Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My Little Pony Nail Art | Rainbow Dash + Tutorial!

 Today I have a Rainbow Dash nail art tutorial to show you! I'm really happy with how the face turned out - you'll see in the video that it took a bit of work to get the details right but was worth it in the end.

Here's the tutorial - please subscribe ☺.

My Little Pony was a big part of my life from about the age of 10. Not because I was into them, but because my younger sister became utterly obsessed with these toys; she had dozens! I used to know a lot more of the names, but the only ones that come to mind right now are Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash... although the names Perri-winkle and Flutter Shy ring a bell!

Monday, 29 September 2014

"Bang Bang" Nail Art Tutorial | Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj & Jessie J

Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj has been playing repeatedly on my iTunes playlist for a good few weeks now, so I checked out the music video to see if there was anything in it that could inspire some nail art. Turns out there was! This is what I ended up with.

Of course, I had to make a nail tutorial, and here it is. Please subscribe to my channel ☺.

The polishes I used in this design are:
China Glaze - Platinum Silver
Essie - Fifth Avenue
Essie - Naughty Nautical
Jordana - Mellow Yellow
Jordana - Rich Green
Jordana Pop Art - Black Mark
Nicole by OPI - City-Pretty Rose
Picture Polish - Fairy Floss
Picture Polish - Wisteria
Revlon - Alluring Amber
Revlon - Black Lingerie
Sally Hansen - Himalayan Blue
Sinful Colors - Snow Me White

Friday, 26 September 2014

New World Little Shop | Nail Art Tutorial

New Zealand is obsessed with Little Shop... and for a good reason, it is ADORABLE! Little Shop is a promotion run by New World supermarkets, where every $40 you spend you get a Little Shop toy. Spend $80, get two,  $120, get three. I've found it's a) made me change supermarkets and, b) made me spend more money at the checkout (we're $5 away from getting two! Grab some gum!). So maybe not so great for my wallet, but seriously, they are COOL. I'll show you some pics of the little toys shortly, but first here are the nails I did that were inspired by them.

I was really happy with how the thumb turned out! Here's the tutorial for this design - and please subscribe to my channel.

As you can see, Little Shop is a bunch of common household goods, miniaturised. And really well, too - it's like someone got a shrink ray and zapped them; the detail is amazing! Ingredient lists, barcodes, logos and the rest are all perfect. Kids love them!

Here are the Little Shop toys that inspired this manicure; Tip Top ice cream, Keri orange juice, Marmite spread and Surf washing powder. The first three are actually from last year's collection. I really hope they bring it back next year; this year's lot is almost finished and I've only got about eight out of forty, eek!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mini Strawberries | Easy Nail Art Tutorial

Strawberry nail art is just so cute! I've done this design a few times recently and have been asked to make a tutorial for it, so I finally got my A into G and did. Here's the final design...

And here's the tutorial. Hope you like it, and please subscribe to my channel ☺. At 6,500 now, if I'm really lucky I might reach my goal of 10k by the end of 2014... but it'll be close!

Polishes used:
China Glaze - Wicked Style
Jordana - Rich Green
Picture Polish - Fairy Floss
Sinful Colors - Snow Me White

This one's really quite easy to do - three steps and you're done. And while if you look at each individual strawberry they're far from perfect, as a group they're just adorable. I've always been a fan of patterns, which is another reason why I tend to go for nail designs like this.

That's one of the interesting things about being a nail tech now though - you learn different ways of doing nail art. Sometimes a client will come in with a picture that I never would have considered trying, but then I LOVE it! Breaking out of your comfort zone is always a good thing ☺.

Hope you like this strawberry nail art and the tutorial.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Guest Post by Popping Nails | Floral Nail Art

Hey everyone - a while ago I guest posted on Popping nails, a post which you can see here. Today she's returning the favour - thanks so much Charlie! Love your nail art!

Firstly I'll introduce myself, I'm Charlie from the blog Popping Nails and I'm so excited to be a guest post for Jessie. I've been a fan of her work since I started nail art so I hope everyone likes my style and what I've done for today!

For this design I found the inspiration a while ago and forgot about it so it was nice to go back to it and try it out. For my base colour I used China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On. To start with I took Sinful Colors Snow Me White and put in the basic shapes for all the flowers and leaves.

I then took Barry M Key Lime and painted in the round leaves and stems. For the flowers on my thumb and little finger I used Barry M Pink Flamingo and on my index finger Bright Pink and Passion Fruit. The orange flowers on my ring finger are done with Barry M Mango with the lighter one being mixed with Yellow. Finally the darker leaves are done with Barry M Spring Green mixed with American Apparel Army Jacket and the purple flowers are Revlon Grape Fizz and O.P.I Gouda Gouda Two Shoes dotted on top of each other.

Here's the inspiration image I found on Pinterest by Stephanie Ryan. I think I managed to match the colours well and I think they're really cute and nice to bring back summer as it's quickly turning to autumn here.

Thank you Jessie for having me on your blog and hopefully you all enjoyed my design!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass | Nail Art Tutorial

Hi everyone! Lately I just can't get Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" out of my head, so I decided to do some nail art based on the music video. It's so bright and colourful and cute - watch it here!

Here's the tutorial - please subscribe to my channel ☺.

Pastel nail art is my favourite, and I just love the middle and pinky nails in this design. It looks a bit like watercolour, even though that wasn't the technique I used.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

When Cancer & Nails Meet | We Need Your Help

Meet Ness. She's a fellow nail technician here in New Zealand, and more importantly, she's a breast cancer survivor. Several years ago she went through the trauma of being diagnosed with, fighting, and eventually beating this dreaded disease. No resting on her laurels though; Ness then went on to crusade for others, and was heavily involved in several charities, including Shocking Pink and Penguin Cold Caps.

Picture source here.

Earlier this year, Ness developed excruciating back pain and consulted medical professionals for help. She was recommended to a chiropractor and given panadol - none of which did anything. The pain grew increasingly worse, but the doctors didn't seem to take it seriously, even though she was in and out of hospital and in near-constant pain. She was booked a semi-urgent MRI and told to go home.

 On the 10th September 2014, she was taken to the hospital by ambulance due to her severe pain, and on Thursday an urgent MRI discovered lumps in her spine. Two days later, she was told the cancer had advanced to her spine, ribs and liver, and that she has 2-12 months to live.

Ness is a solo mother of two young boys - one of whom's autistic. She's 36 years old.

Ness had plans to set up a salon that would offer free beauty therapy treatments for breast cancer patients. She was almost there - had completed her training, leased the space and bought all the equipment. She was just waiting for her back to get sorted out so she could get started.

Now those dreams are forgotten, while she fights to get more time with her children. She can no longer work, so what Ness needs the most is money to survive on, and to help extend her life. 

Please help this young mum, and donate here. Even a few dollars will make a difference.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and you can follow Ness' support page on Facebook here.

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

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fruit Salad Nail Art Tutorial

Every time I type the words "fruit salad," they are inevitably followed in my head by "yummy yummy." Thanks for my childhood, The Wiggles.

Today I've got some fruit salad nail art to show you, plus a tutorial for it! I've done a lot of strawberry nail art recently and decided to try adding some more fruit in. I'm really happy with how it turned out!

As you can see, there are pinepples, grapes, kiwifruit, strawberries and bananas.
Here's the tutorial, and please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you're not already, I upload twice a week ☺.

A lot of nail bloggers post pictures where they're holding something, but I can never find something quickly that's a) relevant and b) pretty. I figured this banana met one out of two of these criteria, at least!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mini Strawberries | Guest Post on Nerdy & Fleurty

Today I'm guest posting over on Nerdy & Fleurty! I've done these cute mini strawberries for it - read all about this nail design in the blog post here.

 Go give her a like on Facebook as well! She's so lovely and deserves more followers ☺.