Doing your own nails…why it’s better…

I’ve had a long relationship with doing my own nails. Ever since I was a teenager, searching for the trendiest colours, whether it be gun metal black, or a candy inspired pastel-y blue; it’s been something that as a nail art enthusiast, I’ve known all about. As a teenager, I didn’t really have the cash or the need to go to a salon to get my nails done…and as much as the thrill of getting pampered is these days now that I’m older with a ton more on my plate…one thing still stands; I want to do my own nails.  I prefer to shape, paint and design my own nails…and here’s why…

Reasons to do DIY manicures:

  1. It’s easy to do. There is a misconception that a manicurist can do it better than you. Well, maybe they are better at painting within the lines, but ultimately, all you need is: a base coat, two colour coats and a top coat. The real trick is keeping all the coats thin so they dry relatively fast…(a cool tip for setting the polish real quick? Rub each nail with coconut/olive oil for a minute after the final coat to help it set)
  2. The myth that a manicurist shapes better…this is not true. Invest in some basic nail files, coarse for shaping and fine for smoothing, and you’ll get the loveliest shapes with your nails. My go to shape? An almond shape…short on the sides and softly arced on the tips.
  3. The misconception that the quality of the polish is better: there is so much noise out there today about gel nails, seaweed nails, and all this stuff. But when it boils down to it, the salons are using the same paints that you can buy at any quality beauty supply shop.
  4. Health reasons: you can choose to buy and use formaldehyde free polishes, “three free”, and “seven free”…basically, you can get gentler products that contain less toxins in them if you really wanted to and you should for the sake of you and your nail health.
  5. Think of the health and ethical rights of manicurists/beauty workers. I recently read this scary article about how in New York City, manicures are so cheap, like less than $10 a pop, and the reason for that is not pretty: a lot of the salon workers are immigrants that don’t get paid well, and are exploited in terrible work conditions.  Not only that, but they are exposed to really toxic nail enamel solvents and chemicals and it affects the worker’s health (even their unborn babies if they are pregnant!)  I also feel like it places a big divide between more fortunate women and less fortunate ones…At the end of the day we are all people, so don’t support these back-alley nail salons.  At least go to a higher end salon that is known to treat their workers right and pay adequately for the luxury of being pampered.
Have fun with designing and creating colour combinations…I always do!

So there it is, my 5 main reasons why it’s better to DIY your manicures.  Yes, it takes more time and effort to do your own nails, but at the end of the day, they are your nails and if you want them to glow and shine…it is a creative job that should not be “outsourced”.  🙂

Advertisements

My Spring DIY projects!

Spring is a beautiful time to the year.  In pagan beliefs, it is a time for rituals of cleaning, renewal and rebuilding.  With that sentiment, it has seemed to fuel my current DIYs, and this is a douzy of on article with 3 awesome projects for fashion and home that I’d like to share with you all!

#1 Distressed and broken t-shirts

I work at a high end fashion boutique, so when raggedy beat up shirts started showing up at the store and I also saw this look in movies and tv, I wanted to get it.  But I wanted to get it for free.  So of course I would DIY this look, it’s so easy to. Who doesn’t have a t shirt in the drawer that is not getting used these days and could benefit from a make-over?  I used an old graphic tee that I barely wore and after a few tutorials from youtube on how to compose a good distressed pattern, I went out on my own.. and I quite like it. Try it yourself, it is really easy, but I recommend you distress a trial t-shirt you can dispose of first before doing it on the one you want to keep.  It really helps you learn what kind of distressing works and where you want it on the shirt…

I really like what I did on the hip/edge part of the shirt, and the sleeves are pretty cool too. all I need is to fade the graphic a bit more somehow…

#2 Uneven Jean Hem

This trend is a bit more low key.  I have only seen it a few times, and it looks best with healed shoes or backless mule type slip ons or loafers. I like how it’s edgy, and adds just the right amount of street cred to a boring full length jean.  And it’s far from being the pedestrian looking cropped cuffed jean.  To get this look, you break apart the seams carefully with scissors on both sides of the jean leg bottom. Then cut straight across on the front panel, higher than the cut on the back panel.  I distressed the cut edges a bit too. And voila, you have an interesting looking jean hem that you will love to sport on errand days or for just getting out on the street…

Looks good with any kind of heels, chunky or stilettos. I think mules or slide on flats with it would be cool for the summer too.

 

#3 Bunnies from unwanted gloves:

Ever wanted to have a cute plush toy made from things you didn’t think could be cute?  Enter these old gloves I had lying around my house that were not pretty enough to be worn in the winter, or too mismatched from losing the other pair over various winters.  I decided to make stuffed bunnies out of them for Easter. I cut off the thumb, the pinky, and middle finger, leaving just two finger for ears.  Then I sewed up all the holes, and added some leg shapes by cutting a slit at the bottom of the glove for where they would be.  I stuffed the gloves, and added whiskers and a ball tail.  And now I have the cutest stuffed bunnies this side of the world!  I am selling these on Etsy, so if you want one, just make an enquiry!

So cute, and handmade looking. Their appeal is the simplicity of the bunnies and the idea to reuse gloves.

What do you think of my Spring DIYs?  Are they fun and easy enough to inspire your projects?  I love being creative and re-inventing materials to make clothes work better for oneself’s life…

DIY recipe for a Slim Down Tea!

I grew up as a girl, so it was hard to avoid seeing all the fads diets, the pills, plans, everything marketed at women to buy into and believe some product that would make you slimmer.  The problem with big business using vanity to dupe us and get an extra buck has always been there. It seems to be a way for companies to grab the last dollar you have at the bottom of your messy purse…As if life wasn’t hard enough with everything to juggle, but we also have to constantly weed out false marketing scams and claims of companies bent on taking advantage of the situation. What a hard sell! But I know we’ve all fallen at least once for any of these product claims.  Wouldn’t it be great to find something that really works, is healthy, simple and DIY?

So recently I concocted something I believe to be the real deal.  All natural, detoxifying and healthy.  I’ve made an awesome tea drink with simple ingredients that can fight the bodily malfunctions that add short term gain to the frame.  Things such as water retention, bloating, gas.  These are huge factors in the difference between having a slim pretty day, and a bloated chubby day.  And I will share this recipe with you, because, you know…we’re friends! 🙂  Best thing of all? It’s caffeine free!

It looks kind of murky, like pond water, it will be a greenish brown! It tastes kinda bitter and spicy, but it works!
It looks kind of murky, like pond water; it is greenish brown in colour! It tastes kinda bitter and spicy, but it works!

Recipe for my “Slim Down Tea”

  • 1/4 cup of finely sliced ginger root (fresh)
  • 2 bags of herbal dandelion leaf tea (find it at health food stores)
  • 1.5 liters of fresh cold water
  1. Start to boil the water in a a small/medium sauce pan
  2. Slice up a knob of ginger finely. I like to do 1″ long thin slivers of ginger because I think the ginger really releases all its magic into the tea when it is cut finely.
  3. Place the sliced ginger into already turned on pot of water…wait for it to reach rapid boil, then lower the heat to a gentle, but rolling simmer.
  4. Simmer the ginger for 15-20 min. Any longer and it gets kind of bitter and burned, too soon and you don’t have the ginger spiciness in it.
  5. Turn off the heat.  Drop the bags of dandelion leaf tea into it, and cover the pot with a lid, while steeping everything for another 30 mins.
  6. Remove tea bags and strain the tea with a spoon while pouring into a pitcher.  Refrigerate and enjoy for up to 1-3 days!

Why does this concoction work? The reason is because ginger is a soothing cure all to stomach pains and digestion problems.  It can also control bloating to a minimum.  It is also super good for you! Antioxidants!  Dandelion leaf is a natural diuretic and aids in helping your body shed excess water, discouraging water retention and also providing potassium, a mineral which many people lack day to day. Put these two plant powers together and your stomach and body will be thanking you, and you will feel a difference.  I like to take this tea cold, in the afternoon to evening…and also all day before any big event! What tricks do you pull to give you an extra edge against feeling pudgy?

Yummy! I like using this tea all day before an event in the evening.
Yummy! I have a tendency to retain water like crazy, but little tricks help me.