Be Inspired/Challenged

Step by step tutorial on how I completed my mani for a IG/FB challenge or; nails I’ve done based on something that inspired me

Be Inspired: Ho Ho Ho-liday Mani

Hello December!! Since I have a little break between pr samples, I decided to do some nail art inspired by this festive holiday and share with you, my friends!

Today is the 4th day of this celebratory month and I have my first of many holiday/winter manis. I’m super excited about this mani because I was able to use one of my new Lina plates and can I just say, I love it! Lina has become one of my favorite brands and I use this brand religiously in my Swatch & Review series. I also tried my hand at another nail art technique that I don’t use enough, foiling!

So let’s see how I did!


Be Inspired: Easter Watermarble Mani

Hey y’all, today’s post is going to be so quick it’s gonna make you head spin. Simply because I woke up this morning and realized I didn’t have a post ready. 

First, Happy Belated Resurrection Day/Easter! I hope that you all had a relaxing holiday weekend. Mine was amazing. My son’s first AAU tournament of the season was Saturday and the 14u Hoyas won all 3 of their games. I do hope this is a preview of what is to come. Sunday, we went to church and then my family came over for a cookout. We laughed, ate and made new memories. I love spending time with loved ones, it makes my heart so full of joy. 

So here it is, my quick tutorial of how I completed my Easter Watermarble mani. Side note, had I known my blog would be about this mani, I would have taken more pictures. Sorry 😦  

  • First, I started with 2 thin coats of Jior White by Jior Couture over 1 coat of Nail Tek 2

  • Next, I applied scotch tape around my finger (instead of liquid latex) to make for easier and faster cleanup

  • Then using the Spring Break Collection from Bliss Polish and my Watermarble Tool from What’s Up Nails, I created a zigzag pattern in my cup of room temperature tap water

  • Next, I placed my finger in at the area of the design that I liked the best

  • With my finger still in the water, I blew on the surface of the water and removed the excess polish with a q-tip

  • I repeated the above steps for all 10 fingers and applied a coat of Tonic Topper QDTC (quick dry top coat)

  • Using Lina Stamping Plate Make Your Mark 03, Black stamping polish by Mundo de Unas, a stamper and scraper, I stamped on the image

  • Finally, I cleaned up with acetone and a cleanup brush and applied a final layer of Tonic Topper



This was my first purchase from Bliss Polish and I must say, I’m thoroughly impressed. This collection was released at Indie Shop ATL and Yvette, maker and creator of the brand, did a presale simultaneously on her site for the collection at an astonishing price of $40, you know I had to jump on them.

When I posted this mani on IG and FB, stamping of the collection was also asked about. So I did some quick and dirty testing over both black and white.

There you have it, quick, easy and full of awesomeness!

Thank you all for joining me today!

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Be Challenged: Born Pretty Store Water Decals

Good Morning Queens and Kings! Let me preface this post by saying that I did this mani on 1/4/2017 and it wasn’t until I was done that I decided to write this post. Therefore, I apologize for the lack of photos from each step. Now that, that is out of the way, I am so freakin’ excited about this post because its taken along time for me to get here. Months ago I had decided to take the plunge and step out of my comfort zone when it came to nail art and try some new techniques outside of stamping, watermarble, dry brush, etc,. I decided I wanted to try water decals. I purchased several different designs and was overwhelmed when I received them because it was something new and I didn’t know where to start. My first attempt ended in pure frustration and me contemplating destashing them. But it’s a new year and a new me…lol so I figured, I’d give them a try one….more…time!!

Let’s delve into the awesomeness that is this mani, the result this time were a complete 180.

Here is what I used

  • Base Coat
  • White by Kleancolor
  • Nail Scissors
  • Cup of room temperature water
  • Tweezers
  • Paper towel
  • Cleanup Brush and Acetone
  • Born Pretty Store Water Decals (item # 21960). I used C247, bottom right corner


Let’s get started

  1. First, I started with 1 coat of my favorite maintenance base, Nail Tek 2 (Strengthener) and applied 2 thin coats of white by Kleancolor. Note – depending on the colors in your decal, you can change to use something more complimentary.
  2. Once that was dry, I removed the plastic film from the decal and trimmed them to fit all 5 nails using my nail scissors. Note – I did one hand at a time.
  3. Then I place all 5 decals in the cup of room temperature water and waited 20-30 seconds. Note – be sure to use discretion and read the product instructions.
  4. When time was up, I removed the first decal using my tweezers, dabbed it on a paper towel to removed excess water and then gently placed it on my nail.
  5. Once I was happy with the placement, I used my cleanup brush and acetone to cleanup the excess decal on my cuticle area and free edge like any other mani 
  6. I repeated steps 2-5 for the other hand
  7. Finally, I applied a glossy, quick drying topcoat.

 The final mani left me speechless. Why? Because I had accomplished what I thought was impossible. Needless to say, I am currently shopping for more water decals. Leave me a comment of brands to try. While I love the designs that BPS offers, I can be very impatient waiting for shipping…lol. Or let me know which, if any, nail art technique makes you a little nervous to try.

Just when I thought I was done with the mani, a few days later I decided to upcycle my mani by adding some black stamping

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Be Inspired: Neon Gymnastics Leotard Smoosh Mani

I’m so excited to share this mani/tutorial with y’all today because its been a long time in the making. The day before I completed this mani, I gave myself a “full spa manicure” at home complete with mani bomb. The secrets to my at-home mani can be found here, but enough about that, lets talk about the inspiration and how I created this mani.

I was inspired by a leotard that I saw while attending my youngest daughter’s gymnastics training session. Let me tell you, with all the bright, bold and fun printed leos (its what all the gymnasts call leotards…lol. 5 and 6 year olds are such a hoot), I could create a whole series just trying to re-create them for a mani. Hmmmmmm! I’ll tuck that idea in my back pocket.

Anywho, the mani, here’s what I used:

  • White by Kleancolor
  • Beach Cruiser (pink), Melt Your Popsicle (orange) and Paradise Cove (purple) by Orly Lacquer
  • Prism Drops by Pipe Dream Polish
  • Black by Mundo de Unas (MdU)
  • Stamper
  • Feeling Shapely 02 and Make Your Mark 01 by Lina Stamping Plates
  • Marvel Liquid Macro by Superchic Lacquer 

Lets Get Started:

  1. Because I used neons, I started with an even, thin layer of white to give the bright colors a POP!
  2. Once that was dry, I applied 3-4 small drops of each color to my nail and used a stamper to smoosh the polish and blend the colors together. This part is a lot of fun and you don’t have to worry about it being perfect because there is no right or wrong way to do this step. I tried no to “over smoosh” because I didn’t want the colors to look to “muddy”. This step can also be done use saran wrap or plastic bag. I have also put the polish on the stamper then applied to the nail, but again, whatever works for you is great.
  3. Once I was happy with all 10 nails, I applied a coat of quick drying topcoat to smooth out the polish.
  4. I used the first Lina plate, Feeling Shapely 02 and black stamping polish to complete the first image. Then I used the second Lina plate, Make Your Mark 01 and the Prism Drops to apply the 2nd image.
  5. Finally, I topped with a final layer of topcoat and cleaned up.


Well, there you have it a complete neon mani inspired by a gymnastic leotard. As a nail addict, I find myself finding inspiration from a lot of different things, I hope you continue to join me on this series I bring you more Be Inspired/Be Challenged manis.1482803986609

Be Inspired: Polish M Fire Gradient

***Nothing to Disclose***

I, like many other nail addicts, love a good gradient. From the color choices to the flawless, seamless blends, a beautiful gradient adds a fun and exciting element to any mani. For this mani, I wanted to take it up one step and instead of using crèmes, I wanted GLITTER!! So what better polishes to use than a few from the Christmas Collection from Polish M. I purchased this collection during the Black Friday sale as it was #1 on my wish list. Previously, I had done a mani to celebrate my sons first middle school varsity basketball game. I loved the way it turned out.

Once I saw how effortlessly these applied and how opaque they are, I knew more gradients would be in my future.

With the holidays wrapping up, I decided it was time to put away the red and green polishes, the snowflakes and snowmen and do something…a little sassy.

For this mani I used:

  • Stick To Me Adhesive Base Coat by Jior Couture
  • Here Comes Santa Claus, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer and Little Drummer Boy by Polish M
  • Guardian Latex Barrier by Pretty Beautiful
  • Marvel Liquid Macro by Superchic Lacquer
  • Black Stamping Polish by Mundo de Unas (MDU)
  • BP-L012 by Born Pretty Store

For starters, I applied 1 layer of sticky basecoat and then Guardian around my cuticle to protect my skin and make for easy clean up.

Next, to my makeup wedge, I horizontally applied Here Comes Santa Claus (red), Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (orange) and  Little Drummer Boy (yellow).

Then in a rolling motion I applied the polish to each nail until I reached the desired opaqueness and topped with a single layer of topcoat.

At this point I removed the latex and began to clean up. While I was in love with this gradient, I knew it wasn’t complete. I took to the Polish M facebook fan group to ask for suggestions as to whether or not I should add nail art. With the help of a fellow addict, I decided to add the stamped flames to an accent nail.  

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Are there any techniques you’d like me to try and feature in this series?

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Challenge Nails: Breast Cancer Awareness

We took some time off from challenges for a while over at Those Nails Though (TNT), but we are back with a vengeance now. This is just in time because I know I have deprived you of challenge Nails for the past few months. Yes, I know Challenge/Inspiration Nails is supposed to be at the end of the month but I loved this mani too much not to share it sooner.

So like I was saying before, TNT had taken an extended break from nail challenges for but  we have started the ball rolling again, with a few minor changes. We no longer have Twin Nails but we still have color and technique challenges AND…..we have added Alphabet Nails and Inspiration/Theme Nail challenges. Challenges run on a 2 week schedule from Sunday to Sunday. The current challenges are:

  • Color: Pink
  • Technique: Double Stamping
  • Inspiration/Theme: Awareness Ribbons 
  • Alphabet Nails: Letter A

I thought what better way to celebrate than with a Breast Cancer Awareness mani!

For this mani I used the following:

  •  Perez Pink by Anonymous Lacquer 
  • Super Placa B by Apipila
  • BP-L006 by Born Pretty Store
  • White by Munro de Unas (MDU)
  • Metallic Pink by Born Pretty Store
  • Clear Stamper from DRK
  • Topped with Love by Love, Angeline

To start this mani, I applied 2 coats of Perez Pink over my base coat and topped with Topped with Love. 

Once that was completely dry, I stamped in white the quatrefoil-esk image from the Super Placa B plate. Then I applied a single metallic pink ribbon in the center. Using the clear stamper, made this mani super easy.

I love this mani and think it turned out great. What do you think? Are there any causes you do a mani to raise awareness for? What are some of your favorite challenges to participate in?

Join the fun, join and follow Those Nails Though!
Facebook Group / Instagram

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Tutorial: Tie-Dye Jellies Watermarble

Good Morning! Today I have a special treat for you all. I am going to show you yet another attempt at watermarbling using the newest collection from the awesome indie brand, that brought you the highly coveted collections, A Night In Vegas (ANIV/ANIVC), Street Carnival (SCC) and Mellowed Out Cremes (MOC)….Pipe Dream Polish (pdp). This watermarble mani features the Tie-Dye Jellies collection, that I was lucky enough to score on its release day, June 29th. It wasn’t until I had already done my nails and I was so happy with the outcome, that I decided to make it a tutorial and share here. So, please bare with me as I try to explain my way through.

What I did:

  • I prepped my nails by putting down 1 coat of Whitewater by pdp and applied Cat Suit by Vapid around my cuticle and down about 1/3 of my finger front and back.
  • Once Whitewater and the latex were dry, I began to create my bullseye in the water. I completed the bullseye with 3 full passes (1 pass = 1 ring of each color) (see below)
  • Then, I created my design using my fine tip dotting tool. Because I am still a newbie at watermarbling, I opted for the zigzag pattern. (see below)IMG_3836
  • I found the area that I liked the most and placed my finger in the water at an angle to pick up the design on my nail.
  • Then, I blew on the surface of the water and picked up the excess polish with my q-tip.
  • Carefully, I removed my finger from the water and removed the latex using tweezers
  • I repeated these steps for each finger and cleaned up using my clean-up brush and acetone.
  • For some added sparkle, #addglitter!!! I used Opal Glitter by Sinfulcolors
  • Finally I topped with by QDTC by Pro-FX.

Here’s my final mani


There you have it, a pretty decent watermarble mani. I really don’t have any tips and tricks when it comes go watermarbling but here are a few things I have learned:

  • Use room-temperature water – I have tap water in an old gallon jug that I keep water in to ensure is the right temperature.
  • Have everything ready – design tool (i.e. toothpick, needle), q-tip, etc.
  • NOT ALL POLISHES MARBLE – there is nothing you can do about this. Don’t get frustrated, just find ones that do.
  • Start small – start by only using 2 polishes instead of 5-6
  • Be patient and keep practicing

Do you have any best practices? What polishes do you find work best?



I few days later, my watermarble mani was still in really good shape and I was so proud of it I didn’t want to take it off. So I decided to upcycle (upgrade + recycle) this mani with a DOUBLE WATERMARBLE!!! Did your head just explode, because mine did at first. I figured how are hard could it be? I used the same steps outlined above with Atrament and Clearwater (both by pdp) and wha-la…I have a double watermarble mani! Thoughts?


Challenge Nails: July

Earlier this month I bought you my solo pic for the 4th of July #tnttwinnails challenge in Those Nail Though FB group. Instead of doing a post for each challenge I do, which is a lot, I decided that the last post of the month will be dedicated to Challenge Nails. Today I have manis from all the challenges I did in July.

Challenge: #tnttwinnails
Theme: Summer
FB Group: Those Nails Though (TNT)

On the right, is the inspiration pic my twin and I decided on. A summer evening running in the fields chasing lightin’ bugs. On the left, my solo shot.

Challenge: purple, blue and pink gradient w/ white flowers
Theme: NA
FB Group: N/A. IG friend posted she wanted to do twin nails/mani swap

I saw a post on IG asking if anyone wanted to do twin nails and I DM’d her. She came up with the design and here is my solo shot.


 Challenge: color – blue / technique – fan brush gradient
FB Group: Those Nails Though (TNT)

Every 2 weeks we do a color and technique challenge in TNT. So I decided to combine them but instead of gradient I did an ombre. I knew this would go perfectly for the next challenge I was doing. FYI…I LOVE fan brush!!!


Challenge: Blue and Yellow
FB Group: When Colours Collide (WCC)

Like I said, I knew that by doing the TNT challenge, it was an easy base to complete the (WCC) challenge and I added some yellow stamping.


There you have it, my challenge fun from July. I like finding different groups that have a challenge component. I find that it helps me practice techniques I normally wouldn’t do, helps me step out of my comfort zone AND used polishes that go un-loved. OR I realize I don’t have the color and I need to buy it…lol. I hope you come back next month and see what I’m up to. What technique(s) challenge you? Do you belong to any groups that help challenge you?


Challenge Nail: 4th of July

(Whispering) Hey y’all, I wasn’t going to post anything due to the holiday and all but then I decided what better to post than my 4th of July #tnttwinnails mani!!! But I have to keep it short and sweet because any minute my kids and hubby will be looking for me.

In one of the FB groups that I co-admin, Those Nails Those!, I have dubbed myself the Challenge Empress as I ‘oversee’ the challenges which include color, technique and Twin Nails. Every two weeks the randomly paired twins design a mani based on themes/inspiration. This time we are doing 4th of July nails!!! So let’s get started….

Here’s what I used:


After, I removed my previous mani, I:

  • Applied my base coat and allowed to dry
  • Then, I added my base polishes to as shown followed by a thin layer of QDTC
  • After that, I put on Cat Suit for easy cleanup
  • Once that was dry, I began stamping based on the design my twin and I came up with
  • Next, I removed the latex barrier and did some minor cleaned up
  • Finally, I seal with another layer of top coat, oiled and that’s it!




So there you have it, my 4th of July Twin Nails. I hope you come over and join us at Those Nails Though (TNT), we’d love to have you!

I hope you and your family are able to spend some safe, quality time together this weekend and remember what this holiday is all about. As for me, I have to get back to my family now, it’s family movie time and we are watching Back to the Future I, II and III….fun! What are you doing to celebrate the 4th?





Challenge Nails: Brown & Pink

Hey, I’m out of town this weekend but couldn’t leave you with out a Monday post! So todays post is an old challenge mani courtesy of When Colors Collide on FB. This color challenge based group, allows members create a mani incorporating the colors given. Challenges run every two weeks and at the end, a collage is created and posted to IG. Its a lot of fun so make sure to head on over to join. I didn’t do pictures at each step, so I’m going to do my best to describe what I did.

What I used:

Assume step #6 from Manicure Must Haves is complete and this is step #7.

What I did:

  • I applied a single thin base coat of Yo Soy (the lightest of the browns) to my nails
  • Next I applied liquid latex around my cuticle and side wall
  • I added Yo Soy, Spencer and Louise, from lightest to darkest in a diagonal pattern to my dry cosmetic wedge
  • While the base coat was still a little tacky, I sponged on the polish to each finger one at a time.
  • I applied another layer of polish to the wedge right over the previous polish layer
  • I repeated steps 5 and 6 until I reached my desired opacity
  • Once I was happy with the diagonal ombre, I applied a coat of Seche Vite and allowed to dry.
  • During my dry time, I selected my stamping plate and polish.
  • Once the polish was dry, I stamped my design on to each finger, removed latex and cleaned up.
  • Finally, I applied my last coat of Seche Vite and allowed to dry.
  • Couldn’t forget to oil up and take pictures.

PicsArt 2.png

Again, my bad for not getting pictures each step of the way, hopefully you could follow long. what are some of your favorite color combos? I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial and will join me for the next edition in Challenge Nails.