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Nail Art

Nail Art, Simple Manicure

Nail Fraud Nail Decals

June 25, 2012

I tried out a different brand of nail art strips yesterday: Nail Fraud Nail Decals. I tried the Black and White Dots pattern…

Application was so-so. I still struggle with nail stickers like this. The perfectionist in me doesn’t like how the shape near my cuticle doesn’t match as perfectly as I would get it when using traditional polish.

I also don’t like that the “polish” doesn’t smoothy wrap around the edge of the nail. In the photos above you can see the very tip of my nails. My nails are generally really sharp so I like wearing polish on them to soften the edges. These nail decals don’t really do that since they don’t extend past the tip of your nail. :( And a day after I applied these, I can feel them lifting (and I even used a top coat over them). :(

Also, they’re not entirely smooth. As seen on my pointer finger in the pictures, they all have a weird “orange peel” texture. It’s strange.

So, all in all, they’re pretty cute, but I think I prefer regular polish and stamping. On the packaging it says they last up to a week, but I don’t think they’ll last that long. :)

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Nail Art, Nail Stamping

Patriotic 4th of July Manicure

June 21, 2012

Hi all! I’ve had a 4th of July manicure on my to-do list for ages, mostly because I knew it would take ages to get it done! LOL! This was my second attempt and it’s much better than the first. :)

Here I used white for the accents, but in my first attempt I used silver. The silver just didn’t pop as much (you can see it in a card how-to video I did earlier today), and I had some application issues, so I was more than happy to take that manicure off this afternoon and start over. And these are the results! :)

Base Colors: Nicole Listen to Your Momager (blue), A-England Perceval (red)
Stamping Color: Konad White
Stamping Plates: Konad m84 (stars), Cheeky Jumbo Image Plate I2 (diagonal stripes & pointer finger)
Heart: China Glaze White on White
Top Coat: Seche Vite

Things to note:
I created the small heart with China Glaze White on White and a dotting tool. I just dotted two dots close together to form the top of the heart and then “drew” the bottom of the heart with itty bitty dots. Also, the tip on my pointer finger smudged a bit after stamping so I ended up painting just the tip with White on White to clean it up. I ended up liking that better anyway. :)

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Nail Art

Stripe Ombre Nails

June 3, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I saw the above set of nail polishes and ordered it. I thought the range of green colors was really pretty. :) The bottles are pretty small and tiny, though.

I was inspired by a manicure I saw on Pinterest and decided to do a stripe ombre design using striping tape. I wasn’t familiar with striping tape until a couple of weeks ago, too. I ended up ordering some from a seller on Amazon. It came super fast! I ordered and it arrived 2 days later! :)

So first I painted my nails with China Glaze White on White and applied a topcoat (Seche Vite). Then I cut strips of the tape and applied four to each nail. I pressed down the edges really well, and then carefully painted each of the five colors from the ombre set of polishes. I then removed the tape revealing the white polish underneath, and then applied another layer of topcoat.

NOTE: I painted one full nail at a time and removed the tape while the polish was still wet. There were a few spots where the surface of the polish had started to dry and dragged when I was pulling the tape off (see the ring finger?). I think I need to practice with the tape masking technique a bit more to master it. :)

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Nail Art

Teal Stripes & White Dots

May 18, 2012

Experimenting with more tape manicures. I also tried a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, which I really liked. I used the white pen for the dots and white stripes. Truth be told, I only did this on my left hand since I was just playing. I didn’t have time to attempt it on my right hand as well. Anyhow, it’s certainly fun! :)

Dark Navy Base Color: Essie Midnight Cami
Lighter Aqua: Color Club New Bohemian
Teal: Butter London Slapper
White Dots and Stripes: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen

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Nail Art, Simple Manicure

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps

May 17, 2012

While as Ulta last night I saw the new OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps. They are OPI’s version of all the real nail polish nail stickers we’re seeing everywhere (like from Sally Hansen, etc). There were a lot of fun designs, so I picked up a couple to try out.

Long Lasting?

The main attraction of these nail apps is the fact that once applied they last a long time. I’ve heard that if you put a top coat on as well, they last even longer. Kind of nice! That would be a major draw for me except that I love to change my nail polish so often. Since I’ve only had these on overnight, I can’t attest to the longevity of these nail strips, but going off of what numerous bloggers are saying, I would assume they are long wearing.


When it comes to the price, I think you’re definitely paying for the brand name with the OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps. The high price point of $11.95 at Ulta seems steep for something I’m only going to wear for a couple days. For the average consumer, though, I think it would be a great alternative to going to the salon for a professional manicure. You can get the Sally Hansen Nail Effects strips for a few dollars cheaper and they seem to be the exact same thing. And the Sally Hansen ones come with a nail buffer and orange stick. Seems like a better deal all around. You can find the OPI strips cheaper online if you shop around. Here the exact ones I tried but for half the price that I paid at Ulta.


The application was fairly easy, but they only give you 8 sizes (2 of each). The two largest were WAY too big (maybe for toenails?), and the smallest was way too small. I was left with the few in the middle and I had to trim the sides on those to get them to fit right. Even then, I couldn’t get the shape of the strips to look as nice on my nails as I could have with a traditional nail polish manicure. I’m a perfectionist and it really bothers me. You can see in the photo at the top of the post that the strip on my pinky finger wasn’t the correct size. Just a small thing that bugged me.

That being said, I think I’ll hold on to these for the next time I go on a trip. They would be great for travel since all you would need is a nail file to finish off the application. (BTW, I’ll do a “Traveling with Nail Polish” video soon. I have a trip coming up so I’ll film how I pack my nail polish).

To see an example of how these nail polish apps work, view this video from Kandee. She shows the Sally Hansen version, but the application is the same.

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Nail Art

Black Rainbow Stripes

May 13, 2012

Hello, all! Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve been working on perfecting “tape manicures” where you tape off sections of the nail to create crisp, clean lines. It’s a bit tricky to master and I’m still working on it. Anyhow, today I thought I’d do a base painting of a rainbow gradient, apply some tape strips, and then paint black over it all. Really cool masking technique and I have to credit all the amazing inspiration I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. :)

How to do this manicure:

  1. First of all, pick a movie to watch because this takes a while. :)
  2. Paint two coats of white polish (China Glaze White on White). Let dry completely. Not just “to the touch” dry, but more like “I’m going to go do the dishes” dry. Bone dry.
  3. Create gradient nails using rainbow colors and this sponging method. I used four colors and a vertical gradient. I used a bunch of colors from Zoya: Kristi, Pippa, Breezi, and Mira. Let dry completely.
  4. Cut 2 thin strips of tape for each nail and set aside so all are ready before moving on to the next step (I placed them on the top of nail polish bottles with the ends coming off so I could grab them easily). I used regular scotch tape, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  5. Working on each nail one-by-one, apply the tape strips. Be sure to press firmly, especially at the sides next to your cuticles. Paint black polish over entire nail. Immediately remove tape strips (removing them immediately helps you get crisp lines). Move on to next nail.
  6. Let all nails dry for 3-5 minutes. Finish with topcoat (Seche Vite).
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Nail Art

Mint with Polka Dots

April 8, 2012
  • Base Color: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Mint Sprint
    Accent Nail: Nfu Oh 61 with dots (China Glaze White on White, Sunshine Pop, Gaga for Green, Aquadelic, Gothic Lolita, and Essie No More Film)
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Nail Art, Nail Stamping

Vampy Glitter Nails

April 3, 2012

Gothic Glitter Nails. Black with red and red glitter sponging (glitter concentrated on tips). With Konad Special Polish in black stamped with plate m57. Hmm… Also makes me think of Twilight & vampires. LOL!

Base Color: China Glaze Liquid Leather
Sponging: China Glaze Velvet Bow (red), and China Glaze Ring in the Red (red glitter)
Stamping Color: Konad Black
Stamping Plate: Konad m57

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