Stars and Stripes Nail Art How To

Shannon Smyth
It doesn't necessarily need to be the 4th of July to show your patriotic side. Show off your stars and stripes with these easy nail art how to's from editorial manicurist, Jin Soon Choi.

JINsoon Patriotic Nails - Get the look! #nailart

Look 1 Stars and Stripes 

How-To:

  1. Apply a base coat like JINsoon Power Coat
  2. Apply Michael Kors Gossip on the entire nail bed, leaving the ring finger bare
  3. Apply JINsoon Cool Blue to the entire nail bed of the ring finger
  4. Using JINsoon Coquette, apply horizontal stripes with a thin brush over the middle finger and the thumb
  5. Using JINsoon Coquette again, apply vertical stripes with a thin brush over the index finger and the pinky
  6. Apply JINsoon Polka White over the JINsoon Cool Blue on the ring finger to create the stars
  7. Apply a top coat like JINsoon Top Gloss over the nails for a lasting glossy finish

JINsoon Patriotic Nail Art #HowTo

Look 2 Patriotic Stripes 

How-To:

  1. Apply a base coat like JINsoon Power Coat
  2. Apply JINsoon Cool Blue on the entire nail bed
  3. Apply Michael Kors Gossip to the middle of each fingernail, leaving two stripes of blue visible on each side of the nail
  4. Apply a stripe of JINsoon Coquette in the middle of each nail
  5. Apply a top coat like JINsoon Top Gloss over the nails for a lasting glossy finish

Shop the look:

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Nail Art Tutorial: Leopard Accent Nails

Shannon Smyth
Nail art tutorial from Kristie Burnett of Blushing Basics.
With fall here I thought it the perfect time to do a leopard print refresher/inspiration. Using my newest butter LONDON collection I created a simple manicure with fall tones.
  1. Paint your base coat. Apply two layers if necessary.
  2. Using your leopard accent color, apply dots to nail.
  3. Create your leopard print nail by using a toothpick to dot on black leopard dots. For more in depth instructions, see here.
  4. Finish with a top coat and enjoy!

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Experimenting with Tie Dye Nail Color

Amanda Huggins
I was feeling adventurous last week. Inspired by the hundred of talented girls/nail geniuses on Pinterest, I decided to finally try a trend I’d been eyeing: tie-dye nails.  Painting nails has never been my strong point, mind you, so this was a pretty ambitious task. I found an awesome step-by-step guide that outlined the whole process nicely, here. The concept is pretty simple: After protecting your skin and outlining each nail with tape, you drop different colors into a small dish of water, swirl together with a toothpick, and dip your nails in it. Once the paint is dry, simply remove the tape, clean up any remnants of polish on skin with a Q-Tip, and you’re good to go.  My first attempt (pictured) didn’t come out as flawlessly as I’d hoped, but I did learn some valuable pointers for the next time I try it out:

1.     Choose bold, bright nail colors. While the lavender/hot pink combo worked, using colors that are more strikingly different will have a better effect.

2.     Use more than two colors. Since I was doing this on a whim, I only used two colors. Adding in a third, bright color would have pulled it all together nicely.

3.     Thoroughly clean water dish between each nail. Since you’re dipping each nail into a new set of swirled colors, be sure to change the water each time – neglecting to do so (or in my case, changing the water every second nail)  will result in a thin film of pain atop the water, making the final result look sloppy.

Now that I know what I’m doing with it all, I’m excited to try the process out again!

Have you tried tie-dyed nails or another Pinterest trend? Let us know in the comments, or tweet them to @agirlsgottaspa!

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Pros and Cons of Shellac and UV Gel Manicures

Shannon Smyth
 
Pros and Cons of Shellac (TONS of comments on this post - good and bad!)
When I first heard about Shellac, UV and LED gel manicures, I was over the moon excited. I could finally have polish on my nails sans chipping and polish peeling for more than 3 days and all without having to apply fake nails. In August, while at Cosmoprof, I received an awesome manicure from CND in Hot Pop Pink (pictured below.) The manicure took just as long as having acrylic nails or wraps put on (an hour) and the result looked just as amazing. I remarked to the manicurist just how gorgeous her own nails looked, as they were long and it didn't even appear to be naturally her own. She told me they were and that wearing the Shellac helped her achieve the length. I believed her, until my own experience has led me to believe otherwise. My CND Shellac lasted me 3 weeks. I was ecstatic. I applied CND's SolarOil to my cuticles and under the tips of my nails on a daily basis as instructed by the manicurist. My nails had grown a bit during this time and I was excited to go for round two of another CND Shellac at my local salon. This time I went for a French manicure CND Shellac. My nails were finally long enough to adorn some white tips and I was stoked. I went about applying the SolarOil again daily, but this time it only took 3 days for one of my nails to peel and the Shellac to come off. Day 4, one of my nails broke and it became clear how brittle my nails were becoming. By day 5, all of my nails were either peeling (the nail itself, not the polish) or breaking.   Looking at my very soft, peeling nails, I decided to not apply any polish at all for 2 weeks, but continued to put the SolarOil on them. But sadly, they didn't seem to recover. In the meantime, I had been sent the complete Red Carpet Manicure LED Starter Kit and as I was about to have my first television appearance, I knew my nails had to look amazing. So I used the kit, which comes complete with a portable LED light and is a DIY home LED manicure kit. Colors were gorgeous, time was still about 1 hour to complete the manicure and I used their Revitalize cuticle oil daily. But by day 3, my nails were peeling and even more brittle. I now had stubs for nails (even shorter than pictured above.) Finally I asked fellow friends in the salon business and fellow bloggers if they experienced the same of gel manicures, and it was a resounding yes.
Pros: Manicure can potentially last up to 3 weeks No chipping Manicure is instantly dry upon last UV go round Mirror finish (nails look wet, but aren't) Can DIY and look just as amazing as at the salon Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous Cons: Very drying to your nails Repeated application (without a breather) will result in brittle and peeling nails Wear time gets less and less with each application If you don't apply the cuticle oil daily, your nails will dry out a lot quicker Costs add up, especially if the manicure doesn't last 2-3 weeks CND Shellac requires it's own Remover Wraps According to some doctors, the UV lamps can cause skin cancer (but the jury is still out on this) So it appears that, at least for me, a CND Shellac or UV gel manicure will only happen for special events (like holidays, TV appearances, events) and cannot be worn all of the time. Unless I want to continue having man hands with my stubby nails. In the meantime, I will be in nail re-cooperation with Qtica's Cuticle Repair Balm and Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator to regain my length.  I'd love to hear from you: what has your experience been with UV gel manicures? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+ *Disclosure: affiliate links

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