NOTD: Dusty Khaki Themed Striped Skittle Mani

I never really know what to name my NOTDs. I always try to describe it in the most literal sense mostly because I can't really think of creative names for my manis. lol. Well, anyways...I'm thinking of clearing out my Helmer soon and doing a blog sale, but I still have a lot of polishes that are brand new and never been used/swatched. So my goal is to incorporate every polish I own into a NOTD before I do my blog sale. It might be a while haha either that or it'll motivate me more to post a lot.

For today, I went for a khaki/dusty color scheme. Then I used a striper brush to paint my stripes. I did these on my natural nail instead of adding a base color before the stripes. I, personally, really like this style of nail art (painting designs on your natural nail without a colored base).

It had been so long since I've done real designs on nails that my hand was definitely shaky and not steady as I was painting the stripes. I had to erase them a couple of times and start completely over. So forgive me for the not so straight lines. I definitely need to practice steadying my hand again especially if I want to paint intricate designs again.

 

Dusty Colored Striped Nails

Striped Multi Colored Nails

Striped Skittles Mani

 

I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Greige Gardens (pinky), Catrice Pink Spring (ring), Etude House BR301 Black Tea Milk (middle), Etude House PP904 Grape Milk (index), Catrice Walk In The Woods (thumb), a striping brush, and Diamond Dry Top Coat Brilliance.

That's it for now. I started a new job, so it's been taking up a lot of my time, but I'm still aiming to post twice a week at least :) I also have more things/ideas that I want to share with y'all so stay tuned!

Tina Ko

 

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NOTD: Summer Neon Crackle Nails

Hello! I didn't forget about posting this week! I used to make a lot of excuses of why I couldn't blog, but I've come to a point where if I want something to be done, I'm just going to do it, no excuses. Now, if only I can feel that way about working out haha. I definitely went through a fitness craze, and I got way addicted to being in the gym. I'm just trying to find a balance between everything.

I just came back from Houston, and if you don't know already, Houston is my hometown. I grew up in Texas, and my grandma still lives in the same house that I grew up around. Both my parents worked a lot, so I definitely spent a lot of my time there. Anyway..I was digging through our garage, and I came across a bunch of my dad's old records, so I brought a bunch home, and right now, I am currently listening to Queen's Greatest Hits. <3

Queens Greatest Hits Vinyl

I've been obsessed with vinyl records lately. I don't know what sparked the interest in me, but I love going to thrift stores and finding old records. It also helps that they're super cheap and cost about $1. lol.

Well for today's mani, I just wanted to incorporate a very summer color scheme, and what better summer colors than neons! I used China Glaze Pink Voltage for the neon pink and Essie Funky Limelight for the neon yellow with a small sliver of Orly's Silver Glitter Liner. I also wanted to show you an "easy to apply but looks like you spent a lot of time on it" mani, so I topped off the neon with a OPI Black Shatter and Diamond Dry Top Coat Brilliance (found at Sally's, I love this top coat for making shiny things really pop).

Summer 2014 Crackle Nail Art

As long as you know how to apply crackle nail polish, your mani will look amazing. My OPI Black Shatter had been sitting in my Helmer for a couple years untouched, so it lost almost all the moisture, but not so much that it completely dried out; I ended up pouring in a bunch of polish thinner to make it malleable again. But it works good as new if not better than before.

Crackle Mani Neon Base

And when I'm talking about the crackle covering mistakes...this is how messy my neon base colors looked before I laid the crackle on top. The colors seriously don't have to be perfectly matched up and painted on. Plus, the top coat will smooth everything over. This NOTD is seriously the best for those that don't have a steady hand or the time to do intricate designs. I also did another crackle mani similar to this a while back with directions on how I did it.

Neon Crackle Nail Art

Crackle Nail Art Neon Nails

Easy Summer Nail Art Ideas

I also added with a silver glitter liner lines bordering the differing colors. It's a subtle detail. In the picture, the glitter can be mistaken for glare.

Well, that's it for now! Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Simple Rhinestone Mani with Model’s Own Jade Stone

Hello :)

I almost forgot to add a second post for the week. I'm really trying to keep up with my promise of two posts per week lol :)

Going out of town tomorrow to see my family in Houston. I'm excited to see my family, but I hate going back to Texas during the summer. And Houston tends to be really high temps and 100% humidity...blech. I'm starting to sweat just thinking about it haha.

Anyways, I have something really simple for you today, and it's very easy to recreate. All you need is your choice of polish, some rhinestones, and a top coat. I still haven't been able to find a nice topcoat for rhinestones. I like to seal the stone with top coat so that it doesn't fall off easily, but it always dulls the shine and makes it look so plastic-y? I definitely want to experiment with using a gel top coat to secure my nail art into the polish/nail. But I'm not that familiar with using gel products, and I'm not trained, so we'll see. I did post about the Sensationail at home gel system so I wonder if I could get the same quality as the professionals at salons.

Well, here's what I used as my base color: Model's Own Jade Stone

Models Own Jade Stone Swatch

Models Own Jade Stone Nail Polish

I got this a couple years ago through a swap on MUA. Come to think of it, I should really check that. I haven't been on there in forever. There's a lot of nail polish sitting in my Helmer that have been unused and are brand new. I've had them for so long that the tops have evaporated a little in most of them --;; (I took a long break from blogging and the polish world because keeping up and collecting more polishes just became really overwhelming..which is why I haven't even been on MUA in forever). My goal, right now, is to use everything I have at least once so I can post about it here, and I'm planning on doing a huge blog sale so I can purge. Keep an eye out! lol.

Either way, this is two coats of color. The formula is surprisingly still really good for having sit in my drawer for so long unused. The color evened out nicely on the second coat. Dry time wasn't too bad either.

Classic Mint Nails

Classy Simple Easy Nail Art Ideas

Minty Nails

Easy Rhinestone Nails

I just used a regular clear coat from Spoiled (named X-Ray Vision) as my "glue". I just put a drop of it on the bottom of my nail and used a dotter with a bit of clear polish on it to pick up the rhinestone and place it on the bottom middle of my nail. I used the same top coat to "seal" off the crystal and nail polish. Definitely did not like this top coat. lol. I'm just going to stick to Julep's Freedom Polymer Topcoat (review still pending lol) for sealing the top, and I'll keep using the Spoiled as the base glue for my nail art stuff.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

 

 

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NOTD: Pink and Gold Half Moon Mani

My roommate saw my Silver Half Moon Nails the other day and wanted something just like it for her, so we did pink and gold for her nails. We did it late at night (she was going in and out of consciousness while I was doing her nails), and there was a lot of layers of polish on her nails because we were trying to use a different color before this darker pink, but it didn't show up. I sealed her nails with Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat, and she literally went straight to bed. No extra drying time, nothing. I just told her to sleep like a princess and not move her hands lol. She woke up the next day, and we all know how you can wake up with bed smudges lol, but nothing. Her nails were perfect. I swear by this top coat right now, and I've seriously been on a quest for the perfect top coat for years, YEARS!!! I shall do an independent review of it later and show you how much mobility you have after using this top coat.

Half Moon Nails

Two Toned Half Moon Nails

Easy Half Moon Nail Art

Half Moon Manicure

I really need to get back into the habit of using my DSLR. My Note 3 really doesn't do these NOTDs any justice, and I have such a shaky hand that they're always somewhat blurry. Blah.

I used Barry M Pink Flamingo and LA Colors Art Deco Nail Art Brush in Gold Glitter for the half moons. The top coat used, again, is Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat. It smooths the gold into the pink very nicely and turns your nail into an even surface.

Thanks for reading <3

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News: ZOYA Fourth of July Threedom Promo

Have y'all seen the Zoya Fourth of July Promotion?!?! Choose any 3 colors for free! Well, technically, it's not *free*, you do have to pay a special promotional S&H price of $12, but that's still a pretty good bargain.

Zoya Fourth of July Threedom 2014

I'm still kind of on a no-buy especially when it comes to polishes (I still have a lot of polishes that I've never used/swatched, and I can tell the top has evaporated off some --;;). Either way, Zoya polishes are normally $9 each plus shipping, so this is a pretty good steal. I've never had any problems with my Zoya polishes. The formula has always been good, the brush is very easy to work with, and they have really amazing colors. The only Zoya polishes I didn't like were the Zoya Mod Mattes. It dried too quickly while you were working with it, in my opinion, making it hard to get a smooth overall coat.

Anyways, just wanted to share this awesome news in case you missed it :)

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NOTD: Red White Blue Gradient for 4th of July!

Post number 2 for the week! I'm on a roll! Haha. I'm currently spinning Louis Armstrong on my record player right now as I'm writing this post. I've been very into vinyl these days. I don't know what it is lol.

Anyways, I tried to use the sponge method for this gradient today. I don't really like how it turned out. I think the combination of colors doesn't do well for the gradient effect because it doesn't smooth into each other? I put white in the middle so it breaks too much instead of going with the flow? haha it's hard to explain. (Good idea in my head, bad execution lol.) I must try to do the sponge method again with a better color combination because I can't say I like this one right now, and I don't want to write off the method before I get a good chance at it. My preferred method of gradient is just layering on polish a bit at a time painting less and less of your nail as you go up and making the tip darker (check out my old post on the glitter gradient I did to see what I'm talking about). As for right now, this is what my nails remind me of....

Bomb Pops

 

Hahahaha....well here's what I'm talking about...

Fourth of July Nails

Fourth of July Mani NOTD

Red White and Blue Nails

Red White and Blue Patriotic Nails

I used China Glaze Ruby Deer for the red, Wet N' Wild French White Creme for the white, and Julep's Ally for the blue (you can't really tell in the pictures but Ally is a blue shimmer/frost). I definitely shouldn't have put red on the bottom (blue wouldn't have been any better either) because when I was cleaning up my nails, it was really hard to get all the red polish out from under my cuticles. I forgot that you definitely can't flood your cuticles with red without it staying there even after tediously trying to clean up most of it --;;

Like I said..it was a good idea in my head..it was just very poorly executed lol. I shall try the sponge method again soon. Until then..

Thanks for reading <3

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NOTD: Blue and Silver Half Moon Mani

Hello :)

Yeah, I haven't been really good at keeping up with 2 posts a week... However, I just got back from EDC in Las Vegas, and I have one weekend trip planned for July and that's it! So I should have no problem posting more awesome stuff :) I need to get back into using my nice camera though. I've been using my banged up Note 3 to take pictures only because I've been so lazy in creating a new light box. >.< Before I get to the NOTD, here are a couple of pics I took in Vegas. (I've been really bad at documenting stuff when I travel..I really should start a travel journal..it's just I think experiencing it with your eyes and creating your own lasting memory is the best method of documentation..I feel like pictures don't do justice, and you can never really capture the perfect moment like you can just by seeing it with your own eyes..a bit redundant, I know lol).

EDC Las Vegas 2014

EDC Vegas 2014

Las Vegas EDC 2014

2014 Las Vegas EDC

I wish I took more pictures of the actual event lol. Anyways on to the NOTD.

I did an easy half moon mani (and of course, it's def easy when you just have to use your dominant hand lol). For the base color, I used Revlon's Top Speed Fast Dry Nail Enamel in Royal. For the half moon part, I used Orly's Instant Artist Nail Striper in Platinum Glitter. I just used the liner brush that comes in the bottle and carefully painted in a half moon shape and colored in. I had to constantly use thinner, though, to make sure I didn't have a huge lump of glitter on the bottom part of my nail. I noticed that of all the nail stripers Orly gets chunky fast even while you're using it (maybe it's because I've had it for a while, but even when it was new I had the same problem..I wonder if there's a new formula now).

Half Moon NOTD

 

Half Moon Nail Art

Half Moon Manicure

Well, that's it for now. I'm gonna go work on a 4th of July NOTD for y'all now! Thanks for reading <3

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NOTD: Easy Orange Tips

Hello! Guess what? It's my birthday today! Happy Birthday to Me! haha. Anyways...Just did this simple mani the other day.

Orange-French-Tips

Just did orange french tips using China Glaze's Peachy Keen and lining it with LA Colors Art Deco Liner in Gold. For the accent nails, the base is China Glaze's Lemon Fizz, and I just used a striping brush to make the lines. I find that it's easy to do a "french manicure" type of look when you paint the tip further down and cover the line where the color and your regular nail meets with another polish (whether you dot the line or put glitter over it like I did here), mistakes are easily covered and are unnoticeable. I did use the tape method to have somewhat of a precise french line to start with though.

Orange-French-Mani

Japanese-Inspired-Nail-Art

Well that's it for now. I'm hoping to have more to share with you soon :) Oh, and I also used Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat which definitely deserves a review in itself. I really think I've found my new favorite top coat aside from Poshe.

Thanks for reading :)

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News: Should We Wear Sunscreen to the Nail Salon?

I was on Facebook the other day, and I was scrolling through my newsfeed when I saw something about wearing sunscreen to the nail salon. Before I even opened up the article I knew it had to be something related to gel nails and the UV lamps that are used to cure them. Now, don't get me wrong. I think gel nail technology is awesome! I mean, come on, I think I can speak for all of us when I say waiting for your nails to dry SUCKS when it comes to getting your nails done, at home or the salon. With gel nails, I love that I can do almost anything without ruining them right after getting them done.  Here's the Huffington Post article on the matter.

Anyways, the article does mention that LED lamps are safe for use (of course, that is until some new research comes out condemning LED lights lol). Either way, if LED is okay to use, I came across something at CVS a couple weeks back, and I'm only reminded of it today because I found a coupon for it in my weekly mail.

sensationail-coupon

It's called SensatioNail. I may be just behind on this thing, but it's an at-home, salon-quality gel manicure system. They say you can have up to 2 weeks of full-proof color. When I saw it at CVS, it looked like you had to paint and dry your nail one finger at a time. Which does seem to be more time consuming than painting a whole hand and drying your whole hand at once like you would at a salon. However, if this will give me that gel look and quick, damage-proof finish, I think I'd be more than willing to try it (especially since it uses a LED curing lamp). I'm definitely thinking of taking advantage of my coupon. It expires at the end of July, so I definitely have time to mull it over lol (and save some money for it; I'm going on a Vegas trip at the end of this month ^^).

Where to Buy SensatioNail Starter KitHas anyone tried this yet? If so, how do you like it so far? Has anyone tried doing at home gel manicures?

Until next time~

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Hello Again!

My goodness. I can't believe it's been 2 years since I've written in this thing. I've definitely looked at it from time to time debating whether or not I should revive it and add more posts, but other things took priority and this blog has been sitting on the back burner ever since. But here I am again! I've taken a nice break from the polish world; I haven't really been expanding my collection since I've stopped writing. I've bought the occasional bottle or nail studs, but I haven't been painting my own nails for a while. Can you believe it? I've actually been going to the salon o.O but to the salon no more! My goal is to provide y'all with at least 1-2 posts a week, not necessarily all nail related as I've been super obsessed with makeup lately lol (but no makeup tutorials...just want to share my hauls with everybody :) ). Just bear with me as I get this thing started again. And this time I will also try to be more informative about where to find the products I use (both at a store or online) or at least their alternatives if it's hard to acquire :)

I'll end this post with my baby, Maxwell <3

chocolate dachshund

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