THE ESSIE’S FINAL ROUND

Hello friends!

A snap from my interview on Essie’s Instagram Stories

Last weekend I had the most incredible opportunity to go to NYC to film a video with Essie for the final round of the The Essie’s Nail Art Awards! I had no idea what was in store and it definitely exceeded all of my expectations. The weekend basically consisted of talking about nails, seeing friends, and eating — what could be better?!

FRIDAY

So the two other finalists Halle & Meagan and I are basically best buddies at this point because first of all we all just vibe, and going through this experience was even better when I had some friends to chat with. I was so excited to meet them and I didn’t even feel nervous (which is saying A LOT for me 🙂 ).

After I landed in NYC and made it to the hotel, I met Halle and we went to Sweetgreen, because kale. About 1 hour later (no lie), we went to dinner at Catch and had delicious sushi. Next stop was Milk for cereal milk and birthday cake soft serve. One of my favorite things about these girls was their dedication to the food <3

We hit the hay early that night since the shoot was the next morning!

SATURDAY

The Essie shoot was at Youtube Space NY which was this cool open studio space where they had rooms and props available for content creators. We were set up in a pretty big studio, it felt like a real TV production- I’ve never been near anything like this before, so everything was exciting.

We took turns getting our hair and makeup done, and recording our scripts for the video in a sound booth. The room was so incredibly quiet I could hear my ears nearly ringing.

After we were all beautified, we had to prepare for our interviews. This was the part that made me the most nervous because we weren’t really prepared in any way. We got our mics on, hair touched up, and then started answering questions for the video. I was so nervous the instant all of the other people cleared out and it was just me standing in front of about 10 people with all eyes on me.

Meagan getting all ready to film!

Luckily, everyone was so friendly and encouraging (and extremely helpful when I was stumbling over my sentences!) that it turned out great. I was so happy to be done with it even though it was approximately 6 minutes of my life.

Afterwards, the 3 of us sat together and painted our nails for the next portion of the shoot. I don’t usually paint my right hand, so it was a struggle to say the least. Fortunately, the camera is far enough away you can hardly tell. This part took the longest because we had to film each step in its own take and clean up and readjust the props each time.

After all of us finished filming our nail looks, we took a few pictures and said our goodbyes to the crew and Essie team. It was such an incredible experience to film such a legit production and I hope I can do it again in the future!

To end off the night, we got poke bowls and drank plenty of red wine. Halle also took me to visit Paintbox, the nail salon that she works at and omg! It was gorgeous.

Caught in the act snapping a picture of my nails!

SUNDAY

On Sunday, I met up with one of my best friends who I used to live in Florida with (we both moved on the same day- me to Austin and her to NYC). I had a short to-do list which included eating a giant bagel, and buying more matcha from my favorite tea shop, David’s Tea. We finished the day by squirrel watching in Madison Square Park and eating mac and cheese at byChloe (which I tried replicating the day after I got home on Insta Stories and O M G try it now!!! You’re welcome.)

It was pretty much foggy all weekend but my window faced downtown & the Freedom Tower!

This was such a fabulous trip and I’m so so honored to have had the chance to go and film a video with the Essie team. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, Halle & Meagan. I know we are all so grateful to have shared this experience!

And now, for the main event!!

Here’s the final look that I filmed! 

 

So…

The final grand prize winner is picked by a panel of judges that work with Essie! However, there is one more round of voting to pick a FAN FAVE! If you like my look and want to vote (or want to see the other looks!) click here to do so! Voting starts June 23rd and ends July 3rd. The winner will be announced July 5th!

Thank you for your support!!!!

 

<3

Continue Reading

Put a Flower On It!

Happy weekend, everyone!

I hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday morning. I’m currently on my balcony watching the rain fall. I’m seriously cherishing any day here in Austin that’s less than 90 degrees 🙂

Speaking of the heat, hopefully where ever you’re at the flowers are starting to bloom. In honor of this, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite floral nail looks. My friend (and fellow Essie nail art contest partner), Halle, even told me florals are my signature (such a compliment!).

I love painting flowers on my nails because you can do it so many different ways and it always looks beautiful! To pull the look together, I always add a little extra glitter. I love using subtle, shimmery glitters- especially Essie’s Getting Groovy.

Take a look at some of my fave looks below:

Base color: Essie – Bikini So Teeny

Base color: Maxus – Adored

Base color: OPI – Suzi Says Feng Shui

Base Color: Maxus – Inspired

And for my most recent entry for the Essie’s Nail Art Awards:

If you’re dying to know how I do most of my floral manicures, then you’re in luck! I filmed a tutorial for my entry for the second round of the Essie’s Nail Art Awards!

There are still two days left to vote for the competition! If you’re feeling inclined to do so, click here to vote! I really hope you enjoy this tutorial and design. I used the all new Essie Wild Nudes collection! All of the colors are beautiful on their own but I love how they look together as well.

Which floral design is your favorite? I really hope you like all of these looks! Like I said, florals are my fave 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Be sure to follow me on instagram for current updates of what’s on my nails!

xo,

Kara

 

Continue Reading

Festival Season Nail Art

Hey y’all! Happy Friday.

 So, I’m in Austin, Texas where we definitely have our fair share of live music: festivals, concerts every night of the week, or my fave – jazz at the local grocery store (not joking even a little bit). Festival season hasn’t really kicked off here just yet. But with all the Coachella buzz going on, I had to start a little early and jump on the festival nail train. I love any design with some southwest style or vibes, so you can understand how this might be my new favorite nail trend. Here are four looks that I’ve been loving lately.

Tribal Print Nails

I love everything about this design: the colors, the glitter, the intricacy of it – everything! I used my thinnest striping brush to create a diamond-like design atop of my orange and peach blended back ground. Keep reading to see how I make the blended backgrounds on my nails!

Colors used ??:

@opi_products – Hot N Spicy @essiepolish – too too hot, excuse me sur, garden variety, rock at the top, getting groovy, blanc, licorice & @maxusnails base + top coat

90’s Watercolor Nails

There’s something about white nails! I feel so fancy when my nails are this color, it’s like a french manicure but SO MUCH BETTER, because french manicures are boring (IMO 🙂 ).  I am seriously obsessed with this type of design recently too (hence where there are two similar styles back to back!)! It’s so unique, allows you to blend a bunch of colors, and it’s sparkly. You just can’t go wrong.

To achieve this look, I like to paint the nail with a base color (white, 3 coats), and use a quick dry top coat over top. Next, put a small dot of one color on a piece of foil and dip your striping brush in nail polish remover. Swirl the brush and the color together to thin it out. Then, draw a line on your foil to get the excess polish off. This is like the dry brush technique, we want streaky, piece-y lines. Then draw some random lines on your nails. Not too many! Repeat this with the other colors. After you finish, I like to add some lines over the colored streaks with the base color. Repeat the same process with thinning it out, so that it blends well, rather than looking like you’re trying to cover it up. I also LOVE adding glitter because I just believe it pulls everything together flawlessly and it makes you feel like a million bucks.

Colors used ??:

@essiepolish: blanc, all the wave, peach side babe, @deco.miami: petite palm, #slay, bubble tea, @maxusnails top coat

Tag me @karanailedit if you try because I need to see 🙂

Banana Leaf Nails

I’ve been seeing these prints everywhere recently, so I had to make it tiny and put it on my nails. This might look intimidating, but I figured out a trick! Paint a general leaf-y, diamond-y shape with the green. Next, draw tiny lines of purple inward to make the ridges in the leaves. It makes it look so much more difficult, but all you have to draw are basic shapes 🙂 Then I used a lighter green to draw the lines in the middle to complete the look.

Colors used:

@deco.miami Bubble Tea and Petite Palm,

@essiepolish on the roadie

and @maxusnails shiny top coat ✨

Southwestern Cacti Nails

These are my all time fave festival nail. You just have to do cacti. You have to! I especially love these nails because they were my entry for The Essie’s Nail Art Awards and guess what: I’M MOVING ON TO THE NEXT ROUND! Woo!!! Thanks so much to everyone and anyone who voted for me. I can’t even believe you’re taking time out of your day to vote for ME. It’s amazing & I’m so thankful 🙂 There will be another round of voting in less than a month. So I’ll be sure to update the blog with that design and the details and what not. Here’s the video for a tutorial of these nails! I highly highly HIGHLY recommend putting cacti on your nails. It’s life changing 🙂

What’s your fave festival look? I hope these tips were helpful! I can’t get enough of this type of style, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty more.

As always, tag me on instagram  if you recreate a look of mine because it’s honestly the coolest thing and I love seeing your work or reinterpretation 🙂

Have a great weekend!

xo

Continue Reading

Top 11 Nail Art Essentials

Hey everyone!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet, but I’m a total nail art hobbyist, and I’ve learned by watching others and doing research on my own. Nail art can seem a little scary at first, but I’m a walking example that practice is all you need to make beautiful art on your own fingers. I’ve been obsessively painting my nails for a good while now, so I’ve rounded up 11 of my top nail art essentials for you today. Some of them you can substitute with household objects – seriously, I used to use the back of an earring for art when I didn’t have toothpicks (read: poor/lazy college student).

If you’re interested in dipping your toes into nail art, I would suggest starting with using some sort of dotting tool for your designs. You can create so many looks with just this type of tool! And of course, a base coat and fast drying top coat. The top coat is a MUST. This helps seal and protect your design, and it makes your nails look amazing. Not lying, sometimes I smudge a nail, apply another coat of fast dry top coat, and you can’t even tell at all. It’s a holy grail for any manicure in my opinion.

See the video below for my Top 11 Nail Art (and manicure!) Essentials. I hope this video is useful and helps you get started with nail art 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by!

🙂

Continue Reading

Negative Space + Abstract Floral Nail Art Tutorial

Happy weekend, everyone!

It’s been gradually warming up here and I wanted to create a mani that would work for those weird in between winter & spring moments and I thought this was the perfect solution. This manicure uses minimal tools, and you could even get by with just using a toothpick! Floral nail art was actually the first art I ever tried, it’s like a gateway art 🙂 I hope this inspires you to try this design or something like it!

Products used:

Essie – Grow Stronger Base Coat

Essie – Smooth Sailing (on pinkie, ring finger, thumb)

Flowers: 

Essie – Blanc

Essie – Bikini So Teeny

Essie – After School Boy Blazer

Top Coat – Seche Vite

Tools:

Toothpick

Dotting tool (optional)

Detail Brush (you could easily skip this step, or draw a small line with a toothpick too)

See video below:

Thanks for reading! As always, be sure to follow along on Instagram for the latest manicures & art!

🙂

Continue Reading