Archive for the DIY Category

CND Haul and Lacquerholic Tries the “Stickey” Sandwich

Posted in CND, DIY, Green, Nubar, Shimmer on May 18, 2010 by ainamakeup

While I was at IBS Las Vegas, I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to check out CND.  For some reason the nail polish gods haven’t blessed us New Yorker’s with any stores that I know of that sell CND Colour and Effects. I can easily find CND products like Solar oil and perhaps a few base and top coats, but I had  yet to see the collection of CND Colour and Effects with my own eyes.  In the interest of saving money and looking at the whole collection, I decided to limit my spending here – Sad but true.  I figured it was more important for me to get a few effects and less of the colors, so I chose just one CND Colour and two effects.  After much deliberation I chose Green Scene!

CND Green Scene

I really like this bright cheery green creme.  I don’t think I own any greens quite like this in my collection.  The polish applied like a dream.  It wasn’t streaky and was opaque in two coats. I already want more!

After choosing Green Scene, I decided to get some Effects.  I figured for my money it was wiser to pick two Effects.  I can use them with any polish and… well, they’re just so darn pretty!  I went through all the effects and in the end, I went with Violet Shimmer and Jade Sparkle.

With Violet Shimmer (middle) and Jade Sparkle (index)

This photo doesn’t do these effects justice at all.  I’m going to have to get a better picture of these with a darker polish.  I think I’m loving the violet shimmer a tiny bit more than the Jade Sparkle, but again. I need a different polish to see how just how intense the Effects really are.

While I was there, I got to talking with a nail technician at the booth.  She told me about a technique a fellow nail aficionado told her about called “The Stickey Sandwich”.  The technique is supposed to result in a longer lasting manicure.  It starts with a coat of CND Stickey base coat, then a layer of the nail polish of your choosing, another coat of Stickey, a second coat of polish, hen a third coat of stickey, a final layer of polish then the top coat of your choice.   Here’s my manicure using  the Stickey sandwich technique and Nubar Wildlife on day three.

The Stickey Sandwich Day Three

As you can see there is some obvious tip wear here, but I didn’t think it was so bad.  Usually my manicures begin to peel a little on the second day.  Then if I find myself getting fidgety during the day I’ll find a weak point in the seal of my nail polish and start to peel my polish off.  While this may not be a bulletproof manicure, it certainly has more staying power than my usual technique – and I didn’t have the urge to peel!

Stay tuned to part two of my CND review where I share my brief but worthwhile encounter with CND’s new Hybrid nail color Shellac!


My Free Manicure, and Free Essie Polish!

Posted in DIY, Essie, Purple, Shimmer on March 14, 2010 by ainamakeup

I was walking with two of my friends around Union Square today and we each received cards for a free manicure at one of the area salons.  It was a promotion for Kirstie Alleys new reality show, Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, which starts this week on A&E.  The only caveat was that you had there was no polish choice.  Everyone had their nails painted with the signature shade of Kirstie Alley’s big lie by Essie called “Life, Lick it”  It didn’t matter to me because the color was pretty fabulous.  I haven’t had a professional manicure since last September for my best friend’s Wedding.  I had some time to kill so I jumped at the chance to get a free manicure.

I took this opportunity to pay close attention to what the manicurist was doing, so my at home manicures will look a little less DIY.  I paid particular attention to how she painted my nails.  the first placement of the color was on the lower third of the nail, not too close to the cuticle so the color never drifted where it shouldn’t go.  She painstakingly moved the brush over my nails.  She did not do what the magazines used to tell you to do, one stroke down the middle, and one on each side.  She used CND base coat, and Out the Door top coat, which is not my favorite fast dry top coat but  it certainly served its purpose.  The best part was, Each person got to keep the bottle of polish!

Essie "Life. Lick it"

This is a Red based purple shimmer.  I’d probably choose this color even if I was getting a paid manicure!  It’s dark but not too dark.  I want to try and get a picture in the sunlight but since I’ve barely seen the sun in three days outside my window, that won’t be possible.

My DIY Weekly manicure

Posted in DIY, Manicure, Nail Care on November 18, 2009 by ainamakeup

Given the state of the economy, I’m sure many of us have had to cut out little luxuries like that grande non-fat soy latte, saving on gas to take public transportation, or in my case…mani/pedis.  A professional manicure was the first thing to go when I fell victim to the economy and lost my 9 to 5 two years ago.  I almost always did my nails myself especially when I was younger but loved getting pro manicures when I had the cash to do so.  It wasn’t hard for me to sacrifice a good hand massage (my favorite part of the pro manicure) because I knew I had everything I needed at home to do them myself.  Hell, why buy all that nail polish if I wasn’t going to use it!

I’m no nail professional, and I’m sure I don’t do everything correctly (I’m probably the messiest nail painter in the world.  I never could color inside the lines) but about once a week, I give myself a good manicure.  I do the following:

  • Remove all traces of polish.  When I’m being meticulous, I go in with a pointy cotton swab dipped in polish remover and get in around the sides to get everything, particularly if I’m removing dark polish.  I think most of the bloggers out there use Zoya Remove+ but I’ve yet to jump on that bandwagon.  I just use Sally Hansen – with acetone because I don’t want to spend 5 hours removing my nail polish!
  • I file my nails using an emery board.  I hear using a glass file is better for your nails.  I’m definitely going to look into that in the near future, but in the meantime, I’m still on emery boards.  They’re cheap and work for me.  I file in one direction for the most part as I remember reading that filing in both directions can weaken nails.
  • Next, I use Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover.  What I love about it is it dissolves the excess skin and potential hang nails without having to soak my nails.  You’re not supposed to leave the product on for more than a minute so I work quickly pushing my cuticles back using one made of sandstone.  I don’t cut my cuticles and if I am getting my nails professionally done, I usually request that they push back only.
  • Next I’ll make a mixture of part foot or body scrub and part hand cream or body lotion and rub it all over my hands for a few minutes then rinse and wash my hands.
  • After that, I’ll use hand cream or body lotion on my hands.  I’m not picky, I use whatever I’ve got.  Although I love H2O Plus hand cream and every now and again I’ll treat myself to a tube!
  • I remove any traces of oil by using polish remover once more.
  • Hopefully by then I’ll have decided which color to use.  I usually pull out a few colors and then wait until the last minute to decide.
  • I use a base coat of Poshe 4 in 1 treatment base, or Nailtiques formula 2.  I have a terrible problem with my nails peeling into layers and using Nailtiques (when I’m being consistent about it) really works well.
  • I’m a two coat polish girl
  • My top coat is either Seche Vite or thanks to All Lacquered Up’s recommendation Olan Quick and Slick.  It’s the shiniest topcoat I’ve ever used in my life.  Better yet, it dries just as fast as Seche.  I just wish I could find it in a store near me than just on the internet.
  • When I’m sure my manicure is completely dry I’ll use Orly Cuticle Therapy Creme before I go to bed.

And there you have it!   I’ll be working on a film shoot for the next 5 days so I probably won’t be posting much, but I’ll be back soon!