Posts Tagged ‘Essie’

Two Shades of Grey Polka Dot Mani

Grey Polka Dot_cover

It rained this week in LA (and it was like the apocalypse as usual), but reminded me that fall is almost here. I thought I’d embrace this “almost fall” time to set aside the bright pinks for a week and bring out my fall mani colors. Here I’m using Essie Cashmere Bathrobe and Essie Chinchilly.

I love Cashmere Bathrobe because it looks professional from far away, but up close there are tiny little sparklies in the polish. Business from afar, party up close!

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Essie Chinchilly is my favorite grey ever. It has a slight tinge of purple mixed into the grey color. Its just so pretty. Its my grey equivalent to Essie’s classic Ballet Slippers pink. It’s perfect to slather on real quick without showing any application imperfections. I could go on all day about Chinchilly. Love it. You should get it. You need it in your life.

Okay now that I’ve given my schpeal on the colors, here’s what you’ll need to get this polka dot look:

  1. Orly Base Coat
  2. Essie Cashmere Bathrobe
  3. Essie: Chinchilly
  4. Seche Vite Top Coat
  5. Dotting Tool with Nail Art Brush or dotting tool and nail art brush separately
  6. Acetone
  7. Scrap business card or scrap paper

Grey Polka Dot_02

I prepped my nails with my usual routine of removing old polish, trimming my nails, shaping with a nail file, and trimming cuticles. Next, I applied my Orly base coat followed by my first coat of color. I applied Cashmere Bathrobe to all my nails except my index finger, where I applied Chinchilly as an accent nail.

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Three coats later, we’re prepped and ready for some polka dots.

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Using my scrap business card, I dropped some Cashmere Bathrobe onto the card and used my dotting tool to pick up some polish and start gently dotting on the nail.

Tip: Apply the polish lightly. You don’t want to create dents in the base polish you’ve already created or a big dimple in the dot you’re creating.

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I apply the dots in a row at a downward angle to start. Then, I apply the second row of angled dots at the midpoint of the previous row. This ensures an even dotting pattern down the nail.

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Here’s it looks like after dotting all four fingers.

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Next, I cleaned up the edges with nail polish remover. I usually wait until this point to do any clean up because I dot all the way to the edge of the nail, even if it means I get half the dot on my cuticle. This makes the pattern more realistic rather than looking like it truncates at a certain point.

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After the clean up, I applied a my Seche Vite top coat. Be careful apply with a light touch (don’t press the brush down too hard) to keep the dots from smearing. I don’t normally have a problem with this when I use Seche Vite, but it has happened and I try to be as careful as I can.

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To extend the life of the my mani, I usually wrap the tips with my top coat. This means to brush horizontally along the tips so the top coat wraps around the tip of the nail. I find that when I do this, it keeps the edges from slowly chipping off during the week.

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Here’s the finished look!

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Labor Day White Mani and Gold Half Moon Accents

Labor Day Mani_Cover

Happy (almost) Labor Day! I guess that all depends on when you’re reading this. I love white and I personally don’t follow the no white after labor day rule. I love a white t-shirt and I definitely love myself a white mani. Here’s to doing what you want, when you want. What you’ll need to get this look:

  1. Base Coat (Orly)
  2. White Polish (Essie Blanc)
  3. Gold Polish (OPI 2012 Holiday Collection, Similar: Essie Good as Gold)
  4. Top Coat (Seche Vite)
  5. Small Nail Art Brush or a small pointed paint brush
  6. Nail Art Brush
  7. Old business card or scrap paper
  8. Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Labor Day Mani_01

I started my mani with my usual routine of removing old polish, cutting trimming down my nails, quickly filing and shaping the tips, roughly (very roughly this time) trimming cuticles, and laying down my Orly base coat. Next I painted one of three coats of Essie Blanc. White tends to show streaking and I wanted to make sure that I got full coverage. Here are coats one and two:

Labor Day Mani_02  Labor Day Mani_03

You can see the first coat was SUPER streaky. Significant improvement after the second coat. I went for a third coat to get that last bit of coverage. After the last coat, I did my usual clean up around the edges to get that crisp round cuticle edge I love so much. I dip my regular nail art brush in some acetone and round out the cuticle edges and clean up polish where it isn’t supposed to be.

Labor Day Mani_04

Next up, the gold half moons. I love gold accents and I think its a classy way to jazz things up. To get the half moons, I used my Sephora Nail Art Brush that I bought a few years back. Its held up pretty well (not a whole lot, if any, brush warping after all this time).

Labor Day Mani_05  Labor Day Mani_06

I started by dropping some gold polish onto my scrap business card and lightly dipped the brush into the polish.

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Next, I started to form the outline of the half moon. I started by making one mark where I wanted the half to moon to start and end on both sides of my nail.

Labor Day Mani_08  Labor Day Mani_09

Then, I connected drew a small half moon where to mark where I wanted it to stop. This is to make sure the half moons end up somewhat even on all my fingers. By making the mark, I know not to go beyond that point. After that, I connected all the lines.

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Finally, I filled in the half moon with the gold polish.

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I repeated the process on my remaining 9 fingers, and followed with another acetone clean up.

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Here it is all done!

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Floral Nail Art

Floral Nail Art_Cover

I try to do my own mani once a week to keep up with all the abuse my nails go through during the week. This is one of my favorite spring/summer nail art manis. Since I work a corporate-ish job by day, I try not to go too crazy, but who wants a super boring corporate mani? No thanks.

I started my mani by prepping my nails for polish: remove old polish, cut and file nails, cut and/or push cuticles (I skip this when I’m lazy, like today), lotion up cuticles and hands (also skip this when I’m lazy, like today), remove lotion from nails with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (and I can skip this because I was lazy, yay!).

On to the painting supplies:

  1. Base Coat (Orly Nail Bonder)
  2. Nail Color (Essie Tart Deco)
  3. Accent Nail Color and also my favorite nude (Essie Topless & Barefoot)
  4. Flowers (Essie Blanc, Essie Raspberry, Essie Tart Deco listed above)
  5. Leaves (from Christmas 2012 Sephora collection, similar here; not pictured)
  6. Top Coat and arguably the best ever (Seche Vite)
  7. Toothpick or Nail Art Dotting Tool
  8. Nail Art Brush
  9. Acetone nail polish remover
  10. Scrap paper/magazine/business card

Seems like a lot, but I’ve accumulated these things over time. I found a local nail supply store that sells this stuff on the cheap (way cheaper than Target). As far as the polish goes, you can use any colors or brands you want. This just happens to be what I have.

Floral Nail Art_01

I started with my Orly base coat. I think this stuff works miracles. I’ve even done tests where I’ve painted some nails with and some without. The nails with it far outlast the ones without. Off my Orly soap box.

Next, I painted 8 fingers with one coat of Tart Deco, skipping my fourth finger and using Topless and Barefoot instead. I’m going with an accent nail (lazy day), but you can do this on all 10 fingers. I repeat the same painting pattern to lay on a second coat. I don’t do this with all that much accuracy. My first priority is coverage and opacity. I even managed to get some on my palm. No idea how that happened.

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Next comes the clean up with the nail art brush. I got mine on the cheap from Amazon and it doubles as a nail dotting tool. This thing is AMAZING. I pour a tiny bit of Acetone into the cap of the bottle (no need to buy one of those glass cup things they have in manicure shops) and dip my brush in and clean up around the edges. This is what gives me the I-paid-zillions-for-this-mani look. I take time to round out the edges against my cuticles so they look extra even with a perfect curve. I used to hate doing my own nails before, but this clean up trick completely changed my mind. Also, don’t kid yourself with the non-acetone removers. It’s not going to work. You’re already painting poison on your fingers (3 free/4 free/a million free does not mean its not poison). Get over it.

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Look! All clean. Next up, flowers. I drop a glob of each color (Tart Deco, Raspberry, and Blanc) next to each other so they run together onto a business card, preferably one you don’t need. I prefer business cards because they don’t absorb liquid and leaves the polish nice and bubbly on top. You can use whatever you have that works. I took the nail art dotting tool (or toothpick) and dip it between the globs of colors and made tiny 1/4 moon shapes/motions. Since 1/2 the tool was in one color and the other half in another, it created a marble effect with the colors. I dipped randomly between each of the colors and drew in 1/4 moon shapes until I achieved something I liked.

Tip and Tricks:

  1. Make sure you draw a few that run off the edge of your nail. It’ll make the random pattern seem less contrived. If you get some on your skin, repeat clean up trick with acetone.
  2. This pattern is so abstract. If you mess up, nobody’s going to know.
  3. Practice on the business card first if you’re unsure of yourself. Helps to practice when you’re painting with your non-dominant hand. Lucky you if you’re ambidextrous. Its not as hard as you think.

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It won’t look perfect and I don’t usually love what I’ve painted all that much until I add the leaves. I don’t know why, but the leaves make all the globbies (super official term) look 100 times better and more like roses/flowers. I used a seafoam-y green that came in an OPI/Sephora holiday collection in 2012, but you can use any shade of green you have.

Same deal again here. Dropped a glob of green on the card and dipped the dotting tool in the color. I started close to the flower and pulled away to create a skinny leaf looking tail. I try for 2 leaves to a flower. Practice on the business card if you’re doubting yourself (which you shouldn’t, you just drew awesome flowers on your nails).

I finished up with a coat Seche Vite, the greatest top coat of all time. Some top coats smear nail art, but I’ve never had a problem with Seche Vite. I don’t know why I always have the urge to go start a DIY and sand a chair after I’ve done my nails, but amazingly my nails are still in tact afterwards. Also, the dry time is amazing. Have you ever done your nails before going to bed and wake up with your sheets imprinted into the polish? Maybe just me? Have never had this happen with Seche Vite. Off my Seche Vite soapbox.

Here are my nails all done!

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