Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jagged French

Hope  everyone is enjoying their leap day! Did anyone do anything special that they only do every four years??? I thought we would have a wacky day at work or something to honor the occasion, but sadly no such luck. 

Today I have an extra special manicure to post because it is one I did on my Mom while I was visiting her. I think I truly have my mom to blame for my love of nail polish. She's from the Philippines and has just about the tiniest hands on an adult woman I have ever seen. Growing up she always had the most gorgeous nails and I always wished mine would turn out the same. Sadly, I could never get mine to grow out very long before I completely wrecked them. So thank goodness for UV gel or I would still have nothing but stubs! Well on to the manicure. She was kind enough to step out of her box of monochromatic nails and let me try out a scotch tape french on her. 

(See what I mean about the tiny hands!) This was two coats of a coral toned Sinful called Blaze. Over that I put a coat of Sinful's Pinky Glitter, which is a light pink glitter polish. I then used scotch tape and Wet & Wild's Black Creme to do the black design and Seche Vite to finish it off. What really helped make my design crisp was sticking two pieces of scotch tape on top of each other and then cutting out the design because it made it so much sturdier and easier to apply to the nail just right.

Sorry the picture's a bit blurry but I had forgotten to take a picture while I was there so my mom once again tried something new and not only took the picture herself with her phone but also learned how to text it to me! I couldn't be prouder LOL. Hope you like it and enjoy what's left of your leap day! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Snakeskin Envy

Just trying to come up with a few Green looks for Saint Patrick's Day. Green is one of my favorite colors to wear but sadly I am really having some trouble finding one I actually like as a nail polish. So I decided to try 2 coats Pure Ice in Wild Thing. It looks like Shrek in a bottle. LOL

This clearly wasn't the finished look I was going for... I used Konad's green stamping polish and Bundle Monster plate #215. I had run out of Seche Vite so I used Sally Hanson Insta-Dri AntiChip Top Coat instead. It takes longer to dry but it does have a very nice shine. 

This was the first time I had ever tried a full nail stamping image. It didn't turn out quite as straight as I wanted it to, but it wasn't horrible enough to start all over either. I then tried using Essie's Matte About You to see what it would look like in matte.

I ended up really loving the matte version of this over the shiny. What do you guys think? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section. Enjoy your weekend!!! The sun finally came out here yay!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Neon Spotted Dog

Ugh so yet another yucky day. Cold, gray, wet, and snowy. I really needed a manicure to remind me how bright the sun could be... What could be better than Neon yellow?!

I started by taping off the tips for a french manicure. I used 3 coats of Sinful colors Neon Melon. I left the tape on and used my black Konad stamping polish to stamp the dog spots from Bundle Monster plate 221 onto my nail. I then removed the tape and applied a coat of Seche Vite for that awesome shine. Just the trick to cheer me up! Maybe I'll get lucky and the sun will look like this tomorrow. But looking at tomorrow's weather forecast I seriously doubt it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hot Pink & French

Well, another gloomy day here in Northwest Indiana. Thank goodness I have another bright design to cheer myself up! For this design I used scotch tape to tape off the tips. I then used 2 coats of my go to Hot Pink by Funky Fingers called Pop Artist and then removed the tape before the polish could fully dry so i could get a neater line. For the flower on the thumb I used Rimmel's black Satin Polish to free hand the flower in. Then a coat of Seche Vite and I was done. Pretty quick and easy! Hope you like it as much as I did! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Color me Happy!

What up blog-o-sphere! Hope you all are having a wonderful day! Despite the gray skies outside all day today I wanted my nails to be super cheerful! As much as I would love to say that I painted these, they are a total cheater :} 

Now before you revoke my polishing club card, I promise not to do this too often, but sometimes it is so much faster when you need a new look in a flash. 

I started by gluing the following tips to my nails and then cutting them down to the size I wanted. I can't stand them too long, because then I couldn't function at work or home! 

I then used a file to rough up my nails a bit so that the gel would adhere better to my nail surface. This was followed by 2 coats of base gel using the UV lamp to cure my nails for 3 minutes in between each application. I followed this with one coat of UV gel Top coat making sure not to get anything on my cuticles. It is also really important to make sure you get the edge of the nail coated as well so that it allows for any shrinkage and then cured them for 3 minutes also. Then I used gel cleanser to rid my nails of that awful sticky residue. Finally I filed any weird edges clean and viola, done! Beautiful and shiny! See I told you it was easy. 

I'm not sure what brand the tips are but I purchased them along with all my other supplies for this from Maytheps. They have a huge variety of supplies at really low prices and their shipping rates are great too. The only thing I didn't purchase from Maytheps was my UV lamp which I got at Sally Beauty Supply for $50. Enjoy! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Last of the Valentine's

Hey! Welcome back! Hope everyone had as great of a weekend as I did! I got to see my mom which was awesome since I haven't seen her in almost a year. Today, or rather tonight seeing as it's about 9 o'clock right now, I just wanted to finish up the last of the Valentine's Day designs. I didn't have a lot of pictures of these designs so I figured I would just post them together. Then I can finally move on to St. Patrick's Day! ( I kind of skipped over President's day on accident, whoopsie!)

This is 2 coats of NYC Polish that I have had for some time now. If it had a sticker with a name on it I have long since picked it off back when I didn't think it would matter if I knew what the name was!  It did have a number on the front which is 116A if that helps.  I then put a thin coat of Sinful Colors in Forget Now on top of that, which is a sheer glittery kind of hot pink. Even though my nails appear mostly red in this picture in direct light it had a really pretty hot pink iridescence to it. I then used white Konad stamping polish and Konad stamping plate #M4 on my ring fingers as an accent nail. Oh, and of course a coat of Seche Vite to finish off.

For this look I was really inspired by this idea I saw on Chloesnails that I just loved! This was a really fun design to create because I got to I try several different things I had never tried before. First I did the base which was 2 coats of Rimmel Black Satin. I then used my Bundle monster plate #202 for the heart  stamp.

 I finally got to try out using a polish for stamping other than a Konad stamping polish. The results kind of varied. For this nail it worked well, but I definitely can't say that was the case every time like you can with the Konad polish. For this shiny pink stamp I used Avon Speed-Dry in Feisty. Since it was a much thinner polish I felt like I had to do the stamping way quicker because it dried so much faster. I then did my coat of Seche Vite dry fast top coat.

I also got to try out both a mattifying polish for the first time and the tape method of doing a french manicure. I normally free hand my french manicure and I must say the tape worked a lot better and made them so much more uniform.  I used Essie's Matte about you polish and regular scotch tape. It was so fun, I can't wait to try both of these a lot more in the future! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Lavender Valentine

I was so excited to post this Valentine polish change because it is one I probably never would have picked myself. For some unknown reason my boyfriend Keith, actually decided to feign interest in my polish fetish and got so excited to pick both the colors and the stamps! I'll have to show him some extra love because I ended up really admiring both the color and the subtlety of the design. Just please ignore the messy cuticle area. For some reason I didn't take any pictures after I had cleaned them up a bit more. 

I used 2 coats of Sinful polish in the color Jasmine Jazz. In the bottle it had a really pretty shimmery silver and light pink undertone besides all the Lavender. Once I put it on though, it looked a lot more matte even after the top coat of Seche Vite, go figure.

The designs were done in white and black Konad stamping polish. I am having a hard time finding any other polishes to work with the stamping kits so if you have any recommendations I would love to try some other alternatives. The stamping plates were from Bundle Monster sets 1 & 2. The heart was plate BM 212 and the I <3 U was plate BM02. I think I probably could have jazzed them up a more with some rhinestones, but I didn't want to stray too far from Keith's idea the one time he tried to help me and get creative. If it were up to him I would have a boring old white french manicure everyday. Good things it's not! Enjoy your day! I know I will because I am going to visit my mom in Chicago since she's here from the Philippines for 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll get some new inspiration from the city skyline!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hot Pink Love

This is one of my favorites around Valentine's Day. Since there are so many hearts everywhere it's nice to do something a little off the typical Valentine path. The polish color is two coats of a gorgeous bright Hot Pink that I picked up at 5 Below by Funky Fingers called Pop Artist. The picture does not do the color justice at all. In person it was so bright it practically glowed!

For the designs I used Konad stamping polish in both the black and white. The big kiss lips are from Bundle Monster set 1 using plate BM02. The Love stamp was also from the same set using plate BM09.

The stamping plates have really been working out well for me. I have loved almost every design I have tried so far. I can't wait to try a full nail design but I am little scared that it will be hard to line up exactly how I want them for every nail. Enjoy MUAH!

Bye Bye Blog Virginity!!!

It seems like I started typing this blog at least 20 times only to delete it and start again. I guess I'll just have to get over it and post this already. I mean let's face it no one's first time went perfectly right?!

Ultimately, if you can't tell by the title, this blog will be about sharing my love of nails. Although, it appears that I seem to have a bit of typing ADD so it is very likely that there are going to be times in which I will completely digress. I'll just go ahead and apologize for that in advance now. Hopefully you will bear with me and keep the eye rolling to a minimum.

I am definitely not a professional. Doing my nails is simply one of the creative outlets I really enjoy in life. I have been painting my own nails along with any one else's I could get my hands on probably since before I was even 12 years old. I'm 28 now, so 16 years of practice can't be all bad.

I have gotten so much inspiration from browsing through different blogs I can only hope that mine would inspire someone else too. So on that note I better get started! (Wish me luck...)

Valentine nails 1: The "Love-ly" Rose

My own nails are really short and don't seem to grow at all. Since October I have been doing my own gel nails since I got a UV lamp for my birthday courtesy of my boyfriend parents (They are awesome btw). It's like the gift that keeps on giving!

For this polish I used 2 coats of ELF polish in Hot Pink. The ELF polish went on very nicely but I will warn you the smell was very strong. The picture is pretty true to the actual color. As you can see it sadly came out more red looking than Hot Pink like the name implied so that was a bit of a let down. In the future I think I would much rather use this color on my toes than on my fingers. Apparently this is just a personal preference since it seemed to be a big hit with all my clients at work.

For the designs I used Konad's white stamping polish along with my Bundle Monster set 1 stamping plates. For the "Love" stamp I used Bundle Monster plate BM09. The rose was plate BM14 and the little heart designs were from plate BM17.

If you've never used a nail stamping set, I highly recommend them. The designs come out a million times nicer looking than I could ever hope to free hand. However, they can be a bit time consuming because you do have to keep wiping the plates and scrapers clean in between each stamp. 

The final touch was a coat of Seche Vite fast dry top coat, which is my all time favorite quick dry. It dries amazingly fast and the shine is awesome too! Hope you enjoyed this look, I know I did!

PS. I promise to include more pictures with the steps for future blogs. When I took this photo a few weeks ago I had no idea I was going to try nail blogging.