Thursday, March 24, 2011

NAILPRO April 2011 Cover: 3-D Nail Art Butterflies and Flowers

Loved how Nailpro named it the Trinity Butterfly !
Had an amazing time with Gina and Viv doing this cover for Nailpro Magazine in L.A

The crew behind the nail pros

We could do this all day and all night!

Trying hard to stay awake till wee hours in the studio....

Beautiful model and great personality !
The final product

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

World Championship In Dusseldorf

National champions representing 25 countries compete in Dusseldorf in gel and acrylic categories 

It's an honour to partake in the Internationale Nail Meisterschaft in Dusseldorf (screen) in the Gel Category and made it to top 10 amongst 25 countries
I thank my team for their enormous support and assistance that made this possible especially following the hiccups during competition "o)
Asia has never won this championship yet, the only Asian who won this championship was Trang Nguyen, but he represented the USA.
 It is our dream to see an Asian flag make it to top 3 one day ~
Successors of International Nail Meisterschaft, David Fowler and Stephanie presenting a farewell gift to Tina Werle (outgoing founder & organizer) in an emotional moment
The competition floor in action
My lovely hand model, Amanda
The top 3 winners in the Gel French category : 1st-Latvia, 2nd-Hungary, 3rd-Germany
The top 3 winners in the Acrylic French category : 1st-Hungary, 2nd-Norway, 3rd-Russia
Great times, great company !
(L-R : Regine, me, SongSiEun & Trang Nguyen)
L-R : Amy Becker, me & Carla Collier
Berry Shum (green scarf) - Congrats! She was also in Top 10 in the acrylic category and the first Malaysian to represent her country in Dusseldorf.
These ONS Germany girls Rocks !

Monday, March 14, 2011

NailQueen Workshop - Season 2 (2011 ~ Gel Painting)

NailQueen Workshop - Season II started with my very first class in presenting the latest technique in gel painting and we had the honour of having a guest artist, Trang Nguyen who is also the founder of Odyssey Nail Systems that made this class possible with the launch of the ONE gel.
These are 100% gel painting created by the attendees using the ONE gel
Everyone did an amazing job !

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gel Talk

As a professional nail educator and enthusiast, I can say that I've worked with almost every type of gel there are in the nail industry. People have often asked me what are the difference and they just can't figure out all the craze about gel, soak off gels, hard gels, gel polishes etc's all getting a little confusing and finally, they figured out that as long as you stick their nails under the UV lamp, it's gel....(even some people get away with acrylic or polish and a gel top coat!) well, that's not "entirely" wrong either!

Traditional Gel
Also known as hard gel was introduced as the earliest form of light cured nail enhancement (artificial nail extensions) commonly available in clear, pink and white. It's UV-light cured and it is non-porous. The only way to remove is by filing off by a trained professional.
Traditional gel is still very important and useful if you want to wear nails long term as it is very strong, durable and doesn't yellow. You can wear the nails really long or short as this gel has a lot of strength. Infill is highly recommended. Traditional gel is still the way to go for designer nails, competition nails and it works wonders in the hand of a trained technician. Today it cures in both UV and LED lamps depending on brand.

Soak Off Gel
Also known as soft gel is more flexible and as it is porous, it can be broken down and removed by soaking off with acetone. Soaking off can take between 15-20 minutes depending on thickness and it is recommended for people who like to remove or change their nail enhancement often. Available in clear, pink, white and also assortment of colors in a pot that is applied with a brush, curing layer by layer. Colors can be custom mixed and they tend to be a tad thicker than regular polish and yet still look natural and shiny and stays on for 4-6 weeks. Soak off gels can be used for short extensions and not recommended for long extensions as they can be too flexible (again depending on the brand). Some brands recommend inserting silkwrap for strength. Infills are not highly recommended as soak off gels do tend to yellow over time because of its porous nature. Soak Off Gel or Soft Gels still requires the skill of the nail technician for a perfect and durable application, and they can give your nails a complete makeover, even for nail biters as it offers bonding, strength and shine. Cures in both UV and LED lamps depending on the brand(s).

New Generation Gel Polish
Also known as a hybrid brush on gel polish that applies like polish and wears like gel for up to 3 weeks and it comes in a polish bottle and can be cured in both UV and LED lamps. The 2 most important feature in this hybrid gel polish is that it incorporate different volatile solvents that allow them to soak off faster (up to 75% faster) than the current soak-off gels in potted jars, and the hybrids have other ingredients to lower the viscosity so that application is more similar to that of a polish that requires little to no prep. In other words, you can almost DIY at home. I don't know if this is good news for us nail professionals but it's definitely the biggest breakthrough since the advent of gel nails and it's taking the industry by storm. Every nail manufacturer in the nail industry is launching their own line of brush on gel polish and it will certainly be exciting to see how each formula stands out.
I found out from a reliable chemist that amongst 2 things that distinguishes the high quality gel polish from others is that :
1) The color stays true and does not separate or settle in the bottle and does not require shaking
2) It is Odour Free
I guess it would be accurate to say that when comparing prices between these hybrid polishes, these 2 features would be of key consideration with regard to quality.

New Generation Gel Paint
THIS is something really new and I'm loving it. It is the highest quality paint in the form of gel and can be cured both in UV or LED lamp. Think "The ONE" :)
I don't need to elaborate more, if you look at my earlier posts, you can see that a picture paints a thousand words !The ONE

Bringing A Touch of South-East Asia To Seoul

Feeling right at home with the "elite" group of rising stars in the Korean nail industry. These girls have been specially selected from a top nail school in Korea to train with international educators from USA, Japan, Korea and Singapore and grooming them to be the future champions and educators.
I was thrilled to spend time with these amazing talents and sharing among others, a touch of South East Asian flavour into their designs  

A Little Cuteness In Our Lives....

Japanese "Kawaii" culture is known to the world where the distinctively Japanese breed of adorable and cute attributes is injected into all aspects of the consumer culture, and this includes nail art too. While I am not a fan of cute nail art, I do have a soft spot for Hello Kitty accessories and I think every girl do have a favourite cute character which they grew up with.

In November 1, 1974 Sanrio company introduced the first picture of Hello Kitty with a red bow in her left ear and blue overalls. In her own make-believe world, Hello Kitty wasn't even Japanese. She lives in the suburbs outside London with her father, George White, mother, Mary White, and twin sister, Mimmy White.  Hello Kitty is a nickname for Kitty White and on her birth certificate states Kitty White.
Much issue has been made of Hello Kitty's mouth, or lack thereof. A handful of feminist scholars say her noncommunicative nature perpetuates the submissive female pre-teen type. While others attribute Hello Kitty's appeal to her blank stare -- onto which fans can project their own emotions.

According to Hello Kitty's official bio on Sanrio's website, "Kitty is a cheerful, warm-hearted little character baking cookies is her forte, but what she enjoys most is eating a slice of her Mama's apple pie!" We also learn that her favorite things include candy, stars, and goldfish, as well as the inevitable "small, cute things." Hello Kitty is in third grade. She weighs the same as three apples and stands five apples tall. Her blood type is A.

So anyway, Ros & I found this adorable Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae in Seoul, Korea recently and we checked it out !

The interior was pink and cosy
Lots of Hello Kitty deco everywhere
They even have an beeper to tell you that your order is ready for collection at the bar. The food and drinks were too cute to eat

The whole building was designed with total Kawaii-ness !
We had good fun exploring this place, a must visit for all Hello Kitty fans :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

NAILS April Cover : Behind The Scenes

Viv Simmonds and myself working on hand model Tracee King at NAILS
It was a spring "Bird" theme
Viv working on left hand focusing on the colors of earth and plants. She made a fairy and a humming bird that I absolutely love, it was adorable !
I was working on the colors of the skies. I made colorful birds and texture of feathers 
The end result was a complementary design of birds in the skies and on earth, assimilated into nature.
 We usually start with an idea, and talk about colors and concept, but we never know how the end result would be until we finish working on the nails.Viv and I really love working together this way and the end result almost always turns out to be a pleasant surprise.
Gina was also at Nails doing another cover which will be out sometime soon. The 3 of us had such a blast together and she was our tour guide in L.A :) :) (that's another story....)
Vu the professional photographer expertly captures the essence of our designer nails....(thank you Vu!)
The awesome NAILS team behind the scenes
The end result !