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Category Archives: Tutorials

Tutorial #005: Ombre Nails

Ombre nails are some of the most awesome patterns a person can do. You wouldn’t know it by looking at them but they’re easy to achieve, even for a beginner. In fact, they’re hard to mess up as long as you use the right polishes and good sponges.

Keep on reading for the actual tutorial and tons of photos of other ombre manicures!

Read the rest of this entry

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Nail Tutorial #004: Giddy for Green

Today’s tutorial is called Giddy in Green and has an overall fun, youthful feel. It is easy to do but a bit time-consuming. I have done a few other manicures like this (see tutorial #003) and get faster each time. This particular manicure took me about half an hour from start to finish.

The following items are what you’ll need to achieve this look:

Sassy by Revlon
First Mate by China Glaze
Nicole by O.P.I.’s My Favorite Gold
Lexington Yellow by NYC
– Silver nail studs
– Any kind of dotting tool (here I have used 12 gauge craft wire that has been cut to reveal flat, circular ends which are perfect for dotting)
– Tweezers (Pictured above is a tweezer/scoop combination that can be found at Michael’s or any other craft store. It is perfect for this manicure because not only can you pick up and place these small beads with ease, you can also use the back of the scoop to tap them which helps set them in place.)
– Q-tips and acetone for corrections (optional)

1.) Paint two coats of your base color and add a quick dry topcoat for optimal dry time.

2.) Take a glob of polish and place it on a piece of paper. Dip your dotting tool into the glob and try a few practice dots on the piece of paper before moving on to your nails. Place one dot at a time on your nails.

3.) Immediately after placing one dot of polish, use your tweezers to pick up a stud and place it in the middle of the dot. If it is not placed perfectly don’t worry. You can always use the tweezers to push it a little in one direction or another to achieve perfect placement. Be sure to do it while the polish is still wet though or else the stud will fall off easily.

4.) Clean your dotting tool off by dipping it in acetone and wiping it with a cotton swab or paper towel.

5.) Using two other colors of nail polish start placing more dots on each nail.

And there you have it! A manicure made of dots and studs in bright, playful colors. Be careful not to bump your nails into anything (use the bathroom before doing your manicure!) because the studs come off easily until they’ve finished setting. It also helps to add a topcoat to sort of seal them into place but this is optional. Be sure to wait to add the topcoat until everything else is dry though because the brush might drag a stud out of place. Fortunately this is easily fixable with tweezers but it might take some polish from your base coat and subsequently require doing the dot (or dots) over again.

Nail Tutorial #003: Preppy Pocks

Well, I promised a tutorial for my last manicure but this is going to be a tutorial for something entirely different. Today’s tutorial will be on polka dots! The cool part about my tutorial is that I can almost guarantee no one does it the same way I do and it looks just as good as any of the other polka dot manicures I’ve seen out there.

Here’s what you’ll need. (It goes without saying that you can substitute these polishes with whatever brand or color you desire!)

China Glaze’s First Mate
Revlon’s Sassy
Revlon’s Siren
NYC’s Lexington Yellow
– 12 gauge wire
– Scissors or nippers
– Q-tip and acetone for clean-up (optional)
– Quick-drying top coat (optional)

1.) Take your wire and nippers out. Cut off a piece of wire and straighten it out with your hands or a rubber hammer. In order to keep the ends even you will need to clip them perfectly. Try to keep from using your cutters in a crooked fashion and file the edges if necessary. (

Tip: The wire pictured here can be purchased at any Michael’s for no more than a couple of bucks. Wire of all sizes should be available in any craft store, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Wal-mart as well.

2.) Apply a solid base coat in the color of your choice. Here I have chosen First Mate by CG as it applies smoothly and all around looks amazing. Apply two coats of polish and top it off with some quick-drying top coat if you’re impatient like me.

3.) Get out your first polish and dab a blob of it on a piece of paper. Do a few practice dots (as you can see in the above photo) and once you are sure you have a consistent size and shape begin to dot your nails in the first color.

Tip: After every couple of dots stick the end of your wire in some acetone and wipe it off so that the polish doesn’t begin to dry and clump up on the end. This will result in a messy looking circle instead of a nice, clean dot.

4.) Continue this process with each of your colors and in no particular pattern.

Tip: If you mess up a dot, soak a q-tip in a good amount of acetone (it should almost be dripping). Quickly wipe it over the dot you want removed. If this doesn’t take it off, try lightly wiping the q-tip in a circular motion. If you do it in a light, quick fashion it shouldn’t take your base coat off. Voila! No more messy dot.

5.) Apply a top coat of polish and you’re done! Allow your nails to dry for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better).

Please feel free to share your own polka dot manicures in the comments section below!

Nail tutorial #002: Chic and Teak

Posted on

Alright, I’m in a mood to post today! I’m trying to make up for lost time. It’s my goal to post at least once every few days and have a couple of tutorials and reviews every single week. Hopefully I can really get the ball rolling with this blog and build a good “base” for everyone to enjoy.

I’m going to change up the way I write tutorials so this will be a little different than #001. Today’s manicure is called “Chic and Teak” and uses the following items:

White on White by China Glaze
Smoky Brown by e.l.f.
Quick Dry Top Coat by Revlon
– Bundle Monster plate BM20
– Konad stamper
– Konad scraper or old credit card (in this case mine is an old gift certificate).
– Q-tip with a point or a brush
– Acetone
(The q-tip and acetone are not necessary but help with cleaning up the edges of your nails. I know I need them after painting my nails and they make a huge difference! Simply soak the brush or q-tip in the acetone and swipe it around the edge of your nails.)

1.) Paint your nails with White on White. Use at least two coats but no more than three or else it will begin to glob up. Apply a quick drying top coat to speed up dry time and allow your nails to dry for at least 10 minutes.

2.) Dip your brush or q-tip into acetone and gently wipe it around the edges of your nails to correct all smudges. Do this immediately after painting each nail and the polish will come up MUCH quicker than if you wait until you’re finished with your entire hand.

3.) Take your credit card or scraper, stamper, and BM20 plate out. Apply Smoky Brown polish on top of the filagree image. I have found that painting over the image in all directions allows the polish to really sink into the plate and as a result the stamper will pick it up better.

4.) Be sure to do this step immediately after you paint over the image! Use the card or scraper and scrap the polish off in one quick motion. Do not press down too hard but firm while swiping in one direction. Immediately pick up your stamper and press it into the design. Roll it around while keeping it flat on the plate so that every nook and cranny will be included. As fast as you can, take the stamper and roll it over your nail. Be sure to follow the natural curvature of your nail or it won’t look right! If you press flat down the design will become warped or pieces of it will be entirely missing.

5.) Apply your top coat for protection and a nice shine. Let your nails dry for at least 10 minutes before using your hands.

Voila! A beautiful filagree design in two very chic colors.

Manicure #001: Mocha Delight

Posted on

Here goes nothing, my first manicure! In case you didn't read the introduction post, it is important to know that I am a beginner when it comes to anything nail-related. I'm being as honest as Mother Theresa when I say that in my 24 years on earth, I have never done so much as give myself an actual, honest-to-god manicure until one week ago. It's needless to say I have become addicted! Unfortunately there are some things that come with the territory. I will not be using a nice camera but instead my iPhone3 and because my nails have never been cared for and I create jewelry for a living, my fingers look awful right now! Hopefully they will improve in time!

One more thing before getting started: It is my hope that not only will I help others but that others will help me. Please feel free to leave suggestions, photos, links, tutorials, whatever in the comments section!

On to the manicure. I'll call it "Mocha Delight."

In order to keep this blog and its tutorials as simple and easy as possible I will be including lots of photos. With that being said, here is what you'll need:

From left to right: Top2 Bottom base coat by Orly, Quick Dry Top Coat by Revlon, Sand Tropez by Essie, NYC Quick Dry Polish (color not given but it is dark burgundy), and Diamond in the Rough by wet n wild.

1.) Apply one base coat. It does not need to be perfect.
2.) Apply two coats of Sand Tropez by Essie. (Here is a wonderful tutorial on how to paint your nails perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_pBr1m9dKg (I wish I could directly link but it isn't working/I don't know the HTML... yet.) It is by far the best one I've found so far!)
3.) Let the first two coats dry for at least 15 minutes. The polish needs to be set before moving to the next step or you will end up peeling off parts of it.
4.) Use a generic white tip guide and place it a few millimeters from the tip of your nail.
5.) Apply a coat of burgundy NYC Quick Dry polish.
6.) Let this coat dry for at least two or so minutes. It does not need to be perfect but it needs to cover the nail tip as it provides a dark base color for the next layer.
7.) Apply Diamond in the Rough by wet n wild.
8.) Apply top coat. It does not need to be perfect.
9.) Use a q-tip to remove any renegade polish that made its way onto your cuticle or finger.
10.) Let everything dry for at least 15 minutes (longer is preferable as the longer you allow your nails to dry, the less likely it is something will smudge them!)

Another photo:

There you have it! I found this manicure to be extremely simple. It is, however, somewhat time consuming. It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish. It would probably take less time had I not made the mistake of not allowing my nails to dry 100% before applying the tip guides (obvious rookie mistake, of course). When I peeled them off they took plenty of sand Tropez with it and many cuss words ensued. Moral of the story? The more dry time the better! Pace yourself and you'll have a beautiful manicure.

Please keep returning for updates. Thank you for reading!