The Beauty Buffs- Pastels

New things are happening over here at Craftynail headquarters!  And when I say headquarters I mean-  me, my nails and my computer.  LOL

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I’m thrilled to finally tell you this!  I’m now part of a group called The Beauty Buffs!  We’re a wonderfully diverse collection of beauty bloggers brought together by Norelis of Fierce Makeup & Nails.  We will collaborate every other Wednesday to post about our top picks in color trends, nail polishes, makeup, beauty and more.  Our series has a new theme every two weeks and today is our first one… we’re talking about PASTELS!  So who are The Beauty Buffs?   Drop by our blogs and you’ll see all kinds of wicked nail art, swatches, makeup, fashion for all sizes, health, and product reviews.  Make sure to click #TheBeautyBuffs – PASTELS (also at the end of my post) so you can meet the other Buffs.  I know you are going to love our new biweekly series!   Especially you nail art fans out there. So let’s get to it…

Today we’re talking about pastels!  The pastel trend of soft muted colors is ‘a given’ when springtime arrives.  But what about when all the pastels are too sugary sweet for your liking?  Sometimes you feel like Sasha instead of Beyoncé, amiright?  That’s when I like to pair my pastels with a dark color to give them a fiercer look.  Fierce, haha that’s me!  Yup, just ask my boyfriend- he can give you a whole list of words that describe me. 😉

pastel dotticure nail art

This dotticure is cute and springy, but it also has a little extra kick, don’t ya think?  I love how the muted colors really jump to life against the black.  Here are the polishes I used…

BLACK Black Onyx by OPI

PURPLE Charming by Revlon

MINT Honeydew by Fresh Paint

YELLOW Mellow Yellow by Sally Hansen

PINK Bubblegum Pink by Sally Hansen

BLUE Breezy Blue by Sally Hansen

My dots came out very uniform!  I want to share with you how I did that.  Take a look at my Perfect Pastel Dots Tutorial below.  You can use an unbent bobby pin or like me, I used an inexpensive dotting tool from Amazon….

perfect pastel dots tutorial

The key is to start at the base of your nail and make one straight line of dots.  If your middle line of dots is evenly-spaced and straight (like in picture 3) then there’s a good chance that your whole nail will look good!  Then move on to your second line of dots.  You see how my second line started a little lower on the nail in picture 4?  It’s important to make the lines staggered like that … that way your first line of dots is offset from your second.  That’s what makes the polka dots look evenly distributed, kinda like checkers laid out on a checker board.  It’s hard to explain in words so I hope the pictorial demonstrates my technique. 🙂

Thanks for checking in with me today!  I hope you like my dots and that you find my little tutorial useful.  Dotticures were intimidating for me until I got my technique down.  Try this one out!  Then we can all be dot-dot-dotting like mad-women. 😀

Don’t forget to see what the other Beauty Buffs have got goin’ on….

#TheBeautyBuffs – PASTELS

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How to apply water slide decals to your nails- a quick tutorial!

There are mainly two types of nail decals: 1-STICKERS which are traditional sticky-type decals with adhesive backing and 2-WATER SLIDE DECALS which must be dipped in water to become adhesive.  I have only recently tried water slide decals and they’re so much easier to use than I expected!  When compared to traditional stickers, water slide decals are much more forgiving, especially for beginners.  They’re not very sticky which means you can move them around as much as you want to get them positioned just right.  On the other hand, traditional adhesive stickers are very sticky so you better place them carefully- you only get one shot at it!  Most of us know how to use sticky stickers….but in case you’ve never used water slide decals before- I’d like to show you how!

moon sugar roses

I was recently sent some rose Moon Sugar Decals to test out.  I’ve only tried water slide decals once before, but these Moon Sugars applied very similarly to the others- so here’s how I did it….

1) Paint your nails whatever base color you’d like.  Wait for your nails to dry a bit.  They don’t have to be totally dry, but you don’t want them wet and tacky either.

2) Cut out your nail decals with scissors so all you have is the design without much clear border around them.

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3)  Do your decals have a clear plastic protective coating?  If so, you’ll want to peel it off after you cut your decal to size.  Moon Sugar Decals do not have a protective layer, but some do.

3) Grab your decal with tweezers and submerge it in water.  Hold the decal under the surface of the water for about 15-20 seconds.  See photo below.

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4) Remove your decal from the water and it should easily slide off of the paper backing.  I like to grip the decal between my pointer and thumb fingers and it should slide right off the backing.  If the decal does not slip off when you do this then that means you didn’t submerge it long enough.  Simply dunk the decal for a few more seconds and try again.  When it’s ready it will slide right off the paper with barely any pressure as seen below….

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5)  Then place the decal on your nail.  You’ll see that it’s not too sticky so you’ll have the opportunity to slide it around on your nail ’til you find the right spot.

6) After placing your decal then apply some pressure to help squeeze out any water that may be under the decal.  The pressure caused by pushing down on it will also help it stick to your nail better.

7) Wait a couple minutes til you know any droplets of water have dried up and then apply topcoat to get the decal to really stick!  That’s it.  Here’s my finished product….

moon sugar rose decals

This brand seemed easy to apply.  They are also pretty tough so you don’t have to worry about tearing them if you rough ’em up or re-position them on your nail a bunch of times.  My only problem was that I got some bubbling around the corners of my decals after applying my topcoat.  I used seche vite topcoat for this mani.  I’m not sure how other topcoats would work.  One of my decals also lifted up a bit on the edge of my nail since I didn’t trim it enough.  So if you are using large decals make sure to snip them a bit so they fit your nails well (you don’t want any overhang).

What do you think of this rose design?  Because my nails are pointy I didn’t quite know how to position them.  I think they were designed to be worn on the tips of square nails, but they still look really cool.  Moon Sugar has a bunch of other awesome decals to choose from too.  Here’s a few of my faves– Rainbow Nature Girl and Dream Catcher.  Since they’re only a few bucks each I’m tempted to try them both!

→If you’re interested in purchasing some Moon Sugars I have a wicked discount code for you- use code 25CRAFTYNAIL ’til December 31st, 2013 to save 25% at moonsugardecals.com.  It’s also good to know that they offer everyday free shipping in the US.

So what do you think?  Do you wear water slide decals?  Do you apply them the same way?  These are kinda new for me, but I like them!

my WHITE SNAKE NAIL TUTORIAL for luchessa.org

the white snake nails

Luchessa over at Beauty Expression by Luchessa asked me to be a part of her Grimm’s Fairy Tale Series!  She published my guest post yesterday on her blog at luchessa.org.  You should check it out!  I did a crazy cool snake nails tutorial inspired by the fairy tale called THE WHITE SNAKE >>  See it here!

white snake nail tutorial by Craftynail

Halloween Tutorial for #31DC2013

The Supernatural is the inspiration for the manicure I’m wearing today!  I’m trying out some cutesy GHOST NAILS as part of the Chalkboard Nails 31 Day Challenge. This is a fun and easy manicure to try for halloween so I put together a picture tutorial for you!

ghost_nails_tutorial

Here’s how I did it:

» I started with one coat of Sally Hansen Maximum Growth as my base

» Then I painted most of my nails orange using Art Orange by AVON (a one-coater!)

» I painted my accent nail black using Liquid Leather by China Glaze (another one-coater!)

» The ghost was painted with a skinny nail art brush from Sephora and NYC nail polish in French White Tip

» I dotted the ghost’s eyes with black polish using my smallest dotting tool (or you can use a toothpick)

ghost_nail_art

What do you think..easy, right? Go ahead and try it this October.  🙂

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Easy Watercolor Nail Art Tutorial

Ok, this is one of my faves!! It’s easy peasy lemon squeezey and gives such an awesome effect!!  Like an artist’s palette!

water_color_plastic_wrap_nail_art

Step 1 ♥ Paint all your nails white and wait for it to dry.  I know, waiting is hard….so you can use a quick dry topcoat to speed it up if you’d like.

Step 2 ♥ Dab some nail polish onto your 1st white nail using the regular nail polish brush from your bottle- no special tools required!   I used 5 colors and just splotched it on kinda thick and did not overlap the colors.  Just apply enough splotches of color to cover the nail.  I probably did about 7 splotches on my nail.  Some colors I dabbed on once, others I dabbed on twice.  It’s all random and quick and easy.

Step 3 ♥ Take a small piece of saran wrap, plastic wrapper or whatever (I used small snack baggies cut into thirds) and place it over your wet nail.  You can either pull down on the plastic wrap (almost as if you were wrapping your fingertips tightly with the plastic wrap), or simply press down on top of the plastic.  Either way, you will get the same effect- the dabs of polish will get smooshed by the pressure and when you pull the plastic off you will have a beautiful watercolor effect!!  Here’s what my plastic looked like when I pulled it off my nail.

plastic_wrap_for_nail_designs

Step 4 ♥  Repeat step 3 to color your other nails. Make sure to do one nail at a time since you want the polish wet when you apply the plastic.

Step 5 ♥  Clean up around your cuticles if the nail polish bled onto your skin at all.  And then topcoat your nails with clear polish to lock in your watercolor nails.

And that’s it!!!  How lovely (and simple!) is this nail design?  It’s perfect for spring!

easy_watercolor_nails

yellow AVON Inspire

pink → Zoya Sweet

blue Sephora by OPI Natural Environ-mint

green NYC Tudor City teal

purple Sephora by OPI It’s Hippo To Be Square

Owl Nails

owl_nail_art

I can’t believe the nail art challenge is coming to an end!  For me it felt like nail art boot camp (minus the calorie burn)!  It has been a ton of fun and I’ve tried so many new designs!   I hope I don’t lose my inspiration once it’s over!  For day 27 I must come up with some nail art inspired by a tutorial.  Sounds easy enough, but there are so many great tutorials- it’s owl_nailsso hard to choose!!!  I’ve been dying to try some OWLS on my nails so I was at least able to narrow my choices down a little!  The tutorial I picked is this great YouTube vid by Renierainyday.  She has such a cute accent- I’ve watched this vid a zillion times now- and she still makes me smile.  Her tutorial is great and all you need is a dotting tool and three polishes.

If you have tried owls before- please share your link in my comments.  They’re such a cute nail art design and I wanna see some more!

Four Leaf Clover Tutorial from Zoya

I can’t believe it’s almost St Patty’s Day!  This year is just flying by!  I was browsing the web for some cool shamrock nail art and came across a great little tutorial on the Zoya Blogspot blog.  I decided to use their technique but I couldn’t do just one four leaf clover – so I did a whole bunch for extra fun.

four_leaf_clover

I used one of my new AVON polishes called Absinthe as my base color.  AVON must be a tad obsessed with absinthe because they also carry a Christian Lacroix perfume called Absinthe.  I wear the perfume from time to time and it smells really unique- sorta like an intoxicating tree smell, if that makes any sense.  Not sure why I love the idea of absinthe so much, probably because of one of my favorite movies- Moulin Rouge.  It has a really trippy scene where Ewan McGregor (LOVE) gets all weirded out on the stuff and hallucinates about fairies LOL.  Someday I should put some Konad fairy stamps on top of my absinthe polish just for you, Ewan !

Getting back to my St Patty’s nails…. for my four leaf clovers I used a small bottle from AVON called Nail Art Enamel in Styled Green.  This is how they market the product- “Create custom and detailed nail art with specially designed precision brush”.  YEAH RIGHT!  This product was so disappointing.  The brush was absolutely horrible.  All the bristles were different lengths and some funky ones stuck straight out to the side.  There’s no way I can use this brush to make detailed nail art, so I decided to at least make use of the green AVON polish with a dotting tool.  It worked well for the four leaf clovers because it was fairly opaque.

The tutorial I used for my four-leaf clovers can be found at the Zoya blog.  Just click Zoya’s image below to check it out!

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