Hello lovelies!

Today I want to share with you how to make this pink zebra nail design. This is a bizarre pastel pink animal with mat skin, white stripes and a hint of gold :) Read on for a step-by-step tutorial.

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

Pink white and gold zebra nails tutorial

 

First, paint your nails soft pink.
I was in a mood for a baby pink these days. You can chose any favorite pink you have but I believe this design will look as romantic and soft as it is now if you use a paler shade.

Second, add zebra stripes.
Again, to get this gentle zebra look I chose to make white stripes instead of black ones. I draw zebra stripes freehandedly but have featured this zebra print how to in my earlier tutorial, in case you will need a guide. I used a stripping brush I made by trimming and old clear coat brush. I have already given you this idea in my 5 DIY nail products you can get for free.

Then, add a mat top coat.
It is a good idea to add the mat top coat before the gold zebra stripes because gold colors usually have some glitter in it and you do not want to steal away their sparkle by covering it with a mat formula.

Last, add gold detail.
My gold color comes with a stripping brush so I used it to add the stripes. You need just a few touches here and there as this step is meant to add a gold hint to your strange animal skin rather than overwhelm it with glitter.

Products:
Pink: Golden Rose Rich Color collection, number 52
White: Essie Blanc
Gold: Golden Rose Nail Art collection, number 113
Mat top: Flormar Matifying touch

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!.

Hello manicure addicts!

Today’s post is about Galaxy nails. This is a manicure design which is created to mimic the appearance of outer space. I love how space nail art is very unique to the person who creates it. I have seen various designs, color choices and accents but I prefer to make my galaxy nails in a certain way. I just find it is the best way this design looks and will share with you tips to create the perfect outer space manicure.

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Before we start I want to remind you of my Galaxy nail art tutorial. I also want to show this purple space manicure I recently created. You will see that if you follow the correct principle your space nails will turn out beautiful no matter the colors you choose.

TIP 1: Get to know the sponge technique
The sponge technique is the key part of space nails creation process. Basically you need to paint some nail color on a makeup sponge and touch your nails with it before polish has dried. This creates random splashes of color which can be built up or layered with different colors depending on the effect you want to get. Do not mix the sponge technique with the gradient colors technique as they are different! The latter aims to create a gradient application of nail color. What we need is just random color touches :)

TIP 2: Use thick and pigmented formulas
Highly pigmented nail polishes are great for sponging and therefore for space nail art because you will need a single touch to transfer the color to your nail. See through or semi sheer colors seem to soak into the sponge or leave a color which looks more like some kind of stain. They tend to blend with other colors and change them, too. So pick a slightly thicker, highly pigmented color to get the best result.

TIP 3: Use a dark color base
Galaxy nail designs aim for an outer space manicure look, so they should be applied on a dark color base. My favorite galaxy nail art features a black, a dark blue or a deep purple main color. Perhaps you can play with other colors but I suggest to use the darkest shade as your nail art canvas.

TIP 4: Do not overdo glitter
Glitter is a beautiful accent to space nails and contributes to the starry night effect so I suggest you put some after you are happy with your manicure. Be careful not to cover the complete design though. Some glitters have more particles in them. If you apply too much your manicure will lose the starry effect. If I apply too much glitter and do not like how it turns out, I start the nail over.

TIP 5: Add a dot of white
Adding a few white dots here and there seems to transform your nail design from an abstract random color art to a galaxy :) I do not know why that is but a single dot changes everything for the better. White dots look like nearer and larger stars and add some dimension to your space nails. You can use a dotting tool, a toothpick, a cuticle remover tip or pretty much anything you like to add the dots. For my purple outer space nails I applied white directly with the nail polish brush. I just whipped all excess color and carefully touched my nails in random places.

Thanks for reading! I hope these tips will help you create the best Galaxy nail art out there :).

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my first post in the Mix Box blog section. The Mix Box is reserved for topics which are not related to manicure but I still want to share with you.

I spent the whole morning happily choosing spring/summer clothes for my baby boy. “Wow, they grow so fast!” crossed my mind a zillion times :) But I also had some reasonable thoughts that may be useful to you when shopping for kids clothes. I will share with you what I got from my successful and totally failed kids shopping experience.

How to choose the best kids clothes

How to choose the best kids clothes

Plan a season ahead
The best time to do kids spring/summer shopping is… winter. To be more precise: winter sales. The same goes for winter clothes. You will get the best deals if you browse the clearance sections. I am not saying that you will have to make your baby wear Christmas sweaters on the beach but there are always some good pieces which will fit at least 3 of 4 seasons. Good examples are zipper sweatshirts, hoodies, under garments, t-shirts which can also serve as underwear, etc. Put your imagination to work and save your wallet some cash while making your discount picks :)

Get a larger size
Let’s face it, our kids grow up oh so fast! Sometimes moms end up with new clothes which still have their price tag attached and are already small for your precious one to wear. To avoid getting new clothes too often just get them slightly larger than your child’s current size. You can roll sleeves and pants up for a while until your baby grows to fit them, and too soon after outgrows them.

Get mix and match sets
I find mix and match clothes sets easiest to use. You always have an outfit ready for your precious as soon as you choose clothes from the same line. Many companies launch these lines of perfectly thought over pieces which go perfectly well together from the hat to the sock.

Look for value packs
Some clothing pieces come in value packs. These are a larger number of the same piece, combined together to offer a better price. It is similar to a wholesale purchase: if you buy 5, you will get a better price. I always get value packs for short and long sleeve bodysuits, sleep suits and socks. These pieces are always highly exploited and I need to have a larger number. Than why not at a better price, right?

Prefer quality to quantity
Maybe the most important feature of kids clothes is durability. Children are in their nature abusers in so many ways :) Your kids clothes are more likely to get stained, torn, washed on a 60 degree program than any other piece of fabric out there. So you need good quality fabrics to ensure your child feels comfortable wearing them and also that they will survive the process above.

I will share with you the clothes gallery I made for my boy. All images are from Next where I usually get kids clothes inspiration and deals. My clothes sets are all boy sets but I believe tips here are valid for buying girls clothes too!

How to choose the best kids clothes: mix and match sets

How to choose the best kids clothes: mix and match sets

How to choose the best kids clothes: mix and match sets

How to choose the best kids clothes: mix and match sets

What not to do when shopping for kids clothes?
There is one thing I strongly believe you should not do when shopping for kids clothes. Do not bring your child with you! Kids will spend their time much more happily playing, napping or doing kids stuff instead of having to accompany you to a shopping spree. You do not need an unhappy, bored and nervous child around, believe me! So either go alone or shop online. Tip! If you decide to go shopping without your child, bring a few of their clothes with you as this may break the ties if you are hesitating between two possible sizes.

Thanks for reading this unrelated stuff from my Mix Box, I hope it was useful!.

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share with you my favorite DIY manicure products. They are easy to make with ordinary household objects, make great substitutes for their drugstore siblings and are free!

DIY cuticle softener
This DIY cuticle softener has proven to give excellent result with its all natural and chemical free ingredients. Get a q-tip and soak it into virgin olive oil. Rub the oil into your cuticles and let it do its magic :) You will get naturally nourished and softened cuticles in minutes! Tip! If you are going to apply nail color after this procedure, make sure that your nail is clean from olive oil. If there is oil residue, your color will peel off.

DIY hand scrub
I love this DIY hand scrub! It smells divine, polishes hands and leaves the skin toned and clean.

DIY hand scrub

DIY hand scrub

Here is what you will need:
1 tbsp ground coffee
1 tbsp fine brown sugar
olive oil*
a jar*

The recipe is as simple as this: mix the coffee and sugar then add some olive oil until you are happy with mixture consistency. Then apply the scrub onto your wet hands, massage gently and rinse off with water. Tip! You can prepare a larger amount of this gentle scrub and store it in a jar. A baby food jar or and old face cream one will do the trick. This mixture contains natural preservative so it will stay fresh for two weeks. I got this idea and photo from a great Tip Junkie post at tipjunkie.com.

DIY stripping brush
Here is an idea how to recycle some old nail polishes into stripping brushes. All you need to do is get the brush of a nail polish you won’t use anymore and trim it down at its base until it gets thinner enough to serve as a stripping brush. Tip! It is best to use the brush from a top coat bottle as it will be easier to clean from nail polish.

DIY tracing strips
Tracing strips are those sticky pieces of paper which help you achieve clean lines and forms for your nail art. Honestly, they are not much different from ordinary tape. You can cut small pieces of tape, apply them to your nails and use them to trace your color. Tip! Touch your skin with the sticky side a few times before applying tape strips to your nails. This will prevent tapes sticking too hard to nail polish and ruining the design when you take them off.

DIY dotting tool
This is the easiest DIY project ever!

DIY dotting tool

DIY dotting tool

Just stick a pin in the rubber back of a pencil. This dotting tool works as great as the one from the store but you can change it as per your preference. Just stick a pin with larger head and you will get a different size tool for your dots. I got this brilliant idea and the beautiful photos from islaay.com.

These we my ideas for easy and free DIY manicure products, I hope you enjoyed!.

Hello everyone!

I am happy to welcome you to my column Drugstore Favorites. It is dedicated to my best product finds from the drugstore shelves. If it helps you find at least one reasonably priced and high quality nail product, its mission will be completed :)
Some of my all time favorite mainstream nail products are Rimmel London nail polishes from the Pro line with Lycra. Almost all of my nails tutorials feature a Rimmel London product and this is because their polishes turned out to be a great fit for my criteria of a good mainstream nail product. Currently I own three shades: Cocktail Passion, Grape Sorbet and Jazz Funk. The latter is from Rimmel London Kate Moss color collection. Also you can check out my 3 best top coats post.

For this post I have not received any products, or payment, or any kind of sponsorship by Rimmel London company. So read on to see my sincere reasons to love these drugstore finds!

I got the images from the African online store Bid or Buy.

♥ reason 1: They save time
The nail polish formula of Rimmel Lomdon Pro line with Lycra is very pigmented. You get vivid colors with only two coats which saves time for color application. Also, less coats on nails means faster so you are good to go within minutes after color has been applied.

♥ reason 2: They are easy to apply
These polishes can be applied literally with one single stroke. They come with a fat rounded brush which fits the nails and allows to cover them with the right amount of polish with only one motion. I really appreciate being able to work so easily, it is a great plus that with such an easy brush your cuticles stay clean most of the times :)

♥ reason 3: They are available and affordable
Rimmel London nail polishes are easy to get. They are in almost every drugstore and mainstream cosmetics store. New lines quickly hit the store shelves and you can just buy them without online orders, waiting, the risk if blind buying, etc. Prices may vary in different locations but are always pocket friendly.

♥ reason 4: Formula does not thicken
I have had my Cocktail passion for more than a year and every time I reach for it, which is often as I now have only a tiny bit left, it feels like new. Formula stays fresh for a long time which makes these polishes great to include into a planned collection as you may rely they will be there and in good condition when you need them.

♥ reason 5: They last
I am amazed how nail polishes from this line wear in time. Color does not fade or chip for days. This is a photo from my Color block zebra manicure tutorial. I could not get my husband, who is also my blog photographer, take the photos for it for 3 days. So these pictures are taken on the fourth day of nail polish application. The vibrant pink is Cocktail Passion. Pretty well, I say :)

Easy zebra color block nail art

Easy zebra color block nail art

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!.

Hello dear nail art addicts!

This post is dedicated to how you can build a low cost nail polish collection. I promise this is absolutely possible and will share with you my secret for reasonable and worthy nail color purchases.

Nail polish collection pic from chicprofile.com

Nail polish collection pic from chicprofile.com

TIP 1: Identify your favorite color… and STOP buying it!
OK, admit it, you love pink (or blue or glitter or whatever). And how many nail polish bottles in that shade do you own… two, five, maybe more? I am sure that if you are being honest to yourself, the answer will be: more than I need. Instead of buying the next same/too similar nail color, invest in some variety and maybe even follow TIP 2 :)

Tulip garden

Tulip garden

TIP 2: Get out of the box
I am not talking to buy a different hue of your all time favorites, I am talking to surprise yourself and get that gorgeous mint color you admire every time you go to the cosmetics store but never buy just because you think it is too bold/strange/posh etc. for you. A standout color in your collection is more likely to be chosen over a zillion of you favorites. Plus, a surprising color will always be there when your mood is right, will give a fun twist to your collection and make it more complete.

TIP 3: Make an educated choice
Emotional purchases are not helping to achieve a completed nail polish collection when you are on a budget. It has happened to all of us. You see something too pretty to be true, immediately fall in love and the next minute you see yourself taking your change not even remembering when you paid for that gem that you now hold :) Instead of risking an emotional purchase, take some time to browse the info for the nail polish or nail color you want to wear. If you have a general idea of the color you want, check for some swatches, inform yourself which brands have that color and then choose your best fit.

If you want to get a polish from a specific brand which is not too pocket friendly, check out TIP 4!

TIP 4: Check the drugstore shelves
There is a high chance you will be pleasantly surprised what drugstore brands have to offer. They are up to date with trends, easy to get, plus their prices vary somewhere between really cheap and very pocket friendly. For the sake of a low cost nail polish collection it is worth it to give a chance to some drugstore finds. Keep following TIP 3 and 4 and maybe high priced brands will have some good competition in the mainstream cosmetic store.

TIP 5: Take part in nail polish swaps
Nail polish swaps are great for building your nail polish collection. If you feel bored with a color, or if you have neglected TIP 1 too many times, it is time to look for a local nail polish community which hosts nail color swaps. Look at it this way: you will make someone happy with a color you no longer want and in return you will get the chance to complete your collection for free or for a minimum posting fee. And maybe even make friends :)

TIP 6: Get a nail polish thinner
Nail polish thinner will help prolong the life of nail colors you already own. It is a polish saving product, it has many benefits and is a must have for any collection.  I have dedicated a post to nail polish thinner, you may check it out.

TIP 7: Follow the nail trends
Following the nail trends will give you a clear vision to what is fashionable and what is not. This info helps to understand the priority of your purchases and plan new season picks more easily. Check what’s in for the season and you may be surprised to find you already own enough bottles to create the looks from the trend you prefer. Also, trends may help break the ties if you are hesitating between too many colors but you have the budget for only a few. Check out my nail trends for 2014 post series!

These are my tricks to plan and grow your nail polish collection without hurting your budget. I hope that was helpful and will work for you.

Thanks for reading!

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Hello nail art lovers!

By now you have probably got that I am a huge fan of nail polish effects. Polishes with added effect such as glitter, sand, etc. are fast and easy to use and give your manicure that extra something without taking too much time. One of my favorite nail polish effect is the one you get with magnetic nail polish. In this post I will give you some tips how to get the most of magnetic nail polishes.

What is magnetic nail polish?
Basically, magnetic nail polish is a nail color mixed with fine metal shavings. These polishes usually come with a magnetic cap. When placed over the freshly applied color, the magnet causes metal shavings to react and form a pattern. The pattern itself is the result we are aiming to get :)

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

Magnetic nail polish snake skin manicure

This is a design I achieved with Essie Repstyle magnetic color collection. My color is called Sssssexy. I love the result  and would recommend the line :)

Once you get used to it, it is fairly simple to use magnetic nail polishes. I will give you the general steps + some extra advice that will give you the best result, I promise!

First, apply a thin coat of the formula on your bare nails.
The first coat you apply should be thin and neat. Take some time to be precise with this step, the outcome depends on the application of your first coat. Tip! Do not use a base coat to prep your nails for magnetic polish as this may make your pattern look patchy.

Second, form the pattern with the magnet.
You should form the pattern one nail at a time! Apply a thick coat on the nail and immediately place the magnet over it. You should stay one mm away from the nail so the magnet won’t touch it and ruin the freshly applied polish. Wait for 10 seconds and Voila! now you have a beautiful patterned design!

Here are some additional tips to get the most out of magnetic formulas:
TIP 1: Shake well before use. Metal shavings are heavier than the nail polish formula and tend to gather at the bottom of the polish bottle. Shaking it up will distribute the metal evenly and get you a better result.
TIP 2: Play with the magnet until you get your favorite outcome. You will notice how changing the magnet position over your nail will give you a different design. Take some time to see what works best for your nails length, shape or your mood.
TIP 3: Do not load on polish formula. When you add your second coat, make it thick but clean. It should not float around your nail. Loaded nail polish may smudge the pattern and will surely take longer to dry.
TIP 4: Start over if you ruin a nail. It will be neater and quicker to start over that try to add more and more polish. Adding polish will lead to a mess rather than a design.
TIP 5: Add a top coat. To create a beautiful design with metallic nail polish you need only two coats of the formula. But after you use the magnet and it causes the metal shavings to gather at one place, this will leave certain areas with even less than two coats of polish. This will make your design to fade and chip easily. So, add your favorite top coat on top to get the maximum impact.

Thanks for reading, I hope that was useful!.