Beauty & Food?! Essie DIY Nail Tutorial Event at Minami

If you browse through my instagram, there isn’t any pretty nail art. I attended a DIY Nail Art Tutorial hosted by Essie several weeks ago and the venue was at Minami Restaurant( and I was ecstatic because my inner foodie jumping up and down.) I could cross off two things that I wanted to do on my list: learn how to do nail art and try out Minami.

Taking a look at my nail section on my blog, all the nail stuff I do with nail polish is pretty much just one colour swatch, there aren’t any funky and unique designs, simply because I cannot draw anything in that tiny space. However, at this Essie DIY Nail Art Tutorial event, I had the pleasure in meeting Essie Canada’s Lead Nail Artist Rita Remark who showed us how to do a creative, yet simple design from our humble abode.

Also, because this was held at a fabulous Japanese restaurant, there is a mini food review on the bottom. So- nail art first; food second. Skip to whichever you want to read! :)

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Essie display at Minami

 Everyone was given their own little working station at Minami. Three colours are put to the side to create the design that we were going to learn. I was attracted to that stunning blue; hence this was my seat of the day. We also got a special cocktail that was created for this event!

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The colours I worked with were Fiji, Naughty Nautical, and Aruba Blue. Fiji is a pale, creamy pink colour. I had some trouble getting even application with this, but luckily those can be looked over due to the designs we learnt at the event. Naughty Nautical is a turquoise colour and Aruba Blue is a brilliant shade of cobalt blue with high shine.

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Left to Right: Fiji, Naughty Nautical, Aruba Blue

 Oh, and a must- always start with a base coat and finish with a top coat to prevent staining nails and chipping! I used Essie Millionails as a base coat (I have this home too) and Essie Good to Go as a top coat.

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The design on the nails we were going for today is a scalloped pattern, inspired by beach and waves. I started using a light colour, Fiji. I used two coats to ensure I had  streak-free, opaque coloured nails. To start with the second colour (I used Naughty Nautical), which is the middle section on the nail, I take the brush and put a small blob at the area where it “scallops” then run the brush to the tip. Then I repeat using the darkest colour (Aruba blue) over the middle colour. ( I think I may do an Instagram video to show how this is done, thoughts?! )

Some tips!

  • Start with the lightest colour first!
  • Swirl the nail polish brush in the polish bottle, like a coffee, and then flatten the brush against the rim to make sure there is only polish on one side of the brush.

When I started, I thought it looked like a melting ice cream bar!

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The final look… (excuse me dry cuticles thank you )

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Not only is the design cute, but it is so easy to do! I only need my bottles of Essie and the way the brush fans out to create this pattern works perfectly. Essie has been using the same nail polish brush for the past 30 years; if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

At the end of the event, the attendees had the privilege of taking home Essie’s 2014 Summer Collection. Countless combinations of colours to do some DIY nail art! I swatched Too Taboo so far!

essie too taboo

Essie nail polishes can be bought at drugstores including London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, Superstore, and Target or online! I have included online links below for each colour:


And now, time to dive into the food at Minami. As some of you may not know, this blog started out as a food blog, and it was a difficult decision for me to become more of a beauty blogger than food blogging, but since it’s my domain I can splatter as much foodporn as I want. Seriously, who doesn’t love food?!

Minami Restaurant in Yaletown is a sister restaurant to Miku Restaurant at Waterfront. Miku is an upscale Japanese restaurant and specializes in aburi sushi. It’s quite expensive and I went there once earlier this year for my boyfriend’s birthday. The food is so exquisite and fresh. (However, it’s a place that also costs $3 for tea.)

We all started with a drink at the event. I contacted Minami wondering what it was, because it was so refreshing and delicious- it tasted minty with a hint of sweetness. Turns out, it was specially developed for this day and it’s called Essie Signature Cocktail. It’s a blend of Hendrick’s Gin, lemon, lime, raspberry puree, pineapple juice, and a splash of soda. Then, it is topped with a slice of strawberry, mint, and cucumber. I wonder if I could order this again?!

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While I was in contact with the PR from Minami, eventually, I got hold of the whole menu served at Minami that day. My nails were not fully dry while I was nomming my sushi, so the quality of the photos are not the greatest. (First world #BeautyBloggerProblems)

Starting from the left to right, going in a semi circle:

      • Vegetable Roll (featured market vegetable roll)
      • Aburi Salmon Oishi Sushi (pressed BC Wild Salmon, jalepeno, miku sauce)
      • Red Wave Roll (crab, avocado, wrapped in red tuna, masatake sauce)
      • Aburi Ebi Oishi Sushi (pressed shrimp, lime zest, ume sauce)

My favourite out of these is the Aburi Salmon Oishi Sushi (closely followed by the Aburi Ebi Oishi Sushi.) The aburi sushi takes flame seared sushi to a new level, the salmon melts in the mouth and I can taste a light smoky flaavour.  The miku sauce is a creation of the restaurant (as I was told when I went to Miku) and it reminds me of mayo they put in Japadogs; very delicious. I also want to add that there is no need for soy sauce, the sushi itself is flavourful enough to hold its own.

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 The lotus chip canape in the top, right corner is Albacore Tuna and Kale Goma-ae (lotus root chips, seasame sauce.) In the middle we have the Spicy Pork Gyoza (chili oil, soy, vinegar,) and an Ebi Fritter (sweet chili aioli, soy balsamic reduction.) I especially enjoyed the gyoza, the skin wasn’t too thick and there was a generous portion of juicy, spicy pork meat that made me water for more. The ebi fritter was superby as well.

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Going over the menu, apparently I missed out on the..

      • Heirloom Tomato & Sakura Salted Cherry Blossom Bocconcini Cheese (shiso, balsamic reduction)
      • Wild Sockeye Salmon Poke (spicy sesame ponzu vinegrette, wakame, red onion, cucumber, celery, shiso,) and the
      • Minami Roll (aburi short rib, spicy prawn, cucumber, and wasabi masatake sauce)

*FACEPALM* for not trying out the roll named after the restaurant. Well, I just got to go back again. The atmosphere at Minami is very professional and the food left me with cravings for aburi sushi.

This Essie DIY Nail Tutorial event was a blast; being served great food, listening to professionals, and connecting with bloggers was a memorable experience. Now, time to add some more neons to my nails!

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  • Jo

    Hi Whitney! I love this post! How do you know about this DIY event? I’d love to try it out too. I heard so many good things about Minami, hoping to try it soon!

    xo Jo

    • Whitney

      I got an email about it :) Ahh I highly recommend this restaurant, thought it’s kinda pricey :(

  • jenn @Abeautifulzen

    zomgs the foooood. i’ll have to check this out next time i’m in town. i stil haven’t gone to that spaghetti place and its literally a few blocks from davids.

    this event looked so fun when you guys were ‘gramming it! and i love the cloud manicure. i didn’t know it would be simple to do.


    A Beautiful Zen

    • Whitney

      You need to do some food hopping when you come back to van! There’s a bunch of new ramen places around that spaghetti place too.

      Yeeeeeh and this is probably the first legit nail art I’ve tried, though as you can see, my nail polish sort of bled everywhere on my skin._.”

  • MizzJ

    What a fun event! Now I regret not going :(

    • Whitney

      Did you have work that day? :( Hopefully there’s more similar events in the future!!

      • MizzJ

        Yeah :( I couldn’t take so long a lunch that day.

  • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

    My God THE FOOD, THE FOOD!!! I just had dinner, but looking at it makes me hungry again!

    I really need to grab Naughty Nautical. It’s such a pretty shade! The nail art turned out beautifully as well :)

    • Whitney

      Me too, Sunny, me too. The power of food.

      I need to grab it too, though I have a feeling I may have a dupe at home….

  • TheHappySloths

    I miss the food, don’t think I can afford going back there myself lol

    • Whitney

      I know :( *cross fingers* maybe more events will be there!

  • Sarah M

    Your nail art scallops came out so smooth and rounded! Very pretty. Your food pics and descriptions sound delicious!

    • Whitney

      Thanks Sarah! I just have to work on not painting my skin haha! Aww yeah, I’m craving for some aburi sushi now..

  • jadiee bevan

    Your Blog is amazing!!! I love your photos and your design

    would be amazing if you would check out my new blog posthttp://myroutinesjade.blogspot…

    thank you so much

    have a lovely day

    • Whitney

      Thank you! Will check it out :)

  • Melanie

    Wow seems like it was such a fun event! Love the scalloped design too!

    • Whitney

      Yeah, beauty and food can never go wrong :) Me too! Maybe i’ll try more layers at home

  • Naomi Tse

    whoa this event sounds awesome! The design looks easy but I would totally screw up haha

    • Whitney

      Don’t worry, this design is more fool proof that I thought! Though waiting for it to dry is tricky, I messed up when I went to the washroom :(

  • KarenD

    Looks like a fun event! First time I saw this design was when Nailside did it a couple years back. Her tutorial for the look is here:

    • Whitney

      Thanks for showing me that blog! So much creative nail art to be inspired by. And her clouds are SO much better than mine!

  • Bailey

    Ahh, I would have loved to go to this event! Looks like so much fun! I love the way your nails turned out – great technique to try!

    aka Bailey

    • Whitney

      Thanks!! Give it a try 😀 I wanna replicate your nail designs too !