Monday, July 2, 2012

Patriotic nails how to

For years now I have been doing something special to my nails for Independence Day. I started doing this before nail art was cool and people were blogging about it. I started it before the internet. I WIN! I'm not sure what it is about this holiday, but no matter what my nails are red, white and blue. I can't remember all the different looks and it is too bad I don't have pictures of each and every one. Now however I can blog all my experiments and someday fondly look back on my pictures, happily sighing and thinking, 'What the heck was I thinking!'.

As always dear reader, I share my disasters with you.

After applying base coat I painted my nails red. I have a TON of red nail polish. I have always loved classic red nails. It looks even better on toes. Yet I hardly use it. Most of what I have is a deeper, darker red, so I took a trip to Sally Beauty Supply in search of a more... American Flag red. If you have ever gone shopping for just a red nail polish you know there is like at least 50 shades of red. (HA! Get it, instead of gray, I used red..*snicker*) O.K. so that wasn't that clever. Lets just say there is a whole lot of red shades out there. I settled on "Expressionist Red" from Finger Paints. It was a little sheer, but wow, it dried super shiny and just felt like patent leather shoes. Make sure the red is completely dry before moving to the next step.

Just look at that SHINE! 

Next you are going to add a white stripe down your nail. IF you are able to just paint a nice straight strip down your nail, DO IT! Me, well I can on one hand, not the other. To make it easy I used some sticky strips that come in the Sally Hansen French Manicure kit. I don't know if you can buy the strips separately or not. Don't worry if you don't have them, you can use tape, preferably masking tape or maybe painters tape. Old self stick address labels work, too. The strips are great because while they are sticky, they peel off easily if you need to preposition one or two (all) and don't take your polish with them when you peel them off. Position these on your nails so you leave a center strip down each nail. Re-adjust if your strip is crooked. 

Now use an opaque white polish to paint the center area. I used Sally Hansen French White Tip. I painted one thick line down the middle and that seemed to do it. Try not to get it too thick as it may bleed through your tape and make a mess. You just need enough to cover the red. A little hint here. If you paint a top coat over the red it makes it easier to take a bit of polish remover to clean up any white polish that may bleed through the tape or any mistakes that you make. It removed the white without taking the red with it. Ask me how I know... :) 

So my lines aren't perfectly centered. I was watching True Blood while doing this. I can't be expected to keep an eye on the hot vampires on screen and on my fingernails. I just can't.. I do have my priorities. Again, wait for the stripes to dry before moving on to the next step. Let me just stop and say right now, this look takes awhile. If you are able to do it without the tape it goes a little faster. Otherwise it's a waiting game. I suggest holding off on any drinks while you are doing this or you will need to pee while something is drying.

Once dry take your tape again and this time go horizontally across your nail tips. This is where you will be painting your blue so make that area thick enough to add some stars. 

It's like the flag of Switzerland. 

Paint your tip blue. I used "Midnight Blue" from Sinful Colors. 

Now comes the fun part! If you have a nail stamper with some stars I would suggest using that with some white polish on the blue tips. Although I am thinking of buying a stamping kit, I don't yet have one. So I used some nail art stars that I already had laying around. Funny thing about them laying around is that they are now laying around all over my carpet because I accidentally knocked them off the table. There is easily over a thousand tiny stars all over the floor. I still haven't decided if I want to try picking most of them up or just cut my losses and get out the vacuum. 

I stuck these on my nails just before the blue was completely dry. FINALLY no waiting for something to dry! They are slightly holographic so it kinda reminds me of fireworks. I stuck them on and painted over them with my top coat and finally  called it good. 

They're not perfect, but I like 'em. 

Have a safe and fun holiday everyone! 


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