Hey There Polished People!!
Do any of you watch The Bachelor? I’m only slightly embarrassed to say that I’m a big fan, especially of this season. I love Sean Lowe and think he’s just totally cute, for one, and a really nice guy, for two. I just watched the episode where “The Women Tell All” last night and I couldn’t help but tweet out all my reactions to it. We all know Tierra is off her rocker, and then AshLee. Oh my goodness. She always seemed a little crazy to me, and I’d tell my mom that and I don’t think she saw it, but I KNEW she was nuts. I felt like she was completely caught up on being “broken” and all her whining about that just made me wanna ensure that she’s broken by pinching her nose off (yes, pinching, not punching, do you think I’m really that violent??). On “The Women Tell All” she was EXTRA crazy saying Sean said all this stuff and I think it was clear that he didn’t.. anyway, I’ll stop boring you to death if that’s not your type of show and I have a feeling a lot of you are going to be like, “You’re nuts for watching that garbage.” 😉
Anyway, even though Tierra (Tierra-ble!! Haha) wouldn’t change anything about herself, there are plenty things I would change, and one of which are my old pictures of my first nails that I did when I started this blog over a year ago. I have been meaning to redo some of my nails from the early days and I’ve finally got around to doing it!! Click here to see my old Color Blocked Nails. You’ll see that the clean-up is horrific, the lighting is craptastic and they just look like a mess. Plus, I’m holding the invisible banana which is a major rookie mistake, is it not? Well, it’s miraculous what difference a clean-up brush and outdoor lighting makes. Ready to see my revamp?
Color Blocked Nails Mani Remix
- Paint your nails with SH Eel Skin (as opposed to Ulta Concrete Evidence like in the original).
- Free-hand a thick stripe of CC Mrs. Robinson (instead of SC Dream On) down the center of each nail.
- Free hand short chevrons on the tip of each nail. You can easily do this just with a polish brush by following this chevron tutorial. I used FP Black Expressionism.
- Let your nails dry a little to prevent smearing and then top them off with a coat of Jessica Brilliance.
How To Make Your Pictures Look Better:
- CLEAN UP YOUR CUTICLES!!! Use a little paint brush, or my favorite- an angled paintbrush or eyeliner brush dipped in acetone (Try pure acetone, you will thank me. Seriously. I only use pure acetone for cleanup, and I use regular remover for taking off my polish, and it’s SO worth keeping both around). If you don’t have time for clean up today, wait to take your pictures till tomorrow.
- Moisturize your cuticles!!! Are your cuticles crusty and disgusting?? Get some lotion or oil. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. You can rub olive oil into your cuticles nightly, or some Vaseline, or cheapo Jergens lotion… just DO SOMETHING! And if you have nasty little hangnails, cut them off with cuticle nippers. We all have dry hands sometimes but you’ve got to make the effort to make them look nice so they look good at least most of the time. If you do have a few dollars to spare, I highly recommend Badger Cuticle Care. You can find it on the Badger website or in natural food stores. It works wonders and lasts a reallllllly long time. If your cuticles are looking a little rough and you just MUST take your pictures right now, here’s a little cheat that sometimes helps me- clip off any hang-nail type things, wash your hands in nice warm water, dry them, apply cuticle oil and rub it in really good (greasy=gross), then either wipe your fingers off with a lint free rag or wash them again and immediately take your pictures. This is what I do sometimes when my hands are looking particularly cold and dry in the winter.
- Take your pictures outside, or at least in natural light in front of a big window. Indoor pictures never look that great. The only exception to this is if you have a light box, which of course negates the need to go outside. Good lighting also helps your pictures be clear which brings us to our next tip-
- Do not post blurry pictures. You probably need to take at LEAST 10 pictures of each nail design to make sure you end up with a nice clear shot. I usually end up taking closer to 20 for a standard mani, and way more for something that has a special effect like flaky glitter, a holographic finish or matte-shiny contrast. Holding your hands in a stable way, preferably with a bottle of nail polish used in the mani will help with clarity.
- Hold your hand in a somewhat standard position. If it looks like you’re holding an invisible banana… maybe you wanna try something else? I did that in the beginning and it looks ridiculous. No one really needs to see your thumb, so if that’s what you’re concerned about, don’t worry. If you can hold a polish bottle, that’s even better cuz it provides a good background.
- Crop your pictures. We only really need to see your nails. We don’t need to see your messy house (or even your clean house) in the background, we don’t need to see your dog photobombing by taking a big dump in the grass in the background, we just want to see your nails. Although seriously, if you dog photobombs you that bad, you better be tweeting it to me, cuz that’s just hilarious.
- For the love of Fish Jesus, please file your nails down into a somewhat uniform shape. Some people out there have these super long, rounded nails on some fingers, shorter squarish nails on others.. holy moly. Please stop the insanity. If your nails are all bent out of shape and look like melted plastic spoons- it’s time for a trim. And by trim I mean lop those suckers off. Short, well-kept nails are always better looking than long, raggedy ones. This is not personal preference, this is a fact. It’s probably in the Bible. (well now we all know where I’m going. Good thing I like the heat.) If your nails are long and lovely, great! But… leggings aren’t meant to be worn as pants, textbooks aren’t meant to be read front to back, I’m not meant to be a supermodel, Nicki Minaj isn’t meant to put together a meaningful sentence on AI… and some people’s nails just aren’t meant to be that long.
- Make sure your pictures are large enough to show detail. This circles back to cropping- If you have a picture that you haven’t cropped where your nails are really only like 1/20th of the frame, it’s hard to see what you’ve really done. And since you cleaned up your nicely filed nails properly, took care of your cuticles and are holding your hands all nicely- don’t you want us to get a good look? 🙂
Now, are my pictures perfect?? NO. FAR FROM IT. This I know. No one that I know is absolutely perfect and we all end up with dry cuticles or a little blemish, or a wonky nail, or what have you at times. And I’m definitely not even in the “no one’s perfect” category cuz my pictures are just suitable at best. It’s ok to not be perfect, but if you want to have a professional-looking nail blog and/or post professional-looking pictures, these are some tips that it would behoove you to at least attempt to follow. Don’t even call me the nail nazi or anything.. if you don’t want to follow these tips, that’s all you. I’m just throwing these out there. I hope they help people who are trying to improve the quality of their photos. 🙂 As you can tell, I didn’t know these things in the beginning and reading posts like this is what helped me improve to at least the non-barf-worthy level that I am at today.
Please chime in with your biggest photo pet peeves (no naming of names, of course) and tips on how to improve pictures, mani quality, etc! Don’t be scared… we all can improve and it’s not rude to offer a little help! As always, thank you all for reading and till next time- Happy Polishing!!! 😀