NOTW: Nail Stencils for the Complete Noob (12/03/12)

Okay, so I used the cherry blossom stencils from Revlon’s Shanghai Collection for this mani. Here’s where you can learn from my mistakes: for the cleanest, best-looking application of nail polish using these stencils, DO NOT leave the stencils on your nails for very long at all. 1-When you remove them, they will take some of the stenciled design (the part you WANT to stay on your nail) away with them. 2-They will leave behind a distressing coat of adhesive, that will attract any and all stray fuzzies, cat hairs, what-have-you. But if this is the case, I’ve got your back: through careful testing, I learned that Goo Gone will remove the adhesive, WITHOUT fucking up your mani. But anyway, lesson learned: slap down the stencil, paint over it, take it off pdq, move on to next nail.

For the “moons” (which, I know, aren’t as ideally placed as they could be, but I’m not Dita von Teese so I think I get a pass on them not being absolutely perfect), I just used some Avery hole reinforcers. Glamorous, I know!

This is one coat of Seche Rebuild (trying to grow those nails, yo! and keep them from splitting and shit), two coats of Revlon’s Valentine*, one coat of Revlon’s Gold Coin for the stencils, and a top coat of Gelous, which I applied *after* taking this picture, just in case the top coat totally fucked up my mani. (Which it did not. Yay!) And it was damn difficult to photograph – the camera did NOT want to behave.

*Obviously, this combo was inspired by one of Revlon’s own suggested combos for the Shanghai Collection. I was pretty sure I had a close (enough) dupe to 24K, and I compared Forbidden to Vixen in-store, and they look identical in the bottle. However, once I got home, I discovered my bottle of Vixen has gotten off somewhere. Hmph. So it was either Valentine or Devilish, and I went with Valentine. Devilish seemed too dark at the time, although now that i look at it again i’m not sure.

NOTW: Incoco from Angela! (and a slightly underwhelming mani)

Angela was a total sweetheart and sent me some goodies a while back, and I’ve been hoarding them and carefully doling them out to myself (they are amazing). Last Thursday, I put on the brilliant leopard-print Incoco nail appliqués she sent – and was immensely overjoyed by 1-how stunning they are (I cannot stop staring at my nails and showing them off) and 2-how easy they were to apply – for some reason I expected them to be difficult, but I found them to be pretty noob-friendly and easy to get on. And they’ve lasted REALLY well, considering how hard I am on my nails in general (lots of typing, and using my nails to get under things or in things even though I know that risks chipping and breaking): another mani would be destroyed by now, but I’ve only got tip wear on three fingers, and, honestly, that’s most likely because I used a coarse file on them before applying, and so the tips of my nails aren’t as smooth as they could be, and therefore haven’t been playing as nicely with the appliqués as they could. I’m generally too lazy for nail art, and I don’t know any salon around here that would do a similar mani (or as well, if they did), so I’m pretty much SOLD on nail appliqués. I may never go back to “real” nail polish again. (Okay, I probably will. But…not too soon. I’m loving these too much.)

-Seche Rebuild base coat (I didn’t read the instructions, and put it on out of habit before I put on the appliqués – it is helping my nails stay strong and long, though, so yay for Seche Rebuild. Seche Vite, I still hate you, you gloopy, unsatisfying mess.)
-Incoco appliqués (I don’t see these on the site, but they look kind of similar to the Design ones in Purrty and Cat’s Meow)
-Gelous topcoat

I really expect these to withstand at least another week, before getting raggedy. In comparison, here’s the mani I had on previously, which lasted, oh, ONE DAY, before chipping to hell (yes, I used a top coat), and looked a hot fucking mess after three days:

-Seche Rebuild base coat
-Zoya nailpolish in Emme (3 coats)


with
-two coats OPI I Lily Love You (so pretty in the bottle, so disappointing on the nail)
-Gelous top coat

Nails, nails, nails, nails! Nails, nails, nails, nails!

(Sorry, got the Dwarven “Gold!” song stuck in my head. 😉 )

The past two weeks, I’ve had Essie’s Midnight Cami on my fingernails – looooooove this navy blue! AND I love Gelish (thank you for telling me about it, Wendy!), because two weeks of wear and I’m only *just now* starting to get chips. I’m pretty sure if I’d applied more top coat/Gelish like, every other day, I wouldn’t even be getting chips now. Amazing stuff.

And on my toes, Nerd Lacquer’s Event Horizon – fucking LOVE my Nerd Lacquers! Sorry my toenails are little nubbins at the moment (and isn’t that a LOVELY cat scratch on my left middle toe?), but they needed to be prettied up nonetheless.