Sunday, 29 April 2012

Revive And Survive...

I've been very time poor lately. Yesterday (being Saturday) I had a uni exam in the morning and a wedding in the afternoon/evening. So of course I spent all of Friday night cramming and didn't have time to do a whole new design on my nails for the wedding like I'd had planned. Hell, I didn't even have time to paint my nails a new colour!

So, I had very little free time and my tips were looking a little sad. Maybe it was a good thing that the last time I painted my nails I only had time to do a single colour, because it meant I could quickly fix up my worn tips by using a french tip effect using a second contrasting colour. My nails went from this:

To this:

Sorry for the slightly blurry/poorly lit first photo, you might need to click on the photo to actually see my tip damage, it was fairly minimal but enough to annoy me. The colour I originally had on my nails was China Glaze's 'Fuchsia', and the colour I put on my tips is OPI's 'Glitzerland'. So, if you're short on time it is possible to hide minimal tip wear/chipping, this only took me about 10 to 15 minutes (and it only took that long because I'm a perfectionist). I must warn you though, this is only a temporary fix, don't expect it to last more than a day or two. The thicker coat on the tips of your nails is more susceptible to chipping than your original coat would have been.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bring In The Reinforcements!

Hello again! Sorry it's been so long since my last post, my study has kept me so busy that I haven't had time to do anything other than a single colour on my nails. I've felt so naked! So without further ado, let's get back into it!

This time I've decided to attempt the half moon look. To do this, you'll need 2 different colours of polish, and some reinforcement stickers. If you're not sure what these are, they're donut shaped stickers that you would normally put around the holes on the paper you put in your ring binders to prevent them from tearing out. I bought mine from Officeworks (if you don't have an Officeworks near you or don't live in Australia, your local stationary store should have them). Still not sure what they are? Here's a picture of mine:


Unfortunately the only ones I could find are clear, so it's going to be a little hard to see them in my tutorial photos below. If you're having trouble seeing them try clicking on the photos to enlarge them. Let's get started!

Step 1: After applying your protective base coat, apply one or two coats of nail polish to your nails. Don't worry too much if your tips don't have an even coverage, as long as they're smooth. With this colour the focus is on the base of your nails, so make sure you have an even coverage there. I've used China Glaze's 'VI' (yes, the number 6 in Roman numerals. Apparently this was from their 10th Anniversary collection where the colours were simply named with Roman numerals).

Step 2: After allowing your first colour to dry completely, place a reinforcement sticker over the base of your nail to mask the part of your nail that you're going to keep in your first colour. This creates the half moon shape. I found it easiest to apply the sticker using tweezers. Press the sticker down well so that you won't get any leakage underneath when applying the next coat. If the sticker isn't quite lying flat on your nail, simply snip from the outside of the ring through to the centre on the side of the sticker that isn't on your nail. You can then manipulate the sticker to lie flat. (If you're having trouble seeing the sticker in the photo below try clicking on it to enlarge it)

Step 3: Taking your second colour, put a coat on the part of your nail not covered by the sticker. It's ok to go over the edge of the sticker, but take care around the parts where the sticker meets your cuticles as you might get a bit of leakage under the sticker in those areas. I recommend using a colour that only requires one coat. I've used China Glaze's 'Seduce Me'.

Step 4: Wait about 15 to 30 seconds depending on your polish to let it dry slightly, then slowly peel off the sticker. You may need to carefully retouch the corners near your cuticles to get a perfect arc. I didn't have any problems with the stickers pulling off my first colour, but if you do just carefully touch them up too. Apply your clear top coat and your done!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Tomorrow is Easter, so of course I've taken advantage of the event and I now have Easter themed nails! A couple of the channels on youtube that I subscribe to posted tutorials of bunnies and easter eggs. I couldn't pick, so I've done both! The nails in my photo below were done with my non-dominant hand. See, it can be done!

For a tutorial on how to do the bunnies, watch CutePolish's video here.
For a tutorial on how to do the easter eggs, watch PixiePolish's video here.

The colours I've used are:
Bunnies - OPI's 'Peace Baby' (white), 'Got A Date To-Knight!' (pink) and 'Light My Sapphire' (near-black).
Easter Eggs - OPI's 'Do You Lilac It?' (purple), 'Mermaid's Tears' (green), 'No Room For The Blues' (blue), 'Got A Date To-Knight' (pink), and 'Peace Baby' (white).


Zig A Zag

This is a slight variation on plain stripes (see my 'Victoria's Secret Stripes' post). Instead of using a paint brush, I've used my dotting tool. There's no reason you can't use your paint brush, I just find that for me personally unless I'm doing a long line it's easier to use the dotting tool. A series of short repetitive strokes and a good amount of polish on the tool seems to do the trick.

For this design I've done a base colour of OPI's 'You're A Pisa Work' and 'Light My Sapphire' for the zig zags. Enjoy :)

Head In The Clouds...

This was a design I copied from CreativeNailArt's channel on youtube. I get alot of inspiration from watching videos on youtube, so if I do copy someone's design I'll give recognition where it's due. I just thought this design was too cute to resist! Rather than me explaining how to do this design, you can watch CreativeNailArt's video here.

The colours I've used are OPI's 'No Room For The Blues' (sky blue), 'Peace Baby' (white), and 'Wocka Wocka!' (red). I must admit, the hearts are a bit of a challenge, getting them to look perfect is hard at first. Mine kept getting bigger and bigger as I tried to fix little parts of them lol. I suggest doing lots of practice ones on paper first, and if you still don't feel that you're up to the challenge you can always just do the clouds, they're super easy and I'll admit a little bit fun to do ;)

Bow Tie French Tips

I love bows. And anything pink. Or shiny and glittery. This design incorporates all three :) For this design I definitely recommend having dotting tools, as your bobby pins or toothpicks probably won't cut it unless your toothpicks happen to be super SUPER sharp. If you want to buy some dotting tools see the link in my post 'Pastel Party'.

For this design I've used OPI's 'Teenage Dream' from the Katy Perry collection (pink glitter), 'Light My Sapphire' (near-black), and 'Malaysian Mist' (nude).

After applying your base coat, start by painting your whole nail in your nude shade for a natural look. Once that has mostly dried paint just the tips of your nails in your glitter polish. I like to just run the brush from one side of my nail to the other and then back again the other way for an even coverage. Take it nice and slow in order to get an even line. Allow this to dry. Then, taking your dotting tool (I used one of the medium sized ones in the pack) create a dot in the middle of your nail with your black colour, on the line where the glitter and nude colours meet. Using the same dotting tool create the outline of the wings of the bow and fill in the centres. Then take your smallest dotting tool and on the line where the glitter meets the nude colour draw a line from the bow to the edge of your nail. Finish with your clear top coat and your bow tie french tips are complete!

Water Decals

I'm a real fan of these water decals. They're quick and easy to use, and they give an accurate design that's harder to achieve by drawing freehand. I buy these from this seller on ebay. As well as the design in my photo below, they also have a nice lace one which I love layering over lilac purple.

The polish I've used in my photo is OPI's 'A Good Man-darin Is Hard To Find'. To use these, simply do your base coat and then paint your whole nail in whatever colour you wish. Wait for your polish to dry, then cut the decal down to size and dip it in water. Press it against your nail (like you would with those fake tattoos that you wet the back of and press against your skin). Wait a few seconds and remove the paper backing. VoilĂ ! Wait for the water on your nail to dry and apply your clear top coat.

Victoria's Secret Stripes

This design is super easy to to do, even with your non-dominate hand as long as you take it nice and slow. You can use any colour combination, but I'm a sucker for anything pink so I've used OPI's 'Got A Date To-Knight!' and 'You're A Pisa Work'. A friend of mine later pointed out that my colour selection was reminiscent of Victoria's Secret.

To do this design you'll need a fine paint brush (available from newsagents and art supply shops). I'd recommend a size 0000, but you could get away with a 000. The finer the better :) You can also use a nail art striper if you have one (basically it's just nail polish/acrylic paint but with a fine brush specifically for this type of work).

Start with your base coat, and follow with your favourite shade (paint your whole nail). In this case I've used my lighter pink. Once you've let that dry for a bit simply take your brush, dip it in your second colour, and starting at the base of your nail slowly and carefully drag it towards the tip. You may need to go over the lines a second time to get an even coverage as you'll inevitably start to run out of polish towards the tip. I find that resting my pinky on something stable helps me to get a perfect line. Finish with a clear top coat and you're good to go!

Pastel Party

It was my birthday in February, and I had a few people over which provided me with the perfect excuse to pretty up my nails. Here's my birthday design:

I used OPI's 'Do You Lilac It?' (purple) and 'Got A Date To-Knight!' (pink). To recreate this look you'll also need dotting tools and 2 nail art stickers in the shape of a bow (available from ebay). If you don't have dotting tools you can always use a toothpick or the end of a bobby pin. If you're interested in getting some dotting tools (they're super handy!) you can buy them from this ebay seller for about $2. The pack includes 5 double ended tools of different sizes.

If you want to copy this design, follow these simple steps:
1. Apply base coat.
2. Paint your pinky, middle finger, and thumb a light pink shade.
3. Paint your pointer and ring fingers a light purple shade.
4. Place one bow nail art sticker on each of your ring fingers.
5. On your pinky, middle finger, and thumb use your dotting tool to dot on some purple spots.
6. On your pointer finger use your dotting tool to dot on some pink spots.
7. Apply clear top coat (wait for the design to dry a little first so it doesn't streak).

And that's it! When I use my dotting tools I find it's easier to put a bit of nail polish on a piece of paper and dip in to that rather than dipping in to the bottle. If the polish starts to go gunky or stringy simply wipe excess polish from the dotting tool using a tissue and/or put a fresh blob of polish on the paper.