Pinterest Challenge | Winter Edition

It's that time again.

Like last challenge, we're in the middle of a large scale renovation, (seriously, when are we not in the middle of a reno?), so I didn't think I would be able to do any small DIY project over the weekend in time.  I thought about doing some wedding stuff, but since most of my readers are probably coming, I didn't want to give away all the details, (I think I'll wait until after the wedding to start sharing all the DIY's and details).

That's when I was perusing my Pinterest boards for some ideas, when I realized I've never shared one of my little hobbies here on the blog.  It makes sense, since this blog is about our house and the (sometimes crazy) things we take on making it our home, and my little hobby is definitely not home related.  And, it's pretty girly.

I like to paint my nails.  There I said it.

Actually, having my nails painted is sometimes counterproductive to home renovations.  I used to need hours for my nails to dry before I would (willing) help Mike.  I'd also freak out when I chipped/broke a nail while doing some DIY project.  I gave up having nice nails and usually would sport the DIY'er mani, that I embarrassingly shared on Instagram recently:

My hobbies finally found a happy medium when I started getting shellac manicures.  As always, as I was getting it done I thought, "I could do that".  So, I did.  I bought the supplies off of ebay and have been doing my own shellac mani's for a couple of years now.  In my area a shellac manicure runs about $20-$25.  The supplies were a little pricey up front, (polishes range from $10-$14 and I got a cheap 36w UV lamp for about $30), but after 3 manicures, I made up for the cost and the luxury of doing my nails at home is priceless to me.  And, the best part is, that shellac doesn't chip when I drop a drill bit on my nails, and a swipe with some regular nail polish remover gets rid of paint splatter without messing up the shellac.

This isn't an infomercial or anything, and I don't want any nail technicians to get angry with me, I'm just sharing another aspect of my DIY projects.  Professionals have to be certified to offer the shellac services, and I'm sure there are things that they know that I don't.  But, just like Mike and I taking on our own plumbing and electrical projects, I feel confident enough to paint my own nails.  (Just to be clear, I'm in no way insulting any shellac certification, and I don't perform any shellac manicures for money, I just like doing things myself).     

So, anyways.  Since I've been shellacking for a while, I wanted to start trying new trends that were popping up on Pinterest all the time. I even created my own nail board to keep track of all the cute things I see.

Follow my boards here on Pinterest
I especially like the statement nails, (you know, doing something crazy on the ring finger).  And, even if you don't want to be crazy like me, and enjoy getting shellac manicures done by professionals, I thought I'd share how easy it is to get shellac statement nails by bringing in an extra supply for the technician to add. 

The two statement nail trends that I do a lot are the glittered ring finger and the caviar ring finger, (more for special occasions).

(Uploaded by user and pinned here on Pinterest)

(Originally from here and pinned here on Pinterest)

Whether I'm doing a statement nail, or a regular manicure, the beginning steps are all the same.  First, I get all my supplies together:

I use CND Shellac polishes, but there are a lot more products out there then when I started.

Then, I do a "dry manicure", no soaking in water or using lotions, just a quick file, cuticle push and clip and you're good to go.  I also wipe my nails with some acetone to clean everything off and make sure it's all dry.

First we'll do the caviar nail.  This is a much more trendy look, and I only have worn it a couple of times.  Think a fancy event or special night out with the girls.  Two Christmas' ago, my mom got me some Martha Stewart Metallic Microbeads and I've never used them because they were too fancy to waste on cards and such.  I thought I was a genius by trying them out for caviar nails, but it's all over the internet, so I'm just behind the ball.  Although, a lot of people complain that they only last a day or so when they do it at home, but I found using the shellac makes them stay for as long as you can go without picking it off, (it's really tempting).  Mine were going strong after 5 days, before I decided to peal it off and do something different. 

I decided to do a dark gray mani with a teal statement nail and caviar.  I think you're only limited by the colors you have on hand since the microbeads come in a bunch of different colors, and you could add them on top of coordinating colors, or try mixing for a layered look.

1. CND Top Coat | 2. CND Base Coat | 3. CND "Asphalt" | 4. CND "Hotski to Tchotchke" | 5. Microbeads

I'm sure every salon is different, but I'd think if you brought the microbeads in, they would be happy to add them to the manicure.  You can order microbeads for less than $3 online, so it's only adding a small amount to the manicure price.

I asked my sister to be my model.  I tried doing it myself, but taking pictures and doing one's nails is hard.

First step of the polish is the base coat.  The key to a lasting shellac is thin layers and not getting any polish on the cuticles or skin.  For those wondering, I'm wearing CND Rubble, its a medium gray and goes with just about everything.

Then cure this coat.  My UV lamp cure time is 30 seconds for the base coat.  (Some lamps are different, so it's best to go by the directions).

Next, is a color coat.  To do a statement nail, obviously only paint your ring finger, (or whatever finger you want), the statement color.  It's really important to do thin layers and take your time.  If the layers are too thick they will bubble or crease, (kind of looks like it's melting), after it's cured.  Don't worry if the color isn't opaque since you'll do another color coat next.  Make sure to carefully coat the edge of your nail, as this seals it and helps prevent chipping.  This color coat gets cured for 2 minutes with my lamp.

The third coat is another color coat.  This is where I add the microbeads to the statement nail.  I generously pour onto the wet nail and gently press the beads down.  I usually take a nail stick and clean up around the edges.  Like elementary school, I pour over a folded piece of paper and pour the excess back into the bottle.  If I only used this beads for nails, it would probably last forever since you really don't use that much.

After I've got a good layer of beads, I cure again for 2 minutes.

The last coat is the top coat.  For the dark gray fingers I apply a normal thin layer.  This is the important layer not to get on your skin or cuticles.  If you do, it's likely to peel off quicker.  The beaded nail gets a really thick top coat.  I still keep it away from the skin.  Be careful of stray beads.  One or two may come off on the brush, just make sure to catch them before dipping back into your bottle to keep everything clean.

This is the last cure and is 2 minutes as well.

After the time is up, you wipe all the nails with pure acetone.  This removes the tacky layer.  I've noticed that some of the bead color gets wiped off with the acetone, but it has a metallic color to it, (at least the Martha Stewart ones I use do), so I don't mind it.

And, that folks is an at home shellac mani with a caviar statement nail twist.

To recap: it's a base coat, cure 30 seconds.  First color coat, cure 2 minutes.  Second color coat, add beads to statement nail, cure 2 minutes.  Apply top coat, cure 2 minutes, wipe with acetone.

The glittered nail manicure is really easy and basically the same as above, but without adding the beads.  Like the pin, I like pink nails with silver glitter.

1. CND Top Coat | 2. CND Base Coat | 3. CND "Tropix" | 4. CND "Silver Chrome" | 5. Any silver glitter polish

Like before, apply the base coat, cure 30 seconds, then apply the first color coat.  We did the pink on 4 of the nails and the silver on the ring finger.

Cure for 2 minutes.  Add a second color coat, and cure for another 2 minutes.

Apply the top coat and cure for the last 2 minutes, then wipe with pure acetone.

You're left with a regular shellac manicure with two different colors.

To add the sparkle, I paint the glitter on top of the shellac top coat.  The glitter dries really fast so I usually add 3-4 coats for maximum glitter.  My sister was fading on me fast so I only did 2 coats.

At this point I add a regular fast drying top coat to seal the glitter, or I've even done another shellac top coat and cured for another 2 minutes.  Using regular nail polish doesn't work in the shellac system, but I haven't had a problem with the glitter.

Sorry for being so lengthy, but I wanted to show both manicures, since it's basically the same thing.  I know doing crazy manicures isn't for everyone, but I hope at least one person is inspired to try some statement nails and/or shellac after seeing how easy it is.

I also need to thank my sister since she let me do her nails three different times.  The shellac definitely is a time saver as far as being able to work immediately after finishing, but with the curing time for each layer, it's not a quickie mani.

I thought about stopping here and making her walk around with two different hands, but even I'm not that mean of an older sister.

She chose the pink and glitter mani and we just removed the other polish by cutting up some round pads, pouring some pure acetone on each piece, then covering the nails with the pad and wrapped them with aluminum foil.  Wait 10 minutes and remove, and all the polish easily comes off.

We started off giggling and gossiping about the Oscar's, but by the end, we were both bored and ready to be done.  I caught her zoning out while we waited the 10 minutes to remove the polish.

Hopefully I can con convince her to be my model if I ever need one again.  I thought about asking Mike to model, but then I didn't want people to think I had man hands.

Go check out the host's pages to see what everyone else did for the challenge!

Megan (The Remodeled Life), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love), and Michelle (Decor and The Dog).


  1. I'm always so jealous when I see Pinterest nails. I try so hard, but I can't get those perfect nails! I do love looking at all the fun color combos though. Thanks for the inspiration, I love the colors you chose. :)

  2. You make this look so easy!! I love statement nails, but I chip my polish so quickly. Shellac might just be the perfect solution :)

  3. I've been itching to buy my own UV light since I'm too cheap to get my nails done at a salon.

    You have a beautiful ring.

  4. So pretty! I love it! Now I just have to go find a UV lamp and the other supplies!