photos + design by Kristin Ess
It’s really hard to get clean lines when it comes to putting stripes on manicures. I’m going to share a little DIY secret– nail polish on scotch tape. You can cut a perfect line or triangle and get a fun geometric mani. Here’s how it’s done:
- You’ll need polish, scissors + scotch tape.
- Apply polish to your tape. Whatever color you want. Let it dry (I allowed 30 minutes just to be safe).
- Cut strips!
- Cut triangles.
When you’re done, apply them to a pre-polished nail with the sticky side down. Then give it a good top coat!
photos + post by Kristin Ess
First of all, sorry for the lack of posts this week. By now you know that Lady Conrad has a brand new book called THE FAME GAME. We joined her on her book tour and that busy schedule left little time for much else. But we’re back and bringing you the ombre stain mani! We’ve seen lots of ombre techniques in the past, but this one is pretty cool because it’s done on your bare nails and has more of a stain effect than looking like actual nail polish. This was much easier than I thought it was going to be, but you should be prepared to practice once or twice before doing the actual mani. It’s all about technique! Here we go:
You will need: 3-4 gradient nail polish colors (dark to light and all in the tonal family), a clear top coat, a triangle makeup sponge, a cup of water, a piece of paper for blotting the polish, a paint brush + nail polish remover for clean up.
- Unscrew the lids of your 3 or 4 gradient colors so they’re ready to go. Be careful not to knock them over! Here I used because I was feeling very mermaid inspired.
- Get a little cup of water and soak your triangle makeup sponge. Squeeze the sponge out about 80% leaving it damp but not wet. This will keep the polish from soaking up too quickly.
- Apply a single line of the darkest color toward the edge of your sponge. The first time, I went over the line twice so that there was enough polish to transfer to the nail.
- Next, use the second darkest color and make another line above that one. Coat it twice also. Keep going until you build up your 3-4 colors. NOTE: you want to work somewhat quickly so the polish doesn’t dry out.
- Dab your sponge on a piece of paper and you’ll see the colors together but not quite blended.
- Bounce it up and down in the same spot a few times and you’ll see how the separation of colors disappears and they become blended!
- Line the tip of the sponge up with the tip of your nail and when you’re ready, give it a med-firm press. Bounce it up and down a couple times in that spot. DON’T BE SCARED that you’re going to mess it up because you’re not. If you keep it in the same general spot it will be just fine. It doesn’t have to be exact. If it’s a little off each time you bounce it up and down that’s actually good because it blends the colors even more.
- Re-apply a line of each polish color to the sponge for every nail. If you work quickly, you can probably re-apply polish to the sponge for every other nail.
- Now you have pretty polish but a mess around your nails.
- Take a little polish remover + a paint brush and clean up the sides and aroud the cuticles.
- Apply a top coat once the ombre has dried completely. The top coat will also make it appear more blended.
Try it in other colors. We did pink and blue but we’d love to see what you choose! Tweet them to us @TBDofficial and we’ll pin them!
post by Jaclyn Johnson, design by Kristin Ess
Today we’re talking tips + tricks. Jaclyn Johnson from SomeNotesOnNapkins.com is here to teach us a few things that are good for the sole…
There’s nothing better than breaking open that shoe box to find a fresh pair of heels ready and waiting for you to slip on. However, there is nothing worse than having to break in a pair of heels. Luckily, I am a Jedi Master at the art of breaking in shoes. Here are a few quick tips on how to cut down the time (and pain) of breaking in those new sky high heels!
Tip #1: Do it gradually: Bring them to the office. Slip them on while you are sitting at your desk for an hour or so each day. If they are really tight try walking around in them while wearing slightly damp socks. I know this sounds strange, but this will soften them and stretch them out. READ MORE…
photos and posts by Kristin Ess
Let’s discuss the “accent nail”. It’s fun (and a lot easier) to do nail art on just one nail, but it can be hard to come up with a pattern idea. Here’s a suggestion: take a peek in your closet! Look at your favorite shirts, skirts and dresses for inspiration. When our recent STYLEMINT tops came in the mail and we opened the box, we noticed the patterns + colors were perfection. Doing every nail can be a bit much so we took the pretty patterns and came up with some custom accent nail looks. Here we go…
RED POLKA DOT MANI INSPIRED BY THE CHARLTON T:
- Paint the whole nail white. Once it dries completely (I suggest leaving it to dry over night), use scotch tape to section off diagonally. Paint the side closest to the tip of your finger with a rich red.
- Dip your dotting tool in red polish.
- Dot the white using the red polish.
Note: You can also use the white polish to make dots on the red if you want to go opposite.
MULTI-STRIPE INSPIRED BY THE MADISON T:
- Gather some different sized art brushes. They often come in packs or you can gather old makeup brushes that you don’t use anymore.
- Paint the base of the nail white then make some small polish puddles with the colors in your shirt.
- Use scoth tape to section off different stripes. If you’re really good, you can probably freehand, otherwise use tape! Dip different brushes and drag across the nail to make various sized stripes!
FINE STRIPE INSPIRED BY THE ARDEN PULLOVER:
- Paint the base of your nail blue.
- Dip a nail striping brush in white polish.
- Lightly drag across the surface of the nail.
Here are some full view shots of the STYLEMINT tops that have were featured above. Have you become a member yet? When you first sign up, you answer a short series of questions about your personal style with their genius quiz, you can choose from one of four T Shirt styles, many of which are available in multiple colors, for only $29.99 each. If you don’t see a shirt you like, it’s no problem because there’s no obligation to buy. If you do find the perfect option (or two, or three!), you get free shipping, plus returns are easy. Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen design each T Shirt, and everything is extremely high quality with amazing fits. Membership is free, but the T Shirts do sell out! Bonus: the sweet peeps over at STYLEMINT are sharing the love and providing TBD readers a promo code– DEPT20, which is good for 20% off your first T. First time buyers only, valid until 3/31.
(this advertorial was generously brought to you by STYLEMINT)
photos + post by Kristin Ess
So many dots, so little time. Between the nail pictures you send us + the nail tutorials seen on Pinterest, we have noticed that polka dots are a major favorite right now. Getting those perfect little circles isn’t easy unless you have the right tool– the dotting tool. You can buy them at beauty supply stores and you can find similar tools at art supply stores… or better yet, you can simply make your own using things you most likely have in your house already. Here are the steps!
- Get a straight pin. You’ll notice there are different sizes when you’re at a fabric store (we used superfine for this).
- Get a number 2 pencil with an eraser or one of those retractable erasers as seen above.
- Insert the pin into the eraser. Try to keep it straight. If you push it into the eraser and notice it’s crooked, just bend it a little to center it. That will insure you get a perfect dot every time.
- Dip + dot!
Here are some of our favorite dotting tool designs that we found while surfing around! Click the links to check out each tutorial!