Monday, January 30th, 2012

By Edith (Edie) Bryan, Nail Care Expert

Edie is 27-years old and hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!


3 Essential Nail Lacquers that Suit Everyone

With such a huge array of nail polish shades and effects to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the right shade for your skin tone.  This is made even more difficult by the fact that polishes can look completely different once applied to the nails than how they appeared in the bottle!

I think there are three basic polish shades that every girl should keep in their collection: a nude, bright red, and rouge noir (or dark burgundy). Here are three recommendations of polishes that will suit everyone. I chose three crème shades, as they can always be layered under shimmers or glitters, or worn alone, depending on the occasion. I applied each polish over CND Stickey Base Coat and sealed with a swipe of Seche Vite Top Coat.

Nude

OPI polishes have exceptional quality for the price, and out of their collection of nude shades, this is one that will work for everyone. It is a rich and opaque nude-pink-brown that applies easily and wears well. Nude polishes are great for wearing to the office or for job interviews, and they will match any outfit in your wardrobe.  They can be glammed up for an evening out with a swipe of glittery polish on top. OPI Dulce de Leche ($8.00) is a great investment shade from OPI’s Classics collection.

Bright Red

Revlon Revlon Red ($4.79) is an absolutely iconic shade of nail polish–it is glamour and gorgeousness in a bottle. I have always found Revlon polishes to be very hard-wearing, but they do tend to have a thin and runny consistency, so have some Q-Tips ready for any boo-boos you might make during application. This shade of red is almost exactly between cool and warm. I would say it has the tiniest bit more blue than yellow, but in such a fabulous bold red, that is forgivable. This shade is a winner for me and will work on any skin tone.

Rouge Noir

Jessica Street Swagger ($7.50) is a fairly new polish on the market, it is part of the Jessica Rebel Glam collection for fall 2011, and I believe the only crème shade out of the six. Jessica’s polish formulation is definitely in my top five, being so highly pigmented and super smooth. Two coats of this delicious, dark wine-red gives perfect opaque coverage and superior wear. Sophisticated, glossy and it even gives the illusion of longer nails. I often find that dark red polishes are particularly difficult to judge when in the bottle, but this is a true blackened red, both in the bottle and on the nail.

Check out swatches!  Continue reading →

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

By Edith (Edie) Bryan, Nail Care Expert

Edie is 27-years old and hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!


3 Holiday Nail Designs to Try

There is no better time of year to really have some fun with nail art, or try out some bold glitter colours in your manicure. There are many ways to achieve gorgeous and unique nail designs – nail stamping or decals are ideal for anyone who isn’t confident creating fiddly freehand designs, and nail art brushes and paints are inexpensive for anyone who wants to try their hand at painting their own nail art. A good base coat, such as Orly Bonder ($7.49) is essential for keeping your design chip free through all the partying, and I recommend Seche Vite ($7.99 ) as a nail art sealant, because of its thick viscosity and fantastic glossy finish.

Snowflake Nails

A bold base color of bright red really makes these little snowflake designs pop. I used Revlon Red ($5.00), with a touch of Barry M Red Glitter (£2.99) at the tips, and then I drew the snowflakes and dots on with white acrylic paint. The design was sealed in with a thick layer of Seche Vite top coat.  Lastly, I added some tiny Swarovski crystals to add sparkle to the design.

Sparkly Star Party Nails

The pictures really do not capture the full effect of these ultra-dazzling party nails!  Perfect for any holiday season event, they’re ideal to coordinate with a slinky little black dress, because this design is so simple to create. Two coats of Nail Girls Silver #3 (£10.50) creates the base colour with black acrylic paint sponged onto the tips or base of the nail. I used Barry M Silver Glitter Effects (£3.99 ) to blend the black and silver together, and then added some silver star shaped nail decals. Seche Vite was used to seal in the design, and a few black and silver Swarovski crystals, create another sparkle effect on the top.

Holly and Candy Cane Nails

This is a more traditional Christmas-themed design but is still just so cute and fun! I alternated the colour on each finger using OPI Warm and Fozzie ($8.40) and Nail Girls Red #6 (£10.50) with a tiny bit of Barry M Red Glitter (£2.99) for extra sparkle. The holly and candy cane designs were painted on freehand with acrylic paints and sealed with Seche Vite top coat.

Check out more photos!  Continue reading →

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

By Edith (Edie) Bryan, Nail Care Expert

Edie is 27-years old and hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!


5 Must-Have Products for Beautiful Nails

You don’t need an extensive kit to achieve healthy, strong and beautiful nails. Here are my five must-have nail care products and how to use them for optimum results…

CND Super Shiney High Gloss Top Coat | I have used this top coat religiously for over 7 years! I love it simply because it is super-fast drying, long-wearing. and has an incredibly high-gloss finish. I have a big 2.3oz pro-size bottle at home, which I have had for a couple of years, and it is just as great now as when I bought it. It gives glass-like shine, keeps my nails strong, and my polish looking fresh. I have tried many other brands in my time as a nail tech, but this is most definitely the best I have used. It has a slight purple tint and UV filters to stop yellowing. It is formaldehyde-, toluene- and DBP-free (no nasties), scratch-resistant and super tough.

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil | There are a multitude of cuticle oils on the market, and all of them are designed to do exactly the same thing. OPI Avoplex is my favourite because it has a slightly thicker viscosity than the others I have tried, and it has given me the best results. Rich in avocado oil and high quality antioxidants, it nourishes nails and conditions the cuticle area. Cuticle oils penetrate the layers of the nail, restoring moisture and natural lipids. Use them sparingly – a little goes a long way. Apply at night before you go to bed for maximum benefit. A little dab may be used to perk up natural nails before a night out, or buffed gently into the nail for super glossy finish on natural nails. If you wear nail enhancements – cuticle oils won’t cause lifting, in fact they will help keep your enhancements flexible and strong, so it is worth picking some up next time you visit the salon.

CND Glossing Buffer | A glossing buffer is an essential addition to any Nailista’s kit. By buffing your nails gently, you increase the blood flow to your fingertips – this promotes healthy nail growth and gives your nail bed a much pinker appearance. By using the different sides of the buffer in order, you can achieve smooth natural nails, so your nail polish will sit better, and it is also less likely to stain.

Mavala Cuticle Remover | Some type of cuticle remover is a must for every nail kit; dry and overgrown cuticles instantly ruin the appearance of the hands. These products soften and remove dead cells from the nail plate. They are not designed to be used all that frequently, but every 10-14 days, it is worth giving your cuticles a real clean up, and then maintain them with your cuticle oil. Cuticle removers must always be rinsed off with soap and water, or else they will leave a residue on the nails, which will mess up your polish.

Stainless Steel Cuticle Pushie or Plastic Hoof Stick | I recommend that for doing any cuticle work – you use a pushie or hoof stick. Orange sticks are a big no-no for me, as they aren’t very effective, and tend to be unhygienic. Metal or plastic cuticle pushers can be cleaned and re-used, so they are a much better investment, as well as more effective and comfortable to use. If you manicure your nails regularly and are confident with cuticle care, go for a stainless steel one.  If you are a newbie to caring for cuticles, go for a rubber tipped hoof stick, until you have mastered the technique.

Check out more photos!  Continue reading →

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011


By Edith (Edie) Bryan, 27, United Kingdom, Nail Care Expert

Edie hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!

Easy Halloween Nails Tutorial

Halloween is almost upon us, and there is no better excuse to wear something fun and fancy on your nails. I can usually be found wearing a nude, deep burgundy, or bright red polish, and I don’t often choose anything else. Between those three essential shades, I find my nail polish will compliment any outfit, but for Halloween, I like to go a little bit crazy with my nails!

I thought I would share a very simple design to try on your nails that can easily be tweaked to fit your own tastes. I painted my natural nails because I am giving my nails a break from enhancements for a while, so I was ‘length limited ‘ in creating an elaborate or detailed design.  This design is particularly suited to those of you with nails that have some free edge that you want to enhance and emphasize. The V-shaped tip creates the illusion of longer nail beds, so it is a handy little trick to remember.

The polish I used was a very bright orange (Boots 17 Orange Soda), but you could use anything similar; I thought that a bold, almost glowing, pumpkin-like shade would fit the bill perfectly.  I could also imagine a red polish working well with the black V-shaped tip, though!  To start, I applied one layer of base coat, and then I painted each nail individually with Boots 17 Orange Soda.  I followed this with a sprinkle of orange, superfine craft glitter. For the black tips, I used black acrylic paint, although black nail polish would work just as well.

The super cute nail decals were applied using tweezers.  The whole nail look was topped off with two coats of top coat (I like CND Super Shiny). It is really important to seal the decals in with two coats of top coat or else you will find they chip off very quickly.  There are endless design possibilities using these cute Halloween decals (available here). They are quick to apply and easy to remove, so they are ideal for anyone who isn’t doesn’t have the steady hand to create freehand designs. Have fun creating your own Halloween designs!

How are you decking your nails out this Halloween?