Matte Experiments

This week in the life of nail arts I had a blast playing with my new matte top coat from Sephora by OPI. I also had a blast playing with a group of new colors and effects from Sinful Colors that I picked up at a sale from Walgreens for $1 each. The major lesson here is that cheap colors and glitters work fantastic with more expensive top coats. Go for quality on the product you use the most, and go for fun and cheap on colors you may only use a few times. Cheap polish is also a good place to try out a new fad color without dropping $20 on department store brands. With cheaper polishes the one thing you have to look out for is that not all of them will be opaque, but the best fix for that is to layer them over a coat of white or black- then top with Seche Vite or the matte, and big-bada-boom you got yourself some fancy nails!

Sinful Colors:

  • Thumb: Cinderella
  • Index: Happy Ending
  • Middle: Hottie
  • Ring: This Is It
  • Pinkie: All About You
  • Snow Me White and Black on Black

The index finger here has two coats of Happy Ending and then a I used This is It to create a glitter gradient effect: Wipe off most of the glitter and paint nail 2/3 with glitter and then load up brush with glitter to paint the first 1/3 and then go over the edge once more. The middle finger has a coat of Black on Black and then one of Hottie. They both have the Matte Top Coat which really makes the glitter pop!

In this photo I am showing how layering translucent and glitter polishes can make different effects. The ring and pinkie finger both have This Is It, however the ring finger has a base of black while the pinkie has a base of white. The white really makes the translucent polish pop and makes it closer tot he bottle color. The black can really highlight glitters and shine in translucent polish. The thumb has a base of white with Cinderella on top and then a swipe of Hottie that really brings out the blue. Adding the gold color and the Matte on just the edge looked interesting but did not last at all.

Matte polish is less forgiving then a clear top coat and will show every stroke and glitter edge as well as take longer to dry. Apply a clear top coat to even things out and to dry the polish before adding the matte top coat. Make sure your polish is really dry before putting on the Matte.

Have fun matte-ing!



Clutter Monster #3: Nail Polish Rack

For this installment of the Clutter Monster series I will try and attempt to attack my growing addiction to collecting nail polish by creating a rack You know, to hang on the wall. For organization. and things. and it is pretty. America.

For the Construction:

Photo One: These are the supplies I used to create my rack; I used balsa wood because it is a lightweight material that would be easy for me to cut without major hardware. If you have a larger collection I highly recommend moving up to a much sturdier wood, basic pine, and either having the materials cut for you at the hardware store or borrowing a saw. Hell. Just go ahead and buy a table saw. It is useful. for things. Also handy: measuring tape, wood glue, nails, hammer, level, painter’s tape, paint, brushes, and as you can see I also picked up some decorative trim from the craft store (right next to the balsa wood) to be used as a little railing.

Photo Two: Cutting the balsa wood is fairly easy, use something sturdy with a straight edge and a heavy duty box cutter. The edges will be rough and sand paper will help some, but as you will see later on that rough edges are just going to be part of using the balsa wood. I bought three pieces of 4 inch wide balsa wood that were 36 inches long. I cut them to give me three inner horizontal pieces, two exterior horizontal pieces, and two vertical pieces. The inner pieces were 1/2 an inch shorter than the exterior horizontal pieces to account for the 1/4 width of the wood, so they ended up being 11.5 inches and 12 inches respectfully. The vertical pieces were cut to 20 inches.

Photo Three: Assemblage. I stared on one of the vertical pieces and I first attached the base by applying a line of glue and then two nails. Since the balsa wood is sooooo soft the nails more or less just push in and require a light tap with the hammer to finish them off. Also, I made the measurements and design so that the vertical pieces sit on top of the base rather than to the outside of it. I then spaced the three inside pieces evenly across the inside and applied them in similar fashion: line of glue and two nails. Use the level to hep make sure everything is straight. Mine ended up a bit tipsy. That might have something to do with the beer. Maybe.

Photo Four: Slap the other side on! Not quite that easy, but it isn’t rocket science. Just make sure that the inside places are matching up to the marks they should be hitting and that the shelves are not pitched too far forward or backward. Again use some glue and nails to set everything once you have used a level to adjust the placement. Now the basic frame is done! Grab another beer!

Photo Five and Six: At this point I have decided to use the wood glue as a bit of a sealing agent and a smoothing putty. I gobbed it up on my finger and ran it across the abutting seams and then I used it to coat the inevitable rough side of the cut balsa wood in an attempt to smooth out the shards of soft wood. I probably could have used a second coat on the rough cut bits, but It was successfully painted over, which was the initial goal.

Photo Seven: Attach the rails. The rails are the decorative wood pieces and I just used big kitchen shears to cut them the full length across the front. These rails are to make sure that as you are moving polish on and off the rack you don’t accidentally knock all of the polishes off of the rest of the shelf. Not that I have ever done that. ever. Decide which direction is up and down and use the wood glue to place the rail about 2 inches above the shelf, and then place something heavy on top of the project to let the whole thing dry solid.

You are constructed!!

Here is just a friendly PSA:

For the Decoration:

Obviously this part is really up to you and your tastes, but racing stripes are cool. right? RIGHT?!

Photo One: I decided to go with black as my base as most polish containers have black on them and I thought adding too much color to it could distort the perception of color of the polish. Color theory is a thing I think about too much sometimes. I wanted to use spray paint because it was quick and easy and to give a good base coat. Balsa wood being soft soaks up acrylic paint so having a base coat or primer coat really helps the intended finish shine through. Alas, I ran out of spray paint before the whole thing had a coat on it so I just moved on to my acrylics.

Photo Two: I did a thick coat of Martha Stewart’s Satin Finish craft acrylic paint in black and decided that the sides needed some foofying up. foofying. I said it. Pulled out the painter’s tape once the black had dried completely and laid out a design. Make sure the edges are sealed.

Photo Three: To help remove the tape later fold over the edge so that you make a little tab. This is also helpful to do to the tape still on the roll. Especially if that tape happens to be clear packing tape.

Photo Four: Paint all the things! I used a gold metallic paint because I am awesome enough to use metallic paints.

Foto Phive: Look at the gold paint!!!

Photo Six: Pull off the paint while the paint is not quite dry yet. This is my favorite part! It is like watching a magic trick! except without the fear of being chopped in half. That is a good thing.

Photo Seven: I glued some felt to each the corners to help keep the rack from scratching the wall. It is a good life hack for those who want to protect their walls, or their apartment walls, or their parents walls. You’re welcome Mom.

Photo Eight: It is almost finished!! I covered the project with a coat of Krylon clear gloss spray paint as a nice little varnish. To hang: If you have a small collection (who does that really?!) a basic nail mount will work, but mine was too heavy for that. I used a picture frame mounting system: little triangle tabs attached at the second from top shelf that sit on nails in the wall.

Hang and Enjoy! Happy Crafting!!


Poppy Mani

This was a fun Half-Moon style mani that I decided needed that little extra bit of fun- so I used a dotting tool to add a high-contrast floral accent. I know it isn’t exactly a poppy, I should have made the center black for more of a poppy look, but the bright red-orange look of Essie’s Meet Me at Sunset was perfect!

The following is a little tutorial on how to get the Half-moon look. I used standard hole-punch guards (like these), but any circular sticker thing will work. The base is Sally Hansen’s Miracle Nail Growth in Nurturing Natural and the contrast is Revlon’s Minted.

Happy Painting!


Valentine Manicure

And thus sayeth the Lord, that no holiday is complete without matching kitschy manicure/nail art:

Fingers: Sephora by Opi in “Read My Palm” with paper hearts and Essie “as gold as it gets” with a topper of SV

Thumb: 10 Professional in “Birthday Suit” with the Opi on top and little bit of Essie on the tip, SV to seal the deal

Method: To get the zigzag on the thumb I used a pair of pinking shears to cut painter’s tape into zigzag strips. Don’t ask me how many times it took me to line up the tape without getting a row of diamonds… For the hearts I purchased a .99 paper stamp and found some awesome leftover scrapbook paper and stamped my little confetti heart(s) out. In hindsight using thinner paper would have worked a little better, and I am also thinking of doing a series with tissue paper… Just stick the paper cut-outs on the wet polish and be sure to cover with plenty ‘o top coat