Sunday, May 4, 2014

Peek-a-boo polka dots

Pinterest is one of my favourite places to find inspiration for nail designs. Recently I found a design by nailmachine that I knew I just had to try, and this weekend I finally got around to it. I must admit, I'm in love with how this turned out!

The colours used were Sally Hansen's "Mint Sprint", "Blue Me Away", and "White Out" as well as Sephora's "Queen of Everything".

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ukranian Easter egg nails

When I was in high school I took a textiles, arts, and crafts class. One of our projects was to make pysanky, or Ukranian Easter eggs. It's a difficult and time consuming craft but I loved the results. When I started doing my nails I got the idea to do a pysanky theme for Easter but I never actually got around to doing them. Until now!

I started with a relatively simple idea, mostly using stamps to get the look I wanted. Of course that didn't work out, so I ended up free-handing the whole thing. I'm a little bit out of practice (it's been months since I last did any proper nail art) so it's a bit rough but overall I'm very happy with how it turned out!

I used a lot of colours, so bear with me. For the darker nails I used Sally Hansen's "Black Out" for a base, then did the design using Sally Hansen's "Lightening", Quo's Instant Artist in black and white, and Tivoli Art Deco polish in red. For the accent nails I used Revlon's "Seduce" for a base, then did the design with the same polishes. All the nails were topped off with the matte top coat from Sephora. 

Now I just need to make these last until Easter is over!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sparkles on top of sparkles

It never fails that if there's something you really want but you don't buy it, when you finally decide to get it you can't find it anymore. When I was looking for an outfit for my Halloween costume I wandered into Target, which has the best selection of nail polish. Of course I decided to wander over there just in case something awesome was on sale. They had a display of Hard Candy nail polishes, some of which caught my eye. Beautiful, bright, sparkly colours. I stayed strong though and walked away. They lingered on my mind though, and after seeing a few pictures around I knew I made a mistake. I went back to buy a couple and.....they're gone.

Thankfully they had a few other polishes that lived up to the glittering beauty of the other ones! They're from Sally Hansen's new Triple Shine line. I got "Sparkling Water", a glittering blueish-green with hints of purple sparkles, and "Hypnautical", which I can best describe as being halfway between a glitter and a flakie. It's mostly blue and green but turns many, many different colours depending on what light you're in. I couldn't decide which one to try first, so I decided to put the two together!

I did two coats of sparkling water as a base coat, and then used "Hypnautical" to attempt to make a glitter gradient on the top. This has turned out to be VERY difficult to photograph, and I had serious tip wear after only one night, but otherwise it's fantastic. It's too bad it's raining outside because I think this would look amazing in the sunlight!

This doesn't show all the colours in the glitter very well, so I tried taking pictures in a few different lights. You can almost see the purple in this one:

And this one really shows how blue it can get:

These are so much prettier in real life, I highly recommend checking them out! That way you can see how absolutely gorgeous they really are.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I don't have a lot of time to write something, so I'll just stick to pictures for today! Here's my Halloween stamping manicure, and it's the last Halloween one this year. Promise!

The polishes used are LA Colors in Fiery Orange and Konad Special Nail Polish in black. The stamps used are BM plates 4, 13, 213, 223, 224, and 225.

I hope you all are having a fantastic and fun Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cyborg inspired nails

As I mentioned in my previous post I love Halloween. The main reason is that I really enjoy dressing up and I don't get many opportunities to do it in my day to day life. This year I was invited to a sci-fi themed party, and the first thing that popped into my head was being a cyborg. I usually go all-out when it comes to costume making, but this year I didn't have a lot of time in advance to put something together. Eventually I decided to go for a terminator-inspired look, where I used makeup to create cyborg pieces showing through wounds. The party was last night, and while I don't have a lot of experience doing this kind of thing the end result was pretty good!

Of course I had to do my nails to match my costume. I decided to do something similar to my circuit board nails as I figured it had the right look without being over-the-top obvious. It also matched really well with the dress I ended up wearing. Thankfully this did not take anywhere near as long as my last attempt!

I did this design by putting on a base coat of "Celeb City" by Sally Hansen, then laid down some striping tape and painted a layer of "Black Out", also by Sally Hansen, on top. I'm really happy with the end result, though I feel like they don't make sense unless you see the whole costume. So here's the final look all put together:

You can't see all of the "wounds" I did very well, there's one on my shoulder and one on the back of my hand. They were hard to get in a picture! I also got a red grid pattern contact to complete the look, here's a close up to show it off:

It's safe to say I creeped a lot of people out! This costume isn't my best work ever, but given the time I had to put it together I'm pretty happy with it. Can't wait to do it all over again next year!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween monsters

Well, after two long months I'm finally able to return to doing nail art! My nails are (almost) back to normal, so I've bought a new nail hardener to try and I have my fingers crossed it's going to go better than last time. I've decided to use Sally Hansen's Hard as Wraps, I've seen some good reviews for it and I haven't had any problems with the brand before. I'm still a little sad that Nail Envy didn't work out for me. It was, and still is, so highly recommended by so many people I know. C'est la vie.

Of course my return ended up being slightly less than triumphant. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do, and with Halloween coming up I was sold on the idea of doing a variety of monsters. I'm a bit out of practice but overall I was happy with the results...until I put the top coat on. Smudges. Everywhere. I thought I'd left lots of time for it to dry too, so it was very disappointing. They still look good from a distance though, so I just left them. I've gotten some compliments on them too, so they must be all right!

Here's the colours I used:
Skull: Sally Hansen's "White On" for the base, Quo's Instant Artist in black for the design
Mummy: Sally Hansen's "White On" for the base, Quo's Instant Artist in black and white for the design
Zombie: L'Oreal's "Safari Chic" for the base, LA Color's "Pink Chiffon" for the brains, Tivoli Art Deco polish in red for the blood, Quo's Instant Artist in black and white for the rest
Frankenstein: L'Oreal's "Safari Chic" for the base, Quo's Instant Artist in black and white for the design
Vampire: Sally Hansen's "White On" for the base, Quo's Instant Artist in black for the design

It's good to be back!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

On Hiatus

I am writing today to inform those of you that follow my blog that it will be on hiatus for an indeterminate amount of time, probably around a couple months. It is not a choice that I have made, rather a choice that has been forced upon me by an unfortunate circumstance.

You see, a few months ago I decided to make the switch to using OPI Nail Envy as a strengthener. It had been personally recommended to me a few times and I've heard nothing but good reviews. I was reluctant to purchase it as I found it to be a bit pricey, but when I found it on sale for $10 I couldn't resist taking advantage of the opportunity. I eagerly began to apply it as a base coat under all my manicures, excited to see the benefits that everyone else had raved about. Unfortunately that's not how things went for me.

A few weeks in I began to experience some pain in my nail beds and in the skin around my nails a few minutes after application. It didn't happen every time I applied polish, but became more and more frequent. At first it was bearable and I would just ignore it, but eventually it got to the point that I had to take my polish off and run my fingers under cold water to alleviate the symptoms. I knew this was not normal, but I thought I must be using it wrong. The fact that I might be allergic to it also crossed my mind, so I turned to the internet for advice. I was told I should stop wearing it, that the pain wasn't normal, and that I was likely having a reaction to it. This was all good advice, and it was advice I should have taken. At this point, however, I noticed that the pain only occurred when I painted my nails immediately after removing my old nail polish. If I took a break and washed my hands thoroughly in between then everything was fine. I decided that clearly it was a reaction between the Nail Envy and the nail polish removed, and once I began taking steps to make sure they did not come in contact then life was peachy keen again.

In July, I began a new job. While I love it and am very happy to be working at this company, the work is not very kind to my fingernails. I first started noticing my nails lifting slightly shortly after I started. I mentioned it to one of my coworkers, and they assured me that it had happened to them too. It was normal. As it didn't seem to be progressing much, I stopped worrying about it. Until one day, at the start of August, I took off my nail polish and the lifting had seriously progressed in a very short period of time. They looked diseased. I knew as soon as I saw it that I could no longer deny what was happening. My pinky and ringer fingers are the most affected, which doesn't make sense if it were trauma from work. No, it was clear that I was paying for my stubbornness and denial. I immediately stopped wearing Nail Envy, though I continued to wear polish with no base or top coat so that I didn't freak out the patients I work with.

After a week I wasn't seeing much improvement. I decided to give my nails a breather for the weekend. This was also a weekend where my boyfriend and I were doing a deep clean of the apartment. The cleaning products, combined with scrubbing and frequent hand washing, caused my nails to worsen significantly in a matter of a few hours. Worried that they were going to fall off completely, I finally consulted a professional on how to keep from making it worse. I need to wear gloves at work to prevent trauma and to stop me from washing my hands all the time, as getting your nails wet repeatedly can make them lift more. I was also told to cut my nails as short as I was comfortable with (some of them would end up really short if I cut them all the way down) to help protect them. Finally, and the reason my blog is now on hiatus, I was told I shouldn't be wearing nail polish at all. I'm not comfortable going to work with my nails uncovered as I have reason to believe that some patients may mistake my issue for nail fungus and not want me to work on them, so they recommended a polish free of the bad chemicals that cause the most problems with nails. I have one bottle, one colour, that my nails will be until they grow back out, and that doesn't make for very exciting blog posts.

So there you have it. I believe it will take a few months for my nails to grow back out properly, and as soon as they do I'll be back painting them all kinds of colours again. In the meantime, I'm going to be resting them and taking care of them so I can get back as soon as possible.

Until then!