Monthly Archives

April 2012

Simple Manicure

Zoya Bevin

April 21, 2012

I wasn’t sure about this color at first, but it’s really growing on me. :)

I love the colors that Zoya offers but I struggle with what top coat to use. The Zoya Armor top coat has major bubbling issues for me. I’ve tried it multiple times and I just can’t get it right.

So this time I used CND Super Shiney top coat. It seemed to work a little bit better. When I took the above photos, I only had a few bubbles. But over the next hour or so, just like when I used the Zoya top coat, many more bubbles developed. I think next time I’ll use even thinner coats of the polish and allow even more drying time between coats. I suspect that’s the real underlying issue. I’ll have to report back.

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Simple Manicure, Tips & Tricks, Video

Basic Manicure – Parts 1 & 2

April 20, 2012

Products Used / Mentioned

Zoya Remove+
Sephora by OPI polish remover
Cotton Rounds
HandsDown Ultra Nail & Cosmetic Pads – http://www.transdesign.com
Nail Brush – http://www.transdesign.com
Softsoap Cucumber & Melon soap
Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover
Orangewood Stick
Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme
The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil
The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream
Magic Nail, Nail Hardener
CND Sticky Base Coat

Products Used / Mentioned

China Glaze Liquid Leather polish
Zoya Maisie Fleck Effects polish
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

See photos of manicure

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Nail Stamping

Orange Diagonal Chevron

April 19, 2012

Note: These are the same colors I used on Julie’s nails in the far right image in this post. I was inspired after doing her nails last weekend and tried a new version with the chevron stamp at a diagonal. :)

Base Color: Essie Orange, It’s Obvious
Stamping Color: Konad Special Polish in White
Stamping Plate: Bundle Monster BM-201

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Nail Stamping, Tips & Tricks

Non-Konad Polishes that work for Nail Stamping

April 18, 2012

When I first starting nail stamping, I only used the Konad Special Polishes. Granted, I started out with only black and white, but they seemed to be the best options. Since then I’ve learned that there are some other polishes that work, too. :)

Metallic Polishes

Chrome or metallic polishes. Most silver polishes like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep, or China Glaze Millenium are great examples. Also, all the polishes from China Glaze’s Romantique collection from a couple years ago stamp very well. I picked up those from a seller on Amazon.com a while back.

Opaque Quick Drying Polishes

Sometimes regular old polish will work. When I discover that a polish I already own will stamp sufficiently it’s like finding buried treasure! :)

Most of the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes will work. There are just a few that I’ve found that do not (Going Grape, for example). And the best part is that the Insta-Dri line of polishes is sold in drug stores and what I lovingly call “The Mother Ship” aka Ulta Beauty. ;)

Sometimes darker Zoya or Essie polishes will work. Really, the best thing to do is to just try polishes out.

Your Online Nail Buddies to the Rescue!

I came across this list not too long ago. A bunch of avid nail stamping fans have been compiling a list of non-Konad polishes that work for stamping. It’s definitely worth checking out, even though it hasn’t been updated for a while. :)

New to stamping? What to get first…

For brand new nail stampers, I would suggest the following polishes:

  • Konad Special Polish White (haven’t found a white as good)
    Konad Special Polish Black (many blacks work, I just use this since I have it)
    Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep
    Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Presto Pink

Those are my most used stamping polishes, although I do have a few more that I love to use.

All in all, it’s really about trying out different polishes to see what works for you. I’ve read on some nail blogs that they’ll find an old dried up polish, try it out with stamping, and it will work beautifully. So don’t be afraid to do some experimenting on your own. :)

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Nail Stamping

Lots of stamping, part 1

April 15, 2012

Hi all! Out of town this weekend at a papercrafting retreat with some friends. I packed a bunch of nail polish and had many guinea pigs to try out different color and stamping combinations on. It was heaven! :)

I have five to show you today, and I’ll show another five tomorrow. Enjoy! If you have a specific question about colors used, let me know. :)

P.S. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of all the manicures I did over the weekend. I completely forgot to grab pictures of a few. So if any of you ladies are reading and have pictures, please email them to me! :)

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Simple Manicure

Rescue Beauty Lounge Black Russian

April 13, 2012

I’ve been eying Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes for a while now and finally ordered a few polishes a couple weeks ago. They’re not the cheapest polishes in the world, but I’ve heard the quality of the polish is amazing. It’s hard to order polishes online without seeing them in person, but I took a chance and I’m glad I did. :)

When the package arrived, I immediately fell in love with Black Russian and knew I’d chosen wisely. It’s the perfect blend of dark vampy polish and a bit of red shimmer. I took this photo in my hotel room without good lighting (out of town at the moment), but believe me the shimmer is more apparent in natural light. :)

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Tips & Tricks

How to Get a Long Lasting Manicure

April 11, 2012

I’ve tried a lot of combinations of nail products while searching for the best way to make my nails stronger and nail polish stick. This is the latest combination that I’m loving…

  1. One thin coat of Nail Magic: Nail Hardener and Conditioner (available at Sally Beauty)
  2. One thin coat of CND Sticky Base (I bought mine at transdesign.com)
  3. Apply your nail polish color, etc. Usually I do two coats, but it depends on the coverage and how opaque the polish is.
  4. Once coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat (also purchased at transdesign.com)

I’ve been getting minimal tip wear with this combination. And most of all, my nails are stronger. I attribute that to the Nail Magic. I’ve been using it consistently for about 6 weeks and I’ve seriously noticed a difference in the strength of my nails. It’s also cut down on the the amount of peeling (my nails usually peel because they get so dry). Between lightly buffing out any peeling when I notice it starting, and the Nail Magic, my nails have never been stronger. :)

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