Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nail Art Hack: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens

Nail art is the trend that keeps on trending. I'm totally cool with that, since I've been doodling all over my nails since, like, fourth grade, and have no plans to stop. All that practice has afforded me a certain skill level, but sometimes it still feels like too much time and effort for such a short-lived "work of art."

Sometimes you just want something easier. A nail art hack, perhaps?

Enter Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens. These pens come with either a round or fine tip, and allow you to more easily draw all kinds of designs on your nails. They feel almost like a paint marker, but the product inside is distinctly nail polish-esque. 

One major difference, though - these don't have that classic nail polish stink, which is a major plus. When I draw intricate designs with typical nail polish, I sometimes feel woozy by the end from all the time and polish it takes. 

This might be due to the pen's water-based formula, which is also what makes these so easy to use. Say you draw what was supposed to be a cute puppy face on your thumb nail, but it actually ends up looking more like a deceased raccoon - just wipe the design off (byyyye, poor lil raccoon!) with a wet cotton pad/ball/swab and start again! It won't interrupt the base nail polish, either. Nice!

To fully test these lil' guys out, I first painted each of my nails a different color, following a rainbow pattern. This way, you can see what the nail art pens look like over light colors and dark colors. To be honest, I kind of wanted to just stop here because I liked the plain rainbow look so much!

Alas, I bravely soldiered on. Before you begin, give the pen a good shake and push the tip onto some scrap paper or a paper towel a few times to get the polish flowing. Once you start drawing you'll see that enough product comes out to draw an opaque design, but generally not so much that it gets runny.

Some nails were just screaming for specific designs, like the pink nail becoming a watermelon, and the red nail becoming a ladybug. On others, I just chose the color I thought would work best functionally and aesthetically, then made up a design on the spot. That worked out mostly well, but please don't look too closely at either of my pinky nails

Here's a simple idea: use a white nail art pen to draw a stripe near the free edge of your nail. Follow that stripe with a green nail art pen, drawing outside of the white stripe. Add some black dots for seeds and you've got super simple, yet adorable nail art!

Here's my final result! For just kinda messing around, I was really impressed with these. Some work better than others, but I love that some brighter colors, like pink, could draw over some darker colors and still be vibrant. 

The most important part: You MUST finish these with a top coat! This is not a drill, people! If you don't, the pen may wash or wear off very easily. Top coats: don't leave home without 'em.

Nothing is perfect, though (except you!) 

I found the pearlescent white to be too liquid, and difficult to use for that reason, though that may just be my tube.

The biggest flaw was unfortunately with the violet pen, which sucks because it's so damn pretty! I painted over orange and the violet later paled and bled a bit (seen below left) and over light blue, and the violet wore off in places (below right).

I'll definitely be reaching for these again. If you want to dip your toe (errr, fingertip?) into the nail art pen game, I suggest picking up a black one since it's so versatile, and just playing around with it. I honestly feel like you'll love it! PSA: If you buy at the drugstore remember to use a coupon! Always. ♥

p.s. these would be great for French manicures, too!

Have you ever tried these nail art pens? What's your biggest challenge with nail art? Have you seen any cool nail art designs lately? Share 'em!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Faves Vol. 3

Here's what's been catching my eye lately:

This super fun collection of novelty purses

This amazing pastel rainbow hair

This interesting and atmospheric moon light

These adorable little snail and caterpillar snacks!

This insanely cute "newborn" photo shoot of this kitten!

This slideshow of the ideal lips throughout history from the Ming Dynasty to Kim Kardashian is a great reminder that beauty standards are just as subjective as they are ever-changing, so do whatever you want literally all the time.☺

This sleek midcentury modern coffee table would be a great pop of color!

These kitschy vintage sewing patterns for junk food pillows

This retro Orla Kiely floral canister needs to be in my kitchen ASAP, plz

These custom pet photo pillows would make an amazing gift!

What fun stuff have you seen lately?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Etsy Shop of the Month: Lou Taylor Studio

In addition to running my own etsy shop, I love window shopping (and real shopping, duh) at other etsy shops. That got me thinking that it might make sense to feature cool etsy sellers on this site, since handmade items and pretty things are kind of the lifeblood around here. Plus, who doesn't want to look at fun, new stuff? Sometimes you find great things you just have to share!

For the first ever Etsy Shop of the Month feature, I present Lou Taylor Studio, whose beautiful acrylic jewelry is both sleek and cheeky. The clean lines and simple shapes meld well with the kitschy attitude and pop culture sensibilities. Honestly, it's just pure fun!

Something really cool about Lou Taylor's designs? Many start out as intricate papercuts, like the Frida Kahlo paper art seen below, before being transformed into acrylic jewelry, art prints or even silk scarves. This process gives the pieces a unique style, and shows the intricacy of the details.

This Frida Kahlo paper art later became a necklace and a brooch!

Hand brooch in production, as all the little pieces are glued together.

Lou lists her creative inspirations as color, pattern and vintage fashion illustrations from the 1950s and 1960s, and professes her love for vintage Vogue and Harpers Bazaar covers from the 1920s, which really shows.

Have you ever seen Lou's work before? What's your favorite piece? Got an etsy shop you'd like to see in a future feature? Let me know!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Faves Vol. 2

Here's some fun stuff that's catching my eye lately:

These cool magnetic pineapple plant holders from etsy.

This cool (and surprisingly simple) DIY for beaded shoes with an eye motif.

Actress Sarah Ramos found a rom-com she wrote when she was 12, so she decided to actually make it - now we have the wonderful strangeness of City Girl.

This amazing makeup look from @nickeilgenesis - umm, those BROWS!

This beautiful work of art is actually an edible cake!

This DIY moon phase wall hanging would be super easy to make!

This map that shows what Pangea would look like with current national borders. Weird to imagine I'd be just a hop, skip & a jump away from Morocco!

This collection of gumball machine prizes from the 1970s! I'd want the little teeth.

This digital art by Markos Kay that imagines the human body as only blood vessels.

This behind-the-scenes photo of Sarah from Jeopardy's 'Clue Crew' getting ready before a shoot. I'm genuinely shocked that she does her own hair and makeup!

Have you seen any cool stuff lately?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to Resize Your Jeans So They'll Actually Fit You Correctly For Once

Ugh. Buying jeans is the worst. Show me someone who says they enjoy it, and I'll show you someone from whom you need to back away slowly. It's difficult to find jeans that fit your budget, fit your style and fit your bod, but that last one is especially rough. We've all tried on jeans that were laughable on us - a foot too long, baggy in the hips, not enough tush room - but how many pairs have come close to being perfect, but aren't quite right?

Those are the jeans I want to talk about. The almost-there jeans - they can be saved!

Since we're all shaped differently than the one fit model a particular brand chooses for their jeans, almost no pair will be a perfect fit on us. What are our options? Settle for close enough or take them to a tailor and have them adjusted for a fee. 

…But there's another option! (this is my version of the classic infomercial line "There has to be a better way!" preceded by footage of you struggling to understand how pants go on your body)

I mean, who HASN'T been there?!

You (yes, YOU) can custom fit your own jeans, and it's way easier than you probably think. This tutorial will show you how to custom size your jeans to your hip and/or leg measurements so you never experience the issues that come with so many ill-fitting pants.

Let's do this!  

First: wash & dry those jeans! You don't want to fit them and then have them shrink. 

You can do this two different ways, so I'll quickly show you both. Jeans usually have a thicker, more pronounced seam on either the inner or outer edge of the pants. It'll be easier and less noticeable if you resize from the edge with the less pronounced seam, so that you don't have to remove or hide the more pronounced seam. 

In the first method, we trim excess fabric from the outside seam. This can also be helpful if you want to remove excess fabric from the waistband because you can continue your new seam right up through the top of the jeans (though there are more professional methods to do that if you want to invest the time). 

To start, lay your inside-out jeans flat and place a well-fitting pair on top of them. Align the jeans at the crotch and pin them together along the inside seam of one leg (seen above).

With chalk, trace around the leg of the well-fitting jeans onto the jeans you're resizing. In my case, I needed to shorten the new jeans so I traced the bottom edge as well. Repeat on the other leg.

The second method is basically the same, except we'll be removing fabric from the inside seam. This is the method I used on my jeans because it's a little easier and there are less things, like waistbands and pockets, in the way.

Again, lay the inside-out jeans flat with a well-fitting pair on top of them. You still want to align them at the crotch, but in this method you'll line up the outside seams and pin along them.

Use the chalk to trace along the well-fitted pair of jeans onto the jeans you're resizing. It's easier to have both pairs inside out so you don't need to worry so much about chalk marks on the top pair.

Next, you'll just need to pick out some thread. You can go with one that matches your denim or one that matches the existing stitching on your jeans. It won't show on the outside/right side of your jeans, but will show if you choose to also hem the jeans. I chose a dark thread for the side seam and a matching gold thread for the bottom hem.

Now we'll simply show along the chalkline we drew before. You could sew slightly outside of the chalk line to give a little extra room just in case, but I sewed right on the line since my jeans were very stretchy.

We want to sew first with a basting stitch, which is a loose temporary stitch. This way you can try on the jeans to check the fit and if you need to remove any portion of the stitch it'll be much easier.

When you've completed the basting stitch on both legs, try on the inside-out jeans. I found my fit to be satisfactory except around my ankles, so I drew new chalk lines where I wanted the jeans to fit while still wearing them.

Make any sewing adjustments and try the jeans on again to give final fit approval.

When you're good with the fit, sew the permanent stitches. I use a zig zag stitch because it provides more stretch. I then sew a slightly tighter basting stitch right over the zig zag stitch for a little more security. I also add a tight, straight stitch on the outside of the zig zag stitch (dramatic reenactment above) as a last line of defense if the seam ever opens up. I'm kinda paranoid about my pants just bursting off my body suddenly, but you only need to add the seams you want here.

You can see above that there is plenty of extra fabric outside (in this case, to the left) of the stitches. If you don't need to adjust the length of the jeans, just trim that part off and you're done!

I recommend using pinking shears because it prevents the fabric from fraying, plus it gives you a reason to own pinking shears, which are one of the cutest parts of the crafting world.

If you do need to adjust the length of the jeans, you can follow this tutorial I made. Alternately, you can simply fold your jeans up to the right length while still inside out, run a straight stitch around the perimeter of the ankle, and trim the excess with pinking shears if you don't mind a more unfinished look inside. I won't tell ;)

And that's how (relatively) easy it is to custom fit your own jeans! Honestly, once you try this you'll get the hang of it, and custom tailoring will just be another tool in your DIY arsenal. Warning: you may get addicted to custom fitting all of your clothes. At least you'll look great, though! 

Have you ever made DIY skinny jeans? Got any hot tips on clothes-fitting? Can you tell me why jeans are so mean to us?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...