Guest nails today! I did this mani for my friend Kate. We just got the casting for the spring opera and needed some sparkles to keep our minds off the disappointments. Kate wanted alternating red-gold-red-gold-red, but I talked her into something a little fancier... oh, and I might have been inspired by these nails by Emerald Sparkled, too.
Cast of Characters:
  • Sinful Colors basecoat ($2.99 @ Walgreens... I've been using this pretty consistently and haven't had any discoloration. It's a sheer beige, dries pretty quick, and seems to do OK for wear... not that I have much to compare it to, and I change my polish pretty regularly anyway.)
  • Seche Vite topcoat ($too much @ Sally Beauty, although I've also seen it at Ulta and Target. I haven't had any shrinkage problems with it so far.)
  • China Glaze Ruby Pumps (Red. Sparkly. Nothing else to say here.)
  • Orly Glitz and Glamour (From the holiday collection. Gold foily love.)
  • Scrapbooking flat-backed rhinestones $2 or $3 at Michael's. I bought these for a photoshoot months ago and thought of them for this mani, and they were a perfect match. They come attached to a sticky backing, but they peel off fairly easily. I just pressed the de-stuck rhinestones into wet topcoat.)
  • Start with clean, dry, nails & a well ventilated space.
  • 1 coat of base coat on everything - I like to let it dry until it's at least tacky before putting on the next color of polish.
  • Get your bottles of polish ready. One coat of ChG Ruby Pumps on the thumbs and ring fingers, one coat of Orly Glitz and Glamour on all the rest.... let everything get at least tacky again, repeat. I ended up using 3 coats of Ruby Pumps and 2 coats of Glitz and Glamour for opacity.
  • Topcoat the red nails with Seche Vite (SV) to avoid bumping them.
  • Working one nail at a time, put a dab of SV where you want the rhinestone to go and press the rhinestone down firmly on top of it. They're really small and hard to pick up... I used a moistened Q-tip, which worked quite well.
  • Once all the rhinestones are applied, finish those nails with a coat of SV. I ended up just painting over the rhinestones, although I think it would be better to flood around them... Kate's nails were just way too tiny to manage that with a normal fat brush.

Aren't they shiny and pretty? Sorry for the poor cleanup... I got what I could, but she has teeny tiny nails and my smallest brush is still too big to get in really close to get the extra off. I'm not sure how long the rhinestones will stay... I'm thinking I'll have to try a variant of this on myself!
What do you think? Would you wear different colored nails, or would you want everything to be matchy-matchy?