{Mad About Nails} One of My Favorite Manicures...EVER!!!

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! 

This month, I sported one of my favorite EVER manicures. I think it came out SO WELL and I hated taking it off, even though I was excited to do my nails up for a book signing with Sarah J. Maas for QUEEN OF SHADOWS. But THE PAIN of removing this!!!

I thought it was super cute and perfect for summer. I also got a LOT of compliments...and quite a few people were asking me about my thoughts on "those nail stickers" because they thought my nails looked "professional." *blush* So I was really, really happy with these!!!

I miss them already...and think I may do something similar this week in fall colors or those "in-between season" icy pastels. Maybe!!!

These photos were taken about a week into my manicure, so my nails are starting to grow out. The bottom picture also has light reflecting in such a way that it looks like I had a lot of white spots in my nails...but I didn't!!! It's all the lighting, as you can tell by the first picture! ;)

I started off with a basecoat of Essie "Millionails" and a coat of Essie "Grow Stronger."

My nails were breaking pretty frequently, so I have been strengthening them using "Millionails" and pairing it with "Grow Stronger," as the box had suggesting.

I'm really pleased with how long and strong they've gotten!!!

My Target sold one of these and ULTA sells both. I also saw these recently at Rite-Aid!

Sorry! I never took a picture outside and it's early morning now,
so the lighting is off. ^^;;;

For my base color:

I wanted an "off-white" color because sometimes white looks chalky. I decided to use China Glaze "New Birth" from The Giver Collection. There is a slightly blue color to the polish. On the nail among all those colors, you could never tell that the polish wasn't white. The blue tones only came out if I had my hands against a blue surface. Pretty cool way to trick the eye, right!?

Plus, I love that with this collection, China Glaze stamped the collection name on the cap. It's so much easier to keep organized!!! Plus, sometimes I buy something from a collection BECAUSE of the name, so I like having a visible memory of that!

After I let the base color dry for a few minutes (Always wait, or your polish may streak!), I used my beloved Revlon "Quick Dry Top Coat" to get the base smooth and shiny. Plus, it would help harden the base so I could do my design faster!!!!

I debated adding a top coat on top of my design for a while, so I wanted to at least have a top coat on the base so it would stay even if the dots started flaking off! (More on that later)

For my design:

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

I used a couple of my MASH Marbleizing Dotting Tool Pen Set from Amazon to make my dots. I mostly made large dots, but I had a few that were smaller as well. You can also buy dotting tools at Claire's at the mall, from Sally Hansen at select drugstores, at Sally's Beauty Supply, and tons of other places!

It doesn't matter what order you do the dots in. The purpose of this manicure was to use my neons one more time before summer was over.

I started with green, using Zoya "Tilda" from the Summer 2014 Tickled Collection. Next, I used purple, choosing China Glaze "Creative Fantasy" from the Winter 2012/2013 Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Collection. I did yellow next, wanting something light and bright, choosing Sinful Colors "Let's Meet," which I picked up this summer on an endcap at Target.

At this point, there wasn't a huge amount of blank canvas left, so I had to decide: Pink or Blue for in case I ran out of room and couldn't do five colors!?

I went with another bright color, pink, choosing Zoya "Rooney," also from the Summer 2014 Tickled Collection. I had juuuuust enough room left for one more color, so I grabbed my blue, Zoya "Ling," yet again from the Summer 2014 Tickled Collection.

You may be able to still find the Zoya colors at ULTA; you definitely can on their website. The China Glaze colors may be hard to find because they've been discontinued...maybe in an ULTA or Sally's Beauty Supply clearance bin or on Ebay? The Sinful Colors may be available at Target/Walmart/Walgreens/etc. I bought it recently!

Top Coat

I topped everything off with HK GIRL "Glisten & Glow." You can easily buy this online from HK Girl. I bought this online because I'd heard it was the best top coat to use with nail art. It doesn't smear or streak your art, dries fast, and lasts a long time. I've been very happy with it!

I debated using a top coat because I didn't want the dots to get blurry because they were so nice and crisp. I waited at least an hour before I put on the top coat. They blurred a little, but it wasn't so bad! AND my manicure lasted a lot longer by having a top coat, and since I loved it so much, I would have been sad if it started flaking after a few days because I'd forgone it!

I think they came out cute, don't you?

 Is anyone else obsessed with nail polish? What are you wearing right now?

If you do a similar design, I'd love to see! ❤