Nail Art · Nails

A Tonic Concoction

Hello, all! Now that Baby ACD has mastered crawling and moved on to attempting to stand on her own without support – often while pirouetting on her tiny toes – I’ve been hard-pressed to multitask during the day. And since all this brain development means she often does not sleep well at night and I have to go and tuck her back in multiple times between her bedtime and mine, nail art is definitely a no-go in the evenings as well. Not that I’m complaining; it is pure joy to watch her grow!

I did manage to do my nails last week with some Zoya pixie dusts – I love textured polish in the winter because it reminds me of glittering snow on the ground – but I forgot to take proper pictures. I just bought a few more pixie dusts, so there should be another one of those in the near future. I had thirty minutes to myself on Wednesday evening, so I started playing around with some Tonic polishes, and ended up making a dry marble/smoosh decal that I absolutely fell in love with. These were not colours I would have thought to pair together if I set off to do a proper mani, and I’m so glad for this serendipitous discovery! I eventually did a quick skittlette manicure with the decal and I’m in love with how it turned out!

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For the smoosh decal, I used Tonic Polish Icy Hot, Lava Lust and Stuntman Mike, and my new, mini Born Pretty silicone mat. I applied a couple of drops of each polish on the mat, then moved the mat around to swirl the colours together. Here’s a great tutorial that shows the process. I made the decal large enough to cover three to four nails when cut up – I only intended to use it on two nails at the most, but I wanted to be able to choose the parts of the design that I liked best. I let the decal dry overnight because I didn’t have a chance to get back to my nails afterwards, but a couple of hours should suffice.

On my index finger and thumb, I applied two coats of the stunning Stuntman Mike which I proceeded to magnetize. I have tried magnetizing this polish on my mat before and got a perfect cat eye with KB Shimmer’s new dual-ended magnet, but for some reason I couldn’t manage to get it on this go. I will add, however, that I am wearing this same polish unmagnetized on my right hand as I type, and it definitely has more depth and dimension on my left hand where it’s magnetized even though I didn’t get a specific pattern. On my pinky finger, I applied two coats of Lava Lust (my first Tonic ever and the start of my journey down the rabbit hole of Tonics!). On my middle and ring fingers, I just applied base coat and then applied the decal, which was thick enough for full coverage.

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Do you see that glowing shimmer in Stuntman Mike???? I was dying, I tell you! I’m very glad I used Icy Hot as the lighter colour in the decals, because it makes the whole thing sparkle and shine! Are you ready for some more macros?

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I bet you know what comes next: I mattified the whole mani!!! Surprise!!! And I loved it so much, though I didn’t think that was even possible! It did dull the sparkle and shimmer a little, but was more subtle and understated. I just love how chic and elegant matte polish looks, like velvet on your nails.

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I have not done a smoosh mani in a while and had forgotten how much fun it is and how beautiful the results usually turn out. I’m thinking I should do one again soon, but there’s too much nail art fun to be had and I am committment-phobic, so no promises here. Let me know what you think of this mani in the comments. And because I feel this post does not contain enough pictures of the same manicure in pretty much the same hand pose, I’ll leave you with a shot of the mattified look in the sun (which is what I’m seeing right now as I type). And to all my American readers, happy Black Friday shopping!

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