28 February 2012

How to Tuesdays // The 'Natural' French Manicure

I love french manicures. They're so elegant. The only problem is sometimes when I paint my nails that way I feel the bright white can look very... fake. Which is fine, I use it all the time (especially for ring photo for Etsy). But sometimes it's nice to have a more natural looking option. So I'm here to show you my little method for more natural looking french manicured nails.

First of all, I freehand my french tips. This basically means that I just sweep the nail brush across the tips of my nails to get the desired effect without the aid of stickers like so..... 

However, if you don't have a steady hand, or have never tried it before, here is a great step by step tutorial for DIY French Manicure using sticky tape.

For the days I want the bright white look (mostly when I've been painting and have unremovable black ink or oil paint underneath my nails that I want to hide) I use the white polish from Sally Hansen French Manicure Kit Sheer Romance. Mine is a little worn as it traveled with me to Canada.

And for the days I want a little more natural look I use Rimmel London Lycra French Manicure - Nail Tip Whitener 12ml . This stuff is great, it has pigments of blue and purple in it to 'anti-yellow' your nails and make them brighter. When you use it on the whole nail it makes them seem whiter, but when you apply it to just the tip it gives a lovely natural looking french manicure that blends into your nails, which is great if you're not so steady at straight lines. It's also fantastic for the days when your nails chip, as it's not as noticeable as the bright white polish.

Then to finish it all off I use Essie Nail Polish in Vanity Fairest. It's very subtle, not too pink and has teeny hints of sparkle in it. Natural looking but very pretty.

With the whitener you will need to use two coats on your tips to notice the results. But once you put the second coat on you will start to notice how bright the tips become.

Here is a comparison of the two polishes side by side with no top coat on them.  You can see how on the left the whitener makes your nails look healthier, rather than the white polish on the left which is a little more fake looking. You can also see how less messy the whitener is to put on as it blends in with your skin should you go 'outside the lines'.

While you can't deny that the normal french manicure is still very beautiful and elegant, there are times when you just want a more toned down look. It's like with eye make-up; some days you want very heavy black eyeliner, another you just want natural brown tones... this is the same thing.

Here are some more comparisons with the Essie topcoat:

So that's my quick little tip on a more natural looking french manicure. Hope you found it helpful?

Aoife x

20 February 2012

New Photos for KimDot!

Hello all! Here are some new photos for my etsy store, KimDot
I went a little cupcake mad. I wanted something for my store with lots of pink, airy, romantic tones that was light and sweet.

They can all be found in my shop by clicking here :)

Aoife x

01 February 2012

Vancouver Vintage Shopping

One of my favourite things to do in Vancouver is check out some of the many thrift or vintage stores. I've made some great purchases and have pretty much replaced my wardrobe with a lot of (cheap) gorgeous items. But today I thought I would show you some quick snapshots I've taken while shopping.

I have some wonderful dresses I need to alter when I return to Vancouver from Cambridge (heading for my flight in a few hours). I can't wait to get my hands on them and fix them up. I'll see you all when I'm back in my lovely city :)

Aoife x