Got a question about my blog? About my tools and techniques? This is the place to start looking! Keep checking back for updated information and feel free to ask more questions if you can't find the answers here.
Who are you?
My name is Katy, and I'm 26 years old. It's nice to e-meet you!
Where do you live?
I live in Boulder, Colorado.
Why is your URL "blognailedit" instead of "nailedit"?
The phrase "nailed it" is a popular internet meme, so its popularity reaches farther than the nail art community, and actually came first. So that name was taken. I figured since I would be blogging, I could just add the prefix of "blog" to "nailedit", and thus, "blognailedit" was born. Unfortunately, some people read it as "blog nail edit", which is incorrect.
Are you a nail tech? Where did you learn what you do?
I am currently not a nail technician, but I am attending cosmetology school to become one! Almost everything you've seen has been either self-taught, or digested through the various outlets on the internet, including YouTube and my favorite nail art blogs.
What made you start blogging?
I got my start in blogging in 2011, after my sister introduced me to Konad stamping plates. I thought it was so fun and creative. I typed it into Google, and one of the results that came up was Scrangie's blog. Seeing her beautiful swatches, I looked up other nail blogs. This led me to Chloe's Nails, and seeing her homemade nail art techniques gave me the push to try and share it myself!
Where did you get your thumb rings?
My boyfriend, Andy, gave them to me as an anniversary present in college. They came from a local silver shop in Santa Cruz, CA.
How often do you change your polish?
Daily. Sometimes it's just a coat of polish, which I won't normally post, but if it's exciting nail art, I'll definitely share it with you here on Nailed It!
What's best about blogging for you?
My favorite part of blogging is seeing my designs shared across the internet, and recreated on other girls' nails. Nail art's a blast, so the more people doing it, the better!
How many bottles of polish do you own?
There's over 800 bottles in my collection currently. I love each and every one of them, and wish I had more people living near me I could paint them on!
Any tips for a new nail blogger?
- Blog often!
- Learn to take high-quality pictures and post those.
- Keep your hands in great shape.
- Keep your blog focused on one topic (as tempting as it is to talk about what you had at that one restaurant the other night).
- Along similar lines, don't over-share on your blog. There is such a thing as too much information. Your readers may be deterred, and while they are sympathetic to your plight, they may not return.
- Keep it simple, and don't flood your page with flashy graphics that take a long time to load.
- Get social! Join all the big social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. If you're handy with a video camera, you could even join YouTube's team of video mavens. Try to keep your name for all the different outlets the same too, so if someone just searches for your name (e.g., "blognailedit"), their results will pull up all your social media sites.
Any tips for hand and cuticle care?
I recommend looking at my page on how to give yourself a manicure. Here are the essentials though:
- Keep your hands, nails, and cuticles all moisturized thoroughly. Use cuticle balm and lotion during the day, and cuticle oil on those nights your cuticles are feeling ragged and sad. I like to wear soft cotton gloves on those nights to really keep my skin moist all night.
- Maintain the strength of your nails with a strength-building base coat.
- Lotion up your hands after each wash.
I dip a very small, angled paint brush in 100% acetone to get small bits of polish around my cuticles off. The acetone just makes it a quicker process, but any remover would work eventually. Be sure you're practicing staying in the lines too, so you won't need to do much cleanup at all.
How do you trim your nails?
I exclusively use a nail file (never clippers). The grit strength I prefer for my thinner nails is 240. The grit strength is usually printed directly on the nail file.
How do I prevent staining on my nails?
Always use a base coat when painting your nails. Even if it's not a dark polish, it can stain your nails, so applying a layer of base coat will prevent that. If your nails are already stained, begin using a base coat from now on.
To help in the removal of stains, try rubbing them with whitening toothpaste and buffing off a thin layer from the top of the whole surface of the nail. Eventually, the staining will be almost entirely removed as your nails grow out.
Which nail polish remover do you use?
I prefer 100% acetone for its quick removal of polish.
How do I remove dark nail polish?
Saturate your cotton ball or pad with remover. Hold it on your nail to let the remover saturate your nail. Then, lightly twist the cotton on your nail, while slowly gliding toward the free edge. Try not to rub the cotton on your skin - keep it focused on your nail.
Additionally, try not to reuse cotton balls. You may need upwards of 20 cotton balls to remove all the polish from your nails and cuticles, but a clean cotton ball will prevent the polish from redepositing onto your nails or fingers as you try to get the rest off.
I also love the scrubbing tubs, like the one mentioned in this post. Eventually, you will need to replace your tub as the acetone inside of it darkens and dissipates.
May I post your pictures on my blog?
You may repost pictures from my blog, as long as the proper credit is given and plainly visible. You can see my guidelines for posting here.
What camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D3100. I don't currently use a macro lens, just the standard lens that comes with the camera (18-55mm).
How do you take and edit your pictures?
I fiddled with all the camera's settings until I started producing pictures that made both the nails and my skin look nice. (I literally just turned dials and pushed buttons until it looked nice!)\
I do all my editing of my pictures in Photoshop CS5. Editing includes adding the watermark, fixing color issues (usually caused by neon pinks), correcting stray cat hairs, and occasionally making my hands look more appealing (hiding scrapes, softening dry patches, and so on).
Some of your pictures seem to show a matte finish on your nails. What's up with that?
The light tent I use diffuses all direct light away from my nails, so the shiny effect on my nails is sometimes diminished. I will let you know if I use a matte top coat, otherwise, just assume it's Seche Vite.
Where can I buy nail polish?
I've got a running list of nail polish retailers, both online and in-store, available here! Check back for updates as I find more.
What are your favorite top coats?
My all-time favorite top coat is Seche Vite. It dries quickly, provides a lot of shine, and is readily available (and refillable) at drug stores and nail supply stores alike.
What are your favorite base coats?
I've gone around the block looking for good base coats. I've found a few favorites, including OPI's Nail Envy, Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength, and ORLY's Nailtrition. For me, one of the most important things to look for in a base coat is its ability to strengthen or elongate my nails, not necessarily hold the polish on (since I change it so often). Whether they actually do anything they advertise isn't quite clear, but I like to think it helps. :)
Do you use special brushes for more intricate designs?
I use a small striping brush for the majority of my designs. You can buy a set of three of them from nail supply stores or online. In the set of three offered here, I regularly use the red one. You can also just buy a regular paint brush, and trim the crap out of the brush hairs until it reaches a width you like! Just look for one that doesn't use artificial hairs, as those don't taper as well at their ends.
How do you clean your brushes?
If you're not sold on 100% acetone to remove polish from your skin and nails, you'll definitely want to invest in some to clean your brushes. I dip and swirl my brushes in clean acetone, and then wipe and reshape them on a towel (or paper towel). Try not to squish your brush's bristles out of their natural shape, as that will cause the hairs to flair and mess up your designs.
Where can I get dotting tools?
Dotting tools are available at any nail supply store, but also readily available online. Try sites like Amazon, Winstonia, and Born Pretty Store for all your supply needs.
How do you store your nail polish?
I store my nail polish in two different, but equally awesome ways. The first is a set of Helmer drawers from Ikea. The second is in the 3-drawer storage blocks by Recollections. These are available in Michael's Crafts stores in the scrapbooking section. I have 4 of these blocks, which is a total of 12 drawers.
Where can I get 3D nail art objects?
I don't use much besides rhinestones and studs, but I think if you try nail supply stores, or online retailers like Amazon, Winstonia, and Born Pretty Store, you'll find what you're looking for. But again, check my list of Where to Shop.
How do you get your striping tape to stay put?
The edges of your tape always want to lift. The trick is to get either top coat or nail glue underneath these pesky edges so they can't lift as easily. I prefer nail glue because it really holds tight. Just dab a little of it on the end of a toothpick, and stick that under the tape. Then, with the clean side of the toothpick, push the tape down on top of the dollop of glue or top coat, and hold it there for about 10 seconds, until it's got a nice hold.
Where do you get stamping plates?
Stamping has become a huge trend in nail art, so you can readily find stamping plates just by searching for that term on Amazon. Companies that specialize in plate making include Konad, Red Angel, MASH, Cheeky, Winstonia, Bundle Monster, MoYou, Pueen and Shany. Also, be sure to check out Spellbinding Nails, who takes great care to bring her readers all the stamping news.
Do I need special polish for stamping?
While some polish is manufactured and sold specifically for stamping, if you just look for specific traits in any nail polish, you can determine if it will be good for stamping. These traits include:
- Metallics (especially the China Glaze Romantique collection)
- Creme polishes that reach full opacity in one coat
- Polishes that have a consistency similar to melted honey
How do you store your plates to keep them from getting scratched?
I store my regular, round plates in a small, circular container I picked up in the $1 bins at Target one day. As long as they don't have room to shuffle to switch positions in a stack, they won't scratch one another, so look for something cozy for them. You can also add paper or foam backing to them just by simply tracing their shape on the material, then cutting it out and gluing it to the back of the plates. Or, adhere magnets to them and display them nicely on your Helmer or fridge!
My scraper is scratching my plates! Help!
Throw out your metal scraper. Or if you haven't bought one, don't bother. A plastic card such as an old gift card or credit card will work just as well, and the plastic won't damage your plates.