Brother’s 4th of July Nails


On my cycling trip the other week, my brother-in-law, Tim (who I just call my brother, because I like him) had me paint his nails. Yes, for those of you who follow my blog, both my brother-in-law and fiancé are named Tim. I’ve been in the habit of just calling my brother, “Brother” lately. He was very patient, let me tell him all about nail care, and was generally interested in the whole process. I honestly had a blast doing his nails and he seemed pretty pleased with the end result. In fact, he had me do his nails again over the holiday weekend, with the request that I do something patriotic.

I will blog about his original mani sometime, but today, I’m going to share his 4th of July nails. As he pointed out to me, his nails are much bigger than mine, so he’s a “blank canvas” and happy to be my guinea pig. I decided to go all out on his requested patriotic mani, and attempt some nail art. For this mani, I used 6 Julep colors: Brigitte, a bright white crème,  Harley, a liquid silver metallic chrome, Fireworks, a red, white, and blue multidimensional glitter top coat, America the Beautiful (America), a mix of sterling silver stars with shiny red and royal blue glitter,Karissa, a holly berry crème, and Char, a nautical navy blue crème. Phew!


First I cut and filed Brother’s nails into a rounded shape, per his request. I then used one coat of Oxygen Nail Treatment as a base coat. His thumbs received two coats of Brigitte, which I found to be a little disappointing. The formula wasn’t hard to work with, but two coats barely provided full coverage, and it had a long dry time, neither of which is ideal for a nail art undie. I used Harley on the rest of his fingers, which had a great formula that applied well. It had full coverage in one coat, and it seemed to dry quickly.

Next, I used one coat of America on his pointer and ring fingers. It also had excellent coverage, and I was impressed with how evenly the glitter distributed across the nail. It doesn’t have many silver stars, but I was still pleased with the overall effect. His pinky and middle fingers received one coat of Fireworks. It is much less concentrated than America, so there was a lot less glitter on the nail. I had to do a few swipes with the brush; a few times it only laid down the clear base without any glitter. While Fireworks could have distributed better, I still liked the overall effect and the fact that it’s a buildable glitter, so you can really choose how much you want.

4thManiToolsTo finish the mani, I painted American flags on Brother’s thumbs. I used a fine point gel pen to outline my blue square, and then used Char (and the regular brush) to fill in the square. Then I used a fine tipped brush in Karissa to create the red stripes of the flag. Both Char and Karissa had excellent formulas that covered in just one coat, and I appreciated not having to go over everything twice. To finish, I used a dotting tool to place small white dots in the blue square, in place of stars. I apologize for not having pictures of this whole process. I was painting them in front of a campfire and we were losing the light, so I didn’t snap a lot of photos.


I topped most of the mani with Freedom Polymer Top Coat, but noticed it smudged the American flag on one hand. Brigitte still hadn’t dried fully, and I think with nail art (and stamping), you really need to make sure the design dries before you put topcoat on. So, I fixed the smudge, we opted not to top coat his nails that night. He was so diligent and careful not to smudge them; I was really impressed.

Brother then proceeded to take pictures of his nails with everything, and I mean everything, the next day (see below). I think his pictures really speak for themselves, and don’t need any more commentary from me.

Sorry Brother, I just don’t have room for all of your photos, but I included as many as I could.

In this process, I learned that I’m better at doing my own nails than other people’s nails, but I intend to work on that and get better. It was a lot of fun doing it and I thought it was really sweet how interested Brother was in the whole thing. I had so much fun, and I think he did, too. I’m looking forward to the next time he lets me try some new nail things on him! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!



2 thoughts on “Brother’s 4th of July Nails

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