I have ventured into personally unexplored nail territory: acrylic manicures with false tips!
Yes I know, I got a bit carried away with the length... Also keep in mind it was my first time.
If you've been reading my blog you'll know I adore soak-off UV/LED gel nail polish and have been rocking gel mani's for quite some time (view the posts here, hereand here). Gel is great but I got tired of being limited to short nails and I just can't seem to grow my nails past a certain length.
After seeing a friend working her magic with acrylic and tips I decided to purchase the few needed extras to recreate the look on my own hands. I already had much of the equipment needed from the gel manicures so the jump wasn't too expensive.
Following are the steps to do it yourself and the products needed.
Cuticle oil/cuticle remover
Nail tips in various sizes
Resin or nail glue with a squirt bottle (not a brush applicator)
Nail glue (brush applicator)
Acrylic powder (Clear, French Pink or Competition Pink)
* If you don't want to invest in a UV lamp use a normal clear nail polish. If you only have an LED lamp use an LED-curable clear gel polish. See step 13 below.
STEP 1 Prepare your nails: push back cuticles and buff your nails to give them some texture for the acrylic to grip to. Your nails can be cut short but about 2 millimeters of extra nail is perfect. This allows the tip to be glued at a natural length.
STEP 2 Size the nail tips to match up with your own nails.
STEP 3 Squirt one drop of resin on the bottom of the nail. Press the nail against your nail for a few seconds until the tip feels secure. Apply the tips to all your nails. I find it easier to complete a manicure on one hand at a time when I'm doing it on myself. If a nail comes loose buff the dried glue off and try again.
STEP 4 Use tip cutters to clip the fake tip to the desired length.
STEP 5 Lightly buff the nail tip (avoiding your own nail) to remove the shine then file the nail to get the desired shape.
STEP 6 Apply nail prep to the entire nail to clean the area and to prepare it for the acrylic.
STEP 7 Apply a layer of brush-on nail glue to the entire nail. Perform the next step quickly after applying the glue.
STEP 8 Before the glue dries dip the entire nail into clear or pink acrylic powder (I used French Pink). Do not dip your finger in straight down (perpendicular to the table) but hold your nail as flat as possible against the powder (parallel to the table). Be gentle so you don't smudge the glue. Gently tap off excess powder. Repeat step 7 and 8 on all nails.
STEP 9 When all nails have been dipped brush off the excess powder with a dusting brush. These look similar to a kabuki brush.
STEP 10 Apply another layer of glue and acrylic powder to all nails and dust off the excess powder.
STEP 11 Apply one more coat of glue to all nails.
STEP 12 Now comes the tedious part. Buffing! You can use a course buffing block or if you are as lazy as I am use an electric nail drill with a buffing attachment. I use the PNI12 Bullet. It is fantastic. I'll write a review shortly. Anyway, basically buff the nail to a smooth finish. This should keep you busy for a while. Make sure you get the surface nice and even.
STEP 13 After buffing dust off the excess powder residue and apply a coat of clear UV glaze to all fingers on the one hand except your thumb and cure under a UV lamp for 2 minutes. Repeat on your thumb and other hand. You can also skip the UV products and apply a regular clear nail polish but the effect wont last as long. See the * in the Products Needed section.
STEP 14 Spray your nails with Sanispray to remove the stickiness. You can also wipe them down with finishing wipe but I prefer using Sanispray.
I feel totally ridiculous taking selfies in the mirror, but I recon this outfit is worth a share... or at least I will remember it so I can wear it again. Anyone else like to keep a record of their outfits for future reference or those days when you just don't know what to wear?
Top: Cotton On
Jeans: Lee Cooper
Sandals: Mia Creations
Necklace: Mr Price
Belt: Mr Price
I love the necklace!
I wore the same type of top in a different colour in a previous Outfit Share (see it here). I just love how low it is at the back. The top is soft, loose and comfy.
Bracelets: Mr Price
Also, it isn't visible from the photos but Revlon's Colorburst Lip Butter in Creamsicle (065) matches the top and looks really pretty and natural. Definitely an amazing lipstick with or without a matching top!
I have never really understood the fuss about The Body Shop. I thought "they have lotions and stuff, big whoop". Until one day...
How we met is slightly publicly-blogging-about inappropriate. Maybe.
You see, I cannot wear lipstick. My lips aren't dry or chapped at all but lipstick flakes on my lips. I assumed it had something to do with dead skin on my lips (gross...). I Googled this particular beauty dilemma and came across a review for a "lip scuff" sold by The Body Shop. It is as if this moment was meant to be... predestined if you will.
Long story short (yes, there is a long story involved), I made my way to my nearest Body Shop and snooped around for interesting finds. Not only are their body butters, soaps and potions define, they also sell pretty cool beauty and bath gadgets.
Here are some of my favourites (click on the names or images for more info):
This tube of green awesomeness is rubbed onto your lips and wiped off leaving exfoliated, plump and soft lips behind. I highly recommend this and find it far superior to a lip scrub or the old toothbrush trick.
This textured rectangular towel exfoliates your skin and can be used instead of a wash cloth or sponge. It is ideal for daily use as it is not too harsh and provides a good lather. What's nice about it is the length. It is long enough to give your back a proper scrub-down by gripping it on both ends behind your back and scrubbing from side to side (as if you were drying your back with a towel).
Luxury Facial Flannel
Not my favourite product but some might find it useful, especially people who wash their face with a wash cloth and not their hands. It dries quickly so you won't have to use a smelly, bacteria-laden wash cloth.
Thirsty Feet Moisture Socks
When you go to bed apply a moisturiser to your feet and wear these socks. BOOM! Soft feet! Why not use normal socks? Well because these are so much cooler, and cost ten times more. Why drive a Polo when you can drive a BMW? I promise you sleeping in these socks do not look as dorky as sleeping in normal socks (they have seems so they don't "cut your legs" in an unflattering place making your legs look stumpy) and they don't feel as warm and restricting. The Body Shop also has glovesfor those who are finicky about having uber-soft hands... I can't imagine sleeping with gloves though.
Strawberry Born Lippy
The smell of this lip balm makes my mouth water so much I almost don't need a lip balm! Also, the boyfriend notices every time I wear it... let's just say he likes it too... Mwa mwa mwa!
Chocomania Body Butter
I cannot begin to say how much I love this stuff! No actually I can. I adore this! The smell, the hydration that really lasts ALL day, the non-greasiness, the ease-of-application and did I mention the smell? If you don't buy anything else from The Body Shop, buy this at least! It is AMAZING! I will be keeping stock of this bad boy. One thing I don't like is the taste. Yeah I know. I shouldn't be eating it. Don't ask.
Also something I'll be keeping stock of. I love the smell, I love the shape, I love that it doesn't dry out your skin. It puts a smile on my face every time I wash my hands with it. Maybe it doesn't take much to make me smile. Still, it's a great product. It also has small pieces of something in there that helps to exfoliate the skin. Double-whammy.
Home Fragrance Oils
These oils are used in a burner, like this one:
The two fragrances I bought are Exoticand Vanilla and Tonka Bean(whatever a Tonka Bean might be). They both smell AMAZING! It is weird to describe but the quality of the scent is what impresses me. The smell is pure, not smokey or too sharp. It smells like really expensive perfume. The Exotic fragrance is my favourite but the Vanilla and Tonka Bean is also lovely. It kind of smells like men's perfume. I'm scared when I burn it my boyfriend might get suspicious and think I had male company! Still, the suspicion would be worth it. Hehe!
These amazing concealer pencils blend easily and looks natural. I use it for the "blueishness" under my eyes and it completely disguises it. Read a full review on one of my favourite beauty blogs Lipgloss Kisses.
This concludes my Body Shop haul. Let me know if you've tried any of these items.
Oh and by the way, today is my 24th birthday! Yay me!