Archive for ‘Nails’

January 25th, 2012

Cozy Indoors + Zombie Blue Matte Polish

Throwing on a simple tee, long scarf, and Dr. Martens to make for cozy and comfortable indoor wear.

Sometimes, there are some looks that don’t turn out to my satisfaction. I wasn’t intending to post this one, but decided to at least put it up on Lookbook because it feels like such a waste otherwise!


Instead, I will share with you the nail polish I am wearing here, which is also one of my favorite go-to polishes. Whenever I’m bored and not sure what color to choose, I usually find myself pulling this one out.

Missha matte blue nail polish, mblo1, lucid polish

no flash

Missha matte blue nail polish, mblo1, lucid polish
with flash

Missha Lucid Nail Polish (mblo1, matte), $2~ USD

This polish reminds me of zombies and… well, death. Doesn’t the blue look like the way a zombie’s finger nails might look like after being buried for a long time?

Okay, maybe not technically.

It’s a very unique, opaque, matte blue. Coverage is very good, one coat being sufficient to finish. Wear is decent, chipping in 2~ days without a top coat (sometimes I’m lazy!).

Once I was editing a student’s script in class, and he pointed out that my nail color was the exact same as the blue pen I was using. It’s true!

Zombies or blue pens, you make your pick! Either way, this is a very unique color for a low price. Plus, I’m a total sucker for matte polishes.


Yesterday was the first day of Chinese New Year. I wish everyone lots of luck and good fortune and hope you collected lots of red pockets! XD

December 6th, 2011

Green & Silver Hexagon Nail Art

Did these nails a few days ago.


Green and Silver Hexagon Nail Art

Green and Silver Hexagon Nail Art

What’d you think? ^^




Green and Silver Hexagon Nail Art

The hexagon flakes were applied with the dotter tool and top coat.

I did the curved tips directly with the nail polish brush. If you have shaky hands, try using tape, or French manicure tip tapes.

The stars I painted with the narrow tipped art brush freehand. It’s not great, but I tried my best T_T

I actually have this like mental disfunction — I can’t draw a star. Even with a pencil on paper, I’m just unable to draw a proper star. I think I can’t comprehend the line connections or something in my head.

So, I drew these stars real thin first, tip by tip, and expanded it outward slowly until it looks proper =p Strange, huh.




Green and Silver Hexagon Nail Art

I went shopping at a nail art supplies store with my unnie from Singapore a while ago and took this picture of the cashier girl. I loved how she did her nails and thought, I must do it too some time!

The funny thing was, she only had her left hand done (I’m guessing cuz it’s easiest to do your left hand with your right =p)

I was trying to figure out if she used a stencil for her stars, cuz you gotta be REAL pro to do them so straight and clean! (or… I just suck??)



PS. I’m gonna try to shoot a look soon! T_T I got caught up reading like crazy over the weekend. I just finished the last two books of the Percy Jackson series, read the newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and thinking of starting How to Train Your Dragon book #2 soon =p (and yes, I love reading children’s books, especially fantasy!)

October 25th, 2011

October Etude House Haul (part 2) — many nail polishes

A while ago, Etude House had an all-store 30% off!

Since I actually live in Korea and am not in a rush, I always wait for sales and discounts before I buy these street brand cosmetics because most of them always eventually has some sales or promotion (big gifts w/ a certain amount of purchase), especially Missha and Etude.



Beauty Tools + Cosmetics

Etude eyelashes, eyeshadow, haul

Etude House (에뛰드)
1. Eyelash #13 Side end Long $2.50
2. Hair Pin Set $0.70
3. Look at My Eyes Sand Gold GD03 $2.50

I super duper love these eyelashes. I haven’t had a chance to try them yet but I saw them in the collection before but they never had them in stock.

They are super dense and long side lashes, great for those dolly eyes.

Will definitely try to use them for a look.

I used the eyeshadow in my Work Outfit #1 look.



Nail Polishes

My unnie who came down to Seoul is the one who got me into nail art. I mentioned this before, but it’s because she showed me some of her nail art pictures that made me realize you can do it at home.

Since I was with her, and we gloated over and discussed all nail related supplies we saw, I think I was feeling really inspired and bought a lot more polishes than I normally would.

It’s so much more fun (and inspiring!) to have a physical nail art buddy! T_T


Etude nail polish swatch review, Etude House Dear Darling Nails Bling Bling, Etude House Petit Darling Nails MATTE

Etude House $1.50-$2.50
Glitter Polishes
Dear Darling Nails Bling Bling (에뛰드하우스 디어달링 네일즈 블링블링)
1) WH020
Lucid Darling Fantastic Nails (에뛰드하우스 루씨달링 파타스틱 네일스)
2) 05 Dazzling Pink (스팽글 05 대즐링 핑크)
3) 06 Dazzling Purple (스팽글 06 대즐링 핑크)
4) 07 Dazzling Blue (스팽글 07 대즐링 블루)
5) 09 Dazzling Gold (스팽글 09 대즐링 골드)
6) 03 Silver Dia (스팽글 03 실버다이아)

Matte Pastel Polishes
Petit Darling Nails MATTE (쁘띠달링네일즈 MATTE)
7) 08 Mint Cookie (08 민트 쿠키)
8 ) 09 Snow Flower Shaved Ice (09 눈꽃빙수)
9) 11 Berry Bubble (11 베리버블)
10) 10 Strawberry Yogurt (10 딸기요거트)
11) 07 Lemon Cheese (07 레몬치즈)

Royal Manicure (from a general beauty store)
12) 515 Nail Top Shine (손톱빛)

Matte Brown Polishes
Petit Darling Nails MATTE (쁘띠달링네일즈 MATTE)
13) 02 Latte Brown (02 라떼브라운)
14) 03 Milky Way Purple (03 밀키웨이퍼플)
15) 01 Ceylon? Tea (01 실몬티베이지)
16) 06 Orange Muffin (오렌지머핀)



Glitter Polishes (#1-6)

Etude glitter nail polish swatch, review

– Very shiny, flashy, bright glitters
– Can mix and match glitters to create your own color combo
– Durable and lasts well over a week
– Takes at least 5 coats to fully cover nails with glitter
– Difficult to remove (needs a bit of scrapping and scratching)


Etude glitter nail polish swatch, review

I actually bought the glitter nails intending to apply them all as one color.

I even applied a coat of each glitter on my nails, went around the store browsing, went back to apply a 2nd coat, and so on until I had all 5 coats on my nails =p

I am seriously a shameless shopper. I had to make sure it looked good before buying, and I really liked it!


I didn’t really realize that BIG glitter nails is the ‘in’ thing nowadays until I got this email from Urban Decay in my inbox and also realized lots of my female students were wearing glitter polishes as well:

Urban Decay Ziggy

I like how it says “Our fave: ZIGGY. Concentrated multi-colored glitter… not a wimpy clear coat,” and it’s totally true!

Most BIG glitter nail polishes give very sparse glitters. However, now that I look at this Urban Decay Ziggy, it seems to be small, not BIG glitters (like #1).



#1 polish (Dear Darling Nails Bling Bling WH020) gives very good dense coat of polish, as expected of a small glitter polish.

However, #2-6, the bigger glitter polishes, is much more sparse.

It’s okay though if you plan to mix and match all the colors anyways, because once you have all 5 coats of different colors on, your nails are fully covered.

It’s a really pretty combination. More interesting than single colored glitter. Highly recommended! I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it ^^


Extra Tip: Use #6 on the bottom and top of the big glitter polish to finish up and fill in any left over gaps or spaces between the big glitters. It gives a nice final gloss.

However, if you want to keep the original strong shine of the big glitters, you can skip this step.

It’s hard to see but I didn’t do it on the index finger of both my hands and the shine is a lot stronger, while the others have a softer gloss.



Matte Pastel Polishes (#7-11)

Pictures go from 1 coat, 2 coats, to 3 coats.

Etude matte pastel nail polish swatch, review

– Pretty pastel colors in MATTE (hard to find)
– Cheap
– Lighter colors crack after application (it’s not a cracking polish!!)
– Lighter and brighter colors don’t go on as smoothly as darker colors (even with a base)
– Wears off easily (very chipped by 5th day)

Even though the application is terrible, I don’t regret buying these.

They look very pretty all together, and remind me of Barbie fingernails, because Barbie’s nails are usually matte =p

Especially #10, the pastel pink, is SUCH a Barbie color!



Matte Brown + Neutral Polishes (#12-16)

Etude matte brown nail polish swatch, review

I super love these colors — very unique matte browns. Matte colors are generally harder to find, and it’s not common to see such a range of matte browns.

My unnie said the dark brown (#13 on my pinky) reminded her of chocolate, and I totally agree!

When I was young, I used to have this thing for a yellow pencil crayon that looked super like lemon. It made me want to eat it. This dark brown polish is the same, except it’s like chocolate! It’d be great for drawing chocolate nail art designs. That is SO on my to-do list!


All the pastel and brown matte polishes are from the same line, so the pros and cons are all the same except the browns don’t crack and go on as unevenly. This problem only seems to occur with the lighter colors.


#12 was from a general beauty store. I used to have a friend who wanted to color her nails, but didn’t want anything too noticeable. I honestly couldn’t understand what the heck she was talking about, because I think if you don’t want your nails to stand out, then just don’t do them at all.

When I saw #12, I thought it would be the perfect color for her — a very nude, skin colored polish.

It looked like it would be real nice when I just tried on one coat. However, three coats gives it a kind of murky, dirty nude pink, which I don’t really like.

I think it would be best to wear just one coat of #12 when your nails are short and you don’t need have that awkward look — colored nails with both the nail and nail bed difference still showing.



OPI vs. the Cheap Stuff

Another friend of mine and I were discussing whether OPI polishes are worth it or not.

She said cheap polishes make her nails yellow. I suggested it may actually be her nail polish remover, which can dry and damage nails. It may also be due to the amount of breathing time you allow your nails to have without nail polish over it.

I use a gel type remover from Faceshop which is supposed to be more gentle on the nails. I also usually wait at least 2 weeks in between nail jobs, because I’m usually too lazy to do it often. So, I haven’t had problems with my nails turning yellow.

This may come as a surprise from someone who does quite a bit of nail art, but I don’t own any OPI polishes.

I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on my nail art supplies, but can’t justify it on OPI polishes. I’m always curious and contemplating it, but I can never end up spending $11 on one polish when I can buy 8-9 polishes with the same money.

Unlike in North America, where even drugstore polishes cost $4-5 a bottle, many polishes cost $1-2 (#12 was just 70 cents!), in which case, I prefer having a larger collection of the cheap stuff than just a few OPI polishes.


What do you guys think? Are OPI polishes worth it? Are they really that much better?

May 21st, 2011

Nail Art Gallery + Gel Nail Removal Tips

Before I got really into makeup or shopping, I was actually a nail art junkie. It first started with me buying some cute nail art stickers at local Korean makeup brand stores (ex: Missha, the Face Shop, etc.). This was how I did my nails for a long time: nail art stickers + stones, and I still got lots of compliments on my nails.

However, one day, my close online friend, fuzzy unnie, showed me some of her own nail art, and I was so shocked! She had all these fun patterns and dots which she told me was done by herself at home. I had no idea you could do those things at home! I thought those kinds of nail art had to be done at expensive nail shops. She totally inspired me to give it a try myself, so I immediately bought a Korean nail art book (샨의 네일아트, which I’ll talk about more in another post) and learned all about DIY nail art.

Korea actually has really good quality low priced nail art supplies. They are almost wholesale price compared to what you would pay in North America for nail art tools/supplies. I plan to make a post of my supplies and where I get them later. Today, it’ll just be a nail art gallery, and my gel nail experience ^^

These aren’t even half of all the nail arts I have done, because they take so long to do and by the time I finish, I’m just too lazy to take pictures.

I am definitely not the best at nail art and still need lots of practice and improvement, but I’d still like to share some of the designs I have done! In order of time taken (some of these are 4+ years old!):

nail art

nail art

These nails are obviously very amateur, but I look back on these and I smile thinking how ‘cute’ I used to be. =p I mean, I clearly didn’t have much technique or skills, but I still truly enjoyed what I was doing — and I think that is the most important part. I was still learning about clean and even polish application, color combinations, nail art placement, polish consistency, etc.

It’s the same with makeup. A lot of my friends say they don’t know how to apply eyeshadow, so they will never try, or after one false attempt let their eyeshadow palette sit around. As a teacher I always say to my students — I love it when you guys make mistakes — you learn from them!

There are so many ways to use an eyeshadow palette without doing the conventional light color + dark color + shadow blending. You can brush just one shade over your whole eyelid with a sponge tip applicator (or even your fingers!), or use a soft angled brush + dark shadow as an eyeliner. Play around with your palette and you’ll learn more and more about shadow application.

Same for nails. You don’t have to be a pro to start off with just some stickers and stones. You can even make your own dotting tool at home. Just play around with what you have! I’ll make a post on nail art supplies and tools you can make at home later.

Back to the nails.



nail art

Very first nail art I learned to do from 샨의 네일아트. I chose something way too hard to start off with, so it took way longer than it really needed to!



nail art

Also learnt from 샨의 네일아트. This time I chose something easier! =p The hot pink index finger is so messed up =p

nail art
I also redid these nails recently for my first Lookbook post.



nail art

Inspired from 샨의 네일아트 and my favorite cell phone accessory white tiger from Everland (amusement park in Korea). To me, this one was a total fail because 1) I should’ve painted a lighter color under the tiger painting first so it can have brighter finish, 2) this is not gel nail and nothing is glued on so the pink bead as its nose fell off within a day and it was so annoying to have to keep replacing it!



nail art

Also inspired from 샨의 네일아트. One of my favorite nails but it’s definitely not something I can do often because it took 6 hours (including drying time in between coats and I don’t own a drying machine). I actually had to split it into two sessions because after 3 hours I was getting tired and sleepy and was no where near done. What was really hard was and slows things down is trying to paint the triangles with my left hand T_T



nail art

Inspired from a Japanese nail magazine (Nail Up) and one of my other favorites. I saw the skull and spider on separate nail looks and combined the two. I also love pairing that neon green with black polish.

nail art

Messy disaster after every nail job =p You can see the magazine on the table! I love watching Starcraft when I do my nails because it’s interesting but I can still look away for long intervals without feeling like I missed a lot and having to rewind. Also the casters do a great job narrating what I cannot see.

Who is on that calender? =p



nail art

This is a totally original nail art design. I just decided I wanted to 1) try out my new grey nail polish, 2) have some stars on my fingers.

I loved how it turned out at first and got sooo many compliments on this one, but after 3 days I already got sick of it and wanted to take it off! I get sick of nail color / art so easily, but because they always take hours to do, I always keep them on for at least 3 weeks (of course, with some repairing in between)!

nail art

After finishing the star nails.



Camwhore alert!

nail art

I don’t know about you, but I always think nails look better with a face than close up shots. The upper right shot with the pink and white gradient nails are not in the gallery. I really love that one because it has a very soft and girly look. I must redo it sometime and get a clearer shot of it!

And I know, I am an utterly shameless camwhore. I give you my deepest apologies for having to look at me pose like that. I will provide a money refund for those who had to use toxic eyewash to clean their eyes. Please send me a receipt of your eyewash purchase within 30 days of this post and I will send you a refund.

But hey, when I first took these pictures, I didn’t mean to be posting them anywhere!! It’s was just for fun =p So, whatever!



My experience with Gel Nails

gel nails

Gel nails with painting + 3D art (on middle fingers) professionally done at a nail shop. I’ve only been to the nail shop twice before — first time was with a coworker who treated me to a nail maintenance + color because she had a discounted package of 10 nail sessions (or else I would never pay someone to paint my nails!), and second time was doing these gel nails with my best friend on my Hong Kong trip last Christmas. I chose this design from a photobook they had. I love how absolutely bling it looks and how long it lasts without having to worry about chipping.

There were different packages that includes stones or painting or 3D art, which can also be charged separately. I think I paid for a gel nail + painted art package and separate charge for 3D art on two nails. Total was around $40 USD. It took around 2+ hours. It was totally worth it because gel nails cost about $100 USD in Korea, not to mention mine included painting + 3D art. Anyone going to Hong Kong should look into getting gel nails done because it seems to be much cheaper there than North America or Korea.

If you ever do gel nails, you must definitely go with a friend. It was soooo much fun. First, we went around the whole building (in a small shopping mall) asking for prices and packages. Then, we finally decided on a shop that was good quality, cheap, and had enough technicians to do both our nails at the same time (lots of places only had one — probably the owner). It was so fun choosing a design for each other and ourselves, giving our opinions, and just chattering away. We were so loud and talkative it was kinda funny.

In the end, we were both really happy with our nails and it was soooo much fun. The only small downfalls to my gel nail job and gel nails in general are:
1) I like nails that really pop and stand out, but I felt like the light purple didn’t. My friend pointed out that I should’ve chosen a color that wasn’t so close to my skin tone. She was totally right. I should’ve went with the aqua blue that was the color in the original design picture.
2) You have to pay to repair or remove the gel nails professionally. If you don’t repair and fill them in as they grow out, it will start to look kind of icky. Removing them yourselves is also a big pain in the butt.

My friend recommended I file down the nails as it grows out so it wasn’t so long. I was too lazy to do that. I ended up cutting off 1/4 of it (the bear’s legs) about a month later when it grew out. About 1.5-2 months later, I cut off another quarter of it (the bear’s body). My friend said she filed down the top of the nails into as thin a layer as possible, then wrapped it with a cotton pad filled with nail polish remover, and then go over that a tin foil + elastic band (I guess to insulate the remover) and leave it on for 15 minutes. But can you imagine having to do that for every single nail?? I tried it for one nail, and it took me about 10 minutes to file down the thick gel nails (which killed my nail filer T_T), and the remover didn’t remove the gel completely after 15 minutes.

My nails are now really damaged because I ended up ripping a lot of them off (I know, it’s terrible, but I was really impatient!).

In the end, what I recommend, if you are like me and too cheap to pay for professional removal, is to first choose a design that won’t look too terrible when it grows out. So choose a design that is clear (no color) near the cuticles, where your nails will grow, so that the gap between your gel nails and real nails is less obvious.

As it grows out, just file or cut off the ends. Once about half of it is cut off (and probably most of the design is gone), just file down the top of the gel nails as much as possible, until it can blend in with your real nails without looking bumpy, and then just keep applying a coat of color polish over it as you would with your regular nails until the gel grows out. You can keep cutting or filing the edges off with a regular nail clipper and a strong filer in between color jobs. It will look something like this:

nail art

You can see the edge of the clear gel nails on my ring and pinky finger, but I bet you didn’t notice it when you first saw it above! Those were the only fingers I filed down but didn’t rip off because by the time I did the other fingers, I realized I was killing my finger nails. It’s sooo tempting to just rip them off!



I was going to give a basic introduction to the nail art tools you can use to do all of the nail art designs I showed, but this post is getting long! I will do it in a future post, along with a nail tutorial.

Meanwhile, here is a preview of the tools I will show you how to use:

nail art tools



Also, if there were any designs in the gallery that you would like to see how to do, please write in the comments to this post and if there are enough requests for it, I will do a tutorial ^^

Otherwise, I already have a tutorial on the way showing how to use the sponge. Look out for it!