Rocking My Stocking

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This is Gelish Rocking My Stocking, of course, from the Wrapped In Glamour collection. I used a light gray from Apple Barrel Paints to hand paint the stripes and dots.

As usual, I loved this Gelish collection when I bought it, and love it even more now that I’ve experimented with the colors. Just a beautiful collection, and it holds up even past the holidays… I can totally see a client requesting this color for Valentine’s Day.

Perfect Landing!

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This design was done with the color Perfect Landing by Gelish, from the Fall 2016 Sweetheart Squadron collection.  I stamped the nail art using Fingerpaints Still Life – Is Good! and Born Pretty stamping plate BP-L 003 for the background, then Fingerpaints Calligraphic Calico and stamping plate BP-L 008 for the leaves on top.

Note that this design is over a week old: a testament to how well Gelish stands up to everyday life. Over the week plus that I had this manicure, I did all my normal daily housework as well as some painting on the outside of my house. In the end, the only reason I wanted to take it off was the growth at the cuticle, which is visible in this photo.

So far I’ve used three of the six colors from this collection and they’re all beautiful. What do you think? Have you used any of the colors from this collection?

Simple nail art using a glitter topper

S&M 15 Nov 2015

This is Gelish A Mint of Spring, topped in various sections of each nail with Getting Gritty with It.  Super easy nail art, but eye-catching!

I’m Plum Tuckered Out!

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This design is done with Gelish From Rodeo to Rodeo Drive topped in an ombre style with Plum Tuckered Out. Both of these colors are from the Urban Cowgirl Collection.

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I stamped using plate BPL003 from the Born Pretty Store, first with silver stamping polish, then black.

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Pink with Petals

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On these nails:  2 coats of Look at You, Pink-achu! from the Hello Pretty! collection by Gelish  + BLE/M5 water decals from the Born Pretty Store.

The decals looked great when first applied, but did not last long at all. Within a couple hours they began to wear away from the tips of my nails, as you can see in the photo.  I had only used one coat of Top It Off, so perhaps I should have used two for better protection.  Next time I will keep the design closer to the cuticle and leave the tip open.  I had no trouble with wear issues near the cuticle.

French tips and a review (sort of)

French

For these nails I started by applying Star Nail Deep Smile Well Less Tips, which I’ve had sitting around for a couple years and never used. I wasn’t sure I would like the deep smile line.  They applied nicely, though it took some finesse to get the tip to lay flat (parallel to my short free edges).  Then I shortened the length and filed the shine off so I could apply the Gelish Pink Builder Gel.  I have enjoyed using my ASP Form-A-Nail nail forms in the past, so I decided to give those a try again.  As you can see, they did a great job forming the nail over the tips.  It takes a bit of practice when using these with gel because you have to press and hold them still on the nail while they cure to prevent air bubbles.  It’s a bit of a pain, but less so than sculpting and filing.

Side note: I don’t have a photo of it, but a few days later I did a fill using the nail forms.  First I filed in the cuticle area that needed to be filled, and removed the shine. Then, I used the nail forms to do the fill, this time using Gelish Clear Builder Gel, since I planned to paint over them with Gelish gel polish.

So there you have it – a quick and easy, perfect French manicure.  Honestly, it might have been too easy using these products!  I felt lazy not having to sculpt the pink and whites!

French fade

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This is two coats of Gelish Ivory Coast with Snow Bunny sponged on the tips to create the fade effect.  On the top half of the nail I also added a coat of A Moment of Magic from the Gelish Cinderella collection.  After I did this set I got really busy and didn’t take a picture. This is after 8 days!

Winter nail art

winter nail art

 

This is Gelish Deep Sea, with Arabesque water decals and silver flat back studs from the Born Pretty Store.

Stay tuned for a review of these embellishments soon!

Inverted nail moulds vs. Dual form system

Lately I’ve done a bit of research on the inverted nail moulds technique (very popular in the UK, which is why I am spelling mould as I am) as it compares to the dual form system (found in the US). I thought I would share with you a few of my findings as well as some links where you can find more information or buy the systems discussed.

First, dual form systems: I have the ASP Form -A-Nail brand, available at Sally Beauty.  The ProNails dual forms also get good reviews.

I can’t understand why more nail techs don’t use these rather than tediously sculpt acrylic and gel enhancements on forms.  You basically sculpt your nail from the underside and go up, rather than from the topside and down.  Check out this how-to video from ProNails:

You can find the ASP brand of dual forms at Sally, or just search “dual forms” on Amazon or Ebay for other options.

Now the inverted nail moulds, which are like a tip combined with the dual system.  You essentially sculpt your nail into the mould, as you would with the dual forms, but after application it does not pop off. The mould is made to stay on the nail.  (Honestly it seems to me like the mould is basically a full-well clear tip that you add to as desired, then apply more L&P to adhere to the nail.)  This video shows application of the moulds:

The clear advantage of either system is in creating embedded enhancements, in that your rough surface from embedding won’t be on the top side of the nail and therefore doesn’t have to be finished off as carefully, as you would if you were to apply a tip and then build on top of it. These seem like a real time saver!

Many people also ask if you can use gel rather than L&P and the answer is yes, though clearly gel requires more practice to obtain perfection. Air bubbles and lifting at the cuticle are a nuisance when using gel, but can be eliminated with practice, I think.

I’ll be experimenting with these over the next few weeks, so I may have some photos for you in the future!

wintertime marble

S&M 7 December 2014 (3)

This snazzy combination is Gelish Let’s Hit the Bunny Slopes (gray) and Race You to the Bottom (teal).  I love how the colors in each Gelish collection mesh well together, and these colors are no exception.  The photo doesn’t do justice to Race You to the Bottom – it’s a stunner in person!