Today I’d like to share with you the nails I’ve been rocking for almost week now.
I love them so much that I made a little step by step collage on how I created them, using a nailwheel, 3 colors of nail polish, a little piece of make up sponge (not pictured) a fountain pen and acrylic ink.
- These are the nail polishes I used. Apart from a base and topcoat of course. From left to right are: Essence - Via Airmail!, China Glaze – Beach Cruise-R and China Glaze – Sweet Hook.
- This is the pen and the inks I used for this little step by step.
- First, paint your nail a base color and let it dry.
- Create a gradient on a little make up sponge by putting a stripe of all three colors on it and dabbing it onto the nail like so.
- Once the nail polish has dried you can start drawing on it using acrylic ink and a fountain pen.
- Make the pattern as large or small as you want, I nearly stopped at this point liking this design very much already but deciding to push for more as I have a weakness for full nail designs.
- This is the nail once I was finished drawing with white.
- I’ve added some blue details to it to make it look extra special.
- After all has dried I’ve topcoated my nail and hey presto, you have your very own portable piece of art at your fingertip!
I didn’t think I would do it, honestly I don’t care much about Easter nail art. All the Easter eggs, bunnies and crosses in pastel shades usually do not do it for me but when my mom asked me if I wasn’t going to do any Easter themed nails I took it as a bit of a challenge to find something I like that does have a bit of an Easter feel to it.
So I came up with these:
Excuse the dry cuticles, I’m working on those, believe me! I know what’s causing them too, you see, I’m just too stubborn or actually too impatient to stop using Acetone free remover, so every time I take off my polish I dry out my cuticles a tad more and I have to use my OPI Avoplex things again to get them a bit more presentable again… A never ending cycle really. You know how it goes I’m sure…
Anyway what I used for this mani is the following:
Orly Nailtrition – The basecoat
China Glaze‘s For Audrey – The base color
Konad‘s Wine Red stamping polish for the dots as I couldn’t find my brown.
A Sponge Bob Stamping plate for the dots (Click here to go to the Ebay page to buy it):
And of course a royal coat of Seche Vite to protect it all and after that I was done. That’s all there is to it really and it makes for a cute, really wearable Easter manicure.
She had another one of them both and was looking for someone to trade with. I happily jumped in on that opportunity because Helena was a color I had my eye on for a little while now and I am sending her some Barry M‘s in return.
Julep isn’t a company I’ve had any experience with before and to be honest I wasn’t very interested in at all because for us Dutch people it is quite hard to come by and the polishes are quite pricey… that was until I saw fair Helena. It was love at first sight for me and I just had to have her. You see, I have a thing for very saturated colors lately, you know the kind; those colors that just scream summertime. It must be the cold weather because only a little while ago I was more into muted tones.
Now on to more information about this polish. This is what is said about it on Julep’s own page:
Ultra-saturated fuchsia. Looks great on all skin tones. A favorite of Seattle Magazine’s beauty editors. Professional quality “4-free” nail polish formulation, developed without carcinogens such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. Shine on! $1 will be donated to organizations that support women through our Powered by Girlfriends program.
Well they’re certainly not lying there, this color does seem to look great on all skin tones! I’ve been Googling swatches before I decided I really wanted this and it seriously just delivers every single time on every skin tone.
Helena is a fuchsia, so it’s not pink and it’s not purple but stuck somewhere in between. And I’ve got to tell you the coverage is fabulous due to the heavy pigmentation. Is it worth the $14 though? I am honestly not sure. I haven’t worn this for more than two days (without any tipwear or chipping so that’s good) but is it worth the $14 they ask for it on the site? I haven’t quite decided yet… Let me show you the other polishes I have in my collection that could be a good dupe of it, first I will show you the polishes in the bottle:
- Sinful Colors – Dream On = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz – $2 to $4
- Julep – Helena = 8 ml/.27 fl oz – $14
- O.P.I. – Don’t know… Beets me! = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz - $7 to $12.
- O.P.I. – Dim Sum Plum = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz – $7 to $12.
Dream on by Sinful Colors, the cheapest one of the four polishes pictured here and is the one that, to me, looks the most like Helena. Not just in color but also in texture after application.
It’s hard to capture the colors right by the way, especially when you are wearing it on your fingernails as you can see on the picture here on the right. But hey at least I gave it a shot right?
I believe Dream on has a hint more blue to it and doesn’t apply as evenly. The manicure you see here by the way has two layers of each polish over a basecoat. I did not apply a topcoat just so you can see how glossy the O.P.I. polishes are on their own while Helena and Dream on both dry to a semi matte that reminds me of the rubberized finish the recent Illamasqua Theater of the Nameless polishes have.
Now, my points for Helena. All in all I give this polish the following rating:
– For staying power so far, I can’t say much of it yet of course but so far, so really good!
- For color, it’s just a fabulous bright, intense eye catching color, I love it!
- For coverage, one layer is enough to be opaque but I used two for a bit more depth in the color.
- For price, $14 dollars is a LOT of money compared to Sinful Colors’ near dupe of $2!
- For amount. I would have loved to have more. It is only 8 ml/.27 fl oz compared to Sinful Colors’ 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz
So a couple of good scores but a few bad ones as well I’m afraid… But that doesn’t change the way I feel about this color at all, I am very very smitten still, it’s a stunning almost unique color and I am very certain that a lot of people feel the same way after applying it or even seeing it in the bottle.
And now a quickie about the Julep Fast Dry Topcoat that beautiful Helena came with it. I do like it for doing its job, it dries quickly as the name implies but man it smells! Never have I smelled anything like it before and I wonder what it is that is actually causing this. The description on their site is as follows:
Formulated to provide a glossy finish that prevents yellowing and protects nail color with fast-drying shine. For best results, use with Julep Basecoat or Julep Nail Therapy and Julep Nail Vernis. Professional quality “4-free” nail polish formulation, developed without carcinogens such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. Shine on! $1 will be donated to organizations that support women through our Powered by Girlfriends program.
I wondered at first that because the polish is “4 free” it would have that smell, but Helena smells perfectly fine so it might be the component that prevents the polish from yellowing or makes it dry faster than regular polish. Well, I don’t know what it is but I know that I really don’t like it and I switched over to my ever loyal Seche Vite to finish the job. Yes, Seche Vite smells strongly too but the scent is familiar and gone again pretty quickly so it’s easy to handle I guess…
Okay, on to the ratings for the topcoat:
– For staying power. It dries quickly too as promised.
- For color, it’s a topcoat, no color.
- For coverage, it applies quickly and easily.
- For price, $14 dollars is a LOT of money compared to other topcoats. Seche Vite sells for $5.40 on Amazon and that contains 14ml/.5 fl oz, so yeah…
- For amount. Again, it is only 8 ml/.27 fl oz
Now what do you think of this brand, have you tried the Julep brand before or is the availability and quite possibly the price holding you back? And do you have anything like this color and love it as much as I do?
This is my current festive manicure, what do you ladies (and possible gentlemen) think of it?
It’s a layer of Sally Hansen’s Triple Strong as a base. Over that I have OPI’s An Affair in Red Square with a little layer of Beyu’s 209 over it for some extra depth. I’ve stamped an all over image with white Konad stamping polish on top of it for some holiday cheer. It’s an image from the BIG SdP K plate. One of the many Dashica Beauty Shop plates that I have. Over that I’ve dabbed some foil glue in the spots where I wanted my rhinestones to be and after putting those on I’ve used Seche Vite topcoat to seal it all. If you have not tried Seche Vite I seriously urge you to try it. It is the best topcoat I’ve tried. It dries gorgeously shiny and fast. And it keeps my manicure going for at least a week if applied correctly.
What do you think? I rarely wear red on my nails so it takes some getting used to for me and I might just switch when it’s Christmas, to something else and more sophisticated like Chanel Graphite. But for now it’s certainly helping me get in the holiday spirit!
Are you wearing any special holiday manicures this year?
Today I kind of have a little mixed media project on my nails because I’ve used several things to get to this flashy end result.
I started it all off by using a nice base coat and covered that with a silver polish by Barry M as a color base. I used a silver polish as a base because I intend to use a silver nailart foil. And the foil doesn’t always stick to the glue right you might get some bald spots. So this is just to make sure you cover your nails completely.
After that had dried I applied special foil glue and added a layer of silver foil that I’ve ordered from Dollarnailart ages ago.
Nailfoils are nothing like the nail stickers that Sally Hanson or all the other brands currently are selling. Foils are sold in a long rolled up strip that you can cut sections off of. You then rub those sections onto your nail after putting on a special glue. This glue dries clear and tacky and it helps the foil adhere to the nail. Once you’re certain the foil has attached to the glue you very gently pull it off. So what is left on your nail is a very very thin layer of color that has come off the actual foil that is now clear. The layer is so thin that it will get scraped off easily, this and the glue react strongly to certain topcoats so you need to be careful with that as well.
Just so the foil doesn’t crinkle I coated the silver nails royally with a waterbased topcoat by Piggy Polish, and by royally I mean at least three layers. After that had dried I stamped it with my black Konad stamping polish and Konad plate m57 topping it off with a regular topcoat.
Here’s the end result:
They are a bit hard to photograph because of how reflective they are, but they are so much fun to wear that I just had to give it a shot and take a picture for you all.
Have you ladies tried foils before? If yes, did you like it? If no, would you in the future?
Yellow nail polish is currently quite a hit and I’ve rocked the color numerous times already. But what if, underneath it all, your nails are stained just as yellow and you’re afraid to go ‘bare nail’ because of that?
If you have stains on your nails from nail polish or other staining things like paint and such, luckily there are a few things you can do about it. You can start by using a good basecoat religiously and wait for the yellow stains to grow out, but you can also speed up the process by doing a few other things…
- You can use one of those nail-buffers that you can use to make your nails shine to buff the top layer off of your nail. If you’re lucky and you’ve only had a polish stain the top layer, this is the perfect one time solution to getting rid of those ugly yellow tint stains on your nails. Because this is quite an aggressive way to treat the stains I suggest you do this no more than once every month or two. Buffing your nail does make your nail thinner every time you do it and you will end up with perhaps pretty looking, but extremely thin and fragile nails. You don’t want that do you?
- You can soak your nails in water with lemon juice or lemon slices. The acid in the juice will strip away stains and grease. Do not do this too often as your nails do, of course, contain calcium and calcium and acid aren’t exactly friends and it can leave your nails soft and weak. If you don’t have much time and don’t want to do the whole soaking things; simply rub a slice of lemon directly underneath and on top of your nails.
- Mix up a nice little paste with some lemon juice and baking soda. It doesn’t only look cool because it will start to fizz a little, but it will also whiten your nails quite a bit when you scrub your nails with this mixture using an old toothbrush. Beware that this is quite an abrasive little mix and it might end up making your nails feel quite rough, so do not do this too often!
- Not everyone has just a couple of lemons or baking soda lying around, so you can also use a common whitening toothpaste. So try scrubbing your nails with an old toothbrush and whitening toothpaste!
- This is something I do often myself: Dissolve a tablet of denture cleaner into a small bowl of lukewarm water. Then, soak your nails for about five to ten minutes. Sure your fingers will smell minty and that’s not always something you want, but it will also have cleaned your nails quite a bit. This is also a great tip for people who have long acrylic or gel nails to get them really cleaned up well underneath as it’s sometimes hard to get into each nook and cranny when washing your hands!
- If you happen to have some 3% hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet you could soak a cotton ball with it and rub it into your nails. Let it dry and rinse your hands before putting on a basecoat or a nail treatment of your choice.
Be sure to always wash and moisturize your hands after doing these treatments as both mint and acid works as an astringent and will leave your nails and your hands feeling quite dry.
Will you be trying out or have you tried some of these out before and would like to share the experience, please comment below! If you have other tips share those too! I’m curious to know what you think.
And now, about a week ago, by tweeting a little message I won a nailcare package provided by HetCosmeticahuis.nl of the British high-end nailpolish brand Ciaté! Can you imagine, a nailpolish nut like me, winning nailpolish and all kinds of awesome other items? I was over the moon I tell you!
Right away I got a sweet private message from Cosmetica Huis telling me I could pick a color and they’d send out the package right away.
That was a tough one, Ciaté has 40 seriously amazing colors. I first wanted to go for my standard go to color; purple. However, I found myself looking at all the wonderful colors this brand has and I opted for a cream style green called ‘Stiletto’. I like green on my nails, somehow it seems to go really well with my pale skin tone and I didn’t have a nice rich sap green like this yet. I already spotted a nice dupe for this color – Starboard from the Anchors Away collection by China Glaze – but since I don’t own this color either I decided to go for the Ciaté one.
Read on to see what my experience with this brand was and of course to see more pictures…
The package arrived two days later and I was just really pleasantly surprised because not only did I win the polish; I had also won a rhinestone wheel with the most adorable little 1mm multicolored rhinestones, a nailpolish remover in a glass bottle which had an adorable matching bow, a nail file and cuticle care cream!
I started with a nice coat of my favorite nail hardener by Orly called ‘Naitrition’ which I’ve mentioned on this blog before then put on two coats of Stiletto. One coat was a bit too sheer for my taste, but two coats did the trick. I liked the brush, it has 250 hairs and it’s slightly oval so it takes good care of your coverage.
The bottle promises that it contains a long lasting full coverage nail enamel so I was going to test this out for sure.
I was sad to discover that a few bits of the polish had chipped off by the end of the first day. All of them were along the free edge of my nails, though not all nails were affected and I wondered if it could be the fault of the basecoat I had used. Maybe I should use a Ciaté base coat or possibly not just a nail hardener.
Four days after that sad discovery the chips were, of course, still there. I did not cover them to see what would happen and honestly, no more had appeared and the chips that did occur before hadn’t become any larger. So all in all, I am very very happy about the staying power of this polish and I think that if I had used a different basecoat and topcoat I would have had completely perfect nails through day five.
During the time I wore my polish I started to use the nice jar of Miss Rich Nail Growth Promoting Balm with Biotin that came with the package. On the jar it says the following: “An active Balm enriched with Biotin for its nail strengthening properties. Contains Shea Butter infused with Apricot Kernel, Jojoba and Kukui Oil. These natural ingredients deeply condition and protect nails and cuticles from free radicals.” It smells very sweet but it is not overwhelming. So far I’ve really enjoyed the cream but I since I already religiously use my L’Occitane handcreams daily I didn’t feel it was making my hands any softer than they were already so I feel I can’t review this honestly. It is lovely though, nothing wrong with it at all.
When I decided to take off the polish I used the special remover that came with the prize package. Now let me tell you, next to the pretty polish this is my favorite product of the package. You see, when I first got it I spotted that on the front of the bottle it says White Chocolate Gentle and Nourishing Nail Polish Remover which of course made me, a big fan of anything chocolate, very curious. It even says so on the bottle: “A gentle nourishing nail polish remover with a non-drying formulation enriched with Panthenol (vitamin B5) and Vitamin E. Delicately fragranced with White chocolate essence.” So I untwisted the cap and took a whiff of it and made a face because, yuck, it smelled just as strong and non chocolaty like all the other regular removers I have used before. I put it aside and kind of forgot about it until I thought it was time to take off the polish. I decided to use the Ciaté remover and poured a little bit of it in a tiny cap and stuck my finger in it to soak off the polish like I always do. After about thirty seconds I was able to whipe it all off my nailplate with a tissue with one whipe and oh my goodness, there it was – once my finger dried – the gorgeous scent of creamy, yummy, delicious chocolate! I had only tried one other scented nail polish remover before that smelled this good and that’s the strawberry one by Konad. However, this one, ladies and gentlemen, takes the cake! If you ever want to spoil yourself you need to order this nailpolish remover as soon as you can!
Besides all these things I also got a lovely wheel filled with 1 mm rhinestones in all kinds of pretty colors and a nailfile for soft/weak nails that I have yet to try.
All in all my first experience with the Ciaté brand, AND the hetcosmeticahuis.nl webshop was quite a pleasant one! I am looking forward to buying some polish colors and more nailcare products by this company. It might take a while before I do this because this is a high end brand and their products are quite pricey as you can see here in the list of products I received in this give-away:
- €15,49 Miss Rich Nail Growth Promoting Balm with Biotin
- €17,99 White Chocolate Gentle and Nourishing Nail Polish Remover
- €11,99 Ciaté – Stiletto – 13.5ml – Creme
- € 3,99 Ciaté – File for soft/weak nails
Alas the rhinestone wheel that I also received with the set is not for sale at the shop so I cannot tell you how much it costs or where you can order it.