Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hearts for the 4th

Instead of stars and stripes, how about some hearts on your nails for the fourth of July?

This isn't a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but now that you have all of those new texture polishes, what are you supposed to do with them?  Well, layering them over a jelly creates a nice effect for a start.

For this manicure you will need a red, a white, and a blue textured polish.  For a background color, I found a gray to be best - it's grungy enough to complement the unusual textures, while the translucency of the shade makes it soft enough to be combined with hearts.  Used here was Zoya Pixie Dust color Chyna for the red, Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in Sugar Fix for the white, and Nails Inc Denim Effect in Bermondsey (this last color is from the kit from Sephora, which is also apparent by the fact that the lid is silver and does not have the appealing denim-covered cap that the nail polish in the UK seems to have).  For the gray I used OPI in My Pointe Exactly.  Not pictured, you will also need a heart-shaped hole punch which can be found at your local craft store, such as Michael's.

For the first step, just paint on two to three coats of the jelly background polish, followed by a quick-drying top coat.  I used two coats here, but if the weather is hot where you are, go slow and use really thin coats to try to minimize bubbling that seems to happen especially when it is hot but also when you layer on thicker coats.  

Technically, Step 2 has a part A and a part B.  For the first part, part A, cut medium strips of painters tape and stick on a piece of thick cardstock, like an index card (shown here).  It makes it easier to remove and hole punch if you place each piece of tape close to an edge of the card where the hole punch can reach, and then if you leave about a quarter of an inch of tape off the side of the card, then you can easily peel it up after you have punched your hearts.

Also, since you are going to need ten hearts, it is likely you will need two index cards (or other piece of cardstock) unless you want to try to overlap a new piece of tape on an area of the cardstock you already punched a heart on.

Now for Part B of Step 2, cut each strip of tape into sections depending on how many hearts you have on each strip of tape so you have a separate heart for each nail.  Placing a heart directly in the center of your nail each time may be a little difficult to do for some, so instead of trying to place the heart directly in the center of your nail, place it towards the top or bottom of your nail.  Because painter's tape is more flexible and malleable than scotch clear tape, you can push down around the edges of your nail to get a feel for exactly where the heart is on your nail.

After smoothing down the piece of tape, paint on one coat of your chosen color of nail polish.  For texture polishes, I found it easier to show off the texture to its best advantage by brushing a few times in one direction on the nail, than brushing in a perpendicular direction on the nail.  This may lift off a bit of the polish, but it also brings the texture to the forefront of the layered polish and also makes sure you have enough polish on the nail so you don't have to do a second coat.  After quickly painting on the polish, immediately pull off the tape before the layered polish begins to dry, so you don't have any stringy edges of polish attempting to adhere to the tape rather than your nail.

Once you have painted a heart on all of your nails, you will have reached Step 3.

Step 3 is to simply let your nails dry without putting any top coat on top of your nails and thereby reducing your textured look, since the point is to have the texture stand out as best as possible.

So here you can see I did a pattern of one red nail, one white, and two blue.  My thumb would also be red, so only the white polish would have been used once for each hand.

What do you think of this use for your textured polishes?  Have you already used hole punches and tape to create easy to do nail art?  If you don't have a heart-shaped hole punch near you, you can refer to this tutorial, where I began by making hearts without a hole punch.  Scroll down to Step 2 to see how to make a heart without using a hole punch if you have trouble making the heart look even.  It was a comment on that tutorial that made me consider going out and buying a heart shaped hole punch, and as you can see, I caved and bought one!

So what are you wearing on your nails for the Fourth of July?  And if you don't live in the United States or don't celebrate this holiday, would you still try this easy nail art on your nails?  Would you use textured polish for it?

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy nail painting with painter's tape!


  1. this design looks perfect! I love these various finishes mixed together.

    1. Thank you! I thought the worked well together - glad you think so too!

  2. hi, i don't have a michael's available in my country so pleasen what's the size and the brand of the heart punch? (maybe 1/4 from fiskars=)
    love this blog is such an inspiration 4 me


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