Fishtail Nails

Hi all! 🙂 This was my first attempt at creating fishtail nails and I’m loving how they turned out. PLUS — so easy to do!

To complete the look, I painted a base coat of purple. I then painted on a diagonal blue stripe starting at the top corner to the middle of the opposite side. Then I did the same with gold polish to create an x. From there I kept layering the purple, blue and gold back and forth.Seal with a top coat and you’re golden. The only pesky part is waiting for each layer to dry.

 

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Easy Owl Nails

 

Hello all. 🙂 I’m kind of owl obsessed (like so many these days), so I wanted to give an owl manicure a go. I opted to only do one nail and painted the rest gray with Zoya’s Dove (one of my favorites)!

For the owl, I painted a light pink oval on one nail along with two wee ears. For the wings, I used a darker purple to create two half moons on either side of my nail (I used a dotting tool for this). I also used a dotting tool to create layered circles for the eyes and for the feathers on the owl’s belly. To create the crescent moon shapes on the belly, I made three white dots and then used the lighter purple polish on top of the dots.

For the other nails, I used a dotting tool to create dark purple/light purple layered spots.

 

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3 Enkelini Swatches: Bling it On, Doynk & Argonaut

I have the great pleasure of testing out three of Etsy seller Enkilini’s nail polishes. Check out the swatches below:

 

BLING IT ON: a holographic glitter polish with a transparent pinkish-red base. This is 4 coats.

DOYNK: a multichrome glitter polish that flashes mostly gold with some black/green

ARGONAUT: a holographic blue polish that really shimmers in the sun!

 

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Nude/Teal Gradient + Sticks & Stones

I was super excited to get my hands on a bottle of Cover Bands’ Sticks & Stones nail polish, a coveted black/white glitter beloved by the entire nail painting community. I’ve been wanting to do a gradient with nude, and what better color to pair it with than teal? The Sticks & Stones top coat with this gradient is nothing short of perfection. It always evokes that retro-ish vibe for me! What do you think?

Buy Cover Bands’ Sticks & Stones here (when it’s back in stock)!

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Cookies & Cream Swatch from TheHungry Asian

What you see above is a swatch of TheHungryAsian‘s Cookies & Cream (15 ml, $9.25), a creamy white polish base with the perfect amount of matte black glitter. This is three coats of the nail polish over a clear base coat of polish.

A little bit about me: I work as a full time freelance fashion/beauty writer for various websites and occasionally for print. I’m a style editor at AOL Shopping, feature writer at Tyra Banks’ TypeF.com and current/past clients include Huffington Post, StyleList,  eHow Style, Yahoo! Shine, TheBudgetFashionista, TheStylishCity, Latest-Hairstyles.com and pretty much anywhere that’ll pay me to write! And…dun dun dun…exciting news: I’ve recently been commissioned to write an eBook on shoes/foot health that’ll be available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and anywhere eBooks are sold. I’m a wee bit excited about that one!

One of the perks of being a freelance beauty/fashion writer is that I often do get to sample products. I think it’s important to sample a product yourself before recommending it to anyone else, and that becomes more and more important the bigger your audience is. I also like to feature a nice mix of new/independent/smaller brands and larger companies. With that said, I’m a huge fan of Etsy. In fact, I have a vintage shop, Zebras And Bubblegum, that has been open for nearly 2 years. I will feature a number of indie and “big name” nail polish swatches in the coming months. The majority of these products were provided to me as samples for potential inclusion in upcoming stories for the other websites I write for, but I also wanted to include my favorites here for you all!

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Superman Nails

I wanted to do something colorful and cute, but not terribly complicated. I painted a blue, yellow and red stripe and then a small red square on each yellow stripe. I outlined the stripes/square with black polish to create the outfit portion of this superman inspired manicure. For the ring finger, I used a nude nail polish, painted the third top black and then created a swoop for Superman’s curly hair. Easy peasy!

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Freehand Retro Cherries Manicure

I’ve been wanting to do this manicure ever since I saw CutePolish’s YouTube tutorial. It was pretty simple and the response has been great, thus far. To simplify the process for you: paint nails white, apply red dot duos with a dotting tool, add green stems/leaf, put a white dot on the left side of each cherry. Voila! 🙂 I used Sally’s Northern Lights hologram glitter top coat for an extra kick of cute.

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Pink/Purple Gradient with Leopard Accent

I’ve been wanting to try a gradient for a while now and finally got around to doing one today. It took me a while to choose the colors, but I was feeling colorful today and went with a purple and blue gradient. I added a holographic glitter topcoat and then did an accent finger with pink leopard spots. To create the gradient, I painted the purple and blue onto a dry makeup sponge and dabbed onto my nail. For the leopard spots, I used the round end of a straight pin to apply random pink dots to my ring finger. I used a wee paintbrush to apply the black over the pink dots.

Tip: Top coats are key for gradients, as they smooth things out and give that…well…gradient effect.

I used the following nail polishes to create the look:

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Lichtenstein / Cartoon Inspired Nails

I’ve always been drawn to the cutesy Lichtenstein cartoons and just had to give it a whirl on my actual fingernails. For the tiny dots I actually use the tip of a pencil (constantly had to wipe the nail polish off). I even used the pencil, dipped in polish, to create the black lines. I find I have more control with a pencil than a striping tool, especially when I’m not making simple straight lines. I was pleased with the results.

Here’s the right hand:

I used the following nail polishes to create the look:

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Famous Painting Nails

I did this look last night and, needless to say, it took forever. This was my first attempt. I did not use a nail brush for these at all — they were created entirely with a few tiny paint brushes and index cards as my palette. I really like how they turned out.

Some additional shots and close ups of each finger:

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