Monday, January 30, 2012

tutorial - tuxedo nails

Last week, a girlfriend of mine (hello Mary Luz!) brought some cool nails to my attention. Apparently Zooey Deschanel posted a photo of her nails on her instagram. She captioned it “I am wearing a gown but my nails are wearing tuxedos!!! #goldenglobes”. Kudos to Zooey for being awesome & not doing a standard french tip for the red carpet! Since it's awards show season, I decided to do a look inspired by her nails today:

and here's what Zooey's looked like!

you'll need:
- base coat nail polish
- white nail polish
- black nail polish
- quick dry top coat
- black nail art pen

Start with a clear base coat and a couple coats of white polish

then take your black nail polish and paint each side of the tips of your nails at a diagonal angle. You should be forming a triangular shape-- this part is kinda like the "blazer" of your tux :)

Depending on the size of your brush & how skilled you are-- you might make a bit of a mess on your nails. If you worry about precision, you can easily use the tape manicure method to make the triangular shape.

Use a q-tip and some nail polish remover to take off any mess on the sides of your nails.

Now, using your nail art pen or brush, draw the bow tie by making a wide "X" shape & filling in the sides. Then draw 3 dots for buttons!

Do the rest of your nails :)

Top coat with some quick dry top coat & you're done!

Voila! & now you're ready for the red carpet too! Or maybe just your next award show watching party at home!
Thanks for the cuteness Zooey! ♥

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

tutorial - fish tail skirt

Want to make yourself a fish tail skirt? Revamp any old maxi skirt. Just check out our newest tutorial on!

meet the editors...

When Sam & I began blogging for the Chictopia blog, we were told that the initiative was increased traffic to our blog, some tweets & emails promoting our articles & a trip to New York Fashion Week if we were in the top 3 bloggers after whatever time period.

Really, we were just excited to gain some new readers and expand our audience! We did our thing & made a DIY post every other Thursday since about October... and then last Thursday we received an email telling us that we came in the top THREE for receiving the most overall votes, comments, favorites, likes and tweets from the Chictopia community. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?!?

Samantha and I will be heading down to NEW YORK CITY for our first time & checking out Mercedes-Benz fashion week FW2012! We're currently working on how we're going, where we're staying, & what we want to see while we're there. We're going to try our best to work out the phone data plan or free wifi thing so that we can tweet and blog while we're there to keep you guys in the loop! How much do you love it?! We are beyond excited & are SOOO thankful to Chictopia and to all of our amazing readers who were doing all the commenting and tweeting etc! ♥

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Monday, January 23, 2012

tutorial - chinese new year nails

Happy Lunar new year to all those out there celebrating this year! I went with a couple of pretty simple techniques for this manicure & I have a surprise at the end of the post for you too! Here's the look we're going for:

What you'll need:
- a base coat & top coat
- a red (opi mat-adore red)
- a golden yellow (la colors yellow)
- a makeup sponge
- a black nail art pen

start with a clear base & a couple coats of red, letting each coat dry in between. Let the colour completely dry before continuing.

then rip off a piece of your makeup sponge & apply some yellow onto it. Sponge the colour onto the tips of your nails in thin coats. For a full detailed tutorial for this ombre effect check out the post here

Use the sponge to do single thin coats of yellow. Build up your colour so it's darker at the tips & don't worry about the texture and the mess on your fingers.

Use a q-tip dipped in nail polish to clean up the yellow off the sides of your nails!

We just grabbed this nail art pen by sally hansen a couple weeks ago but never really tested it out yet.

Since it's in the form of a pen rather than a brush, the application is quite precise & really easy to handle. The formula is not supposed to go on bare nails or skin, so it's not the same consistency as actual nail polish. It's a bit more inky (watery) so I had to go over a couple of parts more than once.

On my nails, I wrote "Xin Nien Kwai Lo" (新年快乐) which means "happy new year"... but you can write other lucky sayings like "kung hay fat choi". YUP. Just let that dry and then swipe on a quick dry top coat in single, quick strokes.

There you go!

& just because it's the year of the dragon, I did a quick Chinese dragon on Sam's nails! (She's a dragon!)


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Monday, January 16, 2012

tutorial - polka dotted nails

It's manicure monday! Today's tutorial is going to be a pretty simple one. However, simple doesn't necessarily mean quick! It was a bit time consuming but the results are cute. I do admit that I needed a bit of help from Sylvia in the process but it was mainly for little things like...opening nail polish bottles that I didn't think of opening ahead of time!

So here is the look we're going for!

Syl & I looked around the house and found some random objects. Toothpick, dull pencil, dressmaking pin and paint brush. Basically pointy items of differing sizes...You can use as many tools as you would like. I used four but ended up with seven different colours of nail you could probably imagine how many times I had to wipe my tools of the excess nail polish

Get some nail polish to dab on to a sheet of paper to prepare for dipping

You can test each tool to see if you're happy with it's "stamping" ablity and to test the size of the dots

Base coat and then coat your nails with your favourite nail polish. I decided to work with white but any light or maybe even dark colour will work!

These are the colours that I decided to stamp my nails with (excluding the white).

I don't have photos of the step by step stamping but basically dip and stamp all ten nails one or two times. Then move onto the next tool & colour. Continue until you're happy with the density and placement of the dots. Don't get too excited and create a big pallate of colours; work with one colour at a time because you don't want to work with half-dried polish.

This is my final result! I didn't want to stamp too much or little but don't be afraid to overlap some dots! Don't forget to top coat your spottie dottie nails!

Simple, fun...slightly time consuming. But cute!!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

the x-out dress!

To recap our previous post about X-Out, we were contacted by the people at Guthy-Renker to participate in a reconstruction project. They contacted a bunch of Fashion, Style and DIY bloggers to reconstruct a plain white American Apparel dress. The idea was to take inspiration from the bottle & the product's manifesto. All the dresses will then be sold via eBay auction & all proceeds will be donated to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center... so we'll let you know when the sales start to happen ;)

The bottle, with a simple colour palette of purple, black & white

The white dress that was our blank canvas to work on!
We were asked to pick from 3 different American Apparel white dresses & I went with the one above. I've always been a huge fan of making clothes with major details focused on the back. Not being a very chesty girl, I like to think that showing some skin at the back is an unexpected type of sexy. It was an easy choice!

After about a dozen sketches with "X" inspired details, I ended up going with a fabric weaving along the inserted side panels. The panels are made from black, purple and blue bamboo rayon fabric & are just attached at the seams, so they're left to drape naturally-- taut where the dress hugs your curves & loosely towards the hem. Since X-Out is a product dedicated to confidence & putting your best face forward, I decided to go with elements of reconstruction that I experimented with when I first started t-shirt reconstructions. Way back in high school, I remember taking my first shirt & shredding a corner to basket weave in a contrasting fabric. I sloppily used fabric glue to give it structure & keep the fabrics in place. It was a bit of a hack job but I remember being so proud of my first clothing DIY that I still wore it around with proudly. Fashion and reconstruction of fashion has been my passion for so long because of the confidence it gives me to stand tall & face the world. All it takes is throwing on a new dress!

So what do you think? I can't wait to see what other bloggers participated & what their dresses looked like! I'll keep you up to date with when the dresses go up for auction. :)

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