Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pastel Owl Nail Art - With Gel Polish

Every now and again I'll give myself a gel polish manicure. It's certainly not a regular thing, as it lasts far too long for me; 2-3 weeks with the same design conflicts rather heavily with blogging! However, if I'm moving house, extremely busy or have a lot of nail art designs lined up ready to post, I'll treat myself. This was one of these occasions, and as you can see, I gave it a pastel theme with a cute little owl as a feature nail!

On the index finger I've done a light pink (or perhaps you could call it lavender?) background and carefully painted horizontal stripes across it in white polish. On the middle nail I pressed silver glitter into the polish; I've got a tutorial on how to do that here. On the ring finger I painted a little owl, one of my favourite designs to do. They're just so cute! And on the thumb and pinky I used a tiffany green background colour (I use EzFlow TruGel, by the way) and painted on white hearts.

If you've seen my post about my attempts at nail art with gel polish, you'll know that it wasn't a smooth journey to get to where I wanted to be. Gel polish is a lot runnier and prone to spreading out than normal nail polish, which means doing detailed designs is tricky. I've had lots of practice now, and have been getting lots of lovely compliments on my ability to get it to behave! I've found it's all about having the right amount of polish on the (thin) brush, and flash-curing the product. Some of my more recent gel polish works can be found here and here.

Here's the other hand - didn't turn out quite as well! I remember getting a bit impatient (it was at the end of a client day) and rushing it with the chest feathers... then laughing at how horrendously bad they turned out in comparison. They were still super cute, fun nails to wear though, so I was happy.

I hit 10,000 subscribers on YouTube yesterday! This is such an amazing thing for me; this year has been filled with many ups and downs, and it's so great to see that despite everything, I still reached my goal. A year ago I made reaching 10k one of my blogging resolutions, but I thought it a bit optimistic, considering I started the year with just 1k. Reaching it two weeks early is fantastic! I can only dream of seeing the same exponential increase next year...

Thanks heaps to everyone who's supported me since Nailed It NZ started. I'm in the progress of organising a massive giveaway to say thank you - can't wait to start it. Keep an eye out for it on my YouTube channel, all going to plan it should be up within a week or two.

P.S - I updated my tutorial page - it isn't ten miles long now!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snowman and Snowflake Nails | Christmas Tutorial

Back in October I did these Halloween nails, and loved how the skeleton crossed over two nails. It's such a unique look, plus it means you have twice the space to paint on - perfect! I was thinking of a new Christmas nail art design to film, and realised I haven't done snowmen yet - so here we are.

I really love this cute little guy, and it was nice to finally do some snowflakes on myself again. 
Here's the tutorial, and please subscribe to my channel ☺.

It's definitely time to do something more challenging though, and all going to plan my next detailed nail art will be based on The Hobbit. I'm in two minds about whether to film it or not - I always do better work when there's not a camera in the way. Perhaps step-by-step photos instead?

Apologies for the irregular colouring and photo quality; I took these photos outside on a horrible, cold, windy day (hurray for Kiwi Summers) and didn't realise till I went to edit that they weren't the best.

The nail polishes I used for these nails were:
Essie - Bikini So Teeny
Jordana - Black
Mode - VIP
Nicole by OPI - Party Bus
Nicole by OPI - Please Red-Cycle
OPI - Greenwich Village
Revlon - Alluring Amber
Sinful Colors - Snow Me White

Hope you like these! 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Minions | Nail Art Inspired by Despicable Me

Several months ago I was browsing Instagram and found these cute little breast cancer awareness minions by NailStorming (Gianna's got some amazing designs!). I thought they were such a good idea, and made a note to make a Christmas version when December rolled around. Sure enough, here they are - my first Christmas nail design of 2014.

The tutorial for these went live on Wednesday (a bonus video for this week) and since then I've been desperately wanting to watch Despicable Me. I haven't managed to find it yet in the DVD collection of the place we're house-sitting, but it still could be in there somewhere... fingers crossed!

Please subscribe to my channel ☺.

I used quite a few polishes in this design, they were:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Taylor Swift - Blank Space | Nail Art Tutorial

 Today I've got some crazy nails to show you - very much for a true Swiftie! I've loved Taylor Swift ever since I heard "Love Story" back in high school, and was so excited for 1989 to come out. I've now got an embarrassingly high play count of that album on my itunes (triple digits...), it's just so good! I've previously done Shake It Off nails, when her first single from 1989 came out, and you can see them here. I watched the music video to Blank Space recently and though it was hilarious and very clever, so decided I'd have to recreate it on my nails. Here's a collage of the nails I did - you'll see that one hand is "Loved Up Taylor" and the other hand is "Psycho Taylor."

It was really tricky to decide what to do for this tutorial, and in hindsight I probably wouldn't have filmed it, and instead gone into more detail. I had to re-do about 4 nails because I changed my mind on the design, so it got really frustrating! I was pretty happy with what I came up with in the end, though, and I particularly like the dress and tuxedo on the "Loved Up" hand. Here's the tutorial for it. I'm so close to 10,000 subscribers now!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

How To Remove Nail Polish Stains | YouTube Video

Hey everyone! 

I thought I'd make a quick blog post about my latest video, which is all about how I removed my nail polish stains. In case you've never had a problem with this, nails get stained when you constantly wear nail polish for an extended period of time. I noticed my nails first started getting stained once I had worn nail polish for a month straight, and it just got worse from there. As I do so much nail art, I also had multiple layers and various other glitters, etc, on top of the base colour, making it thicker and adding to the stain. Naturally, I wanted to cover up the embarrassing yellow nails with more polish, (they can be stained other colours too, but it generally fades to yellow) but that just perpetuated the problem. After a year of gross, stained nails, I finally figured out how to make it go away - and it was simple!

Here are a couple of pictures showing my nails before and after.

Pretty dramatic improvement, right?

I should say, if you're looking for a quick fix, don't bother watching. Seriously. There is no quick fix for badly stained nails that won't damage your natural nail - at least not one I've found, and I have researched this a LOT. I've found that a lot of the websites that tell you they've got a miracle cure don't actually have any proof it works, they're just hoping to get a viral post. These copy-paste articles drive me insane! If lemon juice and baking soda works for you, that's great, but they sure didn't for me. I hope this helps some of you who's nails are in a similar state to what mine used to be!

Please subscribe ☺.

I've also got a post on my blog all about this, which you can find here.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Gold Leopard Print | Nail Art Tutorial on YouTube

Leopard print was one of the first nail art designs I tried, and it's been a long term favourite ever since. It's perfect for those days when you want something pretty, but don't have hours and hours free to do it. I decided to make a tutorial for how to do this, as it's really easy and good for beginners - plus it's one of the most rewarding designs at this level! Here's how the nails turned out.

I just used three polishes for this design:
Nicole by OPI - Carrie'd away (That's the gold background)
OPI - You Don't Know Jacques!
Revlon - Black Lingerie

Here's the tutorial, and please subscribe to my channel - coming pretty close to the big 10k now!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lewis Road Creamery | Chocolate Milk Nails

There's a new obsession in New Zealand. 
On the first of October 2014, Lewis Road Creamery released their new product - Fresh Chocolate Milk. It has become a huge deal! In fact, I'd say it's on par with Marmageddon, which happened a couple of years ago. Lewis Road Creamery's Fresh Chocolate Milk is, according to their website, "an indulgent chocolatey treat that combines Lewis Road’s Premium Whole Milk with Whittaker’s 5 Roll Refined Creamy Milk Chocolate, to deliver a delicious, velvety chocolate milk like no other." 
Sounds great.

The problem is, it's near impossible to get a hold of. As Lewis Road is a relatively small Kiwi business they don't have the means to produce as much as New Zealanders are demanding, and when the milk is delivered it sells out within 15 minutes. Supermarkets are applying limits as to how many each person can buy, and I even saw a picture of a dairy re-selling is for $15 - cheeky! Naturally, the media have caught a wind of this and since then it seems the whole of the country is on a Chocolate Milk hunt. 

I've been keeping an eye out for it when getting my groceries for a few weeks, but recently I decided to give it a real try. I often walk with my husband to his work, which is just down the road from a supermarket. His starting time also normally ties in quite nicely with the supposed milk delivery time, so I had high hopes of grabbing one the first time I went in.

On a Tuesday, I entered the supermarket and made a beeline for the chilled section. Once it was in sight, I slowed my pace and walked ever-so-casually past the cabinet, inwardly cringing at the fact I was only there because the media told me to be... I wasn't one of those people, was I? I glanced in, and quickly realised there wasn't a bottle in sight. Without stopping, I attempted to smoothly walk through the rest of the chilled section, and there was a clear moment of "Now What?" I was going to look like a complete idiot if I just strolled on out of there without anything. I ended up buying one red 50 cent K-bar. Totally cool. And such began my milk hunting routine.

I learnt that the deliveries come between 9-10, and so when walking with Chris the next day, I tried again. Same story, no luck. This time my consolation prize was upped, to a Cookie Crumble ice block.

On the third attempt, I thought I had it sussed. My flatmate, who works at that supermarket, confirmed that the milk delivery is at 10am on a Thursday, and that was the time Chris started work. Perfect. I walked into the supermarket, excited that I could finally see what all the fuss is about. I arrived to a line of people, which just grew longer and longer and longer. For chocolate milk! 

I wandered around the supermarket while I was waiting, grabbing some groceries but circling back to the chilled section. At first the staff said at first it should arrive soon, then told us that it was normally here by now. We crossed our fingers and waited a little longer. It was quite a relaxed, amused atmosphere, I should add; everyone felt a bit silly about the fact they were lining up for the stuff. Most people were talking to each other and making fun of themselves.

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