through, but over black, I think the color is very reminiscent of Finger Paints’ rainbow flaky, Twisted (which you can see in Jen’s post I linked above). Pictures below are two coats of Taken, one coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in Flawless as my topcoat.

Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Sunlight

Sunlight

Sunlight

Sunlight

This polish is a real winner for me because the quality competes with other, more high end brands like Revlon and China Glaze, and the price is virtually unbeatable. This polish also comes in a lavender base, and a pink base, among others. These polishes are available at FiveBelow stores. What is your opinion on flaky polishes? Are you onboard with this nail art trend? Let me know in the comments!

~Beth~

 

 

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Nail Art- Sea Foam Green Glitter French Tips

Hi there!

Today I have for you a nail art design inspired by the classic French Tip. Instead of doing a stark white on my tips, however, I opted for a subtle, glitter pastel seafoam green. I think it takes away from the “starkness” that comes with a classic French tip, and adds a bit of whimsy to it. So let’s get started!

Seafoam Green Glitter French Tips!

Seafoam Green Glitter French Tips!

To get started on the design, I used a base color to kind of “even” out the color of my nails, since they’re pretty stained on their own. The color I chose for my base was Sephora by OPI “Dont Feed the Hand Models”, which is a nice, neutral color. It’s still sheer enough to mimic the natural nail color at 2 coats (which is what I’m using) but I find it becomes opaque in about 3-4 coats. I have a mini bottle of this polish because it came in a Sephora by OPI set I was given for Christmas awhile back. Here’s a picture of “Don’t Feed the Hand Models” on its own, 2 coats, no topcoat.

Don't Feed the Hand Models- indoor artificial light

Don’t Feed the Hand Models- indoor artificial light

After letting this polish dry, I took my favorite white, “Snow me White” by Sinful Colors, and painted it free hand across my tips. It takes a very balanced hand to get a steady strip of color, so if you find yourself struggling, you can purchase French Manicure tape strips, which create an easy to follow guide to creating perfect tips, mess free! I however, have practiced it a lot, so I’m pretty comfortable knowing that my hand won’t shake. When the one layer of white dried, I free-handedly painted the green glitter over the white. The color I chose for the tips is Kleancolor “Sparkle Emerald”. While the color, to me, is not reminiscent of emerald, it’s still a lovely glitter sparkler. The color itself is VERY sheer. It does not ever build up enough to wear on its own without obvious VNL. It’s best as a layering polish. Over white, it creates a very subtle effect, which I quite like in this manicure. It’s not too punchy, just very refined and whimsical, with all of the tiny translucent hex glitters. Below are pictures of the completed nail art look, with no topcoat.

Indoor, artificial lighting

Indoor, artificial lighting

Indoor, artificial lighting

Indoor, artificial lighting

Indoor, artificial lighting

Indoor, artificial lighting

So what do you think? Are you a fan of French tips? Or are they a little too “fake looking” for you? Let me know!

Also, as a disclaimer, while the pictures are mostly true to color, the Kleancolor “Sparkle Emerald” is a bit more saturated and noticeable in real life.

~Beth~

 

 

 

 

Nail Art- Blue Gradient, Two Ways!

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Hey there!

So today I have a fun nail art design that I did in two different styles. I did a classic “gradient” nail art design, using 3 shades of blue, and then a “reverse gradient” nail, in which I have one gradient going in one direction, and a stripe down the center in the reverse direction! I was originally inspired to try a version of the “reverse gradient” nail from Simplelittlepleasues, a youtube nail art channel. If you want to check some of her designs, just click here! She’s also incredibly talented at water marbles!

Basic gradient nail art in natural indoor light

Basic gradient nail art in natural indoor light

So the first “base” design is the gradient. To create this look, I used 3 colors of nail polish: The lightest blue is Wet n’ Wild Megalast Nail Color in “I Need a Refresh-mint“, the middle-colored blue is Wet n’ Wild Fastdry Nail Color in “Saved by the Blue“, and the darkest blue (a shimmery navy) is Color Club Nail Lacquer in “043“. I started with 1 coat of “I Need a Refresh-mint” on all of my nails, and let it dry completely for about 20 minutes. Then, I took a makeup sponge, and layer the 3 colors on it, try to overlap the colors so that when I dab it on my nails, the colors will blend. I’ll include a picture of the sponge below.

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After preparing the sponge, I dabbed the polish onto my nails, with the lightest color near my cuticle and the darkest by my tips, in side to side motions in order to blend the colors together. Don’t worry if it looks messy the first time, because you’ll need 2-3 layers of the gradient to get it dark enough. If you want to keep your cuticles clean, you can tape them like you would in a water marble nail art. However, I opted to leave them naked, and remove the mess with a q-tip dipped in acetone later. Once you’re satisfied with your gradient layers, use a topcoat over it to smooth out the lines. You should be left with a smooth gradient of blue bliss! Pictures below have 1 coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in “Flawless” overtop them.

Natural, indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

Now, on to the second design!

Design 2!

Design 2!

The “reverse gradient” uses the exact same technique as the regular gradient. In order for it to work, you have to let the regular gradient dry COMPLETELY. As in, 30-40 minutes completely. You will need small strips of scotch tape or masking tape or nail striping tape, depending on how thick you want your lines. I opted for one thick line down the middle of my nail, but you could do smaller lines, diagonal lines, whatever! It’s a very open-ended design. Make sure the tape is pressed tightly against your nail. Then, paint your sponge with the same 3 gradient colors , only this time, reverse the order, so that the lightest color is at your tips and the darkest is at your cuticles. Repeat the gradient application technique, and as soon as you’re done, remove the tape to create a crisp line, and apply top coat. And voila! Your “reverse gradient” design is complete! Below are pictures with one coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in “Flawless”

Natural indoor lighting

Natural indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

Natural, indoor lighting

So what do you think of these two stylish nail designs? Have you tried a gradient nail art before?

~Beth~

 

 

Nail Art- My First Attempt at “Spun Sugar” Nails!

Hi everyone!

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Today I have some new nail art to show you, and it’s super fun to wear! It’s almost like a cross between zebra print and fine stripes (sorry about that awful description, lol), and it’s named after the culinary confection where hot sugar syrup is spun into small “threads”, which is what the pattern resembles. People who are really good at this design (such as Michelle from AllLaqueredUp, her post here: http://www.alllacqueredup.com/2013/07/pinspirationail-spun-sugar-nail-art-revlon-brilliant-strength-nail-enamel.html and  Mimi from Makeupwithdrawal, her post here: http://www.makeupwithdrawal.com/2012/05/neon-sugar-spun-manicure.html ) can get the “threads” of polish really thin, but since it’s only my first attempt, mine are still pretty thick. Still, for a first try, I’m very excited about the results! Here’s how I did it.

First, I painted my nails a base color. In this case, for my thumb, middle, and index finger, I used Rue Beauté in color “031” (a mint-scented bright pastel lime green) and on my pointer finger and pinky, I used Claire’s “Hot Stuff” (an eye-searingly hot pink). I used the opposite color on each individual nail as the “spun sugar” color. To make the spun sugar, I put several drops of a single color on a piece of cardboard. I then used a toothpick, and stirred the polish puddle for about 5 minutes, or until the polish thickens enough to still be fluid, but when you pull the toothpick out of the puddle, a string of polish comes up with it. I then pulled those strings, with the toothpick, across my individual nails (one at a time) to create the spun sugar look. I warn you, the finished product DOES have a fair amount of texture, as the thick polish does not dry flat for the most part. Below are pictures of the finished product WITHOUT topcoat and in artificial lighting.

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The next photos are with topcoat, which smooths out some of the texture (though not that much) and adds an extra shine to the semi-matte neon colors I used in the design. The topcoat is, as always, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in “Flawless”- one coat on top of the finished and fully dried design.

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Sorry for the random speck of glitter on my index finger, that pesky piece wouldn’t budge when I tried to remove it!

So what do you think of this innovative new nail art trend? Will you be giving it a try? If you do, leave a comment, and tell me how it works for you! I’ll be trying it again in the near future, hopefully with more precise results. Stay tuned!

~Beth~

Nail Art- New York/Wicked Water Marble

Hi guys!

So today’s post is gonna be realllllllyyyyy quick, because I’m dead tired. I just got back from a day trip with my mom; we went to the Big Apple to see Wicked on Broadway! If you haven’t been before, I’d highly recommend you do if you have the chance, the show was fantastic! The singing was phenomenal and the sets and costumes and special effects were also amazing. The only flaw? The Gershwin Theater is freezing cold! It was 90 degrees outside and we were all bundled up in our sweaters trying our best to stay warm! Walking out into the stifling heat after the show ended never felt so good!

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On to the nails. I decided to go with an “Emerald City” themed water marble, in honor of the show I went to see. I used two colors in this water marble (besides my standard Sinful Colors “Snow Me White” for the base):

Green: Rue Beauté Nail Polish in Color 033 (in the bottle it looks like a deep blue/teal color, but in water marbling, it turns out as a rich, blue-based emerald creme)

Silver: Ulta Salon Formula Nail Laquer in “Bare Minimum”

Below are the pictures, with one coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in “Flawless” as my top and base coat. Indoor, artificial lighting.

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Sorry for how messy the cuticles are, when I took these pictures, I was in a hurry since I was packing my purse for my trip the next day!

I hope you all aren’t getting too tired of water marbling. I’ll try and post other things in the next coming days. I bought 3 polishes in NYC, and I’m going back Saturday, so I might even get more still! What are your thoughts on this Wicked-inspired manicure? What’s your favorite Broadway show?

~Beth~

Nail Art- Water Marbling with my Mom!

Hi everyone!

Today I have a special treat for all of you. Over the weekend, I got the opportunity to practice my water marbling technique on some very willing test subjects, er, willing volunteers. 🙂 I did manicures on both my mom and one of my good friends, Tory, but today I’ll just be showing you my mom’s, and saving Tory’s nails for later (solely because I’m too lazy to download those pictures to my computer right now, lol).

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For my mom’s nails, I wanted to do something bright and bold, since she loves summer colors. I chose her favorite bright blue, a bold green, and a hot fuschia. The colors I used are as follows:

White (for base): Sinful Colors “Snow Me White”

Blue: Wet N’ Wild Fast Dry Nail Color in “Saved by the Blue” (what a great name!)

Green: Rue Beauté in Color 040

Pink: Ulta Salon Formula Nail Laquer in “Fuschiamania”

To do the water marbling itself, I generally use room temperature, or slightly warm, bottled water. I just find that works best for me. I draw the designs using pointed toothpicks, since I am not a fan of using orange sticks, or something like that. I use tape around my cuticles to prevent excess polish from getting on my skin, and remove any mess around my cuticles with warm water in the shower (it peels right off and is less drying than using nail polish remover or acetone, in my opinion). Below are pictures in artificial light, no topcoat, of course, with my beautiful mom modeling for me! She makes a great hand model, no?

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I’m extremely proud of how this nail art turned out, I think my water marbling technique is greatly improving! What do you all think? Are you a water marble fan? Are you going to try a bright summer manicure? What nail art designs do you want to see from me in the future?

~Beth~

Sunday Funday Nail Art! – “Nautical” Stripes

Hi everyone!

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Today I have for you a fun, bold nail art design that’s easy to create and is sure to garner you a ton of compliments! I wore it out to the mall today, and every cashier I talked to said that they loved it, it felt great!

To create this look, I started with a base coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in “Flawless”, and then painted on one coat of Sinful Colors “Snow Me White” (reviewed yesterday). I let the white dry COMPLETELY (about 15 minutes) before moving on. I took regular scotch tape pieces long enough to stretch horizontally across my nail, and pressed them into my skin and peeled them off a few times to reduce the stickiness, so that they wouldn’t pull up nail polish. I then used different patterns of the tape to create different sized stripes for each color. The tape ensures that the lines are nice and crisp. As soon as you paint on the next layer of color, peel off the tape. If you let the polish dry first, you won’t get as sharp of a line. If you have little mistakes in the line, just go over it later in the color you want it to be. Repeat until the design matches mine, or until you like it. Feel free to swap out colors! I didn’t have a camera available to me while I was doing the design, so I don’t have pictures of me creating it. However, I highly doubt this will be my last “tape” manicure, so I’ll be sure to show pictures next time!

The colors I used in this design are as follows:

Pink: Love and Beauty in “Red” (what an awful name for a pink, right? But it’s a great polish anyways, thin and easy to apply, and so shiny!)

White: Sinful Colors “Snow Me White”

Yellow: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in “Mellow Yellow”

Navy: Rue Beauté Nail Color in color 043

Below are pictures indoors, artificial lighting, with one topcoat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in “Flawless” as a top coat.

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So what do you think of this fun, wearable nail art? Simple enough for you, or too loud and crazy? What’s your favorite summer nail look? Keep checking my blog this week, I have lots more nail art and water marble looks to show you, including guest hand models including one of my best friends, Tory, and my Mom!

~Beth~

Nail Art- Summer Neon Water Marble

Hi everyone!

So yesterday’s “flashback” post inspired me to try some water marble nail art again. I hadn’t done it in about a year (school has been crazy with AP’s and extracurriculars!) so I had to get the hang of it again. And let me tell you, I made a hugeee mess in the process! To add to the length of time it took to (finally!!!) get it right, I completely botched the white nail polish (that I use as a base for the design) on my entire left hand and had to stop, remove it, and start over again. I’m really such a klutz sometimes! In the end though, I’m satisfied with the results.

My original plan for this design was to mix all four colors (orange, green, blue, and pink) together in one design, but when i started making the bullseye, I found out the four of them together didn’t play nice. Instead, I flip-flopped between green and orange on one nail and pink and blue on another, because those two combinations worked in the water (I used room temperature bottled water). The colors I used for this design are as follows:

Rue Beauté orange polish in color 145

Rue Beauté scented green polish (smells like mint!) in color 031

dELIA’s blue polish in “Blue-Mint”

Claire’s hot pink polish in “Hot Stuff”

Below are pictures of the final result. The white polish I used as a base was Ulta Salon Formula Nail Laquer in “Snow White”, and the base and top coat are, as always, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength nail polish in “Flawless”.

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ImageRight Hand

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I apologize for the pictures for this one, it was picking up the orange all kinds of wrong. In these pictures, it looks like an orange-y red or a dark peach, when in reality it’s a real in-your-face neon orange. All these colors are much more eye-searing in person.

So what do you think of my latest water-marble creation? Are you a fan of summer neons?

~Beth~

Throwback Thursday- Black and White Water Marble Nails

Hi everyone!

Today I have an old picture to share with you, since I didn’t get a chance to swatch any new polish shades today. Last year, I had a small obsession with water marbling nail art. I was fascinated with it after watching youtubers (like ilovemylongnails and simplelittlepleasues, to name a few) do it so flawlessly. After mastering the technique (the water temperature is soooo important, it really needs to be very room temperature), I did all sorts of color combinations. This simple black and white one might be my favorite of them all. I always start with a base coat of white, to enhance the color, then used unknown black and white polishes to make the water marble “bullseye”, and draw the design with toothpicks. I taped my cuticles around the nail to prevent making a giant mess (though isn’t making a mess always inevitable?) and dipped away! Here’s a (low quality) picture of the result.

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I’m super thrilled with how this old nail art turned out. Maybe I’ll do some more in the near future with some of the fun new colors I’ve acquired as of late. What color combos would you all like to see? Have any of you tried water marbling?

~Beth~