Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Zombie Manicure

Happy Halloween everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying today - its my favorite holiday!  I'm stuck on a boat - so someone needs to enjoy it for me :)  Anyway, today I have a manicure for you that I did on a friend of mine.  You're going to have to forgive the pictures, I kept forgetting to take pictures myself, and right before I came out to sea I texted her and asked that she take pics.  So these are pics from her phone, and the colors are slightly off and its a bit grainy, but I still wanted to share it with you guys.  But I promise, it looks super sweet in person.  And I'll try not to post super horrible pictures again!

Anyway, its a manicure done on natural nails.  This was done mostly using the LCN Halloween polish set that i had featured in my give-away.  All fingers except the ring fingers are a layer of grey and a layer of orange with a gold strip on top and a silver stripe in the middle.  The ring fingers are all orange with a zombie girl and zombie boy stamped with little red blood droplets.  Nothing crazy hard to do, but still cute :)  Wish I had better pictures.  I promise not to do this again!  Anyway, until next time - enjoy and Happy Halloween!

 PS: the above picture is a bit more to color than the bottom one, i have no idea why the pictures came out so differently!  *sigh*  Really, I promise they're awesome in person.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nail Diva: DessiNails

I absolutely love it when a new artist joins Nail Magazine's Nail Art Gallery - especially if you're good... or amazing like DessiNails is.  Her full name is Desislava Draganova and she's Bulgarian, but lives in Greece.  She went to school for hair and nails beginning in 2004 and decided that nails were just more exciting than doing hair.  She loves doing L&P (liquid and polymer aka acrylics) and her favorite products to use are Entity, Nail Artists, and Magnetic.  At the beginning of this month she competed in a BG french competition and took 2nd place - congratulations!  She did this without any real competition training, so thats a huge accomplishment!  She also said that since gel polishes have come out, her clients forgot what regular nail polish is!  So she's a huge fan of Shellac, Gelish, Entity One Color, and IBD.  If you want to see more of her work please visit her Facebook, Nail Art Gallery, or Blog.  Just a heads up that the blog is new - but she'll be adding to it soon! :)  I'm a huge fan of her work, so I know I can't wait to see more!  Wish I had known she was in Athens, Greece when I was there last year!  I would have had my nails done! :)  Maybe next time?

As for me, I'm still floating around the Gulf of Mexico.  Unfortunately, I'm sick as a dog - probably with bronchitis, or some sort of chest infection.  They've got me on antibiotics though, so hopefully soon it wont feel like someone is sitting on my chest.  So no nail work for me at the moment - just lots and lots of rest (well half the day... seeing as i have to watch for whales the other half).  Keep on truckin' right?  :) 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nail Diva: Sinful/Nails by Deb

Today I bring you a lovely nail diva: Debora.  Debora is from the Phoenix area.  I was given permission to share her photos, but not really given any other info- so sorry if the write up on her is super short.  But her nail artwork is amazing :)  Check it out!  Please visit her Nail Art Gallery, Facebook, pinterest, and webpage if you're interested in seeing more of her work

Thats it for today.  As for the pirate aspect of things - it turns out I'm going to be out to sea much much  much longer than planned... yet again.  8 weeks in total.  So I'll be getting home mid-December, just in time for the holidays - which I am thankful for.  But it is going to be a long long long trip.  I'll probably be posting my own nail art through the 8 weeks, but you'll just have to ignore that my acrylics will be terribly grown out.  Oh well - nothing I can do about that.  As for getting my gear set up - things are finally falling into place and every day has stopped being a nightmare.  So right now I'm just thankful for a nice quiet day reading and hanging out on board the ship.  :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just Doodling

As most of you know, I'm out being a pirate in the Gulf of Mexico ~ and while i'm stuck on this ship waiting for the boys to get their gear together (literally), I've had a lot of down time.  With this down time I've been trying to get a grips on this new nail art pen that I've been trying out.  I'm not going to mention the brand of the pen or anything right now because I want to give it a good fair shot before I do any reviews.  It doesn't help that apparently I have the wrong set of paints with me... so it'll be another 3 weeks before you actually hear my REAL opinion on it.  But for now, its pretty cool.  So this was me doodling.  And no- im not really proud of this design, its not one of my betters, but for trying out a new product on a rocking ship - i'll take it :)  Its a learning process right?

I used OPI's Unfor-Greta-Bly Blue for the french and base coat on the accent nail.  The rest is just acrylic paints.  My pen kind of splurged on me in the middle of the silver, but oh well.  These things happen when you're getting use to a new tool.  :)  Hope you are all having a wonderful day!  I'll update more when I can!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nail Diva: Lil Lady Red

** Updated**

Hello Everyone!  Sorry for the absence - I said i would be back, but apparently my boat loses internet between 5pm and midnight, which is generally when I do my posts.  Anyway, more about my pirate lifestyle after the Nail Diva of the day! 

Today I bring you Colleen Ramsey, aka Lil Lady Red .  How she got into nails is a pretty interesting story!  Here's what she told me:

"I got into nails due to a shoulder injury. I use to be a cross country tour buss driver. My husband at the time hated paying for me to get my nails done but I would come home with blank nails. I paid just for the basic application of the acrylic then went home, filed, shaped, did the art, and top coated them. It drove him nuts. So since I wasn't working due to injury he sent me to school. Needless to say 7 years later I'm still going strong and my love and passion for the industry has grow more and more each day" - Colleen

Colleen is currently working in a few places - a salon in McKinney, TX, a salon in Sherman, TX, and she also works as an educator for I.N.M. out of LA.  (I.N.M. is well known for their topcoat Out the Door, but has tons of other great products).  On top of all of that, she is also an aesthetician.

Currently her website is down because she doesn't have a lot of time to work on it (and honestly, can you blame her! sounds like she's insanely busy), but you can find her on Facebook here, and her nail magazine art gallery here.  :)   She does some seriously fantastic nails though - including 3D Acrylic nail art.  Sit back and enjoy the photo show!

So definitely check out her work!  Seriously some great stuff :)

As for me, Im out here stuck in the Gulf of Mexico - getting over a horrible horrible cold.  I got on board last Tuesday, and thanks to some technical difficulties, I haven't had to do any work yet.  Tomorrow I'll start getting some stuff set up, but it'll still be another day or two before I have to switch to night shift and start listening for the whales 12 hours a day.  I'll try to update as often as I can, but probably it'll only be every couple of days.  Its a short trip, YEY!  Just 4 weeks, so soon i'll be back home crafting again.  In the mean time, I did bring out some nail wheels, polish, paint, and brushes - so hopefully i'll come up with something good for you!  Have a lovely night!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tragedy in the Salon :(

I wanted to show some really great happy photos of nails today, but unfortunately tragedy has struck the beauty industry again.

Today in Casselberry, FL a man went into Las Dominicanas M&M Hair Salon and opened fire, killing 3 women and wounding one (the person who had a restraining order against him).  He then went to a friends house and killed himself.  I'm just paraphrasing, but for more details visit these USA Today and Fox News articles.

Also a year ago in October 2011 another shooting occurred at Salon Meritage in Southern California where a male gunman opened fire on a salon due to relationship issues and killed 8 people - he is awaiting sentencing now. You can read about that tragedy here.

I guess I'm still just floored by this.  How it can repeatedly happen that you're going about your day- getting your nails done, or getting your hair cut, and someone comes into the salon and kills you.  Someone you may not even know.  Customers, hairdressers, nail techs all get in the line of fire of someones anger over a broken relationship.  I'm just speechless and my heart goes out to all of the victims, family members, and friends dealing with loss or injury today (or in the past). 

Please visit Cut It Out for information about salons against domestic abuse/violence.  Please keep in mind that if you are in a potentially dangerous relationship, it may effect others around you.  Get help before it turns deadly.

I promise a happier post tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Don't rip your nails off!

I'm kicking myself right now because I didn't get a picture of my nails after I soaked them off - which would have perfectly illustrated what you're about to read.  Just thought you should know that I'm kicking myself!

Anyway, today I want to show you a picture that has been going around Facebook and Pinterest a lot lately.  It basically illustrates the difference between getting nails done the proper way versus getting them done the quick way - and also between soaking nails of the proper way versus prying them off.  I hope everyone out there begins to understand that "false" nails don't normally do much damage to your natural nails.  A nail tech should never use a drill on your natural nail - they should just scuff off the surface shine of your nails with either a buffing block or a fine grit nail file.  Anything more than that is unnecessary.  So if you see people starting to do too much work on your natural nails before applying tips - walk out.  I urge you to.

The main point of this picture though is soaking off nails versus ripping/prying them off.  Chewing, ripping, prying are all horrible ideas - Don't do it!  I know every once in a while you'll get a nail caught in a door or something accidentally and it'll come off, accidents happen and can't be helped.  But when you rip of your false nails once, twice, or repeatedly, you can do major damage to your nail bed.  You rip off nail that would still be left intact if you had just soaked the nails off, and you cause distress to the nail bed and pull the skin away from it, causing the nail bed to appear much shorter.  I've even seen people who have ripped the entire natural nail off while trying to take off their own gels or acrylics.  If you INSIST on doing it yourself, go to the store and buy yourself some pure acetone and soak your fingers - and yes this will take a while, but it will be more than worth it.  Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is:
If done correctly and removed correctly, false/fake nails are not particularly harmful to the natural nail.

** Now let me make a quick little disclaimer about this picture.  I did not make this picture, and I don't really agree with them implying that "nail bars" are bad.  I wish it would just say: "DON'T RIP OFF YOUR ACRYLICS - EVER"   - So in short this isn't me calling out specific techs or salons, its just to inform you that there IS a proper way to get the nails off.

**Also, the super red nails are not typically what you get when you rip off nails - someone did a number on this person hands honestly.  If you take a look at the pinky and ring finger fingernail, I'd say that's about standard - ripped off natural nail. 

**Another disclaimer - There are certain types of gel nails called "hard gels" that are impermeable - aka they can not be soaked off- they must be filed off.  Don't rip these off either!

**Also, I hate that they used "u" instead of "you" in the header of the photo.  Grammar people, grammar.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween Paisley - the 2nd!

You may remember this design from last Halloween.  I created it on a nail pop, and never actually got to do a full set with it.  Well low and behold, when I put it up on my facebook one of my good friends Nella Hebert fell in love and instantly volunteered to get the nails done :)  And I couldn't have been happier, because it is truly one of my favorite designs that Ive ever done.  Thank you Nella for being such a wonderful wonderful friend and nail model.  I am always super thankful when people let me go wild on their nails!

Nell had a few broken nails, so we started out doing a quick full set of acrylics using clear acrylic over nail tips.  After those were on, we did a simple paint job of 2 different oranges - one solid creme orange and a sparkly orange.  Next up I used a Konad stamp and black Konad stamping paint to stamp on the paisley portion on her nail bed.  It was a little tricky because the paisley stamp was kinda small, so we did some fudging to cover the whole nail, and honestly it turned out great!  Lastly we painted on the black french free hand, and outlined it with a gold striper.  Top off with a lovely shiny top coat and then you have the finished product!  Enjoy!

Oh and a quick disclaimer - I'm in my hotel waiting to go back offshore in the morning.  Its a boat that I haven't worked on before so i have NO idea what the internet situation is going to be like.  Hopefully i'll have free reign and be able to update my blog as often as possible - but I have had ships that watch the amount of data that you upload - which could mean updating only once a week, or maybe not at all.  I hope I'll have good internet, but there's really no telling until I get there.  So if you dont hear from me for a while- you know what happened.  Fingers crossed that I'm back asap!

Sorry for the poor pictures - the orange is MUCH brighter than what it shown, however the FL sun decided to disappear as soon as we finished her full set.  But they still look lovely if you ask me :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Submit your own nail art: Alexis

Hello Lovelies!

Today I have something a little different for you - normally I go out and scour the intrnet for nails, but today I bring you Alexis Apodaca, who submitted her own nail art, and I thought it was worth sharing with everyone.  Alexis is in the process of learning right now, and is doing quite well for being self taught!.  This is a set of nails she did that are Zebra and Hello Kitty themed.  :)  She plans to keep on practicing and eventually maybe become pro, but she's off to a great start!

Dont forget, you can submit your own nail art too!  Just click the button on the right hand side of the blog that says "Submit your own nail art"

As for Diva Pirate, I'm off to a Young Nails Gel class tomorrow during the day and then I'm flying out to go back offshore :(   However this time around I've actually brought a bunch of polish, an acrylic paint kit, lots of different brushes, and im hoping to get some quality practice painting in.  So maybe i'll be able to put some of that up here soon.  Don't worry though,  I still have a couple posts of real nails that I've done coming up for your viewing pleasure.  Wish me luck at the class!

<3 Diva Pirate

Friday, October 12, 2012

Clear Blue Glitter Acrylics

Its been quite a while since I shared any of my own work - I've been insanely busy trying to enjoy my time off of the boat and hand models have been few and far between for some reason.  I digress, I did still manage to get a few sets of lovely nails done, and I'm pretty proud of them.  These nails I did a few weeks ago on my friend Erika, and I couldn't have asked for a better model.  We had to soak off her old nails and put on a new set so that I could start with a fresh canvas - and she sat through the entire process like a champ.  Truly she is a wonderful person and I'm glad to have her as a friend :)  Thanks Erika!

For those of you who are curious about the process, firstly these were created with acrylic.  On the nail plate I used a cover pink acrylic, and did a reverse application (aka did that part first instead of the free edge) in order to get a nice crisp smile line.  Then I added blue glitter gel right at the free edge and faded it out to a clear glitter gel on the tips.  Simple, but elegant :) I'm pretty happy with these!  Hope you enjoy them too!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


It's not often that I use my blog to just go on and on about something - usually I just like to share the happy wonderful nail photos - give credit - and get on with my day.  I've been in the nail industry for quite a while, but lately I've been seeing a lot of really mean Facebook posts by other nail enthusiasts that are... well, less than nice.  So I guess I'd like to share my opinion on the matter that seems to get everyone riled up: stealing other people's work.

Let me say for starters that the nail industry has always seemed to me to be a very kind, giving, and gracious industry.  Its full of techs that are always happy to help people grow and learn and become better at their trade.   So when I see people ranting on about how people should not "steal" their designs, I get a little upset.  And to clarify, this means someone has recreated a set of nails seen in another tech's photos - did their own set, took their own photo, and posted it.   Personally, I see nothing wrong with this. I do believe in a byline saying where the set was inspired from - but lets be honest, if you're a nail junkie like me, you check out TONS of photos daily.  Some of that is going to rub off in our happy little minds and influence the nails that we do in the future.  Its entirely possible to accidentally recreate someones nails.  There are only so many combinations of color, glitter, flowers, ect that some times things are going to be eerily similar - possibly on accident.  Not to mention the hordes of professionals - the uber good ones- who are perfectly happy to TEACH you how to do an amazing set that they've done, and let you use it on your clients.  Nail techs share and teach, we shouldn't be yelling at each other via Facebook!  You do not have a patent on each and every design you do - please please please stop acting like it.  Watermark your photos, and be flattered when someone decides that they love your design so much that they'd like to recreate it - take it as a compliment - not some sort of internet back-stabbing by stiletto nail conspiracy.

I DO however agree that its a huge no no to just outright steal someones photo - this i get.  Because it is indeed 100% your work, your set of nails, your photo - you absolutely should be contacted before said photo is ever used for anything what-so-ever. 

So please please please nail enthusiasts!   Play Nice!

Sorry for the rant - this has just been bothering me for quite some time!  I'll be back tomorrow with an actual blog with PICTURES :)  YEY NAILS!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nail Diva: Carolyn

Today I want to share with you a wonderful Diva - who doesn't do just nails, but also  paints anything she can get her hands on - including doing prenatal art.  Carolyn from Barefootbutterfly Studio said this about her career:

"I started doing nails back in 1988 when I graduated from high school.... I attended a small school locally & got my nail technicians certificate while also attending University to study Fine Art & Graphic design. The following year I attended Aesthetics school & graduated with my full Aesthetics & Makeup artistry certificate & license. I have worked as a Nail Educator & mentor to young nail students who wish to hone their skills & learn the tips & tricks that aren't often taught in a regular nail class environment. I love to create my own glitter & color mixes & hand paint all my designs for a unique one of a kind nail service.. I currently use Young Nail & EZ Flow nail products. With my fine art background, I decided to branch out in the last 10 years or so and really start painting a lot more on things a little bigger that nails...Handbags, shoes, sea shells, antiques & people! Specifically, Pregnant tummies! This art is so rewarding, just like creating nails! I love what I do!"

I think what she does is incredibly amazing!  A very good example that nails are truly a form of art :)  Thank you so much Carolyn for letting me share your work!  Please dont forget to visit her Facebook page!