Thursday, 2 February 2017

Hearty Nails: Winter Galaxies

And so we have come to the end of my seasonal galaxy nail art self-challenge. That is quite a mouthful.
Here, you can see my previous posts in the challenge: Spring, Summer and Autumn. Today we have Winter.

winter galaxy nail art
 You may notice the index finger looks a bit strange. It's just fatter and more ball-y because it broke and I reconstructed it with acrylic powder, which was in fact my first ever acrylic nail on a real hand (as opposed to the practice fake hand).
You can see the pre-polish result here on my Instagram.

winter galaxy nail art

I knew I wanted it in blues, and I wanted it glittery. Clearly the glitter part was a success, seeing as the shine looks almost metallic in the pictures, but I would've preferred if it had turned out a lighter blue. It should also have had a bit more contrast with the purple tones, but somehow the purple got relegated to peeking underneath on the borders of the nails, which is not cool. I got a bit carried away with that dark blue oops.

winter galaxy nail art - thumb

Material used:
-D'Orleac base coat
-Uñikas nº 23 white
-Essence "Alice had a vision-again" (from ye olde Twilight limited edition)
-Seventeen "Navy Glint" (this is the one that I got carried away with)
-Rimmel "Purple Addict"
-Miss Sporty 344
-Wynie 806
-Wynie 003
-Essence "a lovely secret"
-Essence "bibbidi-bobbidi-boo" (from the Cinderella limited edition)
-NYC raindrop
-Primark anon (a glitter)
-[b]asic anon (also a glitter)
-H&M Urban Spirit
-Nº7 In The Stars
-Max Factor Extra Frost
-Essence "better than gel nails" top coat.

It's a lot of stuff and funnily most of them are glitters.
Now let's see what I come up with next...

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Hearty Nails: How to make a manicure last

Happy new year everyone~

As promised last week, today we're going to talk about how to make a manicure be long-lasting.

Includes fancy-ass Canva image

This is really basically about Doing Things Right. You may or may not agree on what exactly it means to do things right, but I think we can all agree that if things are not done right they will not be good.

Step zero: please pay attention to the state of your natural nails. Healthy nails will help, healthy nails are your friend. If your natural nails are brittle or peeling in layers and generally screaming for help, anything you put on top will chip faster, it won't matter if it's gel polish or normal polish or acrylic or Magical Stuff.

First: before you paint, you need to degrease. Any oil present on the nail plate will prevent the polish from sticking properly, so make sure there is none. You could wash your hands normally, with plain old soap, but if you want to go full-on, wipe the nails down with nail polish remover (preferably the kind with acetone).

The base coat: it needs to be quality. Not super high quality, but also not just a clear polish masquerading as a base coat. All the good base coats I have encountered have had a thin-ish texture, dried quickly and with a matte-ish finish. Not completely matte, more on the satiny side but definitely not glossy.

The colour: needs to be applied in thin coats, this makes sure all layers are properly dry before the next one goes on. Thick coats make it harder for it to dry, and may give you texture problems (including, but not limited to, Bubble Hell).
Another important thing to take into account when it comes to colour (and all coats really, but the colour coats make it a visible difference) is that you need to cap the ends. That is, the very tip of the nail and the sides, if your nails are long enough, also need to be coated. This makes tip wear (you know, when your colour fades only on the tip, while the cuticle area is showing no sign of age other than growth) appear later than it would without.

Shown: no colour capping on the left, capping with dark polish on the right. Also, note the shiny new logo.

The top coat: as I mentioned in my previous post, I sometimes use two different top coats. But I only really do that when I have nail art on; for plain colour I will only use the thick quick dry kind.

Bonus level: repeat the top coat every other day. I will use the thinner kind of top coat for this, and if I'm feeling particularly paranoid, I'll add a new coat every day. It may sound over the top, but refreshing the clear coat really does help a lot.

Catastrophe level: your polish has already chipped and you have no time for a full manicure NOW. What do you do? You paint over the top. You could even use a striper polish to add some quick design.

Shown: a chipped polish on the left, a temporary fix on the right. The fix was done with the NYC 'Show Time Nail Art 003 Pinkasso' striper polish.

If your problem is growth, rather than a chip, you could always add a coat of colour on top as a last minute fix. Or you could do the same as above and use a striper polish to paint over the line of growth.

Let's all have good long manicures now~

Friday, 30 December 2016

Hearty Nails: at-home vs at-school manicures

Yes, hi, I am a procrastinator. You might've noticed by the absolute lack of posting consistency in any kind of online place I can be found. Today's excuse is that...I really wanted to have the new logo ready for the next post. I really thought I'd be done with the full blog makeover by now but design takes a lot longer than expected. Mostly because I'm not a professional so basically I barely know what I'm doing, and any little thing takes hours of frustration and mental screaming.
The logo is in fact ready of yesterday...but then I decided to use it for the NEXT next post. As in, the new year's first post.
Today I'm coming to you with a pictureless post (!).

I am going to talk about how I do things differently when I do my nails at home and when I do manicures at school. In case you didn't know, I attend beauty school, and manicures are one of the most popular services (right up there with waxing).

The main difference is in my attitude towards it. At school it has to be as perfect as I can get it because I'm graded on it, but at home it's more like...anyhow pop a colour on there for the pretty.

The speed is a big difference. At home I usually paint my nails while at the computer watching stuff or just generally distracted, and I can easily wait half an hour between coats because I got distracted by shiny things. At school, the whole manicure should be finished in half an hour. That includes the massage.

We do a little hand+forearm massage by default with all manicures at school. It is one of the favourite things of clients usually, but obviously at home I will always skip it. Closest I'll get to a massage at home is applying some cuticle oil or balm while my nails are naked, hours before painting them.

Filing and cuticle pushing are pretty much the school we would soak the nails in soapy water to soften the cuticles, but honestly not everyone even needs to soften them. In any case, we only push the cuticles, never cut. We have been taught that health & safety doesn't allow cuticle cutting. And then I'm a hater of cuticle cutting myself, for years before school, so I only ever push my own cuticles.

A massage with oil means that we have to degrease the nails thoroughly before painting them; we do this with good ol' nail polish remover at school. At home, if I've oiled my cuticles too close to painting time I'll just go wash my hands with normal soap. But since I usually do that hours before I paint, it's rarely a problem.

When applying the colour, I already mentioned I can easily spend ages between coats, and I also don't have any problem applying 3 or even 4 coats sometimes to get the opacity I want with some polishes. At school, more than 2 coats of colour is really nigh unthinkable.

At school, I usually clean up before top coating, because it allows the colour to dry that bit more, but to be honest I barely need to clean. If I do, we do it with some cotton stuck to the end of a wooden cuticle pusher, soaked in acetone. This sounds complicated but once you figure out just how much cotton is good and how to twirl it just right so that it stays tight on the stick, it's really very easy. Meanwhile, at home I'll just carelessly flood cuticles and paint the skin around the nails, wait for it to dry, and then scratch it off. It's all very glamorous and professional. It's a good thing I very very rarely flood the cuticle these days even when painting carelessly.

Now, the top coat itself is a difference. At school we have just the one, and it's not particularly quick-drying. Lately we've had a quick-drying spray though, so that helps. At home however, I actually tend to use two different top coats: a thinner runnier (usually cheaper) one, and a thicker, quality, quick-drying one. The thinner one goes on first, as a way of protecting the thicker top coat from any possible colour transfers. It's the it's-ok-to-mess-it-up top coat, the one you don't care might turn grey or have random runaway flecks of glitter. The thicker top coat is then the one to seal it all, the real protective shiny coat, so it has to look perfect and not have random glitter flecks or discoloration.

And that's it~ My home manicures last me a really good time, unless I happen to have my nails in a bad state and they're breaking or peeling in layers, in which case there's very little that can help. At school, I haven't heard any complaining, so they must be satisfied, surely.

Next week, on the year's first post (with the new logo!), I will share some tips for making your manicures long-lasting. Until then, let us rejoice that this monster year is finally ending.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Hearty Nails: autumn galaxy

Whoopsie Daisy~ Nearly let the whole month go without updating. In fact, nearly let the whole of autumn go without posting the autumn galaxies for my seasonal galaxy self-challenge. Bad blogger.
You can find the first bit of the challenge here (Spring), and the second here (Summer). And now we're on to the third. Only one left, hopefully to be done AND posted in December before the year ends.

I mean of course it had to be rusty colours, what else could it be.

Stuffs used:
·D'orleac nail hardener (base coat)
·Barry M Matt White (always a white base colour for sponging)
·Pale Yellow Frankenpolish (ie, mixed by myself)
·Barry M Mediterranean
·Barry M Mango
·Two [b]asic brand polishes with no names (a fine shimmery gold topper and a dark reddish brown)
·L'oreal Star Magnet in "purple" (which is definitely dark red and not purple at all)
·YSNY 053
·Kiko 237
·Essence "be optimistic!"
·Sally Hansen Insta-dry (top coat)

Yes, that is A Lot Of Things. Also, I rarely note down what I use for base/top coat, so that was a bonus for you.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Hearty Nails: Halloween 2016 Snippet The Wound

Don't worry, it was new moon yesterday, you're safe from werewolves.

Funny enough, when I had just done this I saw ClaraHNails posting a very similar one on her IG Stories. Though I imagine hers was probably done in gels or acrylic, as that's what she usually does.
Mine is done all in polishes, in a very smart way similar to something I saw The Daily Nail do ages ago. I painted a coat of black first then two different reds, because they have different undertones so I thought it'd be good to use both, then a flesh colour, and then a fat coat of quick dry top coat. Before it dried properly, I took a toothpick and cut three slashes, but since they looked too even, I had to play with the toothpick on the edges a bit to make it look better. Then I thought it needed more red, so I added a tiny bit to the edges, with the toothpick. And then I did NOT top coat it because it would've ruined the texture.

I used:
Sinful Colors Black on Black
SpaRitual Hunk of Burnin' Love
Kiko 362
Uñikas nº 22
Sally Hansen Insta-dri

'Tis but a scratch.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Hearty Nails Halloween 2016: Painterly candy corn

And so it's here, it has come, it's Halloween time. Last year I had a single blogpost with two Halloween designs, because I was late with it. This year I will be having two posts, but I'm also a bit late, oops. You might think the 23rd isn't all that late, but I really wanted to post this earlier.

Anyway, in last year's post, one of the designs was a revamping of a design I had previously done, twice. This here design follows the same concept of improving a previous design. To be specific, a candy corn design I did in 2013, which you can see here. While I liked it back then, I kept thinking the french edge is too sharp and doesn't really go that well with the gradient below. So I took the gradient aspect, and gave it a twist.

(I did not change the background here, it's my old friend the lighting problem)

It was all done in acrylic paint over a base of white polish, which was Barry M Matt White (honestly I keep being surprised when I read the name despite having had it for years, because it's not matte??? Ok it literally just occurred to me that it might be named after a person, but in that case, why??).

I painted the acrylic right over the white base, starting with the yellow, followed by the orange (which I mixed, because I don't have an orange) and then back with the yellow and back with the orange until they had just the right amount of overlapping. Then I went in with white acrylic paint to soften the top edge of the orange until, again, it was just the right amount of overlapping.

At some point this week there will be another Halloween post up. Hopefully not on the actual 31st, that would mean true last minute.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Hearty Nails: Yellow flowers

Hello everyone! There is a small announcement today: I will be changing the appearance of the blog very soon. You may or may not be excited about that (probably not) but I sure am.

Today's nail art is sponsored by my lack of variety when drawing flowers. I wanted to practise some different flowers, because I always go to easy roses or dot-flowers when I think of any kind of flower. 

I think this was actually a poor attempt at daffodils. I painted a white creme base, which I don't remember what polish it was because I currently have 3 different creme white polishes (...yeah, I know). Then I sponged some green for texture and did some green lines as stems, in a waterfall-y style. Then went the flower heads, where you can see my absolute lack of painting skill (perspective? what perspective?). The colour was all done in acrylic paints, then topped with a matte topcoat (which I also don't remember because I have...also 3 of them).

That's all for today~ See you soon with a new look~