Thursday, 31 May 2012

The nail extension

Hi everyone, how are you doing?

I've now finished my Nail Technology course and I'm waiting for my portfolio to be verified. Now that I don't have exams and revision to deal with, I can actually pay a little more attention to my own hands. My index finger nail is a fair bit shorter than my other nails...mainly because I seem to end up filing it down by accident whilst shaping clients nails. Perhaps my own nails need to be cut or perhaps I need to find a better way to hold on to my clients without nubbinating my own finger. Please observe:

 You will also notice that I have two splits on my middle finger and a tear on my thumbnail. I've put gel overlays on each of those nails to grow them out without taking them all the way down.  As I'm always happy to play with acrylic, I decided to give my index nail an acrylic sculpted extension!

 I put on my form and began creating the acrylic extension. There are several steps that need to be taken before we get to this point, but I don't intend to bore you with details.

So far, so good.

 After the sculpt is complete. The product I am using here is not the best. It's one that we all had to train with, but our lecturer suggested that we invest a little more money in better products that offer longevity. I'm already awaiting a few deliveries.

 After filing.
 After using a three-way buffer. You know, I'd never seen anyone buff acrylic nails before and I have to say, it makes a lot of difference! I realise that using a white acrylic would have given me a nice 'forever french' manicure look, but I was not about to sit there overlaying every single nail. My nails are rarely bare so no-one will see it.

Here's the shape of the nail.

I know that a lot of you readers take very good care of your nails and there are some who think nail enhancements are a big no-no. I'll admit to feeling like a bit of a fraud when wearing an overlay or patching up a break, but on this occasion I do not. As far as I am concerned providing it is applied correctly, a nail extension can look beautiful and natural. There is nothing wrong with wearing enhancements if they make you feel good. Yes, so they may cause some weakness to your nails when removed, but if you find a good, reliable nail technician who cares about your needs and listens to you, damage can be limited.

Here's one of my clients with before and after an infill.


Here she is afterwards. She told me that they could pass for her own nails and I have to agree with her.

How do you feel about nail enhancements? If you wear them, which kind do you wear? Acrylic, gel, overlays, sculpted tips? If you don't like them, why not? I'm interested to know folks!


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mismatched mani and pedi

Hi everyone, I have a quick post for you.

This weekend I've been toying with glitter and stripes.
Here's the outcome:

I wore this for the whole weekend and even did some patterns on my toes...something I've only decided to do because we've had some scorching hot days recently.

This reminds me of mint humbugs:

I know this is completely mismatched, but since when I have I cared about THAT?

After all that assault on the eyeballs, I may just do a few plain manicures to demonstrate that I can actually do a classic designs without putting stuff all over it, lol!

Take care luvvies.


Friday, 25 May 2012


Evening folks.

Tonight I want to show you a bit of stamping that I did recently.

 The plates used were B06 and B10 from KKCenterHk

I'd had intentions of painting the fish in their respective colours, but at that point I was lacking the will and the patience. The white stamping polish didn't want to work with me, hence the reason why some of the bubbles look more like semi-circles! The images on the plates were crisp and clean, so yes, I do think I need to replace my polish.

This is one of those manicures that looked a lot prettier in my head...ho hum.

Have a brilliant weekend all...and wish me luck for my last day at college tomorrow (sob, sob).


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

My birthday in pictures

Hi all.

Firstly, I'd just like to say thank you for all of your birthday wishes. I had some really lovely tweets, comments in my last post and also Facebook messages. Thank you sooo much.

I thought I'd come back with a few pictures to let you know how my day went. Firstly, I decided that I didn't want to do anything too big because I haven't been feeling so well and I wouldn't have been able to handle too much extravagance.

I've joined Instagram too (well, I've had an account for a little while but have kept my photos private until a few days ag0). When I have some time, I'll see if there is a button that I can use to link my accounts...I'm on twitter and Instagram a lot more than I am on Blogger! My screen name is ashlilly_the_lacquer_lover if you want to search for me.

 Here is what I was presented with in the morning. This was one of three cakes I got, lol!

 My husband bought me a beautiful bracelet from Links. I've been hankering for this bracelet for years so I was really happy when I opened the package.

I bought these cupcakes from one of my Twitter buddies. They look amazing, don't they?

 Birthday nails done with foils. I didn't have a foil topcoat so they shrivelled up when I put a normal topcoat on.
 Birthday hair. I have very kinky, coily hair and stopped using chemical straighteners about four years ago. I used a flat iron to straighten my hair out, created a side plait and then used a mini crocodile grip to clip the end up. I like messy, big hair!

 Yesterday at Westfields I went hunting for the Models Own bottle store. Gorgeous isn't it?

LA colors polish for 99p each from Beauty Base (also in Westfields). You know I bought the store up, right?!

I'm off to the Tate Gallery today to look at art and pretend to be refined.

Have a lovely day.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Oooh and it's not even my birthday...

Hi all.

Over the past couple of days I've been rocking these nails. I don't want to go as far as to say that they are my birthday nails (although it is likely that I'll still be wearing this design in 2 hours...which IS when it will be my birthday!)

I've trashed my nails. Royally. I had a low break on my middle finger so I mended it with acrylic, which snapped today when I slammed my car boot. I have another break on my thumb nail so I mended the side with gel. The rest of my nails are strong and long on my left hand. My right has two extensions on, but I put those on for practise. All in all, my nails are all over the place. Much like this manicure!

 The acrylic paint design was painted over sponged Barry M's 'Matte White'.

Ha, it doesn't look like this now! After three clients today I've filed one nail to a point by accident, smudged my design and got half of my hand covered in red polish. In short, it was a brilliant day :)

I'll be back at some point this week (seriously, I will) to tell you about a little giveaway I want to run. Yes, it's my birthday but I want to share it with you.

Enjoy your weekends.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

College work - Acrylic nails

I did say that I'd come back to you with some pictures of the work that I did on Saturday.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but in my haste trying to finish up with enough time to grab a drink between clients, I forgot to take ANY photo's of my first set of nails! My second client actually reminded me to take some pictures before the nail enhancement process began (because she knows that I'm always taking pictures of nails).

Client's right hand, before any preparation began.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any after photographs so when I remembered, I asked the client to send me a picture of them. 
You may not be able to see this so well, but this is a full set of acrylic nails, polish and a very simple striping design that covered four out of the seven nail art competencies that I had to demonstrate: dotting, striping, free-hand and adding flat-stones (gems, fimo slices, sequins...). I still have foiling, glittering with loose glitter and marbling with a tool to demonstrate. Honestly, I did not have any time left to do something fancy and really, we weren't being assessed on extravagence - we just had to show that we knew what to do.

My client was pleased with her enhancements and design, and I was happy that she was happy. This did take about 2.5 hours to complete; half an hour longer that I was actually allowed. Initially I was disappointed that it took so long, but then I did have to wait for four layers of polish to dry properly because I'd left my Seche Vite at home. I also had to get the client to complete a medical questionnaire and ask my tutor to explain some paperwork to me. 

Okay, that's it! I have overlays and maintenance next week. I'll do my best to remember some photos then.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Floral water decals.

Happy Sunday friends...and a happy Mother's Day to those who are celebrating today.

Although we celebrated Mother's Day back in March in the UK, I actually saw my own mum (after quite a long time) along with my siblings and niece today. I cooked up a big dinner and everyone seemed to have a nice day catching up. 

I'm now sat here typing with two nubbins and three nails with low breaks on them. Usually, I'd be lamenting this but I'm actually pleased to have a reason to get some UV gel out and start practising with it. You may even find that I hack my nails off and replace them with same falsies - I'm not sure yet!

I was wearing these full water decals from KKcenterHk on Friday:

You will already know about my far from secret love affair with water decals. I have less time to myself nowadays and I suffer from a chronic condition that has been kicking my behind for some months (which makes me exhausted a lot of the time), so I appreciate a 'quick fix'.  I have several sets of decals that are similar looking, but it is the first time I have tried this brand.

This is NOT 'actual polish'. It's a decal, okay. It's a lovely pattern, but it is not different from the other decals I have used.

My fingernails are wider than the decals but I could have put on a colour which matched the decals beforehand. I didn't bother though.

The packaging stated that these could be worn for up to seven days with a topcoat. Unfortunately, they were chipping and peeling on me by the end of the day despite two layers of topcoat. Yes,  I did wash up without gloves, but I really didn't think that this much deterioration would have taken place so soon:

I'd hoped that I could have gone to college with gorgeous nails on Saturday morning but alas, I had bare, stained broken talons. My clients asked me why my nails were bare and I was actually quite embarrassed.  Unfortunately, on this occasion, water decals didn't come to my rescue.
*product sent to me for review

Have a happy start to the week folks ;)


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Miami naughty?

I love pink. I really do.

 Essie's 'Miami Nice'. See the shrinkage on the tips? Yeah, blame it on the Seche.

 Such a gorgeous hot pink with the slightest electric blue undertone. This is three coats.

That thumb looks a bit odd because I had been practising my pink and white gel application on it.

Right, I'm off to wash my dishes (oh joy!)


Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Yes...I've been moonlighting.

I didn't want you to miss out on this so I'm posting a link for you. 

Don't worry, this is not going to do anything to my regular content here. Blogspot is my home.


Back to Black (and blogging)

Well hello there!

Where have you been, I hear you ask.  I've been trying to find my blogging mojo, trying to study, trying to deal with some work/office issues as well as practicing my acrylic and gel applications. My practical assessments at college have started and my time internet time has been spent over at SalonGeek, getting tips on how to apply the perfect set of acrylics. Those of you who are nail or beauty technicians or have an interest in becoming one may find this site invaluable. By the way, those of you who are nail techs, why didn't you tell me how hard it is?? I had three practice clients who each had a manicure, massage, luxury treatment and a polish on Saturday and by 4pm I could have gone to sleep on the salon floor. I was that tired!

Even though I've been away, I've been taking pictures; but mainly of the enhancement work I've done so far. I can't post them here because they are too embarrassing, so I'll wait until next week, when I have to do some decent work for my assessments.

I'll show you what I'm wearing today:

 MUA's black shade and gold and white chains from Bundle Monster plate BM 12.

 I sat for about 20 minutes staring at these black nails, not knowing what to put on them.

I'm posing with one of my favourite oversized accessories at the moment. A 'gold' and black 'jewelled' bracelet. I think it's from H&M but I can't really remember.

Thanks for sticking with me during my absence. When I thought I might have lost a few readers, I seem to have gained some, so I'm really appreciative.

Take care folks ;)