Manicure Mania!

Posts Tagged ‘nail art’

bumblebee manicure

Posted by manicuremania on December 3, 2009

bee - barielle lemondrops & stripe rite blackEhhhh, I’m gonna go ahead and call this one a fail. I need more practice at making my stripes staight and even. I used Barielle Lemondrops & black Stripe Rite polish. I did sort of a half moon first, then stripes down the rest of the nail.


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Gradation Manicure – FAIL

Posted by manicuremania on November 15, 2009

FAILEDWell, it sounded simple.

No, it didn’t actually. Everytime I’ve heard a gradient manicure mentioned, it was either kinda bad looking, or mentioned how hard it is to get right.

I tried to use Orly Smudge Fixer for the gradient, and…sigh. FAIL.

Ugh, I should just let the pictures speak for themselves.

For my first try, I used Barielle Expressive, Zoya Malia, and China Glaze Grape Juice.


The bottom layer of polish kept rubbing off while I tried to get an even gradation, showing my bare nail, so I tried waiting until the last layer of polish was entirely dry, and blending the newst layer while wet. FAIL. And of course, I never actually got an even gradation. I think maybe gradations should be reserved for sheer, shimmery colors? Cremes probably aren’t the greatest for this.

I tried it a little differently on my thumb – I added a layer of Seche and waited for it to dry before applying the next color. FAIL. The Smudge Fixer melted the Seche and I had bare spots in the first layer again.


Next I tried scrapping the whole “let’s use creme polishes!” idea, and tried just one color of glitter. SEMI-FAIL?

gradient3This is not the look I was going for, and I wouldn’t really call it a gradient, but it is an interesting look. The problem here is that my nails are yellowed enough that I’m not really cool with having them mostly bare like this.

I’ll have to look up some tutorials and stuff and see if I can figure out what I’m doing wrong.

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Lubu Manicure

Posted by manicuremania on October 31, 2009

This morning I was sitting at the breakfast table thinking about the manicures I’ve been wanting to do that I haven’t had time to do lately (a Lubu manicure, for one). Then I started admiring how long my nails had gotten, and I decided to file them down some, because really it’s just tempting breakages when they’re that long, plus I just like the look of them better when they’re a tad bit shorter. Anyway, so there I was halfway through when I realized, YOU DON’T SHORTEN YOUR NAILS UNTIL AFTER THE LUBU MANICURE, DUMMY.


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So here it is! This was actually kind of interesting. I did the red under-tips first, using a tiny little flattened square nail art brush, and it went on fairly painlessly and pretty neatly. I think I got to three coats before deciding I’d achieved the opacity that I had in mind. As I always am, I was startled by how beautiful Ruby Pumps is – it really is probably one of my favorite polishes ever. Man, that shimmer!!!!

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lubu man

Then, the Lubu Heels. I sit under a lamp to do my nails, so I was directly under a light source, and the red glitter was sparkling like crazy. And I considered rethinking my opinion that this polish sucks – until I walked across the room out of direct light and my nails just looked black again. 😦 I think that for me, Lubu Heels is nice in theory but not so great in actuality. Vampy black polish with secret red shimmer/glitter!!! That sounds awesome!!! But, the glitter just isn’t noticeable enough for me. If I want a black polish, I will wear black polish!

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When I was all done, I needed a little something extra. It just wasn’t awesome enough yet. So, I painted the edges of my nail tips with Ruby Pumps, and I think that kicked it up a notch, at least from 5 inches away!!

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I think that I really did need longer nails for this. with there not being too much nail to paint the underside of, I went down as far as I could, which, as I found out when I tried to remove it, was a total mistake. I’m left with little lines of red polish deep under my nails that I just can’t seem to get out.

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Candy Corn!

Posted by manicuremania on October 10, 2009

Here’s a fun little Halloween thing I did last night.

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candy corn

Art Deco White, Sally Hansen Sun Kissed, Sally Hansen Infinite Natural, Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow (27)

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Marbled Nails

Posted by manicuremania on October 6, 2009

I am so excited to finally try marbling!

I used China Glaze Secret Peri-Wink-Le for the base, and Barielle Expressive and Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow (#27) for the marbling.

marbling 1I like it! The purple color didn’t really show up at all though. I noticed while practicing a bit that some polishes (like the Barielles) seem to sort of instantly pretty much dissolve in the water, and others, like the Sally Hansens, stay formed into a little droplet on the surface of the water until I break it up and spread it out. Odd.

marbling no flash

marbling 2

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Ice Coffee – Fancier Now!

Posted by manicuremania on October 4, 2009

Well this is my first foray into nail jewels. I’ve had some sitting around for forever and just never did anything with them before.

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So…I stuck them on while my Seche Vite was still tacky, then covered it with another layer of Seche. Which…is that how it should be done? On my thumbs the Seche is sort of pooling around the rhinestones and it looks silly. Actually my thumbs look silly anyway, there’s way too much going on.

I suppose I shouldn’t hide my nail mistakes, posting them will help me grow! Or something. It will give me photographic evidence of what NOT to do, at least.

The verdict per me: thumbs = bad, other fingers = acceptable.

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red jewels

red jewels 5I added this stuff to my previous manicure with Sally Hanson XTREEEEEEME WEAR Ice Coffee, Konad plate 64, and Special Polish in Wine Red.

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Ombre Manicure

Posted by manicuremania on October 3, 2009

Today I finally have some time to do some nail art! First I did an ombre manicure – I’ve been wanting to try this for forever!

I love grey polish so I thought a grey ombre manicure would be awesome, and…I think it kinda is!! I think the gradation is a little more subtle than if I had used a bright color. Also, I purposely tried to make the change from nail to nail more subtle than on other ombre manicures I’ve seen. I like it better that way. But I think I could have even gone a little less subtle on this and still have been happy with it.

I just used plain old Wet n Wild Black and white polishes for this.

ombre 1

ombre 2


My goodness, I’m surprised by how much I like this! I’m usually very careful about not wearing anything too out-there on my nails – I am not at ALL a fashion risk taker – but I would (and will) soooo wear this.

As always, things I will do better next time:

I think it would make more sense to start with a color I want to use for the middle nail, instead of starting with the darkest color. It seems like it would be easier to make the tone changes more even that way. Or, start with the lightest color instead of the darkest – I started with black and worked my way to the light grey pinky and I was having to add a LOT of white. A lot. I ended up with sooooo much useless polish at the end and it felt wasteful. Note to self – don’t start with enough polish to paint all the nails because I will be adding polish as I go along!!

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Leopard Print

Posted by manicuremania on September 17, 2009

So, to continue on the animal print theme, I have made leopard nails, inspired by a ton of bloggers lately:


Nani’s Nails

Nail Na Nails

And surely more, this has been everywhere lately, but these are the ones I can find right now.

I tried out my Art Deco black nail art polish for this one, and it worked OK – I oddly had the same problem as I had with the Konad polish: adding a topcoat made it streak BADLY. I know why the Konad polish does that, but this polish dries pretty quickly! Are you just not able to use topcoats with nail art, or what? Anyway, I stopped adding topcoat after the first two nails so that I could get some pictures.

Finally, I found a use for my semi-ugly China Glaze V polish, which I only got because it was on clearance at Sally’s!

leopard 6It’s nighttime, so no sunlight shots, sadly.


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Tiger Stripes

Posted by manicuremania on September 16, 2009

When I was in high school, I used to use fine paintbrushes to paint flowers and stuff on my nails, but I really haven’t done any nail art since then. Today I decided to try tiger stripes!

I painted my nails with China Glaze’s Secret Peri-Wink-Le, added a coat of Seche and let it dry. Then I collected my polish palette and my brushes, and I looked through my stash of black polish. My “stash” consists of a Wet n’ Wild black, O.P.I. Black Onyx, and Konad Special Polish in Black. I tried the O.P.I. first, but it really needs two coats for opacity, so I went with the Konad polish in the end. I used a thicker brush than I normally would because I wanted the stripes to be thicker.

tiger art

Anyway, I used a fine art brush to make squiggly lines in random patterns, starting from the edge of my nails.

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tiger art 2I added forks randomly, and really just tried to keep the lines wiggly, and to not repeat the same pattern on two nails.

Using the Konad polish was totally a mistake. It dried to the touch, but when I added topcoat it smeared like craaaaaazy. So I’m still on the lookout for an opaque black polish for stuff like this.

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