Sunday, October 27, 2013

How to fix a cracked nail

Having a cracked nail isn't fun. Why remove the whole nail to apply a new tip while you can save time and just fix it? For this you will need a nail form.

Remove the form from the paper and stick the little circle on the back for strength. Roll the form so it will have a nice shape rather than just bulky and unmanageable. Place the form under the nail. Make sure the form fits really well underneath the nail, or else the gel will run underneath, creating a messy fix.

Apply a layer of builder gel on the entire nail. Pick up some extra gel and place it where the corner is cracked off. Make sure the gel overlaps the natural nail too, or else it will crack again. It shouldn't be too thin. Let it cure for 2 minutes. Now your cracked nail is fixed and you can continue with any design.
This will also work if your nail is split or if a larger piece has broken off.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Classy medallion nails

Don't we all love those beautiful 3D acrylic designs? But you have gel nails? You think you can't have some of that? Guess again ladies! Having some 3D acrylic art on your gel nails is easy. You still have the benefits of your gel nails but now also the benefits of 3D art. It is really easy. Let's have a look.

After prep and prime, apply a thin base layer on all 5 nails, one hand at a time. Go around the cuticles with a rose woodstick and let it cure for 2 minutes.

Apply a thin layer of clear gel on the free edge. This is the layer your glitter will adhere to. With a clean gel brush, apply the glitter on the nails. Wipe your brush between a paper towel to remove all the glitter and clean up your smile line. If you have 2 gel brushes, you can use one for patting the glitter on and one for cleaning up the smile line and for the whole gel application. After cleaning up the smile line, let it cure for 2 minutes.

Doing one nail at a time now, I apply a thin layer of builder gel clear on the entire nail. First the nailbed and last the glitter. Otherwise you will have glitter transferring onto your nailbed. After doing so, I am using the string technique to "build" the thickness of the nail. Go around the cuticle and let it cure for 3 minutes.

When all the nails are fully cured, I remove the tacky layer with none acetone nail polish remover and a lint free wipe. I also reshape the sidewalls and free edge.

Wherever you decide to do acrylic art is where you need to remove the shine of the gel nail. Acrylic needs those tiny scratches to adhere to. It has a tendency to pop off from something smooth and shiny and we want our art to last long. Make sure the nail is dust free.
Using NSI attraction radiant white, the same brand monomer and an acrylic brush, I picked up a medium size ball to create a circle shape on the nail. Keep patting the acrylic in place while it sets. When it's dry I used a stamp to create the zebra print.
I brush on a coat of Glaze 'n go on the entire nail and also on top of the medallion. Don't cure just yet, we need that coat to put our tiny pearls in. Just pick them up with a rosewood stick dipped in a bit of Glaze 'n go and arrange them around the medallion. Let it then cure for 3 minutes. Finish off the rest of the nails with a clear topcoat.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ruby red nails

Here is a step by step on how to do these gorgeous Ruby red glitter nails with silver nuggets.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gel overlay

Sometimes we don't want a french nail, bling or a complex design. Sometimes we want it simple. A gel overlay is great to give strength, it's a good base for nail polish and it has an amazing shine.

This woman still has her uv polish from 2 weeks ago. It's grown out quite a bit. So I am going to be removing the color, but not the existing gel that is underneath. I am going to use that existing gel in my advantage so that I don't need to add that much more later on when I fill the nails.

As with any nail service, I push back the cuticles.
Removing the color by simply filing it off with a 180 grit file. Also reshape the free edge and if needed make them shorter. If for some reason there is a bit of lifting near the cuticle, also remove that. Also removing the shine of the new nail growth for better adhesion.
I removed all the dust and sprayed the nails with IBD prep, this will dehydrate the nail and get rid of any oils on the nail bed.

With NSI superbond, I prime her natural nail only.
I applied a thin layer of IBD builder gel clear to the entire nail. Then I fill in the nails with the string technique . I went around the cuticle area with a rosewood stick and let it cure for 3 minutes. Repeat on all the nails.

I removed the tacky layer with a lint free wipe and none acetone nail polish remover, reshaped the side walls and free edge and applied a high gloss topcoat. And as always, use some cuticle oil to finish off your service.

If doing a gel overlay on a natural nail, the steps are as followed: push back cuticles, remove shine from natural nail, prep and prime, coat of clear gel with strings, cure, remove tacky layer, reshape side walls and free edge, clear nail polish and finish.

This overlay can be left like this, or you can apply nailpolish, which will last you for weeks without chipping.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nicki Minaj Nails

Sometimes we do design that are inspired by object, things we see, things we like. But also very often they are inspired by people and by the colors that they wear. This particular design was inspired by Nicki Minaj's I am your leader music video. The walls are green and the bathtub is purple.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Watermelon nails

Having a simple design is classy, but having a little extra is more fun. Sure, it's not everybody's taste, but if you like it, you rock it!

The previous design has been removed, as shown in this video. The nails are clean and dust free and are ready for being prepped.

With NSI prep dx, I am applying it with a small nail brush to the new growth. This is a dehydrator and it dries to a somewhat chalky white.

Next up is primer, applying it sparingly to the natural nail only. If applied on the left over acrylic, it can cause yellowing.

Right before applying the acrylic to the nail I am applying one more coat of primer to the natural nail only, for better adhesion.

Using colored acrylics directly on the natural nail can cause staining so I am applying a thin layer of NSI attraction totally clear over the entire nail.

Picking up a very bright pink acrylic color from EzFlow and placing it near the cuticle area. Pat it in place and drag it down towards the free edge. Shaping the smile line with your brush will create a smooth and crisp line. This is also called the reverse technique.

Repeating the same process on all nails with NSI attraction extreme pink. This is a translucent pink acrylic powder.

If you feel like your smile line isn't as crisp or as sharp as you want, you can always go ahead and file it.

With a premixed bright green glitter, I placed a small ball against the smile line and pushed it in place to create a thin line.

With a dark green premixed glitter, I filled in the rest of the free edge. Same goes for the rest of the nails.

Encapsulating the glitter with NSI attraction totally clear.

When all the nails are completely dry, I shaped and buffed them. Applying a coat of NSI Glaze 'n Go near the cuticle area of the ring finger as a sticky base for the "watermelon seeds". Picking them up with a dotting tool and placing them near the cuticle. Let it cure for a minute to lock them in place.
Then apply Glaze 'n Go on the entire nail and let it cure for 3 minutes.

Finish off your service with some cuticle oil.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Alice in Wonderland

After prep and prime I applied a thin layer of IBD builder gel clear as a base layer and went around the cuticles with a rosewood stick. Letting it cure for 2 minutes.

On the free edge I applied a thin layer of the same gel and applied a gorgeous blue glitter. Also letting it cure for 2 minutes.

When all the nails are covered in glitter, it is time to build the nails. I am using the string technique.

Remove the tacky layer with a lint free wipe and none acetone nail polish remover. Reshape the sidewalls and free edge to get rid of any scratchy edges.

In order for the 3D flowers to stick better to the nails, I remove the shine with a soft buffer.

I picked up a tiny ball of white acrylic and placed it onto the nail. With my size 2 acrylic brush I start to form the flower petal. Repeating the same process over and over till you have as many flower petals as needed. The larger the ball of acrylic, the larger the petal.

In the center of the flower petal I placed a Swarovski crystal. And when all the flowers are made, I sealed the nails with NSI Glaze 'n go and let that cure for 3 minutes.

Starter kits

I get asked a lot what people need to buy in order to do nails. Doing nails is not a cheap hobby, even though there are a lot of cheap products out there. But does cheap mean good? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. You must be aware of the dangers that come along with doing nails. (infection, allergic reaction, transmittable disease,...)

I am going through the basic tools and products you will need for a simple french set and I will list where I got them.

Tools for acrylic

  • cuticle pusher and nipper (came with my nail kit from school)
  • nail files (Bell'ure from
  • dust brush, sanitisable (kabuki brush from
  • acrylic brush (nailcreation)
  • dappendish with a lid (nsi from

Tools for gel

  • cuticle pusher and nipper
  • nail files 
  • dust brush
  • rosewoodstick (from ebay)
  • gel brush (from,,
  • dotting tool (ebay)
  • UV lamp 36 watt (ebay)

Products for acrylic

  • sanitizer (IBD prep,
  • dehydrator (Prep dx, nsi,
  • primer (nsi superbond,
  • acrylic liquid/monomer (nsi attraction,
  • acrylic powders clear and white (nsi attraction,
  • cuticle oil (anywhere)

Products for gel

  • sanitizer (IBD prep)
  • dehydrator (IBD prep or prep dx)
  • primer (nsi superbond or ibd natural nail primer,
  • bonder (ibd bonder,
  • clear builder gel and white gel (ibd,, sometimes ebay)
  • cuticle oil
  • none acetone nail polish remover 

To finish acrylic nails
  • buffer (ezflow,
  • UV gel topcoat (NSI glaze n go, and ebay)
  • Uv lamp (ebay)

To finish gel nails
  • high gloss nail polish (orly glosser,, ebay)

Other things for gel and acrylic
  • lint free wipes (gauze, pharmacy)
  • empty plastic containers for glitter mixes (ebay)
  • nail forms (ebay)
  • nail tips and tip cutter (ebay)
  • nail glue (ebay)
  • glitter and nail deco (ebay, nail store, craft store,...)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Smooth Gel Nails

"How do you do the strings? What are they for? And why do you do it?"

Doing nails can be a bit time consuming, especially if you want to do them correctly. Doing a normal set whether it is acrylic or gel, you had to file and buff afterwords to get the nail smooth. But with this technique you don't have to.

Using the string technique allows me to cut back in time and speed up the whole nail process. By placing the strings on the nail exactly where you need them, you can create a smooth and lump-less surface.

But in order to be able to do the strings, you need to have the right gel. The brand doesn't really matter, it's the consistency. The ideal gel has the consistency of honey. You can test out if your gel has the right consistency by dragging a line on the surface of the gel. If it runs back together almost immediately, the gel is too runny. If the gel stays that way for a very long time, the gel is too thick. If the gel self levels in  10-20 seconds, you are good to go.