February 26, 2012

Technique: Diagonal 2-tone

I got the idea for diagonal 2-toned tips look from one of my good friends Kaci’s stylish nails. A picture of the nails she did is to the left. She did a diagonal two tone with nude and black on the ring finger. I thought this look would look awesome on all my nails so I tried it out...

Since I am obsessed with glitter polishes lately I used a glitter instead of a solid as my tip color. The colors I used... Base: “Violet Vixen” by L’Oréal Paris. Tip: Gem Crush in “Big Money” by Sally Hansen.

Other great color combos would be:
- light color base, darker variation of same color as the tip.
Example: base= pale blue, tip=navy
Or...........base= pale pink, tip=bright red
- neutral color base, black or dark brown or dark grey tip
            Example: base=nude, tip= black (like Kaci’s nails!)
- bright and light base, brighter and darker tip.
Example: base=neon yellow, tip= hot pink.
Or.......... base=neon orange, tip=lime green.

 I started with the base color I new I wanted (Violet Vixen) and painted all 10 nails that color. Then I tried the diagonal tip on just one nail to make sure I liked the color and made sure it turned out opaque enough to cover the base color. That’s why all my above combo’s have the lighter color for the base... you want to make sure your tip color completely masks the base color. The glitter polish I used was very thick and I wanted it to completely mask the violet... which it did!

So then I moved on to tape all my nails with clear scotch tape (above). It was useful to use this kind of tape because you can see if the tape is rising up anywhere on the nail.. you dont want your tip polish to bleed under the tape! For the most part I tried to leave a little more space for the violet.. I thought it would look nice if the diagonal was closer to the top so it looks more like a tip accent then half and half. I thought half and half might be a little overwhelming on all my nails with that much glitter :) 

Dont forget to angle your right hand the opposite direction of your left hand! It looks more symmetrical that way. Above is my right hand after I painted on the Gem Crush polish.

 Now comes the tricky part: peeling off the tape. I would recommend doing this right after you paint the tips on one hand... This way you can fix up your messes right away because the polish is still moldable. In the second picture on the left I am using a nail art stick, but I found that even a light press of my finger worked just as well. As you can see in the top picture the tip polish fans up a little bit right where the tape was.. If you just tap it down with your finger it flattens out and looks great!

So here is the order of how I did this, it worked out pretty easy with no mess ups this way:
    1.     Paint all 10 nails the base color. Let dry COMPLETELY. Optional: one coat of quick dry topcoat.
    2.     Tape one finger and test out tip color.
    3.     If you like it, tape the rest of the fingers on that hand and paint on the tip color.
    4.     Remove tape and press down mess ups, one finger at a time.
    5.     Paint on a thick, clear top coat and let dry.
    6.     Repeat steps 3-5 on other hand.

 Violà !  Here’s a final look at the tilted 2-tone tip technique (say that 5 times fast haha).

February 20, 2012

Tip: Pearlescent nails

I gotta say, this is the coolest top coat I have ever come across. This sparkly clear polish makes any pastel polish look like a pearl! The polish is called Diamond Strength No Chip Color in “Diamonds” by Sally Hansen. And the best part is, you don’t need a topcoat when you use it because it’s basically clear and it’s a No Chip polish.

Here I tried it out on 5 different pastel colors. I just picked some of the pastels I had in my collection. Here we’ve got an ivory, a light grey, pale pink, mint green, and lavender. Colors 1, 3, and 5 needed a coat of French white underneath to get the color I was goin’ for (otherwise they were too shear).

I really wish that I could have photographed this in the daylight because this photo really doesn’t do it justice! I mean you can’t even see how awesome the ivory looks... so much like a pearl! This topcoat really does make a polish look pearlescent, not just sparkly. But this is the best I could photograph at night J didn’t want to go all day at work with multicolored nails haha.

I decided to go for the light grey color for all my nails. The color is “Cocktail Ring” by Essie. I really loved all the colors, but I thought this one looked really unique with the Diamonds topcoat. Not quite like a silver/chrome, but still with a metallic sparkle. I couldn’t help looking at my pearly nails all day!

February 17, 2012

Tip: White makes it BRIGHT

This is the most simple and cheap tip ever. In this post, I used 3 colors from a cheapo nail polish set I got from Claire’s. The point of the tip is to make any shear polish really pop. The above photo was taken on a verrrry cloudy day and look how bright pink the polish looks!

To make bright shear polishes even brighter, all you have to do is start with one even coat of bright white nail polish. On top of that you will only need one even and light coat of your color nail polish. To the left are 2 photos of examples I did. In each photo, the left finger has 2 coats of the nail polish alone, and the right finger has 1 coat of white and 1 coat of the color.

The difference is clear (and not shear haha). The left finger in each photo you can even see the whites of my nail, which means if you get dirt under your nails you’ll still be able to see it... gross. Below is just another picture of the difference in color. 

Another pro of this tip, it doesn’t just look neon in the daytime... Because you are putting a white underneath a shear, your nails will also glow under a black light. Looks awesome at a night club ;) 

February 7, 2012

Technique: Vday x 3!

What kind of Valentine are you???

Valentine’s Day is only 1 week away… so it’s time to pick a flirty polish for the holiday of love! First you must decide what kind of Valentine you are: Sweet, Sexy or, Sassy! This post has 3 looks to satisfy all! Of course, if you hate Valentine’s Day you could always stop reading here and go paint your nails black haha.

Base colors... I wanted to show you these three colors first because if you don’t feel like designing or don’t have the time, these are great Valentine’s colors all by themselves. From the left we have: Burgundy by FLARE (from Urban Outfitters I think.. but burgundy is a popular color for most brands), mod square by Essie, and it’s in the bag by Essie.

For this sweetie pie look I used two coats of this bubble gum pink nail polish called mod square by Essie. For the hearts I used my Sally Hansen French Tip Pen. I have the pen with the pointed tip, not a flat tip, so it was easy to make these teeny hearts. I would suggest only doing one finger on each hand (thumb or ring finger would be cute) because it takes a while to do all these little hearts.

This look was super easy. I was going for a black fishnet look over a pale pink, but you could also use a nude/beige/tan color for the base. I did 2 coats of this base because it was very sheer and made sure it dried COMPLETELY. If you don’t let the base dry all the way, this next step will fail miserably, trust me.. haha. To make the black cross hatch it was pretty easy. I used a black SH nail art pen. The key to make the stripes look more like fishnet is to make the crosshatch elongated, not square. Basically, more like diamonds and less like tic-tac-toe squares.

If anyone knows me they would say I am definitely a sassy valentine… so of course this was my choice. It was also the most time consuming so I did a more detailed description of what I did. First I let the burgundy base color set completely. I actually ended up doing the base color one day and the detail/tip the next day. This is because I used French tip tapes (which I usually hate) and they can tend to remove the base polish if you use them when your base isn’t dry... it’s a big mess.

So here is what my nails look like with the tapes on them. The key to applying these buggers straight is to start in the center of the nail. Tap the tape to the center of the nail, and then if it lands a little crooked you can tip the edge up or down to straighten. Then flatten the tape ALL the way to the skin. I even use my other hand’s nail to crease the tape into the area between my nail and skin... if that makes sense? 

Anyway after getting the nail tapes applied, I filed my nails to be the same roundness/arc as the tapes. It’s not necessary, but I think it looks a lot nicer.

Then I used this awesome magenta tinted SH Gem Crush polish called Lady Luck. It went really well with the burgundy but would also go well with a bright magenta. Anytime your using tapes the key is to dab fairly heavy strokes of the polish so you don’t have to apply a second coat. 

After this dries, remove the tapes and apply a heavy clear coat. I used my Essie top coat because it seamed a little thicker than others. The Gem Crush polish is pretty think so you want a thick top coat to level out the rest of the nail.

Below is the lovely finished product.. sassy no?

Have a SWEET, SEXY, and SASSY Valentine’s Day!!!

<3 <3 <3