Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Nails (Skull Tutorial)

I've seen tons of Halloween manicures circulating lately so I figured I'd jump on the wagon and show you all what I would do for my nails.
This is my issue with doing nails.. I just don't like to put in too much time.
Which is why I like accent nails.. a lot..
You can get all fancy on one nail and then paint the rest of your nails a basic shade, which is what I decided to do here. ( I'm in no way throwing shade at the girls who do extravagant art work on every nail, but let's just be real, I'm no Picasso. )
If you'd like to see how I made my skull accent nail.. keep on reading!
Step 1: Paint your nails black.. this is OPI - Black Onyx.
Step 2: Get some white acrylic paint. ( I promise it makes it so much easier. )
I used a dotting tool to make the shape, and basically globbed it on to add texture.
Step 3: Add your jaw.
Again, I used a small dotting tool but you could also use a toothpick.
Step 4: Add teeth to the top and bottom.
Step 5: Add 3 small dots in the shape of a triangle to start the nose.
Step 6: Connect your dots to create an upside-down heart.
Step 7: Add two rectangular circles for the eyes.
Step 8: This is the fun step. Once you have your mouth, nose and eyes, you can go in and add your details and also clean up any areas you're not happy with.
I added definition to the cheek bones, I made the eyes angry, I added more detail to the teeth and I also added some lines in the forehead.
Step 9: Once you're happy with your design, add a thick layer of top coat.
I love the way the texture looks now that it has top coat on it. It looks more skull-like.
Hope you guys enjoyed the skull tutorial!
If you have any questions/comments, feel free to leave them below.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Floral Water Marble (Step-by-step)

I wanted to do an updated blog post on floral water marbles. This post is going to focus more on the design in the water and less on the actual manicure. If you'd like to check out my previous floral water marble post, click here.
What you'll need: A glass to hold your water in (preferably something small like a shot glass), distilled water, nail polish and an orange stick or tooth pick to help create your design.

Step 1: Create a bulls eye with your polish.
This is done by alternating drops of polish into your glass. Your polish will spread and eventually take on a bulls eye appearance.

Step 2: Take your orange stick and gently start from the outside of your bulls eye and drag towards the center. You don't want to dip too far into the polish, just use the finest point of the orange stick to create your designs.
* The farther the polish ring is from the center, the dryer it is. It's been sitting on top of the water longer than the other rings. If you notice that the polish is not moving easily, it is most likely because it has already started to dry. Try starting your lines from a ring closer to the center.

Step 3: This time your starting point will be on the opposite end. With the same motion, gently drag towards the center until you meet your two lines together.

* When you create a line, your next line should always be directly across from the one before. (Ex: You start at the top, your next line should be from the bottom. You start from the right, your next line should start from the left, etc). This will help make your petals as symmetrical as possible.

Step 4: Create a line from the outer left and drag towards the center.
Step 5: Create a line from the outer right and drag towards the center, meeting up with all of your other lines in the center. This completes a basic floral water marble and you can choose to stop here if you'd like. I prefer a flower with more petals.
Step 6: For this step, I cut my top-left petal in half, gently dragging towards the center.
Step 7: Since I cut my top-left petal in half for step 6, I will then move on to the opposite side of my design, cutting my bottom-right petal in half and gently dragging towards the center.
Step 8: For this step I cut my bottom-left petal in half.
Step 9: Last step! Cut your last petal in half, top-right. You now have a floral design with 8 petals. You can choose to add more petals if you'd like.
Here is the design as an accent nail on my most recent mani. If water marble nails seem too time consuming, add the design to just one nail like I did here. Quick, easy and gets a lot of compliments.
As always, feel free to leave any comments/questions below!
Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How To: Clean Makeup Brushes

Before I purchased quality makeup brushes, I would treat my brushes like crap.. I didn't know any better. Now I wash my brushes weekly and do spot treatments whenever it's needed.
Half of any break outs could be due to dirty brushes, it's gross to even think about. Besides the gross factor, nourishing the bristles is going to keep them soft and will make them last longer.
If you'd like to see how I clean mine, keep on reading.
What you'll need: Dirty brushes, a brush cleanser, a bowl, running water and a towel.

* You can check out my brush cleanser here. You do not need a "special" brush cleanser like this one. Johnson's Baby Shampoo is cheap and gentle enough to clean your makeup brushes.
Just so we're on the same page:

Step 1: Pour a small amount of your cleanser into a bowl.

Step 2: Run your brush under luke-warm water.

* Always hold your brush upside down while cleaning it. Holding the brush upright can cause water to travel down the ferrule and loosen up the bristles.

* Never let the water go past the brush ferrule and onto the handle. Allowing water into this end of the ferrule can loosen the glue and cause the ferrule and the handle to come apart.

Step 3: Dip your dampened brush into the cleanser.

Step 4: Swirl your brush into the palm of your hand, creating a nice lather.
Rinse and repeat until the lather is white and clean.

Step 5: Gently squeeze out any extra water and lay flat to dry on a towel.
* Shape your brushes while damp so they dry nice and compact.

I like to wash my brushes before bed so they have the entire night to dry.
There are fancy racks that you can buy that'll hold your brushes upside down to dry faster, but this technique works just fine for me.

If you have any comments/questions, feel free to leave them below!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

All About Tape Manicures

Some of you may know that I'm a big-time Pittsburgh Steelers fan.. so I figured that during half time today I would kill two birds with one stone; paint my nails black and gold and show you all my dos and don'ts when it comes to tape manicures.
Here is my manicure for today. If you'd like to know how I did them, keep on reading!
These two items are the most important when you're doing a tape manicure.
Your polish may look dry, it may feel dry.. but tape and wet polish are not friends. It's better to take the guessing game out of it and just use a fast-drying top coat.
Step 1: Paint your nails black and apply your fast-drying top coat.
Polish used : OPI- Black Onyx and Essie- Good To Go.
Step 2: After you've waited for your nails to dry (about 5-10 minutes), take 2 pieces of tape and apply them to the back of your hand. Remove the pieces and stick them on again. Do this about 2-3 times. This removes any extra stickiness and helps assure that the tape won't be pulling the polish up.
Step 3: Apply the tape onto your nails like so. Gently push down the edges of the tape to make sure that you remove any bubbles to give the tape the best seal.
Step 4: Apply your gold polish. Make sure you apply evenly.
Polish used : OPI- Glitzerland.
Step 5: This step is important. Remove the pieces of tape individually and immediately after you apply your gold polish. Do not wait for your gold polish to dry and then pull your tape up, you won't get as clean of a line.
Step 6: Once the tape is removed, do any additional clean up and
add one last coat of fast-drying top coat.
I hope this post answered any questions you may have had about tape manicures!
If not, feel free to leave a comment down below.
Go Steelers! (;

Monday, August 19, 2013

Floral Splatter Nails (Tutorial)

I was going through my heaps of body sprays and lotions and if any of you are like me, you have way too much of both. I decided to start repurposing my spray bottles. As soon as they are empty or low of body spray, I wash them out and use them for other things.

*Rinse, take off label and there you go. No need to go buy empty spray bottles.
This is when I decided that it would be cool to use these bottles for splatter nails. When splatter nails first got popular, they were made by dipping one end of a straw into polish, and then blowing on the opposite end of the straw. This would spray polish onto the nail and create a cool splatter effect.. but it was way too much work.
Instead, take a clean, empty spray bottle and add whatever color acrylic paint you like plus water.

The water to paint ratio here is about 3:1. I wanted my splatter to be more of a spray and less goopy. But if you want thicker, bolder splatters, use less water.
Step 1: Paint your nails any color of your choice for your base. Here I chose black.
Step 2: This is optional. I applied tape to the skin around the nails. This helps for easier clean up.
Step 3: Once your nails are taped and ready to go, make sure you have some paper towel beneath you so you don't get paint everywhere.
Step 4: This is the fun part. Apply your homemade spray paint. Acrylic paint is much more forgiving than nail polish. If you feel that it doesn't look the way that you would like, carefully wipe the paint off with a damp q-tip and start over.
Step 5: Once you have the look that you like, add a top coat to seal in your design.
You can choose to stop here if you would like, but I decided to add some floral prints on top.
This is the basic guideline I used to create my flowers.
Apply 5 dots in a circle and add a piece of glitter in the center.
This is my finished look. If you have any comments/questions feel free to leave them below!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Galaxy Nails (Tutorial)

Galaxy print has been on just about every form of clothing lately. Shirts, socks, shoes, pants, you name it. Black Milk Clothing's ridiculously awesome leggings would be by far the most popular of the galaxy theme. You can check them out here.
If you feel like galaxy print is too loud for your clothing style (like me), applying the print to your nails is a cool way to show it off in a much quieter way.
Here's how I create my galaxy nails:

(This was my reference picture, I suggest you find a picture of a galaxy that you love and recreate it!)
Step 1: Paint your nails black. I used OPI- Black Onyx.

Step 2: Take a cotton wedge and cut a random chunk of it off. This does not need to be perfect in any way. The weirder and more ragged it is, the cooler the stamp. Since the wedge chunk is so small, I used tweezers to hold it.
Step 3: Apply a drop of polish onto some scrap paper and stamp your sponge into it.
*Tip: stamp your sponge onto your paper a few times to remove any large amount of polish.
Step 4: Sponge your blue onto random areas of the nail. If you feel like you've applied too much blue, stamp over it with the black. This is fool proof and there's no right or wrong way.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2 & 3. Except this time instead of blue, use a green color and then stamp it onto your nail. As you can see, I stamped the green lightly around the blue.
Step 6: Repeat the same process as you did with the blue and green, except this time add purple.
Step 7: Sponge on some white. These will resemble the random clusters of stars.
Step 8: Take a tack or something with a very fine tip, and apply some of your bigger brighter stars. Here I used white and gold.
Step 9: Lastly, add a glitter top coat. This is the best part. It really pulls together the entire print and it looks like tons of tiny little stars. I suggest adding only a thin coat of glitter at a time, you don't want to completely hide all of your cool colors underneath.
And that's how I created my galaxy nails. This would also look cool as an accent nail if you didn't feel like taking the time out and doing every nail like I did. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.