Hi everyone, here's a FAQ page with some helpful answers to questions I get asked often.
If you have a question or think there is something I should add to this, please let me know!
Can you check out my blog?
Yes, I'd be happy to! Send me an email with your details but please be patient for a response because I get a lot of emails of this nature.
Can I use your photos on my site/page/shop/etc?
You may use my photos as long as proper credit is given and the photos are unaltered. I have a great reader base who always alert me to people stealing photos! Much appreciated.
What topcoat do you use?
Seche Vite. I don't use anything else. I would not be able to do what I do if I didn't have it! For me it does not shrink and it does not peel, but some people have these issues. You might have to try multiple topcoats before you find one that works best with your nails.
What base coat and/or treatment do you use?
I use OPI Nail Envy (original formula) as my treatment and base coat. It works wonders for me and you should see how well it worked for my mom! I've been converted to a Nail Envy believer.
I also like Seche Retain.
Where do you get your polish and nail art stuff?
Polish I get mostly from professional beauty supply stores in my city - the kind where you need to be licensed to get in. I also buy from Sally Beauty, Winners, Chatters, Walmart, Shoppers and Lawtons. I also get a lot of stuff sent to me from friends around the world.
Online, I like to buy from Nail Polish Canada or Ninja polish.
For rhinestones and brushes and dotting tools, etc, I use eBay or Born Pretty!
How are your manicures so neat?
The trick is clean up. I use an angled makeup brush dipped in polish remover or acetone to clean up any polish that got on my skin or cuticle. Any cheap makeup brush will do, but you will need to replace it eventually as the acetone will deteriorate it over time. As well, the more you paint your nails, the easier it will be to paint neatly without cleanup.
What cuticle treatments do you use?
I swear by OPI products for my cuticles. Their Axoplex cuticle oil is like no other, and I'm addicted to Avojuice lotion, I have bottles of it all over my house. I also like to use Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream on my cuticles when they need that extra boost of moisture in a cream-form.
How much nail polish do you have?
Around 1400 bottles right now...
What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Canon Rebel XSi with an 18-55mm IS lens.
How do you do gradients?
This question was so frequently asked that I made a tutorial which you can see by clicking here but since I made that tutorial, a more popular technique emerged and a good tutorial can be found here. I like to combine both versions (my tutorial and then the second) for a perfect gradient!
How can you do your non-dominant hand?
Practice practice practice. I've been painting my nails since I was really little. Only recently, I became capable of painting my nails a solid color with no clean up. It really does take practice. You also need to just take it really slow with your non-dominant hand. Slow and steady wins the race!
How long does it take you to do your designs?
It varies. Something simple like leopard print or a Konad design might only take me 10 minutes, but more complicated freehand stuff can take much longer. I would say the longest I've spent on one manicure would be 2 hours, but it is rare that I devote so much time to one design!