Thursday, September 29, 2011

Throwback Nails

While digging around in my massive amount of nail equipment, I found a swatch of random nail art that I did at age 16 or 17. So for being approximately 8 years old, this nail polish has held up pretty well. It's a little yellowed, but you'll get the idea. At this time in my life I worked at JC Penny salon in a local strip mall... and honestly, I was hardly ever with a client. Boring, but it did give me plenty of time to do nail art. And we all know only practice makes perfect! So here you go: Nail art from 8 years ago.
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As for Littleladyluxury.com, I've made a few changes. Posts from now on will now have all pictures linked to a full sized image. I know nails are small, so if you click on any image, it'll show up bigger. I'm using my fancy DSLR, so the pictures should be decent quality. Hope this makes nail viewing easier! If you're liking the blog, please "like" me using the little Facebook icon and bookmark me so you can follow!

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Set of Gels

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For years I've been an acylic only kind of girl. They were the first thing I learned, and I loved them, so I stuck with them. Silly, I know, but clearly this happens. As I've said before, I learned nails from my first job as a shampoo girl in a salon that also did nails, and this salon only did acrylics... and my Vo-tech didn't teach any of it really, unless you count videos. So my experience with gel nails is extremely limited. Up until today, all I had ever done was put a thin layer of gel over acrylics for my manager at the 3rd salon I worked at. So, you get it, gel nails - zero experience. Finally, I decided it was time this changed. Last night I sat up late and watched a few You tube videos by Young Nails Inc on how to do a full set of gel nails, just to make sure I remembered all the steps. And fancy that, You tube training actually worked. And to tell you the truth, I'm pleasantly surprised at how nice my nails turned out. Actually, that's a bit of an understatement, I'm pretty much enamored with them... staring anytime they catch the light. It's the little things that count right?

So for this first full set of gel's I wanted to go easy. I have clear Ibd building gel and a bunch of fun glitters, so that's exactly what I used. I decided that I'll leave gel smile lines for another day, so I simply faded some light blue glitter over the tip and partway up the nail bed, feathering the glitter into jagged spikes at the top. Then i added a second larger glitter just on the very tips. Finally I capped all of that with the clear, filed til they were nice and smooth, and then added a super thin layer of clear gel back over top. After using the cleanser to remove the tacky layer, they're incredibly smooth and super shiny. They're so shiny that I would love to top every polish, manicure, anything at all with clear gel. Anyways, I'm pretty impressed with myself, and I may convert to gels depending on how this set does with lifting (or hopefully lack-there-of). Guess we shall just have to wait and see. Below are two pictures showing the arch and c-curve of the nails. Not too bad for a first set. Anyone want a set so that I can practice some more?
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Serious Misjudgement

My nails are about 1 & 1/2 weeks grown out, and in serious need of a polish change to say the least. So I set out yesterday to make them look respectable, and honestly the finished product is debatable. I'm still tweaking out a bit over the shape of the nails. The lady at the salon in Florida managed to file some nice thin spots. Yesterday I was too tired to fix them before polishing.... bad choice because now I'm considering a whole new set cause they're driving me nuts. Anyway, I painted something very very simple. A silver french manicure lined with light blue, and with a purple star-burst the ring fingers. I thought this was brilliant, but its got to be one of my least favorite manicures ever. Oh well, live and learn right? Shame though, normally I love silver manicures. Anyway you'll probably here from me soon with either a new set or a legitimately fixed version of this set, thin spots filled and all. Oh well, here's a picture of the silver french disaster. Hope you like it better than I do!
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dual System Forms

So after cruising the internet forever, I came across dual system forms. And yes, I'm well aware they're old news... but I really wanted to give them a try. So, I got my hands on a set of forms and have been messing around with them for the last few days. Jury is still out on if I like them or not. Honestly, it's been hit or miss on making nice nails with them. Yes there is no filing, well almost no filing... the top surface turns out nice and smooth, however the bottom surface isn't. Maybe it would be better if you actually glued a tip on first, and you'd have a smooth under-surface, but I'll save that for another day. So here's the down-low. You sculpt your acrylic directly into the mold instead of onto the nail. Cool right? It makes inlaying nail art, colored acrylic, or sculpting a smile line pretty easy. After you design the nail to your preference, you add clear or pink acrylic to the nail bed section of the nail and then press onto your clients natural nail. I'd suggest holding it down pretty firmly until it's mostly hardened. Once its completely hardened, you simply lift the nail form off the top of the nail, leaving a shiny smooth surface. Pretty nifty, but my results have been hit or miss. Maybe I just need more practice? Anyway, here are a few fun pictures.
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The above picture or an inverted mold with pink and white acrylic being applied to the nail. The mold is still on top of the acrylic.
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The above picture is the acrylic nail after the mold has been removed, but has not been shaped with a file yet. Pretty shiny for not being touched with a file yet isn't it?
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The finished pink and white acrylic extension. Done in less than 5 minutes. Not too shabby. Though as I said, I think that at the end of the day, I'm still happier with the traditional method of forms, or tips. But I'm always up for trying new things!

Hope you're enjoying the blog so far. Please feel free to leave your feedback!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Halloween Acrylic Rings

I know, I know, it's only September... but I can't wait for Halloween! I'm probably just so early because I know I'll be on the ship this year for Halloween. So today's project was to do an acrylic ring. It was my first time sculpting colored acrylic, so don't go too hard on me. Actually, yesterday and today were the first two rings I've ever made of acrylic. So, cut me some slack :) I created a clear base, and then painted it with one of my favorite glitter polishes, followed by purple crackle polish by China Glaze. Next, on a nail form I sculpted a cat, and pumpkin. I placed them onto the acrylic base and then sculpted a moon near the top with some yellow acrylic. Finally I capped the entire thing with clear and filed/buffed until it was nice and smooth. I wanted it to be super shiny so i added a UV gel topcoat, cured it in the UV lamp, and called it a day. Here's the finished product. Honestly, the picture doesn't do it justice. It is definitely more sparkly than that!
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Yesterday I did a zombie girl ring. Nothing to fancy. Neon green acrlyic, a Konad stamp of a creepy girl, and some red polish to look like dripping blood. Oh yeah and some white x's just for fun. Here's a picture. Enjoy!
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Do I bother?

It never fails. Every few months I get lazy, or Im out of town and in desperate need of a fill. So I break down and go somewhere to get my nails done instead of doing them myself. You know, treat myself. Except its never a "treat". I go somewhere, they fill my nails, and I almost always tell them no polish, not even topcoat. I can tell that I'm going to have to go stop at Sally's BS to pick up a file and buffing block so that I can fix the nails that I've just paid to get done. Then I remember for a few months that there is just no point going somewhere else, before attempting this vicious cycle all over again. This time is not as bad as many of the other times I've gone somewhere else, but still, I should just do them on my own. So I got my nails filled here in the happy state of Florida since I came here directly from the ship instead of going straight to Pennsylvania. It had been 4 weeks since my nails were filled, and I was desperate. Luckily, I only had to do some minimal filing after everything was said and done. Much better than my normal situation where I completely re-file all 10 of my nails. Originally I just picked up an Orly polish from Sallys to tide me over until I get home Tuesday, but after 1 day at the beach that polish is now tacky to the touch. I have no clue why, its never happened before. So I'm now on polish #2 in about 4 days, so I just stuck to doing a french with my stripers and a nice topcoat. I apologize for the crap-tastic picture quality, and the fact that I didn't clean up my cuticle area. My camera battery is dead, and the charger in PA, so you're stuck with Ipod photos until I get home. So here you go: A black french with gold stripes. It feels a bit tiger-esque to me, but who knows. Not my best work, but it'll do in a pinch. Anyway, Stay tuned for more posts now that I'll be reunited with my nail products tomorrow! I should not be this excited about that, but I am, and I don't care who knows it. I love nails!
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

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Ahhh the first blog! I've been waiting to do this for quite some time! Sorry folks, but it isn't going to be too interesting just yet because I'm actually still floating around the Gulf of Mexico. So I'm just going to post a picture of some nails I did before coming out to the boat. The nails are acrylic (and yes, they're about a week grown out, but I wanted to change up the polish). Its a simple free handed french manicure with an anchor stamped onto my ring finger. I'm way behind in the times and just got the Konad stamping stuff in July.... only what? 3 years behind? Oh well, better late than never! Anyway, keep an eye out for better upcoming posts. I'll get off the ship this Thursday, but wont actually make it home until next week! Until then!