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Basic Nail Art Tools for DIY Beginners

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So you want to try your hand at DIY nail art but where do you start? The first thing you need to do is get your hands on some basic nail art tools. This is a list of my 5 essential DIY nail art tools.

1) Nail polish

The essentials are: a base coat (to prevent nail discolouration and allow your nail polish to glide on smoothly), nail polish, and a top coat (to ensure your manicure lasts for more than a day). I like to use a quick drying top coat cos that saves oodles of time and is so convenient to use, but it’s also good to have a normal top coat or clear polish in hand for certain more complex nail designs.

After trying loads of different brands, I’ve found that it’s so important to invest in good quality nail polish. These are more expensive but they’re worth it cos they last longer, dry faster and don’t get lumpy. I’ve had such bad experiences with cheap nail polish that now I’m just sticking to brands that I’ve used before (and like) and reputable brands. Orly, OPI, China Glaze, Sally Hansen and Essie are some of the good ones. It’s also a good idea to test out polish from a brand you’ve not tried before buying it.

2) Nail dotters

Nail dotters help create dot and circle patterns. I use these all the time to create simple polka dot designs. They come in a variety of sizes. Starting out, it’ll be good to get your hands on one that has a medium sized round nib on one end and a small one on the other so you can choose the size of the dots you want to create.

HOW TO USE: Find a plastic sheet and drop a few blobs of nail polish onto it. I like to use name cards that are hard and feel a bit plasticky for this cos they’re small and disposable. Dip the round nib of your dotter into the polish. Try doing a few dots on the sheet/name card till you get the right size and consistency that you want. Do the same onto the surface of your nail. Be careful not to use too much pressure, that may cause the dots to look deformed. Remember to clean them after use and dry thoroughly. These tools are made of metal and susceptible to rusting.

MAKE YOUR OWN: It’s also easy to create your own nail dotter using stuff you have lying around your home. Bobby pins are a cheap and convenient alternative. Just bend them out straight, and use the round tips at the end like normal dotters. Because all you need is a round end, you can use anything that resembles a dotter, like the back of an eyeliner pencil cap, for example.

3) Nail stripers

These, to me, are an absolute essential. They are nail polishes that come with a long, thin brush rather than the usual flat and broad ones. I use them for painting lines and adding random flicks of colour. They are so easy to use and very versatile. I recommend getting two colours, white and black, when you first start. Brands like LA Colors have a wide range of colours and come pretty cheap, so have fun with it!

If you don’t want to have to buy a new polish every time you want to try another colour, you could alternatively get a nail striper brush. However, not all brushes are good for nail polish. I’ve tried nail polish on a few and they completely ruined the hairs on the brush. Use water-based nail paint if you must. This makes it much easier to clean the brushes. If you’ve used nail polish, use acetone, some soap water and a paper towel to clean your brush.

4) Stationery tape

Ever wondered how DIY nail artists create super neat and straight lines and stripes? Using tape you can create many different geometric and striped designs.

Stationery tape is one of the best tools EVER for nail art. Any sort of normal scotch tape is fine, but you can experiment and see which give you the best results. They’re great for creating neat lines and geometric shapes. Just cut the tape into the desired strip/shape, paste it onto your nail and paint over. Easy as that!

USEFUL TIPS:

  • Always make sure that your base nail polish is thoroughly dry though. Use a quick-drying top coat like Seche Vite if you don’t want to wait.
  • Cut the tape before you start painting your nails so you avoid smudging when you try to cut it with wet nails.
  • Paste the tape somewhere where it’ll be easily removable so that you don’t get them stuck when you want to paste them on your nails.
  • Use tweezers to remove the tape to prevent accidentally messing up your nails.
  • If you mess up, you don’t have to start from scratch again. Use a nail art brush and touch up where necessary. This usually does the trick.

5) Nail art brushes

If you’re really serious about doing nail art, you might want to consider investing in a good set of nail art brushes. The main types of brushes for nail art are fan-shaped brushes, flat brushes, flat angled brushes, thin brushes (for detail) and long stripers. These brushes can be purchased conveniently (and rather affordably) in a set. The Bundle Monster New Pro 20pc Nail Art Design Brushes from Amazon is a pretty good bargain and comes with a dotter.

MAKE YOUR OWN: You don’t need to use nail art brushes for nail art, you could even use your usual paintbrush. Just trim it to the shape you desire and use it like a nail art brush! It’s convenient and not to mention cheaper to start with a paintbrush.

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Beauty

Purple Professional Nail Polish Review

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Purple nail polish comes in so many different shades that it can be worn throughout the seasons to nearly any occasion. There are lavender, eggplant, and true purple nail polishes popping up everywhere.

There are even bright, neon magentas that have been showing up. Purple nail polish looks great on most skin tones and can add a huge contrast if you pick the right one. Darker purples will really show up against fair skin and lighter ones will create a huge difference on darker skin. The range of purple shades vary so much that they can be worn in a professional environment or even on a special night out. Here are some different shades of purple nail polish and how they can be worn:

Pale lavender nail polishes have become very popular. They come in extreme pastels and even brighter lilac shades. Lavender polishes are very subtle and are perfect in an office environment. They can be worn with blacks or other purple attire and accessories. Lavender shades are very natural looking, but if you have darker skin they will create a huge contrast. Try using pale lavender nail polish on the tips of your nails for a twist on the classic french manicure. You can even pair a pale purple polish with other pastel shades by alternating them on each nail. For the perfect shade of lavender nail polish check our “nice is nice”, “st. lucia lilac”, “lilacism”, and “looking for love” by Essie.

True purple polishes and magenta add a great pop of color and really stand out against fair skin. They are perfect for summer months and can be paired with a bright sun dress. Since tangerines are super popular right now, try wearing a bright purple with a tangerine top or dress for the perfect contrast of colors. True purples are suitable for casual office environments but try to shy away from bright magentas in a professional settings. These colors are great for polka dotted nails and could be mixed with a lilac nail polish for a great effect. If you are looking for a great purple or magenta nail polish try “sure shot” by Essie or “Justin Beiber” by Nicole.

Dark, eggplant purples are ideal for a date night or a sophisticated event because they give a dark, sexy vibe without seeming overwhelming. Deep purples are a great alternative to dark black nail polishes. There are many different shades of dark purples including rich rose shades, eggplant shades, and maroon shades. There are even some purple nail polishes that have a rich brownish tint. You could pair a rich purple shade with a pale violet dress, a purple dress, or a black dress. This shade would also create a great contrast against gray apparel or accessories. Consider painting both your fingernails and toenails this shade and letting your toes peek through peep-toe pumps for a sensual vibe. For the perfect dark purple shades take a look at “plumberry”, “raspberry”, “angora cardi”, “jamaica me crazy”, and “big spender” by Essie.

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Beauty

iPhone TV Online

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The iPhone continues to amaze millions with its capabilities. The most recent trend has been with online video.

While it is true that some video does not work on the iPhone (i.e. Flash), the important thing to note is that H.264 and Quicktime based streaming video does.

With that well understood, a variety of major studios have placed video content online for the iPhone.

Full episodes include 30 Rock, Beverly Hills 90210, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Crusoe, Days of our Lives, Heroes, Kath & Kim, Knight Rider, Life, Lipstick Jungle, MacGyver, My Own Worst Enemy, The Office, Smart Girls at the Party, Star Trek, and The Young and the Restless.

Webisodes and segments include Battlestar Galactica, Cartoon Networks’s, Flapjack, Disney’s Pixar Mater’s Tall Tales, The Late Show with David Letterman, Mythbusters, Criss Angel’s Mindfreak, as well as other selections on the ABC, Animal Planet, Biography, Discovery, E! Online, Food Network, G4 TV, and Travel Channel sites.

Previews, sports, and news clips are also available on CBS News, CBS Sports, ESPN, FOX Sports Network, MSNBC, and The Weather Channel.

So what’s the catch? The iPhone is a bit small to watch for extended periods, and generally, Wi-Fi over 3G is recommended.

So would you, since you could? In general, the video on the iPhone is perfect for catching a current news clip of a pilot landing on water or amusing the kids while waiting for the doctor.

To find all the great video sites for the iPhone, open the Safari browser and type in “iphone.spreety.com”.

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The Truth About Ingrown Toenail Home Remedies

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When she walked into the living room, Billy was sitting on the couch. His sock and shoe lay on the floor. He was staring closely at his big toe. Then he looked up at his mother and said “I think I have an ingrown toenail. Its been hurting since last week, but I didn’t want you to take me to the doctor. I was hoping it would just go away.”

Ingrown toenails can be painful. But the thought of going to the doctor seems to bother some kids even more. Mix a teenager’s emerging independence with a little fear of doctor’s offices, and its no wonder they wait to ask for help.

There are many home remedies for ingrown toenails. Some work and some don’t. Some are even the same as those a pediatrician would recommend. Once you understand the causes and various home treatments for ingrown toenail, you can decide for yourself which might be best.

An ingrown toenail begins when any part of the toenail gets caught in the skin around the nail. The skin then becomes irritated and inflamed. If the piece of nail is sharp, the skin can actually become punctured or cut by the jagged corner of the nail. If the toenail punctures the skin causing an open wound, bacteria and infection can develop. The toe becomes red, swollen and very painful.

The most common home remedy for ingrown toenails is to soak the foot in warm Epsom salts. Soaking the foot this way can soften the skin around the nail. This can make the area less inflamed and less painful. In some cases it can be enough to make let the ingrown piece of nail become free.

Some people think that Epsom salt soaks can cure an ingrown toenail. It is true that a high concentration of Epsom salts can kill bacteria that cause infection. However, Epsom salts can also kill the fibroblast cells that heal wounds. If there is an open wound or an infection, Epsom salt soaks can prolong healing.

Petroleum jelly applied to an ingrown nail is another common home treatment. Patients have said they think Vaseline will soften the nail and let it slide out of the ingrown nail fold. While Vaseline will soften the skin, it also traps a great deal of moisture. This can cause the skin to become too moist and break down. If the skin breaks down, you have a much higher chance of bacteria getting in and causing an infected ingrown toenail.

Another common home remedy is to stuff cotton under the corner of the nail. The idea is that you might be able to hold the nail up away from the skin long enough to let it calm down. But this usually back-fires. The cotton actually creates more pressure on the skin under the toenail. Cotton also holds in moisture that can encourage an infection.

Another myth about ingrown toenails is that you can cut a V-shaped piece of nail out of the center of the toenail. The idea is that the gap you cut in the middle will slowly move together, pulling the corners of the nail in to free the ingrown nail at the side of the toe. Unfortunately, this is impossible. The nail plate itself is very rigid and fixed in placed by little grooves that prevent this from happening. Cutting a “V” in the nail won’t help.

Some people can actually free the ingrown nail, just by cutting out the piece of toenail that is caught in the skin. Podiatrists typically warn against trying to do this yourself at home because it can make it worse, but sometimes it will fix the ingrown toenail. But you must be very careful to remove ALL of the corner of the nail that is stuck.

Frequently people will try to remove the nail and only get part of it. They get some relief, just because there is less pressure down in the nail groove. However, the piece that is left behind is a sharp little sliver called a spicule.

So the toe feels better for a few weeks, but the spicule is getting longer, as the nail grows out. If you then trip over a curb or bump the toe against a table leg. And whammo… that little spicule pokes right into the skin in the corner of the nail fold. The ingrown toenail returns with a vengeance.

Massaging the nail plate after you shower or bathe may be the safest way to try to work the ingrown toenail free. Just don’t keep trying if it is painful. You should also stop if there is any drainage. Drainage can mean infection.

The biggest risk with an ingrown toenail is that it will become infected. And any infection toenail needs medical attention. Ingrown toenail infections occur more in people with diabetes. Infections are also common in ingrown toenails that have been getting worse for several days. One misconception is that you can simply cure an ingrown toenail by taking antibiotic pills. The simple truth is that you need to remove the irritating piece of nail and cure the infection as well.

One of the best kept secret home remedies is a podiatry house call. A podiatrist is a foot doctor and a true toenail expert. They are experts trained to heal ingrown toenails with the least discomfort. Many podiatrists offer home visits to treat toenail problems. That way, neither Mom nor little Billy has to worry about going to the doctor’s office.

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