Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A tiara for each fingertip

Hello ladies,

Today I am wearing Nubar Sapphire and Tiara as a gradient manicure. These polishes are part of the Royal Gems collection now available at bynubar.com. I am besotted with Sapphire. If I didn't love you ladies so much, I would be tempted to wander away with Sapphire on my fingertips for days. 

Here, Sapphire is shown in low light. The gradation with Tiara is clearest without the strong solar reflection.  

This royal rose decorates my hand more like a corsage than a flower ring. 

Behind the polish bottles, you can see a hint of the garden and the start of the University City section of Philadelphia. 

Little butterfly, big flower. 

This is my first attempt at a gradation manicure. I am really pleased with it. Reading wixology, I realized, though I lacked the requisite gradation liquid, I do have Orly Smudge Fixer on hand as a substitute. Thanks wixbetty for this wonderful idea! I recommend reading her tutorial. I used a slightly different method. Tiara is a fairly thick glitter polish. I painted the French at the highest part of the tip. Tiara has enough concentration of glitter to be almost completely opaque. I used what was left on the brush to paint another French arch right below. I brushed on Smudge Fixer from the tip to just above the moon of the nail. I wiped off the excess Smudge Fixer on a paper towel. Then I lightly bumped the brush against my nail in a downwards motion to gradate the glitter. I added Tiara to each nail individually, did the gradation and then sealed the nail with Nubar Diamont topcoat before moving to the next. I also painted a layer of topcoat between Sapphire and Tiara to protect the base color from the movement of the brush.

Now I need to speak of Nubar Sapphire. If I had to make a top ten of favorite blue polishes, Sapphire would rank highly. Blue micro glitter floats in a stunning royal shimmer base. The glitter is omnipresent on the nail. If Tiara weren't included in the set, I would have worn this color alone, not because of time constraints but out of the sheer love for this polish. You all know how I favor embellishing my nails. Sapphire is quite lovely on it's own. 

The application of Sapphire was perfection. It was easily opaque in two coats. If you haven't tried Nubar polishes, please do. If the others available come anywhere close to the quality application of Emerald and Sapphire, then I feel secure you will be as pleased with them as I am. They seem less like nail polish and more like high grade paint.

Tiara was included in the Royal Gems Collection as a glittery topping. If you want to wear it as such, I would recommend using an extra thin coat. The glitter is concentrated enough it could easily be worn alone. It has the perfect consistency for creating a glitter French. If you have wanted to try painting a French freehand, Tiara would be a favorable choice. 

Happy painting ladies!  




  1. I love the way this looks! I've always been a big fan of blue polish.:)


  2. This is so pretty; I wish that I was as good as you are at doing glitter gradients!

  3. just gorjuz,i love blues,this one looks great on

  4. Lovely gradient, fantastic job on your first attempt.

  5. This looks fantastic! And again, just love your pictures :)

  6. That is so pretty, it looks like your nails were dipped in sugar!

  7. I love love love how this came out! Thanks for posting how you did the gradient (the part about one nail at a time) not everyone says their process like you do. I have tried using Smudge fixer but it did NOT come out well at all. I will have to try this.
    Thanks again!

  8. Diana-
    I am so glad the Smudge Fixer assisted you in creating this lovely manicure. <3

    You are far more creative than I (and have a broader "canvas" on which to display your artwork) so I am honored to just be mentioned in the same post as such stunning nails! Thank you.

    I can't wait to see what other clever ideas you have tucked up your sleeve! =]

    <3 Monica

  9. How elegant Sapphire and Tiara look together. I like that Royal Rose,it's so beautiful!

  10. Oh, they look utterly lovely together! I love your choices. By the way, after reading your latest apothecary, I ordered the smaller sized bottle of CND Air Dry to test out! It's got to work better for me than my Seche Vite, I despise the stuff. So thank you for the recommendation! <3

  11. Reason numbers two and three of 8 of why I need this set. *sigh* Gorgeous gradation manicure, and lovely photos. I especially like the one looking out into the city past the two bottles!!!

  12. Madeleine Bouquet: Thank you! There is nothing like a good blue!

    gildedangel: Thanks! Maybe try one of your thicker glitter polishes. I wonder if that's part of the trick.

    April and Ashley: Thank you, ladies!

    Skye: Thanks! You and your blue loving name. ;)

    Cali369: Thank you! I'm looking forward to trying the gradient again. I'm so glad I met with some success.

    AllYouDesire: Thank you, sweetie. I appreciate it!

    Mary: Thanks! Maybe I will use a sugar bowl as a prop the next time around.

    contests and such: I hope it works well for you this way. I found it easier with wet polish. Otherwise the smudge fixer would need to dissolve the binds of the drying polish. I can see how that would be harder with glitter, since the formula tends to stick.

    wixology: Monica, you are such a dear one. I love reading your blog and the comments you post on other blogs. You have so many great ideas. I am sure you will be mentioned here again. Thank you for the compliments and for all your encouragement.

    Velvet: I love roses. I am not sure what the true botanical name of that rose is. It certainly seemed fitting to include a rose picture with the Royal Gems collection. I'm glad you liked the look of the polishes together.

    Nicole: Thank you! I hope you like the Air Dry. The small one is good for testing, but the larger size a very worthy upgrade and best for everyday use. Same product, far better brush! I am liking the Diamont topcoat from Nubar as well. I will be reviewing that in a couple weeks once I have had more time to test it out.

    beautyjudy: Wait until you see Tiger's Eye! I just put it on tonight. I am loving it! Thanks for the compliments on the gradation. I love posing bottles in fences. It entertains me.

  13. Very cool design!! I'm surprised at how simple it is to do. Thanks for the info.

  14. This is a beautiful manicure. That shade of sapphire blue is spectacular on you. I thought your nails looked like they were frosted with ice. That's the best explanation of the graduation technique. The rose is lovely. It looks like an old fashioned variety. I love that shade of pink. I just adore all the flowers and insects you photograph. I'll be sad when the garden is gone in the winter.

  15. Lisa: Thanks! It's a little tricky at first and time consuming, but wholly manageable. I had fun with it once I got into the process.

    Lucy: Thank you. I love Tiara with the cool toned polishes in the set. Let me know if you decide to try a gradation manicure. Roses are my favorite. When the garden is done for the season, I will still have fall leaves to photograph. There are lots of architectural details I can take pictures of in winter. I will do my best to keep you enchanted.


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