Nail Art Sunday: Cactus

A design two days in the making!

Three weeks ago, I shared a nail art post and honestly that design could have kept going on for at least another week or more! Probably more based on how hard it was to get the polish off. I took a picture of my nails on Friday (20 days in) and this is what they looked like:

Literally every single nail had split and ripped and they still looked that good! I’m making sure I use gloves when I wash dishes most of the time, but honestly this is unprecedented! Even when I get my nails done professionally they never last that long!

I think it is because I used my efile to prep the nail before hand. I used an arbor band to buff the surface like I’ve seen done on nail art videos. I also have a dehydrator and a gel bonder now. That design used gel polish – shellac polish for some. It’s supposed to be able to soak off. You take a nail file and buff off the top coat, soak in acetone for about 10 mins (for me at least) and then it starts to flake and you can scrape it off.

I soaked those nails FOR EVER!! Like ok, 15 minutes probably but the polish was NOT coming off!! I took my arbor band and filed it off. Literally had to electronically file off the polish.

This time I decided to use regular air dry polish. I knew I wanted a pretty design, I have stamping plates and stencil stickers and stickers and tapes, so I knew I could find something to do. But I didn’t know what colour to do. So I asked The Guy. One thing I’ve always liked about The Guy is that he totally gets into my nail art lol like even when we weren’t talking, randomly I’d get a text with a new design he saw. So I just asked for colour suggestions. It was a Saturday. He’s a busy guy! He is in the medical field and works every day, he has his mom to check in on and his sister/her family too and he has a house to take care of. I was expecting an answer like “blue”. Within an hour I had FIVE different pictures of designs! FIVE!! All where super cute but all needed gel polish and more talent than I currently have.

But I saw this one and immediately wanted to do it:

He’s got good taste huh?

I like this for a few reasons. First, I love the matte and glossy combo. I’ve done it a few times and I always love love love it! Second, it’s not a girly flower, but still cute and feminine. That’s something unique. And third, the colours aren’t what I’d usually wear.

So I set out digging in my kit to see what was in there! AND I FOUND A CACTUS ON ONE OF MY STAMPING PLATES!

I was so happy! So it was settled. I dug through my nail polish collection and found a soft green (actually the one The Guy picked out last summer, it’s my only vegan polish – click the links for those posts) and found my white and then my black for stamping. But I wanted to try something new and to make it cute. I had seen in a few videos were people would do the stamp outline in black and then use other nail polish colours to quickly fill in the design before stamping it. I wanted to try it. So I also found a nice copper colour as well for the pot the cactus is sitting in.

Now here’s the hard part: You need to get the stamp on the stamper AND fill it in before it completely dries or it’s not going to transfer onto your nail. And since I had regular polish as my base, I needed it to work the first time. I had no room for errors or I’d have to start all over again.

BUT IT WORKED!! I had two different paint brushes so I could just switch instead of cleaning them between colours, and like always I had the polish on a piece of tin foil πŸ˜‰ And I love the effect that the cactus has! You can still see some white shining through the polish colour, kind of like it was painted using water colours. But I LOVE IT!!!


Now, I needed to top coat the accent nail and then matte top coat the rest. The Guy wants to know why there’s always one accent nail, why can’t it be different. And I told him that I usually do two accent nails or like different accent nails on each hand so it’s not so matchy matchy. Since it was regular polish, I had to let it dry. I don’t have a regular matte top coat, only a gel polish one. So I decided to do a gel top coat for all my nails (shiny and matte) which meant that I had to be patient and wait for the polish to REALLY dry. I wasn’t. I waited maybe 30-40 minutes and then I decided to top coat. It turned out ok:

But within about 20 minutes this started to happen:

There was NO WAY I was going to be looking at THAT for the next week or two! I filed it off and started again. Even though I had the gel top coat on the accent nail, and I knew it would be ok, I still took a little precaution while the acetone was out and cut up a glove to protect my cute little cactus.

As you can see, I filed off the matte top coat and then proceeded to use acetone for the rest. Even this vegan nail polish was HARD to get off my nails. I think after this design is done with, I’ll have to let my nails have some fresh air time. I don’t want to be filing and buffing them so much.

Anyway, I finished redoing them at 6:30pm. I decided to let them just dry. REALLY dry. I matte top coated them at 8:30 am. 14 hours of drying time! I went for my walk (1 hour) and then got back and took this picture:

Ignore that pointer finger, I scratched the polish and I’m not fixing that nail again

As you can see, no grossness! There is a little bit of grossness starting to happen again on a few fingers but it is sooooo small it won’t bother me. I’m not sure if the polish just wasn’t dry (I know some experts say to leave it a full 24 hours before putting a gel top coat over regular polish) or if this is a by-product of the vegan polish? Either way, my cactus is adorable and I’m happy!

10 thoughts on “Nail Art Sunday: Cactus

    • Haha! Yes I saw the duck too!! I bought this plate a year ago Cos it has a crown on it and my ex called me his queen so for a while I had crowns on one nail every time I switched my design. Now I’m starting to explore the plate a little more hehe I have 11 other plates too πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


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