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Splatter Mani

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You know, I think I like doing my nails as much as I like the finished product. It’s so fun and relaxing, and I can be so creative! For today’s mani, I channeled my inner 6 year old. I saw this splatter mani over at Chalkboard Nails (which is a really amazing blog – her nails always look so flawless!), and knew I had to give it a try. I love the bright colors and the silly beauty of it! To do a splatter manicure, all you need is a straw and a little love. And polish. And q-tips.

This was really fun to do. I think that when I try this again, I’ll have to be more careful in controlling the size of the splatter – this is pretty thick, and I had to use a lot of top coat to even out the layers. Still, I think it’s really pretty, and I like the color combo a lot.

Here’s my color combo:

  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Thinking of Blue – base coat. You can’t seem much of it anymore!
  • Wet n Wiled Spoiled Correction Tape
  • Revlon Top Speed Vintage
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green with Envy

Something to note: this is a really messy manicure. You should prep your work area with a protective layer of paper towel in order to prevent nail polish stains everywhere! Some people recommend taping off their nails before doing this (that literally means using tape around your nails to help clean up all the mis-splattered polish that’s left on your fingers), but ever since I first tried water marbling I’ve been using chapstick. You literally just wipe all the extra gunk away.

After applying your base coat, you dip your straw into the first bottle of polish. I had to play around with this – too much polish on the end of the straw and you get big unwieldy blobs, and too little polish and the splatter won’t work. I would recommend testing on some paper first. When you blow through the straw, it’s really important to use big, quick breaths – like a shot of air. That really helps to get the splatter going! Then layer the next color. Let everything settle and dry, and finish with lots of top coat to even it all out.

This was really hard to photograph – it is so damn shiny. And I swear it doesn’t look this goopy in real life…


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My first gradient

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Hi folks! When I first started getting into nail art, I started reading everything polish! I started following a ton of blogs, and went through all their archives. I’ve found a lot of inspiration and helpful tips at Rebecca Likes Nails, including this great tutorial on gradients. I love the look, and I was eager to give it a whirl! Plus, I’ve been practicing stamping lately, and I thought this would be a great chance to try out some new Red Angel plates I recently bought.

Here’s my first go at the gradient. The first thing I did was to paint my nails with 3 coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Yellow Kitty (guys, I have no idea why these polishes were all 75% off at CVS, but they are super awesome for the price). Next, I used a makeup sponge dipped in polish to layer on Fairy Teal and Thinking of Blue (both Sally Hansen complete salon manicure polishes – and I’m kind of obsessed with the Fairy Teal one, it’s so pretty!). For my first try, I think this came out pretty well! I got polish all over my fingers, as you can still kind of see. Other than that, this wasn’t so hard to do.

For the final look, I stamped this pretty hearts image from a Red Angel plate. The stamping helps to cover up any of the uneven spots from the sponging. I used Konad Black polish for the stamp. The whole thing is finished with some good ol’ Seche Vite – so shiny 🙂

How awesome is this! I think I still need to work on making everything look cleaner at the end – I mean, I used acetone to try to get rid of everything extra, but there’s still some polish in the crevices that I seem to have missed. See what I mean? I think the photo makes it look worse than in real life, somehow.



I really love this! I think this may be one of my new favorite looks!

Sorry this one looks so orange – I’ve been using my phone to edit my blog pics, and sometimes it comes out a little funky. Anyways, seriously, I really dig this manicure. Rock on!


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Funky French

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I don’t get it! I LOVED yesterday’s manicure, but in one day it sort of… slipped off. It’s not like it chipped in the usual places. I looked at my hand and all of the sudden an entire nail would be bare. It’s the strangest thing – I wonder if it has to do with the fast dry polish (I did put it on top of a base coat). Has this ever happened to you before?

Anyways. I was not about to walk around town with half of my nails peeled (slipped? I don’t even really know how to describe this) off. So, I did  a new one! I went a little simpler for today’s manicure, but I have to say that I really love it. For the tips, I used N.Y.C Greenwich Village (hello, 75% off at CVS). Then I used a nail art brush and some remover to clean up the edges and make the tips a little neater. I did 2 coats of N.Y.C Love Letters – which was also 75% off at CVS but I had never actually used before (there are a few things in my stash that I’m ashamed to say I’ve never used), and is so awesome! It’s sheer and packed with tons of micro glitter that are pink and purple (and a little green? I can’t tell) in different light. Next I used a dotting tool with Sally Hansen Black Out along the pink tips, and finished the whole thing with a coat of Seche Vite.

I really love this look!


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Flower Power!

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Hi there! I haven’t posted in a while – but don’t worry, I’m still just as into nail art as ever these days. I must say that nails and manicures have such a huge learning curve. More than not, I’ll try something new and just really hate it! Or alternatively, I’ll do something pretty cool and smudge it or muck it up some other way.

This is 1 coat of Revlon Orchid (shiny!), 1 coat of Wet and Wild Break the Ice (also shiny! and sheer), and finished with some un-named flower stickers. All topped off with Seche Vite. I love it! What do you think?


Yikes, the winter has not been good to my skin. Anybody have any good tips for cuticle care? I struggle with that!


I am really digging these stickers! Must find more!!!

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Playing catch up

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I haven’t posted a few of my recent manicures. So this post will have a bunch of pictures! Get ready…

I recently redeemed some points from my Amazon credit card, and got some new nail supplies – I’ve been dying to use them all, but I think I got too many too fast! I got the Bundle Monster plate collection to stamp more pretty images (I only had a few Konad plates, and I really wanted more options!). I also got more dotting tools in different sizes – just think, BIG dots and LITTLE dots… so many dots! I got Essie’s Matte About You, which I have been really excited to try out. Basically, most nail polish is really shiny, and matte polish is a finish you can apply to make any nail polish that is ordinarily shiny into a matte polish. There are so many things I want to try with this, including one color french manicures. Also, for some reason nail polish at CVS has been 70% off, and when polish is only $1 or $2, well, I just can’t resist.

I wore this manicure last week – I was so excited about the new stamping plates AND tiny brushes that I kind of went to town. I wasn’t super wild about this look, though it kind of grew on me a little. I think with some editing (say, only 1 accent color) this could be really pretty. As is, it’s kind of over the top. I was also testing out my Matte About You, which is why the index finger looks different. Something I do need is better polish remover. I was using pure acetone before, which can’t be good for you, though it did get the job done better than this stuff!

Ok, onto manicure #2. I apologize for the messiness here, blame it on the non-acetone remover.

So, first I did polka dots. Pretty! Then I taped off half my nail to do the solid navy blue color. And then I worked my matte magic. And then I used a striper and some silver glitter polish. Oh, and I discovered that when you put matte polish on top of glitter, it looks AWESOME (that’s the accent ring finger, though it’s kind of hard to tell). Man, these close ups are a killer!

Manicure #3. Apparently matte chips super easily, so I did another manicure today. It was super fast, but basically I sort of just went all out and did tons of different stuff. I know, it’s crazy. I think that in the polish world this is known as skittles. So, I present, my first skittle manicure! It has dots, rhinestones, stamping, lots of colors, glitter, and matte. Yes. YES!

I love this. I think any one of these would be great to use as a manicure for all my fingers! I’m particularly digging the zebra print. So cool.



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Lace tips

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This was actually a really fast manicure – I’m learning about the wonders of stamping! It’s a fast and quick way to make really beautiful and complicated looking designs. I’ll explain more about stamping in another post, but it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. There are metal plates with images etched in. You use a really thick, pigmented polish to fill in all the crevices, wipe away the excess, and using a rubber stamper you transfer the image onto your finger. That’s pretty much it! I’ve also been really into sparkles as an accent – though I kind of stuck them on crooked! The picture also makes me realize how unforgiving a camera can be – my cuticles need some help! Help! Oh dear.

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Half Moons

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This is today’s manicure! It’s Sally Hansen Black Out as a base coat, and then I used reinforcement stickers to create the half moon shapes with Finger Paints Laugh My Art Off. Then some white dots (eek, I can’t remember the name! sorry), and a little jewel for an accent. The stickers were a great guide to make the shape (you know, those hole reinforcement stickers for paper), and they weren’t too sticky in that they didn’t peel off the base color. I love this Finger Paints color – this is just one coat layered on top of the black. So sparkly! The sparkles were a little hard to clean up, but I still like it.

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Purple Tribal

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I am so excited for my inaugural post! Woohoo! As many of you know, I have been delving into nail art – and I must say, I have sported some pretty awesome manicures! I’m really excited to learn more – there are some amazing designs and techniques, and I’m pretty sure this is just the tip of the ice berg. So, I’ve decided to teach myself. Here’s some more information about my thinking about this blog, in case you’re confused and thinking, “the dalai who? nails? What?” (which you probably are, because it’s not an intuitive kind of thing.).

To get things started off, here’s a manicure I worked on this evening while J. watched football.

I was really inspired by this WAH design – I love the pattern, and I’ve never done anything as intricate as this before. I went to Sally Beauty today and bought some striping brushes and dotting tools (as well as a few pretty polishes I’ve had my eyes on! I can’t wait to try them out – sadly, some of them did not make this design). Basically, I was so excited about all my new goodies that I tried to incorporate everything I could (hence the accent rhinestones on my ring finger!). Here’s what I used:

These are stripers, a dotting tool, and a tool to pick up those tricky little gem stones. Basically, most nail polishes come with those thick brushes that makes precise application really difficult. Stripers are finer bristled brushes meant for precision work. Dotting tools are pretty much a little metal ball attached to the end of a handle. When you put polish on the metal ball, it is very easy to make dots. These come in different sizes, but Sally only had this tiny one. I think I may order different sizes online.

For polishes, I used the Seche Clear base coat. My base was Revlon Fast Dry in Lily, and the accent colors were Revlon Fast Dry Sugar Plum, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out, Orly Rage, and Seche Vite top coat. I’ve just started using Seche Vite, and it’s awesome! It makes everything dry really fast, and keeps your colors from chipping. I’m really into it!

I started with my base, and then tried to experiment with all my brushes to get a feel for how precise I could be. It’s really hard! For my first try, I think I did alright! I think that with practice my lines will get more even (and even finer!) – and I was surprised that my right hand actually came out ok! Here are some more shots of my process:

I finished by trying to clean up around my cuticles with some nail polish remover, and then used Seche Vite to stick some rhinestones on. I love the colors!

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