Halloween Nail Art

 

Hello my Halloween beauties!

The past two weeks have been filled with lots of Halloween makeup and nail fun. Today I wanted to share with you two of my Halloween-inspired nail ideas that I got from CutePolish. If you don’t follow her on Youtube you are missing out!

Here’s the first one…

Monster Buddies

This one works great on oval/stiletto- shaped nails. For Frankenstein, paint your middle finger nail two coats of an opaque light green. Create the hair, brows and nose with a black striper. Make the eyeballs using the end of a bobby pin with black polish first, then white. For the Mummy, paint your ring finger nail two solid coats of white and let dry. Then use a black striper for the lines. Fill in one triangle with black, then add two white dots (with the end of a bobby pin) for eyes, and finish off with smaller orange or red dots for “scary eyes.”

Halloween Combo 2

Dia de Los Muertos Sugar Skulls

I got a ton of compliments on this one. Paint three of your nails a bright blue (or any bright color you like!) Paint the middle two fingernails two solid coats of white. Create the eye sockets with a the end of a bobby pin and black polish. Pick 3-4 bright colors and apply them around the eye sockets with either a toothpick or a nail dotting tool (use the tiny end for these). For the nose, apply two dots of black then connect them with a black striper. For the teeth, create 8 big dots of black (four on top, four on bottom), then after it dries, add 8 smaller coats of white, leaving the edges of the black exposed. Finally draw a line between the teeth with a black striper. Done!

DiaDeLosMuertos

Which one is your favorite? Let me know if you try any of these designs I’d love to see them!

Fall Nails

Hi beauty lovers!

Fall has been a whirlwind. I’ve been working 6-7 days a week (happily, might I add) but that doesn’t mean I let my nail art fall by the wayside. Here’s what’s been on my tips this past season.

Ursula Nails

These nails look “sinister-cool”, just like The Little Mermaid’s villain, Ursula. I used Essie’s Chinchilly, which is a neutral plum-grey, for the base. I followed the sharp tips of my nails for the stripes of black. You can also rock this look on square-shaped nails, just line the black polish at an angle for the same effect!

Grey with Black Tips

Teal Time Nails

If you follow this blog, then you know that I’m a sucker for anything teal. For this look, I rocked a deep dark teal polish on all my nails except for my accent nail, which I chose to paint with Essie’s Mint Candy Apple. I topped off the thumb with Deborah Lippman’s dreamy confection, Across The Universe. The reason this look works is because the polishes I chose are in the same color family, just different shades. You could also recreate this look with purples, reds, oranges, etc. Just keep them all in the same color!

Teal For Fall

Purple Rain Nails

These nails pay homage to the concept above, except I did it in purple. I chose five different shades of purple- eggplant, eggplant-glitter, fuschia, grey-plum and lilac. Purple Ombre

Metallic Plaid

This one’s a repeat design from a look I rocked last fall. I chose a polish with a duo-chrome finish for the base and used a black striper for the stripes. The accent nail in black just makes the whole look sleeker.

Metal Plaid

What is your favorite nail design? Will you try any of these? I’d love to see any recreations! Hashtag your photos on Instagram with #leadingladynails

Summer Nail Art Recap

Happy September Beauties,

This has been a fun and busy summer for me. I had a ton of weddings and freelance clients on top of working on-call with MAC. And in between all that, we had a few small trips to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Dana Point and Temecula. I still managed to keep up with my nail art obsession and wanted to show you some of my favorites. Here are my “Best of the summer” nails:

Black & White Stripes

Stripes were a huge in fashion this summer, showing up on everyone’s dresses, shirts and shoes. I decided to bring the trend right onto my lil’ ol’ nail beds. This is a very simple design. Go with an opaque white like Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On. I L-O-V-E this formula! Super thick so you only need one or two coats (yes, even with white) and it wears way longer. One week later and still no chipping at the top of the nails. Use a black striper to create the lines. Top with a quick-drying top coat. Voila!

BlackWhite Stripes

Peaches, Cream and Glitter

For this peachy look, I used MAC’s Life After Beth Nail Lacquer then used a white striper for the lines and the chevron design. I used a gold glitter that had big and small pieces for the other nails.

 

Peach

Nude Nails

I know this isn’t exactly nail art, but when Sheswai sent me this color, I fell in love. This is literally the only color I will wear without nail art because it’s just so lovely on its own. The formaldehyde-free formula is also cruelty-free and super opaque. Love it too? It’s called For Real and you can purchase it HERE. It’s so long-wearing, you’ll think it’s gel!

Nude

 

Neon Aztec Nail Art

You’ll notice that as the summer wore on I went more and more oval/stiletto with my nail shape. It just looks so feminine and sexy. I officially refuse to go back to the “squovals” I rocked for the last 10 years. No one wants square shaped nails anymore! It’s all about elongating your fingers and hands.

This was my favorite of the whole season. I used China Glaze’s Shocking Pink polish, which is one of the only polishes I’ve used and loved so much that I ran out and bought another. The Aztec design was created using Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On then applying a black striper for the lines. I chose to only do two nails in the Aztec design because let’s face it- ain’t nobody have time for a full set.

Neon Aztec

Which one was your favorite? Would you try any of these?

XOXO

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Gel Manicures

Hi beauties! Today we are discussing the ever-popular gel manicure. Gel manicures are fantastic for the girl on the go and women who are hard on their hands. Everyone from moms to executives are fans of gel mani’s for this reason: they last up to two weeks. The polish literally will not chip or budge until you take it off.

Gel Nails
My Wedding Gel Nails 🙂

And just like any other beauty fad, there are do’s and don’ts for this look. I want to walk you through how to properly rock and remove a gel manicure.

Do’s & Don’ts

Do apply a sunscreen on your hands before going under the LED light at the salon.

Alba SPF 45 Sunscreen
Alba SPF 45 Sunscreen

The lights that harden the gel polish contain UV rays and not only cause your skin to age, but also produce harmful carcinogens. Treat your hands as if you were going to spend the day at the beach and protect them with an SPF of 35 and above.

Don’t scrape off the polish—this is terrible for your nails and will strip them!

You can have it removed professionally at the salon OR do it yourself at home: it’s possible! I learned how to do it myself from this helpful video:

Do trim your nails as they grow.

File off the top, then apply a clear top coat to seal the edges. My nails grow like weeds so I file them at least once a week

My favorite top coat: Seche Vite
My favorite top coat: Seche Vite

Don’t keep the gel manicure on past two weeks.

PET PEEVE ALERT: Something that really bugs me is when I look at people’s gel mani’s and see half-an-inch of new nail growing out from the bottom. GROSS! Just because the polish hasn’t chipped doesn’t mean you should keep your gel polish going for a month. It’s tacky.

Yuck! Grown out nails
Yuck! Don’t let this be you.

Do get gel pedicures: they are especially amazing on the toes!

I cannot say that enough. Since toe nails grow slower than finger nails, gel pedicures are a great option. You actually CAN keep your gel pedicure going for a month!

Gel-Pedicure-460x250

A Year in Nails Recap-2012

It’s the weekend! Only a few more hours of work for those of you struggling to make it past lunch.

Every week, I try to paint my nails a normal, solid color. And every week, I end up shellacking them with glitter, stamps, intricate designs and other forms of nail art graffiti. I’m sorry, I’m addicted. It’s gotten to the point where my nails just look sad to me when they are not glitterfied and decorated to the max. Some may think it’s tacky (it usually is) but I truly enjoy it. Here’s a collection of some of my favorite designs I did to my nails this past year. Enjoy!

Candy Cane Christmas

Candy Cane Christmas

Wedding Nails

Gel Nails

Geometric

GeoNails

Jersey-InspiredJersey Nails

Lavender GlamLavendar Glam

Lil’ Frankies

Lil Frankies 2

Metallic Plaid

Metallic Plaid

Pop Art Orange

Pop Art Orange

Snowman

Snowman 2

StitchesStitches
Tim Burton-Inspired

Tim Burton

Tulips

Tulips

Frosty Makes an Appearance

Once again, I was inspired by Cute Polish’s latest video for this design. I can’t help by smile every time I look down at my fingers! 
PRODUCTS USED:
Black Magic By Milani — I used this for the snowman’s eyes and mouth, with a dotting tool.
White on White By China Glaze– I applied 2 coats of this for the base.
Unconditionally Fabulous by MAC– I used 2 coats of this on top of the white to give it the “sparkly snow” effect.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Deborah Lippmann – I made the snowman’s carrot nose using this with a nail art brush.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Clearly, I live in L.A., and the coldest it gets here is 55 degrees at night. But still. Call me warm blooded but I am always freezing! I sleep with a comforter, blanket, and sometimes a Korean blanket (which weighs like 75 pounds, no lie). I wanted to interpret how frigidly cold I always am in the winter with a mani and found this great one from Cute Polish on YouTube. Check her out! She has literally has the cutest designs and they are super easy.

PRODUCTS USED
“Unconditionally Fabulous” by MAC Cosmetics

Essie’s Lapis of Luxury

Inglot Nail Art Enamel in White