Makeup and Beyond

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Creative Ideas for Decorating Nails

Simple Nail Designs for Everyone

There's nothing like a quick pick-me-up than a fresh pedicure or manicure. With that in mind, we thought we'd share with you some creative ideas for decorating nails.

“Love You” nails for Valentines Day:  (1) Paint all nails with white nail polish. (2) Paint a small heart in the center of each large nail. For a real cute look, paint your finger and toe nails the same way.

Christmas:  Paint a small tree on one, or both, of your large nails against a black background. Put tiny dots of different nail polish colors for ornaments. Top with a silver star.

4th of July:  Paint red, white, and blue stripes on your nails. Add streaks of different colors to represent a fireworks explosion.

Crackle Nails:  For an easy crackle design, simply purchase a crackle design nail polish.  First apply a solid color polish, and then apply crackle polish over the top as directed on the package.

  Happy Spring! Bring in spring with a painted daisy on a nail. Paint one or two nails white and allow to dry. Next, paint a few green flower stems; again, allow paint to dry before moving painting on your flower petals. 
To paint the flower petals, use a toothpick to pick up a small amount of polish from the bottle and place the tip against the nail in a circular pattern of five dots per flower.  You can use a fine
nail brush instead of a toothpick. 
Don't forget to make a small dot in the center of your flower with yellow, or another color you have on hand that you believe will look good.  As an alternative to the center dot, use a rhinestone instead.

Musical Notes:  If you are into music, paint a simple musical note on one or a few or your nails using a very fine tipped brush.  

:-) Smiley Face Toe Nails: If you like to use smiley faces in emails or text,  paint a few on your nails.  You can choose an smiley :-) or even a wink ;-).
How to Place Rhinestones to your Nails

When your favorite nail polish dries, add a drop of clear polish to the bottom of a rhinestone or to your nail, and gently put your rhinestone in place.

To pickup and place rhinestones on your nails: Dip an orange stick in water and then the rhinestone, or use a tool called the Pickerr UpperrFrench Manicure with Rhinestones

With your wet orange stick or your Pickerr Upperr, grab and place each rhinestone on the nail. Tweezers can be used for larger stones. 

Don't forget to add your topcoats to "cement" the nails in place. 

Add Bling to a French Manicure:  Dot along the separating color line with tiny rhinestones. This looks very feminine when tiny rhinestones are used. Don't forget to set your rhinestones with two layers of topcoat
Wedding Toenails:  A few weeks before your wedding, enjoy a weekly pedicure at your favorite spa to soften your feet and get those toe cuticles in shape. Beautiful toes start with beautiful skin. 

Delicate Wedding Toenails: 

If wearing a white dress, ask your manicurist to paint a delicate white pattern on your nails and attach two or three small pearls to each large toenail if you'll be wearing sandals or open toe shoes.

Avoid wearing pearls on your toenails if wearing closed-toe shoes; this could be very uncomfortable.

If there will be a flower child in your wedding, consider having her nails painted to match yours. It could be your little special secret - all little girls love secrets.
Instant Nail Polish:  If you find it difficult to brush on nail polish, instant nail polish may be your answer.
This “polish” comes in strips shaped like nails and is laid across the nail for instant color. No need to wait until the polish is dry. I find it wears and chips like regular nail polish and it is relatively easy to apply. The French Manicure style is a popular choice.  

Artificial fingernails: If you're not one to decorate your nails yourself, and really don't want to spend the time and/or money for a professional manicure, there are numerous colorfully decorated artificial nails on the market. 

Artificial Toenails: If your nails are not what you want them to look like, try wearing artificial toenails; they are a quick and easy way to beautify your feet for open toe shoes and sandals.
Gel Nails: A writer on Squidoo gives her personal review about gel nail polish. Click here

The most important first steps of any manicure or pedicure is to start with clean nails and a base-coat. These will give you a good foundation to build on. Here's how to begin after you've removed any old nail polish, clipped, and filed your nails. 

How to clean your nails 

Soak your feet or hands for 20 minutes in warm, soapy water.  Before drying:

  1. Clean under the nails with nail file.
  2. Push back the quick of the nails with an orange stick. 
  3. Using a nail brush, gently scrub the top of the nails.  This will help remove embedded grime and dead skin cells surrounding the cuticle and nail.
  4. Smooth away calloused skin with a pumice stone.
  5. Rinse hands and/or feet well with clean warm water. Dry with a soft clean cloth.

To polish nails:

  1. Apply basecoat to nails.
  2. Apply two coats of color polish.
  3. Apply two coats of topcoat for a protective finish and to add shine.

Always allow nails to dry before applying your next coat. 

Hint: A simple test to tell if the polish is dry enough to add another coat is to barely touch two nails together.  If they seem tacky when placed against each other, they are still too wet to proceed with your next coat.

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