Posts Tagged ‘step by step’

REMOVING GEL NAILS AT HOME

PHOTO/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

You can’t plan for everything. A few nights ago I realized a couple of my gel nails were lifting at the tip and one was splitting on the side. They were just about to hit their expiration date. I had 2 parties to stop by that night. Couldn’t get in to see my manicurist because the whole world was getting their nails done last week. I made the decision to take them off at home and wear my natural nails for the next couple days and then go in after the first of the year to have them put back on. I did everything the same way my manicurist does in the nail salon and it turned out pretty well. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you’re in a pinch like I was, but the alternative is ripping them off or going to someone else (which I will not). I did one hand at a time and had no problems. Here’s how…

You will need: a piece of paper (I used a paper placemat), pure acetone, 5 cotton balls, 10 pieces of foil (I tore mine into 3″x 3″ squares), a wood or metal orange stick, nail file, nail buffer.

  1. FILE: Use a coarse nail file to scratch the surface. You have to break through that clear coat they put on top last in order to get to the polish below. You don’t have to go crazy, just enough so that the acetone has a place to seep in.
  2. SOAK: Tear 5 cotton balls in half so you have 10 pieces total. Soak them in acetone and lay them on the nail. Wrap your foil square around the finger and let it sit. I let mine stay on for about 7 minutes after I finished the last one on my first hand. You can really only do one hand at a time.
  3. SCRAPE: Start scraping the gel nail off with your orange stick. It should fall right off. If there’s some that seems hard to remove, put it back in to soak longer. NOTE: When you pull the foil off, don’t unwrap it, just pull it straight off the tip of your finger so it stays “cupped”. That way it stays the same shape incase you need to slide your finger back in it for a few more minutes. I had to do this with 2 of mine. You don’t want to file or peel any of the gel off. Better to put it back in and let it sit for another minute or 2.
  4. FINISH: Once you’ve removed all the gel color, you’ll most likely be left with little bit of a spotty clear layer. That’s where the primer and first clear coat meet and it doesn’t come up with the acetone. I washed my hands thoroughly, then took my 4-sided buffer and smoothed it all out. I actually like it because it kind of serves as a “spackle”– once I buffed my nails they were smooth with no scratches or divits. I then shaped my nails, rinsed the dust off and painted them as usual.

I know that soaking your fingers in acetone is crazy, but we do it until there’s a better alternative with gels. I hope this helps some of you the next time you’re in a bind. And please– DON’T PEEL OR BITE YOUR GELS OFF! xo

COMME des GARÇONS INSPIRED MANI

photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess

As most of you know, New York Fashion Week is wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean it’s over– there’s still London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, etc… To get into the spirit of Fashion Weeks around the globe, we’ll be sporting this COMME des GARÇONS inspired mani! Not only is COMME des GARÇONS a super-chic brand, but it also has the cutest/coolest little heart logo. This is a very simple mani and since the heart shape is not supposed to be perfect, even the most uncoordinated can do this! Here we go!

  1. Start with clean, bare nails.
  2. Using a rich red color, make a rounded diagonal stroke on one corner of the nail.
  3. Now repeat that on the other side of the nail and make sure they connect in the middle.
  4. Clean up around each nail.
  5. Throw a black heart in there for good measure!
  6. Use a bobbypin to make the whites of the eyes. Make a dot, then drag it out a little on each side. Remember: this shouldn’t look too perfect. If you google the COMME des GARÇONS heart, you’ll see that the lines aren’t perfect.
  7. Use a skinny hairpin (or U-pin) to make black dots in the center of the white.
  8. Give it a good topcoat!

Hope everyone enjoyed NY Fashion Week!

Special thanks to my awesome friend Leon for giving me this idea.

A TWIST ON THE LOW BUN

photos/post/design: Kristin Ess

Here’s another fun, cute way to pull your hair up off your shoulders during a hot, hot heatwave! It’s basically a topsy-tail looped through so many times that it starts to coil. Here we go! (more…)

HOT CROSSED BUN (REMIX)

post/photos/design: Kristin Ess

Lately I’ve noticed lots of emails coming in with requests for shoulder-length hair tutorials. And while this tutorial is nothing different than the braided bun from last week, I wanted to show you just how do-able these tutorials are even if you don’t have long hair. We always want everyone to have a fair shot at looking gorgeous and just because it’s done on a girl with longer hair doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try! The best part about any hair tutorial is modifying it and making it your own, right? I love when people tweet us a picture of a tutorial they tried where they added their own twist. It may not come out exactly the same, but it could sprout inspiration for something really cute! So let me show you how to get the “Hot Crossed Bun” look on short hair…

  1. Use a 1″ barrell curling iron to give the hair some wave when you’re trying to do an updo or chignon on short or fine hair. This will give it texture and bulk it up so you have more to work with.
  2. Add a little water-based texturizing pomade to the root for even more visible texture and bulk. You can see that her fine hair looks full in this photo, right? Now you have something to work with!
  3. Split the hair right behind your ears and push the front sections forward. Take the whole middle section/back and put it in a clear elastic.
  4. Wrap that into a little mini or messy bun. Just see what your hair will do. Every short haircut will do something a little different. If you need to add some hairspray to help, go for it! We did.
  5. Now do an inside-out french braid from the hair line back toward the bun. It’s okay if little pieces pop out. You can pin them at the end.
  6. Tuck the ends of the braid into the bun and secure it using a bobbypin or two or three.
  7. Repeat the previous braid on the other side and pin it into the bun as well.
  8. Pull some soft pieces out around the hair line for a more romantic vibe. Then pin in and spray any little unwanted pieces that might pop out.

GIVE IT A TRY! xo