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Graphic Pink and Black

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I thought I would do a simple, yet bold, stamped manicure. The actual manicure was pretty easy – but the Konad Special polish stained my fingers! Thanks to the ladies at Adventures in Stamping, I got all sorts of tips on how to manage this messy situation. Here’s what it looked like pre-clean up:

Eek! I don’t like the way that looks at all! But with the help of some warm soapy water, a toothbrush, and some olive oil, I managed to fix it up:

Way better! I think half of a nice manicure is how neat it looks (you know, not having polish all over your hands). So I’m glad I learned how to clean it up better when even acetone won’t help. Anyways, here’s the full manicure:

This is China Glaze Purple Panic (Neon), stamped with Red Angel plate RA-114 using the Konad polish. Ack – I just noticed it already chipped!

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Sunday Stamping Blue on Blue Challange

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This week’s challenge was to only use blue. I was initially psyched for this, but it turns out that I don’t actually have that many blue stamping polishes. So I kept it simple, and got to try out one of my new(er) plates – and I found 2 blue rhinestones!

This is Sally Hansen Thinking of Blue as the base and Brisk Blue (Insta-Dri for the stamping) and Red Angel plate RA-106. I like this design, but the image bled a little bit.

See what I mean? A little squishy. But overall not too bad! And I really love the rhinestone, too!

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Fancy French

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I was going for elegant here – but I think I ended up with bridal. Oops. I saw this look floating around the interwebs, and thought I’d give it a try. I think that I really need to work on my tips here – I did some freehand french tips, and stamped over it in Konad special white. Oh and there’s a coat of NYC Love Letters for some sparkle. Also – I have so many plates to try, and I used this recently – but it just looked delicate and pretty. So I went for it.

See what I mean? My french manicure skills are not up to par! Here’s a close up:

I think it’s a good idea and it does look elegant from a distance – but up close it’s a little too goopy! I’ll definitely try this again.

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Antique Roses

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This is freehand mani. I’ve seen these hand painted rose manicures around lately, and I thought I would give it a try. I think with some practice these… might actually look like roses! I still dig the look, though, and this dusty rose color is one of my new favorites.

Here’s what I used:

  • Rimmel Dusty Rose (this is really one of my new favorites. So smooth and pretty)
  • OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle
  • Loreal Butterfly Kisses
  • China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint
  • China Glaze Holly-Day
  • Wet n Wild Black Cream
  • Wet n Wild Spoiled Correction Tape

So, what do you think? Do these look kind of like roses? It’s inexact – but I think with a little practice I could get the hang of these guys.

Also, check out that glitter! I like this one a lot, too. It was on sale at Marshall’s. Score!

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Freehand Clouds

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I really love this look! For this mani I used a tutorial over at the Nailside, which is a really awesome blog. I had tried to imitate this look with a dotting tool before, but it came out way to thick. This method was much easier, and you basically just paint on rounded stripes. What do you think of this look? I can’t wait to try it again with different colors!

These colors are all China Glaze: Re-Fresh Mint, Purple Panic (neon), and Shower Together. And I couldn’t resist a little bling! I should use rhinestones more often.


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Watercolor and Stamping

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I’ve seen a bunch of people doing watercolor mails. So I had to try it! To do this look, you paint your nails with a base color and top with top coat. Then you put dots of polish on each nail. Dip a brush in acetone and swish the dots around. Repeat! For a full tutorial, check out Rebecca Likes Nails for step by step directions.

Cool, right? Here’s what I used:

  • For my base color: Scherer Baby Blue (I have never heard of this brand before, but it was cheap and I liked the color!)
  • China Glaze First Mate
  • China Glaze Holly-Day
  • China Glaze Shower Together
  • China Glaze Re-fresh Mint

And then because I just could not leave it alone, I did some stamping! The Adventures in Stamping Sunday challenge this week was to use a plate that ends in 7 (shhhh this is really for tomorrow… but I’m too excited!). I have a lot of plates that I’ve never used before (so many designs and so little time!), so I actually got to try out a design from one of the first plates I ever bought. I used Konad m57 and stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep. I seriously love this look!


And just for fun I put some flakies on my thumb before stamping. I wish I had done this on all of my fingers, it turned out so well.

I will definitely try this technique again. What do you think?

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I ordered some new stamping plates (I have so many now! Expect more stamped designs!) from a brand called Shany. I really like a lot of the images, though there were several designs that show up multiple times throughout the set. This was one of them – luckily I like these delicate vines and flowers!

This is 3 coats of Loreal Violet Vixen, which is such a pretty color! I stamped SH18 with Sally Hansen Insta Dri Mint Spring. I recently learned that almost any Insta-Dri polish works for stamping, which is really convenient! It means that I don’t have to buy the Konad special polish, which is expensive. It also opens up a world of color stamping (I only have the special polish in black and white).

I really like this one!

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I just did my nails 4 times. There were some serious fails! I finally ended up just slapping on some sparkles to be done with it. This one ended up pretty, but man – that was frustrating!


Haha! I just realized that there are cotton strings hanging from my nails… ugh. I seriously could not get the cotton balls and other gunk off my fingers. Blah. Anyways, this is China Glaze Winter Berry and a few coats of Sally Hansen Gem Crush – Lady Luck (oh my goodness, it is awesome, holo glitter and all!). Then I stamped that heart-ribbon thing as an accent finger.

Ok, so, ignore all the gunk. This picture is a little blurred, and you can see just how sparkly this is. Wow!

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I recently discovered this facebook group called Adventures in Stamping – and it is really feeding my polish addiction! There are some pretty crazy things you can do with stamping, and the people who post in this group post some really beautiful things! I’ve shown you some stamping manicures that I’ve done before, but they tend to be pretty simple. I’ve been practicing with the all over nail designs, but there are really creative and interesting ways to layer designs or create your own full nail design. 

See what I mean? It’s so pretty! And really simple to do. I should do this more 🙂 This is China Glaze Shower Together (I told you this was my new favorite), and I stamped Red Angel plate RA 109 using the special white Konad polish. And that’s it!

The only glitch is that I am still figuring out how to get my thumbs to work. I seriously don’t think that I have huge thumbs… but I guess the nails are much bigger? I don’t know. I saw a tip (somewhere…) that said to practice getting the image very straight and centered. I still had to go back and fill in missing places. It looked like there was a big empty blue border. I just sort of tried to fill in those spots without overlapping too much. What do you think, can you see the spot on my thumb?

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Flakies Polish

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Unfortunately, my nail blog reading habit has made me insanely covetous of some of the shiny, pretty things out there. There are so many kinds of pretties! And I want to try them all! Specifically, I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews of different flakies… and at first I had no clue what they are. Basically, it’s a nail polish with flakes that change color in different lights. I just bought my first ever flakie (flaky?) polish – it’s Finger Paints Asylum. And it’s pretty! I also got a few other polishes, and I had to try everything at the same time (and because I wanted to see what Asylum looked like over other colors besides black!). Here’s what I got:

  • Finger Paints Asylum
  • China Glaze Shower Together (this is probably my new favorite color. Ever.)
  • China Glaze Holly-Day (hello Christmas sale!)
  • China Glaze First Mate
  • and some others not pictured here (including a red Christmas color)

Ok. So. I tried to take pictures of the flakies in all their glory. First, I layered them over 2 base coats (a mixture of the above colors).

So shiny! But then, because I’m still obsessed with Essie Matte About You and because I’ve seen really pretty pictures of matted flakies – I made it all matte.

Excuse the smudge on my middle finger. oops. Anyways – I love how the light catches the different flecks and brings out different colors! It goes from red-orange to green to blue.


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