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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Last week I put a picture (above) of my sparkly holiday nails on my instagram page. These nails are SO simple and so much fun. Since New Years Eve is quickly approaching I thought this would be a fun tutorial to do because you can do these nails in any color combo. I’ve tried black + gold, white + silver, turquoise + rose gold. The key is to get a really dense glitter polish. My favorite so far are these because they have great colors and they’re super-packed with glitter. Okay, here goes:
photos/post/graphic design: Kristin Ess
- Start with any polish color you want. We used black so you could really see how it’s done. Let it dry really well. You can even put a thin topcoat over it if you want so it doesn’t smudge when you add the glitter.
- Using your dense glitter polish and a super-thin art brush, lay down a line of glitter polish at the tip of the nail. (Or you can do the moons if you’d rather.)
- Using the thinnest art brush you can find, drag the glitter polish out carefully. You don’t need to drag too much of the glitter because you want it to fade to almost nothing. Only go about half the length of the nail.
- After you’ve dragged it out, go back in and lay down one more line of glitter polish at the tip to make it look more dense.
Add your topcoat right away. It helps the glitter lay flatter and settle better in my opinion. Get creative with color combos. I wonder if this would look good coming out from the sides if you have longer nails…? Don’t forget to tweet (@tbdofficial) or instagram (@thebeautydept) us a photo if you try it out! Good luck and happy holidays, friends! xo
photos, post + design by Kristin Ess, sponsored by Sole Society
While matching your toe nail polish to your sandal color is fine, notice how wearing a nude color lets all the focus go to the shoe and almost even elongated her leg by not breaking it up and distracting it with the red polish. We never would have thought it would make that much of a difference but seeing the two choices side-by-side made it so clear!
ACCESSORIZE IT WITH A CLASHING COLOR:
Add yet another element to a gorgeous shoe but pairing it with a contrasting color pop. It really brings the shoe to life and is almost like giving you a whole new pair of heels with each different polish pairing!
REMEMBER THIS WHEN PAINTING YOUR NAILS BEFORE PUTTING ON CLOSED-TIP SHOES:
During the colder months we wear boots a lot more often. Suggested wait time for putting on boots after you paint your toe nails- 8-12 hours for flat boots with socks and 24 hours for boots with heels. You want to wait longer with heeled boots because the pressure on your toes is much greater. The incline can cause the polish to “slide” or “push”.
The polishes that we used are Le Metier de Beaute’s Nail Lacquer in Red Hot Tango (red), Tussled Toulle (nude) and Paris (hot pink), a favorite brand of ours because it’s made without formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DPB) . The chic heels photographed above are, from top to bottom, the Isla in Cranberry, the Calypso in Cobalt and the Sabine in Platinum, all from Sole Society, an exclusive brand that we just discovered and have quickly become obsessed with!
Sole Society is free to join, shoes start at $49.95 and there is never any obligation to buy. And our TBD readers get $20 off their first pair with our exclusive coupon code: TBD20! Done and done!
photos/post/design: Kristin Ess
When it comes to beauty, we like to get experimental around here. Last week I was playing around with this new velvet nail polish I bought. I was going to make a gold metallic heart on top of the velvet, but quickly realized the gold metallic polish “beaded up” when I put a drop on top of the velvet. I’ve always wanted to do a studded nail tutorial but I feel like micro-beads are hard to work with. Picking them up and placing them just right can be pretty difficult. THIS quickly became my new favorite alternative. (Side note– I thought this whole velvet nail thing was going to feel really weird but it doesn’t! You get used to it so fast.)
The steps are simple…
- One by one, give your nails texture with a velvet nail polish. If you can’t find velvet nail polish in your area, you can always find “flocking powder” on a crafting website or just google it. First you’ll paint on the base color (which should match your flocking powder) and then shake flocking powder on the wet polish. Let it sit for 10 min and then dust off using an old blush brush or eye shadow brush.
- Next, using the mechanical pencil trick or a dotting tool, make metallic dots on top of the velvet polish. The dots will bead up and appear raised making them look a little more like studs than dots.
As you can see in the photos above, I practiced a pattern before I started applying my dots. You can do just one nail or you can do all 10. Good luck!