This week was a bit of a mad week here at SoNailicious HQ. We’re about to launch our new site look and trust me, it takes a lot of time to perfect a new design. Well, it’ll be worth it and I’m sure you guys will enjoy all the new cool features too ;)
Plus there was Melbourne Cup this week! For non-Australian readers, The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation, literally! Everybody celebrates it by wearing crazy fascinators, drinking champagne and many fly to Melbourne just to watch the race.
Melbourne Cup also marks the the best part of spring in Australia. The trees are in full bloom, the temperature is perfect and the days are long. Unsurprisingly then, today’s manicure celebrates spring with pastel shades and a fresh, minimal pattern! This easy spring nail art was done with the relatively new Australian indie polish brand, Kester Black*. The dominating light lilac shade – Kester Black Fairy Floss is so fresh and lovely, it’s one of my favorite shades right now!
As for the nail art, simply paint the diagonal details with your second colour and seal the design with a top coat. For a step-by-step nail art tutorial, please refer to this tutorial from our nail art book.
*Here are a few more reasons to fall in love withKester Black nail polish. They are 5 Free, animal cruelty-free and also carcinogen free brand. So Kester Black are safe for chemotherapy patients, pregnant women and children which is great!
How you do you like a simple nail art like this? Will you be trying it? And, what do you think about the new Kester Black shades?
We’ve already shared our top 10 Nail Instagram accounts and though they’re fantastic, when it comes to showing off short nails the 8 instagrammers we’re introducing to you today are hard to beat. Let’s face it, not everyone has naturally long nails and sometimes regardless of what products you use, your nails just stay short. That doesn’t mean we can’t try the latest designs on our nubs and the today’s 8 nail artists are shining proof of that. They provide endless #nailspiration, nail care tips and tutorials for short nails. So to help you to learn from gurus, here’s our suggestions on who to follow on Instagram for short nails (in no particular order).
8 Best Nail Instagram accounts to follow for short nails:
1. Who: Lindsey @Wondrouslypolished, The USA Why follow: Amazing, detailed nail art and tips… as well as photos of her super cute dog.
2. Who: Alice @OneNailToRuleThemAll, The UK Why follow: Some of the best known Instagram nails featuring cute cartoon characters and other great nail art that looks fantastic on short round nails. Nail art pictorials too!
3. Who:Ann Sokolova @s0kolova, Ukraine Why follow: Great, meaningful insta-reviews and flawless swatches of European, indie and luxury polish brands. If you’re following Ann, it feels like you’re part of her life. However… you need to be able to read Russian! If you don’t, well, just enjoy the photos!
4. Who: Elissa @TenLittleNubs, Australia Why follow: Great photos, flawless swatches of affordable nail polish brands and indies as well as easy to do nail art ideas.
5. Who: Sarah @Lethal_lacquer Why follow: Great nail art & flawless swatches. It seems Sarah has a soft spot for OPI!
6. Who: Pauline @Souchka_Nails, France Why follow: Quirky nail art and a glimpse into the life of a French nail artist and professional manicurist.
7. Who: Jessie @NaileditNZ, New Zealand Why follow: Tons of free hand drawn nail design ideas, pictorials and video tutorials, Jessie’s Instagram nails are on their way to becoming famous big time!
8. Who: Sammy @TheSammersaurus (known as The Nailasaurus), The UK Why follow: Probably the most famous nubs on the interwebs. Perfected to a surreal level of finish. Sometimes Sammy posts makeup looks too!
Of course, this list is not comprehensive. There are many more talented nail artisans out there and we’ll try to show as many as we can on our SoNailicious Instagram in addition to our Nails of Instagram feature.
So, who are your favorite nail instagrammers for short nails?
I love black nail polishes. Well, I love all nail polishes but black will always have a special place in my heart, and stash. It’s such an easy statement look, without much effort black nails will add a bit of mystery to any outfit. It’s the shade with a character. So when an opportunity to try the Jessica Black Beauties nail polish set arose, needless to say I was excited. The set includes – black ultra glossy creme and black matte nail polish. One simply can not have enough black polishes!
Read our full review below.
Formula: A highly pigmented, thick, 3-Free formula that takes a long time to dry. To get each coat touch dry we had to wait 30 minutes, totaling 1 hour to complete the manicure. You can use fast drying top coat to speed up the process with black creme. However for the matte shade you can’t.
Application: A very soft brush that makes it difficult to apply thick polish. Also, the bristles on the brush from the Black Lustre bottle were uneven and we had to cut them to ensure accurate application. 2 coats were required for both Black Lustre and Black Matte to get full coverage.
Finish:Black Lustre is a true black in glossy creme finish. Black Matte is a black soft matte nail polish. It’s more satin rather than completely matte (like the look that you get with Essie Matte About You)
Wearability:It lasted for 3 days chip free, which is a great result given you can not wear protective top coat on matte nail polish.
Nail Art: The shades are perfect for creating high drama matte black nails with glossy elements or vice-versa. As an experiment we did the black matte leopard nails (first and last photos) with the two shades and it looks quite nice. However, as mentioned above the matte shade takes a long time to dry, so beware of that if using it as a base.
Overall Impression: The formula is fantastic, which gives the Black Beauties a really nice expensive looking finish. But they take a long time to dry without a top coat. Nonetheless, the Jessica Black Beauties set can be a great gift as it comes in a great packaging and the bottles look fantastic with the matte and glossy lids. A great and inexpensive alternative to the more pricey Chanel Black Velvet.
Availability: in the USA – $28.23 here.In Australia via selected salons only.
Have you tried Jessica Cosmetics lacquers before? How do you like the Jessica Black Beauties set? Would you get one?
We’ve been doing well with the Ask SoNailicious feature. Now let’s see how we go with SoNailicious Asks, the first question I’d like to ask you is:
“What’s your best base coat and why?”
As someone who’s nails are prone to breaking, I’m constantly on a look out for base coats that strengthen, nourish and protect my nails. So guys, share you secrets! What nail base coat are you using at the moment and why are you liking it?
ps. Got a nail question? Email Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do our best to find the answer!
We’re so excited to have Norlin to guest blog for SoNailicious! Norlin is a real life style expert and often gives beauty and styling advice on her blog, Baubles, Bubbles and Bagswhich is one of the most popular in Australia. Today Norlin shares some great tips on the office nails! Getting your first job in the corporate environment or getting ready for a job interview, these tips will help you to make a first good impression and even further your career. Remember, bosses notice everything (including your nails)!
Now, over to Norlin:
“Being in a corporate environment with strict dress codes can sometimes dampen one’s sense of style, but hang on, that doesn’t mean you actually have to forget to have ANY sort of style! Nails especially can be pretty tricky. You want to look well-groomed and still have a bit of fun and look chic without compromising your serious corporate style. So, here are my tips on the best office nails.
First up, remember that no matter what shades you end up choosing, having well-groomed nails is a definite must. Make sure they are of even length, cuticles are gorgeously well-kept and your hands are nicely moisturised. These can be easily achieved when you have it done regularly – file in one direction, use cuticle oil to groom your cuticle and ALWAYS moisturise your hands after washing them!
Now, here are some of the best nail polish colors for work:
French Manicure. While you can keep it simple and just paint on some clear nail polish, why not go one step further and go for the classic French Manicure. The style is simple, clean cut, chic as well as classy.
Nude Nails. Without doubt, nude is the best nail polish color for job interview. However, it depends on your skin tone to match the best shade. Go one shade darker than the shade of your nail bed. This not only give you an elegant style but, if you’re pressed for time on having to re-do your manicure, no one will be able to see the re-growth unless they actually look closely at your hands. Try OPI Cony Island Cotton Candy or Rimmel Soul Session.
Greyish Blue and Taupe. These shades are perfect for the colder, darker months. Taupe will give you a nice hint of colour yet it’s still subtle enough for work environment. Think the famous Essie Chinchilly or Nails Inc Porchester.
Terracota. If you prefer dark and red shades, terracota would be your first choice for the corporate environment. While dark plum, wine or bright red polishes look beautiful they are not suitable for the office unless it’s Friday. Try Butter LONDON Old Blighty.
Soft Pinks and Lavender. In Spring and Summer, soft pastel shades would go really well with whatever you’re wearing. Avoid Barbie pink and neon, however. Lavender adds some interesting colour yet is still mild enough not to generate too much attention to your nails. Office nails are all about having a nice put-together look on the whole, without generating focus just on your nails. OPI Lucky Lavender or Essie Miss Matched.
So with these simple suggestions, you can look your best in a corporate environment, exuding femininity without compromising your professional style.”
Thanks to Norlin for sharing these fantastic tips with us! Now, guys what do you think? Do you have any other suggestions for the best nail polish for work or work interview?
In 1978 Jeff Pink, the founder of ORLY invented and patented the Original French Manicure. For a long time this look was one of the most advanced things you could do for your nails. The arrival of new colours on the market in the last decade and the recent nail art trend have changed perception of a creative manicure dramatically. However, French manicure is still here! Now it is one of the most popular bridal manicures and the choice of those who want to try something different on their nails but not too extravagant. The huge variety of nail polish shades and finishes currently on the market mean there are even more options for experimenting with the classic French look.
Today’s Upgraded French Manicure incorporates both the Original French manicure and art deco half moon nails, also known as a reverse French manicure. We opted for contrasting shades of dark plum and bright peach instead of traditional nude and white tipped french nails. To take things even further, we did a reverse colour combination on alternating fingers.
The nail art tutorial for this design can be used as a guide on how to do a french manicure at home and also how to do a reverse french manicure. Plus, we’ll show you two ways of doing it depending on what nail art tools you have at home and how steady your hand is.
1. Paint index and ring finger in peach shade and the rest in dark plum.
Now, there are two ways of doing it:
1st Method: using French manicure stripes*.
2. Wait till the first layer touch dry and apply french manicure stripes as pictured.
3. Paint the tips and at the nail bed, accurately remove the stripes. Done!
2nd Method: using detailing nail art brush**.
4. Paint a thin line on the tip using nail polish brush. It was quite convenient to do with Sally Hansen Complete manicure brishes as they are flat and allow to draw a perfect line without any troubles.
5. With a nail art brush, paint the half moon details by first outlining the curve and then filling it in with the polish.
6. Wait a few minutes for the nail polish to dry (clean up around cuticles while waiting) and paint a layer or two of quick drying top coat.
* You can use sticky tape instead of the stripes, but be aware the curve of the line will be lost. The tips will look straight rather than curved.
** You can use a soft eyeliner brush instead of a nail art brush.
How do you like this Upgraded French Manicure look? Have you tried experimenting with the French nails look?
As always, whether you will use this Upgraded French Manicure tutorial or invent your own French nails design, make sure you show us! Tweet or Instagram us a photo with a tag #sonailicious, we’d LOVE to see it!
Ina hails from Sweden. She started My Nail Polish Online in October 2010 to share her nail polish obsession. Since then, her nail blog has grown significantly and is now well known world wide. Ina explains, “I’m really fascinated by colours and nails seem the perfect way to wear them. With all the amazing finishes that are now available, I just cannot get tired of polishes!” We believe that! Ina’s ever growing nail polish collection now includes 750 lacquers!
Read on to learn Ina’s nails secrets and see some of her best nail art!
NAIL POLISH FAVORITES:
How often do you paint your nails?
When I swatch I’m painting my nails several times the same day. I’m doing a swatching session about once a week. Otherwise I’m painting my nails 2-3 times a week.
Nail care product you can’t live without? Cuticle oils! Since I’ve started to use cuticle oils regularly my nails has stopped splitting!
The best nail care tip?
There is a lot one can do to keep the nails healthy and in good condition. Here are some tips that have really helped me these years:
* Moisturize and use cuticle oils!
* Use a basecoat when painting your nails
* Try not to use the nails as tools
* Use gloves to protect the hands and nails from too much water whenever you do the dishes
* I’m also trying to use 3-free products as much as possible.
Favourite nail polish brand?
That’s a really hard question. I don’t really have a favorite but I love Essie, China Glaze and OPI the most.
Favourite indie polish brand?
Tough question. I love different brands for different reasons. I love Shimmer Polish for their complex glitters. These glitters are really amazing! I also love Picture Polish/Ozotics for the amazing range of gorgeous holos, flakes, duochromes, neons, etc.
Which brand has the best formula?
There are so many brands with great formulas! I love the formulas of Picture Polish, Essie, China Glaze, OPI… I think I could make that list long :D
Which brand has the best brush?
I was more into wide brushes before like IsaDora‘s and Sephora’s but now I’m starting to love skinny brushes like Essie’s and Color Club’s brushes.
Favourite colour combinations?
I think contrasting colors look great together (black and yellow nail art) but I’m also loving subtle color combinations.
Favorite pattern/nail art trend?
My favorites are dotticures but I’m also loving leopard prints and gradients. They are so easy and quick to do and the end result is often eye-catching! I love nail art that doesn’t take ages to do. I mean, I do love intricate nail art but I just don’t always have the time to do it!
What’s your best tip for painting your other hand?
Always start painting the dominant hand! You have the best patience in the beginning! Keep both hands steady and just practice!
The funniest/the most adventurous nail art you have ever created?
The whole 31 Days Challenge 2013 was an adventure and I loved doing every challenge included. I tried new techniques, new patterns and I found myself missing doing that when it was over.
How do you get inspired for your nail art?
Colors, color contrasts and patterns inspire me! They can be anywhere, in a magazine, on a dress, in a commercial or on a wallpaper! I also get inspired seeing other blogger’s work. There are so many talented nail artists out there!
Hooray! Face of Australia joins the textured nail polish bandwagon and launches a new, limited edition Carnivale collection this month. It features 8 fabulous shades. There are 4 matte shades inspired by summer sunsets and 4 textured glitter shades inspired by the elaborate masks worn during the great European Carnivals.
Today we’re showing you one shade from each group. First, Ferris Wheel: it’s a gorgeous glitter textured polish in a dusty light blue shade. Second, Bird of Paradise: a creme textured polish in a bright candy pink shade.
Scroll down for the full review!
Formula: A highly pigmented formula that is relatively fast to dry. 3-Free with no formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
Application: A Very thin brush makes it hard to apply the think textured polish. 3 coats were required for Bird of Paradise and 2 coats for Ferris Wheel to get full coverage.
Finish:The creme textured polish is not quite matte. As it dries it looks more like wet rubber. Ferris Wheel textured is matte when dries.
Wearability:So far, it’s the logest lasting textured range we’ve tried. It lasted for 5 days chip free. However, to remove this and any other textured polish you’ll need to use the glitter removal foil method.
Overall Impression: Great quality product for it’s price, surprisingly long-lasting and the glitter shades are especially beautiful. Also great news for Australian nail enthusiasts, if you were dying to own a textured nail polish but $20 for a bottle was a bit too expensive, here’s the solution, Face of Australia Carnivale textured polishes cost only $5.95 p/bottle.
Availability:as you’ve probably already guessed, Face of Australia is an Australian brand. At this stage, it’s available in Australia only at RRP AUS 5.95. For non-Australian nail enthusiasts, it might be time to find an Aussie nail-mail buddy?
Have you tried any Face of Australia Carnivale shades? Which of the two shown today do you like the most, Ferris Wheel or Bird of Paradise?
This week we’ve received quite a few questions about the best nail photography tips and how to make nails look beautiful on photos. For instance:
Summer asks “I have a question about your photography. How do you get your hands to look so matte and even? It is a very beautiful effect. Is it a technique in photoshop? I’ve spent many hours trying very hard to figure it out, experimenting with many different layers etc, but I can’t quite seem to get it. May I inquire as to how you do it?”
There is no simple answer to this kind of questions. How good your nail art photos look is dependent on many factors. However, we do have a few photography tips that will be helpful for any camera whether it’s an iPhone, point-and-shoot or an expensive DSLR.
Here our 7 best nail photography tips:
Lighting. Make sure you have a good light. It’s crucial! Avoid direct sunlight because it will result in harsh shadows that highlight imperfections and wrinkles. It’s better to take photos in the shade where the light is more diffuse. Shoot undercover outside or in a light box. Position your hand so that the light goes on your nails not on your hand and focus your camera on nails. Rotate your hand in different directions to get the best light.
Quality in quantity. Shoot as many photos as possible from different angles until you find the angle and light that works best for your hand/nails.
Strike the pose. ‘The claw’ (but a nice, ‘gentle’ version of it) or ‘nail polish bottle grab’ looks are best. A straight hand will emphasise wrinkles and draw focus away from the nails.
Edit. Edit. Edit. Whether you take photos with an iPhone, compact digital or DSLR, editing can make your photos to look better. It doesn’t need to be some extensive manipulations, often all you need is to adjust exposure, brightness and saturation. If required, you can adjust colour balance to make the colours more accurate. Sometime desaturating Orange makes the skin tones look more even. For iPhone you can download a free Photoshop app to edit your photos on the go.
Camera Raw Editor. If your camera can shoot CameraRaw instead of .jpeg, start using it. We shoot all images in RAW and then edit them in the Camera Raw Editor that comes free with Photoshop. It is much easier to use and quicker for a lot of photo adjustments than Photoshop. The good thing is that if you’re familiar with Photoshop, you’ll quickly learn how to use the Raw Editor. It also has some cool features that Photoshop doesn’t.
Practice. Practice makes it perfect! Yes, this general rule applies to nail photography too. If you saw how our nail photos looked 2 years ago, you wouldn’t believe it’s the same person/hand. If you feel like a laugh, have a look at the first attempts here. See? Practice makes it perfect!
Skill. You can take a photography course or just practice more and learn as you go. The quality of your photography isn’t solely dependent on what camera you’re using, skill and experience are very important to. There are many bloggers out there who take amazing photos with iPhone and other simple cameras. While DSLRs and expensive lenses can improve the quality of your photos, they will only be really beneficial when you’ve got the other basics in place. Photography is as much about skill, a good eye, creativity and the ability to work with what you’ve got than expensive equipment.
I hope these photography tips help. What about you guys, what are your best photography tips and tricks for nails? How do you make your nails and hands look beautiful?
ps. Got a nail question? Email Maria at email@example.com, tweet @so_nailicious with a tag #asksonailicious or message us on Facebook. We’ll do our best to answer!
Red is the colour of passion, but did you know that red is also one of the traditional colours of Halloween? So, to continue with our theme of elegant Halloween nail art, here are some of the best red nail designs fierce enough for Halloween:
The famous Lana Del Rey stiletto nails with red tips. Stiletto shaped nails are a statement in themselves, they would look equally vampy painted in plain red. PC: Vogue.
Elegant Red & Black Halloween Nails. Our step-by-step nail art tutorial shows how to get this look.
Fire flame nail design by the talented Anutka/Wackylaki.
Thanks to Dita Von Teese for popularising retro half moon red nails, we can now happily wear these for Halloween. Do them in classic red and nude or, for a vampier look, in black and red. PC: Butter London.