Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ransom Note/Message Nail Art

I’ve been a bit sick for the past few days which I am pretty sure is thanks to my new job—being around a lot of new people usually does this to me—so when I went to make my tutorial today I wanted something that wasn’t all too difficult but was still pretty, fun, and unique. I was recently asked about nail decals and while I don’t have any of those on hand, this design sort of incorporates the techniques that you would need in decal application. Moving along...
This design resembles a ransom note—now, I haven’t personally seen a ransom note (thank goodness) however I’m sure that we’ve all seen the generic cutout letter ransom note that movies and television shows depict.

I first went through and painted my nails a nice dark navy color (Zoya’s Ibiza) and then let them dry completely. Next, I went through and cut out some works and letters that I liked from an older magazine that I had lying around; this was the fun part. I then applied top coat to my nails (Seche Vite) and then went about sticking on my words.

I really think that this design is fun and gives the wearer a bit of freedom to be as creative as you they can be! I hope you all enjoy this one—let me know what you think in the comments!

Products Used:
Nail Magic Nail Hardener
Seche Clear
Seche Vite
An old Gourmet magazine!


UNII Cosmetics Palette Review

I’ve been looking at the UNII Cosmetics Palettes for a little while now (the link is in my favorites!). I wanted to give them a try for many different reasons and uses. First, I wanted to see how they’d work at storing/transporting my various nail art paraphernalia. Second, I thought they’d be great for traveling; as I could store a blush, some eye shadows, and other pressed makeup in the palette without worrying about it popping open or leaking if a shadow happened to break. The third reason, you may wonder was simply pure curiosity.

While browsing the website one day I happened onto the page which has some depotting tutorials. I immediately went through to see which ones were posted and they were pretty much all ones that I had seen before. I emailed UNII with a link to my depotting tutorial just as a suggestion, since it is much different than the ones which were posted already. I received an email back a few days later and now, you can view my depotting tutorial on the UNII site as well. (I was sooo excited about this!)

Anyways, onto the review:

The UNII Palette is a more personalized way to store your depotted shadows, blushes, highlighters, etc. The palettes come in five different colors including Pomegranate, Snow, Twilight, Lemongrass, and Eggplant. The colors are bright and vibrant and reflect the creative side of makeup. Each palette has a rubberized seal and lock which prevent leaks and protects your makeup. Each palette also has a thumb grip which can be moved around to fit your hand size and shape and make holding the palette easier, not to mention, each palette comes with a sheet of magnets for your depotted shadows!

UNII palettes also each have a large mirror, the mirror accounts for much of the weight of the palette. This palette is also thicker than a MAC palette and feels sturdier as the top and bottom have little give when it comes to bending and maneuvering them. I must say that I want to get one of each color! The only downside to these palettes is the price ($29) however, in my opinion they are totally worth it. When looking at the cost think of how expensive it would be to replace the eye shadows in another palette if it spilled open; or think of how long a MAC palette lasts (for me, it’s only a few months before a hinge or the locking mechanism breaks). The UNII palette is basically the cost of 2 MAC palettes which is how many you will most likely go through in the lifetime of 1 UNII palette; not to mention that this palette also has the added benefit of a mirror and fun color choices. If packaging matters to you, why not choose something that reflects your personality?

I’ve taken some pictures which demonstrate the storing capabilities of these palettes.

Pomegranate (Front)
Lemongrass (Back)
Rhinestone Wheel, dotting tool and thumb grip

Thumb Grip

Six Dotting Tools and Thumb Grip (to keep them from rolling)

Ten MAC eye shadows, One MAC blush and, Thumb Grip

14 MAC Shadows and the Thumb Grip

Locking Mechanism

Rubberized Seal to prevent leaks

3 MAC blushes

7 MUFE (Make Up For Ever) Shadows and the Thumb Grip

Size Comparison MAC Palette to UNII Palette

Thickness Comparison MAC (left) UNII (right)

These palettes were sent to me by UNII. I decided to review them after using them and falling in love with them. My opinions are my own. If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Color Block/ Mod 60's Inspired Nails

I’ve really been wanting to use these French manicure guides that I’ve had forever to do something, and I truly couldn’t think of anything until today! (BTW I don’t wear French manicures very much at all so that wasn’t really an option.)

The French manicure (FM) guides that I have actually came from a FM set I bought a few *years* ago from Sally Hansen. At the time I had no idea that Stripe Rites and other nail art polishes existed so I purchased the set solely for the white polish with the thin brush. Included were a sheer polish, top coat, and the white polish along with the aforementioned guides. To this day I’ve kept them around thinking that I may one day use them and today my friends I found their purpose!

I’ve wanted to do a color block design for a while now and I’ve tried creating them several times which were all overly complicated and usually ended in a steaming pile of fail. On my attempt today I decided to keep it simple and *finally* came out with a wearable design. If you are curious as to what I’m blabbering on about, here are a few pictures:

The products I used were:

Nail Magic Nail Hardener (Review can be found here)
Seche Clear (base coat)
Zoya- Purity (white)

OPI- ‘The “IT” Color’ and ‘You’re a Pisa Work’ (yellow and pink)
China Glaze- ‘Flying Dragon (Neon)’ and ‘Blue Sparrow (Neon)’
Misa- The Grass is Greener on My Side (Neon)
Stripe Rite in White (my line corrector/eraser)

Seche Vite

All in all I really did enjoy the way this came out. If I was going to do it again I would find something thinner than the FM guides as I think they were a little too thick for the size of my nail.

If you’d like a more in depth description of the process than check out my video below:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New York Fashion Week Inspired Nails: Marc Jacobs

I wanted to shoot out a quick thank you to everyone who has sent me inspiration pictures (they can be of anything from nature or nails, to abstracts and people) . It is incredibly helpful! Also if you have some inspiration photos that you would like to share please feel free to send them my way:

Now onto the good stuff:

When I asked on twitter for inspiration I received many suggestions but the one that I chose to work with was “New York Fashion Week”. Truth be told I am not too crazy about fashion/trends. I try my best to think about what works for me and what will be relevant in the years to come. So, for this topic I decided that Google was going to be my bff. I typed in my phrase and went straight to the images section. It only took me until page 2 to find something that jumped out at me.

(Source: Harpers Bazaar)

I chose this Marc Jacobs outfit purely based on the fun colors (neon’s will be big again for spring nails this year) so it was a bit of a no-brainer to choose this one.

The main colors/themes of this look were:
Polka Dots (Black-Zoya Raven; White-Zoya Purity)
Black (see above)
Bright Green (Misa-The Grass is Greener on My Side)
Fuchsia (Essie- Life Guard)

Here is what I’ve come up with:

Now, it has been pointed out to me that the polka-dots on the blouse (inspiration pic) were actually pale yellow but I used white (accidently I should add).

This look like my others is a focus on quick, easy, nail art that nearly anyone can do! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this one! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I need some inspiration!

Sometimes I feel like I have absolutely no more nail ideas in my head. I call these times my ‘slumps’ and I am in one now! I recently decided that I need to let you all my readers, followers (Twitter), and viewers help to pull me out of it. If you have any nail design ideas or requests that you would like me to take a stab at then please comment below! I’m begging you all for a little inspiration; pictures, concepts, whatever you would like.

I recently posted this up on twitter also, so my next tutorial will be based off of/inspired by one of Marc Jacobs’ runway designs from NY fashion week.

Thanks again for all your wonderful support!

Email me photos here:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nail Trend: The Ombrè Manicure

The next design is something that I had wanted to try for a while. It first graced the runways last autumn (or winter) and was publicized as the next "it" trend by both InStyle and Seventeen Magazines. The Ombrè manicure is an interesting concept and to describe it, without a picture is difficult; my best description is: a gradient manicure which is not confined to one finger but rather, incorporates the entire hand. Don’t worry, I do indeed have plenty of pictures!

This design involves a lot of color frankening (or mixing) to create a new color. There are many techniques for this manicure and I’ve adapted them to make my own. Please be aware that this technique that I have used is best suited for mid-tone cream colors. For bright colors I would recommend All Lacquered Up’s tutorial. For dark, rich colors I would recommend this video by Seventeen. Please keep in mind that what I do isn’t the set in stone and you should be adaptive and use your creativity to help you through!

I’ve actually attempted this manicure a few times but only have pictures of my current, and it’s previous attempts. The main color I used for the purple Ombrè was ‘Spontaneous’ from China Glaze and the main color for the green Ombrè was ‘Dirty, Sexy, Money’ from Misa.

(Above: Swatch of Misa's 'Dirty, Sexy, Money')
To create the design you will need a main color, a black polish, a white polish, something to mix on (I used Post It’s) and something to mix with. You will also need a clean polish brush, I recommend using the brush from a cheap clear coat.

Here are the basic steps:
1. Paint your middle fingers with your main color
2. Mix your main color with 2-3 drops of white (on your scrap paper) and apply that shade to your index      finger. This shade should be 2-3 shades lighter that your middle finger.
3. Mix mainly white with 2-3 drops of your main color and apply to your thumb. This shade should be 2-3 lighter than your index finger.
4. For your ring and pinky fingers you will need to repeat the process using black, instead of white polish.

Here is the finished look:

Check out the video below for more tips and tricks!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eyeko Vintage Polish Review

I have been craving a mint green nail polish for quite a while now. First, I thought I wanted Essie Mint Candy Apple but unfortunately that polish has long been sold out here. I’d also been wanting to try Eyeko nail polishes in general for a while and since Eyeko had the minty green “Vintage Polish” I decided I should bite the bullet. I also ordered the Eyeko Cream, Eyeko Tinted Cream, and the trio of Fat Balms and Vintage (the polish retails for $5). This is my first experience ever ordering with Eyeko. I actually placed an order about a month ago and received my products in about 2 weeks (regular first class shipping). Back to the polish; Vintage is a mint green nail lacquer which even though it is cool toned looks wonderful on my warm toned skin. I was pleasantly surprised with the color to say the least. It took three coats to get an opaque finish and I should note that this is a cream formula with no shimmer. The polish itself is quite thin when you apply it, almost runny but it still dries fairly quickly. I used my normal base coat combo, then 3 coats of Vintage, followed by a coat of Seche Vite.

In terms of wear:
After wearing this polish for a week I found that my dominant hand (Right hand) chipped significantly on my index finger and middle finger. The wear however, on my left had was nearly perfect with only one minor chip. Here are some pics.

(Above is 3 coats)

(Left: 1 coat     Right: 3 coats)
(Left: 2 coats     Middle: 3 coats     Left: 1 coat)

(Above: Left hand after 1 week)

(Above: Right hand after 1 week)

I hope you enjoyed this review. Unfortunately this specific shade has sold out via the Eyeko website however, there are plenty of other shades that look just as fun like their Lilac polish.