Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Behind the scenes of a nail art addict

How did you come up with the idea of a 365 days of nail art challenge?
Before January 1st I started a beauty blog. I just love everything related to beauty and I thought it would be great to blog about it. Of course I wanted to be as good as the best bloggers and have brands and companies sending me stuff to review was the goal.
After a few weeks I realized that I was just one of thousands in the Netherlands blogging about this and it would take ages for anybody to even notice me.
I had to look for somehing else to blog about.
It doesn't make sense to blog about something you don't have interest in or can't do. So, I asked myself: "What am I able to and what has my interest?"
"Nail art is something I love and for an amateur I'm not that bad", was my answer.
Nail art is still an upcoming thing in the Netherlands, but again, many people blog about this.
So, if I want to stand out, I'll have to do something unique.
In my search through many, many nail art blogs, I've found many people doing a 30 days challenge. And I immediately thought: "Why not do a 365 days challenge!"
The idea was born!

Is it all your work and your nails?
All the nail arts are personally done by me. After all it's MY challenge, MY passion.
The nail arts are made on my natural nails. I think this is part of the challenge, because working on tips is easier to do. You can turn tips anyway you like...your hand can't. I've made a promise to myself that when my nails suffer too much, I'll will do tips instead. But so far it's ok, so I think I will end this year with nail arts on my natural nails.
The pictures are also done by me and I simply use the camera of my smartphone.
I do use some software for editing:
- GIMP 2.8 (simular to Photoshop); I use this program to crop the pictures and somethimes photoshop a little cut or cuticle thingy. I never photoshop my nail arts because if anyone ever has any interest in my work I want to be able to say that this is MY work and no Photoshop work.
- uMark (free watermark program); I use this to put a watermark on ALL of my pictures, sometimes invisible, sometimes visible..
- Multiple Image Resizer .NET4; I use this to resize my pictures, otherwise I'm not able to place them on my Dutch website.
And yes, all of my blogposts are written by me and I do try to follow as much as I can within the social media that I've joined (but it's getting harder to keep up).

What do you do for beautiful, strong and long nails?
Not enough!
Every day I take off yesterday's nail art with low-budget remover that contains acetone. Acetone dries out your nails and they can easily break, besides that acetone is just bad for your overall health. But still, I use with acetone because I think it's more effective; I want to take it off as fast as I can because I have to do my next nail art. I put some remover on a cotton pad and gently rub in a horizontal motion. I try to avoid my cuticles as much as I can. After that I always wash my hands.
The removers usually come from Dutch drug stores: Kruidvat, Trekpleister and Etos:

-Nail polish remover with acetone - Trekpleister
-Nail polish remover with sponge - Etos
-Nail polish remover with acetone - Kruidvat

After washing my hands I put on a nail growth polish which also serves as my basecoat:

Sally Hansen - Nailgrowth miracle

Maybe once a week (but sometimes I skip because of a lack on time) my nails get the grand treatment.
- Filing
I prefer to file my nails with nail polish on. This way it's better to see the shape of the nails. I use a low-budget glass file for this and try to file in one way as much as I can...the zigzag motion can cause your nails to split.

My glass file

For further care of my nails I currently use Trind products:

- Trind Cuticle Remover
- Trind Nail Balsam
- Trind Nail repair

I put some Trind Cuticle Remover on my cuticles and use Herôme Cuticle Pusher to gently push back my cuticles. After this step I wash my hands.

Herôme Cuticle Pusher

Then I apply some Trind Nail Balsam on nails and cuticles and let it soak in. I use my finger to spread some remaining balsam onto my fingers.
I finish with the Trind Nail Repair, which gives the nails a very healthy natural look with a beautiful shine.
When the Nail Repair is dry I'll put on some hand lotion. This can be any brand or any kind.
Besides this grand treatment I only use a hand lotion when my hands look dry and remember to put on some lotion.
I do all my housework without gloves, use a low-budget hand soap like a million times a day and with 4 kids I'm cleaning a great part of the day.

What does your nail polish/nail art stash look like?
This is my nail polish stash and it's full.
In this I keep my nail art material and it's also full. Flitter, glitter, rhinestones, dry flowers, fimo, transfer foil, beads, velvet, crushed shell, foil, stamping kits and polishes, magnets and polishes, stickers, stencils, cotton pads, cotton balls, removers, brush cleaners, alcohol and so on...

I have to reorganize it soon, because there is also a lot just laying around in the house and with 4 kids...not a good idea!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Sometimes a nail art is based on a (Inter)national day, holiday or season. Or it's about what I've experienced that day.
I get a lot of inspiration from Google images (just random images, not nail related).
Then I try to follow other people's work as much as I can by reading their blogs, watching their pictures and YouTube video's.
I also try to follow some fashion and keep up with the 'big' brands in nail polish and nail art.
And yes, this takes a lot of time!

What are your favourite materials to work with?
As I said before I use the Sally Hansen -Nailgrowth miracle as my basecoat (it keeps my nails strong, doesn't increase growth, but keeps them long).
Then I use any nail polish brand or nail art product that I have. I want to show as many products as I can!
My favourite low-budget nail polish brand has to be Catrice though; good brush, pretty colours, sometimes hilarious nail polish names and doesn't dry out quickly. Which comes in handy because when I'm doing nail art bottles sometimes are open for quite some time.
Over time my application technique for nail polish has become better and better. My cuticles stay clean now (ha), but if I accidently do touch some cuticle I use a nail polish corrector pen:

Essence Studio Nails- Nail polish corrector pen

I have a set of 15 nail art brushes and a lot of single ones. Although I use more, my favourite is a striper brush. It's ideal for fine nail art work:

My favourite striper brush

Over time my nail arts also got a lot better; just take a look at the nail arts from January and compare them to now, it's sick!
To seal my nail art, shorten drying time are to smoothen it I use a topcoat. A topcoat is also good for protecting your nail art for a longer time (but mine are gone the next day, she sometimes regrets).

-Essie - Good to go (dries very quickly)
-KOH - Dry drops! (one drop, quick dry and nourishing oil for cuticles)
-Sally Hansen - Diamond Shine (immediate shine, takes longer to dry, but great for pictures)

-Miss Sporty - Check Matte (matte topcoat, applies lovely, smooth matte surface)

And of course Seche Vite topcoat (the best).

Where do you get your materials?
I mainly get my nail polish from drug stores like Kruidvat, Trekpleister and Etos.
I also purchase some at the better beauty stores like Ici Paris, Douglas.
Sometimes I take a look at the toy store where they have nail polish and nail art products for girls; great things can be happening there!
Then I have some favourite Dutch webshops:
-CBC Beauty Supplies
-Ilona's Nails
-Glamour nail products

Do you ever get tired of this challenge?
Yes; I have to be honest.
Sometimes the recognition is disappointing. I think I have a nice blog and some good nail arts.
There are still not many people following my blog or leaving a comment. I sometimes ask myself if it is worth the effort when nobody is reading it.
But then I realize it's my own challenge and who cares if no one is reading it; I'm loving it! It's my passion! And I just have to finish this!
I've also written to 'big' brands asking them if they want to get involved in this challenge. For example I would be honored to make a custom nail art or something like that, but not many response from this side either.
Occasionally I'm not well and that makes it especially difficult as is the planning around my nail arts. If I want to go out I have to make my nail art earlier that day, but sometimes there isn't time with the kids.
I think you can compare all I'm doing with a fulltime job, with only difference that I don't have a day off ;-D

Will you succeed in this challenge?
I'm pretty determined to do so. Haven't missed a day yet. So, I think I will.
That is: if nothing betters comes on my way (like a payed job) or nothing worse (disease of myself or loved ones).
At the end of June we'll go to Portugal for the holidays. I'm sure this will be the hardest time. I had to promise myself and my hubby that I will only do one nail a day, because he wants some time with me again
;-D But you'll forgive me right?

Anything else you want to share?
This challenge is my life (besides my normal life). It already has changed my world.
I like to thank everybody that takes the time to read my blogs, view my pictures and/or leave a comment.
You make my day and give the energy to go on!
Nail art is my passion and my goal is to spread this love. So, I hope I do!

If you have any further questions, please let me know!

Thanks and with love,


  1. Wow, quite a challenge you have taken on. You have a great attitude about not worrying if anyone reads what you do. If it means something to you, just do it. Not very many people read my blog either, but it doesn't take the fun out of doing it. I just think that people just don't comment on blogs like they use to. I love your designs.

    1. Everywhere around the world people are blogging, YouTubing and so on. I think followers don't even know who to follow anymore. I know some people who almost have a fulltime job by reading the blogs they are following :-O
      I'll do my thing, yes, but I too would love millions of viewers of course ;-D
      Thank you for commenting!
      ...And good luck for us then :D

  2. mine drawers are full of nail polishes :) i have 5 but thin then yours , haha disaster !

    1. I have a lot bigger drawers right now :D
      You're never going to fit your new/my bottles ;-D