{Mad About Nails} Patriotic Water Marbling with the brand-new OPI Color Paints!

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 week was the Fourth of July, and I celebrated IN STYLE!!!

I went to New York City for the day with my mom. We had tickets to see On the 20th Century starring Kristin Chenoweth (!!!!!!), and we decided to go to the TKTS Booth in Times Square and see what matinees were available at good prices. Since it was a holiday, many shows that are constantly sold out with absolutely no discounting were at TKTs as severely reduced rates, so we got tickets to see the new Broadway adaptation of Finding Neverland: The Musical (Starring Matthew Morrison, whom I have been following since before his Glee days!).

For such a fun trip--and such an important holiday!!!--I wanted to have flashy nails!!

I've been wanting to try out my new OPI Color Paints for a WHILE now and haven't done it yet.
(For one thing, they arrived in the mail in late May while I was in NYC for BEA. For another, a few of my nails started to badly break and had to grow back out!)

The OPI Color Paints are AMAZING.

Annnnd I've always wanted to try water marbling after seeing all the color designs on Pinterst and YouTube!

I got sooooo many compliements on my nails this past week--from gals AND from guys, too!! (Who knew they noticed!?). I even had a few people ask if I was wearing Jamberry stickers!!! 

Ever since I saw this ad in a magazine, I wanted them:

I was only going to buy a few colors because OPI can be EXPENSIVE, but someone on Amazon was selling the entire 9-piece collection for $40, which is about $4.50 a bottle. Sooooo I could buy a few polishes locally for that price and pick and choose---or drive to every store around looking for the ones I wanted and hoping the stores get shipments--or, for the same price, get them all and make more designs. The choice was obvious, especially since the more you have, the better you can mix it up in this case!!!!

For the Fourth of July, I chose these three colors:

(L to R) Silver Canvas, Magenta Muse, Indigo Motif

Left Hand:

Right Hand:

For My Base Coat:

I started off with painting latex body paint around my fingers using some stuff I bought on Amazon:

 Everyone is talking about this stuff right now!!!
You paint it on the skin around your nails and let it dry. If you're doing water marbling or a sponge gradient or something messy that will get everywhere, you have to prep your skin. Tape is too time-consuming and bothersome for me, but I liked this idea.
After you're doing painting, you take tweezers and pull at the latex. All the paint on my skin came right off. It was sooooooo easy!
This Latex Body Paint comes in several colors on Amazon, and I bought White. The only color you SHOULDN'T BUY is Clear because you can't see it to take it off your skin!!!

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

 My nails are breaking pretty frequently ATM, so I'm trying to strengthen them again! I picked up "Millionails" at Target to try, and saw on the back of the box that it said to pair this with "Grow Stronger."

So that's what I'm doing! (My Target, however, didn't sell GS, but ULTA does!)

My nails have gotten nice and long and strong, haven't they??

For My Base Color:

When you use OPI Color Paints, your base coat has to be SILVER, though I've heard you don't HAVE to use the OPI version. Buuuut it came in my complete set, so!!!

For a base, I started off with one coat of OPI Silver Canvas. I only did one coat because I knew I was going to completely hide the base when I did water marbling!!! Otherwise I would have used more than one coat because the first coat is a little streaky and needs to be leveled more.

For My Design:

I went onto YouTube to watch some water marbling videos and the different ways people prepped their design. I would recommend doing this for the best tips and tricks!

But BASICALLY I left my water out at room temperature, then did nine drops of polish (three of each color) alternating between OPI Silver Canvas, Magenta Muse, and Indigo Motif.

My tub for water was a little too big, so when I inserted certain fingers, others knocked against the side or into the water. So I have some mistakes.

This is the way water marbling should look!

 The coolest mistake is my right pinky!!! It came out all textured and looked like the galaxy nail art I've always wanted to try that is waaaaaaaaay too time-consuming to attempt!

But isn't this textured galaxy art a cool mistake!?

Here's one more example:

Mistake on the left, proper marbling on the right!

Sooooooo overall, my experience was messy but fun, and I think it will come out even better the next time I try water marbling! PLUS, I can't wait to play with my new OPI Color Paints some more!!!

For My 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 wasn't sure if water marbling would streak with a regular top coat and didn't want to take any chances! The stuff smells, but I've been very happy with it!!!

While it's not perfect, being my first time experimenting with water marbling, overall, I think this is a flashy Patriotic design, don't you?

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