December 31, 2012

[Nail Arts] Purple Snow Flakes

Christmas past already, but I am just started to be in the mood.  I have been cooking too much recently without time and energy to do nails.  Augh, my school is going to start in few days and I don't feel I am ready for it yet.  Who's vacation is ever long enough tho? Haha

Anyway, I try to do a more unusual colour design for Christmas manicures, because I am so tried of red/green/silver combos.  I am also eager to try the new Essie I just recently received :D !!

Here is what I used:
Essie-Where's My Chauffeur?
Ciate Mini-Ladylike Luxe

 3 coats of Where's My Chauffeur?. I know my cuticle looks very bad, it was caused by intensive cooking and housework. I know that they look bad :(

I would say that this colour itself is not very Christmasy, probably more suit for the summer.

I used Ladylike Luxe doing some random touches!

 I actually prefers that gold sparkles to be little bit sheer, but it is ok.

Here is the final product. I used purple acrylic paint to do some snowflakes.  Originally I was going to use white, but I noticed that I haven't opened the purple tube in the set and would like to see the colour :) Sigh, this is not the best snowflakes tho.

I recently ordered a much better nail art brushes and paints, I hope that they will arrive soon!

If the purple can be lighter, it will stands out more for sure!

Well, I haven't used Essie for a while and I did make some mistakes when applying the nail polish.  I ashamed to say that this simple manicure took me about 2.5 hours to do just because I mess up.  Other than that, I enjoyed it.

What do you think about it?

December 26, 2012

[Purchase] Nasty Nails Kit

A late Merry Christmas greeting !!!! I was extremely busy with a lot of things recently :D
Finally feel the holiday spirit after couple shopping trips!

I placed an order on a recently discovered site Nasty Nails a week ago, and received on Christmas eve, it feels like a early Christmas present!! (From myself to myself  LOL).

I highly recommend this website, they don't have a lot of selections, but they do have very very very good price and the brands I like (eg: Essie, OPI etc.).   They also provide free shipping and handling for all of orders, how awesome is that for Canadians?  :D  Plus, I really love their customer service.  The online chat function is great, and the staff are really helpful and polite.  Their website also is very clear on the product instruction  and what will you receive etc. They also provide some videos to show you how to create simple nail art looks.   I just love them so much.  I will definitely purchase more from them in the future.

I ordered a "Leopard Print by Chelsea" which consists two Essie nail polishes, a Seche topcoat (my favorite  and a two way black nail art pen for a discounted price: $12.74+free shipping.

Yes, it's an insanely good deal!!  Essie is my favorite nail polish brand, but they are so expensive in Canada.  I cannot believe that Nasty Nails can offer that damn good price for it.  I wonder that they will go out of business soon for offering such a low price. ( I know, I am so bad! ).

 I personally do not like the demo of kit.  Actually, I don't need this kit to create leopard look at all.  I bought it just for the Essie nail polishes and I am running low on my Seche topcoat.

Anyway, this is what I got:

Essie- Chinchilly (taupe)
Essie- Where's My Chauffeur? (teal blue)

A quick swatch for the colours!
I am sorry for the hands, I have been cooking too much those days!

I really love everything I received except one thing.  Yes, the two way black nail pen is not very good.

This is what I meant.  It shapes like that and I cannot make it "straight"!!!

Actually, there is a little bit spread on the back, and the smell is terrible!  Fortunately all other items are fine and it did not spread onto other products.  I don't want to mention that the nail art pen brush itself is not very good too.

Overall, I am still highly recommend this website and their kits.  I know that I wasn't too happy with the two way black nail art pen, but it is still an amazing deal.  I don't think any Canadian shops can beat this.
I will definitely order with them in the future!

What do you think? Do you place an order too?

December 23, 2012

[Nail Arts] Purple Gradient X Gold Crackle

Yeah, Christmas is coming and I should be doing some holiday-theme manicures.  I don't why but I wasn't feel too energetic for doing so.  I purchased the Bundle Monster Christmas limited edition plate and I should put it into use somehow.  Maybe I will try that next.

Here is a Purple duo from Nicole by OPI.  They were originally packed as a set when I picked them up from Shoppers about a year ago.  It was on clearance rack for $6.  Yes, $6 for two Nicole by OPI nail polishes is a great deal!  Even though  I wasn't really a fan by this line, I still picked them up just for sake of the good price.   The gold crackle nail polish by China Glaze was the prize from the recent Seattle trip.  I got from Sally beauty for a buck.  Crackle is no longer the trend in nail polish world, but I don't care.  Actually, I never follow the trend in nail world and the fashion magazine what-so-ever.  As long as the price is good I will pick up few just for fun.

What I used:
Nicole by OPI- The Grape Debate (Middle)
Nicole by OPI -Glitz and Glisten (Right)
China Glaze- Cracked Medallion

3 Coats of The Grape Debate, a dark plum colour

Another picture, without a topcoat

I use Glitz and Glisten to do the gradient part and the sponge from dollar store. To make money worth, I cut the sponge into small piece like this.  In this way, a sponge can produce about at least 20 manicures :)

The finished gradient without a topcoat

And I applied the Crackle on the ring finger and finished with a top coat

The front of tip is not smooth, it's a pitfall for gradients.

The angle shows the sparkly reflection :)

Yes, I like this gradient nail art.  The crackle was something unexpected.  I only own one bottle of crackle effect nail polish from OPI.  The OPI one has larger spaces on the crackle surface than this China Glaze one.  I was expecting the gradient can be seen through the crackle effect a little bit more tho.  Anyway, now I know that every brand has a slightly different crackle formula.

Sadly, as I predicted, my nail chips the very next day as all the Nicole by OPI polish I own. 

Anyway, I really enjoy this purple mani, what do you think?

December 21, 2012

[Nail Arts] Simple Red with Stars

After I returned from my shopping trip, I immediately took out all the nail goodies I got to make a manicure.  I got home about 11 pm and I only had a hour to get a manicure done, so  I decided to try something simple and Christmas-y (hopefully).

I used one of Color Club nail polish I got from Ross.  It is super weird that the packaging says that is "Wild at Heart" Collection, but this red doesn't seem like should be in the collection.  In fact, a lot of colors in the set seem like from something else.  I don't know, maybe someone change the nail polish in Ross.   I don't like to complain- because you got 7 nail polishes for $8 bucks.  Well, I cannot have high expectation tho.

Basically, I just pick up some stars from my new Bundle Monster rhinestone wheels, and Ta-Da!

This is what turns out! I am not sure why this red nail polish has small bubbles when I applied it.  I guess that is because I took the nail polishes to travel with me. I somehow shake them too much to cause that problem.

I have to say the silver stars are not very outstanding. A bad Choice!

It is a very simple manicure, but there is one thing I want to complain.  The stars catch any kind of fibers.  I have to take this off in the very next day, because it picks on my clothing like crazy. 

What do you think about this simple mani?

December 19, 2012

[Nail Talks] Read the Instruction of Things First

Recently, I am concerned that my nails seem to be getting weaker and weaker. Not sure the reason why at the first.  I do change my nails frequently before without running into this kind of problem.  My daily manicure routine always requires a bast coat/strengthener, which ensures that my natural nails won't be yellowy and weaker at the same time.  My all time favorite is Sally Hansen's nail strengthener which I believe it was discontinued long ago. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it.  It is a orange bottle.

I am using Sally Hansen's Miracle Cure Strengthener now. It is not as good as the old one, but it does the trick for me.  However, apparently it no longer can give enough strength to my nails as before. I really don't know the reason why and I already used up 3 bottles previously and it works great.  In the meanwhile,  I start looking for a better replacement.  I went to Sally Beauty store recently and picked up two nail strengtheners to try.  My nail polish remover was running low as well, so I also picked up another 946 ml acetone. This nail polish remover is very cheap, they often on sale for $5 dollars.  Best money saver!!  When I start to use the new bottle of nail polish remover, it does much better job of removing polishes without over-drying my hands! I was shocked.  Both of nail polish remover are from Sally Beauty, how come they are so different?

Yes, I compared the two bottles, the old one is "PURE ACENTONE"  and new one is "ACENTONE". You don't have to tell me that they got different colours how come I mess up. I am blind LOL.

Guess what? "PURE ACENTONE" one is for sculptured nails. SCULPTURED.  It states on the front and also the instruction on the back.  I never read it and that's the REASON WHY MY NAILS BECOME SO WEAK. Yeah, I use this for like 3-4 months already.

My suggestion? read all the instructions before you use ANYTHING! Don't be a fool just like me... hahaha 

December 17, 2012

[Nail Arts] Gingerbread Man Manicure

I have been doing some Christmas cooking recently and this idea suddenly came to me.  Why not doing some gingerbread man manicure then?  For food safety reason, I won't never wear a manicure while I need to do some cooking for others.  So I didn't do my nails for a week! (it's a long time for me)!

Plus, I did not own the gingerbread man colours before.  I only got a Revlon nail polish which is a dark brown, and I didn't want to purchase other nail polishes just for a manicure.  It is really fortunately that I receive a light nude colour in my November Glymm bag- a brand called Coccolily which I have never heard/tried it before.  I also got another OPI colour in a recent swapping (yes, I do swapping a lot if I can), which is a prefect colour for this manicure as well.

I believe in the principle that no colour is truly UGLY (although I do have preference) and any colour may come to be handy to have.  You never know what you want to do on the nails next, which is a fun fact for nail arts.  LOL

I used those colours for this mani. Left to Right:
Revlon- Chocolate Truffle
Coccolily- Nude Show
OPI- Ginger Bells
If you look the picture carefully, you will notice that there is a bottle which I dislike very much LOL.  I don't even bother to clean it, because I don't use it very often.

This is 3 coats for Nude Show and Ginger bells without topcoat.  I am not familiar with Coccolily brand, and the brush is harder for me to use for sure.

This is what turns out! My Seche topcoat is really dried out..that's why the surface is not very even as I hope. a pitfall for sure.

A closer shot, it is very easily to see the uneven topcoat.

This is my left hand.  You may already discover that I am left-handed.  It is harder for me do my left hand manis than the right one. 

A close shot of my gingerbread man designs.

As you can see, I can never draw perfectly.    My hands are not steady enough to create macro designs and sometimes I got very impatient.  I think that imperfection of nail art design is its strength.  I remember that I was reading the Walter Benjamin's article "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction".  He talks about that the alienation of art from its historical context and the consequences of endless replication of the arts.  I guess that nail art belongs to neither of his classification of arts.  If you always do the design on yourself, the alienation of art does not occur in the context.  It exists in the original context and protect by the owner.  However, the economic power also comes into the discussion, because people can go out and pay someone to do the designs for them.  In this case, the art is alienated from the designer.  It also puts the emphasis on the economic power-the power of capitalism and how the system derives this phenomenon. 

Although the ideas of manicures can be shared by many people, but every single nail art is authentic, unique and can never be copied exactly from the original-if there is one. I like doing nails arts and check what other people have done, it also makes me think about that the endless possibility of human's innovative capacity.  Nail art doesn't have to be prefect, but it represents the designer's authenticity and originality of the arts.

Haha, I was getting too theoretical. Yes, I know I am a nerd.

What do you think? any other Christmas mani ideas?

[Nail Practice] Random Tips

I don't wear any tips/fake nails, because I find that the plastic makes me feel uncomfortable.  I still love to do some nail practice on the tips when my own nails are already occupied or I want to try something new and it has high rate of failure.

Those are from a while ago, like say...end of November.  The time I was very struggling of my paper and final exam. (And supposed be focused on studying not playing with nail tips).

I discovered that using red nail polish on a darker base is often not very outstanding.  Just like my green daisy design too.  Maybe I should try red acrylic paint next time to see how it turns out.

  A layering set plus some rhinestones.  Nothing special about this one. 

This one actually takes me a long time to get all rhinestone to stick on the surface.  The base colour is Coccolily Nude Snow.  This nail polish has a very strong smell. It is quite cute with pearls too.

What do you think?

December 16, 2012

[Nail Arts] Newspaper Prints

I long to try this technique for a long time, but I also have other endless designs on my "next-try" list! I saw this on a YouTube half year ago. I think it is a very cute idea AS LONG AS you can find a 'right colour' for the base. I guess that this won't look good with a bright pink base colour for sure.

I am using my new Ciate mini bottle from the advent calender set, the colour is called 'Cookies and Cream' ! A light gray creme colour which does not catch my eye in the first place. But this is really nice tho!
WARNING: This set is super adorable! Though I did not follow the numbers on the advent set at all.
I bet that I cannot test all of them before Christmas.

I did not do a prefect job on transferring the newspaper print onto the nails. But it won't look too terrible since newspaper is always a little bit "messy".

I run into a little bit trouble when applying Ciate's cookies and cream. The bottle  got a shaky brush. But I do not have this problem with other Ciate minis so far. Weird.

Also, my Seche topcoat is getting sticky. I need a new one soon! 

Overall, I am still quite satisfied!

What do you think?

December 14, 2012

[Nail Arts] White Daisy Design

 I love Green Evolution nail polish that I created another day so much and decide to do a Christmas theme nail art on it. However, I screwed up again and it turned out like this:

It's very summer festive, which is not supposed to be. LOL!

After I created this, I was thinking why this looks so familiar somehow? Like I have seen it somewhere...

Yes, it is the herbacin hand cream!
I swear that I did not intend to do a nail art on this!

Couple other pictures:

Even though it turns out something unexpected, I am still quite enjoyed this nail art!

What do you think?

[Colour Inventions] Green Evolution

Since my holiday is started three days ago, I decide to do something exciting to welcome the holidays! Julep is having 12 days deals now, I feel that it's really hard for me to hold back... I own so many nail polishes already!  In order to forget the Julep sales, I dig into my stash and found this Sally Hansen extreme wears from ancient time. I remember that a girl gave me this set in a swapping as free....

They don't look too bad in the bottles, but when I swatch the colors, I totally get it why the girl was willing to give to me as free extras.

Yes, I kinda like the blue and silver ones. Rest of colors are just ...well, the picture tells the story! I guess it's time for me do some new nail polishes. I am sure that I won't regret to make them a little bit more attractive!

I dumped 1/2 of the green bottle (I hate the most!) and add 1/4 from each of the nail polishes.

This is what I got:
It's much better than the previous boring bottle!

It's quite sparkly ! and contains different sparkles!

I decide to name this color Green Evolution !
In case you don't know what does that mean as me,  the wiki definition as follows:

Green Revolution refers to a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives, occurring between the 1940s and the late 1970s, that increased agriculture production around the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s. It forms a part of the 'neo-colonial' system of agriculture wherein agriculture was viewed more of a commercial sector than a subsistence one.

( I like to name my invented colors and some of my manicures after some academic studies and anthropology specifically!  In this way, I can learn something new while doing nails as well)

Bottle line, inventing colors save $$$$$!  I love this color for sure!