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Blood Splatter Nail Art: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

Halloween is less than two weeks away. Have you planned your manicure for the big night yet? If you have a bottle of red polish, an ordinary plastic straw, and 10 minutes, you can pull off these super simple bloody nails—no nail art experience necessary. They’re the perfect addition to a creepy costume, or a stand-alone way to bring some spirit to the 31st, whether you’re decked out in a costume or not. Here’s how to get the look:

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The French Manicure Reinvented: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

French manicures have been a nail salon staple for ages. The traditional pink and white look isn’t quite a fashion faux-pas, but it can still feel pretty dated, especially for the style-minded gal. Here are a few ways to pay homage to the classic design while adding a fun, modern twist.

Saturated Statement Colors: There’s nothing stuffy about a French mani in edgy, on-trend shades. You can use a circular reinforcement sticker to create a perfect line, but I like to go freehand. For better control, try creating several short vertical lines across the tip of the nail rather than one long horizontal stroke. I turned to the Fall 2012 Pantone Color Report for seasonal inspiration, settling on two coats of Kure Bazaar Afrika with a cobalt blue tip in Nails Inc. Baker Street.

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Your Top Nail Questions Answered!: Guest Blogger

Nail art is a Birchbox obsession. One of the first places we look for inspiration is Glitter, She Wrote, Anna Norman’s cheery, imaginative blog, where she shares her gorgeous designs and muses about life in the Big Apple. This week, Anna takes us inside her nail guru world, and will show us how to get gorgeous, DIY art on our fingertips.

You tweeted your most pressing nail-related questions to #BBAskAnna, and I’m here to help!

Q: How do you get an even line of nail polish at the cuticle? @SarahAshley26

A: One of the most common nail painting “mistakes” I see is polish that pools over the cuticle line up onto the skin. Don’t despair—there’s an easy fix! After painting my nails, I dip an angled eyeliner brush in nail polish remover and carefully run it around my nail along the cuticle line. This cleans up any jagged brushstrokes and creates a clean, smooth line around the entire nail.

Before: 

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Three Eye-Catching New Nail Looks for Prom: Guest Blogger

Nail art is a Birchbox obsession. One of the first places we look for inspiration is Glitter, She Wrote, Anna Norman’s cheery, imaginative blog, where she shares her gorgeous designs and muses about life in the Big Apple. This week, Anna takes us inside her nail guru world, and will show us how to get gorgeous, DIY art on our fingertips.

They may be small, but that doesn’t mean your nails can’t make a wow-inducing fashion statement. Try one of these fresh, on-trend ideas to add some serious pizzazz on prom night.

Caviar Manicure

Photo: ciate.co.uk

The caviar manicure is becoming one of the hottest new nail trends, so it’s a perfect choice for prom-bound fashionistas. Tiny “pearls” stick to wet nail polish to create a fashion-forward 3D effect. UK brand Ciaté will begin selling its Caviar Manicure Kit in three colors (rainbow, black pearls, and mother of pearl) at Sephora next month. For an inexpensive D.I.Y. version, pick up some microbeads at your local craft store and sprinkle them over wet polish. You wouldn’t wait until prom day to try on your dress for the first time, so I suggest giving these nails a trial run before the big day, too.

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A Peek Inside My Nail Art Tool Kit: Guest Blogger

Nail art is a Birchbox obsession. One of the first places we look for inspiration is Glitter, She Wrote, Anna Norman’s cheery, imaginative blog, where she shares her gorgeous designs and muses about life in the Big Apple. This week, Anna takes us inside her nail guru world, and will show us how to get gorgeous, DIY art on our fingertips.

I often tell people that the top two things you need for nail art are creativity and patience—but having the right products and tools certainly helps, too. Here’s a peek at the items I keep on hand, so I’m ready to rock whenever nail inspiration strikes.

1. I love the look of short, well-groomed nails, so nail care basics like clippers, buffers, and files (including this adorable heart-shaped file from Birchbox) are essential.

2. A good top coat adds shine, smooths brushstrokes, and keeps chipping at bay. All year I’ve been using and loving Wicked Fast from the up-and-coming polish brand Cult Nails. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails is also a great, easier-to-find choice. 

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Guest Blogger: Polish Pauper’s Cult Obsession

Given that we are enamel addicts ourselves, we immediately took to Kisten Hunter’s blog, Polish Pauper, which is devoted entirely to her love of all things lacquer. This week we’re lucky enough to have the connoisseur blogging for us about the green, non-toxic formulas she’s tested recently and, like always, she doesn’t hold back on how long they truly last!

Clockwise top left: Cult Nails colors My Kind of Kool Aid, Iconic, Quench, and Living Water.

Most of us polish fanatics dream of creating our own nail polish colors, but Maria Morrison of Cult Nails actually did it! Cult Nails put out its first collection at the beginning of this year with four colors, My Kind of Kool Aid, a gray-purple with an awesome shimmer, Iconic, a warm berry-filled hue with red glitter and a gold shimmer, Living Water, a deep blue jelly-filled shade with green and blue glitter, and finally Quench, a super super-shiny deep red. Morrison wanted to make the polish as eco-friendly as possible, so not only are the big three free, but they also don’t contain any phthalate or camphor and are vegan and cruelty-free. The shipping is even green: all shipping materials are either recyclable or reusable and cotton balls are used as packing material. This formula is incredibly durable and applied like a dream. I wore My Kind of Kool Aid on a three day trip to NYC and didn’t get even a single chip. For a small company, they are certainly on the right track. To get a sneak peek at Morrison’s new collection, A Day at the Races, click here. My favorites are Captivated and Let Me Fly.

Vibrant hues make the best nail colors, but getting them off can be tough. Deborah Lippmann’s Stripper To Go packets are mini miracle workers and gentle on your skin.