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~

Monday, 5 September 2016

Hearty Nails: Buttons

You know how people collect buttons? I don't imagine it's all people, just the ones that sew. Buttons often of unknown origin, gathered together in a box. Sometimes, a tin box that once housed biscuits of some kind.
The specific button box that inspired this manicure wasn't a former biscuit tin, actually, it was a collection housed in a tupperware. Points for originality, I guess.

To be honest these were too many colours to remember, but I do remember it was done in all polish, because I did it when I went to England and had no paints. And yet I had all these colours, hah (except for the light purple from the heart shaped button, that one was borrowed).

Monday, 15 August 2016

Hearty Nails: Summer Galaxies

You may (or may not) remember how back in April I started a four-part series consisting of four galaxy designs each inspired by a season. The Spring design I did back in April (here, if you want to see) was inspired by a pen, and done in pastel and neon pastel polishes (which, yes, neon pastel or pastel neon is a Thing that exists). This Summer design is not inspired by any object in particular, though it might vaguely resemble a tie dye t-shirt or something.

Summer galaxy nail art

You may notice the background doesn't look particularly white. It was meant to be white. Sometimes I have trouble with my lighting. And then have to fix it on Photoshop.

Summer galaxy nail art

There was also another problem with this design, and it was the neon orange polish. It simply refused to open. I still haven't managed to open it, stubborn ass of a polish. So any orange that you see in the design is actually made by sponging neon yellow over the neon pink. It's a very handy thing neons do.
Another thing worth mentioning is that unlike most other pictures, my nails are more oval shaped here. That is because sometimes I get bored and like to experiment with changing the shape of my nails, but I always end up going back to squoval (or, you know, rounded square) because it's the most comfortable for me.

Summer galaxy nail art

Products used:
-Sponge (not a makeup sponge this time).
-Dotting tool.
-BarryM Matt White (confusingly enough, not matte)
-Easy Paris nº 48 (I think, maybe. The writing is half rubbed off so I can barely see)(neon pink)
-Yssy nº 084 (neon yellow)
-Kiko nº 247 (glittery pink)
-Anon [b]asic from the Clarel own line (sheer golden shimmer)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Hearty Nails: Tatsuhi on Timeland

There was once a band called Zoro. That band is no more. This beginning could get a couple of people I know bawling just like that.
I have mentioned in the past at some point that disbandments in the vk scene are a rather common occurrence, unfortunately. That's what happened here.
It happened a while ago, too, and this picture has been sitting in my drafts since before they disbanded so that says something (not good) about my posting speed. Oops.

I believe I actually managed to accidentally write "sex" on one finger lol. I swear it was an accident, the point of this was random letters and numbers.

Polishes used:
NYC black & white
H&M x Hello Kitty Turqouise
Kiko 281
Deborah Unlimited Colours Nº1

And here you can see the video in which he wore this outfit. Do excuse the rubbish quality, it's a very old video. Old by internet standards anyway.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Hearty Nails: Poupée inspired

So a while ago now, there was a game I used to play. It was called PoupéeGirl. Do you remember those paper dolls you cut out and cut out clothes for and hung them on the paper dolls? It was like that, but in digital form. The game is now defunct, but it was fun while it lasted. They had some awesome clothing, and at one point I was legitimately jealous of the closet of my digital paper doll. Yes, seriously.

This nail art was inspired by a skirt. Not all clothes were as busy as this skirt, mind you, this was a sort of candy costume of some sort. I think.

Polishes used:
NYC white
Essence 57 Love of Pink
Kiko 389 (mint) & 376 (pink)
Essence 86 a lovely secret

Here you can see where I got the inspiration from, the ridiculously busy printed candy costume skirt.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Hearty nails: Birthday card nails

So, I have this friend from Australia, right (Hi, Hika!). We met online back when LiveJournal was still alive.
She sends me a card for my birthday every year (and Xmas). I send her letters because the choice of cards around here isn't great (though I managed a nice Xmas card this year).
This birthday card was sent like two or three years ago. Maybe. I realise there's no picture of the actual card but now I'd have to look for it (I'm sure it's somewhere in the room but fuck knows where).
Anyway, here you go, pics:

It was drawn with one of those two-way pens with a long striping brush, and also tape to help with the straight lines. And yes, if you were wondering, this was also an old pic post. Bye.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Hearty Nails: Spring Galaxies

I have set a challenge for myself: during this year, I'll do 4 different galaxy nail designs, each inspired by a season.
And so it starts with spring.

Spring galaxy nails

It feels slightly strange using all polish for a design when I'm already used to always needing to crack out the acrylic paint. But it's a lot less fuss like this, even with all the sponging.

Spring galaxy nails

The inspiration for the exact colours used came from a pen, of all things. This is a pen a friend got me from Japan and actually I love it, it writes very smooth and nice. It's from some ~cute character~ but I don't know it and honestly Japan has like five million ~cute characters~ so I'm pretty sure it's impossible to know all of them anyway.

Spring galaxy nails

Spring galaxy nails

Stuff used:
-Makeup sponge
-Dotting tool
-NYC Raindrop
-WYNIE 806
-Miss Sporty 344 (I THINK that's its name number)
-Essence Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (from the Cinderella collection if you couldn't tell)
-A Franken neon pastel pink (yes neon pastel/pastel neon is a Thing)
-H&MxHello Kitty Darling Pink
-Kiko 355
-Wet n Wild French White Crème
-Wet n Wild Matte Top Coat

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Hearty Nails: blue flowers

Welcome to another post from the vaults. I shall be posting all the old unposted pictures, I think, and maybe that way my drafts won't be a mess. Also maybe that will make me post a bit more regularly.
One can hope.

Here's some wintery blue flowers, before winter actually ends. Unless you live somewhere that already counts March 1st as Spring in which case oops.

blue flowers nail art

Two-tone petals over a white-to-blue gradient base, very simple, I probably drew it with toothpicks as usual (except the gradient, obviously that requires a sponge of some kind), I'm always terribly lazy to get my brushes dirty (because then I have to clean them).

blue flowers nail art

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Hearty Nails (lives!): Holo lace

Haih. Not dead.
The problem with school is that when you're not used to it (I'm not a kid, it's been a while), it's exhausting. Mine just happens to be Beauty School, and since we have a lot of practice hours it's really a lot of work, which results in afternoon braindeath.

It also means I have no brain left to think of anything other than school. Hence no blog post since Halloween. Oops.

So here I bring you, Ye Olde Pictures. I honestly don't know how old they are but they were sleeping in the drafts folder so I thought I'd let them out a bit.

holo lace nail art

Holographic nail polish is infamously hard to photograph. Below you can see my best attempt, in really warm light.

Kiko 400
NYC white
Random no-brand plastic rhinestones