Sunday, 25 January 2015

How To File Your Nails | Almond, Oval & Squoval

I've been on a roll lately! I have filmed and edited several highly-requested videos; ones that aren't about the nail art but more about nail care and what I recommend. This is the first of these new videos; How To File Your Nails. I talk a bit about the grit of the nail file, the different ways you can file them and how to achieve three popular shapes; almond, oval and squoval. 

The first shape I talk about in this video is almond. My almond nails here aren't as pointy as they could be (it's a sliding scale) but I explain the reason for that in the video. Almond is personally my favourite nail shape - it's classy and more natural-looking than square/squoval, at least on my nails.

Next up are my oval nails. These are much more practical, especially at this length or shorter.

And lastly, here is squoval. While I like this shape, I don't think it suits my nails as well as the other two. This is probably due to the shape of my cuticles - they're very curvy and it always looks nice if both ends match.

Here's the video! And a pretty little subscribe button - oooh, I wonder what magical things will happen if you push it?

I can't believe how overwhelmingly positive the feedback has been for this so far - I was so nervous putting it up. I honestly lost sleep over it. Filing nails can be a bit controversial; I've seen women get verbally attacked on social media for daring to say they file their nails both ways. I do this a lot, and therefore was prepared for some backlash to this video... but there has been none at all! What a wonderful community the nail blogging one is ☺.

I managed to edit two more videos today, in a record time of two and a half hours for the both of them (normally it'd take twice that long for one!). I'm really excited; partly because I think that people will like the videos, and partly because it means I'm organised and ready for the couple of weeks that I won't have regular access to the internet. We're down to a matter of days until we move to Auckland now, and the previous nervous apprehension has given way to pure excitement. So, so glad that this is finally happening. Our farewell party was yesterday and it was just awesome, we had a great turn out and some of us were still chatting close to midnight - even though it was an afternoon tea! So happy to be moving, but even more happy that we're leaving on such great terms with our Palmy people.

Selfie sticks; love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny they're helpful in this situation.

I hope you like this video! This might be my last blog post for a little while; we've got a busy week and then we're off to Australia. I'll try to pop up a post around the same time my new video goes live next Friday - but if not, I'll update as soon as I'm able.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin Nail Art + Tutorial

I loved doing (and wearing) these nails. They were inspired by the music video to "Lips Are Movin" by Meghan Trainor, which (like All About That Bass) is very colourful and bright, with plenty of inspiration for themed nail art. The lips were undoubtedly my favourite nail!

I filmed a tutorial for it too, which you can watch here and below. Please subscribe to my channel - it's free ☺.

I haven't had much experience with lips nail art before, so was a little hesitant to do this; but I surprised myself! The ring finger turned out pretty well, and I was happy enough with the little black lips on the pinky and thumb nails as well.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

You've Got My Heart On A String | Take Two

Almost three years ago I did these nails, which were inspired by The Polish Well. They were done during my first couple of months of playing around with nail art, and I remember being so proud! It's such a cute design; I love how it continues across all of the nails. Both times I've done this I've spent half of the painting-time brainstorming new ideas with the same basic theme; a bumblebee path, paper aeroplane, heart rate monitor... they encourage endless inspiration!

I asked on Facebook and Instagram recently about which of my very first designs I should recreate, and this one won (by a very narrow margin). 

As you can see, they're quite different than my last ones, as I turned them into something of a kite and switched all the colours around. Initially I tried it with a red heart as well, but it just didn't look right, so I went over it with gold. Here's a shot of the last time I tried this design, back in May 2012.

I chose a white with a beautiful shimmer in it for the background colour; White Wedding by Picture Polish. The rest of it was painted in acrylic paint - a choice I regretted half-way through. So many people say that using acrylic paint is easier than polish, but I am yet to see any real benefits. Occasionally I like it, but overall I prefer polish; I'm just more familiar with it, I guess.

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Walking Dead Nail Art | Zombie Sophia

My brother's a big fan of The Walking Dead, and he introduced my me and my husband to it a few years ago. From memory, we've only seen the first three seasons, but I've done a fair bit of googling as to what has happened more recently. It's so graphic and disgusting, yet completely addictive! Once we're more settled I'm keen to pick them up again. We've just moved to our third house since November... in total we'll be in six different places in three months - exhausting, to say the least! 

The Walking Dead nail art has been requested a few times, and when it was more recently it was perfect timing. I based the zombie off little Sophia, which ended up making me feel a bit sick half-way through... so icky! It was a good challenge though, and heaps of fun to paint.

Of course, I made a tutorial for this and you can watch it here, or below. Please subscribe to my channel, it helps me out heaps!

While I didn't get the facial detail perfect, I'm pretty happy with it; considering the size of the canvas. I'm hoping to do some more nail art with this level of detail soon, but perhaps have the subject matter a little less... well, dead. If you've got a request, leave it in the comments!

Monday, 5 January 2015

10,000 YouTube Subscriber Giveaway | International AND New Zealand Only!

I just started my first ever YouTube giveaway! I'm so excited; there are 51 polishes up for grabs, plus a $20 voucher. I've divided the nail polishes up into three different prize packs, and here's number one. So much polish!

The three prize packs are just for New Zealanders, unfortunately, due to strict shipping regulations, but I made sure there's something for everyone - the international prize is the $20US gift voucher to Born Pretty Store ☺. It's really easy to enter, you just need to be subscribed to my YouTube Channel and leave a comment on this video, noting the three things I asked about in the vid.

So, if you're not already subscribed, just hit this button and that's the first part of entering done! Watch the video to see all the rules and enter here.

Here's an example of what $20 can get you at Born Pretty Store - heaps! It's really good to get you started for nail art, or if you've been doing it for a while, upgrade your supplies.

Prize Pack Two has all of these polishes in it - more info can be found in the description box for the video.

And here's Prize Pack Three. I'm so jealous of whoever wins these!

The giveaway closes on the 25th January 2015 at 11.59pm, NZ time. Good luck to everyone who enters and I can't wait to send these babies off to their new homes!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Subway Nail Art + Tutorial

 I did some McDonald's nail art about a year ago, and decided it was time to follow it up with a healthier alternative - Subway!

I filmed a quick little tutorial for it too, which you can see below. Please subscribe to my channel to be the first to see my latest videos ☺.

I actually filmed this tutorial way back in October, but recently discovered it hiding away in my "to-edit" bin. My nails were a whole different shape then, and they have inspired me to shape them back to this beautiful almond look. I'm considering filming it and adding it to a nail shaping video that I've got in the works - let me know if this is something you'd be interested in watching!

There were only a few polishes I used for this;
Jordana - Mellow Yellow
Sinful Colors - Envy
Sinful Colors - Snow Me White

Snow Me White is still the best white I've ever had. It's cheap, it's opaque in two coats and it's a beautiful, pure colour. I've almost used up both of the bottles I originally bought, so I'll have to make sure I go shopping again soon.

Subway is definitely one of my favourite Fast Food restaurants; it just tastes so much fresher and the cookies are delicious! Now I'm craving it, oops. I've learnt through doing these nails and asking for similar themed recommendations that New Zealand's Fast Food places are rather limited; I grew up with just Burger King, KFC and McDonald's. Now a few more have been added - like Wendy's and Carls Jr, but it's nothing like the scores of them over in the US! 

On a different note, I've been busy today - but the good kind of busy. I filmed my 10,000 subscriber giveaway this morning, and took photos for it. That's being edited right now and will be up tomorrow at 11am NZ time. I went on a long walk with one friend, then drove across town, visited my Grandad in hospital and went for another long walk with another friend. Despite lathering on the sunblock I can feel the backs of my legs burning - curse that ozone layer! I'm absolutely loving this New Zealand sun, though, we've been having day after day of excellent weather.

Hope you're having a good day, wherever you are, and I'll be back soon with a post about my giveaway.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Nail Art 2015 | Blogging Resolutions

Happy New Year! For the last two days my Facebook feed has been filled with people reflecting back on 2014; the good, the bad and the heinous. Personally, I'm excited to finally see 2015, as it's the year I move from my home-town to New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland. One month to go!

I celebrated the New Year with some of my favourite people, having a few (okay, quite a few) drinks and playing some hilarious games. I was introduced to Cards Against Humanity - it's so bad that it's freaking amazing. The party was heaps of fun, and to make the night even more interesting we had a bit of a detour on the way home... It was after midnight and we passed a young drunk girl stranded on the side of the road, attempting to hitch a ride in a dodgy suburb. We picked her up and after ringing her mum (who refused to pick her up from a neighbouring town - Mother of the year), we took her to the police station, where they organised her a ride home. She was a bit of a mess, but at least she was safe. I woke up today feeling fine (which is always good after a night out!) and went for a long walk in the beautiful sunshine with Chris (hubby). After that, I was feeling inspired so sat down and did some detailed nail art inspired by The Walking Dead nail; the tutorial will be up next Friday on my YouTube Channel, but you can see a sneak peek here.

So 2015 is off to a good start! I decided to combine this post about my New Year's nail art (that, as you can see, is EXTREMELY New-Years-y) with my annual blogging resolutions. I'll review the ones I made last year, see how I went and make some new ones.

So, what did I want to achieve in the nail world a year ago?

1. Reach 500,000 page views.
I'm currently just over 620,000, so that happened! For most of the year, though, I thought that my goal was 1,000,000, and was slightly disappointed I hadn't made it... until I reviewed last year's goals and realised I hadn't set the bar quite that high!

2. Reach 10,000 YouTube subscribers.
DONE! Oh my goodness, this was so big for me. It really showed that all the work I put into YouTube is actually working. Going from 1,000 to 10,500 in a year was awesome!

3. Complete (and do well) in my nail technician course (starts February!). I want to be the BEST.
Haha, well, I'm not the BEST, that was a bit optimistic... but I was the first one in the class to finish, and did so three weeks early ☺. I've also run my home salon for the last six months, although that's closing down at the moment as we're moving soon, and I'm not sure about how possible it'll be to re-open it in Auckland. I've got other plans up there anyway.

4. Do something to organise my reviews. They pile up and sometimes I feel like all I'm doing is them!
Yeah... I quit unpaid reviews. That worked. The first time you get a free polish it's amazing, but after a while you just get weighed down and there's pressure and too many emails and ugh. It was fine when it was just Born Pretty Store, but suddenly there were a dozen different brands I was doing things for, and one day I realised it wasn't worth it. I found it limited my creativity and was turning it into a job, and an unpaid one at that. Plus, as a blog with a fairly large web presence it's expected that at some stage there would be compensation for the hours spent promoting/reviewing a brand, and so for most companies that's my new policy.

5. Get a job in a nail salon. This is underway! I've got several salons interested.
I was thiiiis close to working in one, but realised I was better off going my own way. The girls I was going to work for were lovely, but I'm so happy with my decision ☺.

6. Do more media-related stuff. 2014 has a tough act to follow - 2013 was incredible. On TV, in the newspaper, on the radio... And I got to do the most amazing things! I did enter The Amazing Race Australia - but I doubt anything will come of that.
Yeah nah, this didn't happen. I think 2013 will go down in my personal history as one of the best years of my life. It was incredible, and in comparison 2014 was disappointing. When I'm ready, I'll look more into media stuff, but I'm a tad wary of journalists and the media.

7. Get to know other bloggers better! There are several who I'd love to get to know properly but life just gets in the way, plus it's a bit weird saying "hey, wanna be blogging BFFs?"
LOL, what a strange resolution, I don't even remember writing this! I guess I got to know a few more bloggers? I've spent more time with real-life friends this year instead.

8. Maintain a good work/life balance. My blog, my YouTube, and my hopefully soon-to-be job in a salon is my career, and I love it! However I love it so much I can quite happily forget about the rest of the world, including friends and my husband. So I'll make sure that doesn't happen too much this year!
Well, there was that major PMS-fueled burn-out around October... that was unprecedented. That was the first time I ever DIDN'T want to do my nails, do the blogging/YouTube thing, but maybe it was a good things. Re-evaluating priorities and the lot. I feel things are pretty smooth now ☺.