Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fourth of July Manicure

While I love painting my nails I'm not a nail art person.  Adding the occasional accent nail with glitter is about as advanced as I get.  However I've been seeing a lot of cute nail art lately so I decided to give it a go for the Fourth of July tomorrow.  I'm terrible at free hand drawing so I made it easier on myself by purchasing some nail striping tape to use as a guide.

The colors I used were Wet n' Wild Fast Dry 'Saved by the Blue', Essie's 'Blanc', and the Nicka K 'Ripe Apple' that I just got in my June Beauty Box 5.

I started by painting all my nails with a base coat of Essie's Grow Stronger, then two coats of Saved by the Blue on my thumbs and two coats of Blanc on the rest of my fingers.  I added a top coat of Seche Vite (first time trying this top coat) to my thumbs since initially I wasn't planning on doing anything more to them, but didn't top coat the white nails.  After this I let my nails dry completely for a couple of hours.

In order to speed up the process I tried out Sally Hansen's Dry & Go Drops on the white nails (which is why my fingers look a bit oily in some of the pictures) but I'm not sure if it did much.  Since I was striping over the white I didn't worry about the nails being perfect, which is good because Essie's Blanc is a fairly thin, streaky white.  If I was using it as a full mani I may have even added a 3rd coat.  If you're planning on buying a white I would recommend something different, I've heard good things about both China Glaze's 'White Out' and Sally Hansen's 'White On'.

After my nails were dry I added 5 stripes of nail striping tape to each white nail, making sure it was firmly pressed on so polish didn't seep under the tape.

I painted Ripe Apple on one nail at a time, immediately removing the striping tape after I finished applying the red polish to each nail.  Even more so than with the white, a thicker, opaque red is important here because I'm not sure how well having to apply two coats on top of the striping tape would work.

Once I finished the red stripes on my nails I added a top coat of Seche Vite.  I did this a little to quickly on some nails so you can see some streaking, especially on my pinky nail.  At the last minute I decided to add some white dots to my thumbnails with a dotting tool I'd picked up a while back and never used.  A toothpick would probably work just as well.  After the dots dried I added a second coat of Seche Vite to my thumbs.  I really liked how this mani turned out, and while the striping tape is a bit time consuming I found it easy to use for my nail art challenged self.  Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

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