Are you a nail technician?
I am! I completed a basic manicure course in March of 2011 and I completed a full nail technician course in May 2013.
Are your nails natural?
You bet! Even though I am trained in creating nail enhancements, my own nails are 100% natural.
How many bottles of nail polish do you own?
See for yourself!
Where do you come up with ideas/inspiration for your nail art?
I get asked this question a lot and it's definitely a tough one to answer since I pull inspiration from just about everywhere. Basically, if you're thinking about nail art a lot and it's on your mind, you'll start to notice things in your everyday life that can be used as inspiration. And if you're ever at a loss for inspiration, animal print is always a great choice (that's my go-to design option if I'm ever out of ideas).
What is your favourite nail polish brand?
I honestly can't say that I have one single favourite brand because there are many brands that I really like, often for different reasons. As well, there are many brands that I haven't even tried so I don't know if there's something out there that I would really love that I just haven't had the chance to try yet.
What base/top coat do you use?
My go-to combination is CND Stickey for base and Seche Vite for topcoat.
What tools do you use to create your nail art? Where do you get them?
For intricate details, I mostly use small paintbrushes from my local craft store (Michael's) and for dots I use dotting tools that I get from eBay. The dotting tools I have come in a set of 5 which includes varying sizes and the set is very inexpensive (around $2-3). For stripes, I use a striping brush that I also got from eBay and which was also very inexpensive.
How do you keep your nails so long and strong?
As a nail professional, I definitely have to take really good care of my nails. After all, my own nails are the best advertisement for myself! To keep them strong, I have a routine that I stick to. For one, I basically always have polish on my nails. Believe it or not, having lacquer on your nails creates a barrier between your nails and the elements which can weaken them. I also moisturize my nails and cuticles very regularly with cuticle oils, cuticle creams and hand creams. To help prevent breakage, I regularly use a nail strengthener under my polish (OPI Nail Envy). The best advice I have is to find a good nail care routine that works for you and then be firm and stick to it. Don't just moisturize when your cuticles feel dry, don't only use a strengthener after a break, etc. Make these activities a regular part of your day and you'll notice a difference in your nails.
Your cuticles look great! How do you care for them?
I usually do a full manicure on my nails once every two-four weeks. This includes pushing back my cuticles and removing any old/dead cuticle with cuticle nippers. I also moisturize my cuticles and hands several times throughout the day. My go-to cuticle moisturizers are OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil and Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, and my go-to hand moisturizer is OPI's Avojuice Skin Quenchers.
For more info on cuticle care, visit my Manicuring 101 tab.
How do you get your manicures to look so neat around the edges?
It's all in the clean up. I use a small angled brush, dip it in pure acetone, and then go around the edges of my nails to clean up any out-of-place polish.
How do you paint using your non-dominant hand?
It's always a little more difficult to do nail art (especially really detailed designs) using my non-dominant hand, but continued practice over the years has definitely made it easier. My advice would be to always try your designs on both hands, even if you think it's going to turn out poorly using your non-dominant hand. Even if it doesn't turn out the best, the more you practice, the better you'll get!
What advice/tips do you have for new nail bloggers?
I get a lot of emails with this question as the main subject, so I decided to write up a general post of all my tips and tricks for both new nail bloggers as well as nail bloggers who want to grow their blogs. Here's the link to that post. I hope it's helpful!
What camera do you use?
Up until May 2012 I was using the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. It was a good little camera that lasted me several years, but sadly, the lens motor started to die. As a university graduation gift, I was given a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm lens, so that's what I'm currently using. I made a post outlining my photography setup here, so you can check that out if you're looking for more info.
Can I use your photos/content?
Please email me if you would like to use my content. Generally, I will not have a problem as long as a visible link is provided that links back to my blog and as long as there are no alterations made to my photos (ie: watermark removed).
Do you have a question or comment that wasn't addressed here?
Feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org