Tips & Tricks

VIDEO: Polish Tips! Getting the perfect white manicure

I recently found some old video footage that I shot back in June. While I don’t like the particular polish color I used in the video (I think it’s technically a white neon), the tips included in the video are valuable because white (and super light) nail polishes are particularly challenging. It can be difficult to get perfect results.

Here are some tips and tricks for getting the best manicure possible when using white polishes. :)

NOTE: The polish I used is the video is Mod in Manhattan from Color Club. It was included in a Birchbox sample box.

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Nail Stamping Image Plate Storage

Last week as I was picking out images to stamp on my nails, I was completely fed up with my lack of organization when it comes to the plethora of nail plates I’ve acquired over the last couple years. I went to Google and started searching. There were some great solution, but none that I liked more than this so I wanted to share it with you all! :)

I wish I could take credit for this idea. It’s brilliant!. I’m not sure who originally came up with this idea since I found it in multiple places online. Anyhow, here’s my nail stamping image plate storage solution…

Items mentioned in video…

 

 

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Traveling With Nail Polish: What to Bring? Picking Polish!

This is my second post in a mini series on Traveling with Nail Polish. Be sure to check out the first installment about packing polish for air travel, which included a video showing how I pack polish. :)

For any nail polish junkie like myself, it’s super hard to condense down what I love into a small bag for travel. As you saw in the video showing how I pack, sometimes I don’t condense it too much. LOL! In that particular case, I was going on a girls trip and I knew I would be painting other people’s nails. So I wanted to give them a variety of colors to choose from.

But when I travel just on my own where I know there won’t be an opportunity to paint other people’s nails (which I love to do!), I usually go about it this way…

Choosing Polish

  1. After choosing the clothing I will wear on the trip, I try to pick complimentary nail polish colors. When I’m at home, I generally don’t mind wearing mismatched polish and clothing, but when I’m away I want to look more put together, you know? So first I look at what I’ll be wearing. If there’s just a couple shades that would look nice with my clothing, I’ll pack those shades.
  2. After I pick out the matching shades (usually just two polishes), I’ll throw in a third that’s fun and funky. :) Sometimes I just want to wear a polish that’s fun and I don’t worry about matching my clothing. I usually pick polishes that just feel good and I know that when I’m away from home I’ll at least want the option to pick something daring.
  3. Then into my bag I throw in a basecoat (Orly Rubberized Bonder), topcoat (Seche Vite), small bottle of remover (2 oz. Zoya Remove+), cotton pads, and a nail file.

In total, that’s 5 bottles of polish. For some, that’s just too many. But for me, it’s the smallest amount I can pack without feeling completely deprived. :) In short…

The Packing List

Bottle 1: Complimentary polish color
Bottle 2: Complimentary polish color
Bottle 3: Fun color
Bottle 4: Basecoat
Bottle 5: Topcoat
Small nail polish remover
Cotton pads
Nail File

Or Keep it Simple

To keep it simple, you could also just take nail strips and a topcoat. That would be super easy to pack. :)

When you pack for a trip, what do you take?

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Traveling with Nail Polish: Packing Polish for Air Travel

Hi all! This is the first blog post in a short series I’m doing on traveling with nail polish. In this first post, I’m covering how I pack nail polish for air travel. I usually use this method when I’ll by flying on an airplane, and it works well for travel by ground as well.

Things to note:

  1. Some polishes travel better than others. In particular, I’ve noticed that my CND polishes don’t travel well. They tend to leak no matter how tightly I close the bottles. For that reason, I usually take Orly Rubberized Bonder insead of my usual CND Stickey Base Coat.
  2. For nail polish remover, I use a small travel size bottle (the 2 oz. bottles of Zoya Remove+ are great for this). I “double bag” the remover and then put it either inside the padded toiletry bag with the polishes (if it fits), or just inside my suitcase. As long as the top of the bottle is tightly closed, I don’t have any problem with leaking.

Oh, and CLICK HERE for the info on the cosmetic bag (links to the tutorial).

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Butter London Slapper + Butter London Basecoat and Topcoat

This gorgeous teal blue is Butter London’s Slapper. I adore it so much! I’m really into blues and teals at the moment. :)

Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat & Hardwear P. D. Quick Topcoat

I noticed when used Seche Vite Topcoat (my favorite!) with Butter London polishes I get a bit of shrinkage (the polish pulling away from the tips of my nails). Not the most attractive thing in the world. Definitely not as much shrinkage as when I use Seche Vita with Zoya polishes, but enough to make me want to try the Butter London base and topcoats.

I found a set at Ulta Beauty called Backstage Basics that came with the basecoat, topcoat, remover, and then a polish color of your choice. For my color, I chose Slapper. It really is a great way to try out Butter London since you save $30 when you buy the set!

As you can see from the photo above, the basecoat is a pale nude color. It goes on pretty sheer and dries to a semi-matte finish (I would call it a satin finish). It was actually very pretty by itself.

After I let the basecoast dry for about 3 minutes, I applied two coats of Slapper, waiting about 3 minutes between coats. Then I topped it off with the Hardwear topcoat. It dried fairly quickly and I was good to go after about 15 minutes as long as I was still careful not to dent it. It was dry to the touch, though.

Four days later, I had very minimal tipwear…

Granted, I had a few very easy days. I didn’t do any housework since I was out of town, but I did do a bit of packing and moving things around. Generally when I’m doing lots of dishes or putting my hands in water quite a bit (even just to take a shower), my polish doesn’t last as long. That being said, I thought my Butter London manicure lasted a long time. :)

The verdict? I love the Butter London basecoat and topcoat. It helps Butter London polishes last for a long time. The only thing I miss is the high shine of Seche Vite topcoat. But for the better wear and no shrinkage, I’ll happily use all Butter London when I want to use a Butter London polish color. :)

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Basic Manicure – Parts 1 & 2

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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Non-Konad Polishes that work for Nail Stamping

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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How to Get a Long Lasting Manicure

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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