Chinese New Year manicure

Chinese Lunar New Year starts on 3 February this year and it’s the year of the rabbit – one of the cuter animals in the Chinese zodiac. Since the celebration takes place over 15 days, while the festivity starts a month before, I had plenty of time for Chinese-themed manicures.

Serena’s nails, OPI An Affair In Red Square (red), MAC Originality (gold), China Glaze Treasure Chest (gold flakes), evening light

Serena sported the traditional colours of red and gold for Chinese New Year. The designs on her index and ring fingers were meant to look like wrapped gifts. The rest of her nails received a simple gold French tip topped with gold flakes.

Barbara’s nails, OPI Red My Fortune Cookie, MAC Originality, China Glaze Treasure Chest, white striper pen

Here Barb gets the full-blown treatment. Every single nail is a wrapped gift. The white nail striper pen got super gooey when I started on the horizontal stripes. Time to start hunting for a better one. The problem is that none of the major polish brands make them and so I have to resort to purchasing random ones at pasar malam stores.

Weifen’s nails, OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy (milky pink), China Glaze Ruby Pumps (red), MAC Originality (gold), China Glaze Treasure Chest (gold flakes), jewels, sunlight

Here I used virtually the same colours for Weifen for a more subdued look.

Cheryl’s nails, OPI Passion, China Glaze Treasure Chest

Cheryl insisted on having a non-adventurous nail colour. Does this still look somewhat festive?

Emily’s nails, OPI Red My Fortune Cookie, pale pink acrylic (polka dots), white acrylic (ribbon)

This doesn’t really go with the theme save for the title of the red polish, which mentions fortune cookies. Nonetheless, this is my favourite out of the bunch and I can probably use it again in late February for Valentine Day manicures.

Alicia’s nails, evening light

Alicia’s nails deserve honourable mention for their sheer tackiness. This gel manicure was done by a freelance manicurist. While there was neither gold nor red, this reminded me of Chinese dancers with their sweeping flowery costumes and fit our theme today.

Advertisements

Vintage half-moon manicure

Reinforcement rings are pretty much all you need for the vintage half-moon manicure. That, and a lot of patience. By a lot, I mean if you have at least two hours to spare.

It all started with an article in Urban newspaper talking about two-toned nails. Nail aficionados will know that the real name is called the vintage half-moon manicure, which consists of painting a small portion of your cuticle a different colour from the rest of your nail. It is also sometimes called the reverse French. How hard can it be? I thought.

Barbara’s nails, China Glaze Millenium (silver) + Orly Royal Navy (blue), low light

Well, the first attempt was pretty much a disaster. I didn’t know that you had to wait for the silver to dry completely before pasting on the reinforcement stickers. When I removed them, much of the silver paint came off as well. That aside, I must say that Orly Royal Navy is absolutely stunning.

Maggie’s nails, Essie Body Language (pale purple) + OPI Black Cherry Chutney (dark purple), sunlight

Maggie’s nails turned out a lot better because we had time on our side. I think this colour combination is fabulous; Black Cherry Chutney is a luxurious shimmery burgundy from the OPI India collection. But the lines separating the colours could be cleaner. Perhaps the reinforcement rings were too sticky?

This is what I mean by clean lines. Cheryl handed me this magazine photograph and asked if I could recreate the look. So here’s Attempt #3.

Cheryl’s nails, NARS Midnight Express (blue) + China Glaze Something Sweet (pink), flash

Major fail. Jagged lines galore. Her mom said that she looked diseased. We spent close to two hours painstakingly doing this and still we couldn’t achieve perfection. Can someone help? If you know the solution, it would be much appreciated.

NARS Zulu, 2 coats, sunlight

Determined to achieve the elusive clean lines and cut down on the drying time, I decided to free hand the damned moon. Here I started off with two coats of NARS Zulu. I love the way the jelly glows. It’s so shiny you can see my reflection in the nails.

NARS Zulu (green) + Orly Pointe Blanche (white)

Using Orly Pointe Blanche, which is a white polish meant specifically for French manicures, I drew a curve line near the cuticle first, then filled in the rest of the half moon. The index finger shows the curved line.

NARS Zulu (green) + Orly Pointe Blanche (white) + Elianto Platinum Pearl (white shimmer)

Et voila! The vintage half-moon manicure without use of stickers. It’s far from perfect but at least I didn’t have to spend hours on this.

Here is a closer look. My least favourite finger is the index because the white blob looks like a lump of coal.

Just noticed that Fann Wong has a half moon in one of her advertisements. It looks kind of weird actually. White half moon over a bare unpainted nail.

Chine Glaze Peachy Keen

2 coats, sunlight

Wow finally! The last item from my China Glaze Up and Away collection – Peachy Keen! This is a pastel peachy orange that make a great summery colour (in Singapore’s case, when you go to the beach then, since everyday is sunny). I think I added thinner to the polish because it was thick when I received it. Now there’s a strange yellowish line in the bottle but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the quality so I’m just going to ignore it.

Alicia’s nails, (from pinkie to index): Orly Snowcone, China Glaze For Audrey, Peachy Keen, Lemon Fizz

Here we have a pastel rainbow on Alicia’s nails. The dots on her tips were applied using white acrylic paint and a toothpick.

With Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister (red) and Urban Decay Woodstock (pink), black nail striper pen

Okay… so I went a bit mad with the colours here and ended up looking like a clown exploded on my nails. I wanted to test out these new Urban Decay polishes I received (more on that later).

Revlon Red

2 coats, sunlight

It’s back to the classics today! Revlon Red is one of the most iconic nail polishes ever and is a true fire engine red. It’s not too blue and not too orange. It seems like one of those polishes you wear when you’re trying to channel your inner Dita Von Teese. Sorry about the red stains on my fingers because I was wearing red polish prior to swatching and removing it was messy!

With OPI Alpine Snow matte

Her vintage half-moon manicure was also the inspiration for this look. Okay, it’s supposed to be a gentle curve at the cuticle but I opted for a more geometrical shape. Does it look like a pizza slice?

Some comparison swatches here with OPI Comet Loves Cupid and OPI Red My Fortune Cookie. I think this serves to illustrate the point that you only need two red cremes at the very most because they all kinda look the same. Revlon Red is virtually identical to Comet Loves Cupid.