Tag Archives: gel

Glitter Fade Nail Tutorial

In the wise words of Jessie J; I’m feeling sexy & free… Like Glitter’s raining on me!

I have a confession to make… My name is Louise Henry and I am a glitter-holic.

Glitter makes everything better, you can never have too much – especially when it comes to your nails. It is such a simple solution to cheering up plain nails and it is super-duper quick to apply.

There are many different methods of applying glitter to a manicure or pedicure but my favourite is probably the glitter fade.  It makes it look like glitter is raining down over your nails.  You can use it to add an element of sparkle to pale pink bridal nails or bling up a set of neon holiday toes. It’s SO Versatile!

All you need is your nail preparation kit along with a base coat polish, your chosen colour of polish, an extra sparkly glitter polish & your top coat.  I would recommend Barry M’s glitter polishes – very reasonable prices and great finish.

Glitter Fade Nails

Prep and prime your nails as always.  Once your nails are prepped apply your base coat and 2 layers of your chosen colour… don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous!  Allow these layers of polish a good 15 mins to dry as you don’t want to smudge them when applying the special layer of glitter.

After you have allowed your coloured polish to sufficiently dry you can go all out with the glitter.  Using the nail polish brush, apply a thick blob of glitter polish either at the cuticle end of your nail or else at the free edge of your nail, doing only one nail at a time as you need to move quickly – when I say blob I really mean it, keep that polish thick and the glitter dense!

Now you need to wipe ALL the excess polish off your brush & using this brush slowly wipe the glitter down the nail in small strokes, allowing the glitter to rain down your nail like a sparkling snow fall.  Be gentle with this part as you don’t need much pressure.

Repeat this step on all of your nails. You will get more confident as you go along.  Don’t be too fussy as the glitter does most of the work and that’s the joy of this style of nail art!  Once all of your nails have been adequately jazzed up, pop a thin layer of shiny top coat on and a slathering of cuticle oil… now you can sit back and admire your handy work.

Glitter Fade Nails, The Nail Room, Studio 75, Bangor

Easy peasy lemon squeezey, amazing isn’t it?!

Send me in some of your attempts via facebook/email or tag me in your pictures on Instagram, I’m happy to help if you have any trouble following the guide.  I’ll leave you with a few pictures of some glitter fade gel manicures I have done on my clients. L xx

Glitter Fade Nails, The Nail Room, Studio 75, Bangor

Article by Louise Henry

Louise joined The Beauty Cloud team in May 2014 as our Nail expert.  She is a fully trained & qualified Nail Technician running her own little nail bar in Bangor, The Nail Room at Salon75. 

Any questions, email louise@thebeautycloud.co.uk or find her on Facebook

I Was Made for Lovin’ You Kiss Nails!

It’s so exciting when I get new products to play with.  I’m such a big kid- it’s like Christmas morning, ripping the boxes open to have a peek inside.  I wasn’t disappointed when I was recently sent some new products from Kiss Nails.

Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish French Manicure KitKiss is an American cosmetics company that provide a wide range of products from make-up & false lashes to top of the range hair dryers.  All of their products are generally of professional quality and great value for money.  To get an idea of all their fabulous products have a look on their website www.kissusa.com.  You can also purchase their products in Boots and Superdrug stores!

I love to keep on top of the latest products and technologies to hit the market so I was super excited to test out the new Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish French Manicure Kit and Kiss Everlasting Pro LED Gel Lamp.  The instructions provided in this kit are so simple – I reckon even my boyfriend could do it if he followed the step by step process.  Let me guide you through it…

1. I recommend you go back to my very first blog post on nail preparation before applying any nail products – the Kiss kit provides you with all of the tools to carry out this prep. Once I had completed this step I cleansed my nails using the Kiss cleanser & wipes provided.

2. Once the nails are cleansed & ready to go start sizing the magic little white tips to make sure you find the perfect fit – this is the trickiest and most important part because if the tips don’t fit the nails will lift. Take your time and be patient, trust me it is worth it!

Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish French Manicure Kit

Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish French Manicure KitKiss have created these little curved pieces of plastic, similar to a false nail, but when you stick them down on to your own nail using the supplied glue and carefully remove them using the instructions provided the little white tip is left imprinted on your own natural nail… absolutely ingenious!

Why have we ladies spent years trying to paint a perfectly straight line for a French manicure when we could have been using these nifty little tools?!  These white tips are what I love most about this system; they ensure that every white tip is exactly the same size, no wobbly lines or irregular shapes – it satisfies my OCD greatly!

3. When the little tips have been applied to all of the nails on both hands, it is time to apply the base layer gel to one hand and cure under the LED lamp – always being careful not to touch any skin or cuticle area.

Kiss LED LampAs with a lot of gel systems you need to do your four fingers first then your thumb separately on each of your hands to ensure the LED light reaches all areas of your nails and they are hardened correctly.

4. Now you have a good base down on your nails you apply the colour gel in exactly the same way as the base to that same hand. It is down to your personal preference whether you apply one or two layers of this colour.  I personally prefer a slightly more natural French manicure so I always opt for the one layer unless a client requests otherwise.

Peel Off Kiss Color Gel5. To seal all of your hard work in apply a thin layer of the top coat to the hand that you have been working on, cure the gel as before and then cleanse the nail with the wipes & cleanser provided.

Peel Off Kiss Top Gel

6. Finally finish by cleansing the nails. I would recommend that once you have cleansed your nails you apply a layer of clear nail polish to make sure they are super shiny and as always use a heap of cuticle oil to keep your cuticles hydrated!

If you have followed all of the steps carefully and used the products correctly you should be left with a beautiful French manicure.

Beautiful Kiss French Manicure

This is a really simple and straightforward product to apply and you don’t need any experience to give it a go.  If you find yourself struggling with applying this product to the hand you don’t normally work with, don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help you out.

I am usually quite dubious about home gel kits, but the gels provided in this Kiss kit were of a great quality and I was really impressed with the final outcome.

The Kiss LED lamp was fab, dinky little size; perfect for storing and it even had a timer button just like the one I use for my clients in the salon.

The kit is ideal if you have a keen interest in doing nails or simply just enjoy doing your own nails at home.  Kiss also supply solid coloured gels that you can apply in between the base layer and top coat gels using the same process as explained above. I’ll be reviewing one of these Everlasting Gel polishes in one of my next blog posts along with a special little tub that Kiss sells to safely remove your gel manicure… so watch this space!

I would love to hear if any of you chose to regularly use gel nail kits at home instead of paying salon prices or if you have tried this one before and could give me a few tips.  I’d especially like to hear about your home disasters as we can all learn from each other’s beauty mistakes!

Article by Louise Henry

Louise joined The Beauty Cloud team in May 2014 as our Nail expert.  She is a fully trained & qualified Nail Technician running her own little nail bar in Bangor, The Nail Room at Salon75. 

Any questions, email louise@thebeautycloud.co.uk or find her on Facebook

Nailing the Unconventional: Nails by Mei

Mei KawajiriI am constantly browsing the web, keeping an eye on nail art addicted celebs and their amazingly talented nail technicians to find out what the latest colours and trends are.  Whilst browsing Instagram a wee while ago I came across an insanely talented Japanese artist called Mei Kawajiri.

Mei is based in New York and is now one of the most sought after nail artists in the fashion industry, splitting her time between her regular clients and high end fashion, editorial and photographic nail appointments.

Her style of Nail Art is like nothing I’ve ever seen before and nothing I could ever imagine being able to do myself.  She doesn’t use any stencils, stickers or stampers.  Everything is intricately hand painted and each individual set of nails are like a piece of fine art.

Nails by Mei

Her work has been showcased in the likes of Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to name just a few of her latest projects.

Nails by Mei

Mei takes inspiration from literally everywhere!  Still life objects, musicians, geometric patterns, high end fashion designers, food, nature… The list goes on!  She sculpts many of her designs using different types of gel, giving the nails unusual and unconventional shapes.

Nails by Mei 3

Although some of her nails aren’t suitable for us ladies during our everyday lives I just can’t help but admire her innovative nail art designs and how she can turn a simple bunch of flowers or plate of sushi into a beautiful set of nails.

Nails by Mei

If you want to keep up to date on Mei’s latest nail art escapades you can follow her on Instagram @nailsbymei or find all of her work on her Tumblr http://nailsbymei.tumblr.com/

If you have any favourite nail artists you think I would like to take a look at, whether they are your local Beauty Salon or an international nail technician to the stars, be sure to let me know!

Article by Louise Henry

Louise joined The Beauty Cloud team in May 2014 as our Nail expert.  She is a fully trained & qualified Nail Technician running her own little nail bar in Bangor, The Nail Room at Salon75. 

Any questions, email louise@thebeautycloud.co.uk or find her on Facebook

Tanning Friday Review: Garnier Ambre Solaire – No Streaks Bronzer, Natural Wash Off Gel

6aThis week’s fake tan is an instant, wash-off gel by Garnier. This is a great product for anyone who has either forgotten to tan in preparation for an event or night out, or who has an event sprung on them and needs a beautiful, natural looking tan asap! Instant tan is great for these situations because as soon as you have applied the gel, you immediately have a gorgeous summer tan!

However, as you will know from my other reviews, advance skin preparation is extremely important for any kind of fake tanning. This makes it difficult when you haven’t had time to prepare, but still want that perfect bronzed look! A lot of instant tans, however quickly they develop, still only look great and streak free when the skin has been prepared in advance.

6bAll that being said, this little beauty is a bit different – it is enriched with apricot extract which helps to keep your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. This means that if you are caught out short, and have to quickly shave and exfoliate that same day, this is one of the only tans that I have found, which still goes on smoothly with no streaks, even when the prep is done just before application! So for me, this is a true instant tan, as you really can rely on it in these last minute situations.

I love the colour of this tan! It is extremely natural. Rather than orange, or drastically dark, it develops into a lovely, warm olive colour. Which means you can confidently apply it for day events as well as evening do’s.

6cThe gel is non-greasy and non-sticky and once applied feels smooth on your skin. Then on top of that, as mentioned, it keeps your skin hydrated so there is no drying out. This also means that you don’t get any offensive dry, orange patches forming in the usual places such as elbows, hands, knees and feet. I would still recommend using a bit of moisturiser in these areas before application though; this is a rule of any fake tanner that must always be done!

6dAs this tan is a gel, it is very easy to apply. Rather than a lotion which can run away from you and become hard to absorb, this gel is very easy to manage and rubs in easily, without any streaks whatsoever! I would always recommend using a tanning mitt for any fake tan application, however – again, if you are caught short and can’t find your mitt or don’t have it at hand, then this tan can be applied with your hands (as long as you wash them 6estraight away afterwards!)

This product has next to no smell. When applying you may get a small hint of a fruity, sweet aroma (which I really like), but once applied there is no noticeable smell at all.

If you are after a stunning and natural looking tan which is very easy to apply, and really can be used at the very last minute, then I would strongly recommend this product! It is also now available in a shimmer as well, if that’s the look you prefer.

6f

Then, once you are all partied out, and have some very gorgeous pictures that you can’t wait to upload and proudly showcase to others…simply wash off with soap and water, it is easily removed.

At around £6.99 a bottle, this really is great value for money. It is available in Boots and many other beauty stores online and on the high street. And please let me know if you would like me to review any more of their fantastic range of products, which you can explore here

A/W Nail trends to make you stop and stare!

From Plain coloured nails to over the top printed nails, there is a lot to choose from and if you love to keep on trend with the latest nail art looks then you love the Nor Lisa top favourite nails!

I’m  loving this black nail polish with a gold leaf effect it really gives that expensive look and keeping it quite edgy too. You can recreate this easily by painting your nails any colour and then bring them to life with some rich gold leaf. You can wear almost anything with these gorgeous nails and if you want them to stand out even more, wear a black sheer dress with them so that they shine bright.

Want to add some texture to your nails? Then I’d go with these very trendy mesh nails with a simple natural nail polish with some edgy black mesh on for the tips, this is a very modern take on the French manicure and will definitely be a conversation starter. Wear these nails with a leather dress for that rock chick look.

If you just want a simple and natural look but with something a little extra special then these gorgeous Funky French manicure are perfect. The coloured tips give the manicure the ‘wow’ factor they need and at the same time staying with the traditional nude colour but making it fresh with the different  coloured tips. I would style up these cute nails up with a block coloured jumper dress with black leggings for that casual laid back look.

Never mind the cracking effect which to me doesn’t scream look at me! Check out these show stopping magnetic nails by Nails Inc. which create their own unique and artistic look. This nail polish is perfect if you don’t have a steady hand because once the polish touches your nail the magnetic effect takes shape. I would  wear a long  Black  lace dress alongside these dark nails for that Gothic look.

I just can’t get enough of the Galaxy trend this A/W so how could I resist these mesmerizing Starry night nails which are right on trend. To get the same effect without spending too much, these nails can be recreated by using glitter polish layered over dark midnight blue or if you want to get this look and spend a little then get them done professionally so that they have a lot of detail. If you want to go mad with the Galactic trend then I’d team up a pair of galaxy printed leggings up with these nails for that over the top look.

With all the hot nail trends out there I decided to  treat myself to some professional nails by  Belfast  own nail artist ‘Bliss Nails’. I went with the natural look nails with black tips to add a little edge to the nails. My inspiration for these nails was from the Donna Karan A/W 2012 fashion show where she created beige nails with burgundy tips. I loved this look but I wanted to have a more translucent effect with the black tips. These nails were also painted with gel so that they would last longer and have a glossier look.

I also wanted to glam up my toe nails so I also got these gel nails done also By Bliss Nails, for my toes I wanted to go with the Starry night look so I got my nails done professionally with black nail polish with sparkly nail polish on top and to finish I had gel added for that long lasting pedicure for two weeks.  Bliss nails have a very clean and welcoming studio and are located on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.  They did a great job and I highly recommend them!  I can’t wait to go back and use them again for my Belfast Fashion Week nails.

You can find bliss nails on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/bliss.nails