Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Why are your nails blue?" (part 2 of 2)

Part 2 of the interview about nails with Dreem - a great insight into trends and her method of application of nail polish.

Are there any trends that you think have evolved in recent time, or that are set to become popular in the near future?
The crazy success of Chanel Jade and Riva has subsequently lead to increased releases of pastel shades by major brands. For example, Lancome has recently released a pastel lilac polish. Forefront salon brands such as Deborah Lippmann and OPI have reintroduced glitter polishes as sophisticated and edgy. Bestselling glitter polishes Happy Birthday and Mad As A Hatter have brought on a wave of new glitter polishes being released onto the market. Who would have thought that pastel glitter polishes would be trendy a decade ago? Nail trendsetters such as Rhianna, Katy Perry and Alexa Chung have also been spotted with nail art. Flowers, animal prints, candy... you name it! Nail art is easier than before as many brands are now selling stick on designs, especially made popular by Minx Nails. On the runway we are seeing modern takes on the French manicure, such as the Ruffian, and experimentation with texture. A really big trend right now? Crackle polish. Don't get me started on that one...

Somedays I may have red toenails and pink fingernails. Do you think it’s important to match them?
I never match! What's the fun in that? However when both manicure and pedicure are exposed, I would suggest using shades of the same family to prevent clashing.

Nail salons are gaining popularity within our shopping centres and malls (you can smell the fumes from a mile away!). Are you one for a regular manicure or pedicure?
My family joke that I can open up my own store with all my supplies! So, no. I won't be rushing out for a mani pedi at my local salon. With a bit of practice you'll find that it's much more cost effective to just buy a bottle of polish and do it at home!

I know I manage to apply more polish to the skin around my nails than the actual nails themselves. What is your suggested method of application to painting your nails?

Laura, I'm going to tell you every secret that I have learnt over the past few years. So listen carefully!

·      Shape your nails using a nail file. A squoval shape is chic and flattering. I avoid using nail scissors/clippers as it can split and weaken the nail. I highly recommend using a crystal or diamond file over the generic ones which are commonly found in pharmacies and supermarkets. These have a finer grit making it easier to smooth away rough edges. You can often find them in jewellery stores for a reasonable price below $20. They are an excellent investment as they last for a very long time.

·      It is okay to file the walls of your nails.

·      Dry, raggly cuticles can make the best painted nails look messy. Don't trim your cuticles with nail scissors as this can make the nail bed infected. Instead try a treatment that can dissolve the cuticles for easy removal. I like Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover (not available in Australia, if you can find it on Ebay it's worth it) for this, which works in just 15 seconds. Alternatively, use some cuticle treatment such as Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and push your cuticles back with an orange stick.

·      Buffing your nails occasionally will create a smooth canvas for your polish and will prevent staining. Do not buff too frequently as it can damage the surface. I like using the 'buff' side of a four-sided nail block.

·      If you have moisturised or used any oils on your fingers before painting, I suggest quickly wiping your nails down with a bit of nail polish remover. Oils will make it harder for polish to adhere to.

·      Begin with a good quality base coat which smooths out the nail surface and prevents staining. I like Sally Hansen's Double Duty Base and Top Coat. As a base coat it dries fast enough so that once all fingers are painted, you're ready for colour. If you have prominent nail ridges, consider using a nail ridge filler.

·      It is best to start painting your non-dominant hand first, and always work from your pinky to your thumb for both hands. This way you have less chance of making accidental dents!

·      When applying colour, remember that the less strokes, the better. Your aim is three strokes. One down the centre, and one on either side. Don't begin painting close to the cuticle. Instead, let the brush touch the nail a few millimetres away from the cuticle, push back towards the cuticle, and stroke down the centre. Paint either sides.   This is known as the 'gap' technique.

·      Remember, thin coats, not thick! Thick coats of polish are more likely to chip!

·      When painting my dominant hand, I find it easier to keep the brush still and move my hand, rather than trying to keep the brush steady while painting.

·      When painting your thumb, put your other four fingers under the table so they won't get in the way.

·      If you have wide nail beds, leaving thin gaps on the side of the nail will create the illusion of slimmer nails. This is known as the 'slimline' technique.

·      You need to alter your technique accordingly to the texture of the polish and the size and length of the brush/bristles.

-      If you make any minor smudges or dents when painting, lick your finger, then gently rub the mistake with your wet finger. I do this all the time and the polish will smooth out!

-         Dipping your fingers into ice cold water will speed up the drying process

·      Even the most experienced manicurist may have wobbly lines near the cuticle and along the sides of the nail. Many professionals use a brush dipped in acetone or nail polish remover to clean up the edges. I recommend a good quality dense eyeshadow brush. One should last for a few years. Many people complain about the smell of nail polish remover. I really like Missha's nail polish remover which has a sweet scent and doesn't smell like regular nail polish remover at all!

·      Many manicurists use the brush method when doing French manicures. They apply white polish past the smile lines, and create a clean line using the wet brush.

·      Always finish off with a top coat which will ensure that your manicure lasts. I like Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri which gives a glassy finish and dries your nails to touch in just 30 seconds. This is manicure-saving stuff!

·      Nail polish removal is another one of those annoying things! Reds are notorious for staining, and glitter polishes are extremely stubborn during the removal process. Insert the 'foil method' which will have you no longer scrubbing!

·      Soak a bit of cotton pad with nail polish remover. You just need enough to cover the nail.

·      Wrap the cotton pad and nail with some aluminium foil. The foil will prevent the remover from evaporating and therefore dissolve the polish faster.

·      Leave the nail wrapped for a few minutes.

·      Apply some pressure on the nail while you pull the cotton pad and foil off the nail. The polish should come straight off!

·      You can do this process one hand at a time. It's tricky with both hands!

·      Public service announcement: If your nails are chipping, please remove the polish. Chipped nail polish really, really isn't a good look.

Special thanks to Dreem for taking the time to give us some fantastic answers - I knew she would be able to help us straighten out our nail matters!

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