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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Feels like it was only yesterday when I posted my Chinese New Year mani, but I have a few chips on my right hand already so I decided to take them all off. Boooo! I guess that’s what I get for opening a can of Diet Coke and doing dishes without gloves (rookie mistake). It’s really too bad because I have one more family dinner to attend and I was hoping to show off to my aunties. Oh well, they’ll get something else… Leopard!

This is another one of those trends that have already come but hopefully not gone because I am just catching up! I’ve wanted to try leopard nails for a while now. I’ve seen a lot of takes on the design from all the nail blogs so I was super excited to give this a try myself. Also, I’m very happy to tell you that this is the first time I’ve done a nail art mani without having to find a tutorial beforehand! I just Googled some images to make sure I had the right idea and went for it. The base is Cosmetic Art Sweet Spot and the leopard spots are Color Club Earthy Angel although I used my current favorite metallic, Revlon Gold Coin, on my ring fingers so they’re not all the same. Oh and the black lines were drawn with a nail art brush with Rimmel’s Black Satin.

I loooooove how this turned out. From far away they look like stick-on nail decals. :)

I remember telling a friend once to be brave because I had all the confidence in her to overcome her challenge. “Less meow and more rawwr”. This is how I’m feeling these days so maybe I instinctively went for this design tonight. “Nothing to lose, everything to gain.”

xo,
e.

Happy Chinese New Year and cheers to all my dragon friends out there!

OF COURSE I had to do a Chinese New Year (CNY) manicure! Initially, I wanted to paint a dragon since it’s the year of the dragon, but I didn’t think my amateur skills could handle it. They probably would’ve looked more like worms than dragons anyway.

I thought about the colors and theme I wanted to incorporate, which was easy because CNY is all about red and gold, and decided to focus on gold cherry blossoms with a red base and create something special on my ring fingers. The polishes I chose are Revlon Gold Coin, China Glaze China Rouge (how appropriate!), and Witchcraft’s nail art striper in black.

Like mose Asian families, my Chinese family has many superstitions passed down from our ancestors. According to the believers, certain foods, words, colors, and gestures can affect one’s path in life. One of the most prosperous and popular words in Chinese is “fook” (褔), which means fortune, luck, and happiness. (Who knew one little character could have such a positive significance?) Many Chinese families or businesses will hang a poster with the “fook” character upside down so fortune will “fall” upon them. I thought this would be the perfect special something to paint on my ring fingers, especially since they’ll be upside down when I look at my own hands. Plus, it is one of the easier Chinese characters I can paint free-hand by both hands lol. Yes, you can bet there was a lot of practice involved.

Here is a stylized version of the character…

And here are my good luck nails!

I am super happy with my creation. It only took me 40 minutes from start to finish and I perfected the “fook” character on the first attempt on both hands. As you can guess, I am very pleased and impressed with myself. :)

Beyond all the nail polish, I want to wish everyone (including all non-Lunar calendar friends) a very prosperous year with plenty of love, happiness, and good health. Happy New year and 恭喜發財!

One of the more popular nail trends I noticed over the past holidays was the gradient mani. I tried to do it once with just the bottle brushes and two different shades of pink, but it did not work out at all. Like, at all.

I eventually found a really good tutorial, which is actually from 2 years ago (wow, am I late or what) and it shows you how to do a gradient mani using the sponge technique. I dug up some old makeup sponges and seized the opportunity to use my newly purchased American Apparel Metallic Bronze Dash with Color Club Boho Mojo and added dash of glitter with Sephora by OPI Flurry Up!.

Originally I didn’t want to use a glitter, but my sponging wasn’t so great and it left a bumpy texture so I figured adding the glitter would hide the ugliness. I’m really glad I went for it because the larger pieces of glitter made the whole mani pop and the Bronze Dash with the Boho Mojo made the nails look very ethereal, almost universe-like and the glitter resemble the planets. Now I’m just getting too deep about this mani.

In natural light, the Bronze Dash didn’t pick up as much as I had hoped for even though I sponged on a good amount at the tip of the nails to make them more intense, but the photograph and Instagram-ation of the mani made them look really awesome. I received a lot of comments and can’t wait to try out the technique again when my nails are longer and with other color schemes.

What are some nail trends that you think are coming back from back in the day?

xo,
e.

Happy Friday the 13th!

My lace nails have nothing to do with this superstitious date, but it just so happened that the bf and I decided to stay at home tonight and spend some quality time on the couch watching TV and painting my nails (which he had nothing to do with). Perfect Friday evening I tell ya!

I have about 7 bottles of crackle-type nail polishes and I’ve only ever used two of them, one being black. It’s such a waste, but I really don’t like the way some of the vivid colors look on my hand once it shatters. It feels messy and very sloppy. But about a week ago I came across cutepolish’s YouTube tutorial on how to create a lace mani and I instantly faved the video.

I promise this is super simple and looks really great, especially from far away. I started with my OPI Black Shatter, but the texture was too clumpy, I’ve had this bottle for over a year now, and re-did it with my China Glaze Crackle in Black Mesh. I don’t have a black striper polish yet, as I can’t seem to find it at drugstores, so I used my Rimmel Black Satin with a striper tool to draw the lines and curves. Oh and I can’t believe I almost forgot! I also used Rimmel’s Bare Naked nude polish as the base color, which worked great with my nail color and skin tone.

At first I thought I did something wrong because they didn’t look like lace to me and thought it resembled more of a black textured mess, but after a good coat of Seche Vite, it came together and really looked like lace, especially from further away (I always tell people to look at my nails from faraway in case there are some boo-boos lol).

What are some good and simple nail tutorials you’ve seen lately?

xo,
e.

Besides chips, nail polish, and the usual girly stuff, I also have a huge attraction to “reality tv” (what isn’t reality tv anymore?) and finally having a PVR machine really helps me keep up to date with all drama. My friend, Miss K, and I have started following The Bachelor series and because we both missed the first introduction episode we did a back to back viewing date and she asked me to do her nails.

I saw photos of cherry nails a while back thought that they were the cutest thing and it seemed simple enough for me to practice on someone else’s hand so that’s we did for Miss K. The dotting tool was super handy and I used China Glaze China Rouge, Sephora by OPI Dark Room, and of course, Sally Hansen Whirlwind White. The Whirlwind White is such a good and thick opaque white and it’s so inexpensive!

When we saw the final results, we were both so excited and couldn’t contain our “omg that is soooo cute” remarks haha.

So which Bachelor girl do you think will win? Both Miss K and I like Kacie B. Ben and her look so natural together and she’s got such a cute souther charm about her.  Can’t wait for the next week’s episode… mysterious girl!

xo,
e.

I bought my first bottle of magnetic nail polish (Nails Inc. Trafalgar Square) on a trip to LA at Sephora back in November 2011 and I was so excited to go back to my hotel room to try it out. $18 for a bottle of polish is a bit over my budget, but I was on a mini vacay so I let myself splurge :)

It took me at least two tries on each finger to get the magnetic waves looking right and only 2 or 3 nails on each hand looked good. I was so disappointed, but I kept it and figured I’ll try it out another day when I have more time.

Then yesterday, I came across this mani that Precious Polish did and it inspired me to give the bottle another try, which worked out great because I’ve just started watching the Friday Night Lights series and it kept me distracted while I magnetized each nail (yes, magnetized my nails lol) because the trick is to hold the magnet very still for a at least 15 seconds while the polish is thick and wet.

See how dark and contrasting each nail is? It still took me a couple tries to get it good.

I then cut thin strips of masking tape to block off a diagonal section of each nail and used L.A. Girl Flare in Bubble Gum to paint the other half.

Not sure if it’s super obvious, but I forgot to alternate the tape on my index finger. It must’ve been all the football action on TV. Did you know that Taylor Kitsch (aka Tim Riggins #33) is a Canadian from BC? My home province!

xo,
e.

Now that I’m really getting into this nail art thing, I’m finally catching up with all the trends and even if I’m a few months behind I’m still super keen on trying and wearing what are new things to me. After researching tutorials on how to do a half-moon mani, I went to my local drug store and picked out two new gorgeous colors: Essie Sole Mate and Revlon Gold Coin. I just love the metallic shine of Gold Coin and the contrast with the deep Sole Mate. I also had to make a pit stop at the dollar store to pick up binder reinforcements. Who knew these little circle things could be so amazing!

Here is the end result:

If you plan to try this out with the reinforcement method, my tip for you is to really wait until the polish dries before peeling off the stickers or some of the polish at the edge will want to peel off as well.

I learned how to do my half moon from cutepolish, who is one of my most fave YouTube nail gals. I really recommend checking out her channel, she has the most simple and straightforward way of showing how to do the designs. I get really impatient with some of the tutorials out there, I don’t want to see you paint your whole hand, just show me how it’s done on one nail! Please?

Who and what are some of your fave nail blogs and tutorials?

xo,
e.