For Day 3 of the 30 Days of Beauty Challenge here’s some of my nail art photos. OK, the yellow nail polish isn’t exactly nail art but it’s such a pretty colour! There’s a story behind these nails, so read on 🙂
I’m going to give a brief of each of these looks.
First up Claws! —This look is easier to do than it seems. I figured out that I can use french manicure stickers to achieve the black semi circles and the paw nails. I was never exactly sure on how to use stickers for nail art until a girl on RedditLaqueristas told me that the sticker should be removed while the nail polish is still wet and freshly applied. Who knew? Sounds pretty straightforward now. For this look I put down a nude colour nail polish, for this I used the Boots No.7 Nail polish in So Simple. Then I placed two french manicure stickers on each nail to shape my claw nails and uses China Glaze Street Chic for the paw nail colour. I removed the stickers before the polish dried and voilà! Paw nails. For the black part I used a velvet look nail polish that came with black nail polish and some fluff in a jar. Again, I placed the french manicure stickers in the shapes where I wanted the black to go, put the nail polish on, ripped off the stickers then applied the black fluff while the polish was still we. And that’s it!
Pop art nails — These on the other hand are probably more complicated than they seem. Mainly because the black edges and the white accents are hand painted. I first put on a base of a bright blue polish, then I went in with a fine brush and outlined my nails in black. Then I went in with another fine brush to draw on the white accents. I put on a matte top coat to make it look more pop art. The difficult part is drawing the black edges neatly.
Galaxy nails — I always thought that any gradient nails were achieved using an airbrush. Again, I learnt from RedditLaqueristas that this isn’t always the case. This is a very simple look that took a few different polishes and a small chunk of standard cheap makeup sponge to achieve. Each nail has different base colours from the Models Own Beetlejuice collection. These nail colours are iridescent and simply amazing for this look. With a sponge, I patted on some yellow, green and pink “S” shapes on each nail to look (layered on each other) to look like little galaxies. Then, some white dots for stars, a top coat, and that’s it.
Yellow Gel Nails — The story behind these nails? First off, I didn’t do them myself. I got these done at an airport OPI nail stand before flying back home from a business trip. This is an OPI gel manicure and the colour I’m wearing is “I just can’t Cope-acabana”. I don’t do my nails in salons often, mainly because I’m always afraid that they’re going to damage my nails. They often do.
When applying gel nails, the nail technician buffs the nail to take away the shine. For gel nails, all that’s needed is enough buffing to take away the shine. In most salons I’ve been to (UK, Spain and US), nail technicians buff the nails too much and they make the nails thin and brittle. It’s very hard to get them back in shape after a beating like that.
The cuticles are tidied up at the salon. Again, this is a part that scares me because often, nail technicians can be too vicious with this step. I’ve often come out of a salon with nicked, bloody cuticles. It’s not pretty and it’s painful. It can get infected and it’s just all round horrible. If this happens, quickly put some alcohol gel on the nick to prevent infection. I hate nicked cuticles because the scab and redness usually lasts for the duration of the manicure. I pay to make my nails look perfect and the ghastly red scab simply ruins the whole look.
I’m now very careful when I go to a new nail technician and I’m possibly the worst customer ever because I keep telling them to 1. not buff too much and 2. not not nick me when working on my cuticles. After being very specific with a nail technician back in January when I put on gel nails for my graduation, I still ended up with a big dent in my nails when I got them removed at the same salon. The dent is from the nail being buffed too much such that it’s thinner than the natural nail that’s growing. It lasted for the whole time while my natural nail was growing out and my nails were very brittle.
Back to this yellow OPI manicure — This was the best manicure I got from a nail technician and I didn’t have to be an annoying customer. She buffed gently, cuticles are tidy and moisturised without nicks, the colour was applied nicely and it wore well. After I removed these myself, my nails were actually stronger than before the manicure because a gel manicure, if done right, can protect the natural nails. It’s a shame that the salon is in the departures lounge at Birmingham Airport.
I had some horrible nail salon experiences in the US and in Spain but I’ll keep those stories for another post. Have you ever had nail salon horror stories?