top coat

February 2019 Favorites

And just like that, February is over! 2019, you can go ahead and slow down a little …although I am definitely ready for Spring. So maybe get us to April and then slow down? 😉

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A Perfectly Pink Vacation Manicure

The night before we left for the Bahamas, I gave my Mom and myself gel manicures so our nails would be chip free and shiny the entire week we were away.

We both wanted a bright, tropical pink shade, so I got out my OPI Axxium Pinks & Pales starter kit…

They have a really amazing shade called “Strawberry Margarita”…

This particular color painted on pretty sheer, so I ended up using 3 coats…which made my nails super thick. I took a couple of pictures (polish photographs are so odd, you’ll notice it looks like two completely different colors)!

In person this shade was definitely most similar to the second picture.

The mani lasted flawlessly all week, but once we got home, I was slightly impatient (as usual) and wanted a fresh manicure. I decided to give my nails a break from gel for a bit, and went with my all time favorite polish- Sally Hansen’s “Shall We Dance”
When using regular nail polish I refuse to use anything other than a quick dry top coat- so I picked up a new bottle of the best

Seche Vite- this stuff is AMAZING!

Three days in and my nails are holding up! They’re still shiny, and luckily no chips or breaks (keeping my fingers crossed)! Every  2-3 days I’ll continue to add another top coat. 🙂

Do you like to mix up your polish colors for a vacation? Reds and orange’s are some other vaca favorites, what are yours?

How-To: At Home Gel Manicures

I am a devout gel mani enthusiast and regularly do them at home. People are always asking me where I get my nails done and are surprised to learn that I do them myself. It is SO much easier than you’d think. Those contemplating buying a kit for home, I would highly suggest it. I wanted to share just how easy it is with my step by step tutorial:

(Just a heads up- I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. Gel manicures consist of a base coat, nail color, and top coat. Mixing products is not totally taboo)

(My friend Stephanie sent this to me! ^ I died when I saw it, I had to share :))

Okay, so here are my nails at the start. I had experimented with tips the week before so they were looking pretty rough to begin with…

1) Using a buffing cube and nail file- buff and shape your nails until they are smooth on top and have your desired shape/look.

2) There is a clear, liquid solution that is applied to your nails before you begin applying any polish- it helps dry out the nail so the gel will adhere (I apologize, I forgot to photograph it-nothing too exciting lol).

3) Base coat. This is a Gelish Mini Foundation base coat- apply a thin layer to all nails on your first hand without touching the surrounding skin or cuticles.

4) Cure nails in the UV light for about a minute.

*TIP* Don’t touch your nails with anything but the polish brushes throughout the manicure until they are completely done, beacuse they will be tacky each time they come out of the UV light.

5) Paint your first coat of color onto all five nails, again making sure to refrain from touching the edges of your nails or cuticles. I chose to use “Exhale” a Gelish Mini color.

6) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

7) Apply second coat of color.

8) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

9) Apply a thin layer of clear gel top coat. I use the OPI Axxium top coat.

10) Cure for 2 minutes.

11) Spray all 5 nails with the nail cleansing solution to help remove any tacky-sticky residue. I use the NAS-99 nail cleanser that comes with the OPI Axxium starter kit.

12) Rub each nail with a cotton ball to remove the solution and tackiness.

13) Repeat steps 1-12 on your second hand.

And there you have it! Your nails are 100% dry, super shiny, and should last for about 2 weeks!

If you have a steady hand and like to do your own manicures, I would highly suggest investing in your own gel manicure system, it is definitely affordable and worth every penny! 🙂

Does anyone else do their own nails at home?

**UPDATE**

I wrote this post last Friday and waited a week to share so I would have an updated picture. Here are my nails this morning… 8 days later 🙂

They are still flawless, but I’m so tempted to paint them a new color! Decisions, decisions 🙂

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