Monday, November 29, 2010


This summer, I had a lovely idea for a kimono style manicure on my natural nails.  I loved how powerful and vibrant the colors were, and it was quick and easy to repair the few chips that my natural nails were subject to by adding a couple of green leaves.  Since I run so much and am really rough on my hands during the summer, chipping is a huge problem.    I have found that putting a base coat on reduced the chipping.

I used a bright red base coat, and stamped on greenery from plate m2, my very first plate in my now rather large collection in Apple Green.  I then used plate m36 to stamp yellow blossoms.  I was a bit disappointed that the flowers didn't pop more in the picture, it looked really great in person.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flat (No Pattern) French Tip m19

Most Requested Manicure Tips are for a French...

OK, so I shot a french swirlie from plate m56 in April, and another one of what I call a french flat (flat meaning no pattern) in May...too much frenching around, and I had viral issues of the computer kind over the last week or so, so I am just getting around to getting it posted...the video needs to be reshot so that you can tell more easily how I stamp. I had terrible luck, as I stamped I would look down and my hand travelled out of the shot for most of the stamping.

I used an OPI shimmery base to jazz it up a is from the Designer Series 106, and is a shimmery pink. Honestly, I am not a big fan of the french since it's so finicky, but this time it worked ok for me. The key is have short nails, and have a smooth motion as you stamp. The slightest hesitation or pause as you roll the design on causes a ripple or unsteadiness to the design. Therefore, I do the swirlies from m56 since they are much more forgiving.

Wild Flowers

I was playing around Monday while I watched tv and did a base coat of China Glaze's Tree Hugger. Love the color, but I wanted something over the top this week to pick me up, so...using a very well-worn plate, m64, taking has this very cool Henna Paint in Konad's Princess Brown...then layering on top of it my trusty m57 Three Flowers.

I just couldn't leave well enough alone, since it was looking so cute a little was cute so alot must be cuter! I wanted to accent some of the leaves with my Art Club striper in Yellow, but unfortunately I used the brush instead of dabbing with a toothpick like I usually do (so disorganized, couldnt find the toothpicks until I was putting everything away!). More, more more! Then, it just needed a bit of dazzle for the final touch--I dotted with Art Club Fine Gold Glitter, which I use for sparkle when I don't want to rhinestone all three flowers but I wanted them all to have a bit of fingerbling.

Love it, a little clunky funky fun...and it all works together so well.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

French Tip Swirl Patterns

One of my favorite designs, swirled French tips. This design uses m56, one of my favorite plates. It does take practice to get the curve in just the right place. I demonstrate a way to do that by lining up the stamper at a 90 degree angle to the nail bed so that you have a line of site to the targeted area, then rock it across.

As always, I use Konad Special Polish in white, since I just dont get good crisp images from other brands. More details later, enjoy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Irish Plaid on Gold

March is a time to have some fun with your nails. I have decided to sport my Mad Plaid this week.

Step 1: Go for the Gold, I found it at the end of an OPI "rainbow" at FlipFlops, where I go for nail and hair "spa" days.

Step 2: Grid it with my trusty m57. The Konad Apple Green and gold was fun, but a little too simple. I knew the plaid was coming, so I was happy. I rocked it for a day, and then...

Step 3: Stamp the plaid from m64 using Konad Black. Nice! It's fun, and I can still go to a flower accent on top for the weekend to girl it up a bit. Or not...

I love to do a full nail design like the ones found on m57, m60, m64, and several of the more recent plates (it's like they heard my prayers to the nail goddesses!).

But from what I have seen in other posts, I seem to do it a little different. Rather than paint the entire square, I paint a line along one edge and then squeegee the polish across the design. Occasionally I have to double scrape, but I find it works great. You don't end up with swirls of unevenly surface-dried polish mixed in, and it makes everything a bit faster...not to mention it's less messy and/or wasteful.

Here is a video on how I apply a full nail design. I hope you like it! It's only the green fishnet from m57, and at the end when I do my thumb you can see how I stitch the two stamps together to cover the entire thumb by using foil wrapped around my finger to help me keep the first stamp clean.

I have done the m64 plaid alone, but once I saw it with the second layer peeking out from under the patterns with it's little zip of color (in this case Apple Green) I decided that the extra dimension was too charming, too unique. If I do plaid, I don't want it to be a *snore*

This plaid also looks awesome on a natural nail, you don't need a basecoat at all for it to look fashionably finished. Got to love a Full Plaid, it's my gold at the end of the rainbow!
Konad Swatches lists most of the colors of Konad Special and Princess Special Polishes available, as well as reviewing them.

I agree with most all of her observations, and her blog is great. Very cool had to share!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lip Ink Haul!

Oh Goody! My order to restock on Lip Ink semi-permanent lip colors just came in, and I love the Energy Red--totally cool! and the free color they threw in happened to be one I was tempted to order---Glitter Red! It is just a subtle shimmer, not an all at glitter. And the Hypershine turned out very glossy, it is very thick so feels just a bit sticky on the lips. Flavorless, but stays put really well...better than the regular shine. I went for broke and paid the $55 for the 2 oz bottle of shine, since my last one lasted two years it is well worth it and I will use it to refill my tubes (if I can keep track of them!).

I also ordered the shimmering lip plumper, one full size in Snow Spice that is scented like clove, and the other a trial size called Bubble Gum, that smells faintly of cinnamon. Lovely shine with shimmer, the snow is a little more opaque than I had thought it would be.

Man I wish I could start selling this. It's so pricey that I am outright cringing but the tubes last forever and the color stays on all day without smearing or printing my mugs and my hubby's mug whenever I steal a kiss. But I feel like I need to do one or the other (nail art or lip ink), and there is definately a great market for the Konad. This time I ordered directly from, since absolutely NO ONE sells it in Oklahoma anymore. Hate ordering lip colors online, but I know with the lemon toner and color layers that I can play with it if it's not exactly what I want. So now my color collection is back up to six, I threw away the Lava Red in a fit of cleaning and totally regret it now. No such thing as too red, is there? So now I have Earth Red, Energy Red, Ruby, Glitter Red, and Lemon Toner. The toner turns the ruby to a gorgeous Coral, and removes the blue undertones that I find not always desirable. I may do a video, but hate the idea of having a close up of my lips. I will have to think about it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Centering Designs on the Nail

OK, so finally I have figured out how to log back on (to the right account!). Sorry for my absence.

Centering a Design on the Nail

Sometimes I have found that I have to switch from a side-rolling motion when I am stamping a design on my nail, to a different method. Side rolling is best for larger designs, but for a smaller design I want to center I apply the design rocking from the tip or base of the nail instead of the side. It allows me to gage the center line of the nail. Once I became aware that I was stamping this type of design differently, I realized I should do a video on it. Since St Patty's Day is approaching, it seemed fitting to do one of my celtic knot nails, and I float a rhinestone in the center.

To do a rhinestone is really quite simple:
1. Top coat the entire nail, being careful not to overlap your brush strokes if you can help it.
2. Wet the tip of a toothpick (I usually touch the toothpick to the topcoat brush).
3. Use a wet tip of the toothpick to pick up a rhinestone. It sticks to the wet tip.
4. Finally, place it as close to where you want it to be. Nudge it for any fine adjustments.
5. Add a dollop of topcoat to seal the rhinestone onto the nail.

I will post a video just on rhinestone setting sometime soon.

Erin go braugh!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hearts from m59

A fun look for February is anything incorporating hearts. Here's a simple stamp with a lot of look. In this video I use a very heavily used m59 (snowflakes from December) to create a cascade of hearts on the nail, just above a glittery french tip. I stamped one hand in 3 minutes, even while stopping to refocus and trying not to go fast so you can see how the stamping process works. It was quick and looked great!

This time I tried to add alot of hints and tips in titles on the video, if you find them hard to read please let me know by posting a comment.

The sparkly base coat/french effect is from OPI Diamond Holographic, sorry but I dont know the exact name since the sticker has long since abandoned the bottle. I love it, it looks great layered over any color. As you can see, I created a french effect by painting the tip with 3 coats and the nail itself with one sheer coat. I just cant seem to get into the flat colors that are getting popular now...maybe they will grow on me?

Valentines Day Heart Tips

Happy Valentines Day!
Sometimes it helps to get in the mood by pampering yourself a bit..and it doesn't hurt that getting your nails done with a Valentines Day theme might remind a special someone that the holiday is coming up.

So, in the spirit of the holiday I have decided to show a few options to you. This first video uses Konad Image Plate m56 to apply a heart patterned french tip to my nails. French tipping takes a little practice, and the Konad plates can be shallow, so if you have particularly long nails (which I don't) you may have to "stack" or stamp twice.

I started with clean nails that I had painted a base coat of OPI Diamond in a holographic shimmer. I've had the bottle awhile, and the sticker has come off the bottom so I don't know the exact name of the color. I will check with the salon where I bought it and try to update this with the exact name for you at a later time.

The alignment of the tip design can be achieved by holding the stamper at a 90 degree angle to the nail. Look at where the design will line up when rocked across the nail, then make any adjustments to how you are holding the stamper and rock the stamper across the nail. I like to hold my hand just in front of me, with my finger braced between thumb on the bottom and the stamper at the 90 degree angle at the top. The video angle cut parts of the actual stamping when I pulled toward my line of vision to align the stamp on the nail. I will get better at this next time and not cut out the alignment and rolling, but I think I got enough in that you get the general idea.

Now to work on the Lovely Stamp Video