Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Simple nail art

This is 2 coats of OPI Gelcolor Wooden Shoes Like to Know.  I added a fade with Additivies - Blush Bronze and Burning Ember, then dotted OPI Topcoat, cured and wiped with alcohol. The effect was very subtle.

The first time I tried this effect I used Gelish Structure Gel and it turned out great but had a pretty bumpy finish.  So I tried using Topcoat this time but I find that the dots ended up running together in some places.  So I will definitely not use Topcoat again.

I felt my nails were yellowing slightly since I wore regular polish for a couple of weeks and decided to go with something light for a change.  This is 2 coats of Shellac Cake Pop and some water decals.  I put the decals over the 'finished' gel manicure and then top coated with Seche Vite.  I didn't think I'd want to wear this for the full two weeks and I was right....

I ended up removing the decals and stamped with one of my new Bundle Monster plates using China Glaze Cranberry Splash which I also used to paint an accent.  Definitely my favorite red ever!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More water decals

I seriously love these things!  So easy to use and they look amazing.

This is two coats of Vinylux Lilac Longing with daisy water decals.

The decals come about 20 to a sheet and they have slight variances in the designs.  My order was for 100 sheets in about 15 different designs for 20 cents each!  The zippers were 50 cents each but still a bargain.  It's a cheap way to upgrade nail services and it's fun at the same time.


Friday, November 15, 2013


So my order of zipper water decals is quickly depleting.  Everybody wants them!

I wore a few on myself and got TONS of compliments on them.  I even had the girls at the local beauty supply order some from me!  This is Gelish Garden Teal Party with Shellac Ice Vapor on the accent nail.

This is Gelish Night Reflection with Shellac Lilac Longing on the accent nail.  If I'd known these were going to go over so well I would have tripled my order.  Now I have to wait another 3-4 weeks to get more from China.

They are pretty fun though.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


So being too busy and lazy to re-do my soak off, I've been wearing a lot of regular nail polish.  So guess what happened?  I broke a friggen nail of course!

So I'm sporting one acrylic nail now - the middle one obviously.  I don't even remember the last time I broke a nail this badly.

Funny how it looks completely different under different lighting.  Anyways after I fixed my broken nail with acrylic I painted a fresh soak off manicure.  This is Entity One - Test Shot with CND addititive Haute Pink scrubbed into the bottom half and then the accent nail is OPI Gelcolor Pompeii Purple topped with Akzentz Aurora Pink Sparkle.  Not really a great colour combo so I ended up painting over them all (except the ring finger) with regular black polish but didn't take a photo.

This is similar to one I've done before.  It's Gelish Seafoam but with one of the new holiday additives - Plum Love scrubbed into the tips.

And I added a little water decal accent again.

Simple, just the way I like it.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Crazy post

Oops I haven't been around in awhile. I also haven't done many nails worth posting but here's a bunch of random ones:

I've worn quite a bit of regular polish lately since I've been consumed with stuff and can't take an hour out of my day for a soak off manicure.  This is 2 coats of OPI Peace Love and OPI.  Nothing special.

And another RNP - Vinylux in Cake Pop with a water decal.  This was my first stab at water decals and can I just say that I absolutely love them!!!  I actually ended up ordering 100 packs of decals for $.20 each from China - it's a steal considering most 'nail sites' sell them for $2-4 each.  I won't post the site but you can message me and I'll gladly share it with you.

And some more water decals on black and China Glaze Spontaneous.  These decals are pretty fun.

These are the Princess of Poo's freakish nails.  She's got natural duck feet lol.  I used an orange OPI and sponged on China Glaze Mahogany Magic.  She wanted something for Autumn.

I added some bundle monster stamped leaves in an old antique gold polish and finished it off with Seche Vite.  I believe she wore this longer than any manicure I've ever done for her.

I'll save the gels for the next post.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gel fun

Here I've started with 2 coats of Shellac Lilac Longing on pinkie and index.  2 coats of Shellac Silver Chrome on middle, and 2 coats of OPI Gelcolor Kyoto Pearl on ring and thumb.

On the tacky layer I've scrubbed holo glitter into the middle finger and scrubbed  a purple and blue fade into the ring finger with additives/loose eyeshadow.

Before I cured I dotted Gelish Structure Gel on the ring finger thumb and Top coated the rest, then cured as normal.

After curing I wiped them all off with Isopropyl Alcohol to reveal the dotting pattern I made.  The alcohol completely removes any powder that wasn't covered in cured gel...pretty cool eh?  Anyways, after curing I top coated the whole manicure again to finish it off.  I have a ton of ideas using this method now and can't wait to try them.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Playing with additives

The last trip we recently took to the US, we went to Buffalo.  We typically go to Port Huron, Michigan but we had to drop someone off at the airport in Buffalo this time.  We've found that Buffalo shopping sucks other than the fact that they have a Chipotle!

This trip was no exception.  I purchased the OPI Gelcolor Matte Topcoat and when I got home found it was hardened and unusable.  But fortunately I begged the girls at Cosmoprof in Canada to let me exchange it for this - OPI Gelcolor Wooden Shoes Like to Know.  I'm curious...does the rnp version of this drop the 's' because that's just weird?  Anyways, I thought this was a creme finish but it actually has a subtle shimmer.

I also picked up the Forbidden Additive Collection in the US and decided to try out Burning Ember over some striping tape.

I probably could have done a better clean up job here but eh whatever.  There's just something a little off about this colour combo for me.  I'm not sure why, but I seem to have a really hard time coordinating colours, it frustrates me.

Also when I got home from this US trip I noticed that one of my shirts still had the friggen ink security tag left on it!  How annoying is that?  Now I have to track down a store here that can remove it for me without damaging the shirt!  You know I learned a long time ago to always twist open nail polish bottles in the store before I buy them since I've been burned before.  I have no idea why I didn't do it this time.  I need to start being extra careful of things I buy in the US because it's not so easy to return!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pink overload

I've been too busy to re-do my gel lately so I went with regular polish for a few days.  Vinylux again.  It still doesn't work well for me but since I purchased about 10 of them I might as well use them, right?  This is Tutti Fruitti and Gotcha as an accent.

I wanted to practice my acrylics on the Princess but she came to me with such nice nails I decided to do the 'make it look fake' nails on her instead.  I squared them off a bit and did a glitter french.

I used Gelish Gossip Girl on her tips and scrubbed in some raspberry holographic glitter.

I also embedded a fimo slice on each accent nail.

And then the little Countess wanted some pink stamping but couldn't decide between hearts or stars so we did both!  I used Kleancolor Metallic Pink to stamp.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Just a little bling

That's all she asked for...just a little bling accent.

This is IBD Just Gel in Dolomite which is a rich dark brown with a glittery finish that just doesn't show in photos.

It's also one of my favourite gel polish colours in my collection even though I haven't worn it yet.  This Client loves it too since it's the second time she's worn it!  On her accent nails I scrubbed in some light gold Martha Stewart glitter.  Love this combo.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chaos the state of my life at the moment.  I've stopped taking on new Clients for awhile and am just too busy to paint my own nails, let alone others.

So this is one you've seen before but I liked it so much I decided to try it in gel polish.  I also made the 'moon' a little larger than I do typically on a ruffian.  The red is one coat OPI Gelcolor Big Apple Red with one coat of Gelish Big City Siren.  Then just a plain old black on top - OPI Gelcolor Black Onyx.  I did not like this one near as much as when I did it with regular polish but I think it might be the glitter (Gelish) that I wasn't too fond of.

I offered to do the Princess of Poo because I was feeling generous.  I used 2 coats of OPI Gelcolor Can't Find My Czechbook and used 1 coat of LeChat Hologram Diamond on the ring fingers.  Love this colour, it's just too bad that the photo is so dark.

And the little Countess of Caca, for the very first time, sat and let me paint her nails (well she sat as nicely as possible for a fidgety 3 year old).  And she hilariously demanded that I take a photo of her nails just like Mommy's and we almost rolled over laughing as she laid her hands down on the table in perfect position to take a manicure photo!  So how could I resist posting it for her?  I used one coat of an old purple Nicole by OPI polish but I can't be bothered to find out which one.  She sometimes lets me stamp a little konad star or two on her nails but this is the first time she let me properly paint both hands and didn't scream or wipe it off.  You may see more little countess nails in the future!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

I need new brushes

I pretty much have only one useable nail art brush left.  I've basically ruined them with acetone and alcohol.  I had one hell of time with these one-stroke flowers and my dried up brushes.

I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo before the nail art because the colour itself was pretty amazing.  I used 2 coats of Gelish Garden Teal Party and added 1 coat of Shellac Hotski to Tchotchke on top.  I used regular acrylic paints for the flowers and she was really happy with them, but I wasn't. 

When I do acrylic paint or konad stamping on gel polish I always finish the gel manicure completely before doing any art.  After I do the art I seal it with a regular polish top coat.  That way if my Clients decide they don't like the art several days later, they have the option to remove it with non-acetone remover and it's like they have a new manicure.  It's great for people who don't want to wear the same thing for 2 weeks straight.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Duchess of Doo!

Boring post today.

This is Gelish Shake it til you Samba (again) with OPI Gelcolor Black Onyx accent nail.  I think this is the first time I've sported a bright colour of pink like this for a long period of time.  I had intended to do all sorts of crazy stamping and nail art on it but then life got in the way and this is what it looked like pretty much for a solid 2 weeks.

I'm so glad fall is almost here and I can break out the vampy polishes again!

And Happy 35th Duchess!  Damn we're old!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shake it girl, until monkeys fly

One of my biggest annoyances in the nail world is polish names.  I managed to wrap up two of the main offenders in one post/manicure.

Here we have Gelish Go Girl (ok not so bad, right?).  However the accent nail is Gelish Shake it til you Samba and OPI Gelcolor When Monkeys Fly.  Not as long as some of the names but still ridiculous.

I actually really liked this manicure a lot.  And truth be told, I was just dying to use When Monkeys Fly on someone.  Surprisingly it didn't even require a second top coat!  I would wear it myself only I'm not sure if I could live with the glitter for 2 entire weeks straight.  I've yet to hear back from this Client but I've read online that Gelish Go Girl tends to fade.  I will update if I hear back.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gel Troubleshooting

Something I hear all the time is 'well I tried gel polish (or extensions) before and it ruined my nails'.

Well this is a false statement because I can guarantee that either a) They weren't properly applied or b) They were removed improperly.  In most cases it's b.  People tend to pick them off and ruin their own nails while trying to pry them.

In very rare cases some people can have an allergic reaction where your fingers will turn red and swell, in which case they need to be removed properly asap.  The only gel polish I'm aware of that is hypo-allergenic is Shellac.

Now having said that, gel polish (any brand) cannot be guaranteed to last the full two weeks.  It often does, but there are exceptions and I've even chipped my own gel polish at times for being too rough on them.  If someone experiences chipping or problems with their polish in the first 5 days, I will generally fix it for free unless it's obvious you've picked it off.  It's very easy to tell if you've picked it off by the white marks which are layers of your nail that came off with the polish when you peeled it.

Dead giveaway of a gel polish picker, tsk tsk.

Chipping at the cuticle is almost always caused by improper cuticle removal or getting gel polish on the skin.  Cuticle remover should be used before every application of gel polish to prevent this.  Any polish on the skin should be wiped off with an orange wood stick.  The same goes for gel extensions, lifting at the cuticle is also due to unremoved cuticles.  Most people don't realize that the cuticle is actually a thin layer of skin on your nail plate and it should always be removed before polish application.  What people think is the cuticle, is actually called the eponychium - google it if you want further explanation.

Chipping at the edge is almost always caused by improper nail prep, dirt/oil touching the gel during the manicure or polish applied too thickly (especially base coat).  Proper nail prep should always include a final scrub with Scrubfresh or 99% Isopropyl Alcohol.  Nothing should touch the nails other than the product from that point on - take extra care not to touch face, skin or hair during application as this can compromise the manicure.  Gel polish should be applied thinner than a regular nail polish but not too thin.  The base coat however, should be scrubbed on to the nail plate with almost no product on the brush.

Other causes for chipping and peeling can be from improper care.  When cleaning or doing dishes, gloves should be worn.  Read your labels on cosmetic products and try to avoid mineral oil.  Wash your hands immediately after product use.  Haircolour and tanning oils are especially damaging to your manicure.

The best thing you can do for gel manicures and for your nails in general is use cuticle oil daily.  Try twice a day if you can manage it.  This keeps them moisturized and keeps your gel polish from drying out.  Anyone who wants to maintain healthy nails should always use cuticle oil whether you wear gel polish or not.  Rockstar manicures (glitter) are especially prone to chipping so cuticle oil is an absolute must.  And speaking of Rockstars, as well as french manicures, just an FYI, they do not typically last as long as a solid colour gel manicure.  Don't be surprised if you only get about 10 days of wear out of them.

Gel polish is not indestructible.  I've also found that Shellac doesn't work on everyone.  Generally speaking though I've not had any problems with Gelish (other than Vitagel).  Gelish tends to be a bit harder to remove than other gel polishes but it lasts on my Clients who have problems with Shellac.

Whether you go to a Nail Tech or DIY, it's not necessary to file your nail plate at all for gel polish application.  Gelish instructions recommend to lightly file the shine off but from my experience it's completely unnecessary.  There are times when filing the surface is beneficial but only a light swipe of the file to fix imperfections and 'peelies'.  Peeling nails is one of the rare instances where if you don't file the plate it will continue to peel.  This applies to nail health in general and not just gel polish application.

So with all that being said, if you go to a Nail Tech to have gel polish applied:
1. Don't let them file the surface of all your nails.
2. Make sure they follow all steps, removing your cuticles and cleansing the plate before application.
3. Make sure you can see the brand on the bottles they are using and make sure it's a professional brand. A lot of Salons advertise Shellac but in fact carry another brand of polish.  Sometimes they carry another pro brand such as OPI Gelcolor, Gelish, IBD, Entity One, LeChat, EzFlow Trugel, and Artistic Color Gloss, which are all acceptable brands.  Some notable knock-offs to avoid are Bluesky, CCO and Chu Jie.  If you want to DIY and try those out, have at `er as they are cheapo brands that are notoriously difficult to remove.  However if a salon is using these brands, run the other way!
4. If your Nail Tech hurts you, don`t be afraid to let them know.  If it continues, complain to management and/or leave.
5. If you have any issues with your gel manicure for the first few days, please let your Nail Tech know!  I am more than happy to fix a problem rather than never hear back from you again.  A good Nail Tech should keep records of what was applied to their Client and backtrack to where a problem may have occurred.

Any questions?


Thursday, September 5, 2013


One of my most popular colours is Gelish Mint of Spring.

I have avoided wearing it myself since I've used it so many times on Clients but I finally gave in.  Beware though, this is an extremely difficult polish to work with.  It's thick and kind of 'stringy' I guess is the best word for it.  The payoff is worth it though.

On the ring finger I used only one coat of polish and for the second layer I scrubbed in some holographic glitter I got from JoAnns last time I was in the US.  The glitter rockstar requires a minimum of 2 layers of topcoat.  And just a tip for gel polish users - it's always best to keep a separate bottle of topcoat for rockstars.  I have to say I loved wearing this.  The photos are great at showing how shiny it is but the holographic glitter just doesn't come through like it should.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Curse my camera

This was a really cool manicure on a really cool Client.

Unfortunately my camera didn't like this one at all.  She got 2 coats of Gelish Magneto in Drawn Together (dusty purple).  On her ring fingers it's very hard to see but I used feathers on them.  I loved this because in normal light it looks like polka dots on her ring fingers. (No, I didn't cut her finger, she came in like that.  And if your Nail Tech does that to you...find a new one!)  I can't tell you how many girls I've had that said they've had painful manicures.  Nail Techs should never ever hurt you at all!

And here's just a quickie photo of one of my own recent manicures.  This is after a week of wear and I had forgotten to take a photo so it looks like crap.  It's 2 coats of Shellac Rubble on pinky and middle fingers and then 2 coats of OPI Gelcolor Did you ear about Van Gogh? on the other two.  Nice colour, godawful name. Stamped with a konad plate and topped with a little gold gem.  I preferred this mani without the stamping though.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Opposite ends of the spectrum

It's very rare now that I do nails for my sister anymore.  For starters she picks them off in less than a week.  Secondly she never pays for them nor offers anything in return.  Like at all...ever.

But every once in awhile I offer to do them for her because I want to try something this case it was my new fluorescent Gelish colours.  I started with a coat of white - Gelish Sheek White and then 2 coats of Gelish Shake it til you Samba with Gelish Amazon Flirt on the ring fingers.  I dotted with a fluorescent green Billie polish but it came out too dark when it dried.

And while she was there I got her to snap a two-hand photo of my own week-old Gelish french.  My nails have never been in such nice shape for such a long time.  I still get the odd chip (you can see it in my slightly rounded middle finger) but I can't even recall the last time I actually broke a nail.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to basics

I had a creative block this week.  Well maybe not entirely true because I do have quite a few ideas but since they all involve dark colours I set them aside until Fall.

I decided to go for the simple french manicure.  It's funny because I never take photos of the french's I do on Clients...they're boring.

I thought I'd mix it up a bit from my usual french.  In nail school we were taught do pink then white but I've noticed some people use pink over the white to soften it up a bit.  I kinda prefer the stark white myself but thought I'd try this out anyways.  I'm trying to remember what I used here but I think it was Gelish Sheek White for the tips and OPI Gelcolor Bubble Bath over top.  The cute little pink bows fell off the next day!  I only applied them with regular top coat and I didn't go over top because I thought it would ruin them.  I didn't even see them fall off so I'm pretty sure they are probably in my dogs belly right now...