Friday, October 25, 2013

Bloody Nails with "Skyfall" and "Fake Bake"

Last post, I had a video tutorial for a drip-style Halloween manicure, and now I have the pictures!

I posted two inside photos--one of each hand--so maybe you can get an idea of just how easy this manicure is.  Unlike my last manicure, where my spider webs looked just a little more wonky on my left hand (painted with my non-dominant right hand), I think each side looks pretty good this time!  That's how easy everything was to do!

The only minor problem is:  since you're doing nail art with gels, and darker colored gel polishes tend to carry a lot of pigment, the darker color can bleed a little bit if you're not careful when applying a top coat.  You can see where this happened on the pointer finger of my left hand a little bit.

Anyway, as for the colors:

I used just one coat (albeit a bit of a thick coat) of OPI Gelcolor "Skyfall" for the blood drips.  This is a highly pigmented creme color--the perfect "oxblood" type of color that has just a few hints of brown to darken its red base.  The flash pictures make it look a little more blue-toned, but in real life it usually comes off as the color in the naturally lit picture posted first.  On its own, I think this color would be a perfect two-coat gel polish!

Too bad I can't say the same for Red Carpet Manicure "Fake Bake".  I used FOUR coats for this gel, because each coat was very streaky.  There are still one or two spots of streakiness--although luckily most got covered up by the designs I made, you can still see one such spot on the ring finger in the sunlit picture.  It is a nice nude creme color--a bit more yellow and peach based than the previous RCM gel polish I used, "It's Not a Taupe", but four coats isn't worth it!  It also was a rather thin gel, and it snuck into the side walls of my manicure pretty easily, even though I was very careful. 

Either way, I still really like the end result, and I'm trying to think of other color combos I can do to make this drippy nail art look awesome all year round!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Nail Tutorial - Blood Drips with Gel Polish

Hello again! I'll have the pictures for these nails up in a few days as well as information on the gel polishes here, but I figured I would post the tutorial first this time.  After all, Halloween is in 10 days, and you know gel nails can last much longer than that!  I'll probably have still have this design on for the party I'll be going to next week (which required some DIY costume making, so I'm sorry if my hands look a little worse for wear here). 

Have fun painting! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Nailuv Deals on Hautelook

So I don't know if this is just a two day sale or not, because I was just on Hautelook and didn't see this at all.... but Nailuv is back on Hautelook again until 10/17 (that's tomorrow!)

I feel like it's been a while since I've seen Nailuv on sale on the site, so I wonder how long it will be until I see it again after this.

Fortunately, though, Nailuv kits have been popping up at Costco for about $30, for those of you who would like to try out an entire system--it comes with 5 mini polish bottles, the base/top coat, the light, and the cleansers and stuff you need to do an entire manicure!

Happy shopping, if you choose to do so! :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tutorial: Spider Webs and Mummies - Gel Nail Art & Sharpies!

Ok, so I just posted the photos of my spider web and mummy nails, and now, here's a video to show you how I did it.  It's a little long, but hopefully not too boring! 

All you need to do this type of nail art is a Sharpie marker! Of course, with gels you will already have the other required item handy--91% isopropyl alcohol, that is.  If you make a mistake, Sharpie erases easily with the isopropyl alcohol.  This is a concept that has been really popular for easy DIY nails with regular nail polish, but there's no reason you couldn't use the same method for gel polishes, too.

If you're a newbie like me, I suggest trying out the designs on your "old" nails first, before you soak off your old gel manicure.  You can keep erasing with the isopropyl alcohol and retrying until you find a technique that works, and then you can finally draw on the manicure you want to keep for the next two weeks.  Remember, you don't have to get too detailed either, since most people will only see your nails from at least 2 feet away!

The only potential problem with Sharpie for nail art is that it can bleed when you apply a top coat--perhaps you saw a little bit of smearing on some of my nails.  To combat this, make sure you wait a little for the marker to set in, apply your top coat liberally, and use a light hand--pushing down on the brush too much was the biggest problem for me.  But since gels self-level before they're cured, I found that I could gently coerce the smeared area back a little with my brush, without ruining my nails. 

All that information and more is in the video, so feel free to watch!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Deals? A Giveaway at Chickettes Blog!

I'm always kind of out of the loop when blogs and sites host giveaways, but this is one I found out about before it ended!

"The Chickettes" are giving away a Gelish light, a Gelish Mini starter set, and three Gelish gel polishes from their recent fall "Under Her Spell" collection. 

 If you haven't yet gotten into soak off gel polishes but have been thinking about it..  or if your light is hitting the end of its days, you should definitely sign up. :)

PS: Red Carpet Manicure colors from the summer collection have been making their rounds through Ulta's clearance, too.  It's not posted on their website, but I've seen about 5 colors in clearance bins at the local Ulta for half price, so $4.99.  And you can always use an email or mailer coupon if you spend over $10 to make it an even better deal!

PPS: I just noticed that Walgreens has both the Kiss gel polishes I just reviewed on sale for $8.99, and SensatioNail gel polishes on sale for $7.99! I think their sales last until the 12th of October. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish & My First Halloween Art of the Year

First of all, I have to say I'm overwhelm(ingly pleased) at the number of new gel polish brands I've seen popping up lately.  Essie just released their line of gel polishes, and China Glaze is getting theirs on the way.  Finger Paints released theirs over the summer along with Sally Hansen's gel line, and now Sally Beauty is selling another new brand called "ASP", too.

And NOW... now there's another brand you can get at the local pharmacy!  I spied the Kiss brand of gel polishes just the other week at Walgreens, although I'm sure they've been out for a little while already.  If I remember correctly, they were about $10--and although they are only the 9mL or .30 fl oz size (so basically, 3/5 the size of a full polish bottle), that's still the same size as every other pharmacy or Ulta brand gel, and it's the same or cheaper in price, depending on what brand you're comparing to.  I was also immediately taken in by the bottle's shape, too--obviously, Kiss is going for a parallel to CND's Shellac with their bottle shape.  Until now, I've only seen that with dubious foreign Ebay gel polishes!

Of course I had to pick the brightest and greenest color out of the bunch, and although summer's over, I decided to spice up the color for Halloween time. 

This is my first time doing Sharpie nail art, and it's not too great...but not too bad, either, in my opinion!  I'm left-handed, by the way, and I think you can definitely see a bit of a difference in the quality of my work depending on my hand, but I still think this nail art is easy enough to do with both hands!

Now, the review:

Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish in "Sweet" has a surprisingly great formula; despite it being a lighter, creme-formula color, two coats covered amazingly--however, I did go for a third due to some staining I wanted to cover up.  The color itself is just another spin on the popular mint color; it looks pretty bright in my photos, but it does have an ever so slight grey undertone, and it can look more blue or mint green depending on your light source--so cyan would be pretty apt of a color name for it. It is very, very similar to Gelish's spring release "A Mint of Spring"--maybe just a tad greener and greyer.

Oh, and I can't forget my thumbs!

For these mummies, I used Red Carpet Manicure "It's Not a Taupe".  This is a basic khaki colored creme gel polish.  The grey and yellow tones actually worked well to hide the redness of my fingers and blend in to make a "nude polish" on me.  And I'm not sure I ever thought of likening my skin to khaki.... but I think I just did!  Three coats did the trick for this one.

The nail art on my thumbs was done with Sharpie as well, except for the mummies' eyes, which are made with dabs of Red Carpet Manicure's "White Hot".

I'll be posting a video tutorial for this in the next few days, so hopefully I can encourage some others to attack their nails with permanent markers, too! :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gel "Skittles" Manicure

I wanted to do one more fun, bright manicure before fall arrived--I wasn't quite ready to let go of the summer weather, you see.  But I've been in the mood for Halloween candy already, too... so I came up with this really bright "Skittles" gel manicure!

My orientation of colors kind of makes it look like a rainbow manicure, as well!

Here's everything I used:

For the thumb and pointer finger, I used two notoriously sheer neons, so I used as a base Red Carpet Manicure "White Hot".  I should have known the neon colors would be sheer, but I didn't think--so I didn't shake and prepare my white color well.  As a result I had to use 2 coats for a base of creamy white that was just a tiny bit streaky.  This base color helped to ensure that the neons I put on top of it would not be sheer at all. 

On the thumb, I used Red Carpet Manicure "Show Me the Money" (which is pretty much the same as Gelish's "Amazon Flirt") over "White Hot".  As with regular nail polishes, neon colors in gels can be kind of tricky--applying semi-sheer to the nail and having a different finish due to the pigments used (luckily this isn't a problem in gel, as you'll need to top it off anyway).  Over a base of white, "Show Me the Money" was a semi-sheer highlighter-green creme color even after three coats, and looked rather splotchy when viewed up close in some lighting.  You can kind of see this in my indoors picture where I was holding my cheap-o headphones, although I couldn't get a head-on view picture of my thumb.  However, from arm's length and in sunlight, this color doesn't look so uneven, probably because it's so NEON I'm distracted by the glow!

On the pointer finger I used Gelish "Copacabana Banana".  Again it's a bright highlighter-yellow neon creme that is semi-sheer, so I put it over the "White Hot".  Luckily this one was much nicer--I think I only needed two coats to achieve a great, even color over the white with no streaks or unevenness like the green!

The middle finger has the only shimmery shade, Gelish "Orange Cream Dream".  It's a great bright orange filled with gold shimmer.  The shimmer is fine enough that it doesn't look too different from the cremes from far away, but the gold still pops out nicely in sunlight--you can see this best in the second photo.  I used three coats, and there seemed to be a teensy bit of visible nail line up close, but nothing so noticeable I could even capture in a photograph!

On my ring finger, I have the only new brand of gel to me--that's IBD JustGel "Molly".  It's an awesome almost neon fuchsia creme shade.  I need to do all my nails in this color sometime!  Three thin coats applied smoothly and evenly.  Once again, with these bright shades, I felt like I saw a bit of visible nail line, but there was nothing so drastic I could even capture it in a photo. 

My pinkie finger has the darkest shade, which is Gelish "Sugar Daddy".   Only two coats needed on this one, because the polish was pretty thick on its own!  It applied nicely even so, and it came out a bright blue creme color--like a cobalt with just a teensy bit of grey to tone it down.  A color like this will work for any season, really. 

The only major disappointment here was RCM "Show Me the Money", which I expected to be sheer, but not streaky! Luckily this past summer (2013, that is) Gelish reformulated some of their neons and released another neon collection, and with it is another green shade called "Sometimes a Girl's Gotta Glow".  Hopefully that one applies better than this one--and maybe that will trickle down to the RCM line of gels.