Wednesday, February 29, 2012

High Voltage Hearts

OK, so I couldn't make it to the weekend.  I finally got in my newest Gelish color and I am obsessed with it.  AMAZING color.  The only thing that makes me sad is that the pictures (despite multiple attempts) do NOT do the color justice.  It just makes it look very one demensional and flat.  It has a tremendous amount of sparkle and is so much brighter in person.  I highly recommend it for the Gelish, or even just plain "gel" users. Here is a picture from the gelish Website that shows a sample of the color.
So, I used Gelish base coat, applied two coats of the color which is called High Voltage and then a top coat.  Once I eliminated the sticky surface, I was ready to add on.  I have to say, I like variety but I think I loved the color so mush of the pink that it really can be worn with nothing extra.  It is really just amazing on it's own.  For me, however, I wanted a little extra something.  So, I used Konad Special in black and freehanded french tips.  You can easily use a french manicure guide or tape if you needed to right over the top of the Gelish top coat without doing any damage.  After it had time to dry, I used Konad's special in white and stamping plate BM03 to make the heart.  I love the final product.

Unfortunately, right now, my camera is not working so I am forced to use the iphone to take the pictures.  I usually can't say enough about the iphone but it just doesn't hold a candle to my regular camera.  For now, I will just have to make due.  I just love the overall look here and it will make me sad to change it out this weekend. I'll really have to think of something great to replace it.  One more design before St. Patrick's Day!!!  Until then.....happy nail design......!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Zebra on Blue

I wanted to start out by letting everyone know that last weeks creation lasted the whole week with not one flaw.  The Gelish base and sparkle top coat was in perfect shape when I removed it today.  I thought during the week that I might take of the top coat and switch out the design but never had time.  Also, I got alot of compliments and many people told me I should use it around Easter because the design reminded them of decorating Easter eggs.  I will keep that in mind for next year but most likely, I will come up with a dozen new ideas between now and then.  This week, I got in a new shade of Gelish called Caution which is a dark navy blue with a little bit of subtle glitter fleck mixed in.  I love the color by itself and it really changes when hit with different lighting.  I knew I wanted to do some stamping on the top but couldn't decide what color.  This is what I ended up with....

I wanted to stay somewhat neutral since I have some meetings at work during the week and wanted to stay away from any bright flashy colors.  I used Konad m57 for the zebra print design and the color is Konad's Special nail Polish in Silver.  As always, the beauty is that the base color in navy will last until I take it off.  I can change out the top design multiple times during the week if I wanted (or if I had the time).  Or I could just take off the zebra print and leave the base color to stand alone.  So, if next weekend I get tied up, I don't have to worry about going into work Monday with naked nails.  Here is one more look...

Now I am in the process of coming up with an idea for St. Patrick's Day.  Something classy but gives tribute to my heritage.  I have a few ideas in mind but I might go shopping on Amazon between now and then to see if I can't find something new.  Until then, happy nail design......

Monday, February 20, 2012

Introduction to Nail Design

OK, so several months ago someone turned me on to Pinterest.  I became addicted very quickly.  I started out pinning the two things I love the most, traveling and food.  Little by little, I started to add on additional interests.  Animals, of course.  And then a photo of amazing nail design that I found on Chloe's Nails Blog.  I have been biting my nails for years.  Periodically, I would have acrylic nails put on to prevent me from biting them but I hate the feeling of acrylic nails.  Especially when I have to type on a keyboard at work.  Also, I hate the damage it does to my natural nails. 
I went to a salon and the manicurist asked if I would be interested in Shellac.  I had never heard of it.  Tried it and was sold instantly.  At the time, Salons were selling a Shellac manicure for $50.  This would be costly over time but after a little research, I found that I could purchase the supplies and the light online (I got mine off E-bay) and could save alot of money.  Awesome solution, I could grow my nails out, the feel is very natural and I don't have to paint my nails every few days to keep them looking nice. 
Then I realized that you can use Shellac (and Gelish which I have also begun using) as a base for hundreds and hundreds of different nail designs using regular polish.  The polish sticks and you don't have to worry about your color chipping in a few days. 
I thought it might be fun to try a blog of my own.  I know I will not be close to Chloe's nails because she has perfect hands, nails and is great with the camera but I am going to try and add my ideas.

So here is my first attempt (terrible picture, I know).  I have used Shellac Black Pool as a base.  I do the whole Shellac process which consists of base coat, two color coats and a top coat.  I use alcohol to rub off the sticky finish and then paint right over the top with regular polish.  Here I used Essie's A Cut Above which is a clear base filled with large pink metallic pieces.  The effect was so cool and the metallic pieces did not flake off like they do when painted on regular nails.  In fact, the Shellac started peeling while the Essie stayed on firm.  I am finding that the Scrub fresh product sold by CND really helps as a basecoat for the Shellac to keep it from lifting longer.

I am amazed how easy it is now to access gel polish.  I saw in Walmart the other day at least three different UV lights for sale.  Somewhere along the line I had read that it is not possible to blend Shellac products with Gelish by Harmony.  I can now say that this is untrue.  I bought a few colors of the Gelish to give it a try since I was only familiar with using the Shellac products. problem!!!  I used Shellac base and Shellac top coat with Gelish Princess Tiara and it adhered and set fine.

I like the Gelish for many reasons, first because there are 75 different colors.  And, I don't just mean 75 different variations of pink, red or brown.  These are really a wide range of colors and they also have sparkles, which I love.  Also, I feel like it goes on smoother and isn't as thick. Now Princess Tiara is a light purple and I have topped it here with Sally Hansen Ice Queen.  This is a clear base and it has tiny silver sparkles and also larger metallic pieces in purple and blue.  Here is another picture in better light.

I plan on adding a new combination every one to two weeks and will show you how amazing stamping can be on Gel polish.  Stamping and specialty design take time and it is frustraing to invest so much time into something that disappears in a few days.  You will see how the gel base can be an amzing asset and a worthwhile investment.  Happy nail design.......