January 30, 2012

Technique: Match the Dress

 Bday nails!

Last weekend was my birthday weekend, so naturally I had to do something flashy that matched my dress. So here is the dress I wore with a close up on the sparkly aqua detail that I based my nails off of. I tried multiple styles before I decided on this look. Of course it had to be perfect. :)

I started with two coats of this aqua color. It’s “Gorgeous” by Sinful Colors. This is almost the same color as the stripes on my dress, but it needed some sparkle too! So then I did a coat of this sparkle color, “Snowman of my Dreams” by Nicole by OPI. It was perfect because it has a little blue tint to it, which made the color match even more perfect to my dress detail. I wanted the aqua color underneath to show threw still though, so I did the sparkle coat really thin.

And Viola! A perfect match… I got the color pretty close huh? The funny thing is, I went out to dinner with my family and our waitress had almost the same color nail polish. She said she used this OPI color from the Muppets collection (Gone Gonzo). So here’s an easier version of this look!  This polish looks a little more playful, but still pretty glam ;)

Gone Gonzo by OPI

xoxo polish girl (I’ve obviously been watching way too much Gossip Girl lately)

January 26, 2012

Critique: Gel Perfect

Nutra Nail Gel Perfect (I bought it in Orchid). I first saw this product in Cosmo believe it or not. The other day I actually stumbled upon it in the grocery store. Some kind stranger left a coupon sitting by the display so I figured I’d try it! The Gel perfect package was only $10 before the coupon and in my opinion well worth it!

So here’s what it comes with... 3 bottles: An activator, the Gel color, and the cleaner. And most importantly it comes with helpful instructions on how to do the application right. It actually is quite simple. It probably only took me about 15 minutes to complete. The best part is... it’s not just for one use! You can use it until the gel color runs out! Which looks like probably about 15-20 uses. You just have to make sure the Activator doesn’t dry out.

Pro: the packaging does not lie... it literally dries in 5 minutes, maybe even less. This is perfect for doing nails right before bed or as a last minute thought in your getting ready routine.

Con: I thought it was going to be tougher... thought it was kind of a Shellac alternative. However, it pretty much chips just the same as regular nail polish. I think if I had more time I would have applied a clear topcoat (which kind of defeats the purpose of a fast drying nail application, but you can always do the gel perfect now and top coat later!)

Overall, Nutra Nail Gel Perfect comes in some pretty great “staple” colors. I would suggest buying one of these packs and keeping it on hand just in case you need that final touch in a flash! My next pick would definitely be the bright red color because red nails will just never go out of style ;)

January 25, 2012

Tip: The French Tip

For my first “Tip” post I thought it would be fitting to write about everyone’s favorite nail tip- the French of course!

My secret is the Sally Hansen French Manicure pen. SIDENOTE: I feel like I have been writing a lot about SH, but they really do have so many great nail accessories ;). This pen can be great if you know how to use it!

The first tip for these perfect tips: make sure the pen is very saturated. This is important because you don’t want to have to do a second coat- that can get super messy and ruin your first coat (cue enormous frustration). To make sure the pen is saturated, press the pen down firmly on a paper towel for about 2-3 seconds. If it looks too saturated (polish is dripping off the tip) then just lightly dab (don’t wipe) the pen tip on a paper towel.

Second French tip tip: start at the corners of the nail and work towards the middle. When I do this I don’t worry about getting some polish on my skin. It comes off pretty easily and it is only on the top. My main concern is always getting a straight line that looks the closest to what my real nail underneath looks like. I usually don’t like filling in more white polish than the white of the nail. However, if I have one stubborn nail that is a little shorter, I tend to go a little lower with the polish so it looks even with the others.

Third tip: Use a nail care stick to fix your mistakes. First, the pointed end can be used for straightening your French lines like in the pic to the left. I usually do this step immediately after each nail. If you wait to long, the polish dries and then smudges or drags the polish when you try to fix your mistake. Secondly, the beveled/angled end of the stick is perfect for getting smudges on your skin, like the pic below. I usually do this after I complete one hand. If the polish is dry you can always use a Q-tip dipped in polish remover.

Finally I usually finish my French tip with a light pink. Only with one coat though because I don’t what the color to interfere with the bright white French tip. Here I used Step Right Up! by OPI. This pink actually looks less pink and more like natural nail.

Yay for less frustrating French Tips!!!

January 17, 2012

Technique: My take on DOTS

dot, dot, dot...

I just did these bold and bright nails yesterday. I was trying to think of something original that would catch your eye. Surprisingly this look came out just how I was picturing it in my head, well close at least... I was picturing a close up of an old style comic. My boyfriend says it reminds him more of a rubber duck and bubbles… either way I think its fun!

Colors used: Pull Over by Sinful Colors, and Nail Art Pen in Bright Blue by Sally Hansen.

I am officially in love with this nail art pen. It was soooo easy to use, even on my right hand! It wasn’t gloppy and it has a very pointy tip ideal for any type of design you can think of! Just try to think outside the box (and not use the tacky designs on this box haha)

Now, everyone can make a dot..  I'm sure you all have seen dotted manicures or even experimented a little yourself. However, starting with larger circles and reducing to small dots like this makes a gradient effect that looks 10 times more stylish, and just as simple with the nail art pen. 

I didn’t look up comic pictures until after I was done with the nails.. I guess it doesn’t really look the same *tear* but it's around the same idea haha. I definitely want these nail pens in every color so I think I might try something more like this pixilated pic soon ;)

<3 Lala

January 14, 2012

Technique: Accent Heart

The Accent Heart

For this technique I used 2-3 coats of a dark color (here “Dive Bar” by Essie) with a small accented heart in a lighter version of the base color (here “Gorgeous” by Sinful Colors). 

An easy way to find a good accent color is to concentrate on the shine or sparkle of the base color. In this pic you can see that Dive Bar gives off a turquoise/aqua glow, almost the same exact color as the Gorgeous color I picked for this accent heart.

If you are using a solid or matte color for your base coat this trick wont apply but I will make a post on solid/bright colors later ;)

To actually make the heart I used the pointed end of a cosmetic Q-tip. These Q-tips are awesome for accents or fixing mess-ups. Very handy! I made sure the Q-tip had a good blob of nail polish on the tip and started at the “humps” of the heart. From there you can drag the blobs down to a point to form a heart and just adjust with a new clean Q-tip or even toothpick if you need to fix some edges. 

Voila! Don't get frusturated if you can't make it perfect the first time. I sure didn't ;) just keep at it and only do one nail if you want. It's more classy anyway.

January 12, 2012

Critique: Polish Strips

My Thoughts on Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Personally, I have mixed feelings on these guys. In my opinion, it is a waste of money to pay 8 dollars for 1 manicure that lasts about a week. When the average bottle of nail polish is about $8, contains about 40 2-coat manicures, and lasts at least 5 days with a good top coat, doesn't this seem like the better choice?
With that said, I did try them (in "Laced-up", pic below), but only because a kind stranger claimed they lasted for over a week without chipping. First of all, she was either lying or very dainty because mine yielded chips the very next day. Some even started to peal off entirely. However, they really weren't that hard to apply and they did look quite fabulous for the first day ;).


Advice for use: I think if you really want have fun with these (and get your money's worth), buy one of the fancy designs and apply these the day of some event that you know you are going to ahead of time. i.e. New Years, a birthday party, a dance etc... That way you can coordinate with your outfit and hopefully you will have a chip free manicure all night =). I would also suggest finishing with a no chip top coat.

link to Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Technique: Snowy Sparkle Tips

Snowy Sparkle Tips

In honor of the first snow fall of winter, I am making my first post my snow flake inspired sparkle nails. I used Sally Hansen Gem Crush. This is a new line by Sally Hansen that I absolutely loveeee because it has two different colors and sizes of glitter in it. It's great for pairing with alike colors or mixing with other glitter polishes. The color I used here is 01 Showgirl Chic, on top of a french tip white. 

Technique: I started with two coats of the white polish and made sure to let that dry well, so it doesn't blend with the glitter nail polish. Then I put a good amount of the Gem Crush polish on the tip of the nail. With the tip of the polish brush I dragged some of the Gem Crush down from the tip to make it look like the glitter was fading into the white part of the nail. Lastly I finsihed with a good clear top coat. I noticed that sparkle polish chips a lot easier than regular polish so definitely dont forget the top coat!