Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting your nails is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

I find that one of the most common questions I receive are something like the following,  “How do I paint my nails so they are neat?” or, “How do you not get polish on the side of your nails?” or, some other variation of this question. While I am flattered that I receive compliments on my nails, I think that everyone should know that I am far from perfect with regards to the subject. If I am in a hurry or just lazy my nails will look horrible; so instead of rushing through the process I try to plan out the time when I do my nails so that nothing will interrupt me and I won’t feel rushed. In addition to taking precautions to ensure that I have the time, and won’t be interrupted a little trick or two couldn’t hurt.

Whenever I paint my nails I try to use the “3 stroke” method. I first heard this phrase coined on the Makeup Alley Nail Board and haven’t looked back since. It does still take time and practice to implement it in your regular nail routine but, after a while you will find yourself naturally leaning towards this method.
The goal is to avoid your cuticles by creating a barrier between where you apply polish and your cuticle. This picture demonstrates exactly what I mean:

I made a video specifically to address this issue. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

3 More V-Day Designs!

This time I am trying to stay on top of getting these nail designs done in advance so you can actually have the chance to use them! I almost feel like it is a bit too early to be posting these but then again I’d rather be early than late.

The first design is one that can be worn on all fingers or, for something more work appropriate, just one accent finger. The color scheme (like most V-day’s) is pink and white but instead of red I went with a deep berry called ‘Manicurist of Seville’ by OPI (Espana Collection). This was my first time using it and I was quite impressed. The color was opaque in one coat and of the quality one would expect from OPI. For this design I also used a dotting tool, Stripe Rite Polish in White, and Sinful Colors Polish in ‘Easy Going’ which is a baby pink. To top everything off and give some shimmer I added China Glaze ‘Golden Enchantment’ to the outer most sections.
Design 1:

(There is a glare--hard to take good photos with no sunshine :( )

For the second design I chose something which is very simple but still in keeping with the holiday. This French manicure used Rimmel ‘French Rose’ (sheer pink cream) as the base. This color is excellent at evening out your nail color and adding a bit of shine. The tip in China Glaze ‘Ruby Pumps’ and the dots are Sinful Colors ‘Easy Going’.
Design 2:

For the third design I went back to my 80’s child roots and chose some fun and funky colors. The base color was a white from Zoya entitled ‘Purity’. The three colors I used to create the hearts are all personal favorites of mine: China Glaze ‘Spontaneous’ and ‘For Audrey’, and OPI ‘Strawberry Margarita’. This isn’t much different then my last post in terms of the design but it was a fun way to change that design around to make it look quite different.
Design 3:

I hope you’ve enjoyed these designs. If you have any requests please leave them in the comments sections. You can also check out the corresponding video to these designs here:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Easiest Nail Art Ever? Hearts (Valentine's Themed)

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I decided to share a V-day themed nail tutorial.

Heart shapes, I learned while in culinary school are one of the easiest shapes to freehand. If you can make a dot, you can draw a heart. Now, knowing what I know I decided that I should take the pressure off for this upcoming holiday and share my little secret with all of my readers, viewer, and anyone else who happens to stumble across this article.

How to do it:
Dot and drag, dot and drag!

If you need more explanation watch my video below!

If you have any suggestions for more V-day themed designs I’d love to make them happen here!
P.S. There is a French manicure themed design coming soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sula Paint and Peel Polish

I am very excited to be sharing this review with you as it is a product which holds a place very near and dear to my heart. Paint and peel polish has been a product which I fell in love with at an early age. As a child I would receive Children’s Nail Art Workbooks which had several pages of designs as well as several colors of nail polish to create the designs; the best thing about these books was not necessarily learning the designs (although in hindsight I find my love of nail polish probably sprung out of this) but the polish that came with the books. They were bright colors: red, white, yellow, orange, pink, and green, with maybe a black and brown in there; together they were all the colors any budding child nail artist would ever need. I would use up all the polish that came in the books in about 2 weeks. I would paint anyone’s nails as long as they would let me and my biggest selling point was that if they didn’t like it, they could just peel it off (I was an entrepreneur at a young age). I probably made every design in the book and a few of my own but in painting my own nails (almost on a daily basis) just for thrill of peeling off the paint. Those days were all but forgotten until (dun, dun, dun!) I found Sula Paint and Peel Nail Polish!

This isn’t the first that I have heard of Sula; in fact I used to use their fragrances a few years ago for summer. The fun of the fragrances was layering. At the time, I can remember there being six different fragrances that you could either wear alone or layer to create unique scents. Since then I haven’t thought much about the brand until I stumbled across these polished while walking through the fragrance section of my local ULTA. I thought about how fun peeling the polish would be again but now I also weighed the price and decided against it. It had all but vanished from my thoughts when I saw them again in a larger display just last week. I decided that I HAD to try them. The fates had put them there for a reason and I left the store with two new beauties: Azure and Dove.

From here I decided some testing was in order and so the following happened:
1. I applied two coats of Azure (no base or top coat, just as directed so that I could still peel the polish. Keep in mind that if you apply base and top coat you will have longer wear and the results could be different then what mine were.)
2. Wore it for two days
3. Then wrote this review

Here is the first coat:

As you can see the application was VERY streaky and although you can’t truly see it, the texture was not very even.

Here is the second coat:

Still streaky in appearance and texture.

Here is the applicator:

It is a bit short for my liking but it did the job!

After two days of wear here are the problems that I encountered:
1. Rubbing the nails together caused the polish to dull
2. Small nicks would spread and start the peeling process
3. Overall rubbery feel to the polish

Some things I liked:
1. Dried very quickly
2. Some of the colors are really unique
3. Good overall color selection
4. Fun concept
5. Easy to peel off

My recommendation:
Truthfully I won’t repurchase these or add anymore to my collection. Because of the streaky application it is difficult to apply and looks a little sloppy. Also I really no longer have a need to peel off my polish—fun for kids and for the kid at heart but in reality is quite limiting because of the need to touchup and/or reapply. Perhaps with a base and top coat the wear would be so improved that it would make having a Sula manicure really worth it, but until I try it I can’t say that I truly think these are worth $9 for 11ml/.37 fl. Oz. (for reference OPI [at ULTA] is $8.50 for 15ml/.5 fl. Oz.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Blog is Moving...

Hello everyone! It's official, I have my own website!

Just so you know the new site has the same title as this one just cut out the "blogspot". You should be automatically directed there once the site is fully processed. I hope you enjoy the new site and I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts, reviews, and nail art fun. Thanks for being a follower!

If you are curious you can click here! : All Nail and Cosmetics
And if you aren't a follower but a regular reader, don't forget to switch your bookmark to the new address!

Don't forget to let me know if there are any products you would like to see reviewed, colors you would like to see swatched, or designs you'd like me to demonstrate!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gradient Nails Take 2!

If you've folowed my blog since the beginning then you would know that one of my first nail art designs (if that is what you'd call it) was gradient nails. Meaing the color faded from clear to another color, in my case teal. This was a big moment for me and I made sure to take my time and practice it long before I ever filmed it. Well, today I am sitting here with my nails in that exact same design except this time it didn't take me an hour to do; it only took about 15 minutes from beginning to end. The effect is still very much the same, in fact they are almost identical--I am very excited to share with you the easy way to create a gradient effect!

To refresh your memory, here is the original (my nails were crazy long!):

And my re-creation:

The colors I used were the same in both:
OPI Teal the Cows Come Home
China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway
China Glaze Fairy Dust

The first method involved careful placement and blending and the second a sponge! I hope you enjoy this easy way to create this fun effect!
Here's how I created them: