Category Archives: Essie

Graveyard Nail Stencils with NailPolishCanada (& how to score your own set of vinyls for free!)

We’re over halfway to Halloween, which it’s time to get serious about Halloween nail designs! & what is more Halloween than spooky graveyard nails! Thanks to What’s Up Nails & Nail Polish Canada, I had a quick & easy time creating the spookiest of nails! 🎃 

The polishes used for this manicure were:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Go Ginza
  • OPI Auroa Berry-alis 
  • China Glaze Sleeping Under the Stars
  • Essence Back to Black 
  • What’s Up Nails Graveyard Stencils c/o: Nail Polish Canada 

These graveyard vinyls are great because they have multiple ways you can use them—my favourite is to use them as a stencil & paint in the design. I found it worked best by sponging on the black using a tiny piece of make up sponge. You could also apply the stencil to your nail & paint over top or you could use the vinyl itself & seal it all in with top coat. Each sheet of Graveyard vinyls comes with 20 vinyls (inner & outer) in small & large size which means you have a ton of graveyard nails to do in the lead up to Halloween. 

I’ve been lucky enough to team up with Nail Polish Canada to share a code for TEN of my readers to score their very own graveyard vinyls just in time for Halloween! You can click here & enter the code E75337KJX9A1B in order to claim your own set of vinyls. 

What do you think of these graveyard nails? What Halloween design are you most excited to wear this year? Let me know in the comments below. 🖤

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Saran Wrap Smoosh Nails

I don’t do a lot of Saran Wrap smoosh nails, mostly because I find them fairly messy (& I ran out of liquid latex & I’m being lazy in replacing it). But every time I see one pop up on my Instagram feed I tell myself I need this technique in my life again. They just always look so cool! I’ve been struggling with inspiration lately, so I decided to risk the messy clean up & do a smoosh. 

For this manicure, the polishes I used were:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat 
  • Essie Cocktails & Coconuts
  • China Glaze VII
  • Quo by ORLY Fairy Godmother
  • Saran Wrap, or plastic bag of some sort. 

If you’ve never done a Saran Wrap smoosh, there are lots of tutorials on the internet (this one from @snowglobenails is great). From my expirence, I find sometimes they can take a few tries before you figure out what works for you, but for me less is more.  I prefer to use maximum 3 shades together, otherwise I find my nails can end up looking kind of swampy. & I also try not to push blend colours too much when pressing down on my plastic. 

What’s your thoughts on smooshy nails? Do you have a favourite colour combination? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Happy National Coffee Day Nails! ☕️


You know I love a good excuse to celebrate a holiday & what better holiday to celebrate than National Coffee Day! I joined my girls in #thenailartsquad for some caffeine inspired manicures in order to celebrate this day in style! 

Obvious if we’re doing coffee inspired nails, I had to do something Starbucks inspired! I also thought I would pull out some of the acrylic paints I recently picked up for my freehanding details. 



For this design, the products I used were:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Sally Hansen Diamond Flash
  • Essie Mochacino
  • Essie Cocktails & Coconuts 
  • Sally Hansen Hard To Get
  • Acrylic Paints (black, white, brown & green)
  • Silicone Mat
  • Tiny dotting tool 
  • Small Detail Brush

I had this idea of how I wanted this design to turn out, & it turned out exactly how I imagined in my head… I love when that happens! I used my pink silicone mat to create my “latte art” drag marble decals which (I think) turned out really good. I also tested out my acrylic paints for the first time, & they were so easy to use for nail art! I definitely understand why they are such a popular option for nail art—I would have had a much harder time creating my little Starbucks cup using just regular nail polish. Now I want to buy even more colours to test out designs! 

What do you think of these coffee nails in honour of National Coffee Day? What’s you favourite coffee drink of choice? Obviously I love pumpkin spice this time of year, but if we’re picking favourites I absolutely can’t wait for Gingebread lattes to return! 
Don’t forget to check out the hashtag #thenailartsquad to see all the coffee themed designs, as well as our past collaborations! 

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More Fall Leaves! 

Oh yessssss. I swear I’ve been just waiting for September to come back again so I could pull out my Fall leaf nail vinyls. You know my obsession with nail vinyls knows no bounds, & I love that you can pretty much find vinyls or stencils for every occasion & season. These particular leaves vinyls are from The Base Coat (whose site is currently on hiatus) but you can definitely find a ton of different versions of these Autumn themed vinyls with a quick search online.  Xroma Polish & Vinyls sells these uniquely beautiful Autumn stencils while What’s Up Nails sells the more classic Fall leaf stencil.

  • Base Coat: OPI Natual Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat
  • ACO by Ardene Jacob Green
  • Essie Leggy Legend
  • ORLY Brilliant Boysenberry (aka ORLY Space Cadet)
  • Nicole by OPI Best Pink Ever 
  • Revlon Spidey Sense
  • The Base Coat Fall Leaves Vinyls
  • Latex Free Make Up Sponge

I love the shiftiness achieved by combining all these shades together & I think they look really great over my base of my swatch of Jacob Green. The shimmer of these metallic shades really pops over the dark green base colour. It’s literally Fall on my nails & just makes me wish I had a pumpkin spice latte & plaid blanket scarf to go along with them. 


What do you think of these Fall Leaves? Would you rock this design while drinking your favourite Fall drink? Let me know what you think (& what your drink of choice is!) in the comments below. 🍂

Bestie Twin Nails with @torisprettythings


I always get really, really excited when I can team up with fellow nail polish addicts I love, admire & am inspired by. So I was really excited when I had the opportunity to team up with Tori of @torisprettythings

I’ve been friends with Tori on Instagram for a long time, but somehow we’ve never come together for a collaboration. 😳 Thankfully we’ve finally amended that with these fun Fall polka dot nails inspired by a mani she found on Pinterest originally by Oooh Shinies


For this manicure, the polishes I used were: 

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Sally Hansen Diamond Flash 
  • Essie Wrap Me Up
  • China Glaze Champagne Bubbles
  • Essie Leggy Legend
  • OPI My Private Jet
  • Small & tiny dotting tool. 

How perfectly Fall is this manicure? Both Tori & I are all about that Fall weather so we were pumped to team up on some Autumn inspired nails. I haven’t done a dotticure this fun in a while so it was really fun to sit down & play around. 

 Sometimes the simpler designs actually bring out your most creativity. This isn’t a super hard design & would be great for a nail art beginner! All you need is a dotting tool & some complimentary shades & people will be in awe of your nails. I am going to be doing a whole week of beginner nail art designs coming up (I’ve already been collecting & playing with manicure ideas) but this would definitely be on the list of great beginner designs. 

What do you think of this bestie twin nail collaboration? Don’t forget to check out Tori’s Instagram…. not just for all the beautiful nail art inspo she posts, but also her awesome OOTD & make up looks. 

Fall Inspired Floral Accent Nails 🌻🍁

I am not one of those people that thinks floral should exclusively be worn only in the Spring/Summer. Seriously, I don’t think there is a season that can’t use a little floral inspiration. For today’s design, I used some Fall inspired shades to achieve my look.


For this design, the polishes I used are:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Cashmere Bathrobe
  • Essie Wrap It Up
  • Essie The A List
  • Essie Too Too Hot
  • Essie Peach Daiquiri 
  • China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin
  • Sally Hansen I ♥️ Nail Art Pen in Green
  • Essie Off Tropic 
  • Dotting Tool from Bundle Monster
  • Small Nail Art Brush from Bundle Monster

Floral nails always take a few (dozen) polishes to get right, but I never seem to mind because of how beautiful they look. My flowers still aren’t as perfect as I dream about them being, but I still always have fun painting them on. Hopefully if I keep practicing, some day I can get my floral up there with the likes of @polishpeach & @just1nail! They’re serious floral nail goals–I wish I knew the secrets to painting such realistic & beautiful designs!


& just for fun, here is a shot of my nails & my sons sippy cup that is inspired by a Starbucks cup! When I was pregnant my Mom & my Aunt both bought me one so now the whole family can match with our coffee cups. Haha I think it’s too cute & I figured why not borrow it for a “coffee shot” since I had forgotten to take one with my own coffee.


What do you think of this Fall floral design? Do you think floral nails are perfect for any time of year? Let me know your thoughts on this mani in the comments below!

Geometric stamping over Sally Hansen Mermaid’s Tale 

Yesterday I featured a swatch of Sally Hansen CSM in Mermaid’s Tale–a beautiful teal jelly glitter shade. Today I have the mani I did using that shade as my base colour! I’ve really had a lot of fun getting into stamping, & practicing, so I decided to try stamping a pattern over the glitter. I knew black wouldn’t show up over such a dark base, so I decided to grab something fun & bright (Turquoise) & the end result turned out perfect. 

For this manicure, the polishes used were:

  • Base Coat: Finger Paints Peel Off Base Coat for Glitter
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Under the Twilight 
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Mermaid’s Tale
  • China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise
  • Born Pretty Store Clear Jelly Stamper item #24059
  • Older Born Pretty Stamping Plate that’s no longer available — this plate contains the same image. 

Can I just say how impressed I am with how well Turned Up Turquoise stamps? I was shocked with how opaque it was on the nail, especially over such a dark base colour. I wasn’t sure how it was going to look, but it turned out awesome! I always find myself so drawn to dark shades in the Fall months, but the pop of colour over top works well for a transitional manicure–just enough of Summer & just enough of Fall, all in one design. 


What do you think of this stamping? What polishes do you love for stamping? Share all your secrets in the comments below! I’m going to be ordering a bunch of new stamping plates (especially Halloween/Christmas themed plates) in the next couple days so I’m looking for all the best stamping polishes for playing. 

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Purple Butterflies with #thenailartsquad


Today I have a very special manicure to brought to you by The Nail Art Squad. We got together to create beautiful purple butterfly designs in honour of Epidermolysis Bullosa. Epidermolysis Bullosa is a rare genetic disease that causes the blistering of skin, & has no known cure & in severe cases can be fatal. Children with Epidermolysis Bullosa are often called “butterfly children” which is why we chose butterflies to create (purple is the colour used for the awareness of the disease). This was a personal manicure for our group to take on as one of our members recently lost a friend to the disease. 

For my manicure, the products I used are:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Go Ginza
  • Essie Play Date 
  • LA Colors Color Craze Orchid
  • Essence Black Is Back
  • Unknown stamping plate (which I bought as part of a set at Dollarama years ago.)

These nails were simple to do, but turned out so beautiful. I thought about freehanding butterfly wings, but didn’t think I could do them justice & because we were creating these nails for such a special reason I wanted them to be as perfect as possible. The stamping plate I used was found in a set at the Dollarama years ago, but as you can see the image stamped perfectly clear. 


I feel so honoured I could join in bringing awareness to such a special cause. 💜 to see the other purple butterfly manicures, don’t forget to check out the hashtag #thenailartsquad on Instagram. 

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Mani Swap with @hjs_nails!


Good morning lovelies! Hope you’re enjoying your week so far, & what’s left of August. Isn’t it crazy how quickly the month is speeding by? Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond excited for Fall but it is crazy to think how quickly this Summer has speed by. 

I thought I would break up the Fall colours I’ve been obsessing over, & joint in a fun (& bright & colourful) mani swap with Hannah of @hjs_nails! For this swap I picked her super neat abstract design, & she recreated my recent watercolour lines design (& lets be honest, she did it 100x better! I’m so jealous!) 

For this design, I used: 

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat 
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Pretty Peony
  • Essie In The Cab-ana 
  • Essie Splash of Grenedine
  • Essence Back to Black
  • Small Bundle Monster dotting tool 

I thought this was such a neat design when I originally away Hannah’s so when she was looking for someone to swap with I knew already what design I was going to pick! Plus it’s such a great pop of colour which I kind of just needed in my life. You can never go wrong with a good abstract nail & the right pop of colour. 

What do you think of our swap? Let me know in the comments below! & don’t forget to head over to Hannah’s instagram & give her a follow if you’re not following her already. 💜

Easy Navy & Neon Half Moons 

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose first nail art involved those paper hole re-enforcements. This design is very reminiscent of those early nail art designs when all I had at my nail art disposal was those little sticky circles & a $1.99 dotting tool by Essence. & even though it’s a relatively simple design, I think it looks so classy & chic! 

For this manicure, I used:

  • Base Coat: Cutex Brittle Nail Fix
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • China Glaze Purple Panic
  • China Glaze Sleeping Under the Stars
  • Essie Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo
  • Paper Hole re-enforcements (I buy mine from the Dollar Store)
  • Small dotting tool (like this one from Essence!)  

If you’re looking for an easy, simple nail art design this would be a great option! The hardest part is waiting for your base colour to dry (& thanks to quick dry top coat, even that comes pretty easy.) I really like this colour combination–you have Purple Panic with all its neon beauty topped with Sleeping Under the Stars which has that very pretty pink shimmer that compliments the neon pink really well. This is a great in-between mani. & a little more sparkle by adding those gold dots. 


What do you think of this mani? What is your favourite old school nail art technique? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!