Restore Nail Polish

DIY: How to fix and restore dry or thick nail polish

Restore Nail PolishBest I can figure I haven’t used OPI Black Shatter since February of 2011. I used it over Orly Ancient Jade. Why? I have no idea. Looking at it now I can’t even imagine why I thought that was a good look…

Anyway, I pulled it out of my Melmer earlier today to use it only to discover it was a dried out, thick disaster. It was in a completely unusable state.

Believe it or not, until now I’ve never had this problem. I’m pretty good about keeping my nail polish in good condition. I store it properly and have never really had a problem with polish drying out. I wasn’t exactly sure how to proceed.

After doing a little research, some patience and a lot of shaking I’ve managed to get my OPI Black Shatter back in working condition.

Below the jump is exactly how I restored my dried out nail polish and some tips on avoiding having polish dry out in the first place! (And a couple of things not to do…)


Just a note regarding old nail polish: It doesn’t expire. Really. Many companies put expiration dates on nail polish because they are required to. I’ve heard all kinds of time lengths nail polish is “good” for. None of this is true. So don’t throw away nail polish you like. If it has separated or dried out it can be fixed!

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Atlanta Braves Nail art

DIY Nail Decals (+ Atlanta Braves nail art)

Atlanta Braves Nail artThis past week I took my 92 year old, baseball fanatic grandfather to a Charlotte Knights game. The Knights are the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and happened to be playing the Gwinnett Braves.  While my grandfather is a lifelong Yankees fan I’m a Braves fan.

For the game I, of course, wanted to do an appropriate manicure. The problem was getting the Atlanta Braves A to look right on my nail. After several failed attempts and a result that looked like the Alabama A (as an Auburn grad I actually thought my finger was going to spontaneously catch on fire) I decided to figure out a better way to go about things.

I could draw the A just fine when it wasn’t on my nail. So I ended up making little decals and just picking the best ones. This also allowed me to have an Atlanta A on my right hand.

Below the jump are all the details on this manicure included a step by step guide on  how I made the decals.



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DIY Matte Topcoat

DIY: Matte Top Coat

DIY Matte TopcoatI really wish I had known about this little trick YEARS ago. By now I’ve collected several matte top coats. They’re all about the same (and were all on the expensive side). NYC is the only brand I know of that sells an inexpensive matte top coat (less than $2). So if you’re looking for a matte top coat and aren’t really the DIY type definitely check out the NYC matte top coat.

Doing a DIY matte top coat is something I ended up trying because I had a regular top coat that I hated. The NYC Extra Shiny Top Coat just didn’t work for me and I had no use for it. Then I remembered a good while ago I had read somewhere (wish I had saved the article…) that adding cornstarch to nail polish will make the polish matte. This was back when OPI was releasing all their matte and suede polishes. It seemed like a great idea but I never had any nail polish I wanted to make permanently matte.

Then I started thinking about it and thought perhaps the same concept would work to make a top coat. As it turns out it does work.

Below the jump there are instructions and a list of everything you need to do this! I’d love to know if you’re going to give this a try!



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Studded Manicure 3mm 3

DIY Studded Manicure

Studded Manicure 3mmIf you follow TDV on Facebook or Twitter then you are well aware that over the past couple of weeks I have become completely obsessed with studded manicures. Ever since I saw Kate Spade use studded nails in their Fall 2013 runway show I’ve been dying to give it a try. Plus, I wear alot of very girly clothes so wearing a bit of an edgy manicure is a fun contrast.

I ordered nail studs from eBay for next to nothing. I’ve used 2 sizes in this post, 5mm studs (which I purchased from here) and 3mm studs (which I ordered from here). Otherwise all of the supplies needed are more than likely things you already have.

For a complete tutorial check below the jump! And make sure to leave a comment and let me know which of my studded manicures is your favorite!


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DIY Nail Polish Rack

DIY Nail Polish Rack Update!

Nail Polish RackA little over a year ago I did a post on how to build a DIY nail polish rack using foam board and hot glue. Since it’s been awhile I get alot of questions as to how well the rack has held up.

I’m happy to report that over a year later my nail polish rack is still as good as new. For the vast majority of the year the rack has been fully stocked with nail polish and I’ve had no issues with the shelves moving or drooping. I have the rack attached to the wall with 5 nails and this has kept the rack steady. It hasn’t moved an inch!

I was definitely skeptical that this rack would hold up, but I’ve been converted to a believer. Hard to believe foam board and hot glue can be so sturdy!


Eyeshadow sponge tip applicator nail art

DIY: Eyeshadow Sponge Tip Applicator Manicure

Eyeshadow sponge tip applicator nail artOne of my favorite things to do is to find items I have around the house and use them to do nail art. In the past I’ve done manicures using plastic wrap, paper towels, newspaper, glitter, qtips and even eyeshadow.

The other day I was looking at a wine glass I have sitting on my vanity that is full of makeup applicators from eyeshadows, powders, etc that I’ll never use. I realized the sponge tip applicators that come with eyeshadows aren’t that much different from regular old makeup sponges that I use to do a gradient manicure. But I thought the eyeshadow sponges being a bit more porous might give a different look.

As it turns out I was right!

Below the jump there is a step by step guide to how I created this manicure.


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Nail Art: Top 10 of 2012 (+ top DIYs!)


2011 was the first year I really got into nail art. This year my love of nail art has definitely grown. I still stick to relatively simple nail art that requires no special tools. Below the jump are my favorite 10 creations from this year.

Also below the jump are my favorite DIY projects of 2012. I really got into nail related DIY projects over the past year. It’s amazing the things you can do with stuff you already have around the house!

I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!


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Nail Polish Removal 5

DIY: Nail Polish Removal

Ok, so I realize these seems like kind of an odd post to do. But I so often get questions about nail care and what polish remover I use and how I keep my cuticles looking good, etc and nail polish removal fits right into that.

I used to be a dump some polish remover on a cotton ball and rub my nails until the polish came off girl. I also used to be a slave to 100% acetone polish remover when I wore hard to remove nail polish. But no more! I’ve finally found the perfect nail polish removal method. And it requires just one cotton ball (no matter what nail polish I’m wearing).

For a step by step guide to what I think is the best, never fail way to remove any nail polish, check below the jump!


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DIY Nail Polish Strips 2

DIY Nail Polish Strips

It’s pretty obvious we are big fans of nail polish strips/appliques/etc around here. Sally Hansen Salon Effects are my favorite, but I also quite like the OPI appliques as well as others. The ones I like the best do have one thing in common; they are always made from real nail polish and are not just stickers.

Between loving real nail polish strips and my eternal desire to try a splatter manicure (and not have to deal with the clean up…) I finally decided to give making my own polish strips a try.

The way I went about making these polish strips was a combination of a gazillion tutorials I’ve seen for this over the years. For an entire tutorial check below the jump!


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DIY Gold Flake Top Coat

DIY Gold Flake Top Coat

Thanks to OPI Man With the Golden Gun gold flake top coats are suddenly all the rage. Granted, OPI isn’t the only brand with a gold flake top coat. Sephora by OPI and Zoya have both released their own versions. And while each company’s top coat is slightly different they are all fairly expensive. OPI’s version is $30 and has become quite difficult to find for alot of people.

I, for one, was not willing to drop $30 on a top coat I was sure I’d rarely use. Due to this I begin to think about doing a DIY version. My grandmother was a gold leaf nut. She would gold leaf anything! As I kid I would play with the gold leaf sheets. They were so flimsy and would literally stick to anything. I figured, hey, that might work for my DIY top coat.

If you caught my tweet then you know I hit up my local Michaels. Between the DIY caviar and velvet manicures I’m becoming quite familiar with the place. I spent $6.99 on the supplies for my DIY gold flake top coat and absolutely love the result!

Now, I will say there is a learning curve to this technique (if you will….) and the first time I did it I was frustrated and it was time consuming. But now that I’ve had a little practice I can do it easily and quickly.

Below the jump there is an entire DIY including what supplies are needed and tips on what to avoid doing so hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I did!

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