Monday, 30 June 2014

Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial | Essie Nail Polish

A while ago Essie New Zealand was kind enough to send me an amazing package, with heaps of beautiful nail polish colours! After I stopped squealing and dancing around the house like a lunatic, I laid them all out, took a picture and started planning what I was going to create with them. I used After School Boy Blazer in this daisy design, but this water marble tutorial has a lot more of their gorgeous colours in it. 

I used:
After School Boy Blazer
Naughty Nautical
Bikini So Teeny
Parka Perfect
First Base (Base Coat)
Good To Go (Top Coat)
As well as a Kleancolor white.

If you've tried water marbling, chances are you'll agree than it can be well, a bit of a b****. The polish sets too quickly, it doesn't set at all, the colours don't show up properly, you spill the water all over the place, or worst of all, the polish doesn't spread! I've had to deal with all of these problems in the past and these three words are very important; new, good polish. CR polish from the $2 shop isn't going to cut it. If you're on a budget you could try Jordana - still cheap but I have had some success with that. I've had the most success, however, with decent brands that have a thinner consistency. Invest in some nail polish thinner, as well, and never use nail polish remover as a replacement for it! Thinner will thin out the polish (hooray for Captain Obvious) and make it much more suitable for water marbling. If you have some of this you won't have to buy four new polishes every time you want to water marble. I have two thinners at the moment - one by Orly, and Seche Restore. Both are great.

Having the right polish is important, but there are many other tips I've learnt over the years. All are included in this video. Please subscribe to my channel, and I hope you like the video!

My last water marble video was about a year ago, and somehow became my most popular video to date (although Frozen is catching up). You can watch it here (warning, my hair is more hideous than normal and my awkwardness reaches a whole new level... I love it). There are a few different tips in that one, some that I've now dismissed as they aren't relevant to me, eg. filtered water - I find it makes little difference now. It might be different in other countries though, depending on the chemicals in the water. Experiment ☺.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Weeks 15 - 18

Another three weeks of nail school updates! It feels like it's been much longer than that since I last updated - we've been doing a LOT in that time.

The biggest thing that I've been excited/stressed/frustrated about is that we've started sculpting! And wow, it is difficult. Much quicker and cheaper than tips once you've got the hang of it, and it's much better for people with bitten nails... but ugh it's just so tricky at this stage!

Here are some pictures from the first day we played around with it. My friend Paigh (yes, with an 'H') and I used a Surmanti powder for the tips. So pretty and sparkly!

This was my first "kind-of" set using sculpting. I only used forms on the thumbs, as my friend has very short thumb nails, but I did sculpt on the colour and smile line rather than using a tip. It was very challenging!


My biggest issue with sculpting is the forms. THE FORMS. I swear they have a vendetta against me. I like the ones I have at home more - the course ones are too big for my liking and come unstuck easier, as you can see in the photos. Or maybe that's just my novice level shining through... don't judge me :P. 

This was technically my first real set of sculpted acrylics... they were on my friend Shayla, and we created the colour used at the tips by mixing together polymer, pigment and glitters. It reminded us of bath bombs! We made one nail just plain and clear; we were going to add nail art to it but never quite managed to in the end. Also at this point I wasn't aware you had to sculpt the end to look pretty, and so I had to do a horrendous amount of filing! I think Andrea B (my teacher) was trying hard to hold back when she saw them! I did like the finished look though, and Andrea was impressed at my perseverance in filing them ☺.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Kidicorp Nail Art

During 2013, and for the first couple of months of this year I worked in Early Childhood, specifically as a reliever for Kidicorp. I haven't made that public knowledge before because I didn't want to reveal my workplace, but as I'm doing nail stuff now I might as well put it out there. Plus... these nails give it away, slightly!

I did them on Jackie, a friend from one of the centres I spent a bit of time at. I loved the kids there so much. I still miss them heaps. My husband is working in ECE this year, relieving as well ( but through a different organisation) and I get so jealous when he comes home and tells me all the funny things the kids said that day! If nails don't work out, I know where I'll be headed.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Zig Zag Nail Art Tutorial

This is one of my favourite go-to designs! I love how crisp it looks, and the white and black contrast so well. Mixing it up with different colours means that it can match any outfit ☺. I've done the same design with teal before, as you can see here.

So, I decided to make a tutorial for it! You can watch it here, and please subscribe to my channel!

Colours used:
Ozotic - Mr Big in White
Maybelline Color Show - Pinkalicious
Jordana Pop Art - Black Mark

I mentioned in this video that I learnt the technique from Mr Candiipants - you can watch her tutorial here!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Pastel Daisy Border Nails

A few weeks ago there was a women's expo in my town - basically a place where you go to spend two hours being advertised to. Surprisingly, it was kind of fun! There were goodie bags at the door for $20 and I got one; it included a bottle of nail polish, the brand being Constance Carroll.

That brand isn't readily available here in New Zealand, so I was keen to give it a try! And I loved the colour, it's called Pastel Orange. Pretty accurate description, I guess, they're clearly more literal when they name polishes than OPI!

This is the design I created with it.

I also used China Glaze Lemon Fizz for the index and pinky, and Contemporary White and Black Mark by Jordana Pop Art for the details. I actually just uploaded a tutorial on YouTube on how to do daisy nails, so if you want to watch that you can find it here!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Sugar Skull Nail Art

It's always a pleasant surprise when I find out I've still got a couple of designs left to post! I thought I'd be really scraping the bottom of the barrel this week, but I realised I had a few cool designs left - watermarked and everything (although I must apologize for the crazy watermarking - I was experimenting!).

I did these last month, and love them SO much. I know I do a lot of nail art, and therefore people often assume that I'm "into" all these different themes, but I do have my favourites. This is one of them!

Skittle manis are the best; there's so much to look at, plus you don't get bored of doing the same thing while you're painting. As you can see, I did three gold studs on my thumb, over white polish. The index finger was a bunch of triangles and the middle was a plain matte colour. The ring finger's a sugar skull (love them!) and the pinky was a mess of glequins!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Daisy Nail Art - YouTube Tutorial

Hey everyone! Daisy nails are one of my favourite "easy designs," partly because they're so forgiving if you're new to nail art. It was one of the first designs I learnt, way back when I started my little nail venture! I did these ones in a bit of a rush and they're far from perfect, but they still look pretty cute. 
So I made a tutorial for them!

Please subscribe to my channel!

I've made a picture tutorial for these, too, ages ago. You can find it here. I've also done these before with a light purple backgroundand another time with a blue background - plus a few changes to the flower itself.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Checkered Nail Art Tutorial + BPS Clothing Review!

Big post today! I had some clothes to review from Born Pretty Store and thought the pattern on a pair of leggings would look amazing on my nails! I was really happy with how it turned out, so I decided to make a quick picture tutorial out of it. These are always very popular, and I feel bad that I haven't done one in so long... YouTube normally takes priority!

Here's the nail design I came up with.

Checkers are great. I haven't done them enough because I hadn't figured out a way to get them "right." You know? There's the easy way where you just draw horizontal and vertical lines and colour in the squares, but then it's not right, the edges don't match up where checkers are meant to and it's just so irritating to a perfectionist like me! I'm so glad I found a way to do it that wasn't too difficult.

Here are some of the clothes I'm reviewing today. On the left are the checkered leggings that inspired the nail art, and in the middle is a pretty funky cat top. I paired that first with the leggings and spent 10 minutes laughing at the mirror because I looked like a 14 year old hipster kid. Separate, though, I like them. On the right are some more leggings - galaxy themed! There's also another top, which you'll see further down.

All right, to the tutorial! The main thing I wanted to achieve for checkered nails was for only the tips of the edges to match up (see an example here) and therefore to end up with an even, crisp design. Hope you like it!

Note: feel free to share this tutorial around but please credit it to and NEVER edit or crop it. Thanks!

I find doing those two squares first provides a good starting point for your design. If you get them right, the rest is likely to fall in place. Be careful when applying your top coat - make sure you use enough and only do three strokes so it doesn't ruin the design!

You can find the rest of my tutorials here. I have a heap. And subscribe! Subscribing is definitely a good thing.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

How To Use Nail Foils | Easy and Unique!

 Wow! A post that isn't a whole week after my last one! It almost looks like I have my life together! Seriously though, this is pretty good. And I can't wait to show everyone my home salon, it's looking so cool!

I've used nail foils a few times in the past, and normally it's a bit of a struggle trying to get the foils to stick. I'd often end up with the polish coming off the nail, the foil not sticking, glue all through my cuticles... or all three. However I've FINALLY figured out the best way to do it (it's really not that hard) and now I love it. I decided to make a video about it, partially to teach others and partially so I can remind myself what to do if I forget again!

Please subscribe to my channel!

Hope you like it! Below are a bunch of photos of this design.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Skincare Review | Something A Bit Different

Every time I do a non-nail-related post I feel the need to have several paragraphs explaining why I'm doing something different. But when it comes down to it, the bottom line is that it's my blog and 99.5% of people are okay with it (and actively support it). I address this more in this video ☺. It's a review of the Personal Microderm by PMD, and I actually really love it! My skin is SO SMOOTH. And I put bloopers at the end of this, if you're a fan of those.

Watch the video to see more, and please subscribe!

On another note, I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last updated my blog. That's the longest break I've had in over two years! I'm hoping to get a spare minute to schedule posts, but if they are a bit haphazard it's because life is very busy right now - I'm in the process of opening a salon from home! Still a month or two until it officially opens, but I'll let you know when it does so you can come see me! I'll probably have a discount or something for blog followers ☺.

I'm in love with how my room is looking, too. I didn't want to go for just black and white, as I'm all about colour and art so I've themed it a bit. I'm vlogging as I go, so I'll post a video once it's all done!

LOTS of nail art coming soon, by the way!

Monday, 2 June 2014

The Nail School Diaries | Week 9 - 14

Well, kind of week 9-14. Somewhere in there was a two week holiday, but it's just going to get confusing if I stop and start; I'll just include breaks. Plus, let's be honest - I'm never on a break from nail stuff. Nails are me. I am nails. That's just how it is.

I apologise if these pictures look a little different than usual. We took both mine and Chris' computers into the shop to have them looked at on Friday and I'm pretty sure they're being held for ransom or something - I have no idea when we'll get them back! Quite an issue for me, as I can't edit or upload any videos (or photoshop these images the usual way) until my one is home. On the upside, once it is home it should be upgraded and finally able to handle editing software - no more crashing! So if you're wondering why I didn't upload a YouTube video this weekend, that's why. I'll upload two new videos ASAP to make up for it :). If you're not subscribed already, you're missing out! I'll make it real easy for you and put a button right here...

In summary, the last few weeks have been awesome, although challenging at times. I figured I'd start out with one of the highlights - getting a pedicure from my friend! I've never had one, and it was pure bliss. I've never been too icky about feet, but having this done for me really solidified that pedicures are something I want to offer my clients one day. It's such a relaxing experience, a real treat. I'd love to be able to give that feeling of luxurious pampering to those who come in to see me!

We have regular client days now, and I'm happy to say that I already have my own "regulars," booking in for several weeks in advance! I know that this is very important in the industry - ideally I'd like to be able to say I'm booked up for the next year by the same clients. It shows you're doing something right, you become friends with them, plus there's the whole being-able-to-pay-your-rent thing.

We've done a LOT of acrylics in the last few weeks. I've been really pushing myself; while normally we just book in one client for the four-hour period we have free, I've been booking in two. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. It's good at getting the pressure on to get the speed up, but I've been the last one out of the classroom a few times and I feel bad holding the teacher up. I just want to get as much practice as possible! From now on I'll decide if I'll do one or two dependent on the service and the client. I managed to comfortably fit two rebalances in on that time last Thursday, which was good, for me! I know these times aren't anything to brag about, but it's all improving slowly. My first set of liquid and powder acrylic nails took about two and a half hours, now I can usually do it in less than two. It really depends on the client, though. 

This first set ended up okay, but I absolutely horrified myself by forgetting to put on both the dehydrator and primer on 7 out of 10 nails! Honestly, I just about cried when I realised, it was SO embarrassing and annoying. I have never even come close to doing that before, but a fellow student had borrowed my bottles and I forgot to get them back. Out of sight, out of mind. After checking with the teacher, I continued on with the last three, making sure I used it for those nails, at least. Thank goodness I had used another dehydrator before applying the liquid and powder, that must have helped somewhat as last I heard her nails are lasting well. I did enjoy adding so much length on, it shows a much more dramatic transformation. I'm also trying to cut myself some slack as it was also at the end of a very stressful two weeks, and I think I just had a bit of a brain fade. This client was also pretty tricky as her nails were odd widths - it took a long time to find tips that sort-of matched, and then file them to the right shape. Apparently it's the same wherever she goes, which was of some relief. Little nails! I put a coat of clear gel polish over top of these, so she could remove any nail polish she wanted to put on and not have to worry about it staining her acrylics underneath.