Thursday, December 20, 2012

Small Update

I'm still around :)

I haven't been doing many nails the last couple of weeks but I've been very busy.  I did a fill on my acrylic french, added a coat of OPI Princesses Rule and a little konad stamping.  How very unlike me eh?
I wore that to an interview at a salon!  The salon I get my hair done at is short a nail tech right now and they asked if I would help them out.  So I'm now actually working as a part-time nail tech doing only gel extensions on evenings and weekends.  Never in a million years did I think I'd be working at a salon doing nails!  I really need the cash right now though so this worked out well for me.  My first appointment is tomorrow.
So here are my own Christmas nails done in Gelish over acrylics and just plain old striping brushes on top.  I really liked this from the normal 'blog shot' angle:
I didn't really keep it on long though.  And finally in other news I've got a new job starting mid-January.  Exact same type of company I was working at before but different city even though the commute is roughly the same.  I'm looking forward to it!
Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Big Ass Post

I've been busy doing nails, I just have limited internet access at the moment so here's one big post to make up for it.

I'm also on a different computer that doesn't seem to like either blogger or flickr so bear with me here.  This is a Shellac french on natural nails.  I would have preferred to cut them all down to the same size but this is what she wanted.  Her nails are naturally thick and strong though, she's lucky.
The Princess of Poo ripped her gels off.  Not because of anything I did wrong though.  Even though I was pissed at her and she ruined her nails, I gave her a Rockstar Shellac anyways.  The glitter I used on the bottom half is an ice iridescent colour that doesn't show up in pics but looks amazing in the sun.
The Queen Mum got another fill on her gels and a Shellac Marble as a treat.  She even let me add a little glitter.  6 weeks and counting...

I went a little overboard at Cosmoprof on Black Friday but who can resist full size Gelish at $10.75CAD?  The cheapest Gelish I ever bought was $13US on Amazon so this was an amazing deal.  Even better that the limited collections were included.  Names are listed in the pic but if you can't read them and want to know just ask.

I decided to give acrylics another go.  I did a french on myself and I think they turned out great this time.  I added some gems and a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust to them.
Then I got bored after a couple of days, removed the Fairy Dust and gems and stamped them with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Titanium Rose.  Can't remember which stamping plate though, sorry.  I can tell you it's definitely Konad 30something...

And finally, another couple of days later I got bored again and I painted the tips with China Glaze Glistening Snow with a couple of iridescent stars as an accent.  I've had these acrylics on for about a week and a half and I have to say I really like them.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Speedy Post

I will not be posting much over the next several weeks but here are a few quick shots to share before I leave.

China Glaze Mahogany Magic with 2 coats of OPI's The Man With the Golden Gun 18k top coat.  The accent nail is a really old gold polish with the label ripped off but I love it because it's more like a true gold shade than all the current polishes.  If I hadn't got my Nail Tech certification I never would have purchased the limited edition OPI at $40CAD.  I paid half of that (still friggen expensive!) at CosmoProf.

China Glaze Blue Bells Ring with some random silver polish sponged on and a coat of Revlon Belle on top.

My new fave red!  China Glaze Cranberry Splash.  I love red but it doesn't always go well with my pale skin tone.  This one glows amazingly!

And lastly is a Shellac Rockstar with some dollar store purple glitter and LeChat Hologram Diamond.  Love the sparkle, don't love the colours.  I'm messing around with my Rockstar technique and wasn't happy with this.

I'm wondering if I should have bothered opening up my OPI 18k top coat?  I have a feeling we're going to see it on ebay in a year or so for at least $100...


Friday, November 9, 2012

Just some nail art

The Princess of Poo wanted her pink french gels dressed up a bit:

I think this design was from the Showcase Store plates and I have no idea what number it was.  This photographed much better this time around.  The last one almost looked dirty.  I like this much better.

My Mom managed to keep her nails intact for almost 2 full weeks!  She had a chip on her thumb I had to fix but I went ahead and gave her a fill, then gave her two coats of OPI Gelcolor in Thanks a Windmillion.  I'm stunned she actually picked the colour herself.  Then I hand painted some poppies on accent nails for Remembrance Day which is on Sunday.  I think they turned out quite nice.  She's going to visit the Duchess of Doo in Delaware for a week so this is the perfect manicure for her.  She can remove the poppies with non-acetone remover after Sunday and just wear the Gelcolor until she gets home.  I'm hoping they arrive home in perfect condition.  She's been diligent in using her cuticle oil and I'm really happy with how well she's been keeping her nails.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Busy with gels

My Mom managed to keep her gels for one full week so far.  She wasn't fond of the square shape so I rounded them for her, added 2 coats of OPI DS Passion and a little bit of simple nail art.

The Princess of poo was due for a fill so I redid her french, shortened them a bit and added some pink glitter.  I don't like it but she does so I suppose that's all that matters.

I also did a fill on myself even though I didn't really need it and removed the dark french.  I used a bit of holographic and iridescent glitter and decided it looked so wintery that I needed to stamp snowflakes on it.  It's still pretty blingy.

I'm officially launching my business this week.  I'm curious to see how this goes...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Playing with gel

I know I said before that I wasn't happy with the Star Nail product that we were given in our student kits.  So I did some investigation to try and find a better product.  The beauty supply stores don't carry enough variety nor do they carry trial kits, not to mention the fact that the selection of nail products is just plain abysmal in general.

So I discovered that there are a few companies that make gels you can use for tips and sculpted extensions and they actually soak off!  Bio Sculpture is the big one that some of you may have heard of as well as Calgel but when I received their product info I just about fell over in my chair looking at their price lists!

So then I found that there is actually a Canadian company - Akzentz, that sells one as well for much much cheaper and I ordered a couple of kits from them.

And of course I had to test them out right away.  I used clear tips to extend my nails and tried out their soak off 'Options' gel.

And because I'm still learning and want to play, I added some mylar flakes, mylar stars and a bit of holographic glitter.  But here's the best part...I actually managed to do both hands!  It's slightly easier with gels than acrylics, but I'm happy to finally have matching hands again.  It still took me 3.5 hours to do my own nails which is painful really.  But it's worth it because I need to have blingy nails that people will notice to build up my clientele, right?

I'm hoping this product will hold up over the next couple of weeks.  We'll see what happens.


Monday, October 29, 2012


Some people just can't break old habits no matter what you try.

My Mother is a nail biter.  I won't post her age but I will tell you that she has bitten her nails for decades.  I actually inherited this trait from her but I quit in my early 20s after watching a program about the disgusting crap that lives under your free edge.  So these are her sad nails.  This photo is actually a GOOD photo of her nails since there is normally no free edge at all.  I've tried Shellac on her and it doesn't stay on.  She also constantly has her hands in water.

So about a month ago I decided to help her grow them out and put a gel overlay on her nails.  She came back the next week with several missing!  I'm pretty sure it wasn't the product that was the problem but I fixed it and then refilled her overlay another 2 weeks after that.

She came to me on the weekend asking me to do her nails again.  The overlay was left on only 3 of her nails!  So I give up.  She won't wear gloves while cleaning and she picks at them but she has been very good applying cuticle oil.  I told her I would give her gel extensions and if she ruined them by not taking proper care, I was done wasting my product on her.

I gave her natural tips and cut them super short.  This took me an hour and 15 mins - yahoo!  I'm crossing my fingers that she takes care of them.

And much to my amazement, once I was done I convinced my uber-conservative Mother to do the following:

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Exam Nails

The Princess of Poo finally got her gel nails!  She was my model for my final exam and here they are.  I was not 100% happy with these as my annoyance factor was through the friggen roof!  I was super annoyed by all the women in the room at once and listening to the chit chat about church and kids etc., plus somebody decided they wanted to listen to music without consulting anyone else in the room and it was not something I could tolerate.

Every other girl in the class did white french tips except for me.  I did full clear tips and painted my french on.  I was having some issues with the white pulling back on me so I pretty much just wanted to scream those whole 2 hours.  However when I was done the instructor came over and said 'very good'.

So when I got home I fixed them up for her.  I perfected the smile lines and shortened them for her.  The written test was a breeze and I'm sure I passed everything but we won't be getting our certificates until December because the instructor has a small issue.  So yeah, I guess I'm a nail tech now?  It'll probably feel more real once that paper is in my hands.

And a parting shot of my own short acrylic nails (only one hand again lol) done with CND holographic Metro powder and an embedded fimo heart:


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Decisions decisions

So last weekend was my final day of training at nail school.  This weekend will be my final exams.  We learned fills and acrylics last weekend.  The acrylic products we are training on are supplied by Star Nail and there are a few differences from the acrylic products I've tried before so I was pretty excited about it.

The Star acrylic is odor free which is great!  It's also UV cured and gives quite a bit more 'play time' which is also good for someone who's learning.  On the practice nail I did it was still a bit too thick for my liking but the instructor said it was good.

Then I went home and tried my hand at acrylics on my own nails and decided to get a little funky (or ghetto as it actually turned out lol) with it:

I used clear tips and was really happy with my blending but I made them too long and they are way too blingy for me.  It took me a full 2 hours to do this on one hand!  I attempted doing my bad hand but it's painfully frustrating so I've got one hand with blingy acrylics and one hand with nothing on them!  I also shortened these quite a bit after a day of wear.

I did find the Star acrylics much easier to work with however they crack very easily and I just can't get them thin, plus they bubble like mad.  I'm considering giving up on acrylics altogether.  As for their Gel products, I like them but feel there's better out there so I've been contacting distributors to try out different brands and find the right fit before I can offer them to clients.  I'm particularly excited to try Bio Sculpture Gel because you can apparently soak it off instead of buffing!

I'm also considering giving up the blog.  There are several reasons: 1. I just can't find much time to post lately.  2. My direction and focus has changed immensely from what I originally intended.  3. I can't even remember the last time I bought a regular nail polish, and anything I do buy in the future will likely be geared towards what my clients are asking for, not what I personally like.  4.  Regular polish and the 'Indie' craze has left me completely bored and uninspired lately.  5. I've decided to take my Nail Tech Certification seriously, start up a mobile business and therefore I feel a blog dedicated to my business would be a better direction for me.

I really haven't made any decisions yet but there's definitely a lot going on in my head right now.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


In my nail school kit we were given a pot of 'Kapping Gel' with calcium.  Our teacher said this was a good product for nail biters.  Well I've got the perfect candidate to test it out Mother!

This is her before shot.  She's actually managed to grow out a bit of free edge recently since I've been trying different things on her.

I cleaned her up a bit and applied 2 coats of Kapping Gel.  It's basically hard gel without an extension.  The idea is to prevent her from biting her nails and making them stronger to enable her to grow them out.  I have to do 'fills' on her every 2-3 weeks and I'll take photos of her progress as we go along.  I really hope this works for her and I can help others to grow their own nails out.  This would also be great for someone who can grow their nails but find that they break constantly.  You can polish right over it all you want and remove with non-acetone remover.

The Princess of Poo has been in nail heaven lately and not so patiently counting the days until she gets her gel extensions (she is going to be my model on exam day).  I've been doing a lot of fun stuff on her lately.  This is China Glaze's Catwalk and I can't remember the pink one but it's from the core line.  She wasn't sure at first about the accent finger but I think after wearing it for a couple of days she likes it.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My First Full Sets

I know you all miss seeing my own nails lol but sadly they are bare at the moment.  So here are the nails I've done recently:

This is a set of gel nails with tips that I did for my boyfriends niece.  They are probably still a bit long for her but I was relatively happy with how they turned out.

And a close up shot.  The tips weren't all a perfect fit since I only had 20 tips work with in my kit, but I did try shaping them to fit.  I really need to practice getting faster at it - this set took me 2 hours!

This is my boyfriends sisters nails - sculpted gels.  I had a rough time with this one, I see many imperfections and I'm definitely not ready to charge for these yet.

It took me 2 and a half hours to do these nails.  I really struggled with the shaping since she likes them more rounded.  She was happy with them though.

These were a pretty good test for me to see if I am capable of doing this professionally.  I definitely would not want to do 2 sets in one night again that's for sure.  There is a bit of satisfaction when I'm done though.  They both oohed and aahed over all the glitter and embellished nails I had on display so it's likely they'll both come back for something a little more funky.  The french is so much harder to perfect than other designs.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Busy busy

Do you know what the worst part of nail school is?  The fact that I can't paint my nails as often as I'd like and I can't use Shellac at all until I'm done!  We need to come to class with bare nails so we can practice on each other and let me tell you I'm not really happy about having some beginner try and put extensions on my nails that are near impossible to remove!

But enough bitching about that...I did manage to paint my nails once last week:

My camera could not handle the awesomeness that is Studio M's Slammin Red!  I also tried out 2 coats of the Elmer's glue underneath for easier removal.

Anybody who has access to a Meijer store needs to have this polish.  It's like holographic rockstar glitter on crack!  So sad that my camera can't quite capture it.  I will say there is one downside to it - it eats topcoat like a mofo.  I used one coat of Gelous plus 2 coats of Seche Vite and I could still feel the texture!  The Elmer's glue did make for easy removal but I also had a chip the very next morning.  I'd say it's worth it though since I never wear glitters due to the removal process.

Most of what I've been busy doing lately is manicures on other people.

This is 3 coats of Red Carpet Manicure in Love Those Baby Blues with a bit of silver glitter sprinkled on the tips.

And this is the Princess of Poo wearing 2 coats of Red Carpet Manicure in After Party Playful with Shellac Asphalt and Gelish Ali Baba's Sim Sala Bim marbled in and topped off with a few large iridescent hex glitters.

Here's a close up to show how awesome the glitter looks.  I really like the soak off marbling, it's much less messy than water marbling and you can kind of manipulate it into the exact design you want.  Plus less polish waste :)


Monday, October 1, 2012

Nail School Part 2

This week at school we learned gel extensions.  We did a simple gel overlay, gel overlay with tip, sculpted gel and fiberglass.

On the left is the sculpted gel and on the right is the fiberglass with natural colored tip.  I had a bit of trouble applying the tip and ended up getting a pocket of air between her own nail and the tip.  I did not like doing the fiberglass nail at all and it's likely I won't ever do them anyways.

Here's another view of the nails.  I'm sure it will come as no surprise to any of you but I absolutely loved doing the sculpted gel!  I am clearly much better at the gels than acrylics and I found it so much easier to do from application to finishing - loved it!  We get to choose which type of nail we will do for our final exam and it will almost certainly be sculpted gels for me.

I also picked up a set of acrylic paints and I dabbled a little bit in one stroke last week.  It's probably not something I'd do often but I'd like to have samples around to give people the option.  I really only liked the two on the ends.

So I'm thinking I might try out a gel overlay on my own nails.  I like the idea of the reinforcement on my own nails plus I can do all the polishing and Shellac over top with no issues.  The only thing I really dislike about the hard gels is that they're only removable by filing and when you have thin and weak nails like I do it's pretty scary trying not to file your own natural nail.  However they'd be near impossible to break and immaculately white again in a few months...hmmm.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Nail School Part 1

So I started nail school this past weekend.  Yes I actually learned a few things.  I learned about proper sanitation and how to perform a basic manicure.  I did 4 basic manicures yesterday to practice, including one on my devoted (clearly, ha) boyfriend:

Although I've mastered painting my own nails now, I clearly need some practice painting others'.  I painted two coats of OPI's Suzy Loves Cowboys here.  I've been using Soak off gels for so long now that I've become used to the fact that it doesn't dry and I can continue to play with it to perfect it.  But with regular polish it dries so much faster and I'm having a hard time with it.  So practice practice practice is what I need.

Speaking of soak offs, I'm so glad I decided not to re-shellac my nails this week.  I had a hunch we may be required to do our own nails during school and I was right.  So the day before I painted my nails in something light and easily removable:

2 coats of OPI DS Desire with no top coat.

We had to partner up at school and perform basic manicures on each other.  The girl who did mine didn't really do a good job at all so I didn't take a photo of it.  She did alright with the filing but she skipped steps and rushed through it, plus the polish was not great so it came right off as soon as I got home.

This is 2 coats of China Glaze Refresh Mint.

I added a coat of Nubar Black Polka Dot to it and I love it, it reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Next week we learn nail extensions and I'm really not happy about having to put them on my own hands :(  It looks like I'm going to have to take a 5 week break from soak offs too...sigh.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bad Girl

I know I've been terrible with posting lately but this time the break was unintentional.  I had some medical issues last week and was laid up for several days.  I think we're pretty much good to go now though.

This is 3 coats of OPI Gelcolor in My Private Jet.  It was very sheer and not really all that similar to the regular version of it.  So I decided to compare it:

I painted one coat of OPI's My Private Jet regular nail polish over my index finger.  I have the brownish non-holo current version.  You can tell that it's quite a bit more brown than the Gelcolor.  This mani only lasted a week for me before it chipped, but then it happened while I was scrubbing out the hot tub so I'll have to try another wear test on this sometime.

During the last couple of weeks I've done a bit of shopping:

I picked up a set of 6 acrylic molds from the website that shall no longer be named due to it's spamming of my blog when I mentioned it in the last post. (But I'll still continue to shop there because it's cheap lol)

Each mold is made of a soft rubber and is about an inch and a half long.  You just place a little bead of acrylic in the mold, work it in to get any bubbles out and then pop out your little decorations in a few minutes.

These would be fun with a little coloured acrylic in them.  I like the seashell ones a lot and they are probably the only ones I'd actually wear myself.  The others are just a little too girly for me but I'm hoping I'll get to use them on someone in the future.

In other news, my nail course starts this weekend and I'm pretty excited about that.  I've also been working on an in-home nail spa that's just about ready to go.  I'm curious to see how this all pans out.