Nail Art: Add Some Glamour with Striping Tape.

Nail art can be as complex or as intricate as you want. Sometimes it’s as easy as putting a few dots on your polish (like I did for my Ladybug design) or if you want to go with something a little more glamourous, you can use striping tape. It comes in a mind-boggling array of colours and can add a touch of class to your mani.

I call this look Blue Steel.

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Having said that, be warned, using striping tape is not for the weak. I watched hours of YouTube videos on striping tape, but I wasn’t truly prepared for the frustration that would ensue. I decided to do my right hand first (as I’m right-handed and always photo my left hand) and glad I did. What a mess. This is definitely something you need to play with a few times before you get the hang of it. My left hand went on in half the time, so I’ll assume that my frustration was in part, due to my using my non-dom hand.

BlueSteelTools

Tools

  • OPI’s Yoga-Ta Get This Blue
  • Striping tape
  • Tweezers
  • Nail cutters
  • Clear top/base coat

 Application:

-base coat

-two coats of polish

-cut a length of tape wide enough to cover the nail horizontally. NOTE: cut the tape a little longer than your nail width. You can trim the sides later.

-with tweezers, carefully pick up the striping tape on one side. Try not to touch the sticky (un-shiny) side of the tape as the oil from your fingers will dull the sticky.

– (here’s the tricky part) place the tape on the nail in the position you wish. It may take a few tries, be patience. Once in place, press down on the tape with your fingers. I also used a dotting tool to press it to the nail.

– once the tape is in place, trim up the edges. It’s okay if you trim a little short. As a matter of fact I recommend it. I found the tape would lift at the ends even with a topcoat. I think a shorter strip seals better.

-brush on your topcoat. Make sure you cover the ends and don’t be cheap when applying. A good amount of top coat (especially on the corners) will keep the tape from curing.

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Nail Art: The Art of Dry Brushing.

I went to ceramics with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for about a year back when Sithboy was a baby. It was my one night to get out and I loved it. Ask me how many dragons I painted. Too many, and until recently I never thought I’d use the dry brush technique again. Who would have thought my ceramic classes would come in handy outside the class.

I was wrong.

CyberGothGrunge

CyberGoth Grunge

I call this design Cyber Goth Grunge. Done with three colours, it was probably the easiest first attempt of a nail art design I’ve done so far.

Application:

-clear basecoat

– 2 coats Essie’s Pretty Edgy

-let dry

 

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[l-r] Pretty Edgy, Blanc, 7th Inning Stretch

Here’s where the fun begins. Starting with Essie’s Blanc, I scraped off as much polish on the rim of the bottle as I could. Two or three scrapes at least. I dragged the brush across the polished nail from top to end until I was satisfied with the amount. For this design, think less is more. I then used OPI’s 7th Inning Stretch (which is a nice dark, blue shimmer) the same way as the white. The good thing about this, the two design colours will dry quickly so you don’t have to worry about one colour running into the other. Finish it off with a topcoat and you’re all set! This is by far the easiest nail art I’ve done so far. I did add some neon pink on one, but it changed the overall ambiance of the design so I kept to the three colours. I’ve seen some videos where they’ve used for or more and it still looks good.

Nail Art: Gel Nails and Dotting Tools

If you’ve been following my Instagram account, you know that about a year and a half ago I started posting pictures of my nail art. Most of it was on short nails because my nails have become weak and brittle. Gel nails solved that problem and I just learned that I can put regular nail polish on gel nails! Using nail polish remover (with or without acetone) doesn’t hurt the gel overlay! Yes, I tried it and the shiny surface appeared without a hint of discolouration or damage. I am so impressed, so you know what this means right?

BACK TO MY NAIL ART!

I came up with so many ideas in the last year and now I can work on making them happen.

One of the first nail art tools I bought were dotting tools. They’re inexpensive and easy to use, mind you, I had to get a feel for them first before I attempted anything. My tools came in a set of five, double-ended tools ranging in size.

dotting tools

Dotting Tools

Dotters are probably the easiest of nail art tools to use and perfect for beginners like me. They add a bit of flair to your manicure, and using them was way easier than the sponges for the gradient work I did in the summer. This was the first time I used them. After two coats of base polish (Revlon Red) dried, I put two large drops of black nail polish (My Gondola or Yours) on some paper and dipped the large end of my #5 dotting tool into it. I did a few test tries on the paper first, and when I got the feel for it, randomly put black dots over the red.

LadyBugs

Reminds me of ladybugs.

Nail Art: Metallic and Pinks

Now that I’ve found a way to keep my nails long without them braking (yay for gel nails) I’m going to try and have a new polish swatch/nail art each month. I realised I’m a month behind, so this month will feature two nail art; one that I had for the month of January and the other that I have for all of February.

First, January;

I saw this metallic polish on a YouTube channel I subscribe to. I thought it was the most incredible and so beautiful! I was hoping for an ice blue or some kind of blue shade for winter, but they had either the metallic green or silver, and you know me, can’t resist the dark shades.

Not as many compliments as the gold glitter, but not everyone is into the darker shades. This really stands out in natural lighting. You can distinguish the greens and purples more than inside lighting, and the faint hint of blue is more prominent too with natural light, or I thought so.

The base for this was green, which went neon after it set. The power my manicurist applied was dark and sparkly; like a fine glitter and he put it on with an application brush that would be the same as those disposable eyeshadow brushes, but a longer handle. The only drawback was; it began to peel a few days later. Not by much, but I noticed it. They were all still pretty good four weeks later, and I was pretty hard on my nails. Also, as you can see my nails are SO LONG! I couldn’t do anything with them. As much as I love long nails, there is a point where I have to cut them. I have no idea how those women with really long nails do anything with them.

For February I decided to go with a red, and wouldn’t you know it, this colour stood out.  I swear, I find this colour in everything and have two bottles of polish at home that is this same colour, but I figured fuchsia for Valentine’s Day. I got accent nails too; and my manicurist did this free hand. Can you believe this? I don’t think I could do this; not on myself. Nails are shorter too (such a relief).

 

Nail Art: Golden Sparkles for the Holidays

I know, I’m a little late for this one, but if you follow me on Instagram you saw this nail art back in December.

This is my second month with gel nails and I still love them. The best thing about them is I get to have beautiful nail art like this.

I had so many compliments on them too. A gold sparkle ombre is elegant for the holidays. Simple but extraordinary at the same time. I saw a lot of nail art over the holidays and while they were beautiful, they seemed a little too much. Maybe for an accent nail, but to do all my nails that way felt over-worked.

This was a simple application. Just clear (gel) polish, let partially dry, and then manually place sparkles on the nail. I didn’t do this either. My manicurist is incredible and she thought of this style too.

The gold sparkle goes with any outfit and it’s simple enough to go from work to party. If you have many social engagements over the holidays, you might want to think something simple like this for your nails.

This year I’m going to work on getting a few more tools. I have some great ideas for next year.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: It’s all about the blues

The colour for spring is blue. This according to all the online fashion ezines I checked out. I really don’t have a problem with it, except that they like the 80’s bright blue, and I’m sorry, I wore enough of that colour the first time around. Yes, I’m that old.

I haven’t worn blue eye shadow in years, decades even, so I was a little upset this was the colour they chose for spring, but after looking around, I found some nice shades, and Urban Decay didn’t let me down either. I found a wonderful shade of blue that I proudly wear and blend in with the other shades. Yes, I said other shades. I refuse to have only one shade on my lids. I like the smoky eye style and I try to use it for all my colours.

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Revlon’s Avante Guarde 525 eye shadow [right], Urban Decay’s Haight

Not to be outdone, I found some blue nail polish in the bargain bin. These colours look good with the dark blue I found on the O.P.I site.

I alternated fingers when I painted them, which is why I’m holding the bottles so weird.

These are nice blues – almost an icy tone to them, but you need at least three coats to get the bottle look. They’re nice enough and hint at a rebellious side to your personality. It’s okay to wear pinks and purples, whites and reds, but with blues, you can step out of the ordinary and be a little rebellious.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Tools of the Trade

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; I love playing with makeup and nail polish. So much so, that I’m looking into an esthetics course at the college here.  For a while, I was a little embarrassed to admit I liked it. As if it were some kind of ‘girlie’ weakness. Then I thought fuck them. They don’t like it, too bad. I love working with eye shadows, eyeliners and all that fun stuff. I change my eye shadow and lipstick with the seasons (yes, I really do) and I’m a huge fan of home-made facials. Recently, I’ve found nail art and have watched several YouTube videos on how to do it, and I thought, if I liked this stuff, surely there are others who do too.

So let me introduce you to my newest acquisitions.

First, some, nice, Gothic colours. Dark purple eye shadow and yes, that’s red eye shadow. The original picture didn’t get the pigment right, so I had to adjust it. That’s pretty much the way it really looks.

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Duo from Make Up For Everyone. Single from Urban Decay

Some new nail polish. O.P.I. from the bargain bin. Close to 75% off. I’m going to use purple, black and pink for my first water marble attempt. Not sure what that is? Heh . . . wait and see.

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And these are the first of my nail art tools. I just need some beads, glitter (yes, I said glitter), and striping tape.

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I’m also going to keep up with my 50 Shades of Red Nail Polish on Instagram. There are too many reds and not enough time.

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Tropical Punch

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