Archive | May, 2012

Black and White

22 May

I think black and white nails are classic. Goes with everything. You can dress up the nails by adding a splash of colour or substituting either white or black with silver/gold.

Polishes: Blanc (Essie), Licorice (Essie), White (Kiss Nail Art Paint), Gems

I painted my nails solid white (Essie Blanc) then painted a thick black stripe (using Essie Licorice) off centered. The thin white strip on top was achieved using the thin brush (Kiss Nail Art Paint). To dress these nails up, I put pink and red heart gems. The gems add some colour and a 3D depth to the nail art.

Polishes: Black Salon Expert (Maybelline), Silver (L.A. Colours), Pink and Purple Nail Pens (Sally Hansen)

Here I used silver instead of white. Black base colour, then painting the silver polish on a diagonal line. In the middle I used the nail pens (by Sally Hansen), to do the pink heart then painted a bit of purple on top. You can outline the hearts in the purple if you prefer, it will give a cleaner look.

Polishes: Licorice (Essie), White (Kiss Nail Art Paint), Virtual Violet (Xtreme Wear), Base Coat (OPI), Top Coat (OPI), Matte Top Coat (Butter)

For the latice nails, paint your nails black then paint the diagonal lines with a thin brush, very important to have a steady hand so practice before painting. I found it a bit awkward to paint the lines. On top, I used a Matte top coat (this was a gift given to me by my best friend, Winnie. I have been wanting to try a matted top coat for over a month now). This was the first time I used it, very exciting! You probably can’t tell the difference with this design and lighting, but I will write a post on how I like the matted top coat in the near future. For the two nails (ring and middle fingers), paint them a solid black then I used a brush (you can use a make up sponge) starting from the tip of the nail dabbing the polish on towards the base of the nail. This gives a slight gradient look. If you want more of a dramatic gradient, do multiple layers closer to the tip of the nail to get a darker colour. I only did one layer of the Virtual Violet (Xtreme Wear) on top of the black. Then finished it off with a glossy top coat. I will definitely do this one again! Love it! – and a thanks to my friend Arshad, who took the picture.

After doing my nails, I thought they were more plain than I had imagined, but looking at them in this picture, I was instantly in love. This is one of my favourites. Simple, elegant, and different. I love asymmetrical nails. I think in this case the two solid black nails add a little something different to the hands.

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Experiment: Star Wars

18 May

So it was suggest that I do the Death Star blowing up a planet, so here is my attempt…

Thought I would continue with the Star Wars theme on my hand. It was so hard! Faces are so difficult. Hope you can tell who they are supposed to be. Enjoy!

Nail Pens

16 May

Sally Hansen’s “Nail Art Pens” was the first time I had seen polish in a pen form. I thought I was an great method of application, easier to handle since we have all used pens from a young age, so I had to try it. I bought the pink and purple pens to test, then got blue and white for Christmas. I’ve used them a couple of times since, but I am not a big fan. I thought it would be easy to use and make designs, but it was very difficult due to the uneven flow of polish out of the end. The liquid is thinner than I like, I had to apply a few layers, which also makes it hard to work with complicated designs. While I was waiting for my design to dry completely before putting on the top coat, the pen’s “polish” (doesn’t not feel or look like a typical nail polish) started to smudge. I swear if I were to rub my thumb over my nails, they would smudge to be blue and rub off…very strange. Before I put the top coat, I had to touch up the lines to make them more distinct, even while putting on the top coat it was smudging more. The top coat is a MUST when using these nail pens to seal the polish. The instructions say not to apply the pens directly to your nail, most of the time I don’t listen to instructions, but in this case I would want to put this on my nail because it would probably ruin them by bleeding through your nails.

I would not suggest buying these pens, I have not had very good experiences with them. Waste of your money.

 

 

To get this look:

  1. paint the entire nail white
  2. Sally Hansen’s blue Nail Art Pen to draw the strips
  3.  use Insta-Dri Blue-Away for half the nail (you can either tape the diagonal or just eyeball it). I would suggest not using the Insta-Dri if you eyeballing because the brush is difficult to use on the corner.
  4. for the dots, I used the white Nail Art Pen
  5. OPI Top Coat (a must!)

 

Elegant Nails

13 May

I want to take a moment to say Happy Mother’s Day! My mom is currently away on a trip, so I will post my msg to her here.
Mom, thank your for all your love and support. I know you had to endure a lot especially while us kids were growing up. I don’t say this enough, I love you and thank you.

Now on to nails, I love an elegant looking nail. It’s more enjoyable to wear than themed nails (such as pac-man or flag nails), but they are less appreciated or noticed by others.

 

A classic is the french manicure. I dressed it up with a few black flowers. I love simple black and white, very clean that goes with any outfit

Polishes used: Base Coat (OPI), Blanc (Essie), Black (Kiss Nail Art Paint), White (Kiss Nail Art Paint), Top Coat (OPI)

1) base coat
2) paint Blanc on your tips, 2 coats (I free handed this, but you can you can use a piece of tape to get a straighter line)
-you can use tape to line the tips
3) paint the flowers on (start with the black petals, doesn’t have to be perfect, when because you get the look of individual flowers when you put the white for the center)
-for this step you can use and black and white nail polish, just needs a thin brush to apply
4) top coat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another French tipped nail, but here I have changed the colour to be darker with a nice sparkle. I think it makes the look more sophisticated and really stands out.

Polishes used: Base Coat (OPI), Gunmetal (Xtreme Wear), Nickle (Nicole OPI), Top Coat (OPI)

Steps are similar (basic french manicure) to the design I have listed for the design
1) base coat
2) paint Gunmetal on your tips (I free handed this, but you can you can use a piece of tape to get a straighter line)
3) put the Nickle ontop of the Gunmetal (if you had it taped, keep it on til you finish this step)
4) top coat

 

 

A fast and easy way to dress up a polish colour you enjoy wearing, add flowers, if your into that.

1) I mixed a white polish with a shimmery tan colour I have. This will be the base. Paint your entire nails with 2 coats
2) draw your flower design, here I kept it simple by only using red and gold
3) add the center dots, I just used white and blue to contrast with the petal outline

You can use any colours you like, purple and gold would be pretty too. I am a big fan of the gold because it gives more of a subtle look (especially since it is close to the shimmery tan colour). Gold/silver on black would be nice to try too.

 

 

Polishes used: Slick Slate (Insta-Dri), Flirt (Xtreme Wear), Blue-Away (Insta-Dri)

1) paint the entire nail Slick Slate
2) sweep the Flirt polish from one corner arching to the other (easiest to your a regular nail brush rather than the squared brush you find on Insta-Dri)
-could try using a circular piece of sticker, perhaps one like those reinforcers for paper holes.
3) add Blue-Away dots then flower design with a thin brush

 

 

This is my favourite design and colour combination so far. Very simple because you are using a sparkled nail polish, lines do not have to be as perfect.

Polishes used: Flirt (Xtreme Wear), Strobe light (Xtreme Wear), Gold paint (asian brand)

1) paint entire nail Flirt
2) paint top portion of the nail Strobe light, instead of painting it straight across (horizontally) I did a slight slant to it
3) sweep the Gold polish with a thin brush to give a whimsical affect and a bit of extra colour

 

This next one is the exact same design, but just using different colours.

Polishes used: Base Coat (OPI), Licorice (Essie), Nickel (Nicole OPI), Virtual Violet (Xtreme Wear), Top Coat (OPI)

Which of these designs is your favourite?

Flags

9 May

Enjoy!

 

Brands

5 May

I don’t think the most expensive brands are necessarily the best, it’s all about preference. Almost all polishes are the same, one doesn’t last longer than others for me, what makes my nails last longer is how I take care of them. Even using the same nail polish with last a different amount of time on your nails before chipping, that’s just because we use our hands for everything, check out my “Prolonging Polished Nails ” post for some helpful tips. Being cost effective will help you expand your collection without spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Buy a few polishes at a time to see if you like the brand, then from there you can buy more if you do. Different people like different brands for various reasons, so test them out yourself first. A lot of people are in love with OPI, not sure if it’s because of brand loyalty, but I’m not a fan of the price ($10). I think any nail polish works just as well for the fraction of the price. Really you are paying for the array of colours they have available and the brand name. Yes, OPI is great if you’re looking for the precise shade, but since I’m poor and don’t want to pay very much for my collection, I mix my existing colours to the shade I want (as I have mentioned in my earlier post), mind you I’m not that picky when it comes to the “right colour”. I’m sure many would disagree with me and is adamant on the perfect shade, but for my purpose, close is good enough. I’m not saying that OPI is bad, just that for my budget it’s too high to buy many polishes from there. I do have a couple OPI nail polishes (mostly just use the base coat and top coat), which I like, but there are other cheaper brands that are just as good. I like OPI’s base and top coat polishes, honestly, haven’t really tried any others yet. I’ll keep you posted about other brands for base and top coat polishes as I try different ones.

OPI‘s pros is that that it is easy to apply, a good polish (not too thick or thin), good brush, lots of colours to choose from. The con is the price.

Essie is another more expensive brand, but I do prefer it over OPI. I really like the polish, it goes on very nice and even. They have a pretty good selection of colours, still not as vast as OPI’s collection. The quality of the colour is great, I have the ‘Blanc’ and it looks good, doesn’t look like i have whiteout on my nails like some other collections of whites. With the cost being a bit more on the pricier end, I only bought Essie’s black and white since they are essential base colours for most of my designs. I would suggest that if there is a colour that you often wear as a solid colour or as a base colour for your designs, get it from Essie, I really like their quality and colours. As with OPI, a nail polish collection from this brand would be very costly (hundreds of dollars invested), but a couple of polishes would be good to have.

I prefer the Xtreme Wear from Sally Hansen, it works really well for me and is probably my favourite brand right now (will probably change in the future as I try more brands out). I like this brand because the polish is a nice consistency, the brush is easy to use, it’s pretty quick to dry and it is cheap (at $4). Overall, it is easy to use and cheap, so it is great for someone starting off. The down side to Xtreme is that their colour choice is very limiting.

Insta-Dri by Sally Hansen has nice bright colours, but I am not a fan of the “squared” brush, it makes it difficult to stay just on the nail especially in the corner spots.

Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Pro has the same brush as the Insta-Dri, but the Rimmel’s brush is thinner so it is a bit easier to use. The polish isn’t great, I find it quite thin so I had to put about 4 layers on. I prefer polishes where I only have to put 2 layers to get the desired look.

Recently, I bought Nicole, by OPI (didn’t realize that it was an OPI collection until now actually…). I got the ‘Nickle’ and the ‘Brilliant idea’, both are very sparkly, which is what caught my eye. 2 coats and my nail’s sparkling already, 3 and it’s overload for me (I’m sure most would actually like 3 coats of this). The problem that I found with this one is that it started peeling off before the end of the day. It would peel off chucks at a time, I would rather polishes chipping than peeling. I could literally peel off the entire polish from my nail in one go, actually did that for a few since it was coming off. Mind you, I had applied the polish straight to my nail without a colour or a base coat underneath, might have been better and lasted longer if I had. I just didn’t realize about base coats until recently and now I can’t do my nails without a base coat (keeps your nails healthy and from turning yellow), more on base coats check out “A Few Things“.

Right now, my favourite colour is  the ‘Red Carpet’ (by Xtreme Wear). It is the perfect red colour for me and the glitter in it isn’t over powering, it is subtle and it helps bring the colour alive. What is your favourite nail polish colour?

used here: ‘Gunmetal’ and ‘Red Carpet’, both are by Xtreme Wear. These pictures don’t accurately portray the bright red colour, the next picture I have already posted in my blog, but I think shows off the red better.

Most of my nail polishes are Sally Hansen, did not realize this either because they have so many different collection names. Try the different brands out and tell me if you have a preference, which you like and dislike.

Pac-Man

3 May

Enjoy!