Back to school with Erin of Blonde Tiger

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I'm not particularly skilled with painting my nails; I'm actually immensely out of practice. However, 12-year-old Nicole reemerged after Erin extended an offer to re-learn the basics and the fine art of bedazzling one's nails.

Erin kicked off our session by having us scan magazines and we, in turn, posed the ultimate question, "how'd they do that?" A lot of the popular nail art featured in magazines, Instagram, Twitter and the Interwebs isn't as difficult as it seems -- Erin believes you need the right tools, a bit of practice, time and a kitchen table to work your magic.

A word of advice: refrain from painting your nails while sitting in front of the TV and balancing atop a glossy magazine (my personal favourite spot). If you want a top-notch base, then gain stability by sitting at a proper table.

 Erin demonstrates the proper stance and placement of her hand when applying polish

Erin demonstrates the proper stance and placement of her hand when applying polish

Before moving onto all that glittered, Erin then asked us what we hoped to walk away with (aside from our very generous goodie bags -- more on that later). We all agreed we wanted to learn fun and simple ways of decorating our nails.

Easy enough.

 Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

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Then came the necessary step of having to set-up our tools, cotton pads, orange sticks and nail polish -- having everything at the ready helps to reduce your chances of bumping a nail or two.

So what did I learn in class? Here are a few highlights...

  • An all-in-one base/top coat isn't as good as their counterparts. While you might be saving money by buying a double-acting performer, you'll also be effecting the longevity of your manicure. Chips abound.
  • Paint brushes purchased from the craft store also make for the best and most cost-effective nail art tools. The same goes for glitter and rhinestones.
  • A toothpick can be used as a dotting tool. Want fatter dots? Dull the point by firmly tapping it on a hard surface.
  • Love blue nail polish, but hate that it stains your nails? Apply a base coat.
  • Want perfect lines, shapes and patterns? Just add tape. The trick is to wait at least 24-hours before even thinking about adhering tape to your nails or you'll run the risk of pulling the polish off of your nails.
  • Reinforcements work as guides and help with achieving an awesome moon manicure.
  • Over your sparkly mani? Wrap your tips with acetone soaked cotton pads and tinfoil in order to expedite the glitter removal process.
  • Tunnel vision -- take this into consideration and move your hand away from your face every now and then in order to gain some perspective while decorating your nails.
  • Still file your nails in one direction? Feel free to file whichever way you please, because the modern-day emery board won't tear up your nails like its predecessor once did.

Need a boost? You can also look forward to a glass of bubbles (or two) and nibbles -- it was a perfect way to get to know each other a little better as well.

Keep in mind, the things I listed above is only a fraction of what you'll take away from attending Erin's three hour nail art workshop.

 It's all in the hands

It's all in the hands

 All that glitters

All that glitters

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Aside from leaving with polished nails, you can also look forward to taking home a goodie bag. Whee!

 The goods

The goods

The setting was very much an open forum -- no question or idea was judged or thought to be stupid and not once did I feel intimated to test my newfound skills.

Put that in your pipe, Klutz Nail Art book!

Want a night out with your Mom and your sister? Have a hen's night on the horizon? Or, you're looking to hone your skills? Visit Blonde Tiger for more information.

If you do go, don't forget to ask Erin about one of the many ways to use Elmer's glue :)

And the woman behind Blonde Tiger, here's a glimpse inside Erin's makeup bag.

*This class was complimentary (thanks for a fun night in, Erin). Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.