Saturday, November 26, 2011

TUTORIAL: Snakeskin

Hello all! I'm sorry for the lack of posting lately. I don't really have time to paint my nails as often and when I do, I'm never able to catch the sun for photos. From now on I have to go downtown after school twice a week, meaning that I don't get home until nighttime. I'm working on an ongoing biotechnology project in a medical lab at a hospital. It's pretty exciting but very time consuming; yesterday I minced up some mouse tumors and we're now culturing the cells (: On top of all of that school, university applications and concert band is being very demanding, leaving little free time for nails.
But enough of that. Here's finally something fresh for you all: a multicoloured, textured snakeskin look. I actually came up with this easy technique with some silly experimentation when I was supposed to be studying diligently. Honestly, anyone can achieve this look. This isn't a konad stamp or anything because a) I seem to have misplaced my set and b) I fail at stamping anyway. I think of this method kind of like stamping for dummies the hopeless or poor man stamping :P


The base here is Essie Topless & Barefoot. The other colours aren't even nail polish! Curious to know the secret behind this look? Then see how I did the pattern in this video tutorial:


Kind of cool, eh? Definitely easy and unique. I know this won't suit everyone's tastes but I hope that someone out there likes it! (:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nail Polish Removal, Nail Prep & Care

Hi all! Recently I had someone as for a post on how I keep my nails in good shape. Honestly, I'm no expert with nail care and I don't have the greatest natural nails. However, this seems to be working alright for me and maybe it will help you too (:

 I first remove my nail polish with OPI Polish Remover. I find it to be very gentle and non-drying but it still removes polish very well. It also leaves a pleasant baby powder/oil smell once dry (note: dry, not liquid!). It's not overwhelming or anything and it's nicer than the smell of acetone. I've also used OPI Expert Touch Polish Remover. I like this one equally as much but I use whichever I can find.
I use cotton pads to remove polish rather than cotton balls. I find that cotton balls leave a lot of fluff around that I don't notice until I put more polish on :P







 About once a week I'll work on my cuticles. I first apply Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover on my cuticles. I let it sit for about 15 seconds and then go in with a stainless steel cuticle pusher. I just push everything back.
I then wipe off most of the excess cuticle remover with a tissue but make sure that the area is still coated lightly. Then I use stainless steel cuticle nippers and carefully trim any excess. Be really careful about this! I've nicked my cuticles a couple times doing this :P
Once I'm done I wash my hands with warm water and soap.

If needed I file my nails. I use a glass nail file by Essie. I like to file mine in shape that I'd consider 'squoval'- square with rounded corners. I just file in one direction.
If my nails are really long I might cut off a bit with a nail clipper first and then file.
When that's all done I wash my hands again in warm water and soap.





Before applying a base coat I use Sally Hansen Miracle Cure as a nail treatment. At one point I had a lot of breaking and even worse splitting on my nails. After using this I found that my nails became a lot stronger and less brittle.







For actual base coats I've been using ridge fillers for awhile now just to smooth everything out. I use whatever I can get my hands on but lately I've been using Seche Base. OPI Ridge Filler and China Glaze Ridge Filler Base Coat are also base coats that I've tried and liked.







When I'm done applying my nail polish I seal it all with a coat of Seche Vite. It's a fan favourite and mine as well. It's nice and thick- perfect for smoothing out gritty glitter and leaving a high-shine finish. I don't think I'll ever use another top coat.







Finally, I moisturize! I try my best to apply Lush Lemony Flutter every night before bed and after showers. I'm a fan of lemon scents and this one is no exception.









And that's basically it! I hope this was helpful to you (:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

TUTORIAL: Glitter Gradient

The look I did some time ago, "Dipped In Glitter", recently gained some popularity. I had a lot of requests for either a tutorial or explanation for the sponging process used for the glitter gradient. And so, I had to do a glitter gradient manicure again! I didn't want to do the exact same thing because that's boring so I changed it up a bit. I really love this colour combo. It got a lot of compliments, too! It reminds me of a mermaid- so pretty, I'm in love.


I used Essie Mint Candy Apple on all of my nails. Then I sponged on Sinful Colors Nail Junkie, an Art Club glitter striping polish, and Sephora by OPI Only Gold For Me.

For a more in-depth look at how I did this, check out the video tutorial!



Hope this was helpful and enjoy!
Have a nice rest of the weekend, everyone <3

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Magnetic Attraction

When I first heard about magnetic nail polish I was super excited. I had previously hopped on the crackle bandwagon but realized that I didn't actually really like it. Magnetic nail polish, however, is a different story! I think that it looks so cool and I'm curious to see if/how bigger brands and possibly drugstore brands will follow the trend. I was pretty sad when I found out that Nails Inc. made magnetic nail polish because I thought the brand was only carried in American Sephora stores. Imagine my surprise when I saw the beauties in my local Sephora! I passed on the purple one and just got the silver version to satisfy my lemming.

Also, I tried out a tape manicure for the first time. It was actually really hard and I've a new found respect for the beautiful versions on the internet. I have absolutely zero patience when it comes to waiting for polish to dry! On top of that, polish leaked through the tape and I had to go back with the base colour and fix up the lines ):


Here's American Apparel California Trooper with Nails Inc. Trafalgar Square.

What do you think about magnetic nail polish? Yay or nay? (:

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Fun With Feathers

Wow, it's been awhile hasn't it? School is really taking a toll on me. I look at the old manicures on my hands and long to change them but I just don't have the time/energy. These were my nails that I did for my Halloween costume. I was a Pocahontas kind of thing. 
These photos were actually taken about four days after I painted them- I can never catch the sun anymore! I wake up in the dark and come home closer to dark or it's all gloomy. I didn't start taking natural light photos until last spring so I don't know what I'm going to do when winter rolls around. I might have to make a light box or something...
Oh! This was my first time using real feathers. I found these cool blue-brown ones in a pack of neutral feathers from the dollar store. I really hated the application process and I feel like the removal will be really gross... 


I used American Apparel California Trooper as a base for all nails. The tribal print was made with black and white striping polishes, China Glaze For Audrey, OPI You Don't Know Jacques, and OPI San Tan-Tonio.



And here are some awkward photos from Halloween! On the left we have my Pocahontas costume that I wore to school. I got this perforated suede dress from H&M and my mom added feathers to the sleeves and skirt hem. I belted it with a simple braided belt, added some turquoise and coral accessories, braided pigtails and some fringe moccasin boots!
Pictured on the left is what I wore later that night to a friend's house. I just wore a zebra hat and something cozy because it got pretty chilly out!

So tell me about your Halloween! What did you dress up as? Did you do any matching makeup/nails? Feel free to link me (: