Monday, July 30, 2012

Galaxy Nail Tutorial

"Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high.
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are!"

A classic nursery rhyme. :) And I still can not get over that this tune utilizes the same tune as the ABC's! It's a strange concept to grasp, isn't it? Anyway! Hello ladies! As you guessed, we are learning how to create some legit looking galaxy nails. Go ahead and take a look below to see what our finished product may look like! This was my first time trying this technique myself, but trust me, it is extremely easy if you have already mastered the sponging technique of the gradient nails and such. Okay, so let us get started!

What you you will need:
  • Black, white, purple, pink, and blue nail polish colors
  • A sponge, such as makeup sponge
  • Scrap paper
  • A small dotting tool (optional)
  • Glitter nail polish (optional)
The colors I used from left to right are Smoke and Ashes, Hard to Get, Prince Street, Greenwich Village, Water Street Blue, Party of Five Glitters, and Spit Fire.

I really just want to put a shining light on how awesome this China Glaze Smoke and Ashes color is; not only is it a nice black polish, but it also has some neat green shimmers in it already. I tried to capture the glitter to the best of my ability, but the camera just wouldn't do. Anyway, I really love this color! In fact, it is one of my first China Glazes that I bought. Love them!

Now, may I introduce to you the Galaxy Nail Tutorial! *polite clapping*

1. Start off with a black base colors.
2. Now let's start put your white color and sponge to use! As always when sponging, place a little nail polish onto the scrap paper and dip your sponge into the polish. Blot the sponge onto the paper a couple times to get rid of the excess polish. So with that sponge with the white nail polish on it, gently sponge a diagonal line onto your nails. Try not to use too much white because it'll be really gunky. That is what the blotting beforehand is for. ;) On your other nails I did different directions of lines and curves so that it adds a little variation.
3. With your other colors, repeat step 2! Yes, you really are just going to sponge over the white color a total of 3 extra times. I used the colors purple, pink, and blue but since these are galaxy nails, you can add any color! Maybe try green, yellow, gold, silver, etc. :)
4. Honestly, this step is totally optional! I originally had these nails for a couple days and JUST added all these extra embellishments yesterday. (I apologize, that is why I did not have a tutorial earlier. I was still testing this one out!) I do really like the end results too. This is how I did it but you can literally just add anything you want: I used really fine glitter and I painted it on the still black part of the nail without any color on it. And with your toothpick, add little, white dots around your galaxy and maybe a few on it. These are suppose to represent stars! On my middle finger I even added a diamond for a different type of star! Finally, I have a chunky glitter polish that I applied to my entire nail. The great thing (and maybe also the downfall) is that with chunky glitter, you only get a few sparkles that end up on your nail. So more sparkly stars that are extremely random! :D YAYYYYY for glitter!!!

Sorry for the different lighting - Like I said,
I added all the embellishments a couple days later!

And here is how my nails looked after every step! :)

Black Base
See my random white lines? ;)
I added the purple right on top!
Added some blue
And here is the pink! You may not tell. Don't worry. I can. xD
Here is the fine glitter!
And the big chunky glitter plus white dots!

Before I added the white dots and chunky glitter. See?
It actually looks really pretty!
But here is with the ALL the embellishments! I love both but
I guess it depends on how busy you like your galaxy nails to be.

And this concludes our galaxy nail tutorial! If you try the out for yourself, I'd love to see how it turned out for you! Email me a picture at or tag me @polishpals on instagram! Until next time, your Polish Pal, Jenna :) <3

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Penguin Tutorial

Hey guys! Today I have made an adorable penguin tutorial. Yes, it is summer but I think that these little penguins are just too cute too pass up. I mean com'mon, take a look!

Would you like to make these precious penguins with me? If not, I'm sorry. :( I hope later I can please you with another nail tutorial, but if so, YAYYY! Let's start!

You will need:
  • Black, white, yellow, and orange nail polish
  • Dotting tools - thick and skinny
  • Assorted colors (optional)

Okay, as always these are just the colors that I used and the "classical" penguins. Of course you can switch up colors. (I did try pink penguins but then I messed up everything by attepmting "real" eyeballs instead of black dots and that turned out to be a flunk. Hey, I tried!)

1. Start with a solid black base.
2. Now draw a white hill with the white nail polish. A easy trick is to pretend to be repainting your entire nail but stop when your almost to the top. Just make it a mound with the brush!
3. With your skinny dotting tool, place 2 black dots for the eyes near the top of the white hill. Also with your skinny dotting tool, take the yellow and draw a beak underneath the eyes. I just drew a diagonal line and then another one in the opposite direction for a petite beak. Then for the feet I used the thick dotting tool and just dipped it into the orange polish and placed 2 medium dots at the very bottom of the mound.
4. (Optional) If these penguins just aren't good enough for you, add some cute bow ties!! This is where your assorted colors come in. To make a bow tie, use your thin dotting tool and add a dot in the area underneath the beak. Now draw 2 little triangles coming out from the dot or 2 little hearts. It just changes the look of the bow tie, but both are awesome! I actually used both variations.

Okay, clean up, add a top coat, and now you have some pretty penguins on your fingers! Here is the visual tutorial and how I did mine. :)

Black base

Add the white mounds

Add solid black eyes

Add yellow beaks

Add orange feet

(See, the purple tie is made out of hearts while
the red one has triangles).

And finished product ~ On ice. ;) The penguins
were getting too hot! :'( And my fingers
were getting too cold! :O

I hope that you can now sucsessfully create these funky little creatures. :) Until next time! Your Polish Pal, Jenna

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cheetah Nail Tutorial

In my opinion, cheetah nails are a classic manicure and that is why I am ecstatic to be posting a tutorial on them today. This is also the first time that I have created cheetah nails on a gradient background so I am even more excited about my nails than usual. Let's get this started!

All that you need are:
  • 2 different nail polishes (any color combo you desire) & black nail polish
  • A dotting tool or 2 -- Thin and thick ones work well (don't know what to use? Check this out!)
  • Scratch paper
1. Paint your nails your base color -- This color will be the background of your cheetah nails and we will just say that mine is blue. ;) Allow this to dry completely before moving on!

2. Next, the 2nd color will be the color of your spots. I decided on a silver because it looked chic with the blue. When you have decided on the color, drop a bit onto your scratch paper. Okay, we will start the spots now. Don't be afraid, they DO NOT need to be perfect (like most things in nail art). In fact, they look better if they're varied blobs. :) So with your thick dotting tool, dip it into your nail polish on the paper and draw some funkish looking dot shapes. Seriously, these things can be virtually any shape or size. I only create a few because you can ALWAYS go back and add more. It's like what your parents always tell you food wise; it's better to take and then go back and get more than to be wasteful. :(

3. You're probably looking at your nails right now and thinking "What is Jenna doing?! Destroying my nails with ugly, random blops???" Don't stop! Let's continue and hopefully you'll begin to like the results. :) Now, with some black nail polish, drop some onto the scratch paper. Time to form the spots -- take your thin dotting tool and dip it into the black, and around your newly created spots, draw little "u's". Or another way to think about it is to outline them in black, but leave an opening or two. Once again, you can just see what you like best. Make them irregular and not perfect!

4. As you can see, the nail is incomplete and honestly, just ugly. And this is what I mean by just add more later. I added another full spot and then in the blank spaces, I drew more little "u" shaped items that weren't connected to anything and just plain black dots here and there. And there you have it! A hopefully awesome cheetah mani!

And this is how my cheetah process worked:

Hopefully you can see why it's important to leave some space until the end and then fill in. Oh! And don't look at my thumb in the 3rd picture. ;) I'm still learning how to take these pictures for blogging!
Final Product

Here is another visual I created for the
process of cheetah making spots.
The tools I used :)

From here on out, if you try one of my tutorials and would like me to see how your nails turned out, feel free to email me a picture or post to instagram and tag @polishpals because I'd love to see! Or if you ever have any more questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on cheetah nails. :) Your Pal, Jenna
(NOTE: Ah! Boy, my first tutorial... It's so weird looking back now at my color choice and picture quality. ;) Thanks for looking though! I'll be sure to update my old posts with newer nails! Check out my Classical Cheetah Nails to see another small pictorial of cheetah nail art. Let me know if you still have any questions! Cheetah nails are super chic and easy to do really. :) I hope this helps you out! <3 Jenna - Updated 12/23/12). 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Tools I Use

Hello again! I attempted to prepare an awesome ombré tutorial and I epically failed. I'm so used to just doing nails, taking a picture of them, and posting to facebook and instagram. :( I forgot to take important pictures and just decided that I will post a picture of them and then use them for something else. (Can you say rawr? ;)) Yes, I am so disappointed in myself. Ah, oh well. You learn with mistakes, huh? They turned out pretty though!

Okay, enough with my fail. I decided instead that it would be better to just review the tools that I use in all of my nail art. A more about ME section! ;) A lot of people do ask what I use so I thought this would be better just to get that question answered! So let's get started! The tools that I use for ALL of my nail art (as of July 21, 2012 and prior to) are things that I believe most of you have around your house. Nah, I'm not the toothpick kind of gal generally. I use more "sophisticated" tools! What do I use you ask? Dotting tools? Striping tape? Stamping?!? PSHHHHHH. I wish! I use a combination of a few things:

  • A: These are "sophisticated" dotting tools. :) Yup. They're pencils. Just regular, plain old pencils. Okay, I lied. One is a mechanical pencil with .5 lead and the other is a wooden one. I'll show you how I use these later in the post.
  • B: Scratch paper! This is just for dropping nail polish on that you will use. You do NOT need some cool plastic palette. Just use some random piece of garbage that you're going to throw away anyway!
  • C: Oh, toothpicks. Also for dots or designs that need just a little more fine detail.
  • D: A sponge. :) Used for gradients, galaxy nails, and any other designs that needs a little texture. You can use a makeup sponge but this is just one off of those cheapo sponge brushes that you use for crafting. (Yes, I did cut it off, tehehe!)
  • E: Clean up! Cotton balls, nail polish remover, and Q-Tips. Hopefully self-explanatory but just in case you make a big mess (*cough cough* MARBLE NAILS, SPLATTER NAILS, etc. *cough cough*).
  • And Z (unpictured): Aww, somehow I forgot my little scotch tape. :'( Sad! I use the scotch tape for lines of course and other tape manicures. Sometimes I need scissors to cut the tape into thinner stripes (since I do not have stripping tape) too, so add scissors to the list of forgotten and unpictured.

Ta daaah! My tools. :) Now... how to use them. A whole other story! Just a quick summary on how I use a mechanical pencil as a dotting tool.
You can make dot, dot, dots :)
Just plop a drop of nail polish
onto a piece of paper and take
the pencil and dip it in.
Oooops! Your pencil has a huge
chunk of dried nail polish. :( No worries!
*break lead off*
Wow. That was fantastic.

 I like using mechanical pencils for my dotting tools because, like you can see, they clean up relatively well and they are easily found. Plus it's a pencil, you feel more comfortable using it than a tiny toothpick. ;) 

And finally, push for more
lead and you have a fresh,
clean dotting tool again. :)

Thank you for reading! I will try to have a REAL tutorial available later this week! Until then, your Polish Pal, Jenna :]


Welcome everyone to Polish Pals! This is a site dedicated to all of those ladies that love nail polish as much as I do AND enjoy using their skills to turn it into an art. I hope that you will continue with me on this journey of discovering and recreating nail art. I will be posting some tutorials shortly on what I have done so far and just to prove to you guys that I at least sort of know some "cool" nail designs, here are some of my designs that I have done in the past. I hope that you will come back to learn how to do some awesome nails that you just haven't been able to master yet!

You may have seen some of these designs through various sources. For example JennaLi93 on Pinterest or Instagram? Yes, that is me. Why did I start a blog? Weeeeeeell, I like how you have more space on a blog and you can do it on the computer instead of just on the iPhone which is helpful and I can actually do better tutorial instructions. So don't worry! I didn't steal these pictures. I would love it if you didn't as well! I don't mind if you use them, by all means, please! I love that I can help inspire, but please do not remove the watermarks or add yours because that is stealing. :( Which is wrong because they don't belong to you! Hehe, thank you! :D If you have any other questions, comments, or requests, feel free to post below or email me at :)  Your Polish Pal, Jenna

By the way, I will try to post at least weekly! ;)