Gel Nail Polish Tutorial

Gel nail polish is my current obsession. Obviously I’m a big fan of nail art but I have also been really short on time lately so I’ve been lax on painting my nails. I hate having to remove or repaint when my polish chips so I decided to give gel polish a try.

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Gel polish is basically what it sounds like, a hybrid between regular nail polish and full gel nail systems. Systems like shellac and gelish are the same thing. The point is that they last for much longer than regular polish, most of them advertise 14 days with no chipping or scratching etc with the idea being that you don’t need to remove them until the nails grow out.

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The lovely Celina bought me a gel lamp for Christmas so I ordered some polishes from GlazeMe.com.au.

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So what is the process?

First you need to gather all of your materials and prep your nails.

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You need:

  • Top coat
  • Base coat
  • Colour
  • Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol
  • Gel uv lamp

Shape your nails using a file and then use a buffer to smooth out any ridges or unevenness. My nails are quite uneven after a few of them snapped 🙁

Clean the nails with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer so it will create a good surface for the gel to adhere to.

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Paint a thin base coat on to the nails. I find it easier to do one hand at a time but it will also depend on the size of your gel lamp.

The gel polish won’t actually dry as soon it’s cured in the lamp so if you go over the edges you can just wipe it off. Make sure to clean off any gel which is on your skin or cuticles because it will make the gel more likely to flake later.

Cure under the lamp for the amount of time recommended on your bottle. Keep in mind that different lamps are different wattages so the curing time will differ depending on that too.

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Once the base is cured do 1-2 coats of the colour. Make sure that you apply polishes to the tips of your nails as well, when the gel cures it shrinks slightly so if you don’t tip them they might show through.

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Do fairly thin coats. Because the gel doesn’t dry until it’s cured, if you do thick coats it might drip into odd shapes before you get a chance to cure it.

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I did a coat of pink plus a coat of glitter flake over the top and cured between each coat.

Next apply the top coat and cure.

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Gel polish is dry as soon as it’s cured so don’t worry about bumping it afterwards. It will have a sticky film over it but it will be dry.

Wipe the nails down with some more hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol and they will shine up nicely!

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That’s it! While it does take a little while to do, there’s no annoying drying time so I actually found it much quicker than doing my nails normally. I was very happy with the quality of the polishes and prices from the glazeme website as well so I will be ordering some more colours soon!

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In my experience the polish did last around 2 weeks but I tend to get a bit bored with my polish after a week so I tended just to peel it off and start again (bad! Don’t peel your polish off, it’s bad for you!).

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Anyway it’s a big thumbs up from me to gel polish, it’s very convenient when I’m feeling rushed and lazy. Now I need to get myself some actual gels to start experimenting with extensions again.

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My next experiments though, are going to be whether I can sandwich regular polish between gel top and bottom coats and have the same long lasting wear. I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

Hope that was helpful, let me know how it goes!

Bright Summer Spots Nail Art Tutorial

Next in the series of lazy nail art is summer spots! I know it’s winter where most of you are but it’s fricking hot here so I want to enjoy the sun while we actually have it!

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All you need for this manicure is a white base and some bright colours to bring in the sun! Essie sent me their 2013 summer collection  and I thought they would be perfect for this tutorial!

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Paint a clear base coat then a white base over the top.

Next paint a line of dots, I went diagonal but you can go any direction or vary it each nail. To get even dots either use a dotting tool or use the thick end of a toothpick.

Paint another line of dots above the first in another colour.

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Continue painting lines of dots until the entire nail is full. Top coat once you’re finished and you’ve got a fun summer manicure!

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I feel like I should also do a corresponding winter version of these for you guys who aren’t having the best weather at the moment!

Easy Striped Nail Art Tutorial

Another lazy nail art tutorial today! Today we’re doing the easiest way to do even stripes without having to use a striping brush.

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You need two colours I’m using lilac and pink.

First paint a base coat of the lilac.

Once it’s dry, paint pink over the top but leave a gap on the side as wide as you want your stripes to be.

Paint the lilac over the top leaving another small gap so there is a stripe of pink showing through.

Continue alternating colours until you have no more room on the nail. By layering the polishes you create the striped finish.

Once everything is completely dry you can top coat which will even out the surface.

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Easy! and a great alternative if you don’t have a striping brush.

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How To Do Simple Mermaid Nail Art – Tutorial

Yay more lazy day nail art!

This one was requested quite a bit after I posted it on instagram: Mermaid scales!

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The key to this look is a really nice base coat of a reflective blue/green shade. This one is really old so I don’t know if it’s still available but anything that looks a bit sea-ish will work.

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Also, my new favourite thing ever: nail drying drops! They dry polish to the touch almost instantly and actually work! No more spoiled manicures!!

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Anyway, let’s get to it. Start with a base coat of the green and then mix some white acrylic paint with a drop of water so it’s a good thin consistency.

Paint a small U shape at the cuticle on one side. Continue painting U shapes along the cuticle.

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Start another row of U shapes above the first, this time alternate them so each one begins at the high point of the one under it.

Continue making scales in rows like this until you run out of nail to do it on.

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Wait for it to dry then top coat!

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It doesn’t matter if your lines aren’t this thin or if you can only fit a few scales on each finger, so long as you get the general idea you should be fine!

 

How To Do Christmas Tree Nail Art- Tutorial

So it’s that time of year. I don’t know whether most of you guys celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, something else, nothing or like James and I: Billy Idol Day.

Anyway, let’s do some lazy Christmas tree themed nail art today!

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This nail art is super easy. All you need is red and silver glitter polish.Put down the base coat of red polish.

Draw a line of silver horizontally around 2/3rds of the way down the nail.

Add a slightly smaller zigzag above that.

And another smaller zigzag above that but make sure that the last line points straight up.

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Add a little stem at the bottom and you’ve got a tree!

Top coat it with clear once you’re finished and then you’re ready to deck the halls or whatever it is people do for Christmas!

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Next time we are so doing Billy Idol Day nail art. It’s going to be totally badass.

How To Do Dior Cannage Nail Art

Time for some slightly more complicated nails! I’ve been really obsessed with Dior’s Cannage print recently. It is apparently based on the woven designs on Napoleon’s chairs. Tiny design? Sounds like a nail art challenge to me!

Anyway the design is very intricate and involves stripes horizontally, vertically and on both diagonals. This is my finished result:

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So let’s learn the basic pattern in a bigger form before we get crazy fancy and tiny with it.

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Keep in mind that you may find it easier to paint with if you water your acrylic paint down a little bit so it has a smoother consistency. Don’t worry about any bumps as the clear top coat will smooth it all out.

 

This version uses a slightly larger brush and features only one of the 8 sided patterns in the very middle. In the design below it, you can see one I did with a very small brush making the design smaller and more intricate.

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Whether you go big or small it’s a really pretty design!

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Hope you enjoyed and let me know if you give it a try!

 

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