Finally Chrome!

I bought Essie’s ‘No Place Like Chrome’ nail polish at Ulta last week, and I’ve been so excited to use it! My nails aren’t as strong and thick as they were because I just took off my blue gelish polish this afternoon, which always leaves my nails with some ridges and they aren’t as nice as I would like, but I just couldn’t wait to put on the chrome polish!

20130109-183343.jpg

20130109-183528.jpg

Advertisements

Matte About You!

So I recently posted about my girls’ day with my family, when we all went and got our nails done with gelish polish. It’s been a little over a week since I had it done, and my blue nails have stayed in amazing condition!

20130106-135108.jpg
But, I also took a shopping trip to Ulta last week and got Essie’s Matte About You, the matte finish, which I’ve been really excited to use, and I couldn’t resist trying it out over the gelish. I waited about a week just in case it messed them up, and this morning I used it finally! They came out super cute and I’m really happy with them(:

20130106-135500.jpg

Gelish!

Yesterday I had a friend ask if I could do gel polish, so I was really excited to whip out my UV light from Sally’s Beauty Supply , and my Gelish Basix Kit , and the few Gelish Polishes I’ve collected.
She couldn’t decide on a color, and I’ve got five, so we used all of them!

I originally planned to type out a tutorial like I would usually do, but I came across the instructions on the Sally’s website, so here they are:

Gelish Nails Instructions
Applying and removing your Gelish nails

What you’ll need:
Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish (Choose from 18 gorgeous shades!) Gelish Cleanser
Gelish pH Bond
Gelish Foundation Gel
Gelish Top It Off Gel Sealer Gelish Cleanser
Gelish Nourish Cuticle Oil Gelish Soak Off Gel Remover Gelish Mini Light
Four AA batteries for the light
Lint-free wipes Orange wood stick Cotton
Aluminum foil Cushion file
180 grit nail file
Toe separators if doing the toes
Optional: HandsDown Soak Off Gel Nail Wraps

Applying Gelish

Note: Each layer will remain tacky until you have done the final cure with Gelish Top It Off Gel Sealer and cleansed the nail.

GET YOUR NAILS READY
Apply the Gelish Cleanser onto a lint-free wipe.
Push back the cuticle and clean the surrounding nail.
Shape the natural nail.
Gently remove the shine on the natural nail with a cushion file.
Use the Gelish Cleanser on the lint-free wipe to remove the dust and clean the nail.

APPLY THE BOND
Apply Gelish pH Bond to the natural nail.
Apply a thin coat of Gelish Foundation Gel to the nail, then lightly stroke over the top and seal the edges of the nail.

CURE THE BOND
Place fingers in the Mini Light for one minute. See chart below for curing times with other lights.
Recommended: Cure four fingers at a time, then the thumbs together. When using the light on your toenails, open the light and use it on its side.
Use the orange wood stick to clean up any excess Gelish Foundation Gel from around the cuticle or under the nail.

APPLY THE POLISH
Apply a THIN layer of the Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish from the cuticle to the free edge. Be sure to seal the edges of the nail.
Note: Too thick of application will cause gel to not cure properly.

CURE THE POLISH
Place fingers in the Mini Light for two minutes. See chart below for curing time with other lights.
The surface of each layer will remain tacky when cured.

APPLY ANOTHER COAT
Apply another coat of polish and cure once more, as above.

SEAL YOUR NAILS
Apply a thin, light application of Gelish Top It Off Gel Sealer from cuticle to free edge. Use the side of the brush to apply the Gelish Top It Off Gel Sealer on all the edges of the natural nail to seal the edge.

CURE THE SEALER
Place fingers in the Mini Light for two minutes. See chart below for curing time with other lights.

CLEANSE YOUR NAILS
Your nails will be tacky at this point. Apply the Gelish Cleanser onto a clean lint-free wipe to remove the tacky surface. This step will not remove the Gel Soak Off Gel Polish unless the nail is not properly cured.

Note: If the color comes off when removing the tacky surface, the nail did not properly cure. Use Gelish Cleanser to remove all color, then restart the application procedure. You won’t need to push the cuticle back or shape the natural nail this time.

FINISHING TOUCH
Apply Gelish Nourish Cuticle Oil to the skin surrounding the nail.

For Removing Gelish
FILE YOUR NAILS
Using a 180 grift nail file, gently file the surface of the Gelish to break the seal and remove shine.
SOAK
Place a cotton saturated with Gelish Soak Off Gel Remover over the nail and wrap the tip of finger in aluminum foil and wait for 10 minutes.
Note: Leave the cotton on the nail covering the entire nail.
Tip: You can use HandsDown Soak Off Gel Nail Wraps for this procedure.
USE A WOOD STICK IF NECESSARY
If necessary, gently remove gel with orange wood stick. Be careful not to press into the nail.
APPLY CUTICLE OIL
Apply Gelish Nourish Cuticle Oil to the finger and skin surrounding the nail.

Here are her nails when I finished!

20130102-144450.jpg

Turtle Nails

So lately I have been doing my nails almost weekly and a lot of my good friends have taken notice, and a few have requested that I do theirs! One asked if I could paint turtles on her nails, and I gave it my best effort.
I did the base coats first, blue and yellow the way she wanted. Then came the tricky part. I needed a circle for the shell but I couldn’t decide whether I should do a black circle with green details or a green circle with black details. I went with the black circle at first, and that was a mistake in my part, only because my black brush is really thick. The nail I did the black circle came out pretty bad so I just covered the shell with purple glitter (lol).
For the rest of the nails, I made a green circle first, and then I used my black nail art pen ( it was less than a dollar at Walmart), and I outlined the green circle to make it a cleaner edge. Then I drew various circles and lines to make the shells look more real.
I used the same pen to draw little legs, a neck, and a head. Then I used a white nail polish with a thin brush to make dots for eyes, and when they were dry I used my marker again to add little pupils. I also added a heart and my name because she didn’t want turtles in her thumb nails. Lastly, I added a clear top coat to help it last longer.

20121231-162225.jpg
These nails were very simple to do and turned out super cute!
Any comments or questions or feedback you can find me at my email or on tumblr. 😀

Holiday Nails

20121229-212214.jpg

Forgot to post these last week, probably because they were pretty sloppy, but these were my nails for Christmas, and I used my new amaaazing Essie nail polish-Good As Gold.
I’m falling in love with this brand!! I just got their matte finish, Matte Me Crazy, and I can’t wait to use it on my my fingernails as soon as my gelish comes off (maybe a week or two). I already used them on my toenails, but nobody wants to are my piggy-toes (lol).

Family Nail Party

20121229-210745.jpg

Went to a little nail salon with the women in my family today and we all got gelish polish done (yay Groupon, lol). From 10 to 73 years old, all our nails are looking good(:
I don’t usually get my nails done, as I prefer to do my own, but it was a Christmas gift and getting your nails done together can be a really good way to bond, whether with family or your girlfriends. The gelish is really nice too because it goes on and dries very quickly and can last for two weeks or more!

Laser & Rainbow Nails

I haven’t blogged in over a week now, I’ve been crazy busy with Christmas and family. But I haven’t taken a break from doing nails!! And my family got me a bunch of new nail polishes for presents this year, which I’m really excited about. Anyway, one of my favorite cousins is visiting right now, and so, me being me, I did her nails, and here’s how:

I have so many nail polishes at this point that I literally have every color of the rainbow; red orange yellow green blue indigo violet and everything in between, so I made a striped rainbow across each of her nails. Also, I didn’t make them perfect or even try to, because they were just gonna get covered up anyways. 20121228-164026.jpg
Then I took some scotch tape and cut it up into a bunch of little strips, easy enough. I just taped then on my hand so they were easy to get to. 20121228-164122.jpg
Getting the tape strips done took a while, so by the time I was finished her nails were dry. I took the strips and made either lines across her nails or made two strips form a point in the middle of her nail. 20121228-164427.jpg
Once I had finished all the taping, I used my favorite quick-drying black polish from Wet ‘n Wild to cover her nails and the tape completely. 20121228-164753.jpg
This black usually dries in just a few minutes, but I probably waited close to fifteen minutes to make sure they were all dry before taking the tape off. I slowly took off each strip of tape, and voíla! I then added a topcoat so they’ll last longer, and they were complete!

20121228-165322.jpg

20121228-165405.jpg
These are some of my favorite nails I’ve done so far, I swear they look better everytime I look at them. Comment, or email me questions or any feedback! In trying to get more views on my blog! And don’t forget to check me out on tumblr!
Sabbsnails@yahoo.com
Sabbsnails.tumblr.com

Gevulde Speculaas Recipe

For as long as I can remember, every year at Christmas time my siblings and I head over to my Oma and Opa’s (my Dutch grandma and grandpa) to make Speculaas and Gevulde Speculaas, which are Dutch cookies that are to die for!!
My Opa passed away this summer, which was a very hard time for our family, and we’re all really missing him as we celebrate this season, but we thought he would want us to continue this fun family tradition(:
Most Americans are unfamiliar with Speculaas, and they are seriously missing out! It’s not that hard to make, so I thought I’d share the recipe. And don’t worry, it’s pretty simple to make, I just included a lot of helpful hints because most people are unfamiliar with this recipe. 😀

You need:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (sticks)
4 eggs (only 2 go in the mix, the others will be used later)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. Speculaaskruiden
3 cups flour
1/2 cup almond slivers
1 tbsp. butter or margerine (or non-stick cooking spray)
A mixer
Measuring cups
A baking brush
A small towel
A baking pan with at least and inch or two inch high sides
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

*Speculaaskruiden is a Dutch spice used specifically in making Speculaas, and it’s hard to find in the States (we get ours when relatives visit or we visit The Netherlands). You can make it yourself using this recipe I found , or you can try a Google search and see what you find.

First, you add all the sugar, butter and only TWO eggs and mix on medium until it has a consistent texture and color – it’s extremely important that you use two eggs and no more because even adding a third egg will make the mixture too thin, I know from accidental experience lol)
Next, you can continue mixing while adding in the baking soda, salt, and Speculaaskruiden (the recipe says teaspoons, but I always use tablespoons; it doesn’t really make a difference, it just adds more flavor. I’d recommend using more if you like the smell of the spice).
When these are all nicely mixed in, you want to turn off the mixer and add the flower. Before turning the mixer on, I always put my towel over the top of the mixer because the flour will cause a mini snow storm otherwise! Mix on low until all the ingredients are well mixed together.

20121221-085704.jpg

20121221-085649.jpg
Then your dough should be ready, and it shouldn’t be sticky because you want to be able to roll it up into a ball. If it is a little sticky, you can try to add some more flour, but if you add a ton of flour it will become too dry-it’s a delicate balance. Either way, sticky or not, it will still come out tasting delicious, and if its sticky it will just be more difficult to get in the pan.
Now you want to roll the dough into balls, I usually do six or eight, and set them aside for a minute while you prep your pan.

20121221-085711.jpg You could use some form of non-stick spray, but what we’ve always done was to coat the pan with a thin layer of butter using a baking brush.
Then you can take the dough balls, set them in your pan and then flatten it out until the whole pan is covered. Try not to get any on the sides because that will make it difficult to take out later.
Then take your remaining two eggs, and separate them into the whites and the yolks (you want the yolks). Stir the yolks with a fork until they’re all liquidy, and then coat the top of your flattened dough with this, using the brush again. You don’t have to use all of it, just get a nice full layer. Use this to have your almond slivers stick the the Speculaas. The yolk also make a sort of shiny finish that looks delicious!

20121221-085729.jpg

Now you can put your pan in the oven on 350 F for 45 minutes.
When you take it out, let it cool for a few minutes, and then turn it over onto wax paper. Once it’s completely cooled, you can cut it into small squares, and then what I usually do is put little sections into aluminum foil, turn them almond side up, and put them in the fridge. Speculaas, I think, is much better served once its cooled.

Now, the title of this post is Gevulde Speculaas, so I’ll share how to do that quickly – it’s my absolute favorite!

The only difference between plain Speculaas and Gevulde Speculaas is that Gevulde Speculaas has an almond spice filling. So when you roll the dough into six balls, you cover the bottom of the pan only with three of them. Then you add a thin layer of almond spice, and add the rest of the dough on top of this.

20121221-085723.jpg That’s the only change. Of course, I don’t think you can find almond spice at your local grocery, but it’s relatively simple to make:
Take a few cups of raw almonds and put them in a pot of water. Bring this to a boil and then remove the almonds. Now that they’re all wet, the skins will literally slide right off if you squeeze them. Then you can put these in the oven for a few minutes to dry, and then use a food processor (we used an old coffee grinder) and mash ’em all up. Then for every two cups of almonds you have, add two cups of sugar, five egg whites, and a few drops of pure almond extract. Mix this up, put it in the fridge over night and voila! And it smells soooo good!

20121221-103901.jpg

20121221-103914.jpg

20121221-103924.jpg

And the final product (or about an eighth of it)

20121221-125752.jpg

Your Brain on Music

20121219-135919.jpg
So, here’s a little drawing I did (I know, it’s awful!) of something I saw on tv the other day. Basically, the top one is supposed to be the brain of a non-musician, and the bottom shows the effects of playing the piano and the violin on your brain. Your brain will actually expand in certain areas if you play one or both of these instruments! Of course I don’t know any of the science behind this, but how exciting is that! Especially for me as someone who has played the piano since I was six years old! I’ve also been thinking about learning to play the violin, since I have my dad’s old one, and this really makes me want to do it! Also discovering Lindsey Stirling this last week makes violin seem so awesome!!

Shout out to any piano players out there, no matter what level! I’m in love with my Kawai, but comment your favorite/choice piano(:
And any violinists, I would really love any tips or any advice about playing the violin, it has such a beautiful sound and I so appreciate any feedback!

Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself. ~Henry Ward Beecher

^And it can make your brain grow:D

20121219-142851.jpg

20121219-142953.jpg

It’s A Beautiful Day

It's A Beautiful Day

Even though this isn’t nail related, I couldn’t help but share how beautiful the sunrise looked today! It reminds me of how blessed we all are to have something so gorgeous at our disposal every single morning, whether or not we get up early enough to look at it. It’s seven days until Christmas, and as much as I wish it would snow (in real life, not just on my blog screen lol), waking up to this perfection has really put me in a holiday mood, and it reminded me of one of my favorite songs, so I can’t help but include the lyrics! (:

“Sky falls, you feel like
it’s a beautiful day!
Don’t let it get away”
-U2
<3<3<3