Saturday, June 04, 2016

A Little Update...

As some of you may have noticed (or none of you), I'm no longer active on this blog. The reason for that is it wasn't gaining many views no matter how much I posted and I've been stuck on the same amount of followers for well over a year. Therefore I've put all my effort into posting more on Instagram, where you can follow me here

I felt like I was writing blog posts to no one and I just wasn't doing my nails anymore because I wasn't motivated to actually blog about them. I'm enjoying nail art a lot more now because of my decision to stop blogging. Basically, my blog is inactive for now. Maybe I'll start posting again one day, maybe I'll want to review something that requires a more in depth description, but for now I'm only posting on Instagram and Facebook. I'm having a lot more fun and if you aren't following me on either of those, you should be now!

Thanks to those few that have followed this blog for a while, I appreciate it greatly!

- Melissa.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Favourite Nail Care Products

Hi everybody! If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen that I'm on a bit of a nail art hiatus as I split a nail quite badly that resulted in me having to trim it down completely to the skin to let it grow out again. So for the time being I've just painted my nails all one colour so they can remain strong while my little baby pinky nail takes it's time catching up!

While that's happening though, I thought it would be a good idea to finally post about some of my favourite nail care products at the moment! I think I did a post similar to this way back when I first started my blog or within the first six months or so, which means it's definitely time for an update.

As you can see, these are a mix of moisturising products and some nail care tools. Let's go through them all (I will link what I can!)

I had wanted Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter for so long but couldn't really justify spending that much for something so similar to the Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream which I had multiple little pots of. But one day I just thought screw it, there's a lot of product and it'll last till it expires so why the hell not. I hadn't been using any cuticle cream for a while so trying something new was also my reasoning. I absolutely adore this stuff, I love any citrus smells so this is amazing, it's so light and moisturising as well. I not only use it on my cuticles but also occasionally use it on my toes, feet, and lips if nothing else is within reach. I generally apply this before I go to bed because it doesn't soak in immediately so if I'm laying in bed watching TV it doesn't bother me if it's slightly greasy for a little bit.

I am yet to invest in a glass nail file, so please excuse me for a while for still using these simple emery boards. I've been using these Manicare ones for years, they're pretty cheap so replacing them is no big deal and hey come in a pack of 8. Despite the criticism for these type of files I've had no problem with them, they do a good job of filing and shaping my nails. I honestly believe the problem isn't with the filing utensil, but with how you file and I think I do a pretty decent job of filing my nails.

The second product in the above picture is this cuticle pusher also by Manicare. As you can see in the link it also comes with a cuticle trimmer but I never, ever use that on my cuticles. I've only used it once on my toenails but I would never put it anywhere near my fingernails. The cuticle pusher however is something I always use whenever I use a cuticle remover product. I first use the black pointy end to scrape the excess skin off my nails and then go in with the red end to gently push my cuticles back. It's a simple tool, but I think everyone needs one, it's soft but still solid enough to do it's job. 

These two products from Bliss Kiss, the Simply Peel Latex Barrier and the Simply Pure Hydrating Oil, are new additions to my collection but I liked them straight away. Simply Peel is amazing for doing messy nail art, like gradients or water marbles, with minimal clean up. It's easy to apply with the brush (and it's sent with a spare brush in case you wish to replace it) and even easier, and incredibly fun, to peel off after you've made a mess. I used to use basic latex for clean up but because that came in a pot with no brush or applicator it was a struggle to apply it smoothly and half of the pot dried up within a few months, so Simply Peel is amazing and simple and I love it.

The Hydrating Oil is just a really great cuticle oil. I originally got the starter kit in the link above, but when my pen ran out it basically just fell apart but not in the way that allowed me to refill it so I had to throw it out after trying desperately to fix it and now I just oil my nails once or twice a day from the dropper bottle. I've noticed a bit of a difference since using it, despite having a few breaks here and there. My nails were pretty good to begin with so there hasn't been a massive or huge difference so far, but it's definitely improved them and I know if I continue to use it, they're going to remain strong and lovely. Plus the crisp scent smells awesome and I love it. Just wish my pen hadn't broken because it was a lot easier to apply that way!

Thanks to Cristine from SimplyNailogical I discovered this little beauty that is the UNT Peel Off Base Coat. It's seriously amazing. It's not PVA Glue and doesn't have it in it as I believe most other peel off base coats do, but somehow it still peels off. It goes on clear and can be peeled off either straight away (if you mess up or are swatching) or whenever you want to peel it off. I have found that within a day and after a shower or two it starts to come off itself, but if you want your mani to last you shouldn't use this. I use it on days I want to do a lot of nail art or for glitter polish because we all know that's a bitch to get off normally. It's honestly so great and I'm in love with it!

This isn't my absolute favourite hand cream, I actually don't think I have one, but it's the hand cream that I keep on my bedside table. The smell is lovely and it's cheap so win, win. Hand cream is an essential in nail care and I always feel uncomfortable if my hands feel even a tiny bit dry so it's good to have a spare hand cream everywhere, I also keep one in my desk at work, in my car, and at my nail art table. 

Lastly is my trusty clean up brush! I go through these every few months and generally buy these ones or a variation of them. All you need is a small brush, I like to go for the angled ones as you can see. Other people like to use eyeliner/small eyeshadow brushes too. My nail art would not be as crisp and tidy if it weren't for these brushes!

So there's a few of my nail art favourites, I hope you enjoyed this post and I promise I'll be back with some more nail art soon, it took me a few days to write this post and already my pinky is start to develop a free edge again so give it another week or with a lot of TLC and it might have caught up to the others! 

Let me know if you have questions or comments about the products or anything in general. Thanks for reading!

- Melissa.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Leopard Print / Glitter Recreation

Hi everybody! Today's post is all about a recreation of an old favourite mani of mine. The original was done about two years and you can read and see all about it right here! I absolutely loved that design and recently I was going through some old photos and came across it again and decided to recreate it and kind of update it a bit.

This time round I used Sour Grape by Ulta3 and the same glitter polish, Silver Gleam by Maybelline, as well as Snow Me White by Sinful Colors.

I did a gradient and only used the purple to do the leopard print as opposed to using the colour and then black polish to outline. I think it looks simpler and neater and you can fit more pattern onto the nail.

I really love how this turned out compared to the original, not a bad upgrade! The original is definitely still one of my favourite designs though but it's nice to recreate something like this and I might consider going back and redoing some older designs every so often.

Thanks for reading!

- Melissa.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Reverse Stamping / Colourful Stripes

Ever since I bought an Uber Mat from UberChic Beauty, I've been trying out stamping and reverse stamping and making some easy decals. I've learnt from this that stamping is a lot easier when you can stamp the design onto something else and not straight onto the nail because sometimes it doesn't work out how you want and in that case, you just swipe some acetone over the design on the mat and start again! Life is incredibly easy with a silicone nail art mat!

For today's nail art I picked a simple design that I could do some reverse stamping with. If you're unfamiliar, reverse stamping is when you essentially colour in the stamping design to make a decal and then place it onto your nail, it can be done either on the stamper or on a silicone mat. There are heaps of designs like this on Instagram if you want to see some videos or tutorials on how to do it!

I wanted to do all the nails with reverse stamping but did not at all have the energy to reline the circles to be darker and then colour them in, so I went with an accent nail and my go to stripes.

I used Black Out by Sally Hansen, Sweet Clementine, and Babe It's Blue both by Maybelline, and a pink Kester Black polish I got in a BellaBox a while ago.

I love how this turned out! It made me really proud that I did something I'd wanted to do for a while but hadn't been able to until I got the Uber Mat. It's one of the best purchases I've ever made in relation to nail art so expect some more designs like this in the future!

Thanks for reading!

- Melissa.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Watercolour Sharpie Nail Art

Lately I've been seeing a lot of people using sharpies to create some cool watercolour looking designs and after seeing this video by Simply Nailogical a while ago I'd wanted to give it a go too. I didn't use any vinyls to create a pattern, I just did a simple two colour design as a sort of practice for this technique.

Essentially all you have to do is water down the sharpie ink with some rubbing alcohol. I scribbled the sharpies onto a plastic plate and mixed it with some rubbing alcohol antiseptic spray I had and used a brush to apply it to my nails. The brush wasn't the best and I was disappointed with how it distributed the ink but it's still a cool watercolour effect!

This is such an easy design if you want something quick to do that looks like you put a lot of effort into it. I'd love to get even better at this technique because there's some amazing designs out there that are done this way and I'm jealous of how they look.

That's all for today, thanks for reading!

- Melissa.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sheer Tints / Glitter

Hi everyone! Today I have a design that's been around for a while since sheer tint polishes became a big thing. I'm going to start off by saying that this design is quite popular and I couldn't narrow down who first thought to put sheer polish over glitter, it could have been ermahgerdperlish on IG because that just sounds really familiar to me, but I did a bit of a search and couldn't find exactly who or when it was first done, so please excuse my lack of proper credit for this!

On to the post! I've wanted to do this design for a while with the OPI Sheer Tints since I've had them for over a year but just never got around to it, plus I hated using glitter polish because of how annoying it was to remove. But I recently got the UNT Peel Off Base Coat (which is the literal best nail related purchase I've ever made) which makes glitter removal ridiculously easy so there was no excuse to not try this design out!

I used all four of the OPI Sheer Tints and a glitter base of Maybelline's Silver Gleam. I tried to do the colours in order so that when it ended on one nail side, it matched up on the next nail.

I love the look of this and think it's pretty cool! And there's a lot of ways this design could go depending on how you want to apply the sheer tints over the glitter.

That's all for today, thanks for reading!

- Melissa.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Nail Art

Good morning everyone! As it's Valentine's Day today, I thought I'd do some nail art to coincide. I'm not someone who celebrates the day or has a lot of thoughts towards it because in the end it's just a day and people can do as they please with days like this. But despite my neutral thoughts towards it, I still felt inspired to do some nail art based around it. It also helped to force me to do some more stamping as the idea I had involved just that.

I actually ended up doing some reverse stamping and creating a decal using my Uber Chic Beauty Mat (there's a bunch of tutorials out there if you want to learn how to do it). The stamping didn't transfer as solidly as I would've liked and I was going to fix up the black outline but when I applied it to my nail I liked how it looked as if it'd been drawn on a bit roughly and quickly. So I'm very happy with how the accent nail turned out. I think it's pretty cute. The polishes I used were Snow Me White - Sinful Colors, Black Out - Sally Hansen, Sour Grape, and Fairy Floss both by Ulta3.

The other nails are a base of Snow & Ice by Savvy, top coated with Don't Violet Me Down, and Be Magentale With Me, both OPI Sheer Tints. I applied them in a sort of diagonal gradient way, but that doesn't show up too much on camera. It's there though, trust me.

I'm genuinely really happy with how these turned out. A lot better than what I had planned in my head. 

That's all for today, I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday!

Thanks for reading.

- Melissa.