What I Wore For Halloween (aka I’m Not A Total Failure This Year)

October is a huge month in the nail art world. Why? Because Halloween is one of the best inspirations for nail art! So many opportunities! Many nail artists have a different mani for every single day of October! That’s insane to me! (I’m using a lot of exclaimation points!) … (!!!) …(!)

Anyway (awkward segue), I had plans. I started my Halloween mani list in September. It was a good list. It was also a big list. I had to do better than I did last year. As a nail artist, I pretty much shamed myself by doing one, single, solitary Halloween mani. (Insert embarrassment here). It wasn’t a bad mani. It was a great mani. But there was only one.

I had at least twenty nail art ideas on my list. I managed to do four manis. That’s it. Yep. But I’m feeling pretty good about it, because four is better than one. So I’m going to take you through my gallery of what I wore (on my nails) for the month of October.

I kicked off the month with a mani swap with @prettypinkypolish. She Halloweenized my Furiously Happy mani, and I recreated her radial gradient with spiderwebs.

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Originals on the left, recreations on the right.

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Next up is the eyeballs. This was a huge idea, that was a huge pain in the butt. I hated it when I was done because it wasn’t exactly how I envisioned it. Some of it distorted. I was in a mood. I took it off immediately after taking pictures. Then I regretted taking it off so quickly when I went back and looked at pictures a few days later. I should’ve had more confidence in it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty cool.

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This one was my favorite.

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Moving on, we have a super basic Halloween glitter mani. Orange base, and Halloween glitter.  That’s it. It was simple and cute. I haven’t even put it on Instagram yet.

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The last mani I’m going to show you is the one I’m most proud of. I didn’t go for cute, or pretty, or vampy… none of that! I stepped out of the box, and out of my comfort zone, and went all out gross!

My zombie nails!

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I intentionally left this picture big so you could see all the disgusting details.

That was all done with nail polish. It was fun going to the grocery store with my nails looking like that. Usually people will look at my nails and tell me they look nice. This time, people would glance at my nails and look away real quick, or grimace. My zombie mani made so many people uncomfortable! And that’s pretty much what I was aiming for.

I did do a bit of clean up after I took the pic. As cool as it looked, I couldn’t leave polish all over my fingers like that. I do feel like cleaning them up took away from the overall look, though.

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They were still gross, just not as gross. I added a matte topcoat as well. I didn’t feel like zombie nails would be glossy.

And then the magical thing happened! When my real life friend @sunshineandpolish brought her kids over to trick or treat with my kids, she had delightfully disgusting, matching zombie nails! I don’t even have any words for how happy that made me!

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Zombie Twin Nails

So there you have it. My four, fabulous Halloween manis. I can make a goal to do more next year, but I’m making no promises.

Until next time!

Click here if you’re curious about my versatility.

 

 

 

 

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Purple Thursday

I was recently a part of a collaboration for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To show our support, we all wore purple manis for Purple Thursday. We used hashtags like #purplethursday #enddomesticviolence #dvawarenessmonth to bring awareness, and to show our love and support to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

This is my part of the collab.

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I started with a base of Ellagee The Purple One, and Daddy Pop on my ring finger.

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Then I drybrushed four different purple polishes onto my squishy stamper. Dry brushing is wiping as much polish as possible off the brush (so it’s “dry”) then brushing your nails, or in this case, the stamper. With this method, you’ll end up with rough little streaks of polish. It’s good for creating a textured look.

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I used ILNP Kings and Queens, Peace, and Cygnus Loop, and Color Club Eternal Beauty.

Then I stamped my nails with the dry brushed stamper. I was able to stamp two nails at a time, because the stamper is huge, and I have tiny nails.

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I stamped with Essie Good As Gold, using Caption Art Screens Dreamcatcher collection.

The finished product.

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And the collab collage.

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All the wonderful ladies that contributed:

@luvbboop23

@monkeytigerdragon

@momanismoproblems

@thatrighthandthough

@pittbullsandpolish

@launch180

@sassy_manis

@tmm111907

@lostinpolish

@baes_nails

@sloppyswatches

@megatuce

@shinesparkpolish

@rocket.mani

@my_polished_escape

@polished_ink

@marindasmanis

@psyched.manis

@mani_moyi

@pretty_in_pink_polish

@mamineedsamani

And me

 

 

 

 

 

What I Did Over Summer Vacation

Hello lovelies!  I am here! I am back! I really need to get the ball rolling again, and this is how I’m going to do it. I’m going to tell you the sad, sad story of my devastating nail break. Which turns out not to be all that devastating after all,  because nails grow. Fancy that!

 So here’s where I was mid-June. My nails were long, pointy, and glorious.

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I was spending a lot of time at the pool, which is delightful in the summertime,  but is not so delightful for nails. You see, water and nails don’t like each other. Not at all! Water makes nails soft and weak.  So when I was in the pool, and my nails were soft and weak from the water, my daughter and I collided, tragedy struck.

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Fear not!  My daughter walked away from the incident unscathed. Not even a tiny scratch on her. The only fatality involved was my poor, poor nail.  Although, if you ask her, she could’ve died.

The break was pretty low down, and it was painful. I decided to patch it, instead of clipping it all the way off. My husband kept asking, “Why don’t you just cut it?” Because it would hurt, that’s why. It was still attached to skin on the other side. ( Did you shudder when I said that? I did.)

Patching involved nail glue, a tea bag, and the powder from my old Orly Repair kit. I don’t have pics of the process, because honestly, I wasn’t trying to document. I was trying to save my nail!

I applied a layer of nail glue, and put a tiny square of cut up teabag right over the crack in the nail. I let that dry, then applied more nail glue and another piece of teabag.  I added one more layer of nail glue, then dipped my finger in the powder from the repair kit, then buffed the surface of the nail.  It was a lumpy monstrosity,  but I still had the tip of my nail.

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I used glitter nail polish in hopes of creating an impenetrable fortress of glitter, maybe adding a bit more strength.

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That didn’t work. So I started the process all over again and then filed a bit of length off so there wasn’t so much pressure on my nails. It made sense in my head.

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See how wide and lumpy my middle nail was? That’s how desperate I was to keep that bit of nail.

I repatched my nail about once a week. That’s how often I re-did my nails at that time. I was getting better at it, too.  The patches got a bit smoother, and less clunky.

These were all patched.

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I had gained quite a bit of length. I had been faithfully patching and re patching my nail for what seemed like forever. I was getting ready to repatch one day, and the tip that I had been babying for months was gone!

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If I had been able to find the tip, I would’ve glued it back on. But alas, it was not to be. And it was time. I’m not gonna say I wasn’t really, really sad. I took at least an hour or so to sit with naked nails and mope, and be sad.  I mourned the loss of my nail. And yes, I’m aware how freaking ridiculous that is. It’s just a nail. But a lot of my identity is wrapped up in my nails.

Right now, I’m aware that this blog post is getting very long and drawn out. But I’m just getting to the good part. Yes, there is a good part! And there is a point to all this nonsense! And here it is!

I decided that if I was going to be rocking nubby nails, then rock them I would! I was inspired (by my underwear, oh yes)  to do the cutest doggone mani possible!

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These were also inspired by underwear.

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And a cathartic mani.  I do believe these conveyed how I was feeling that day. I didn’t have any truly offensive stamps to use that day, so I used a very chaotic looking design and put it on my middle finger. And it made me happy.

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Cathartic indeed!

From there, I kept on trucking. I learned new techniques. This dry marble mani is my pride and joy! It took me two years to figure out how to do it!

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I did my piggie mani, which I got more more compliments and comments on in real life than I ever had before! It was kind of funny, but after about a week I started getting embarrassed about having pigs on my nails.

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And now I’m back to points.

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The point of this very long-winded, drawn out, and tragic, but not so tragic story is that whether my nails are long and pointy or short and square, I love painting my nails! I had a minor identity crisis, which is ridiculous. But I bounced back. Nails grow, and I can’t let it turn into a tragedy if I have a break.  I can roll with it, and that’s when I learned to do.

Check Me Out On Instagram!

 

 

 

I Didn’t Mean To Abandon You

Sigh…

 

I just checked, and the last time I posted was six months ago. That’s no good. I mean, I was super busy. I have three kids, I volunteered to be a room mom (Bad idea. Bad, bad idea), I was making quilts, my house flooded… Excuses. Well, except the house flooding thing. That’s a legit reason, mkay.

The point is, I could have at least posted a few pics here and there. A lot of good stuff has happened in the nail world, in my nail world, and I should’ve been decent enough to share it with you.

My poor little blog hasn’t even gotten its feet off the ground, and I abandoned it! So here I am, trying to make it better. I will do better! I will post more. And on the off chance that someone stumbles upon my happy, little blog, there will be something here to read.

Radial Gradients Are Hard

Todays mani is brought to you by the range of emotions I felt while painting. All of them. It wasn’t pretty.

I decided to attempt a radial gradient for this week’s mani. I know that I just did a gradient. But I had a plan to pull together two prompts from the different challenges and I went with it.

Side note: I am clearly not cut out for challenges. I am a mom of three with poor time management skills. I’ll never finish all the prompts.

Ok, the prompts. Colors I Love for the Clairestelle challenge. That would be pale blues, greens, and aquas. These are my happy colors. Flowers for the PYM challenge. Yes, I could’ve taken the easy path, instead of… What I did.

Side note 2: A radial gradient is a gradient that goes in a circle, instead of horizontally (or vertically) on the nail. I paint a bullseye on the makeup sponge, instead of lines.

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Bullseye!

Fairly straightforward, right? Right?! Sure….

I’m going to skip a few pics, I don’t want it to get tedious. Two coats of OPI Nail Envy, one coat of China Glaze New Birth (my husband says that’s a gross name for nail polish, and he wouldn’t have thought something called “New Birth” would be blue).

Liquid latex around my cuticles for easy cleanup.

A reminder, in case you forgot.

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Spoiler alert! The liquid latex was not that helpful this time.

I took my makeup sponge, with the nail polish bullseye, and dabbed. All the colors I used were China Glaze. New Birth in the center, Too Yacht To Handle, and Capacity To See Beyond on the outside ring.

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Um…

This is what it looked like. This was the first pass. I tried to be positive. I told myself it would look better after I sponged more polish on.

Ask me how THAT went.

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Does it look better? Tell me it looks better!

I started grinding my teeth at this point. I was getting mad, but decided to keep chugging along, because I had already come this far. It couldn’t possibly get worse.

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Eh?

This is the point where I got “Hulk Smash” angry. Why?

Behold the bald spot.

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Apparently I over-sponged, and lifted some nail polish. I’m clenching my jaw just thinking about it. Reliving the past is giving me a headache.

I decided I would do one more layer, and be done. It didn’t matter if it looked any better.

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See all the polish pooled in my cuticles? That just makes me sad.

After I peeled off the liquid latex….

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It’s everywhere!

A helpful tip I’ve learned from other nail artists and bloggers is to strategically place a watermark to hide a sloppy cleanup, or jacked up cuticles.

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I dont think it helped.

45 minutes of cleanup later…

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Another helpful tip I’ve learned is that a multitude of mani boo boos can be fixed with glitter or holographic topcoat. So I grabbed my Ectoplasm and went to town.

Side note 3: Ectoplasm is a holographic topcoat made by the indie company Chirality. It’s a must have!

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Topped with Chirality Ectoplasm. I’m feeling better now. 

The Ectoplasm helped a ton! So I figured I better finish up before I mess it up. I stamped roses using Caption Art Screens Off The Grid collection, with Funky Fingers Gesso, cleaned up some more, and topcoated.

The result is way better than that could’ve imagined! Honestly,  through the whole process I was sad, disappointed, angry, downright ragey about how it looked. But I really love the finished product.

Ectoplasm to the rescue!

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This is my Instagram account. It’s colorful.

 

 

 

 

Lace Gradient

I’m not sure how often I can combine the Clairestelle8 and PYM challenges. This one was a stretch. You’ll see why, in a bit.

So, the goal is a gradient. I started with two coats of OPI Nail Envy, and one coat of whatever the lighter color in my gradient will be. That color is Essie Cashmere Matte Soft As Sand.

Soft As Sand is a lovely, super pale pink, that dries to a shimmery, matte finish. It’s not opaque, but it doesn’t matter, since I sponged more polish over it.

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I also didn’t bother cleaning up around the cuticles because it gets much messier, and it’s pointless.

My next step was to paint liquid latex around my cuticles. I do this for two reasons. First, it makes clean-up much quicker and easier. I peel the latex off, and most of the mess peels off with it. Second, it’s freaking satisfying to peel it off!

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Its like the grown-up version of smearing school glue on your hand, letting it dry, and peeling it off.

The very grown-up version…

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Yes, you can buy liquid latex without the scantily clad lady on it. But this is purple! Plus, she’s not scantily clad, really. I’m fairly certain she’s not clad at all. She’s wearing liquid latex. Which means it can be used as a shirt, in a pinch?

So anyway, from there I needed a make-up sponge. I found one I had used for a previous mani. I had only torn the corners off for some artful dabbing, so the rest of the sponge was useable.

Everyone has their favorite, just-works-for-them method of doing a gradient. Some wet the sponge, so less polish gets absorbed. I don’t. It just doesn’t work for me.

Plain and simple, I paint my colors on the sponge, so they overlap a bit.

Then I roll and dab it onto my nails, painting more polish onto the sponge after every nail. I do this multiple times (three times, in this case) till I reach the desired opacity.

I used my base color, Essie Cashmere Matte Soft As Sand, and the darker pink (which is also SO lovely), Essie Cashmere Matte Hip-Tide.

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You can see here why the liquid latex comes in handy. I was able to peel off all the polish mess that would’ve been on my skin, and I would’ve had to clean up with acetone.

I happily peeled the latex off three of my fingers before I realized I should’ve left it on until AFTER I stamped.

Dang it.

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Messy mess is messy

I stamped the lace design with Funky Fingers Gesso, using a plate from the Ejiubas Wonders Of Life set.

Peel off the latex, a little clean-up and…

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I seriously love this! The Essie Cashmere Mattes are so pretty! The shimmer gives them a bit of a glowy feeling.  And I love the lace! I just love it!

This is what I did for the Lace prompt on the Pushyourmani Challenge. And since I mentioned, up at the top, that it was a bit of a stretch for both challenges…

The prompt for the Clairestelle8 Challenge was “Decade You Love”. I don’t really have a decade I love. But I do love silent films from the 1920s. And silent films are black and white.

See, I kind of stretched it.

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This mani totally represents the 1920s

 

If you’re happy, and you know it, click here!

 

 

My First Instagram Challenge

So many nail artist Instagram-ers do monthly challenges. They have their own tags and everything! I’ve never attempted any of them before. I’m kind of a “do what I want and don’t follow directions” kind of person. Especially with doing a certain themed mani, and posting it on a certain day. That’s just not my jam. I’m too lazy to paint my nails on a schedule.

That being said, I’ve decided to attempt two different monthly mani challenges. Why? I honestly don’t know. Do I need to have a reason? Because. That is my reason.

Moving on.

These are the two challenges. I was able to combine the first prompts in each challenge into one mani. I should be able to do that with at least a few of them.

For the Clairestelle challenge the book I love is Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson. I really, really love this book! It made me laugh and cry, and feel all kinds of emotions. I appreciate her honesty with uncomfortable subjects. And my gosh, I LOVE the cover! How can I not smile every time I look at the happy little taxedermied raccoon?

I really don’t think I could fully explain my love for this book. If you want a little insight, check out her website. The Bloggess

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Okay, getting started on the nail art. I rarely freehand things.  It intimidates me. Especially on such a tiny scale. But I really had to for this one. I forgot to start taking pictures until I was well into it, so I’ll just tell you I had to mix acrylic paint to get the color of the raccoon. Orange, a smudge of green, and a dot of white. I used that as my base for everything. I added a little black for the shading in the ears and around the eyes. And I took a dot of the orangey base and added it to white for everything that needed white. I used black striping polish for his hands.

I painted a thin coat of base coat on my silicon baking mat. I painted all the little raccoon parts. Then I put topcoat on everything and left it there to dry.

This would be far more interesting if I had taken pictures of all the mixing.

Actually, no it wouldn’t. I was mixing paint. Boring.

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At this point, I was feeling like things were going well. I was overconfident. And when I get overconfident, the universe has to smack me down.

I don’t want to tell you what happened next. But I will.

That black striping polish I just mentioned? It jumped out of my hand… And bounced,  spun, and sprayed. There was much cursing.

My next pic is the aftermath. I didn’t take a pic of the black polish everywhere because I was concerned it would start drying up while I took pictures.

The white stuff on the floor is sugar. I read somewhere if you dump sugar on spilled nail polish, it will absorb the polish and you can sweep it up easily. In my panic, I dumped a whole five pound bag of sugar on the floor. Yes, those are my pants on the floor. My new pants. I took them of and dumped sugar on them, too, to absorb as much polish as possible.

I can feel you judging me. Stop it!

Not pictured is my shoe, which I also removed and dumped sugar on.

P.S. The sugar thing? Did. Not. Work! I had blobby nail polish sugar lumps all over my floor, pants, and shoes. So I used Windex, which saved the day! It worked on the floor, pants, and shoes.

Yay! I got it cleaned up before my husband came home!

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Yes, I was pantless in the kitchen, frantically dumping sugar on the floor.

Back to nail art.

My first untried polish for the Pushyourmani challenge is Shinespark harvest. I applied two coats.

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And because I’m overachiever (lol just kidding), I used another untried polish. This is where is gets messy. Literally. I applied one coat of Revlon Parfumerie Sunlit Grass on one nail at a time, and while it was still wet, I dabbed at it with a piece of crumpled Walmart bag to get the mottled look. And it ended up looking like this.

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This looks barftastic

Which I fixed with my handy dandy clean-up brush.

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Much better

And the universe smacked me again. This is my brand new clean-up brush. It’s actually an eyeshadow brush, but whatever. All the bristles came out. Just like that. What the heck?!

So I used my old clean-up brush, that is the same brand as the new one, but has lasted for over a year.

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R.I.P. Clean-up brush

I added a coat of OPI Don’t Speak, for sparkle.

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Look at mah thumb!

I peeled the raccoon parts off the baking mat (that sounds awful), trimmed them down, and put them on my nails while the newest layer of polish was still tacky. I pressed it down gently, to get it as smooth as possible, cleaned up with my (old) clean-up brush again, and top coated.

TA-DA!!

I put my fingers up to my daughter’s face this morning, and used my most raccoon-iest voice to say, “Give us a hug!”

She didn’t think it was funny.

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Give us a hug!

This gives me the giggles to look at.

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This mani makes me FURIOUSLY HAPPY!

So there it is! I knocked out two challenges in one mani. What do you think?

Click here. You know you want to.

Simple Glitter Gradient

Hello, hello! Today I’ll be showing you a simple glitter gradient. I had another mani I was going to post, but I realized I need to actually take pictures of the process if I want to put it in the blog. So yeah, I’ll be showing you a glitter gradient.

 

The stars of this mani are Lorelei Lacquers Love Always and Laugh Often. This duo was created in honor of a nail friend who was lost to suicide last year. She created a sanctuary and happy place for a lot of ladies. These polishes mean a lot to me and the ladies from our group. The profit from the duo was donated for Suicide Prevention Awareness. Unfortunately, Lorelei Lacquers shop is no longer open. So I feel very fortunate to have this lovely duo.

Love Always.

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I do these things to amuse myself, really.

Laugh Often.

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Lol! Cupid is delivering nail polish!

I started with freshly filed, naked nails. Yes, they are real.

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I feel so exposed!

I used two coats of OPI Nail Envy as my base coat. Why two? It smoothes out the ridges and helps fill in that stupid divot on my middle nail.

I applied three coats of Love Always.

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I could’ve gotten by with two coats. But the third coat really intensified the color!

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Some people use makeup sponges to dab the glitter on. I’m not super fancy like that. Plus, I was too lazy to go find my makeup sponges. I just use the nail polish brush. I applied Laugh Often to only half of my nail.

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I thought it looked lovely like this, but it wasn’t quite the look I was going for. It’s not quite gradient-y enough.

But look at the glitter! So sparkly!

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The only solution was to add more glitter. So I brushed another coat of Laugh Often on to the bottom quarter of my nail. Just the tip.

And it. Was. Perfect!

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At this point I’m saying “Glitter” like a hungry dinosaur. Or a sparkly pirate. I can’t be sure which, but I’m pretty sure it would sound the same.

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GLITTAAAAARRRRRR!!

I topped the whole shebang with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, and that’s all there is to it. It’s a very easy mani that doesn’t require any special tools or brushes. And it’s got glitter. I’d call that a win/win.

Look at mah nails!

Introductions

Hello! I’m Baboo. Nope, that’s not my real name, but it is a real nickname. I’d like to welcome you to my happy obsession! And since we’re friends now, good friends, I’ll show you my rack!

 

Er, racks.  There are three of them.

 

Don’t be so shocked! I need a place to house my pretties!

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They really are lovely, aren’t they?

 

This is my form of art. My tiny little fingernail canvases. Painting my nails makes me happy. There’s so many techniques, methods, tools… Possibilities! I just want to share that.

 

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites.

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Sometimes they turn out really nice.

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Other times, not so much.

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I’m always happy with how they turn out if I start with a purpose.

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Yes, a mani can have meaning.

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Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope I have intrigued you enough to come back again!

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