Tag Archives: Manicures

Mani Monday: Peek-a-boo [color] I see you!

For this Mani Monday I finally had the opportunity to do the half moon manicure I had been seeing in magazines.  It took me a while to actually get the nerve to try this because I knew it would be a time consuming project- and I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on something I may potentially hate.  I’m not going to lie- I had to try it on my nail color wheel first (which I use to experiment with new colors or combinations) to make sure I could commit to doing it on all my nails. Clearly I commited, so here’s what it took- reinforcement labels (found them at CVS in the office supply aisle), a thicker nude color (Essie Brooch the Subject is a perfect nude), and a contrasting bright color (I went with five colors).

My inspiration and toolsColors used: Essie Playdate, China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Essie Short Shorts, Essie Mint Candy Apple, Essie Brazilliant, and Essie Brooch the Subject

Step One: After applying your base coat (always use a base coat!), paint two coats of the color you’d like as your peek-a-boo color at your cuticle.  This paint job doesn’t have to be perfect since the only part that really matters is at your cuticle.  After the two coats, I clean up the messy edges and also take a little polish away from the side so that it doesn’t show when I paint the nude layer.  Finish this with one coat of Essie Good to Go Top Coat.

Step Two:  Once your nails are totally dry (they do have to be fully dry for this step), apply the reinforcement stickers to your nails.  I found it easier to place when I cut them in half (plus it makes the pack last longer).  I placed the inner curve of the circle at the base of the cuticle for each nail so that the size of the half moon was consistent.  I used a cuticle pusher to press down on the sticker-especially on the sides so that I would have a good, clean curve (this is why your nail must be dry- so that you don’t peel off any of the base polish).  Place the reinforcement circles on all of your nails first.

Step Three:  Once you’ve placed the reinforcement circles on both hands- start painting over the bright color with your nude color.  I like Essie Brooch the Subject because it’s a pretty thick nude- and only takes about 2 coats.  Paint carefully when along the sides and the sticker guide.  Once you finish one hand, wait a minute or two and then carefully and slowly pull the sticker off from going from one side to another.  Repeat on the other hand- peeling carefully as to not mess up your other hand.

Step Four: Once you remove the guides, wait a few minutes and then add another top coat.  On the finished product I like to use Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.   And we’re done!  Voila!

Mani Monday: Ombre Manicure

Happy Mani Monday everyone!  After last week’s St.Paddy’s day mani using Tart Deco- I wasn’t quite ready to give up my corals just yet.  The weather has been so gorgeous and summer-like in Chicago lately that bright and fun colored nails seemed totally appropriate.  After searching pinterest for some inspiration I came across this photo of some beautiful pink ombre nails and immediately decided I had to duplicate this mani with corals.

The good thing about being a nail polish addict was that I have so many colors of polish that I already had most of the colors needed to create perfect ombre effect.  Ps- if you don’t know what ombre is- it is a graduation of color from light to dark.  If you don’t have all of the colors- you can mix your own using your main polish color and white nail polish- which is a little more complicated.  I did the darkest color on my thumbs and the colors got lighter and lighter once I got to my pinky.  Here’s what I used:

From left to right: Essie Ole Caliente, Essie Peach Daiquiri, OPI Mod-ern Girl, Essie Tart Deco, Essie Hi Maintenence

And here’s the manicure:

*Note- I didn’t have the perfect shade for my pinky so I did one thin coat of Essie Tart Deco and then two coats of Essie Hi Maintenance over the top.  In hindsight-I should’ve picked up Essie’s A Crewed Interest (Spring 2012) from the beauty show since it would’ve been the perfect color!  Oh well!

Fortunately I have quite a few different colors I could do this mani with.  I might try green or purple next!

Mani Monday: Mother of (Black) Pearl

Well, I’ve done it, added another Chanel nail polish to my collection.  This time it’s Chanel Black Pearl.  I’ve seen plenty of swatches of this color but it is even more gorgeous in person.  I wouldn’t say it’s black, but more of a dark metallic pewter-ish teal.  So gorg!  I added a little pewter glitter (Sephora by OPI To the Glitter End)  to an accent nail-not because it needed any more pizazz, but rather because I got a new glitter I needed to try out.  Black Pearl will definitely be part of the regular rotation!

Mani Monday: Out of this World!!

Mani Monday is back…so did ya miss me?!  This Monday I bring you a mani that is truly out of this world: Galaxy Nails!  I recently discovered this little mani via Pinterest (virtual pinboard, addictive time consumer).  Bored with the thought of a conventional mani- which I’ve done plenty of in my absence, I decided to give Galaxy Nails a go.   I tested this out on my nail polish art wheel to make sure I had the technique and color flow down.  My tester looked so cool that I decided to go ahead and do all of my nails instead of just one accent nail (the original plan). This mani was fairly easy too- all you need in addition to a variety of colors is one of those triangular make up sponges to do the artwork.

Here’s what I started out with

After the base coat (Essie First Base Base Coat) I used OPI Light My Sapphire as the base nail color.  To get the cosmic ‘galaxy’ effect -take the sponge and paint the lightest color (I used Essie Something Blue) on to the corner of the sponge.  Dab the sponge on something first to get the excess color off and then dab on your nail.  The lightest color serves as the base to layer other colors on top of  and will end up being the focal point of your design.  I chose to be a little random with this and on some nails went for the corners, and others right in the center.  After you have the start of your ‘nebula’ layer other colors on top by following the same process as you did  with the lighter color.  I proceeded with Essie Turquoise and Caicos, then OPI Sparrow me the Drama, followed by China Glaze White Kwik Silver, then added Essie Bermuda Shorts, OPI Cuckoo for this Color, Sinful This is it, and finally Chanel Peridot.  For each of these colors I simply painted a few coats on the sponge and dabbed away.  The colors don’t last long enough to mix with each other as they are absorbed by the sponge so the tiny area of the sponge I used worked for the entire mani.  Once I finished with the colors I went back in with the base color (OPI Light my Sapphire) and sort of reshaped the nebulas.  To top off the mani- I added a few sparkles to really give it that cosmic effect.  Wherever there was pink- I painted a few sparkles from Sephora by OPI’s Sugar Plum Faries Gone Wild.  Then finished with a coat of Sephora by OPI Flurry Up and Only Gold for me.

There’s a little clean up needed afterwards, but no where near as much as with water marbling.

Aren’t these far out?!  Can’t wait to try it with some other stellar color combos!

Mani Monday: She’s a Brick….House

She’s mighty mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out….Yep, that’s the song that went through my head as I made my latest nail polish purchase- Deborah Lippman Brick House.  Rust-colored shades are huge this season- both in fashion and in beauty and nail polish is no exception.  This shade reminds me of a freshly fallen leaf on a chilly autumn afternoon- I just hope by wearing this color it doesn’t send away the gorgeous Indian summer weather we are having.  Here’s what I did for the mani: I started with Essie First Base Basecoat, then followed up with two coats of Deborah Lippman Brick House, the finished the mani off with Essie Good to Go Fast Dry Top Coat.  See below for the final result- although the picture makes it look more red- I think it’s a little more on the orange side and I’m loving this color!  It reminds me of the color I got for my very first manicure years ago.  Brick House will definitely be worked in my regular fall rotation.  What colors are you loving for your fall manicure?

New Feature- Mani Monday!

I’ve become even more obsessed with nail polish lately (if that’s even possible).  It’s too the point where I now do my nails 2-3 times a week.  I don’t know if it’s because I have too many colors to use in a lifetime, or because brands like Essie, OPI, and Chanel keep coming out with amazing colors that I need to have, or because of all the inspiration that is out there with nail art, but it’s likely a combination of all 3.   Manicures have become art projects and they aren’t just nails anymore…they’re an accessory which gets just as much consideration as what jewelry I’m wearing or what makeup colors I’m using.  Because of this I’ve decided to do a regular feature on my blog called Mani Monday where I’ll share some of the different manicures I’ve done or am currently sporting and how to do them yourself if it’s anything crazy.

Since it isn’t Monday anymore…I’ll wait until next week to post some pics.  But in the meantime…how about you drool with me over the new Essie and OPI collections pictured below

Essie “Carry On” Fall 2011 Collection

OPI “Touring America” Fall 2011 Collection

What colors will you be buying??