Saturday, 30 June 2012
Just plain and simple ASP Volcano gel overlays with a but of bling, Swarovski Crystals of course! I just can't get enough of them. Think I'm addicted. x
This week my Swarovski Crystal Nail competition winner came over to claim her prize and she had fully loaded big toes with a few accent crystals on the remaining toes which looked lovely. I used the OPI Axxium DS Radiance as the colour gel on top of the base gel which is often the preferred choice for those who don't have a full set.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Isn't that the longest title you have ever seen on a nail blog?! It was sort of needed as there are so many different trends included in this set of nails, that I didn't want to miss out a single thing.
I did this very girly set of nails last night on one of my friends and Chief Hand Model, Daisy May. I had received a very exciting delivery earlier on in the day which included some more classic Swarovski Crystals as well as a stunning new colour that I have decided to launch due to the popularity of my Swarovski Crystal Manicures and Pedicures, Swarovski Crystal AB. She chose the pink Tutti Frutti gel for the overlay and decided to go for a holographic top coat called Disco Ball, which complements the iridescent shine of the crystals.
This is starting to become very expensive to offer as Swarovski Crystals don't come cheap, however they look so much better than standard crystals that you can purchase fcraft raft stores, eBay or in big multi-packs for next to nothing from China. I would never compromise on the quality as I promise you that it's just not worth it. I have tried with cheaper alternatives but the sparkle is gone as soon as a protective top coat is applied and if a top coat isn't applied then they just don't last.
Thanks for reading, and as always, your comments are always read and appreciated.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
I did another fabulous set of Swarovski Crystal Bling Nails on toes recently and they were a huge success. They are going down a storm at the moment and I have only been promoting them over the last few days! Take note nail technicians: Swarovski Crystal Nails have to be the top nail trend of 2012 for sure!
If you read my previous tutorial post then you will see that I secure them with OPI Axxium DS Radiance gel so they can last up to 6 weeks if they are looked after.
The lady that I did them on was thrilled and the pictures don't do them justice. If you are interested in booking then there is 10% off until the end of July so they are only £45 on toes or £50 after the end of July. I always use the best OPI products and genuine Swarovski Crystals. The cheaper gemstones are no good and result in a very poor imitation, so don't accept anything less than Wonderlust Nails. Xx
Friday, 8 June 2012
I had the pleasure of doing a lovely lady's *Bling Nails* pedicure this evening. I applied authentic Swarovski Crystals to her big toe nails and OPI Axxium gel in DS Radiance on the remaining toes. I then finished them off with a cost of clear top cost to protect and seal them.
I chose to use gel as it is hard wearing and also offers better value for money as it lasts longer than doing it on to polished nails. The crystals alone cost about £12 and with the cost of the OPI gels on top of that it is expensive to do.
- Apply a layer of UV gel base coat and cure under a UV lamp.
- Apply the first layer of the super sparkly OPI DS Radiance and cure under the UV lamp.
- Apply the second coat but don't cure yet.
- Start to apply individual crystals to the nail (I used SS7 on the big toe but I have SS5 for the other toes as they are smaller and I want to give a really professional finish).
- Once the nails are covered, cure under the UV lamp.
- Carefully apply a coat of clear top coat, taking sure not apply too thickly otherwise the sparkle is reduced and the crystals can look like beads rather than bling.
- Finish off with a finishing wipe and apply OPI cuticle oil.
I price this treatment at £30 for the big toe with OPI gel on the remaining toes or you can book to have a full set for £50. I am offering a special 10% discount until the end of 31st July 2012.
Thursday, 7 June 2012
The Experiment: Can I use a 36 watt UV lamp instead of a 9 watt UV lamp for curing colour gels?
I did a ton of research into whether I could do a set of colour gel nails with a 36 watt lamp instead of the recommended 9 watt. I purchased new colours without thinking and then had a last minute panic about whether I would cook someones hands or feet, so I did an experiment. I figured that there must be other nail technicians out there who had wondered the same thing. Here's the result:
In order to make it a better test I tested the 36 watt lamp on two different brands, ASP from Sally's and my lovely faithful OPI Axxium Soak-Off Gel Color. I also decided to use myself as the test subject as I would be able to tell quickly if there was a problem or if something wasn't right.
I started off with the gel base coat. The curing process seemed normal and worked well. There were no adverse effects so I continued top the first colour layer. Again, no problems or areas for concern so I continued to the second layer of colour. I started to feel more and more confident that this was going to be a success, but the true result would only be realised once I had completely finished the set so I added the clear top coat and then wiped of the excess once all steps had been completed. The result was fabulous, just the same if I was doing a set with the OPI Axxium File-Off system which actually requires the 36 watt lamp.
I would be really interested to know if anyone has tried a 36 watt lamp on the OPI GelColor range. I'm going to be offering this shortly but I want to know whether I have to spend a fortune on the OPI LED lamp or whether I can use my 36 watt lamp for this as well. When I'm doing mobile nails in the local area, I don't really want to have to be draggin around more than I have to, as nail tech's out there will know that we need a lot of kit!
Important note: As mentioned in a previous post, I like to think of myself as an OPI purist and would always recommend that you do your research when using a different lamp. These are my personal experiences and I would always try to use the suggested lamp. I needed to try this experiment as I had a set of nails to do but didn't have time to get a 9 watt lamp. I now have a 9 watt lamp and would use this unless I absolutely couldn't for some very good reason.
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Nail Mythbusters - What Happens If You Mix OPI Soak Off Gel With Other Branded Base Gel and Top Coat Gel
The Experiment: Have you ever wondered what would happen if you used a different brand of gel base and top coat to your usual gel colour?
Recently I had purchased some OPI Soak Off Gel (DS Radiance) which arrived safely. I also ordered the OPI Soak Off Base Gel and Top Coat, but the last 2 items were purchased on eBay and unfortunately never arrived. I desperately needed the complete set as I was due to do a set of sparkly silver overlays but there are no OPI suppliers near by to me and I couldn't wait for an online order to arrive. I had a bit of a think and wondered what would happen if I used my ASP soak off gel base and soak off clear gel with the OPI soak off gel. I am usually a complete OPI purist and a total product snob but I like experimenting and couldn't find a true answer online so I decided to try a set of overlays on myself.
Result: I'm thrilled to report that it worked really well!
The finish is gorgeous and glossy, there is no lifting or shrinkage and my nails feel fabulous and strong days later!
I am still planning to purchase my regular OPI Soak Off Base Coat and Top Coat, however if you are strapped for cash or can't get what you need at a moment's notice then "cheating" could work.
Note: I used ASP products and OPI. That doesn't mean to say that mixing just any brand will be as effective. Please let me know what your personal experiences are so that all readers get a true and well rounded opinion.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
I used another one of my ASP colour gels on a customer today; Cherry Pie. She liked having shortish nails but they were all a little uneven in length so we evened them up with some short extensions. The colour was far pinker than was shown on the sticker, but we agreed that it was still a fab colour and would look amazing with the tan that she was going to have on holiday next week.
Monday, 4 June 2012
I had an impromptu booking yesterday afternoon by someone looking for pink gel extensions. I was really excited as it was the perfect opportunity to use my new gel colours that I bought from Sally's recently. I have been struggling to get OPI anywhere locally and it's been really annoying me, so I really needed to get an alternative without compromising on quality.
Whilst at Sally's I found ASP colour gel in Tutti Frutti (amongst a couple of other pink shades) and decided to give it a go. It was really nice to work with considering it is about half the price of OPI however it was a little runnier than I am used to so you have to apply thinner layers which is quite annoying. I finished off with a layer of clear top coat and I think that the result was lovely. I certainly won't be giving up my OPI all together as its quality can't be beaten, but if you can't justify the £25 a pot price tag (and that's before you have bought the base and top coat) then I would certainly recommend the cheaper ASP range.
Saturday, 2 June 2012
It's 60 years since Queen Elizabeth's Coronation and what better way to celebrate than a set of gorgeous patriotic nails. I did my daughter's nails and my own and used inspiration including The Crown Jewels, the Union Jack flag, the traditional postage stamp and the E.R crest.
Let me know what you think! X