1st May, 2013
Nail foils is something I’ve been dying to try for probably months, probably even over a year! I never got around to it because I couldn’t find it locally or shipping was too expensive. Recently KKCenterHK added some beautiful foils to their range so I finally got around to trying them. Yay!
This is the nail foil I picked out. A beautiful gradient foil that goes from green to blue to pink, and it also has a subtle geometric reflective design to it. It comes in a handy jar, and the foil is 150cm in length (59 inches) so you’re getting a lot! You can either choose to purchase the foil alone or you can purchase it with a bottle of foil glue. The foil glue comes in a fairly large bottle and as you only need a tiny amount, it should last you a pretty long time.
Here’s how the application process works:
- Add a base colour to your nails, I used China Glaze First Mate.
- Cover your entire nail (or the area you want to cover) with a very thin layer of foil glue. Wait for it to fully dry and become clear. I am not sure what type of glue the foil adhesive is, as it doesn’t act like Elmer’s glue (but it does look like it!). In any case it’s a super tacky glue!
- Carefully place a piece of foil you’ve cut out on your nail. You can use tweezers for this, make sure to handle the foil with care as it’s very delicate.
- Take a cotton round and rub across your entire nail to make sure the foil adheres properly to the nail. You’ll notice it will start to peel away by itself once the foil has transferred.
- Carefully add a slow drying top coat or a water-based top coat to minimize crackling. Quick drying top coat completely ruins the design and makes it wrinkle up like a crackle polish.
And this is the finished result! I wish it looked even a little close to how it looks in person but it doesn’t come anywhere near. I’ve never had this much trouble trying to accurately capture a manicure! The foils are so bright and reflective. You honestly have to see it on your nails to appreciate the full effect! It’s simply mesmerizing! I’m also in love with this gradient.
I do have to say, application can be a little tricky. It’s hard to cover your entire nail without leaving some bald spots. Top coat also tends to make the foils crackle which is a little frustrating so make sure to use a slow drying top coat. I used a water-based top coat and that worked reasonably well. I did notice the foils are very prone to wear. Maybe it’s the glue? I couldn’t get my manicure to last one day without tip wear which was a little disappointing. The nail foils give an absolutely unique and wonderful effect but it has its downsides.
You can find this stunning nail foil (and many other designs and shades!) at KKCenterHK for $7.69 (not including glue). So what are your thoughts on nail foils? Have you tried them? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments!
12th November, 2012
Today I have a fun how-to and review to share with you! The beauty supply store KKCenterHK kindly allowed me to try these beautiful water decals. I’ve really enjoyed using water decals ever since I first tried them. They are so easy to use and the images are often so stunning. KKCenterHK has a huge range of water decals so you’ll be sure to find something you like!
The decals I chose are a really beautiful mix of decals. It includes a birdcage, poppies (my favourite flower!), dandelions and more. They are shipped in a handy ziplock type of bag which is very sturdy. The decals I chose come with 20 images in total. So you could use them for two full manicures with a decal on each nail both times.
I made a little step-by-step picture tutorial to show you how you apply water decals!
- Step 1: Start by cutting out the decals you are going to use. Cut as closely to the design as possible without cutting into the design.
- Step 2: Soak your decal in lukewarm water. Leave it for about 10-30 seconds.
- Step 3: Once your decal has been soaked, it will easily slide off the paper.
- Step 4: Slightly wet your nail with water, then place the decal on your nail. Using your finger, slide the decal around on your nail until you are satisfied with the placement.
- Step 5: Carefully pat the decal with a tissue or cotton round, making sure to remove all excess water. Your decal will now stay in place.
- Step 6: Finally, add topcoat to seal the design! All done! Easy right?
This is the finished look I created with the decals! My favourite has to be the little birdcage. It’s so beautiful! I could never freehand it to look that perfect. That’s what I love about water decals, being able to wear a design you wouldn’t be able to create using brushes. And that they are so easy to apply, there’s no mess, no dry-time or smearing. Honestly hassle-free!
You can find these beautiful Birdcage water decals for $6.39 at KKCenterHK. Make sure to check out their huge range of decals, they have lots of amazing designs to choose from. They kindly gave me a coupon code for my readers, “VERYEMILY” gets you a 10% discount on your order! Have you ever tried water decals? Let me know in the comments!
12th October, 2012
A while ago I purchased a bottle of Essence Peel Off Base Coat, not fully aware of what it was and how it worked. The first time I tried it out, I remember saying to my boyfriend “this is weird, it looks like glue and smells like glue”. After some research I found out that it basically IS glue!
I’m sure some of you have heard of this PVA glue base coat method before. There’s a ton of blogposts about this already but I decided to share my thoughts on it, and a little step-by-step on how it works. If you don’t have access to Essence, you can very easily make your own glue base using PVA glue, also known as School Glue or Elmer’s glue. You will also need some water to thin the glue slightly, and an empty polish bottle for easy application.
Let me walk you through the steps!
First you start by painting one thick layer of glue on your bare nails. Make sure to NOT use a base coat underneath as this will damage your nails once you peel off the glue. I hate painting in thick layers but make sure to do this, as this will make the removal process a lot easier. If your layer of glue is too thin it might not work as well.
Then you wait for about 10 minutes or so to let the base dry. The glue base will dry completely clear! This is a very useful indicator which tells you when you are ready for the next step.
Apply your polish! Glitter works great with this method. I don’t tend to use glitter a lot on my nails since I hate the removal process. Even the foil method wouldn’t convince me to use glitter on my nails. This glue base method definitely has! Bring on the glitter!!! The polishes I used for this gold to silver gradient are:
- Illamasqua – Swinger
- China Glaze – Lighthouse
- Ludurana – Ouro Puro
- China Glaze – Cheers To You
- A England – Merlin
- Essence – Make It Golden
- China Glaze – Blonde Bombshell
- Catrice – Million Dollar Baby
- Essence – Blair
- Essence – Studio Nails Top Sealer
Now, since glue is water based I feared it would soak off completely after taking a bath. The picture above was taken four days after I applied it. You can see there’s a little tip wear, but for the most part my nails remained chip free for four days! Awesome right?
Once you are bored of your manicure or it has chipped, it’s time to remove it! Grab an orange stick and carefully start lifting the edges, pushing the stick underneath the polish. You’ll be amazed at how easy this is! Your polish will come off quickly and easily without any mess! If you are left with a little bit of glue on your nails simply soak them in acetone for a few seconds and swipe it off with a wipe.
Et voilà! All done! Peeling off your nail polish tends to damage your nails, but using the glue base leaves your nails smooth and undamaged. It’s such a hassle-free method. I’m honestly in love with it! Every fan of glitter polishes needs this in their lives!
Have you ever tried this method? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments!
10th October, 2011
When you have over 300 bottles of nail polish it’s hard to keep track of what you own. Sometimes it’s also hard to find what you need especially if you keep them in drawers like I do. I keep my nail polish and supplies in an IKEA Helmer which is a cheap and easy storage solution. Unfortunately it’s become too small and I might need a second one soon but let’s move on…
I used to organize my polishes by brand but right now I keep them by colour. When I’m peering down my drawer it takes a while before I find the polish I need which is a little frustrating sometimes. Especially with nail polish bottles where you just see a solid black circle from above like Catrice bottles. I own about 30 bottles of that brand so it goes without saying that finding the right one takes some time. There’s got to be an easier way!
I’ve seen a few other bloggers and youtubers add swatches or drops of the polish on top of the bottle. I loved the idea but I didn’t want to place nail polish directly on the bottles as it could chip off, and I was afraid darker colours wouldn’t show on a black background. I’m a perfectionist so I also wanted it to be simple but most of all neat. Here’s is what I came up with!
First I was thinking about using the paper circles out of a hole puncher but they’re a bit on the small side and you’d have to glue them down, which might make a mess. In the end I found these, they are circular stickers which you can get in most stationary retailers, the ones I have are 8mm in diameter. They are perfect to stick on top of your bottles! They stay on quite nicely and they’re easy enough to remove if you decide on a different organizational system, something I also wanted to keep in mind. My dream storage solution are the clear wall displays since I think they are gorgeous but to be honest I would need so much of them it would cost me a small fortune.
So what you do is carefully paint the stickers while they are still on the sheet, if you accidentally mess up and paint outside of the circle, get a brush to clean it up. If you don’t, it will stay attached to the sticker and not make a clean circle. My first few were a bit messy but after a while they needed next to no clean up! You just need a steady hand and some patience. It took me over an hour to paint more than a hundred but I had a lot of fun doing them. Wait for a few hours until they are completely dry and hardened before you stick them on your bottles.
And this is what the end result looks like! It’s so much easier to find what I need now. I only added stickers to bottles with a completely flat cap, none of the China Glaze or bottles that have a name label at the top have a sticker. It wasn’t necessary anyway since you can see the inside of their bottles from above since the caps are smaller. I’m really pleased with how they turned out and I’m certain it will save me lots of time when looking for that one colour I need!
Would you also be interested to see my storage solution and what I keep in my Helmer drawers? How do you organize your nail polish? Let me know in the comments!
3rd October, 2011
Today I have a Vintage Rose nail art manicure to share with you and a tutorial as well! When creating my new blog theme I came across a print I really loved, I wanted to use it for my blog but it was too busy as a background and demanded a lot of attention. What I did do with it however was create a nail art tutorial inspired by it and for the occasion I have changed my background into said print. It will only stay for a couple of days, once I have a new blog post up my background will be back to normal. (If you’ve visited my blog before and you can’t see the background try deleting your cache)
Here’s what I came up with!
This image is to clarify why I did step 1. I used clear nail tips and I painted them pink first so it would show through on the bottom side. If you have long nails you can simply paint the bottom side of your nails, you should be able to create the same effect.
And if you’d like to recreate this manicure, here is a step-by-step tutorial!
- Step 1: Paint your nails in a hot pink, I used China Glaze Rich & Famous. Please note: this step should be skipped if you are painting on your natural nails!
- Step 2: Paint your nails in a light grey, I used Essence Got A Secret.
- Step 3: I first sponged white acrylic paint over the grey to lighten it and give it a more vintage look, you can skip this. Paint the rough outline of your flowers with a hot pink, I used China Glaze Rich & Famous.
- Step 4: Add shadow with a darker colour, I used an unnamed polish by Claire’s which is similar to Barry M Bright Purple.
- Step 5: Add even more shadow. I mixed the previously used purple by Claire’s with a drop of black.
- Step 6: Draw your stems and leafs with a darker grey. I mixed Essence Got A Secret with Claire’s purple and black.
- Step 7: Add shadow to the leafs and stems. I used a sheer black by 2B in the colour 30.
- Step 8: Time for the finishing touches, add a light pink to the heart of the flowers, I used Catrice Just Married mixed with white. Add a topcoat and you are done! I used Essence Nail Art Sealing Top Coat.
The nail art display finger is from Born Pretty Store, you can find it here.
I really hope you liked this tutorial! I received several requests to make a tutorial and I thought flowers would be something most people will like. A tutorial for flowers is quite useful and interesting since there’s many layers and steps you need to do. Please let me know if you try it out and send me your pictures if you do, and don’t forget to attach a link back to me if you post them on your blog or elsewhere!
20th May, 2011
I’ve been doing so much nail art lately. I’m really enjoying it, I hope you’re not growing tired of seeing them! I cut my nails shorter a while ago for no particular reason. I thought it would be fun to post a manicure with the shorter nails just to show short nails can rock nail art too! If you want to know how I did this keep reading.
For this nail art manicure I used:
- Catrice Blue Cara Ciao
- H&M Spring Nails in Brown
- Black and white nail art pens
I thought it would be fun to add a step-by-step picture tutorial for this. I hope you enjoy it, if you do let me know! I might start doing these more often in the future if you girls would like to see that.
Step #1: Basecoat. I used Catrice Blue Cara Ciao but any colour would do, just make sure it isn’t too dark so your contrasting colour will show up. Blue Cara Ciao is such a fun blue and not like any others I own, I really like it. It’s slightly more green in person though.
Step #2: Add white. I used nail art pens but you could just use any white nail polish or acrylic paints.
Step #3: Add contrasting colour. Any colour that goes well with your base colour, it’s really personal preference. I used a copper brown by H&M that came in the Spring Nails set.
Step #4: Add black lines. Once again I used nail art pens with a fine tip brush, this is the most difficult part because you want the lines to be very thin.
And done! I hope you enjoyed this little step-by-step guide. Let me know if you would like to see more of these in the future.