{Mad About Nails} Back to School Nail Art

I've had quite a few people comment on my nails in the past ask what I was using or wish I'd done a close-up so they could see better, etc., etc., and had a realization: Why not do a feature on nail polish? It's not book-related (Unless you're wearing the new HUNGER GAMES-inspired line from China Glaze, but I'm not even going into how wrong that is...), but it's fun. Plus, if I do this feature, I'll be more likely to re-paint my nails this week and less likely to let them chip their way to the bare bones (which would mean that I could see my nails...and if I see them, I want to bite them!).

Welcome back to another edition of Mad About Nails! 

Last year, you may remember that I painted my nails to look like Number 2 pencils for my Back to School nail art. It was one of my earliest nail art attempts. This year, I've been more daring, so I decided to go all out and do a different Back To School design on every nail! (And yes, the No. 2 pencil made a re-appearance!)

Are you ready to see??

Left Hand:

Right Hand:

I think they came out cute!

Here's a video of the materials used
(Or keep reading below!):

I started off with a basecoat of ORLY "Bonder."

Many of the professional nail studios use this as a basecoat when doing nails for their clients.  It's a rubberized coat that helps polish adhere to the nail.
It stinks, but it's great!
It really helps polish adhere to the nail!

I only used top coat on some of my nails. I was losing too much nail detail texture with a top coat. I started off with Revlon's "Quick Dry Top Coat."

Next, I attempted a different top coat that wasn't quick-drying, OPI "Top Coat." This one is from the DS collection, I think. I received it for free at ULTA...it was just what they had. I'm only assuming it's DS because of the cap. ^_^ This also caused my polish to smooth out (which can be GREAT when you make mistakes or want straighter edges! I had a lot of hard edges and curves that I didn't want smoothed out, however).

I decided to nix the top coat!

I also used NYC "Matte Me Crazy" as a top coat on my index finger to take the shine out of my green polish and give it a dull sheen, making it look more like a chalk board!

Sometimes this Matte top coat works well; other times, it doesn't. I'm not overly a fan of how it looks over black, and think it could be more matte. For a beautiful hunter green, however? It looks just like a chalkboard!

For my design:

THUMB: The Notebook Paper

I started with a base coat of OPI's "My Boyfriend Scales Walls" from its The Amazing Spider-Man Collection that came out alongside the movie. You can still find it sometimes, and it's still sold online, too. I like this white because it's not a pure white. It's slightly gray, which gives it less of a "chalky" texture.

MASH Professional 15 piece Nail Art 
Brush Kit Set from Amazon
Currently $10.99 and can be
combined with other items
for free S/H over $25!

For the design, I applied blue stripes in OPI "Can't Find My Czechbook" (from the Spring 2013 Euro-Centrale Collection) using a brush from the MASH Professional 15 piece Nail Art Brush Kit Set (currently $10.99 on Amazon) for more precision.

Using the same brush, I painted a vertical pink line in "Pink Forever" by Sinful Colors.

The red A+ was created using China Glaze "Igniting Love from the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Collection, which can still be found in some stores and online.

INDEX FINGER: The Blackboard

I started with a base coat of Zoya "Hunter" from the brand-new Fall 2013 Collection, Cashmeres and Satins. I love so many colors from this collection and can't wait to wear them this fall! This is my debut of "Hunter," and the first time using any color in this collection. It's a beautiful dark green, and super shiny.

You can't have a super shiny blackboard, though, right? I used a top coat of NYC "Matte Me Crazy" to dull the green and give it a nice finish.

For the white ABC letters, I used the "White" It's So Easy Stripe-Rite from Sally's Beauty Supply. Nail art paint for the win!

MIDDLE FINGER: The Number 2 Pencil

The yellow was actually a nail art pen, Art Deco's "Yellow." I bought it at Dollar General, which sells nail art pens in many colors. The yellow was just right for a pencil, though, a little more orange/mustard than my other yellows.

To create pencil ridges on the wood, I mixed together ULTA "Sun-Sational" (yellow) with ULTA "Sun of a Gun" (orange) , going heavier on the yellow than the orange, in order to create an orange-yellow hue that was darker than the base.

I french-tipped the nail using "Pink Forever" by Sinful Colors.

The silver metal strip went over the pink and yellow, creating a texture and third-dimension. I used a nail art pen from Art Deco, "Silver." I bought this at my local Dollar General. I also mixed Art Deco "Silver" with It's So Easy Stripe Rite "Black" from Sally's Beauty Supply for a darker gray that became a stripey texture on top of the silver strip itself, giving the silver the nuance of ridging.

Ironically? I used both Art Deco nail art pens when making my Back to School with Number 2 Nail Art Design last year, too! (Although my nails are much longer now! Whoot!)

RING FINGER: The Apple Atop a Book

My base coat is OPI's "Steady As She Rose" from the Pirates of the Caribbean  On Stranger Tides Collection. I'm not sure whether or not it's still available online. This is my favorite color when doing nude nails or french tips. It's not quite nude, but a beautiful, eye-catching dusty-rose!

MASH Marbleizing Dotting
Tool Pen Set from Amazon
$3.99 plus Free S/H!

For the design, I used a couple of my MASH Marbleizing Dotting Tool Pen Set pens from Amazon and nail art pens to achieve the look.

The red is, again, China Glaze "Igniting Love from the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Collection, the white is again "White" by It's So Easy Stripe Rite, and for the first time in the design, I used the nail art polish "Bright Green" by Art Deco, found at my local Dollar General.

I did the apple first, creating the red, fleshy apple skin, then adding a green leaf, and, once dry, topping it off with a white shine mark. For the book, I started with the white pages, then outlined the dust jacket.

PINKY: The Converse Sneaker

I started with a red base, using China Glaze "Igniting Love from the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Collection. Then I french-tipped the nail using OPI's "My Boyfriend Scales Walls" from its The Amazing Spider-Man Collection. Once everything had dried a bit, I added white dots for the shoelace eyelets using a dotting tool and "My Boyfriend Scales Walls." I did a black dot on top of that using It's So Easy Stripe Rite "Black." I also used this polish to make a thin black tip on top of my french tip to create the outline of a shoe sole. The white laces were made using It's So Easy Stripe Rite "White."

There are all kinds of online tutorials for making Converse Sneakers. I've seen it pop up before so many times...and finally decided to do it for this look!

I think everything came out really well. I'm rather pleased with this design!
I'm sad that it won't last too long, however, what with the lack of top coat and the application of matte topper. Boo!

Good luck going back to school or sending off your kids! 

 Is anyone else obsessed with nail polish? What are you wearing right now? Link me a photo; I want to see! ^_^


  1. Always loving your artwork.. You got to my nails on time


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!