Winter essentials

It's been extremely cold the last few weeks in Vancouver, and it's only just begun. A few days ago we had a windstorm that caused power outage in about 50,000 households. I personally experience severe dry skin on my feet, legs, and hands. It could be from the insufficient amounts of water I drink but the cold is a huge factor. I would transit from and to work and arrive with hands so dry they actually ache. So what are some ways to battle some of the winter chills to keep your hands and feet nice and polished for the winter holidays? Here are some solutions.

1. Hand lotion
My favourite hand lotion is Herbacin Kamille found at your local drug stores. It's quick absorbent and is not too oily. It lasts pretty much most of the day depending on how often  you have to wash your hands. I just however, washing your hands often especially if you're in public places to avoid catching any flu viruses that might be going around.

2. Cuticle Oil
OPI's Cuticle Replenishing Oil is great to keep your cuticles hydrated throughout the day. A little goes a long way and until you use it really makes a difference in how your hands look! If you're too busy scrambling to finish all your Christmas shopping, forget putting on a polish, simply brush on some cuticle oil and you'll be good to go!

3. Gloves
Not only are gloves great for keeping your hands warm during the cold but they can also be used to seal in that hand cream you just applied on.  I recommend leather gloves with cashmere lining as they're durable, light weight, yet still warm enough to battle the cold.

4. Petroleum Jelly
Good 'ol petroleum jelly can be used for so many different things. It's great for removing eye makeup, lip balm, and also cracked feet. Even though our feet are more exposed during the summer, winter's dryness can also cause dry/cracked feet as well. A simple solution is to apply a thick lotion or petroleum jelly to the heels of your feet before you go to bed at night. To lock in the moisture, wear cotton socks that allow your feet breath. I also glob on a ton of petroleum jelly on my lips before bed as well. Best bang for your buck.

The list can go on with all the things you need for Winter but in terms of nice and hands and feet you'd be well prepared with these basic essentials. 


Get your Mo on

This month is Movember - a movement dedicated to raising awareness for prostate cancer.For the month of November, thousands of men make effort to sport their best mustaches. So what can we ladies do to raise awareness? Last week my friend showed me this YouTube video on how to do Movember nails.

On Saturday I followed the exact same instructions and here are the results! I've gotten plenty of compliments on them and they're definitely a fun way to show your support. 

Step 1: Apply a pale pink base colour. I layered with two coats of Essie 'Yes we can, Pink!' and Essie 'Petal Pink'. 
Step 2: Create two large dots with a nail art dotting tools and two smaller ones on either sides of the nail.

Step 3: Use a thin nail art brush like these to draw the mustache by connecting the dots.
Step 4: Repeat for all 10 fingers.

What are you waiting for? Go get your Mo on!


Gel Polish

The latest craze and perhaps breakthrough product in the nail industry is the 'Soak Off UV Gel Nail Polish'. So what is this new polish you ask?

Here are some differences from Gel polishes and your traditional nail polishes.

Traditional Nail Polish
Gel Polish

  • Usually lasts a week before chipping
  • Wide variety of colours
  • Air dry
  • Takes about 20 minutes to completely dry
  • Lasts 2 weeks without chipping or scratching
  • Limited number of colours
  • 'Cures' under a UV light
  • Dries in 2 minutes per layer

When you're getting Gel Polish at a nail salon, you'd likely get the same procedures as a regular manicure. Cuticles are pushed back, nails are filed and buffed, and traces of oils will be removed from your nail bed for the Gel Polish to adhere. 

Depending on the brand of Gel Polish, "curing" time under the UV light can vary but the steps are pretty similar. The polish must be cured under the UV light for each coat applied.

Here are the steps to a Manicure Gel Polish:

1. Regular Manicure
2. Make sure the nail surface is free of any trace of oil
3. Apply Gel Base Coat
4. Apply two coats of Gel Colour
5. Apply Gel Top Coat
6. Clean sticky Gel residue off with alcohol

I've only ever tried Shellac and Gelish. Personally I prefer Gelish because of their range of colours. Both products offer the same results however, Gelish colours are more fun and different.  The polish does not chip and the shine is definitely lasting!

Gelish after 10 days
Gelish after 14 days

If you're always using your hands for work, I suggest you try Gel Polish. It's costs a bit more than a regular manicure but is definitely worth the price.

Here are the brands with Gel Polish products: Nail Harmony - Gelish, CND - Shellac, CalGel and many more.


Channel your Chanel

This week is going to be a short work week and I'm already starting to procrastinate! With the amount of work ahead of me I'm expecting to play catch up for the rest of the week. Here's a fun video to watch while you enjoy the rest of your hump day.

The end of the video "credits" the 18 Chanel le Vernis nail polishes

What are your thoughts on Chanel nail polishes? They're definitely the trendy upscale ones. I personally haven't used them much because as a professional nail tech, we prefer brands like OPI or Essie; large collection of colours and still affordable for customers.

Here are Chanel's Fall 2011 nail polishes from their Illusions d'Ombre collection.

Chanel Fall 2011
From left to right: Quartz, Peridot, Graphite

The colours are shimmery/metallic, perfect addition to a rather dull fall season.


Friday Fix

This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend. If you're getting together with your family for a Thanksgiving dinner make sure your nails are presentable! After all, nothing worse that chowing down on your food with bad nails, especially if it's your family in law. You'd want to look polished at all times.

Here is some nail trends to help you decide what kind of look to go for.

Zoya nails have launched their Fall 2011 nail polish collection focused on the colour palette of the season. This year we'll be seeing lots of jewel tones, muted shades with a hint of mauve, and splashes of metallics. I'm especially excited for the vibrant jewel tones and I can't wait to fill my closet with these rich hues.

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend with lots of laughter, good company, and amazing food.

Credit: Zoya


5 tips for strong and healthy nails

Your nails may be one of those things that are unnecessary to care for. What kind of purpose do they serve anyway? I mean sure some of us take great care of our fingernails but I'm sure most of us do so for beauty purposes but until something goes wrong: discolouration, fungal infection, ingrown nails, we don't seem to pay too much attention.

Nail problems appear gradually and can be an indication of your health. Believe it or not the way your nail looks, colour/texture can be warning signs for heart disease, blood count, and nutrition.

Here are some tips for not only well groomed nails but healthy finger and toe nails.

1. Wear rubber gloves when doing house work

Most household chores, from washing dishes to gardening requires you to use your hands extensively. To protect your hands from harsh chemicals and abrasion I recommend using vinyl gloves.

2. Keep your nails hydrated

I'm sure we've all noticed that white edge around cuticle area. Use a little bit of cuticle oil and apply it the the edge to keep your nails hydrated throughout the day! You can substitute with baby oil or better yet just pure olive oil.

3. Trim your toenails straight across

This helps prevent ingrown toenails. Trimming the sides too short may cause the nail corners to taper in.

4. Avoid wearing damp shoes

These can be your work boots or runners. Sometimes your feet may sweat and from the moisture, heat, and dark environment, your damp shoes could be prone to causing bacteria growth. This is the common cause of fungal infection.

5. Wear 100% cotton socks

These are the best for moisture absorption. Thus preventing your chances of fungal infection.

Credit: Medicinenet


Canucks Spirit

Here's my inspired Canucks nails. I actually did them myself during the summer when the Canucks were in the finals. It's definitely a fun way to be routing for the city's team.
Today I'm going to be at the Oilers vs. Canucks game. 


Friday Fix

In order to get back into the routine of blogging, I've decided that every Friday the blog will feature interesting nail news or simply nail related topics that are trending. Here is the first post.
Merle Norman Lip and Nail Colours in "Hussy"
The new shade was inspired by the Merle Norman family in the 1930s. The deep cherry red infused with magenta shimmer resembles resembles the car's custom paint job. The colour is not available online so you would have to go to Merle Norman stores for one.
New CND Shellac colours
These polishes are not your average nail polish. They last up to 14 days without chipping or scratching and remains shiny! This month CND introduced 6 new shades to their collection.

Tomorrow I'll be watching my first live Hockey game. Even though it's preseason I'm still excited to see the Canucks play in person. Stay tuned for my Canucks nails!

credit: Solessence



Summer in Vancouver was short lived this year. Our weather changed way faster than any of us could've adjusted to. Halloween is coming up quickly, what will you guys be for the event? I'm still on a hunt for a Halloween costume. For the last two year I've tried to stay away from splurging on department store bought costumes which are usually made of the cheapest materials. Last year I dressed up as a Star which costed me $1.90 and the year before that I was a present/gift!

This is the time of year when you can dress up and look absolutely ridiculous! Your nails can be just as crazy too! Here's a set of Halloween nails done by my nail instructor.

Two tone acrylic (black & sparkly orange) with airbrush Halloween designs

More to come! Enjoy your October weekend =)


Canucks won!

Image source: flamesstation.ca
Last night was definitely a crazy roller-coast ride of emotions. Watching game 7 with Canucks vs. Black Hawks kept everyone at their edge of their seats as this was the make it or break it game. The city of Vancouver was definitely expecting a riot regardless of the results. Thankfully or man Burrows ended the game with a well served winning goal. Many shout outs to the rest of the Canucks team. They played well and deserved every little bit of it.



the new black

I personally think black nail polish is way over. It was in when Avril Lavigne was still making her top hits. Gray is now the new black. If you don't want anything too bright or too subtle this is definitely the colour to go for.

Essie Mink Muffs

The photos were taken at different times under different lighting.

Here are some other celebrities sporting the new trendy colour.

Alessandra Ambrosio

Photo credit: The Trendy Fashionista 

Lauren Conrad

Khloe Kardashian

Photo Credit: Style Bistro


crackle market blow up

Since OPI's launch of the Katy Perry line which includes the infamous Black Shatter, the crackle polish market has blown up, almost overnight! Smaller companies have massively launched a variety of crackle polish taking a grasp on the fact the OPI's crackle polish only comes in black. The photos below are crackle polishes from companies such as CND and Mia Secret.

This shattering effect has become a hit because every nail is uniquely transformed by the cracking of the polish. I've tried the above brands and the consistency and shattering effect does not stand up to OPI's quality. 

There has been updates that OPI will be launching more coloured shatter polishes. This is just the beginning of the trend! 


For times when you don't know what your outfit will be for the next event or family dinner, the classic french manicure will never be a "wrong" choice. This simple yet elegant look will never fail to match your day-to-day activities to the most special occasions. Whenever bride-to-be get their nails done I always recommend a french manicure. It's simply to refrain from ever having the moment when you look back at those photos and "wish you did something different" or wonder, "what was I thinking?"

If you're someone who likes to be a little different, you can always dress up a class french manicure by changing the white to a different colour. Usually a bright, vibrant colour would be best. You can also add designs or even a glittery thin line at the top of the white line.

For this french manicure, I used two coats of OPI Alpine Snow with OPI Passion applied to the upper nail bed without going over the white.


crackle crack

Finally got my hands on the OPI Black Shatter polish... it seems the market for the crackle nail polishes has just exploded! Other nail companies have quickly launched their version of the crack effect nail polish to meet market demands. So if you're looking for this effect keep in mind that OPI isn't the only brand.

Currently I have OPI Black Shatter, white shatter, red shatter, and bright orange shatter from various brands.

I think companies have tried to launch these shatter polishes so quickly into the nail market that anything goes! Packaging and nail brand goes out the window as long as colour variety out beats leading nail supplier, OPI.

First I used a based coat on my alcohol clean nails. 

I've found that if you clean your nails well with either acetone or (rubbing) alcohol prior to putting any nail polishes on, the colour stays on longer. This is because your nails naturally have oil on them so without prepping them before hand, the polish chips off easier.

After the base coat, I applied a coat of OPI DS Extravagance. You can choose whatever base colour you like! Play around with it, this will change the end results.

Apply your shatter nail polish. In this case I used OPI Black Shatter. Finally, finish with a clear top coat and voila!

Normally after the polish dries, apply cuticle oil to your cuticles, NOT on your nails! This will help moisten dry cuticles from the alcohol.



OPI's latest Katy Perry Collection features the latest buzzed about nail polish, Black Shatter.

This collection includes five featured colours, Last Friday Night, Teenage Dream, The One The Got Away, Not Like the Movies, and the highlight of it all, Black Shatter. The effect created from this black polish is somewhat a cross between giraffe spots and shattered glass. It's definitely a quick way to add a little more spice to your routine solid colour! However, maybe not something you'd like to wear to an office environment.

Can't wait to get my hands on these!


spring fever

This is my first tutorial post. I tend to forget to take step-by-step photos as I get carried away with my work,  I'm quite the girly girl when it comes to creating new designs. Without secondary inspiration the nails always end up looking... pretty!
1. apply and glue on natural tips
cut and file the tips to make an even surface

2. apply acrylic colours desired (the sample above has two tones)
create 3D nail art with acrylic powders on the nail bed

3. seal the flower and coloured tips with clear acrylic powder
finish with UV gel

Two tone Young Nails acrylic colours with embedded 3D nail art completed with OPI Finishing Gel


go nude

I've been falling in love with all shade nude. It's neutral and feminine. Great shade if you don't have anything special planned for the week cause it matches everything!

Acrylic nails w/OPI Sandman & hand drawn nail art designs


into the blue

Feeling a under the weather lately? It's been either raining or simply really cold in Vancouver. Anything sparkly, glittery, and shiney will definitely upbring the mood.

Young Nails blue acrylic tips w/ OPI gel on top