Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Nails

Here are my Halloween manis for this year! My skills have improved considerably since last year, and I'm actually quite happy with these! 

Classic Halloween Mani:

I loved these! 

The colors I used were:
American Apparel "Hassid" (black)
OPI "Tangerine Scene"
Nina "French White"

For my index and pinky I used the water spotting technique, that's similar to water marbling. I'm not experienced with this so I don't know how to explain it further. 
The bats were more difficult than I was expecting and they didn't turn out quite right, but at least you can kind of tell they're bats. ;) 
Also, I mattefied these using Essie "Matte About You!" My favorite matte topcoat. :) 

Dripping Blood Mani:

Always gory and fun. ;)

The colors I used were:
OPI "Don't Pretzel My Buttons" (nude)
OPI "Lost On Lonbard" (red) 

This is a pretty simple technique using a dotting tool and a nail art brush. It's one of my favorites since it often comes out looking realistic. Bleeding cuticles! :D hahah

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Nail and Cuticle Care

Here's a short (maybe not so short..) post on how I take care of my nails and cuticles for you guys! :)

First, here's my naked nails! ;) (with a coat of Essie Grow Stronger)

Next, here are the products I use every day to moisturize my cuticles and hands. 

I also use Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil and Lush Lemony Flutter, but I'm currently out of my Essie Cuticle Oil, and my dog got a hold of my Lemony Flutter so it's not in photo-worthy condition. :/ ;) I absolutely love all of these products, and use them religiously. If you haven't tried any of Julep's hand/cuticle products you definitely should. Although they come in rather small quantities I'd say the quality makes it worth it. 

Next up is my cuticle remover and my absolute FAVORITE file. 

This is the only brand of cuticle remover/softener I've ever tried, although I've heard good things about the Blue Cross brand. I've only recently started using it, but so far I love the results! 
To get my cuticles in good shape, about once a week I soak my hands in warm soapy water (I love using the moisturizing hand soap from Bath & Body Works) then apply a small amount of the cuticle remover to each finger. Then I just use my thumbnail on my other hand to gently push back my cuticles. I don't cut them, ever. I also push them back occasionally throughout the day when I use cuticle oil or butter. 
Now for the file. This Cult Nails glass file is seriously AMAZING. Since I bought it 6 months ago, it's the only one I've used. I file my nails about twice a week just to maintain the shape and length, as each nail grows unevenly and at a different pace (so annoying..) I've heard that if you file your nails after applying base coat, it reduces the risks of splitting and peeling, so I usually try to do that, although glass files tend to work much better on a naked nail. 

Next, Biotin!
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