March 30, 2011

Teeez - Cool

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Miranda showed swatches of some Teeez nail polishes. I was immediately intrigued! I don't know what it is with me and prismatic polishes... *sigh* So, I went searching for Teeez. About the brand:

"TEEEZ trendy cosmetics is a Dutch-based hip and fashionable cosmetics company.
TEEEZ trendy cosmetics offers makeup for eyes, lips, nails and body.
Have Fun, Get Noticed, Be TEEEZED... "  

 Yay! It's Dutch. :) When I was looking for places where I could buy their products it turned out a shop right around the corner of my house sells them without me knowing it. How is that for a surprise! But onto one of the polishes I bought, this is Teeez - Cool 02.
And it's certainly pretty cool, I would describe it as an azure coloured polish with a scattered prismatic effect. Blue + prismatic glitter = a total win in my book! The only thing I don't like about the polish are the flowery stickers on the bottle, it looks a bit cheap, but the polish itself is really awesome. The application was good, I used three thin coats, but you could get away with two thicker coats. The brush is somewhat flat, nice to work with. 
Teeez polishes cost €4,50 (10 ml), but they were 50% off, lucky me. :O

Now I'm off to the kitchen, today is bake day! Thanks for watching.

March 28, 2011

Skittle Nails with a Skittle Funky French

Yesterday I was in the mood for something fun, which resulted in: skittle nails with skittle french tips. For the base colours I used pastels, for the funky french brighter or darker colours. What can I say..? I love this! 

I know now why I never include my thumb in my pictures, it's not photogenic at all, it looks fat. But enough with the whining, lol.

All the polishes I used were cremes:

Base Colour
Tip Colour
Essie – Body Language
OPI – You Don’t Know Jacques
Zoya – Caitlin
China Glaze – Grape Pop
middle finger
China Glaze – For Audrey
OPI – Jade is The New Black
OPI – Mod About You
Barry M – Shocking Pink
China Glaze – Agent Lavender
Zoya - Kelly

What a list. *wipes off forehead* :i

Oh, I almost forgot.. I want to share a tip! You can make (funky) french tips by using french tip guides/tape or paint them on freehand. I like to do it freehand, but on days with shaky hands the line could be a bit wobbly. If you want a straighter line apply a layer of topcoat over the base colour before applying the french tips and let it dry. Then add the french tips and let them dry a bit. Now you can take a small brush, dip it in some nail polish remover, dab the excess off and carefully remove little mistakes. Because of the layer of topcoat you're not ruining the base colour. Add another layer of topcoat and you're done!

Thanks for watching!

March 26, 2011

How To Clean Up After Polishing Your Nails

Today I have a how-to for you about a frequently asked question:

'How to get that smooth line between the cuticle and the polished area?"

There are great articles about the clean-up method I use on other nail blogs, but I get this question so often I thought it wouldn't hurt to make my own article about it. I don't know who invented this method, but I can assure you: it's brilliant! Edit: I believe it was Megan Chair, so she's brilliant. :) Using corrector pens and q-tips for cleaning up? No more. Well, for me that is.

What you need is a nail polish remover with acetone or pure acetone (make sure there is some acetone involved, it won't work well without it) and a small flat brush. I prefer a flexible slanted brush. This one came in a cheap brush set from eBay, but you can use whatever brush you like. I don't recommend using a fancy expensive brush, because the acetone (not the friendliest stuff) is going to damage your brush. After a couple of months (or weeks, depending on the brush you use and how often you use it) you'll be needing a new one.

I tried my best to polish one nail messy. That was actually quite hard to do as I'm not used to doing it like that anymore, lol. The more often you polish your nails the better it's going to look even without cleaning up, practice makes perfect (yeah, blah-blah, but it's true! ^^ ).

So, here we have a somewhat messy painted nail. Let's do something about that.
• Wait a couple of minutes after applying the last coat of polish or top coat otherwise you'll make the line even messier. Trust me on this one. :)

• Pour a little bit of remover in a small bowl or what I like to do: in the bottle cap of the remover.

• Dip your brush in the remover and dab the excess off on a paper towel. You don't want the remover to drip off your brush and ruin your freshly painted nails. 

• Now I have a couple of pictures to show you how to do the actual clean-up. Swipe your brush lightly from the left side of the nail to the right side to remove any mistakes and create a perfectly smooth line between the cuticle and the polish. You probably have to dip your brush in the remover a couple of times more (don't forget to dab the excess off) and swipe again. If you're wearing glitter polishes or polishes with flakes it will be hard to get a smooth line. So try to be as precise as you can when you're polishing your nails with these.
That's it! A simple trick with a great effect. Now it looks like you see below. Much better, right? 

After using acetone for the clean-up your skin will scream for moisture so you can apply some hand cream or cuticle balsam around the nail now. Be careful not to touch the polished area if it's not completely dry. We don't want to mess up the perfectly cleaned up nails now, do we?

I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions let me know in a comment.

Thanks for watching! :h

March 25, 2011

China Glaze - Cowgirl Up

Since using the fantastic Rodeo Fanatic from China Glaze, it was clear to me: I háve to try more polishes from the Rodeo Diva collection. The one I'm showing you today, Cowgirl Up, is in my possession a while now, I sorta forgot about it *blushes*. But now it'll get the love it deserves! What a fantabulous shade, a dark berry colour with a gorgeous shimmer. In sunlight pretty reddish and blurple sparkles show up. I also love that it's darker around the edges of the nail with a pop of colour in the middle. The application was ok, a bit runny, but the pigmentation is good. This is two coats plus topcoat.
And a bonus pic of the blooming orchid we have standing. Perfection doesn't exist, but this flower gets pretty close... love it!
Thanks for watching!

March 22, 2011

Nubar - Reclaim

What can I say? It looks surreal. *stares at nails* I can't believe how beautiful this nail polish is, the perfect green, the prismatic effect is gorgeous, aah.. just look at it! :L

The application was per-fect. Really, there wasn't any cleaning up to do, two smooth coats, no topcoat.

Thanks for watching and have a great day!

March 21, 2011

Taking Care of Hands & Nails: My Way

I get a lot of questions about my hand and nail care and what products I use. Well, here is my routine. I'm not saying the products I use and the things I do are best for everyone, but they work for me!

Oh, and just to be clear: I'm not getting paid by companies or brands for saying nice things about their products. My hands and nails just love these products and that's why I use them. :-)

I like to file my nails when I have nail polish on; not when they're freshly painted of course, just before removing the old polish. For me this is the easiest way to shape them evenly, if they're 'naked' I would follow the sometimes uneven nail bed and white tip of the nail and end up with different shapes and lengths: not so nice! This works best with opaque dark polishes, so if you're wearing one of those don't forget to do some filing before you take it off.
For shaping my nails I use a glass nail file from Herôme. A glass file is very fine and causes, in my experience, less tears and chips. I file in one direction and if needed smoothen some sharp edges. If I'm impatient (which isn't a good thing when you're filing, take your time!) and want to take down the length of my nails quickly I use the rougher grit parts of a 4-way file from Essence. I rarely buff the surface of my nails as buffing your nails makes them thinner thus weaker, but you can also use a multi-way file like this one for that. For buffing the nail surface you have to remove the polish first, but I guess you figured that out yourself already, hee-hee.

Remove! (the polish
I always use a cheap and simple nail polish remover with acetone from Kruidvat (a Dutch drugstore) which removes my nail polish fast and easily. When using a nail polish remover with acetone make sure to wash your hands immediately after use to remove all the acetone from your hands. If you have very dry skin and nails I recommend using an acetone free remover.

Remove! (the cuticle
After removing the nail polish I remove my cuticles with a cuticle remover from Nfu Oh. I don't prefer cutting my cuticles, because it can cause thickening of the skin and cuticle area (eventually). Cuticles prefer gentle care! I apply a bit of cuticle remover on the cuticles. After a minute or two I grab a wooden stick and remove all the stuff that comes off. Then I wash my hands thoroughly. Using a cuticle remover is something I do only once a month. Don't do this step too often, because the chemicals in most cuticle removers will irritate your skin a bit. These chemicals do a great job in removing the cuticle, but I just don't recommend soaking your cuticles in it every day (which isn't necessary anyway). I have to admit that I'm blessed with the easiest cuticles, they're small and well-behaved. ^^

This is in my opinion the most important part. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Pamper your hands, cuticles and nails as much as you can. For moisturizing my nails I use the Nail Balsam from Trind and for my cuticles the Cuticle Balsam, also from Trind. What I like about these products is that they don't leave an oily or greasy residue on my hands and nails. You can even polish your nails right after rubbing these products in!
And there we have the miracle maker from Lush, Lemony Flutter. What an amazing product! I apply a bit on the cuticle area (and other dry spots), let it sit for a while and then gently massage my cuticles and push them back with a cuticle pusher. The only downside from LF is that it leaves your skin oily, so I recommend using it at night before going to sleep or while watching a movie or something. :D
When it comes to hand cream I'm always on a hunt for something better. I have different hand creams lying around the house at the moment. Right now I'm loving Hydro Balance with aloe vera (Kneipp), Pure Coconut Hand & Nail Cream (Inecto) and Hand Repair from Trind. I always use hand cream after washing my hands. Keep a tube next to the sink so you won't forget using it! And of course you can use hand cream whenever you want.

My all time favourite nail hardener is Nail Repair (from Trind), a formaldehyde based hardener. It's the best I've ever used, it makes my nails strong, but not too strong (they're still somewhat flexible). I apply it right after rubbing in the Nail Balsam. It's also my basecoat so I can start polishing right away!
An important part in strengthening your nails lies in a varied diet. As you all know a varied diet is needed for a healthy body and a healthy body means healthy nails! I always try to eat as healthy as possible and drink enough water. I'm not a nutritionist, but thankfully we have the www where we can find a lot of information about nutrients that are good for nails (here and here). You can also choose to take extra vitamins. I used a special vitamin complex which contained vitamin B and biotin among other things for skin, hair and nails (from Kruidvat) for a couple of months. I started using it to improve my skin, but sadly it got worse ánd I didn't notice any changes in hair and nails, so I stopped taking these pills. I guess a balanced diet should do the job for me. :)

I always use cleaning gloves when I'm cleaning, doing the dishes, etc. Water and cleaning products can make your skin really dry. The cleaning gloves will also prevent your nails from scratching against rough surfaces (e.g. the food grater *shivers*). And I also use gloves (I prefer normal ones now, lol) when it's cold outside. If there are ways to prevent your skin and nails from drying out, well.. use them!

And another thing: Don't use your nails as tools. Seriously, don't. I rarely break a nail, but if I do it's because I'm too lazy to get a knife or another tool. That's just stupid, right? 

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or tips, let me know!

March 19, 2011

OPI DS Signature

Today I'm showing you one of my favourite nail polishes, OPI DS - Signature. The Designer Series polishes from OPI are so incredible... if someone would take away my polishes (please don't!) I'd miss these the most! They are my go-to polishes if I'm uninspired and still want pretty polishes nails. Signature is a pinkish mauve polish with a gorgeous scattered prismatic effect and a high gloss finish. What's not to like? I applied three thin coats, no top coat.
And now I'm off to the kitchen to bake a delicious carrot cake, nom!

Thanks for watching.. :)

March 18, 2011

Gamax - Lilla

Gamax Spring/Summer 2011 POP Collection

Today I'm showing you another nail polish from the Italian brand Gamax. The polish is called Lilla and is part of the Spring/Summer 2011 POP Collection. This collection consists of six flashy summery shades.
Lilla is a lilac coloured pastel creme polish. It's very pretty and light and I think it's great for Spring/Summer! It's a great pedi colour too, I wish it was a little bit (well, actually a lot) warmer so I could wear my flip-flops again *sigh*. The application was a bit streaky, but after three coats everything was smooth and opaque. I didn't apply a topcoat and as you can see Lilla is quite glossy on its own.

For more information about the brand Gamax you can check their website or visit their fan page on Facebook.

Thanks for watching! :h

*The product(s) in this post was/were sent to me for reviewing purposes.
For more information, check out my Disclosure Policy.

March 16, 2011

Spring! Nail Art Inspired By a Cake

Remember the cherry blossom and ladybug posts I posted a while ago? Well, today I have another cake inspired mani for you! A month ago my grandma asked me if I could make a big cake for her birthday and of course I said yes. :) She loved the result and it tasted like heaven, yum! The cake inspired me to do some nail art. I used two coats of China Glaze - Caribbean Blue as the base colour. I created 'grass' with an image from plate M73 (but you can also place some random stripes with a small brush) and Konad Special Polish in Apple Green. For the dotted flowers I used a random white nail polish and Don't Feed The Birds from Catrice for the dots in the flowers. A nice layer of topcoat over it and it's done! Doesn't it scream Spring? :D

Thanks for watching!

March 14, 2011

China Glaze - Ahoy!

I can imagine you're almost tired seeing polishes from the China Glaze Anchors Away collection, so thanks for hanging on! :D I decided to buy just one polish from the entire collection, Ahoy! I'll keep it short: raspberry coloured jellylike yummyliciousness (!) with golden glass flecks. Bright, intense and sparkly. A magnificent polish. Definitely a must have!

The application was fine, this is two coats plus topcoat. 

Thanks for watching!

March 11, 2011

Essence - You've Got The Art

Essence just released a limited edition collection called Whoom! Boomm!!! (can it get any louder? :brow) with some new make up products and something I'm more interested in: four new nail polishes. I got one of them, the other three were kinda blah to me. It's called You've Got The Art and I would describe it as a pastel yellow creme with a hint of green. I grabbed this colour 'cause I wanted to step out of my comfort zone for once, lol. It's só not me... give me a good purple, red or pink and I'm as happy as a kid in a candy store, but this colour: nope, not for me (thankfully it wasn't too expensive, €1,79 for an 8 ml. bottle). Anywayz, I can always show you the swatch, right? You've Got The Art reminds me of Fiercely Fiona from the OPI Shrek Forever After collection, but I'm not sure how much they're actually alike.. I don't have FF and the swatches I found of it were very dissimilar.

About the application; it was everything you can expect of a yellow pastel creme: a complete streak-fest. I must say I was prepared, so it wasn't thát bad, but I still needed three coats to get rid of those awful streaks.

Maybe a bit of stamping could make it work for me? I used imageplate M74 and Konad Special Nail Polish in Apple Green. I was a bit disappointed by the opaqueness of that one, but what can you do about it? It's a fun, springy look for sure, but still: so not me. :) What do you think?

Thanks for watching!

March 9, 2011

Dangerous Sparkles

I loved the sparkly tips I did last week so much I re-did them (without fimo this time, lol). This time I used P2 - Dangerous as the base colour (amazing polish!) and I sponged the tips with Charla from Zoya, another a-ma-zing polish. It looks like I dipped my nails in blue green sugar, yum! :O You can expect more of these sponged nails in the future, I love this look! And it's a nice way to refresh a mani and hide tipwear... ha!

The first pic is taken in sunlight to give you an idea how it sparkles (in real life there's a lot more sparkle-sparkle going on!), the second picture is taken indoors and the most colour accurate.

Thanks for watching! :h

March 8, 2011

Comparison: Gamax - Rosa Shocking & Essie - Wife Goes On

The polish I showed you yesterday, Rosa Shocking from Gamax, reminded me strongly of another polish I have (and love): Essie - Wife Goes On. I made a quick comparison. As you can see they're actually very close, both are very bright and summery, but the Essie one has a bit more red in it. If I had to choose I'd go for Rosa Shocking; I love that it's slightly pinker and it applies better due to the flat brush.

And now I'm going outside to enjoy the sun, aahh.. :L Thanks for watching!

*The product(s) in this post was/were sent to me for reviewing purposes. 
For more information, check out my Disclosure Policy.

March 7, 2011

Gamax - Rosa Shocking

Earlier I showed you a preview of the Gamax polishes I received for review and I couldn't wait to try the bright pink one (can you blame me? ^^). It's called Rosa Shocking.. well, what a fitting name! :) I would describe the colour as a bright reddish pink with a creme finish. In real life it's a bit darker and more vibrant than the pictures show (yeah yeah, one of those hard to photograph colours *sigh*). I think it's a gorgeous colour, I could see myself wearing it a lot during summertime!

The application was great, it applied like butter. The brush is easy to work with; flat and wide, but not too wide. I was surprised by the pigmentation of Rosa Shocking, one thicker coat already gives a nice and even result. I like to apply my polish in thin coats though, so this is the result with two thin coats, no topcoat. My nail line is still a bit visible (which I don't mind), I guess a third coat will hide it completely.

The average price for the Gamax polishes is 3,90 (14 ml) and they can be shipped internationally.

Thanks for watching!

*The product(s) in this post was/were sent to me for reviewing purposes. 
For more information, check out my Disclosure Policy.

Preview Gamax Polishes

Recently I was contacted by Audrey from a brand called Gamax; she asked if I would like to review some of the Gamax polishes. I've never heard of this brand before and well... I love trying out new things, so I accepted this nice offer!

About the brand
Gamax is an Italian nail care brand based in Rome, Italy. Audrey writes that Gamax was the first to introduce the nailbar concept in Italy and the brand is distributed in different European countries. The Gamax nail lacquers are highly appreciated in Italy and the brand is popular thanks to the vast range of colours (gels, lacquers, etc).

Sounds great, right? :) I received three polishes (from left to right: Malva, Lilla & Rosa Shocking) and a top coat.
My first impressions are positive! Good looking bottles, gorgeous colours and I did a quick brush check: the polishes have a flat brush, not too wide, just how I like it. So yay! for that. Reviews about these polishes are coming up.

Thanks for watching!

March 4, 2011

Nfu Oh #64

This one actually doesn't need words, it just needs a whole lotta love (and a lot of pictures, I'm sorry ^^)! Nfu Oh #64 is a mauve, pinkish lilac coloured polish with an incredible, almost retina-searing, prismatic effect (and very distracting too, it's unsafe to wear this polish while driving, seriously). Don't you think it's odd that this polish looks quite uninteresting in the bottle and so crazy on the nail? It's pretty, so pretty, lalala... *does happydance* If you want a trip around the rainbow: all pictures are clickable! :D
I applied two coats over Nfu Oh's Aqua Base, no top coat.

Thanks for watching!

March 2, 2011

Sparkly Fruity Forest

Yeah, that title... don't ask. :i Yesterday I showed you Orly - Enchanted Forest and today I have a spiced up version for you. I sponged half the nail with China Glaze - Emerald Sparkle and the nail tip with Ivanka from Zoya. I love the contrast of the creme base and the sparklies on the tip! Then I added a slice of a lemon fimo cane. You know, for funsies. :D I think the fimo is fun to play around with, cute designs and all, but the thing is: I wish I could slice them thinner. It's so bumpy on the nail and that makes me want to peel it off all the time. If you want to try the fimo canes yourself, you can find them at the Born Pretty Store.
Thanks for watching!

*The product(s) in this post was/were sent to me for reviewing purposes. 
For more information, check out my Disclosure Policy.