Posts Tagged ‘manicures’

MANI MUST-HAVES FOR 2015

post/graphics: Kristin Ess

post/graphics: Kristin Ess

We’re headed into Spring and although we certainly get our nails done in the fall, our digits seem to get a lot more play in spring and summer. We thought it would be fun to create a must-have list that includes our favorite things (both new and classic) for mani lovers everywhere!

  1. CRYSTAL NAIL FILE: I am head over heels in love with the crystal nail files. I had never used one until last year and it changed everything for me. Emery boards are not on option anymore. Although it appears smooth it files my  nails just as well as any other file and the texture of this file creates a smoother edge, creating less cracks, chips and breaks. How did I not know about this sooner!?
  2. GENTLE NAIL FILE: This will be ideal for anyone with fragile nails because you want to preserve the strength of the nail and not rough it up too much. It’s smooth as well and a tiny bit less expensive. (But if you can spend a few more dollars go with number 1!)
  3. CUTICLE NIPPER + PUSHER: I have tried so many nippers and I find that many of them fail when it comes to making a clean cut. I love this one because it does just that which leaves me with zero hang nails.
  4. NON-ACETONE POLISH REMOVER WIPES: How amazing and wierd are these?! I was so skeptical the first time I used them. They’re for removing regular polish. They’re non-acetone and leave your nails/cuticles feeling super soft and nourished… somehow.
  5. NO-SPILL ACETONE DISPENSER: Sometimes I like my real acetone. I know it’s bad and try not to use it much, but when I do I HAVE to have one of these dispensers. You push the top down using a pad or papertowel and avoid the dreaded acetone spill.
  6. CUTICLE CREAM: Keep those cuticles moisturized! I tried this recently and I love it. It’s not oily so I can put it on before I leave home without worrying about getting oil everywhere. Lots of vitamins in this little guy.
  7. ANTI-FUNGAL CUTICLE OIL: Some people get fungus in the cuticle area of their nails or underneath. That causes breakage and brittleness. Avoid that by adding some drops of this as instructed.
  8. CUTICLE OIL PEN TO-GO! I have this in my purse always. (Okay, and one in my car)
  9. NAIL (AND HAIR) SUPPLEMENT These are some of my favorite hair pills, and they promote nail growth as well. So this is really a two-for-one sitch. Most hair pills promote nail growth because the same vitamins tend to boost both.
  10. NAIL KALE! This polish has VITAMINS in it!!! What else can I say. And they have some great nude shades for which are great for the upcoming months.
  11. NO-LIGHT GEL POLISH If you follow me on instagram you know I love this stuff. I have used it for months now and it really helps my nails grow because it’s harder than regular polish but you don’t need the UV light, which I find irritates my fingers. The topcoat is the key! Also, look at that gorgeous shade of marsala– Pantone’s color of the year, duh!
  12. POLISH WALL ORGANIZER: Get it together! Feature your faves and look like you’ve really got your ish together while you do!
  13. NAIL ART ROLL UP: I’ve laid off the nail art, personally, but I have some friends that are die hards. This is one of my favorite kits for nail art.
  14. NAIL POLISH TRAVEL CARRIER: If you’re a manicurist or you know one, this is a great gift for traveling with tons of polish.

Got any mani must-haves? Tell us!!!

NAILED IT!

I’ve always loved the artwork below and I finally figured out a way to get a similar look in a mani. It’s different than a regular chevron pattern because it’s slightly more abstract and free-handed. I love the way one color runs over into the next one.

You have to find the right pens- some that run/smear as you slowly apply a topcoat, and others that stay put. Through trial + error, I found that these ones that worked best together:

Whatever colors your choose to use, I suggest putting a white zigzag below a darker zigzag. That way you can really see it when it smears over the white.

The steps to this are pretty simple:

Start by prepping your nails with a bright color as a base– try hot pink, coral or green. I used THIS ONE. You don’t want to do this on bare nails because it could stain. I waited about 2 hours for the green to really harden so that there wouldn’t be any “sticking” when I was using the pens. If you have time to let the color dry over night that’s even better!

  1. Using your Ultra-Fine tip Sharpie, make a zigzag pattern horizontally. You don’t want it to be overly pattern-y. Might sound silly but I tried thinking of an electrocardiogram pattern from when a doctor is looking at your heartbeat.
  2. Follow the ultra-fine pen with your Sally Hansen nail art pen.
  3. Next use your gold metallic Sharpie in between.
  4. Last, take your topcoat and slowly add a layer. The lines will smudge into each other creating the look. Wait for that first topcoat to dry entirely before adding another if desired. You’ll want to wipe off your topcoat brush each time as it will get a little color on it. I used polish remover and a paper towel.

If you want to see a short video clip on running the topcoat over, you can see it on our Vine! We’re “The Beauty Department”.

By the way, if anyone knows the name of the artist who made that image above, I would love to know so I can credit them! xo

UPDATE: Artwork is by the insanely talented Jennifer Moreman.

MANI MONDAY: MOVE OVER OMBRÉ NAILS!

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

Gradient layers are so beautiful and we’ve seen them everywhere– from clothing, to cakes, to flowers. We thought it would be really fun to incorporate this look into a Mani Monday post. Lately I’ve really wanted a new spin on the “Ombre Nail” and I think we might have found it. There are a couple of things you need to know before starting this manicure. One: get a color that’s incredibly rich and dark so that as you dilute it for each layer you can get plenty of variation. Two: I had to attempt this 3 times in order to get it right, so come equipped with a little patience. Three: You could do this with different colors but you won’t get the same look because there’s a “see through” quality that you get when you dilute a dark polish color with a clear polish that you wouldn’t get when layering regular nail polish. It’s almost like one stain layered over the next stain. The best part is that all of the colors stem from the original polish color so the tone will be exactly the same throughout. Here we go: (more…)

BEST NAIL POLISH SHADES

photos: Jen Gotch, post Kristin Ess

Seasons in between seasons are often the best. Pre-fall is great because you get a chance to mix the brightness of summer with the moody trend tones of fall. Today we’re showing you the majority of the colors we’ll be using in our upcoming mani tutorials. We always like to give you a lil preview so you can stock up and get your nail art kit ready to go. A couple of them might be a little hard to find, depending on where you are, but you can always get something similar at your local beauty supply…