Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Weeks Nineteen - Twenty-Seven

Whew, it's been a while since I did one of these! And more importantly, this will be the last Nail School Diaries update ever, as I finished training as a nail technician last month. In fact, I was first in my class to finish, with three weeks to spare! (One-two-three GEEEEEEK). My salon and YouTube are all a go and there are lots of exciting times ahead. 

I've made a FAQ video to go along with this last blog post; it's all about my nail school experience. The questions I answer in it are:
  • How long was it?
  • Where was it?
  • Could you get a student loan?
  • How big were classes?
  • How many days a week was it?
  • What was the class like? Was there any cattiness?
  • What did you learn?
  • What was the hardest and easiest parts of training?
  • Was it easy to make friends with your classmates?
  • What were the teachers like?
  • What was the best and worst parts about the whole experience?
  • Where are you going from here?

Also, there was a spider. A dead one, and I hate dead stuff, and I completely forgot about this incident until I went to edit and realised I had caught my reaction on film... it made for some fun editing.

You can watch the video here and below, and please subscribe to my channel ♥.

^ Check out my photoshopping skills. Betcha didn't even know that rain was fake. #WINNING.

So, what did we do at nail school in the last eight weeks? A lot of it was much of the same - more sculpting, more tips, more pedicures, more assignments. That's why there was such a big gap in between these updates, plus I was very busy trying to get it all done.

I did a lot more sculpting, and finally started getting somewhere. Now to perfect my technique and get my time down!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel | Review and Swatches

Recently I was sent some polishes from Sally Hansen's new Miracle Gel range to try out! I'm pretty excited at the appearance of these on the market - from what I've experienced so far they help bridge the gap between gel polish and normal nail lacquer.

Miracle Gel has a two-part system - the colour and the top coat (no base coat needed). These products are new to New Zealand; they came out in Farmers this month, and will be available in pharmacies from November onwards. There are twelve different colours available; you can purchase the polishes separately for $16.99, or grab a duo pack (includes the top coat) for $19.99. I'd recommend buying a duo pack and adding in single colour purchases as you need them.

What's different about them? 

Short answer, they last longer.

Long answer (taken from the information sheet supplied to me by Sally Hansen); 
"The Miracle Gel manicure contains patented Tube Technology. This allows a higher level of actives and continuous care ingredients to release into the gel lacquer film, prolonging the integrity of the film resulting in beautifully durable, shiny nails. The advanced colour coat and top coat formulas contain an oligomer, and the top coat also contains a photo-initiator... As the manicure cures over time, it becomes more durable due to the increased hardness of the film. So LED/UV lamp curing is not necessary, only natural light."

They're easily removed with normal polish remover, no soaking or filing required. 

Now for the swatches and review!

Street Flair is a beautiful lavender purple. I found this to be a really opaque polish, completely hiding my quite prominent whites after just two coats. The consistency was just like normal polish, and it applied in the same way. The top coat really gave it a beautiful shine, and was quite gel-like (no surprises there, I guess!).

Shock Wave is a bright Barbie pink, and slightly less opaque than the other one - this took three coats. However, I liked the colour more so I chose to wear this one when testing out the polish's longevity.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is meant to last up to 14 days. It's important to note those words "up to." As a nail tech, I know it really depends on the wearer, and what they're doing during that time. For general info, when wearing any kind of polish or enhancements, it's best to limit/reduce your hand's exposure to chemicals and water. If you do your dishes by hand, your nails won't last as long. Spa pools are a big thing to be aware of too, as your poor hands are being soaked in both water AND chemicals! There are many other ways to look after your nails and grow them long (I really should make a video about this), including not using them as a tool to pry things open. Use a spoon to open can tabs, never your nails! Be more careful when doing your laundry and general household tasks. Growing your nails long isn't all about great genes and expensive products - it's about making it a priority.

After saying all that, I didn't really make looking after these nails a priority. I scrubbed the bathroom ceiling with mould killer, did heaps of dishes, pulled a few weeds (another no-no) and was generally a bit rough on them. Normally nail polish lasts about two days on me, so if this stuff could last longer than that I'd be impressed.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Hand-Placed Glitter - Stained Glass Window Nail Art

I've never experimented much with hand-placed glitter - it was thrown  into the "too hard" box early-on in my nail career, along with stamping and (deep breaths) striping tape. However, recently I decided to give it another try, thanks to the arrival of this rainbow coloured diamond glitter from Born Pretty Store. Safe to say, I'm so glad I did!

I'm still completely captivated by these nails. Stained glass windows, LGBT pride, glitter galore, snakeskin... call them what you want, I love 'em! I actually just did one nail first, off camera, too see how much it would try my patience. Surprisingly, it was a 100% positive experience, so I decided to do the rest of my hand, and make a tutorial for it this time!

Here it is - and please subscribe to my channel ♥.

Before I show you more photos of the nails, I thought I'd give you a few shots of the glitter. I only used the rainbow pot (how could you NOT, it's AMAZING), but I was also sent the silver and gold. They're all very holographic (photo's can't capture it properly!) and absolutely gorgeous. Mind-blowing. I can see myself doing hand-placed glitter nail art a LOT more now, after this experience!

Just look at all those colours!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Katy Perry Nail Art Tutorial | Inspired by "This Is How We Do"

I'm so excited to show you this nail art! I had so much fun doing it, but only released a sneak peek of two of the nails at the time of doing them. Now I can finally show you the whole thing! This nail art design was inspired by the music video for Katy Perry's song "This Is How We Do." It's such a fun clip, full of bright colours and crazy characters... including these little guys!

Here's the tutorial for them. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you're not already ☺.

Unsurpisingly, I used many a nail polish in this rather busy, colourful design...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge | Feat. my Mum and Sister!

I was recently nominated by both Kelsie from Kelsie's Nail Files and Bridgette from Eyedolize Makeup to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. I was SO not keen! I considered flat out refusing to do it (when I was nominated it was winter... and I'm a wimp), but decided in the end that I would do it my own way - donating to a cause that was important to me and deciding to pay the same amount ($50) whether I went through with the challenge or not. I posted on Facebook about it, not thinking it'd get enough support for me to do it, but it ended up getting well over the 150 likes that I'd made as a requirement to do it. FanTAStic.

Turns out it wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be - yes it was cold, but it's just temporary and we had mum and dad's spa pool right there - perfect! It was a heap of fun, a great chance to spend some time with my family and I'm really glad I did it now ☺. My donation to Endometriosis NZ was paid last week. If you want to read more about my sort-of experience with Endometriosis you can do so here.

Hope you like the video! As you'll see, my mum and sister did it too - and my mum is quite hilarious!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Floral Watercolour Nail Art | Guest Post on Popping Nails

I'm guest posting on Popping Nails today! Check out this floral watercolour nail art on her blog, here. You can also find it on Tumblr, here ☺.

Hope you like it! Thanks for having me as a guest blogger today, Charlie!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off | Nail Art Inspired by the Music Video!

Who else is completely obsessed with Taylor Swift's new song, Shake It Off? I have listened to it so many times, it's so addictive and upbeat! I can never be sad when it's playing, so a big thanks to Taylor for keeping me in a good mood these last couple of weeks ☺.

I figured such a good song needed some nail art to match! There are so many different scenes to gain inspiration from in the music video, so I had to narrow it down otherwise it'd look a little too crazy. I ended up choosing the cheerleading outfit, the ballerinas, the '80's breakdancer look and the name of the song as my nail art inspiration. Here's what I came up with!

Here's the tutorial for it - please subscribe to my channel if you're not already!

The nail polishes I used were:
Jordana Pop Art - Black Mark
Jordana Pop Art - Contemporary White
Jordana Pop Art - Express In Yellow
LA Colors Art Deco - Red
Nicole by OPI - Please Red-Cycle
Revlon - Indigo Night
Sinful Colors - Snow Me White

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