Friday, 28 June 2013

Easy Nail Stain Removal

I decided to take off my bright manicure from last night. To my dismay, it went from this:

To this. 

In my rush to get the post happening I didn't use any base coat and ended up with the worst staining that I've ever had. 

I would usually buff out light nail polish stains but these ones were too bright to do that.  I would have to thin out the nails a little too much for my liking. I did a bit of a research on how to remove these stains with different methods and came across to methods that used anything from using toothpaste and lemon to harsher things like peroxide and bleach.  

I decided to keep it on the gentler side and opted for whitening toothpaste to begin with.    This is the before photo in sunlight that makes the stains look a little better.

Took out my old toothbrush and used a Middle Eastern whitening toothpaste. Nothing particular about the formula of this toothpaste, I just happened to be using it at the time.

I added a little water and scrubbed for bout a minute and then rinsed.

The stains didn't disappear completely but the intensity lessened. 

I wasn't completely happy with it so I moved onto bicarbonate soda. I put about a teaspoon of the powder into a little dish.

I added water haphazardly and ended up with salty water so I had to start again. I'd say to get the paste below, I added the same volume of water as I did of bicarb soda. It's just a matter of playing around with it till the consistency is manageable and can be picked up easily with the toothbrush.

I scrubbed for about two minutes with the paste and rinsed completely so I ended up with this result.

Much better. I think they are the whitest they have been for a while.

 Even though I (think I) used relatively gentle methods, all the chemicals, scrubbing and rinsing, left my nails a bit dry. I lathered my fingertips, nails and cuticles in Neutrogena Hand Cream. I find it to be very rich and good for this sort of occasions. 

I'm actually happy with the way they look without polish, I may leave them to breathe for a day.

I know there a massive number of links that show you how to remove stains but I wanted to share my experience. Hope you guys find this helpful in the event of nail stains. 

Do you have a preferred method for stain removal? Do you have a way, apart from base coats, to avoid the stains to begin with?

Till next time, 


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Essie Matte About You. Or How I Thought I Was Living In a Lie

If you were to look at the matte tag in this blog, you may notice about a third of all my posts have been matted. I love the matte finish and the soft light it reflects. So far I've been using Rimmel Pro Matte Finish and I was in love. After reading a few blogs, I discovered that the this matte top coat was actually giving my manis a satin finish and not the full on matte effect. I decided to do some research and look for the best matte top coat to ensure I was actually in love with the matte finish and not the satin one. 

This is how I came across essie's Matte About You. I'd read in various places that essie MAY and OPI's Matte Top Coat gave the best results so off I went to this trustworthy eBay seller and only found MAY for sale. I got the bottle of polish today and I had to try it out straight away. 

I knew exactly what mani I wanted to try it with to have a truly matte finish. I started with two coats of Topshop in Celestial, a beautiful periwinkle blue creme that is no longer on sale. There are plenty of dupes out there but the quality of Topshop polishes is impressive so I stuck with this one. Please excuse the crappy clean up I knew, I would have to clean up the rest of the polishes later. They get cleaner, I promise. 

Once Celestial was almost dry, I dabbed one coat of essence in The Huntsman from the Snow White Collection. I even got a long bar glitter that I didn't know the polish included.  Dabbing FTW! This took a while to dry so I applied a coat of Seche Vite to speed up the process. 

This is where I decided to put one coat of Rimmel PMF on first to see it would compare to MAY. Pretty  and soft, right? 

I let the mani dry completely before applying one coat of MAY. 

I didn't really see any difference but the I thought it may have had to do with the layering of matte polishes. So I started again to make sure there was clear difference.

More after the break.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Maybelline Impeccable Greys and Ozotic 528

Super quick post tonight. 

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a shop. Yes, I am being vague but I do not remember where I went, so I can't say. I think it was the Chemist Warehouse and they were having a half price sale and I kept thinking, 'What polish colour don't I have that I can buy because this Maybelline Color Show bottles are really cheap?'. It was that moment that I realised that I had only one light grey that is not actually a grey, so I got Impeccable Greys for about $3. 

Impeccable Greys is a dark grey creme that is opaque with two coats and the formula is very manageable. When I applied the first coat I saw it was very sheer and that it would take a few coats to reach opacity but turns out the second made it dark and even throughout. I didn't take any photos of it by itself because I was impatient and wanted to do some nail art with it. I thought it'd be cool to create a glitter skittle with Ozotic 528  but the execution wasn't great as you can see below. Topped it all off with a coat of Seche Vite.

I know it's terrible but I love this Ozotic polish. Tasha did a small review of the polish here when she first started the blog and that's the main reason I ended up buying it. I thought I didn't really have much to add to it but then I took this photo.

Most swatches show the green/purple duochrome of the glitter but the flash of my camera ended up showing all the colours in the spectrum between the green and purple. This shift is visible in real life if you are paying heaps of attention and try to see the orange/red/blue colours that appear with some lights.

For some reason, I thought this polish had been discontinued from the piCture pOlish website but turns out you can still get here and, for overseas buyers, through their international network. I'm nowhere near done with my bottle but it's good to see that I'll be able to still get it when I run out.

Till next time, 


Monday, 24 June 2013

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Scarab

Dear Queensland winter, 

You are so mild that I can see the neighbours running around in their shorts and t-shirts playing water fights at midday. I don't know how you manage to do that to some people considering I haven't escaped my hoodie for longer than five minutes just in case you decided to blow some really cold wind. The short sunlight hours are a bit of  problem too. See I was hanging out with my nephew and sister this afternoon and when I was ready to take photos of my nails, the sun was gone!!! I had to resort to using my flash light which only gave me mildly-colour-accurate pictures.

I've been wearing Sally Hansen Lustre Shine in Scarab since midday and I am loving it. I'd describe it as a power blue/teal/gold shimmer duochrome on steroids.

I know I have not made justice to the polish with these pictures but I hope I can at least let all the lacqueristas out there know how awesome it is. Scarab is almost a coater but it needs two to really come to life, just like its cousin Copperhead, but it has the drying time of Lava, so a coat of Seche Vite was needed to speed up the process.

Unlike Copperhead, the blue, teal and gold shimmers one can see in the bottle translate to the nail. They are not terribly contrasting but you can see the colours change.

From blue...

To the goldish teal. There is some green in there but I couldn't quite capture it with the artificial light. 

I have another three teals in my collection but none as opaque or eye catching as this one.  I may have to add  a photo to this post tomorrow in the sun to show its true beauty. 

Now winter, the usual South East Queensland humidity is gone because you are here. My skin and cuticles are noticing and it seems that I'm finally learning to use cuticle oil more often but it's leaving my fingers too shiny for their photo sessions. I can't win. :(

I'm off to look at my nails for a little longer while I'm trying to fight you off with some warm soup and lots of tea under a blanket and a book. Hmm... Maybe you are not so bad after all.

Till next time, 


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Practice Makes Perfect. Part II

I've only done three water marbles in my life and this last one was surprisingly satisfying. I'm not saying it was perfect in any way but it gave me enough confidence to keep doing it. This morning I was feeling brave and thought I''d do a marble as I hadn't done since November and I'd read in a few blogs the CoverGirl Outlast range was pretty good for marbling. I had three untried ones so off I went. 

I present to you my two-finger, dry-cuticled matte marble.

If you cover up the cuticles, it doesn't look too bad. : )

I used a coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On as a base for all my fingers to make the colour pop. The other polishes as follow:

Pink:               CG in Everbloom
Orange/Coral:  CG in Coral Silk
Green:            CG in Mint Mojito 
Top coat:        Seche Vite (for durability)
Matte topcoat: Rimmel Pro Matte Finish 

This experiment was originally going to include my ring finger as an accent and the rest of the fingers would be polished with the colours of the marble. When I did the ring finger I ended up with a decent pattern so I thought I'd marble the rest as well. My subsequent attempts were big failures. I left it for half a day and came back later to it but only my middle finger was acceptable.

I used sticky tape to cover my cuticles and fingers from the excess polish that floats in the water. My cuticles were pretty dry to start with and this step made them worse. Hand cream and cuticle oil helped them a little and I thought they were OK until I took the photos. Went back for more oil but winter might be taking its toll on my skin.  

When I started marbling I had my white base on ready but not the sticky tape. I started dropping polish into the water and created the pattern above. I then tried to quickly tape up my finger but wasn't too worried as I figured the thin layer of polish would just dry a little and would still stick to my finger. The polish dried but it got a very thin layer of water on it which got stuck in between the marble and the white polish. Weird, hey? Having water stuck between layers never crossed my mind. You can see the water stains  in the green part of the marble. When I applied Seche Vite the bristles touched a very thin part of the polish and some water spurted out and left the white showing. 

When I tried doing the other fingers, I taped my fingers first before putting the polish in the water but then it would take forever to dry and I would have to leave my finger in the water so it wouldn't mess up. It did anyway. 

If you look at the bottom part of these two nails and ignore the water stains/dried cuticles, it looks pretty and soft. Doesn't it? Haha!

At least I've learnt:
  • I might will need some nourishing treatments for my hands and cuticles. Maybe some overnight treatments with cotton gloves?
  • To be prepared when covering up your cuticles. Either sticky tape or Vaseline will work but I need to make sure I do it before I start dropping the polish in the water.
  • To be patient when I have my fingers in the water. It's water marbling and it is time consuming but the results are worth it!
  • To use a thick layer of top coat to avoid bristles touching the polish and draggin/removing it.

I'm hoping to try this again very soon because I really like the look of the marble. I know you either love doing them or hate the whole process? Which one do you do? Do you have any other tips for a good (eventually awesome!) marble?

Till next time, 


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

Yes, practice makes perfect. I've learnt that in many occasions and that's the reason I'm posting this fail of a manicure. 

It all started with CoverGirl's Always Naked. I bought four of their new Outlast range at Coles for $13.30. That works out less than $3.50 each and an absolute bargain so I went for colours I didn't have. 

I first applied two thin coats of Always Naked and a coat of Seche Vite. The formula was pretty good but it was taking forever to dry. I managed to put a few dents in the polish before I put on the topcoat so I decided to cover them up with something colourful to go with the nude/bright trend I've seen floating around. I brought out my trustworthy Dollar Nail Art foils and chose the one called Marbles to create half geometric moons. The application was less than perfect, I'm not sure if it was the glue not drying properly or my skills but it didn't look pretty.

Anyway, I decided to bring out my black stripper and try, try to cover up the edges. At this point I knew I had made a mess but I thought maybe if I seal my tips with similar-to-each-foil polishes it'd look better. No, no it didn't. I topped it all off with a coat of piCture pOlish Revolution. This was the end result.

I actually debated (in my head) whether to post this mani. I mean, it looks pretty terrible but decided I'll put it up anyway and keep practicing so in a few months (hopefully), I can come back and show you the good version of this mani. I could do one of those Now & Then posts that are floating around the blogsphere. 

I'm keeping it short and looking at my nails from afar. They're not too bad that way.

Till next time, 


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Copperhead

The last two weeks were very full on with the end of semester and I must say I am glad it is over! I can get back to blogging without having to feel like I need to have my head in a book. Yay! I'm sure you are here to listen about polish and not my rants about uni so I'm just going to move on right about now...

If you've kept an eye out for sales in the last month or so, you may have noticed the Sally Hansen range has been offered, at different times, at half price at Priceline and Chemist Warehouse. I made a quick trip to Chemist Warehouse and found the Lustre Shine for $4.99. When I swatched Lava, I mentioned none of the other colours really caught my attention but at that price, I could really afford to get a closer look. I ended up getting Copperhead and Scarab hoping I would fall in love as I did with Lava.

I wanted to show Copperhead first because it really wasn't what I expected and not in a bad way. Copperhead is a, well, coppery brown shimmer with green and blue undertones throughout, you could even call it a duochrome. The formula for this polish was rather impressive, it spread like butter, it dried a lot quicker than Lava and it was almost a one-coater with very little brushstrokes that can be characteristic of this sort of polish. I used two thin coats and one of Seche Vite for the photos in this post.

Now the unexpected part. On the photo above you can't see the green or blue shimmer and it ends up showing as a pretty average darker coppery brown.  The minty shimmery swirls and blue duochrome did not translate to the nail. The look on the bottle was what got me to buy this polish so I was a tad disappointed. 

Look at all those pretty colours

I applied Copperhead last night but waited until there was sunlight to photograph it. I noticed the polish can have different tonalities and sometimes have a pinkish undertone in shaded natural light, incandescent light makes it look more gold/orange and darker and fluorescent lighting brings out the green undertone very, very little. 

Either way, I couldn't really see any of the colours from the bottle. In a closeup, however, you can see the green particles meshed up in between all the copper. 

Am I imaging it? Maybe. I've been looking at this polish for the last day and I would like to think there's another colour there. It may also be possible that in a very small numbers of occasions the duochrome may actually show. Can you see it in my pinky below? Yes, it's blurry but it's there. No? Ok. 

This is where the fun part begins. I was checking out my nails last night and saw the blue shimmer finally make an appearance. Basically what I had to do to see was:
  1. Face a source light.
  2. Hold hand up between face and the light source. Let's pretend there's a line between the two for the purposes of the next step.
  3. Make sure nails lay more or less parallel to the imaginary line from the step above.
  4. Admire the beautiful sometimes royal blue, sometimes purple colour of the polish.
I had to go out to the garden to get full sunlight and leave the comfort of my lightbox because it just wasn't showing and I didn't have the right angle. The following photos are not flattering but they show the colour pretty well.

Next one is just a stub but the colour and shimmer are soooo pretty, right?

Finally, I took a photo in direct sunlight to see how it would look like. Dark, coppery and SHIMMERY. Ooh, yeah...

Overall, Copperhead is a pretty good polish from the formula to the subtle colour shifts. If you are looking for a darker copper, I'd recommend it highly. Especially when the Chemist Warehouse has extended the half price offer and the Lustre Shine Range is only $4.99 per bottle. Worth every cent.

Till next time, 



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