Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ghosts of Manicures Past!

These are photos of designs that I have done over the past year.  Many are inspired by artists on YouTube and Pinterest, others are originals.  Hope you like-eeeeeeeeeee!
water marble
rainbow crackle
Pink "tufting"

I saw this design online somewhere.
I wish I could remember where but I love it!

Black and gray french


Fleur di lis

Again, I saw a tutorial and had to do this.

Girlie Charm Bracelet


Metallic Feathers

Snowy Pines

 Found on Pinterest, Dandelions

80's Inspired

"The Cheat" from homestarrunner.com

Birch Trees

Dot/heart Dragging

Taping/craft scissor technique 

Pink and Black "flames" on French

CLose up of metallic feathers

Grey and black roses

Jack Skellington

Black, red and white roses

Found this online, snowflakes

Peacock feathers

Vintage roses

Taping technique

I will be posting links to my favorite artists.  I feel bad that I cannot remember which design came from where.  I gain inspiration from many places and want credit to be given were it is due.

Nail Care Basics

Great nails begin with the basics.  Just like applying make-up, you have to have good basic care before anything can be put on top.  Otherwise you just look like crappy-poo (and feel like it too).  Here are a few things I do to improve the health of my nails. 

1. Use Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
I personally own both kinds however I only use the acetone when I have on glitter polish (it is a pain in the tooshie to get off otherwise). Acetone is very drying to the nails and skin.  If you have to use it, keep it to once a week and use lotion on your hands after you wash the darn stuff off.

2. Push Back Your Cuticles
 Pushing back your cuticles gently with an orange wood stick or cuticle pusher will help prevent the cuticles from overgrowing.  BE SURE you soak your fingertips in warm water or apply cuticle remover (it really doesn't remove them...it softens them) first.  Pushing on dry cuticles could rip or tear them and lets in those nasty germies that lead to infection.  Once you have pushed back the cuticles, use the orange stick to clean up and remove any dead skin left on the nail.

3.Carefully Trim Hangnails
Top: Cuticle Trimmer
Bottom: Nail Trimmer
DO NOT TRIM THE HEALTHY CUTICLES! If you have some hangnail action going on around those clean nails, get to trimming.  Otherwise, leave them the heck alone. Remember the nasty germies from #2???  Ya,  they like to infectify your nails.  Be very stingy with your trimming.  Trim just the skin that is hanging with a CLEAN cuticle trimmer.  Don't use a regular nail trimmer. It is not precise enough and could make it worse.

4. Use Hand Lotion
EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!  Choose a lotion that absorbs quickly and is highly moisturizing.  Rub it into your hands and cuticles really well. Dry hands=dry cuticles=old lady hands and hangnails.  Not pretty my friends.  I love using Udder Cream.  It is cheap, unscented, sinks in quick and is found at any drug store. It also comes in a handy travel size that you can chuck in your bag when you are running out the door.

5. File Carefully 
The shape you file your nails into is totally your choice. Square, round, whatever. It does matter how you file and what you use.  If you have natural nails choose a finer grit file.  If you use the heavy duty grit...oh boy, your poor nails are going to be screaming at you.  I use a medium grit file to shape and then finish it with a fine grit to seal the edges.  Sally's Beauty Supply has a great variety of files that can be sanitized as well (I will talk more about cleaning your tools in a bit).  File gently from the outer edge to the center on both sides.  Your fingers are not logs so DO NOT SAW BACK AND FORTH.

6. Base Coat, Base Coat, Base Coat
Dammit people. It takes 5 minutes to throw on a base coat to protect your nails from...well...anything and everything!  Polishes can stain your nails without it and also help to prevent chipping and peeling of the nails. Not much more to say about this one kids, except, get off your butt and get some.  Period (end rant:).  

7.  Choose The Right Polish  
Try to choose polish that has good staying power.  The more you have to change your polish, the harsher it is on your nails.  Essie, OPI and Sally Hansen Extreme Wear are a few brands I swear by.  

8.  Don't Be A Picker  
If your polish starts to chip and you can't re-polish right that second, LEAVE IT ALONE.  If you start to peel and pick you are going to damage your nails.  Remember the base coat you applied?  Well, that helps the polish adhere to your nails better.  So, it is like gluing two pieces of paper together and then tearing them apart (remember doing this when you were 7?)   Some of the nail may peel off with the polish thus damaging the surface of the nail.  So, you can pick your polish but you can't pick your polished nails (ba-dum-bump...ching...I'll be here all week people).

9. Give Your Cuticles A Nightly Massage
 Every night before bed rub a cuticle balm or oil onto your nails.  It will help to keep the skin around your nails healthy.  Healthy cuticles grow healthier nails.  I LOVE Bert's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.  It is a very lemony ointment that does wonders on my hands.  I also use it on my feet when they are extra dry. Using a regular cuticle oil or vitamin E oil is great too. 

Please remember that you must clean your tools from time to time (and by time to time I mean once every other week).  Soak your metal clippers and trimmers in hot soapy water to remove any nail dust and debris (ewwwwww, I know, but you have to do it).  Let them sit for 5-10 minutes.  When you remove them from the water, rinse them off in the sink and dry with a clean towel.  Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to further sanitize and disinfect.  As far as files go...don't share 'em and chuck 'em when they get icky.  It is easier to replace them and it is very inexpensive to do so.  Store everything in a clean container.  

Hopefully some of this was helpful.  Please remember I am not an expert.  This is what I do for my nails and works for me.  Try out lots of products and see what works for you.  Thats how I developed this routine.  For heaven's sake though, if you do anything...  file your nails, push your cuticles back and put a clear base or top coat on to protect those nails.  Trust me...you will thank me for it. 

Deirdre's previous nail art: nature

Deirdre's previous nail art: fine art

sorry for the dups, these are multi category

Deirdre's previous nail art: special methods