Friday, 28 June 2013

Nail Experimentation Time!

Hey guys!

I've been very excited the past few days.....over nail polish.....again.....
Yes I know I have obsessive issues when it comes to nail polish and nail art but I really feel it's justified this time :)

I spotted the Sensationail Nail Kits in Boots a few months ago and thought it looked pretty good. Due to my own nails being quite good I resisted the temptation of gel nails as I thought I would ruin my own natural nails underneath. 

Fast forward to last Monday when a friend of mine informs me she purchased the kit and was going to try it out. We did her nails exactly how the kit instructs and they turned out lovely. She let me borrow the kit to do my own nails so I took it home with me that evening. As I own about a million regular nail polishes (ok maybe slight exaggeration), I wondered if they could be used instead of the special gel colours that have to be purchased for the kit. Sensationail's colour selection isn't very big, they have a total of 48 colours in the permanent collection but not all are available in Ireland. 

I must have read every post related to this topic on the internet, some all for using regular nail polish with the kit, some strongly recommending not to. I decided to go for it and use a colour I bought recently and hadn't tried out yet. 

Literally all of the posts I read regarding this were different in what method to use when using the regular polish. Some said to paint your nails how you normally would i.e base coat, two coats of colour, regular top coat and then use the gel top coat and cure it under the lamp. Others said not to use base coat, only use one coat of colour etc. 

I decided to go by the method Sensational recommends but just substitute the two coats of gel polish with a regular one. So here's what I did step by step.

1. File and shape your nails how you want 
2. Lightly buff each nail to roughen the surface slightly
3. Paint the outer parts of the nail with the primer in an oval shape being careful not to coat the entire nail (this will make removal much harder later on)
4. Cleanse the nail with the cleanser, this removes any grease
5. Paint one coat of the gel base coat being careful not to get any on your skin
6. Cure this coat for 30 seconds under the LED lamp
7. Paint two coats of your chosen colour
Wait for these two coats to COMPLETELY dry before doing the next step, if you do not you will have wet nail polish underneath your cured top coat and the nails WILL smudge. I waited 30 minutes for mine to dry but depending on what nail polish your using you may have to wait a few hours or even overnight
8. Paint one coat of gel top coat and cure for 30 seconds. 
9. Remove excess moisture from the nails using the cleanser and lint free wipes. If you do not have the cleanser rubbing alcohol will work just a well.

Est Voila! The finished result....

OPI 'Charged Up Cherry'

Days 1-7: No chipping, nails still looking as perfect as when they were first done
Day 8: The first few small chips start to appear on one or two nails. Barely noticeable.
Day 10: Time to remove due to more chipping.

After removal.....

As you can see from the picture above the nails are very rough and peeling. Boo hoo! Removal was a bit of a pain, it involved soaking the nails in acetone for around 15 minutes to loosen the gel. Then I had to scrape off the remaining polish with a cuticle pusher.

All in all I do think this is a great idea, especially if you have a wedding or holiday coming up where you don't want your nail polish to budge. Having said that I wouldn't recommend to do this regularly as it does ruin your nail nails underneath. Plenty of nail care for me over the next few weeks to get them back in tip top shape! :)

Let me know if you have tried this and what experiences you have had with gel nails. Or if anybody has any tips for aftercare please share!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

While in Boots recently I came across the Real Techniques brush range by Samantha Chapman. For those of you who don't know who she is, Samantha is a Youtube beauty guru who has a beauty channel which she runs with her sister Nicola under the name Pixiwoo.

Pixiwoo have become so successful that Samantha has released her own makeup brush line. Although these brushes have been around for a while I've never seen them here in Ireland before. Boots are currently carrying the single brushes and also the face/eye sets. 

I decided to try the 'Expert Face Brush' rather than going for one of the sets as I wasn't sure if the quality of the brush was going to be any good. 

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
This brush is very dense and very soft. It is made of synthetic taklon hairs and is 100% cruelty free. A taklon brush is more hygienic that an animal hair brush as it does not have an irregular surface meaning it won't trap any dead skin cells or powder that can cause bacteria (ewwww I know!). This actually makes the brush very easy to clean. It buffs liquid foundation into the skin beautifully and leaves a flawless finish. I have been using it with the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and I love it!

This retails for €13.29 in Boots and can be found on their new online shop for Boots Ireland here (How broke are we all going to be now this has launched?!). When you consider the price of MAC brushes compared to the quality you get with this brush the choice is easy as far as I'm concerned. I'm excited to try out the rest of the range, if you have tried them out let me know in the comments below!


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Hello Sailor!

Hi fellow beauty lovers!

Today I'm posting something a little different to what I normally post, variety is the spice of life as they say! :)

I was recently at a hen party where the theme was 'nautical but nice' so I decided I'll show you my make up for the night. 

Immediately when I think nautical I obviously think of navy, white, red and stripes....but to do an eye look with this in mind can be tricky (nobody wants stripey eyes surely?!). So I thought I would do a lovely navy blue eye and keep everything else quite simple. I know a red lip would also be nice but with the eye look I thought it would be a bit too much going on so I opted for red nails instead. 

For the look I used all MAC products apart from the gel liner. I started off with my primer and base 'Painterly' paint pot all over the lid and up to the brow bone. Next I applied 'Waft' (which was part of a limited edition palette I own from a few years ago), all over the lid and underneath the eye. I then blended around the outside with a 222 blending brush. Once everything was nicely blended I applied 'Nerhu' which is a very dark almost black navy onto the upper and lower lashline and outer corners. For the very centre of the lid I put a little bit of  'Prussian' just for a very subtle differance in colour. I added 'Vanilla' to my browbone and inner corners as this is quite natural on me and not a very overpowering highlight. Lastly I popped my trustly Inglot Gel AMC Liner in no. 77 which is a jet black onto the upper and lower waterline.

I normally don't do blue eyeshadow very often but when I do I really like it! What are your favourite blue eyeshadows to use?