Nail Art Challenges


I have been hooked on nail art for almost one year. I have discovered a colorful world of possibilities to fashion my nails. Once I began to dig online, I was blown away by all what can be done with nail polish: water marble, dry marble, stamping, reverse stamping, brush color, magnetic polish, splatter polish, sharpie nail art, et cetera. Plus you have all the artificial nail techniques, and also UV and LED nail polishes. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know any of that before!

Also, there is a huge community of bloggers that review products, produce tutorials, and share their creations and experience with others. It has been a lot of fun to experience a bit of this. As a full time mother, wife, teacher and musician, the time I spend on my nails it is the “time from me to me”.

I also found that some of these nail artist/bloggers create nail challenges. Some seek to create nail art that goes through the alphabet, others are themes, and some are specific techniques and/or colors. This week in Instagram, I discovered a challenge called #fanbrushfriday This week it was to be done with the use of only the nail polish brush, a fan brush, and the colors white, peach and gold. I loved the combination, so I played along, and created a manicure for it. This is my first manicure challenge ever, and on the image you can see as it was intended for the nail challenge, and then after I added some marine images in white. I loved both results.

If you are curious about nail art, give it a try! It is never too late, and you are never too old to do it!

Have a great weekend!


Sardinhada Manicure

Sardinhada Manicure

In Portugal’s summer, the favorite food is grilled sardines. There are Sardine Festivals and all sort of events related to sardines. I decided I wanted to try to do a fun manicure in honor to this gastronomic tradition; it was a time consuming manicure but it was worthy! I love the result. In the picture you can see the manicure just as I finished it last night, and then this morning on natural light.

I got inspired by lots of nail artists:

My pal Chrissy

I also found inspiration from an image I found at the BP store from @nailpolishplay

I also used the smudging technique #marblingwithnailstamper  used by Swanette #stamp4fun 

And the blending colors technique used for stamping by Gelulicious #gelulicious


I used Born Pretty stamping plate BP 066 for the fishes, and BP-L 026 for the algae. I stamped with BP clear head stamper; it work great on the mat.

For stamping polishes, I used Born Pretty stamping polishes black, metallic green and silver.


For painting the nails and coloring the fishes in the reverse stamping, I used an assortment of different polishes from Kiko.


The nail mat was a bargain find from AliExpress

Have a great weekend!

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Santos Populares’ Manicure


I spent two mornings driving through Bairro Alto and Cais de Sodré. This week was São João, and the streets were decorated with colorful banners and lights. Driving around the old part of Lisbon is hectic, with very narrow streets, confusing signs, and lots of people. Nevertheless, it is impossible not to love the old facades with the emblematic “azulejos”, blue tiles.

It was time for a new manicure, and this time I used Born Pretty stamping plate BP-L 027


I used Kiko Electric Blue 336, and Milky White 840 as base colors. Then, with plastic wrap I added yellow, grey, and lighter blue little splashes on the nails to create the undertone colors you find in some old tiles. I finally stamped on blue and white on three of the nails, and voilá! Here it is my Santos Populares manicure.

Have a great weekend! Bom fim-de-semana!



Born Pretty Store

Once my college pal Chrissy convinced me to give it a try to nail stamping, I went to the closest Chinese store and got a basic simple Konad Kit of one plate and a functional stamper. It worked great to start and to get hooked to nail art, but pretty soon I realized I needed more stamping plates, some stamping polish and different types of stampers. Unfortunately, these are not readily available in Portugal, so I had to purchase them online.

Chrissy recommended the online store Born Pretty Store. It is located in China and it offers free shipping worldwide. The have a variety of affordable nail art supplies (and more), and their customer service is good. They sell their own brand of stamping plates, and also Qgirl, Cool, and Ya Qin An. The same for stamping and regular polishes, and all sort of manicure tools and gadgets.

They always have promotional discounts, coupons and special offers. You also earn reward points with your purchase. Depending on customs, here in Portugal I have received my order from two weeks to two months.

Yesterday I received my order with plate: BP-35.


I used it to create a Portuguese blue tile themed manicure, inspired by Chrissy’s creation.

White & Blue

If you live where there are no nail art stores at hand, definitely Born Pretty Store is an excellent choice.


I am a violin and viola player, ergo I have had very short nails all my life. I always wore my nails bare, or with pale colors, but last summer, that changed!

Through the years, in spite of the distance, and thanks to Facebook, I have kept in touch with several of my college classmates. Chrissy, is not only a fantastic flute player, she is also an amazing nail artist. While admiring her work, she convinced me that having short nails was not a reason to stay away from nail art. I took my chances, and I discovered a new hobby!

Last summer I owned 3 nude colors, one base coat and one top coat. Now, I have a total of 62 nail polishes (top coats and base coats included), few nail art tapes and stickers, 24 stamping plates, several stampers and a handful of nail brushes, dotting tools, and manicure tools. Most of my polishes are Kiko, and in average a manicure lasts me 6 days.

I am totally hooked on Nail Art. I thoroughly enjoy doing something artsy on my nails. If you have the time checkout Chrissy’s blog, she is truly amazing. Here I share with you some of my best manicures so far.

Have a great weekend!

PicMonkey Collage



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