Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Week 5

I am super tired after a long (but good) day, so I'll try keep this brief. This week was mostly about applying acrylics and practising full manicures. I think for the next few weeks these updates will be less regular; at the moment it's more about perfectly our technique than learning theory. It's time to buckle down and get good at this!

I did more walking to nail school this week. I'm trying to make it a regular thing, but sometimes getting a ride is so much easier. I also wore out my normal nail file when shaping my acrylics that I got last week - I couldn't believe it, it took it right down to the plastic! It was kind of annoying, as the file was only a few weeks old, but oh well. It shows that the files we use in course are good quality!

Above are a few more snapshots from nails I've done/had done this week. Can't wait until we re-stock the nail art supplies, the old ones are looking a bit miserable! Those towels are in the picture for a reason - to remind me to use tongs when getting hot towels out! I grabbed one with my hand and it burned. I did the whole "oh, ow, oh, ow" thing, then threw it at the table, and consequently at my poor friend's hand... I think I'll be hearing about how I'm a danger to my clients for a long time yet. Oops! It was pretty funny though.

 We've now all done a full set of acrylics, but on separate days. The first time we pretty much went straight into it, but the second time we had learnt a bit about the form and shape of the nails. Naturally take two was better! It's going to take a bit more practice to get the nails right, but I'm sure we'll get there in the end.

Nails I did on someone else this week ☺

I asked my teachers if I could name both them and the school I'm learning at on my blog, and they said I could. So, I'm doing the National Certificate in Beauty Services (Nail Technology) Level 3, at Ucol. It's a nationally recognised qualification and while the nail industry in NZ isn't regulated yet, it will be one day and this course is great at making sure you're up to high standards. My teachers are both called Andrea, which is a bit confusing! One is Andrea Billing (she's the one I've nick-named 'Smiley' on here) and the other is Andrea Jackson. They're both very knowledgeable, friendly and approachable ☺.

That's about it! I don't have any little facts I can think to add right now, I'll store them up and maybe do a post about it after the course. It's practise practise practise from here on out! I'll update when I feel I have enough information to, but I will probably do mini-updates on Facebook and Instagram, so make sure you're following me on there ☺.

On a bit of a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my followers yesterday! Kaitlyn's been following me online for ages and when she told me she was in town I was super keen to meet her. I always remember the people who regularly comment on things, and she's one of them. She's such a lovely girl and I had a great couple of hours hanging out in town with her. If she's a good representation of the kind of people who follow my blog I am honoured to have such a cool group of fans!

Today I went to a polish party - more to come later in my very first vlog! Keep an eye out for it on my YouTube channel here ;).

And that's me for now. I've had such a full-on last few days and am looking forward to getting some sleep!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Doctor Who Nail Art | Tardis In Space Tutorial

These nails are some of my current favourites, mostly because of the theme. I was actually quite disappointed at how they turned out, the Tardis looks a bit funny but it got a good online reaction, so I'm not too worried! I filmed a tutorial for them too, which is now up on YouTube. Here are the nails...

And here's the tutorial!

It's basically a tutorial for galaxy nail art as well, as that's the bulk of this design. Galaxy nails are relatively simple, but always look awesome (I don't think I've ever seen bad galaxy nails, ever) so I'm pretty happy with this design. The Tardis was the only part that was hard, but that was only one nail ☺. 

I've been making all sorts of plans for my next Doctor Who nail art! Can't wait! And next time I'll be sure to get better photos. I took a bunch, assumed they'd be okay and by the time I realised they weren't I had already removed the polish. Cue heaps of blurry pictures. The ones I have here are the only half decent ones.

Hope you like my Tardis nails! If you're not already, remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

YouTube Blooper Reel!

This is secretly one of my favourite videos I've made, but that may just be because I remember the exact pain and frustration from the clip - all I can do is laugh. Let me know what you think of these bloopers - my first ones ever!

Also, as a bonus, my hair magically changes colour many times in this video ;).

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Week Four

A shorter update this week! As I've said before, my course is three days a week. However, this week I had the first day off sick (chest pains, long story, I'm not going to die) which meant I missed out on a third of the teaching this week. I was SO upset and annoyed! Honestly, I kept trying to leap out of bed and go, but I was just in a bit too much pain. I was miserable. I didn't want to miss a day and it's only been four weeks and I've already missed one! So that's one reason why this post is shorter (although at this rate I'll blah blah blah it into a longer one). The second day I was in a terrible mood, partly because of the pains and partly because (we're all/mostly girls here right?) of PMS. I was far too angsty to be normal me and take photos and absorb every little detail. HOWEVER by day three I was pretty much me again, thank goodness because that was not an enjoyable two days. So yeah. I thought I should explain why this won't be as long and info-filled as the previous three weeks ☺.

On the day I missed they apparently started a new assignment and practised liquid and powder on fake nails. I was pretty gutted I missed that! On day two, which I was there for, we continued on with the assignment (just theory stuff) and at first I didn't understand it - cue bad mood. However I realised I was over-complicating it and it's now all done and handed in. For the rest of the day we practised doing a full manicure! This was awesome, I love doing the practical stuff and from next week onwards it'll almost all be practical. We had a big list of the things we needed to remember, and I teamed up with a friend to do it. I think we did well, although we had to keep looking at the sheet to remember the order of things. My nail care routine at home is just filing, cutting off hang nails and copious amounts of cuticle oil, so this is going to take some getting used to.

On day three we had Smiley (see the last update if you don't know who this is) and we started doing actual acrylics! SO happy about this, but god, I am SO awful at it! Haha, I wasn't the only one at least. My main problem was that I didn't put enough glue on the tip I was sticking on to my friend's nail, so when I started filing one side popped up. She did well sticking mine on though! I'm the thumb in this picture, my friend Shayla is the pinky.

Friday, 21 March 2014

That time when Doctor Who reblogged my nails...

I recently filmed a tutorial for some Doctor Who nail art (tutorial will be up soon on YouTube) and posted the photo to my social media sites. I was happy enough with the design, but I do think the Tardis ended up a bit wonky; I'm gonna play that off as it being because of the whole "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" thing. Anyway, I uploaded it to Instagram, which then shared it with Tumblr and the next day I suddenly saw it had 1000 notes. WHAT? I quickly realised that the official Doctor Who account on Tumblr had reblogged my nail art, and it now has over 3,500 notes! Actually, by the time you read this, probably more, as I'm scheduling this several days in advance. You can check here, if you're interested.

I mean, on the grand scale of things I do realise it's not a big deal, but it certainly made my day. I didn't get heaps of new followers (maybe 100 or so) but it was the recognition that was kind of cool ☺. Someone, somewhere who works for the BBC thought my nail art was worth reblogging. And I'm such a fangirl of The Doctor that this fact is pretty cool.

Anywho, so more proper photos and a tutorial for these nails will be along soon, but I thought I'd just share this with you. I'm sure fellow Whovians will understand my excitement!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

TMI Tag | 50 Facts About Me

After all the great feedback Chris and I had about our Happy Meal and Bean Boozled challenges, I now feel more comfortable making videos that aren't just nail tutorials! So thanks, guys! Here's a random tag I recently uploaded to YouTube.

I do still have countless nail tutorials that I will be filming and uploading, of course. I just find these fun to film, and it's good practice for feeling more comfortable on camera ☺.

The Questions:
1: What are you wearing? 
2: Ever been in love? 
3: Ever had a terrible breakup? 
4: How tall are you? 
5: How much do you weigh? 
6: Any tattoos? 
7: Any piercings? 
8: OTP? 
9: Favourite show? 
10: Favourite bands? 
11: Something you miss? .
12: Favourite song?
13: How old are you? 
14: Zodiac sign? 
15: Quality you look for in a partner? 
16: Favourite Quote? 
17: Favourite actor? 
18: Favourite color? 
19: Loud music or soft? 
20: Where do you go when you're sad? 
21: How long does it take you to shower? 
22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? 
23: Ever been in a physical fight? 
24: Turn on?
25: Turn off? 
26: The reason I joined Youtube? 
27: Fears? 
28: Last thing that made you cry? 
29: Last time you said you loved someone? 
30: Meaning behind your Youtube Name? 
31: Last book you read? 
32: The book you're currently reading?
33: Last show you watched? 
34: Last person you talked to? 
35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted? 
36: Favourite food? 
37: Place you want to visit?
38: Last place you were? 
39: Do you have a crush?
40: Last time you kissed someone? 
41: Last time you were insulted? 
42: Favourite flavour of sweet? 
43: What instruments do you play?? 
44: Favourite piece of jewellery?
45: Last sport you played? 
46: Last song you sang? 
47: Favourite chat up line?
48: Have you ever used it?
49: Last time you hung out with anyone? 
50: Who should answer these questions next?

Hope you find some of these little facts interesting!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Sweet Roses & Studded Cross | Nail Art Tutorial

I absolutely love these nails, they're the perfect combination of wearable and artistic! I do a lot of nail art for the sake of testing myself; trying new styles and techniques - it's the only way to get better. However this doesn't mean I love every design and would wear them on my nails every day - take my McDonald's nails, for example. But these are just perfect, for me, at least!

While filming this tutorial I was a little worried they weren't going to work out - I used the same technique as I did in these nails but it just didn't look as good. Thankfully once I added the white swirls on top they improved drastically. I think the white in the flowers really complemented the white polish on the ring finger and thumb.

Anyway, enough chit-chat, here's the tutorial!

Also, I've had almost 100,000 views on my YouTube videos now - whaaat? So cool, thank you so much if you watch them!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Week Three

Oh my goodness, where do I start? Such a lot happened this week, we learnt so much and I absolutely loved it! Definitely the best week so far, and I can tell it's just going to get better. In case you missed the first two nail school updates, you can read about week one here, and week two here. I'm just going to go in chronological order. I think I will almost definitely have a nail school update every week - I just about need one every day! Also, while I'm on that topic, yesterday I filmed a video about why I chose to go to nail school, expanding on some of the things I talked about in week one. It's one of three videos I have to edit at the moment, but it'll be up on YouTube eventually ☺.

Right, so if you read last week's update, you'll know that we practised filing on eggs, and I was absolutely terrible at it. While I'm still not great, I have been practising at home and now my egg carton is starting to look a bit odd... practice makes perfect!

The idea is not to go over the lines - so we don't file our client's skin. I also tried not to file too hard (as that would damage the nail plate), but the vivid had soaked in pretty far so I couldn't really avoid it! 

Another thing to add in (before I get on to actually being at nail school) is that I've been walking there this week! This is partly for financial reasons and partly for some exercise - I've been slack at going to the gym lately and this was to make up for it, a bit. I'm not sure what I'm going to do in wet weather, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. The downside to walking is that by the time I get to course I a) am generally a bit hot and sticky and b) have to carry around my trainers all day. I could always just walk in my normal shoes but I get foot pain pretty easy, so it's not worth it. I have been really enjoying the walks though, I listen to my favourite music and mentally prepare for the day ☺.

Walking to nail school adds an hour's worth of exercise to my day - not bad!

Okay, so here goes! On Tuesday and Wednesday the students from last year graduated, and while my new friends and I were having lunch we saw them all walk past. Quite exciting! This week I also watched (completely fascinated, I might add) while my teacher removed the acrylic nails off another student. The nails were particularly thick so they took ages to come off, but I couldn't tear my eyes away! That's something I've learnt this week; that it's not just the nail art I enjoy. I was a bit worried that once I started I'd hate all the other stuff - filing, soaking, cleaning, tidying the nail. But nope! I absolutely love it. It's so me. 

I didn't take photos, but this week we also split into teams of two and did the prep work for acrylics. I got so excited to actually touch nails, and found it very rewarding.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

New YouTube Channel Intro

I just wanted to quickly share with you my new channel intro! It's just a super quick video to introduce newcomers to my channel and tell them a bit about it. Let me know what you think ☺.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

McDonald's Nail Art Tutorial

I spent a year after high school working at a McDonald's restaurant; in fact it's five years this month since my first shift. Fast food is often seen as one of the "lowest of the low" jobs, but I absolutely loved it. Everyone should work in customer service/retail at some point in their life; you find out what it's like to deal with the world's worst customers, and learn that you never want to be like them. Honestly, some of the customers that went through there were absolutely awful people, and they sure didn't bother "faking it" for lowly Macca's staff. However, there were some amazing customers too, and I have many funny memories about eccentric old men, chatty seven year old's and happy families. The fast-paced environment and awesome people I worked with really "made it" for me, and it was one of the best years of my life. It doesn't hurt that I met my now-husband there, either ☺. 

I did these McDonald's nails awhile ago, and decided to re-do them and make a tutorial!

And here it is. Hit that subscribe button, you know you want to ;).

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Week Two

Hi everyone! I'm not sure if I will make The Nail School Diaries a strict weekly thing - there will most likely be weeks where there isn't a lot to share. I may be completely wrong about this though - time will tell! I'll just see what happens, either way I'll take lots of photos and notes so I've got lots to share ☺.

The nail art I wore to nail school this week. Tutorial will be on YouTube soon!

Two weeks into nail school, we are yet to touch an actual nail. We need to complete the first boring-but-necessary unit standard that covers all the hygiene, health, nail implements and the like, before we get into the "cool stuff." We have a few assignments that we're doing/done, I'm planning on working on mine after I finish writing this, actually. We've also learnt some more interesting facts, which I'll add at the end of this post.

However, this week wasn't all theory - we got to play around with nail files on Thursday! Which, as it turns out, I am absolutely useless with. When I do people's nails from home I normally just apply the polish, unless their nails are really bad - then I might file them and do some cuticle care. I have literally never buffed someone else's nails, only my own. So when we were handed an egg (yes, an egg, it's actually a genius idea) and told to file on the horseshoe/nail shaped mark only, I failed. Miserably. There was only one other girl in the class who did as badly as me. I just couldn't control where the file was going, unless I used tiny movements which you're not supposed to! We did it twice, and at least there was an improvement the second time around. I forgot to take a photo of the first attempt, which is kind of a blessing in disguise, I think...

The hand in the middle isn't my own, it's another student who's really good at it! She was helping me out and I think the
plan is that I'll help her figure out her computer and she'll help me with filing ☺.

If you're wondering, we're practising filing on eggs so we don't ruin each other's nails while we're still learning. And at the moment we're not filing the end of the nail, but the "nail plate"/egg. Hopefully I'm not quite as terrible at doing the edge of the nail! I'm actually quite disappointed in myself, and a tad embarrassed. Most, if not all of my class have "found" my blog now (and some will probably read this) and it's a bit pathetic that I can paint Frozen on my nails but not file them properly (as you can tell, I am still nursing my bruised ego).

Here's the first task we had to do, before the horseshoe bit. Simple, just file off the square. However, I turned the square into a circle... Nope, no natural talent there at all.

Still, this will be good for me, a wake up call. I forget that it's taken me two years of doing nail art almost every day to get the standard I'm at now, and that's what I'll have to do with filing, and undoubtedly acrylic work and other nail enhancements. I tried practising on eggs at home but my files are too worn and odd-shaped, so I'm going out today to buy some more. I'll have to take a photo of my egg carton once I've attacked all the eggs!

Here are some more photos from this week.

Left: I've been making yummy sandwiches for lunch! They're so good. Right: There was a staff strike by some of the workers wanting a pay rise. Lots of noise and car horns!

Left: A reminder that I am definitely among teenagers again... Middle: The gardens around Palmerston North are so beautiful!  Right: I got a haircut, and love it. Please excuse the slight deer-in-headlights look!

Socially, everyone's getting to know each other and forming little groups. It's weird being around so many people who are younger than me, and just different in general but it's really cool, too. I've heard some crazy life stories and it really puts things into perspective. I have a huge amount of respect for some of these girls. And I found out this week that there is another girl my age, YAY! I was feeling very old for a while there.

Here are some interesting facts I learnt this week.

1. New Zealand's nail industry isn't regulated. I think I already knew this, but I didn't realise the extent of it. Literally anyone can start up shop, and not be checked to make sure they're not doing anything dangerously. No registering, necessary schooling, nothing. Ridiculous!

2. CND is awesome. We're using information about some of their products for our assignment, and I now have a nail crush on just about everything they have. Same with INM. Which reminds me, shout out to The Little Canvas for helping me with my assignment! I couldn't find any ingredient lists for some INM products, then realised she had a review of them on her blog. A few messages later and wah-lah, problem solved! I love the nail community :).

3. Filing your nails with a nail file with too lower grit will make them flake and peel. Interesting! 240 grit and higher is what you should use for the natural nail.

If you want to read my first nail school diary post, you can find it here.

Let me know if you enjoyed this post, and any tips you have about filing or nail care in general!

Friday, 7 March 2014

The Happy Meal Challenge ft. Chris

I almost didn't upload this, I didn't really like how the challenge went. It was kinda dumb, we just felt gross afterwards and it was over too quickly. Buuuut the overall vote on Facebook and Instagram was that I should upload it anyway, so here you are! I prepared myself for tonnes of dislikes, but it hasn't ended up that way at all, which was a nice surprise! Let me know what you think of it. 
And, of course, I couldn't post a video without reminding you to subscribe!

The nail art seen in this video now has a tutorial up on my channel as well. It's brand new so I haven't promoted it anywhere yet, so consider this something of a sneak peek (ooh how exclusive, haha). Just click on the picture below to go to it ☺.

Alright, off to do more editing! I was meant to work today but wasn't feeling flash, keep having bouts of coughing and now I'm fighting off a headache. I figured I had better use my extra day wisely and organise blog/YouTube stuff for the next week - thankfully my head's clear enough!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Tutorial - Classy Chevron Tips Nail Art

A while ago I was approached by a new magazine, Admire, that will be distributed around the Nelson-Tasman region here in New Zealand. They asked if I could make a tutorial for them - something relatively easy and not too crazy - nail art for their target audience; over 30's. So this is what I came up with! 

It took me ages to settle on a design. I'm used to doing designs that are well-and-truly crazy, like Frozen. Much more my forte, but I have to learn to be adaptable for when I have proper clients!

Apparently my tutorial will be going up on Nelson Mail, as well - I'm not sure when but I'll be keeping an eye out! For this design I made two tutorials; one as a YouTube video and the other as a picture tutorial. I'm sure the picture tutorial will be welcome, as I haven't done those for ages and I know people like them. Here's the video tutorial - it has more detail and a few nail art tips that I couldn't squeeze into the picture one. You can subscribe to my nail art channel here!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Simple Rose Nail Art & OOTD

As I'm writing this I'm trying to pull myself together after reading a post about a young New Zealand girl who recently lost her battle with cancer. Absolutely awful, I can't imagine the pain the people who knew her are feeling. It's totally irrelevant to this post, but I had to mention it. Cancer sucks.

On a more happier note, I have this summery dress that I've been wearing quite a bit, and I finally got around to matching my nails to it. I really love the way they turned out, super cute but not too much, either. I wore them on my first week of nail school, which was kind of cool!

Here's a comparison of the dress and the nails. It was quite unusual for me, only doing the nail art on the feature nails. I just didn't feel like spending ages doing them, and sometimes simple is better. I initially had a pink polish on my index and pinky fingers, but changed it to a nude which I liked much better. Matches my pasty white skin!