Nail Art: Phases of the Moon Nails

So here's the story of how I came up with this nail tutorial:
"I see the moon, the moon sees me. God bless the moon, and God bless me." Have you ever heard that saying before? I used say it when I was a kid. I even hand stitched the saying onto a cloth for my Granny Sugar as a little girl. It hung in a frame until she passed away. It's in my room now. I say this because I've always had this fascination with the moon.

I love this bracelet, and it inspired the tutorial. The moon's phases have always been a reminder to me that things will change. Nothing is permanent, and you can rely on that. So the bad moments in life won't last, but the good moments won't either, so don't take them for granted.

I wanted to do some nail art featuring some of the phases of the moon, but every time I have, I've done it differently, at least a dozen ways and with a few color combos. I wanted to make this as easy as possible, so for those of us who can't draw fancy nail art, give this technique for my phases of the moon nails a try.

You'll need:
  • 2 polishes--I chose a white base coat and Essie's Penny Talk, a kind of copper/rose gold, but as stated above I've done this with plenty of other combos
  • print out of the moon phases
  • toothpick
  • plastic
  • top clear coat
Many moons ago (see what I did there?) I came up with this technique. I would stick something into the clear front pocket of my binder. I'd paint over the design with polish, peel it off, and stick onto my nails. Years later I still use this! In fact, you can see it in an old St Pats nails tutorial here.

And that's the technique--we're going to make peel-able decals. 
  1. Print out your design.
  2. Place it under a piece of clear plastic. The sturdier the better.
  3. Fill in the design using your polish and a toothpick (or something similar).
  4. Allow to dry, and depending on the thickness of the polish, repaint until it will be thick enough to peel off.
  5. Paint base coat, and while base coat is still wet, place the decal on the nail.
  6. Paint over with a clear top coat to seal in the design.
And that's it! I've done this a dozen ways, seriously. You can alter this technique to paint a long rectangle onto the plastic, and then using nail scissors, cut out the designs you'd like. Stamping, stenciling, Sharpies, lots of options!

What's on your nails?
Do you ever try nail art?


Pro Makeup the Pros Love (That You Can Buy!)

The world of professional makeup artists has long been something that dazzled me, beginning with my Grandmother's beauty shop.

For several years her salon was inside of a house, with each room designated for a different service.

This is fairly commonplace now in big salons, and even harkens back to the famous Max Factor studio in Hollywood, but as a kid, I was fascinated.

One room was for washing hair, one for styling, one for nails, one for the hair dryers, one for massages, etc. I remember thinking how cool I was as a kid, strolling into the break room to get a glass bottle Coke from the machine and watching the customers' transformations. But my favorite was the makeup room.

Inside was a full Hollywood setup--the big round vanity lights framing a mirror, a director's chair that you sat in, and tons of makeup, some even from her own makeup line. I felt like a movie star in there.

There was always a mystery between professional makeup brands vs what was sold in stores. Makeup artists use a variety of brands, including what's sold in drugstores, Sephora, etc, but I wanted to share brands you might not have heard of. You used to only be able to purchase some of these items if you had a cosmetology license, but now that's not the case. Today I wanted to demystify that world and share with you some makeup the pros use that you can buy.

The Basics:
  • Professional makeup is designed to be long-lasting, to look great on camera, and to conceal when needed.
  • The packaging isn't fancy, but that's not what you're paying for.
  • Palettes are the main draw--they give lots of options without a lot of products in a makeup kit.
  • I purchase mine from Frends (not an ad, not an affiliate code, just a BIG fan), but there are plenty of stores like Nigel's Beauty Emporium and Ricky's NYC. You won't get the prof discount unless you are licensed/certified.

There are tons of professional brands out there, so I'll pick one: Bdellium. They offer both natural hair bristles and synthetic vegan bristles. Bdellium also has a wide range of excellent SPFX Brushes, great for all your streaking, stippling, and splattering needs. Prices range from $8-$25 per brush. Great quality. I also like Cozette brushes.

Brush Cleaner:
One of my favorites for a quick clean/disinfection is Cinema Secrets (sold at Sephora too). The brushes smell like vanilla once dried.

EMBRYOLISSE LAIT-CREME CONCENTRE is one of the best moisturizers even (there's a matte version too) that is found in the kits of many makeup artists. I used to stock up on this when in France, but now you get even get this at Target!

One of the first brands that comes to mind for fx/theatre/professional makeup is Ben Nye. Thanks to Mario Dedivanovic (Kim K's makeup artist), the brand is becoming well-known to all consumers.
My faves: 
  • luxury powders (get banana only if you have an olive to darker complexion, but they have plenty of other shades)
  • camouflage/concealer wheels, palettes, and pots

Kryolan makes some fabulous Fx products, but you'll love their Dermacolor palettes (hide any discoloration) and their eye shadow palettes. Great color pay off.

Mehron also has tons of fun Fx stuff, but I love their tattoo concealer wheel (similar to Ben Nye):

Viseart (now old at Sephora) has some of the best shadows on the market. They are an investment, but they are so good:

RCMA (aka Research Council of Makeup Artists) carries an incredible line of makeup for FX, beauty, and theatrical makeup. I love their foundation and concealer palettes. You've probably heard of them for their amazing powders.

Other brands I love:
  • Inglot--everything is good from this brand
  • Face Atelier (great setting sprays, lip products, makeup products)
  • Graftobian (their creme foundation palettes are a must in a kit)
  • Skin Illustrator (if you want makeup to not rub off or move, try their green marble setting spray. It is intense but the best!)
Which products caught your eye?


Here's What's New At The Drugstore

Y'all, there have been some really GOOD releases from the drugstore lately! I got to try all of these new releases and can't wait to share you'll want and what to skip. Go ahead and get your Notes app open, take a screenshot, get out the pen and paper (me), or whatever ya need to get a list started. Since there's so much, I'll keep the info brief, but let me know if you'd like more info on something specific and I'll add it to this post!

Pixi By Petra
--Target and online--
-H20 Skindrink--Gel moisturizer that smoothes skin and hydrates, $22

-24k Eye Elixir--Cooling rollerball that smells like cucumber and raspberry that refreshes tired under eyes, $22

-Eye Zone Brighten--Illuminating eye gel that didn't really do anything for me, so I would skip, $14

-Glow Tonic To-Go--Obsessed with the Glow Tonic toner? Here it is in convenient pad form. YES! $18

-Hydrating Milky Mist--Rejuvenator and hydrator for skin and/or makeup, $15

-Black Lacquer Lash Primer-- Use before mascara as a base coat, after mascara to set, or by itself for a natural tinted look, $15

-Lower Lash Mascara--Does it what it says, and gets those lower lashes. *I was thinking of doing a lower lash mascara comparison, if you're interested* $11

-Lengthy Fiber Mascara--Straight up haven't tried this since my eyes, no matter how gentle the product claims, don't do well with fibers, but wanted to share this for those interested, $16

-Pixi Multibalm--Use these on lips and cheeks--very natural to pigmented--just choose the shade for you! $12

-Lift Lip Max--Define and plump lips with these sheer to your-lips-but-better shades. They're great for a natural look but didn't really plump my lips. Not sticky. $14

Max Factor
--Target, Walgreens, online--

This name means a lot to me, since I'm a beauty historian. It invokes old Hollywood and is a brand that is still sold internationally. It is now coming back to the U.S. for a limited time with an exclusive capsule collection including Masterpiece MAX Mascara, Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eye Liner and two dynamic Max Factor Lipstick shades.

Max Factor is the original master of glamour and now, together with legendary Creative Design Director Pat McGrath, the brand will deliver an edit of essential products designed for a modern take on a classic glamour look: the sexy cat eye paired with a nude lip.

If you use Covergirl, you will be familiar with these products, albeit different names/packaging, and I love the gold packaging. $9.99 each for liner and mascara and $7.49 for lipsticks.

--Drugstores, online--

-Color Tattoo Eye Chrome--Metallic pigmented liquid shadows that dry quickly, $9.99

Here are swatches. Love these, and I tend to wear the lighter shades, but these are fun to play with and great for fall. They last!

-Lip Color Palette--For those who want several colors but not take up a lot of space, $13.99. I thought these were fine and loved them for travel

-FaceStudio Master Contour & Highlight V-Shape Duo Stick--One side is highlight, one side is contour--I tried to show that with the first two shades in the pic above. These are best for dry skin and make c&h easy, but they don't last all day unless you set with powder, $9.99

Physicians Formula
-I had to show this in the packaging because it's so sparkly, y'all!
-Drugstores, online--

--Super BB #InstaReady--SPF 30, comes in 2 shades, very light coverage, normal up to combo would like this, $14.99

Skipping the next two products, as they are in the pic down below.

--Super BB #InstaReady Filter Trio BB Powder SPF 30 comes with three powders:

#NudeFilter: sheer, translucent finishing powder captures and diffuses light delivering a soft nude glow
#HealthyGlow: blends warm and cool pigments that soften and diffuse light, instantly brightening complexion
#Sunset: universally flattering powder, blurs imperfections and enhances overall complexion with a subtle warmth, $14.99 but not very pigmented

--Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer SPF 30--#SunkissedGlow: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer SPF 30 is an ultra-lightweight, multi-colored bronzer that delivers a multi-dimensional glow that captures, diffuses and softens the reflection of light on your skin for the ultimate sunkissed glow. $14.99

--Super BB #InstaReady Contour Trio BB Stick SPF 30 in Bronze Trio and Blush Trio--I thought these would be hard to use, but they are great for beginners. $14.99

Which products caught your eye?


All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.

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