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Behind the Scenes: Holiday Liquid Stone Nails

Artistic Notes on Nails: Elsbeth Schuetz helped us send out some holiday cheer with liquid stone poststamp nails for our December 2015 cover.

When she is not tending to the nails of actresses Rene Russo or Uzo Aduba (from the TV series “Orange Is the New Black”), Elsbeth Schuetz spends her time thinking up new ways to perform works of sheer artistic genius on her favorite tiny canvas.<p>Model Ciara Pisa patiently went in and out of the LED light as cover tech Elsbeth Schuetz (right) worked on her elaborate holiday designs.</p>

Since she travels the world as an ambassador for Orly and SpaRitual, Schuetz keeps her eyes open to learn some of the unique innovations coming from other countries. “I often work in Europe, where liquid stones are now very trendy,” Schuetz says. She performs the technique on this month’s cover model, using a 3-D colored gel and embellishing with gel paint and glitter.

In addition to liquid stones, which have the look of translucent glass tree ornaments, Schuetz also brainstormed with the cover team about that annual holiday tradition: sending cards to friends and family. “When I found out we were using cards and a mailbox for the cover shoot, postage stamps came into my mind,” Schuetz says.

Using actual postage stamps, Schuetz then added her holiday magic with gel paint and transfer foil, for a look that’s truly in the spirit of the season.

<p>Finished holiday looks, signed, sealed, and delivered.</p>

Here is how to get this month's cover look:

For the liquid stone design:

1. Apply white gel to create a clean bright canvas. Paint swirly decorations with black gel paint and cure.

2. Press on transfer foil over sticky decorations.

3. Apply gel paint and glitter where the first stone should go, and cure. Follow with 3-D liquid stone gel and create the gem.

4. Repeat and fill second gem. Finish with clear gel.

For the stamp design:

1. Cut, size, and stick real postage stamps over blue gel.

2. Use black gel and transfer foil to add decorative touches. Paint snowflakes and stars with nail paint. Finish with clear gel.

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