Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nails Of The Week: Bluish Black & Turquoise

Here are the products I used for this week's nails:

And here's what it looks like: 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Professional Makeup Shots

I have been super lucky to work with some amazing photographers in this city in my short time as a makeup artist (so far). Here is some of their work of my work :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Makeup Of The Day: August 24, 2011

Since I don't have a MAC nearby, I had my friend pick me up two eyeshadows that I have been wanting forever! These eyeshadows were further down on my list because they are more on the colourful side and I was trying to build up my neutral collection.The eyeshadows she picked up for me were "Aquadisiac" and "Freshwater"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nails Of The Week: Yellow & Blue

Here is the nail polish combo I am sporting this week: 
OPI "Need Sunglasses" and OPI "Blue Shatter"

And here is the result:

Just a quick tip I want to add before I go. I tried a number of yellow nail polishes but this one is definitely my favorite! It is a bit sheer but the trick to getting this nail polish looking like the colour of the bottle is to use a white base coat first! As you probably read in my OPI Shatter review, I don't love the Blue Shatter but it looks great against yellow for the perfect summer manicure :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wedding Blog - Georgina & Friends

I had the privilege to do makeup for a very lovely lady and her wedding party today. 2 hour drive, 10 people in 3 hours, lunch at a cute little pub in my hometown, 2 hour drive back to the city - I'm pooped! But it was lots of fun and well worth it :). My husband tagged along with his camera and took some shots for my blog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How To: make your at-home manicure last & tips for healthy nails

I'm a regular user of www.makeupalley.com and I always see nail polish reviews on most brands stating it only last people a few days before chipping. With the exception of some glitter nail polishes I own, I almost always get a week (sometimes more!) out of my manicure using mostly OPI, China Glaze, Essie and Sally Hansen. 

Now keep in mind that I'm not overly hard on my nails in the first place. From September to June I am a school secretary so filing, typing, and opening mail/boxes is the most stress my hands see. In the summer I relax and do makeup for weddings, special events, etc. But all year around I do my manicure usually on Saturday or Sunday and it looks great the entire week! After some thought, I believe its the products I use before and after my nail polishes as well as following some tips and tricks to avoid cracks, breaks, etc. I'd like to share some of those with the beauty world in hopes of maybe making your manicure last a little longer :).

First of all I always remove all traces of nail polish with Beauty Secrets Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover (can be purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply) and OPI Nail Polish Remover Pads (Lint Free)
Sometimes I have to use the soft side of a nail file to remove nail polish from the corners of my nails that I couldn't reach with a remover pad. Then I file/buff my nails and wash my hands very well with soap and water. If there's any natural oils or dirt on your nails the nail polish won't adhere as well. Then I'm ready to start with my polishes!

The first product I use is OPI "Nail Envy" Original Treatment. 
I received this as a gift. I didn't know what the hype was but now I can't live without it! This product has done my nails wonders - they are strong, smooth, long and best of all my thumbnail on my right hand stopped cracking (I've had trouble with that nail my entire life, it was always short from breaking right in the middle)! Its a great treatment but I've found it to be the best base coat I've ever used! The nail polishes - no matter what brand - stick to this like glue! I glide this on from cuticle to tip, let it dry then put on my colour.

To top off my manicure I use Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat
This is absolutely one of my holy grail products that I can't live without. Its fast drying, has a great super shiny finish and adds days onto my manicure. If I feel like my manicure is looking a bit dull throughout the week, I'll just swipe on a coat of this and it looks my manicure look like new again! I purchased this at Sally's Beauty Supply for under $10. It does sort of thicken up after a while but the bottle lasts me forever!

Here are some tips and tricks I follow to keep my nails/manicure healthy:
  • Always wash dishes, car, floors, the bathroom, etc. with rubber gloves (I mean, lets be serious not everyone has a maid to do these things for us!)
  • Every 2 weeks I give my cuticles a treatment and push them back carefully. This is way less harsh on your nails then trimming them with a cuticle trimmer.
  • Not use my fingernails as tools. For example, opening cans with a butter knife, use a toothpick or floss if there's something in my teeth, pick stickers off items with something sharp instead of the corner of my nail, etc. It keeps my nails from breaking as well as my nail polish from chipping!
  • File the tips of my nails equally and square. I find they are stronger with they are even across.
  • Drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet. Brittle nails can indicate poor nutrition. 
  • Not pick at my nails or cuticles.
  • Always carry a nail file for fixes (I find if I break a corner of my nail I'll want to pick and bite at it if I don't have a nail file)
Believe it or not, I was a nail biter until I got engaged in July 2008. I wanted nice nails to go with my pretty ring so I started taking care of my hands and nails. I got married in July 2010, and I've continued to keep my hands pretty and manicured ever since - to go with my pretty rings but also because of my hands always being on display in both of my careers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nails Of The Week: Purple on Purple

I love purple eye makeup so I figured I'd give it a shot on my nails. Love this combination!

OPI "Do You Lilac It?" & Sally Hansen Crackle in "Vintage Violet"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: OPI Shatter Collection

I mean, really...who doesn't want a beautiful effortless manicure that you can do at home by yourself for super cheap!? Its only a few swipes of a base colour, a few swipes of the Shatter and you're done! Finish it off with a top coat and it looks like you sat in a salon for 2 hours getting your nails done by a professional!

Shatter is a pretty well-known product now but I still get so many compliments on my nails when I wear it. There are so many colour combinations and you can wear any brand of nail polish underneath for even more options! Pink under Red for valentines day; Orange under Black for halloween; glitter nail polish under black for a night out...the possibilities are endless! 

The technique of Shatter takes a little time to master but its pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I put a large amount on my brush and sweep it from cuticle to tip in about 3 swipes giving me a blocky Shatter effect. The other option is to apply it thin and get a more stripe effect. I've even seen it applied diagonally and horizontally but I haven't tried that...yet!

OPI is definitely my favorite nail polish product for many reasons. The staying power is like no other (I get a week out of my manicure every single time) and the brush is large making application very easy. It doesn't bubble when you use more than 1 coat and for the most part all are very well pigmented. The shatter collection is no different. I won't write a book on each shade but I'll do a mini review on each shade in case you are wondering which ones I highly recommend you purchase.

1. Blue Shatter
Rating: 2/5

Probably my least favorite of them all. I don't know if I received a bad bottle but I can't get it to shatter correctly and its way too sheer. It really only works over really light colours which limits your options. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

How To: Natural Beach Wavy Hair (with no heat!)

I have been straightening my hair since I was in my teens - whether it was with an actual flat iron or my mom's clothing iron and a towel - my hair has seen a lot of heat (I'm 29!). This summer I decided to give my hair a little break from heat and wear it naturally. I found the perfect combination of products to make my hair have those gorgeous natural beach waves with no frizz (there's a trick, keep reading!) and thought I'd share it online for others to try.

I am not sure if it makes a difference to my waves, but my holy grail shampoo and conditioner these days is Aussie "Cleanse & Mend"

I start with that in the shower...just wash and rinse and ring dry with my hands. 

Now here's my trick to no frizz waves!

I get out of the shower and dry of my body but do not touch the towel against my hair. I just turn my hair upside down and let it drip in the bathtub. I ring it out once more before going to my hair products. With my hair still upside down, I comb it with a wide tooth comb and start with the products!

The first product I use is two pumps of Organix Coconut Anti Breakage Serum in the palm of my hand and rub my hands together a few times. I then apply it to mostly in the ends of my hair. If I put it too close to my roots it makes my hair greasy. I run my fingers through and then scrunch the product into the ends of my hair.

With my hair still upside down, I take 3 pumps of Sally Hershberger's Style Primer in my hand and scrunch it into the ends of my hair evenly.

Finally, I use John Frieda Dream Curls spray all over and scrunch everything together (still upside down...don't get dizzy!).

Now the next part is up to you. Sometimes I will just leave it down and let it dry on its own, other times I will bunch all my hair on top of my head and use a clip to keep it in place for 30 minutes and if I have the time I will use the "Plopping" method (Also called "Plunking"). Its basically using a cotton fabric to absorb the water in your hair instead of a terry cloth towel (that causes frizz). You can use an old long sleeved cotton t-shirt or you can buy an actual product online that's especially for the purpose of "Plopping" or "Plunking". When I say "have the time" I mean I usually give this process at least an hour before going out anywhere. The longer I leave it in the better the outcome!

Watch a youtube video here on Plopping:

Or you can have a look at the Youtube results for "Plopping" or "Plunking" Curly or Wavy hair and see what you can find that works best for your hair type and texture.

My hair isn't naturally curly - it just has a slight wave but I really like wearing my hair naturally now and I get A LOT of compliments on it :). Here is what my hair looks like after all these steps and it has dried on its own

The absolute BEST part of this method is that my hair is even better on the 2nd day (I have super oily hair and had to wash it every day when I was straightening it). Before I go to bed at night on the first day I will clip it all up in an elastic or clip and go to bed. The next morning the only thing I need to do is run the tap, put water on my hands and scrunch the water into my hair. It reactivates the product and makes my hair even more wavy and less frizzy than the day before! 

I hope you find my Natural Beach Wavy Hair (with no heat!) steps helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to email or comment. Until next time :) ...

Much Love,
A. Pink