Archive for the ‘“How To”’ Category

Effie Trinket Nails

Even if you have not seen the Hunger Games Movie yet, you have most likely seen Effie Trinket’s eccentric nail art buzzing about the web. There are about a billion (well maybe I am exaggerating a teeenie bit) web pages dedicated on how to achieve Effie’s nail looks. I just found a photo from the scene in the movie and worked on recreating it.

I used two coats of China Glaze Ahoy and using a make-up sponge create a glitter gradient with Orly Ingenue. China Glaze Ahoy (reviewed here) has a beautiful gold sparkle that works beautifully with Ingenue (reviewed here). Ingenue is a relatively thin glitter so it is perfect for creating a gradient, I just had to sponge about five thin layers.

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!”
-Effie Trinket


Pink Friday with Dinosaurs (50th Post!!!)

I started out by applying three coats of OPI’s Pink Friday from the Nicki Minaj mini collection released January 2012. Pink Friday is a creamy light bubblegum pink that applies streaky so I need every bit of the three coats to even out the color. It also takes a long time to dry. If you apply carefully you will most likely be just fine, but I found that I had trouble with large air bubbles coming to the surface, I think that this is mostly due to user error/frustration with the streaky formula. The color lies somewhere between a light pastel and a bubblegum pink. I would be reluctant to use it again, but if you really like the crazy color combinations in the Nicki Minaj collection I would invest in the OPI mini bottles like I did.

Here is how I made the cute dinosaur (mostly to cover up the horrible bubbles).

1) I painted my nails with three coats of OPI’s Pink Friday.

2) Then I applied a coat of Seche Vite which improved the overall smoothness of Pink Friday.

3) Then I used my homemade dotting tool to make the dinosaurs (see the diagram below) I started out with the oval body, start with plenty of polish on the dotting tool and drag out the dot until you get an oval shape. Drag out a tail to one side. Make the dot for the head you are done with the first color.

4) Then using a second corresponding color make a tiny dot for the eye and 4 to 5 dots on the back of the dinosaur.

5) Make as many dinos as you like, I only did one on the ring finger and thumb nails and apply a top coat.

Thanks for reading it is hard to believe that this is already my 50th post.

How To Make A Jelly Sandwich

Here it is as promised my first jelly sandwich manicure. I love the subtle glitter shimmering from below the layer of pink jelly polish. Here are the steps 🙂

1) First apply 3 coats OPI’s Do You Think I’m Tex-y? or any other jelly or sorbet finish polish on all nails.

2) I applied Seche Vite and wore my manicure for a full day before adding the glitter. You can do this manicure in one sitting, but just make sure the polish is completely dry.

3) You can either apply the glitter polish over the whole nail or you can use a makeup sponge to create a glitter gradient effect like I did. I used a makeup sponge to lightly sponge the glitter polish (I used OPI’s Teenage Dream) starting at the base of my nail and worked toward the tips.

4) Let the glitter polish completely dry, then apply an additional coat of your jelly polish evenly over all nails. This leaves you with the glitter sandwich effect. You can simply leave the manicure as is or apply your favorite top coat. 

I love how the jelly polish tones down the wild and crazy pink sparkle from Teenage Dream but still allows the color shifting to take place on the holographic multicolored reflective glitters.

Zebra Print over Pros & Bronze

I finally got around to posting my updated Pros & Bronze manicure. My Pros & Bronze manicure lasted nearly a week with only minimal tip wear. To make the zebra stripes I used a small tipped black sharpie. I know that many nail art enthusiasts use nail art pens or tiny paint brushes but I find that a sharpie marker works just as well and most people already have one.

I messed up several times, but with a q-tip slightly moistened with nail polish remover the sharpie comes right off and the polish below is not disturbed. I found that it was easier to google zebra print and look at an example than to try to draw from memory. If you use a sharpie make sure the design is completely dry before applying a layer of top coat, but the top coat is completely necessary or the design can rub off.

Mermaid Nails

These nails were inspired by the mermaid like color of Zoya’s Charla (reviewed here) and Little Nails Mermaid/Fish Scale Nail Tutorial (here). Little Nails has some great nail art designs and is definitely worth checking out. The first problem that I came across is that I do not have a dotting tool, so I decided to make one with things I had at hand. I used a bristle from an old brush as the functional part of the tool and for a handle I glued the bristle into the eraser of a pencil. You can try to just push it in to the eraser, but it tends to come out when you switch dotting colors. It may not be pretty, but it is functional and free 🙂


Once you have a dotting tool you then have to pick out your base polish and find coordinating colors for the scales. I used Zoya’s Charla for my base, I applied two coats to all my nails and allowed it to dry. Then I went to my polish stash and tried to coordinate scale colors I chose 4 different blues (Urban Outfitters- Green 9 and no name blue jelly, OPI- Azure For Sure, China Glaze- For Audrey) a gold shimmer highlight (Orly- Ingenue).

So one you decide what colors you are going to use you need to set up an area that allows you to dot and change the color on the tool quickly and efficiently. My set up is pictured below, I loosened the lids on all the bottles and put a small dot of polish on my strip of aluminum foil. You want to keep the bottles open because as you work your paint dots will start to dry up if the dots are too big, or will quickly be used up if your dots are too small. I also soaked a portion of paper towel in nail polish remover to clean the dotting tool between dots.

To make the scales I started with the first row close to the base of the nail and I dotted different colors across the nail, overlapping them like the scales of a fish. I avoided placing dots of the same color next to each other, but if it doesn’t bother you then I think you can get away with using fewer colors of nail polish.

This was a really easy manicure to execute, but it can be a little bit time-consuming. Even though my scales didn’t come out perfect I still love the final result.


I Vant To Be A-Lone Star French Tips

First of all I loved the OPI Texas Collection mini bottle set that I purchased soon after they came out. I Vant To Be A-Lone Star is one of my favorite polishes that I own, now that I think about it i should have purchased a full-sized bottle :/… Oh well back to the polish, it is a light blue shimmer polish with almost a hint of grey. It has a so-called “sorbet-like” finish that is perfectly opaque in two coats. If you can still find it ( I still see it on eBay in mini and full size bottles at great prices when it is available) I highly recommend purchasing.

I used tape to create a fast french tip manicure. First I applied a clear base coat then allowed it to completely dry. Then (more detailed instructions here) I lined up my tape close to the edge of the nail and painted two quick coats of I Vant To Be A-Lone Star from the OPI Texas Collection for Spring/Summer 2011. After a few seconds you gently remove the tape and apply a top coat. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete this nail art, minus the dry time.

Valentines Day Heart Tips “How To”

I was not going to do a valentine’s day nail design but I was inspired by all the heart tip nails I was seeing all over campus so I decided to give it a try. Most were pastel pinks and purples, so I decided to mix it up a bit and use my existing silver magnetic manicure and a hot pink from Nicole by OPI called It’s A May-Zing.

Here is how you can easily paint your own heart tips without any special tools. I just used the normal polish brush.

Step One: Apply a base color and wait for it to dry, here I used a magnetic nail polish in silver from Claire’s

Step Two: I then used my hot pink polish to make half of a rounded heart. I just used the brush from the bottle, but you could use a smaller nail art brush if you don’t think you have a steady hand.

Step Three: Using the same polish paint the second lobe of the heart. If you can see the base color through the tip you can apply additional coats.

Step Four: Apply a top coat once it is dry and you are all done 🙂

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