Showing posts with label nail art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nail art. Show all posts

12/18/11

Jamberry Nail Shields

Earlier this fall, Tara, a Jamberry Nails consultant, asked if she could send me a set of Jamberry nail shields to review. I agreed and she promptly sent over a half sheet of the turquoise and pink polka pattern.
This is a half sheet - each set contains a full sheet, which is enough to do 2-3 manicures or pedicures. A set is $15.


The nail shields have a glossy finish, so you don't need to use top coat with them. The instructions are extremely easy to follow and after a quick read-through you could be up and running with these in no time flat.


To apply the shields, you remove them from the paper backing and warm the sticky side with a hair dryer for 10-15 seconds. I used a pair of tweezers to gently hold the shield under the blow dryer so the hot air wouldn't burn my fingers.


After you heat them up, simply apply the shield to your nail and then trim and file to fit. You do need to work quickly to take advantage of the shield being its most flexible. Once you've got it on your nail, you can press it gently with an orange stick to ensure a tight fit. On a couple of nails, I used the hair dryer to warm the shield up again and then press it down firmly with the orange stick. I simply used a small pair of nail scissors to trim off the excess shield, and then carefully filed off the remaining bits.




My nail plate is relatively small/narrow, and I didn't have any trouble getting the shields to fit. You can see here I had a little bit of a gap at the top of my index finger - that's because I should have trimmed the shield a bit more. Operator error.


But mostly, I think they look great.


Really nice and tidy, which I like.




I love how glossy these are. They also didn't feel thick or uncomfortable on my nail, and they didn't snag on my clothes or other fabrics while I wore them.


Jamberry nail shields are designed to last up to two weeks on fingers and a whopping six weeks on toes. This would be a great alternative for a vacation or any other time you don't want to think about your polish chipping. I think new growth would be the only thing that would keep me from wearing them more than a week, or if they began to lift significantly. (Jamberry recommends using a small amount of nail glue to seal the free edge, if you like.) I think that $15 for 2 or 3 manicures or pedicures is a good price, especially with the variety of designs to choose from.


These were very easy to remove - you just heat them up with the hair dryer for a few seconds and gently peel them off. They came right off my nails with absolutely no peeling or damage to my nail, which is a huge plus.


The booklet I received with my nail shields has pictures of a number of the designs, and some of them look pretty awesome. I realize these pictures aren't ideal, but I wanted to give you an idea of the variety (which you can, of course, also see on the site). There are more than 160 styles available.




I really want to try the metallic silver/white fishnet design. So awesome. The metallic designs look very Minx-like to me. In addition, there are some holiday designs up on the site now - I especially like the whimsical swirls, the dark red floral, sunflower damask and OMG the yellow and gray floral! Tara says there will also be Valentine and St. Patrick's Day designs released soon - great news for those of you who like to tailor your manicure to the holiday.


If you're interested in Jamberry, the site has lots of information, including how to become a Jamberry consultant. You can also follow Tara on Facebook.


A product sample was provided to me for use in this review.

9/16/10

Chevron How-to

In my last entry I mentioned the chevron manicure - the only type of nail art, if you can call it that, I can really manage. I've tried water marbling before...once. It actually worked but it's labor intensive and kind of a hit-or-miss technique, because some polishes just don't work with the method. Also, I didn't use cuticle oil on my skin prior to the marbling and clean-up was a total pain.

So anyway, chevrons. These can be done fairly easily and quickly, and they have a retro look that I like. Reminiscent of a moon manicure, the chevron is just a little bit more foolproof because you can use a piece of tape to get a clean, sharp edge.

Please note that this certainly isn't the only/best chevron tutorial out there. I did a quick Google search and there appear to be videos and instructions with pictures. However it's difficult to take a picture of your own hands when...you're using them. So please feel free to ask questions if anything seems unclear, or, of course, check out one of the surely excellent videos/tutorials elsewhere on the Internet.

Here's how I do it.

You'll need:
- 2 colors of nail polish, both very opaque
- Scotch tape
- Scissors
- Tweezers
- Fine tip Sharpie marker or similar (optional)
- Your favorite top coat

1. First, I polish my nails with a base color. Typically, for me, this starts with a regular manicure that I want to change up a little OR that I'm enjoying but is starting to show a bit of tip wear. So my advice to you would be to build the chevron on top of a manicure that you've been wearing for at least a day. This way you can use the tape without fear of botching the base color.

2. When you're ready to do the chevrons, rinse (with plain water) and dry your hands. You don't want to use soap as it can leave a residue. I dry my hands on an old t-shirt so I don't pick up a ton of lint from a fluffy towel.

3. Get your Scotch tape, or cellotape, whatever. I used the wide-width, matte-finish "satin" kind, which seems to work well. Tear off a strip of tape about 1.5 inches long and trim off the jagged edge with your scissors.

4. Place the piece of tape on your nail with one of the corners pointing up toward the free edge of your nail. You can put it as high or low on the nail as you'd like. Make sure the position is as you like it (I center the point in the middle of my nail, you could do it off to the side for an asymmetrical look) and press down firmly.

5. Use the Sharpie to trace a line on the tape along your cuticle. This will serve as a cutting guide. You can eyeball this if you like, and skip the Sharpie step, but I like to have the guide. It's important to have the tape lie flat against your nail. The end result should be a piece of tape shaped like a piece of pie.

6. Cut along the cutting guide and place the tiny piece of tape back on your nail. Repeat for all ten nails. It's easier to do all 10 at once rather than as you go - less chance of messing up your handiwork.

7. Paint your nails with the second color. You want this color in particular to be very opaque, because ideally you only want to use one coat. You don't have to paint over the entire piece of tape - just enough to give you the chevron shape.

8. Allow your second color to dry fairly thoroughly. So, find something else to do with yourself for 10 minutes or so.

9. Using the tweezers, GENTLY pick up an edge of the tape piece and lift off. Do this slowly to avoid ripping off the base color or tearing the tape.

10. At some point, you may want to apply a top coat. Make sure that all of your polish is pretty much dry before you do this, to prevent smearing. I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat in the red bottle, but you can also use a coat of clear followed by a coat of Seche Vite if you like. Just don't put SV directly on top of dry polish.

And there you have it! Chevrons.

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chevron,Essie MAY

12/19/09

Movie Star Nails

I have been obsessed with doing this for a while and I finally bit the bullet:
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For this look, I used Illamasqua Jan as the base coat. I had this on as a regular manicure for a day or so before I attempted the chevrons, which I think is the best tactic. You will want the base coat to be very, very dry.

Incidentally, I love Jan on its own:
Illamasqua,Jan,pink,creme,hand,labeled swatch


For the black part, I used Chanel Black Satin. Normally I would have reached for my go-to black, Milani Black Magic, but when I tried this out on one nail my boyfriend was still asleep, and I didn't want to wake him by rummaging through boxes of nail polish. But I knew Black Satin was within reach, and actually I really like this result because the polish has an ever-so-slight platinum shimmer.

A lovely MUAer suggested I used tape to create the chevrons, which worked like a dream. I used the wide, satin-finish Scotch brand tape. I just used the right angle of the tape to reduce the chance of variations. I put the tape on my fingernail to gauge placement, then trimmed around the bottom of my nail. (Creating a pie-shaped piece of tape.)

Once the tape was in place on all my fingers, I painted on the black polish. When that dried, I removed the small pieces of tape with tweezers.

Then I put a coat of OPI clear over the whole manicure, followed by a coat of SV.

One thing I would recommend is getting enough of the clear coats on the brush so you don't have to go back over the pink part...I had a few little streaks of black polish come through.

I'm not usually one for nail art, like, AT ALL. But I love the retro-glam appeal of this look, which is reminiscent of Dita von Teese's moon manicure.