Keeping dem Claws [Acrylic DIY]

If you know me, then you know if there is a surface or medium to get creative with, i’ll use it! No lack of funds will stop me!

Growing up I was always into having funky nails but I wouldn’t say obsessed. The polish took waaaaay too long to dry and it chipped after a day of me working on some other creative outlet. So it was really a love/hate relationship as you can see. Then about 2 years ago I was introduced to gel polish. It was love at first swipe ❤ Once I saw how quickly it cured under the lights and how forgiving it was to blunders, I knew I needed to invest in my own kit. $30 each session at a salon can add up quick! I decided on the Gelish Complete Starter Kit from Amazon. The one linked comes with 2 full size polishes while mine only had 2 small ones, so you are getting a better deal 😉

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After purchasing, I spent a time sticking to plain colors and the occasional polka-dot but soon got bored. I once again decided to make my way back to the salon and try out acrylics. I was hooked! Just check out my wedding nails by Alex at Red Carpet Nails!

View More: http://apluslphoto.pass.us/shintinwedding

Well after a number of trips to the salon and not wanting to ever go without acrylic nails again, I realized this too was too much for my budget, so back to DIY I went! I purchased the KISS French Acrylic Starter Kit from a Fred Meyer here in town. I read through the instructions and remembered back to everything I noticed the technician at the salon doing when I was in the chair. Here is how it went down…

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  1. Trimmed my natural nails down and filed them a bit to remove any left over acrylic from previous salon application.
  2. Picked out the appropriate size nail tips and glued them to each nail.
  3. Clipped each nail down to size and to make desired points.
  4. Filed to smooth points.

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5. I then did the acrylic application as per package instructions.

Here is how it turned out after I applied my gel polish and witch inspired nail art. Not too shabby for my first attempt!

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After this first try I learned a few things. #1 I desperately need that little dremel tool the nail techs use. I couldn’t get my nails as smooth and perfectly shaped only using hand files :/ #2 I knew I couldn’t spend $100 bucks on one. That is when I began hunting and ended up with this: AGPtEK Professional Nail file Yes, most of what I purchase comes from Amazon. We have Prime and they have everything. Nuff said.

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I realized I wanted adjustable speed and good user reviews. Budget was $40 or less. This guy was only $31.99 with 4 stars out of 70 reviews. SOLD! It works very, very well. The one complaint I have is that one of the tips does not fit, but for only $32 and 5 other tips to choose from, who really cares. The foot pedal I have not used and probably wont since I never need to “leave my station” as I am my only client haha. This tool leveled up my nail game 100%! The acrylic was now smooth and with the smaller tips I could get the shaping just right. Here is my second go at acrylic nails with gel polish. They go with my Halloween costume that I am so excited to reveal this upcoming Saturday!! Follow @thepennywisepinup if you want to keep up with my shenanigans in pin-up style creativity!

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Happy almost Halloween!!!

-Penny La Pêche

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My 1st Pinup Shoot!

A few months ago, in the perfect sense of the word irony, I was contacted by one of my past models who told me she loved my look and was wondering if I was interested in modeling a pinup shoot for her. Crazy right?! It sounded fun, as I had never done a pinup shoot before, but I did have the wedding coming up so I told her I really couldn’t think about planning anything else at that point in time. We decided the best thing to do would be to get in touch after the big day.

After the wedding (and a few business trips later!), with a 2nd place win in my first ever pinup competition, I was ready to commit. Deedra of Deedra Stephens Photography gave me some inspiration photos and I went to work curating the perfect pinup outfits. I was SOOO nervous! If you have read my previous post on the pinup competition then you know that even though I have been ‘living’ pinup for years, the only pinup photos I have taken thus far were done by me (with my iPhone) for this blog and my @thepennywisepinup Instagram account!

What if I sucked?! How embarrassing would that be? “Meet Penny la Peche! the un-pinupable pinup!” Sounds like a sideshow attraction, don’t ya think? The entire night leading up to the shoot I was nauseous as all hell. I lit my favorite Yankee candle and went to work setting my curls, packing my wardrobe and digging out my falsies.

The next morning I woke bright and early. When it comes to my hair, I leave it in the curls for as long as absolutely possible! My normal primping routine goes something like this…

  1. Set Hair (Either the night before or heat set the morning of and pin.)
  2. Do Make-up (No lips! Your hair will most likely get stuck in them while styling if you do.)
  3. Do Hair
  4. Get Dressed
  5. Put on Lips (That finishing touch, ya know?)

Once I was all ready, I packed up my outfit changes, makeup and poise and headed for the location.

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The day went amazingly! We started out by warming up in her studio. I put on some music because when I work with models it makes them much more comfortable and it sure as heck helped me! After that we headed to Blue Moon Diner.

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Our final location was a special request by me, Harvey Marine. This used to be a boat dealership but now is vacant of the water vessels and deals only in boat parts. Now it’s just good ol’ Harvey. A 26′ tall rabbit statue that I have been dreaming of getting shots with! I’m really excited with how these images turned out. Shooting with Deedra Stephens Photography was casual, comfortable and I highly recommend it!

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Hope you like them!

-Penny la Pêche

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