Friday, March 28, 2014

Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil

Hello beautiful people!

Spring has finally sprung and we can finally start peeling away the layers. The cold winter air and dry heat from the furnace has dried out my cuticles and my nails tremendously. My nails when they lack hydration, they tend to peel and break easily. I've tried different types of cuticle oil and creams and have had some success with them but the oil that I have doesn't absorb well in my skin and leaves my hands very oily after applying it.

I received a sample of Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil to try out and it couldn't have come at a better time! I suffered a break last week so I have short nails right now but I have read that when nails are well hydrated they don't break as easily because they will be flexible and can withstand pressure. More info on Bliss Kiss products can be found here!

Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil contains jojoba oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, fragrances, vitamins A and E, and tea tree oil. It is light and not as viscous as straight olive oil. The one I received has a nice sweet flowery scent which is not overpowering. The pen applicator is quite handy and makes application easy and quick.

Pure Nail Oil has a 3-day challenge where users are encouraged to apply the oil often for 3 days to help rehydrate the nails. You'll receive full instructions with the oil but basically you apply the oil to your entire nail, cuticle, free edge and underside of nail and massage the oil into the nail and cuticles. You'll continue to massage the oil into your nail several times until the nail is no longer shiny. Then you will apply some more and repeat. For the first application, if your hands and nails are like my dry nails, it will absorb the oil very quickly and you'll be applying and reapplying several times in the first hour. 

Here's how my nails look on the first day:
I suffered a break on my middle finger before trying the oil and I had to trim down my other nails. :(

My right hand has especially suffered during the winter and my cuticles have been peeling like crazy. I noticed a big difference the moment I applied the oil to my right hand. The oil was absorbed very quickly and I had to reapply on my right hand more frequently.
Here's a close up on my peeling nails on my right hand:

The next day, I continued the process throughout the day. The pen applicator is a convenient travel size so it allows you to bring it with you and makes applying the oil very easy. I was oiling my nails and cuticles through the day with extra treatment after washing my hands.

Here are my nails on the second day. You will notice that they are a little shorter because I filed them down a little to shape them.

And my right hand:
You can see that the skin around my nail has smoothed out and there aren't any loose, broken skin pieces. 

On day 3, I woke up to smooth cuticles that didn't have any loose hangnails.
Here are my day 3 pictures:
My right hand experienced the most change because it used to be plagued with dry cuticles.
Here's a close up of my right hand 

I especially noticed the change when I went outdoors because normally, the moment the cold air touches my hands, the skin starts to tighten and the cuticles crack. It didn't happen when I went out today which tells me that they are well hydrated.

Here's a comparison photo of my left hand:
And here's my right hand:
Overall I did see a difference in my nails and cuticles after the 3-day intensive treatment. I was applying the oil quite frequently which may explain the difference. Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil though is all natural, pleasant smelling, and easy to apply. It's not as oily as other brands of cuticle oil I have tried and absorbs into the skin well. I recommend giving this product a try.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gelaze by China Glaze Top Coat

Happy Sunday Funday!

While at Sally Beauty Supply the other day, I spotted their China Glaze section with a buy one get one free sign (ends March 31, 2014). I knew that they had come out with a gel polish collection so it piqued my interest when I saw them on sale. 

I picked up a Gel Top Coat and a pink Gel-n-Base in One polish called Exceptionally Gifted. One thing you will notice with the Gelaze is they are smaller bottles than regular China Glaze polishes. These are 9.76mL while regular polishes are 14mL.

With Gel polishes, they are formulated in a way the requires a special lamp to "cure" or set the polish. Gelaze work with UV or LED light. You can purchase the lamps are beauty supply stores and drugstores. Brands like Sally Hansen have small lamps that fit a couple of fingers at a time. Mine is from a beauty supply outlet.
This is what my UV lamp looks like.
It has 2 settings, one infinity setting (meaning it will stay on as long as you want) and a timer which is set for the standard 120 seconds or 2 minutes, which is how long most gel polishes require curing under UV light for.

What makes Gel polishes different from other polishes is they last longer than regular polishes and are able to remain chip resistant for about a couple of weeks to a month. The curing helps harden the polish through chemical bonding caused by the reaction with the light. Gel polishes are known as soft gels. 

I read about people using Gel polishes as a base coat to help strengthen their nail. Even Gelaze's website encourages you to use the Gelaze as a base for your nailart of regular polish. You can remove the regular polish using non-acetone remover which does not remove gel polish.

When applying the Gel polish, you will want to have a clean nail first. You will then apply one coat of the Gel polish and cure it under the light for the required time depending on the type of light. For UV lights, you are required to keep it under for 2 minutes and for LED light, 30 seconds. You will want to cure after every coat you use in order to ensure that it is completely set. You don't want the layers too thick or the curing process will not occur properly with the light not being able to penetrate. This could result in your polish chipping easily.

Here's what my hand looks like during the curing process:
You can see that my lamp is quite large and there is enough space for both hands to cure simultaneously. 

I currently have a cut on the side of my middle nail and am hoping that the gel polish will be able to hold it so that it won't break just yet.

Here's how my nails look with the gel base:
They are very smooth and glossy so I may even leave them semi-naked for a while because they still look pretty.

I tried to paint over the Gelaze Top Coat with regular China Glaze polishes but it didn't quite turn out how I was hoping. It actually caused the polish to bubble and crack. 
Also, it came completely off with non-acetone polish remover. I don't think this is how it's supposed to happen. I will try again with the Base-N-Gel In One polish and see if that works better. :S

Update: I finally tried out the Gelaze Base-N-Gel In One polish out. I applied 1 coat of pink colour, Exceptionally Gifted, cured it and repeated it with another coat. Then I applied a sparkly gel by Finger Paints to add a little extra. Then topped off the entire mani with the Gelaze Top Coat.
The mani held up completely chip free for a full week, but on day 8, the gel on the index finger came completely off. I'm not sure why or how this happened but I was quite surprised because I thought it would've held on for a little longer. :(

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Battle of the Glitter Toppers

Happy Saturday, lovies!

After seeing so many pretty manicures made even more beautiful with China Glaze Fairy Dust, I was finally able to grab one for myself. 

I received a question on Instagram wondering if there were any similar polishes by Essie or OPI to Fairy Dust, which is a clear base polish with small holographic glitter. I did some research and found that Nicole by OPI has one called Make a Comet-ment. Unfortunately, I don't have it yet so I can't say for certain, but the pictures I've seen on the internet show that it is similar in composition and application.

I'll do a comparison of some glitter toppers I have, Essie Pure Pearlfection, Finger Paints Sparkle and Snowflake, and China Glaze Fairy Dust.

From the bottle, Finger Paints Sparkle and Snowflake and China Glaze Fairy Dust look similar, however the application is quite different.

In addition to a straight photo of the polish over black, I'll also show you a blurry shot to show the holographic effect.

First I'll show you a close up of Pure Pearlfection.
Pure Pearlfection is a shimmer polish that has tiny holographic shimmer in a clear base. This one is the lightest and provides a faint glitter finish. 

Next is Finger Paints Sparkle and Snowflake. This clear base is full of holographic glitter. This one provides a heavy application of glitter and could be worn alone in 2 coats. I've tried putting this over a gradient before and it completely covered it. This is better on its own.

Lastly, we have China Glaze Fairy Dust. The base in this is thicker than the Finger Paints polish, which allows the glitter to be more suspended in the base and goes on more sparingly. This one can be used to add a hint of holographic glitter to complement a design underneath. 

Here's a comparison shot between all of them:

Sparkle and Snowflake is very pretty, but if you want a polish to add some shimmer and not overpower the design, then Fairy Dust is your best bet. China Glaze has a polish similar to Sparkle and Snowflake and it is called Glistening Snow, providing heavier glitter coverage.

I'll keep this post updated as I get more glitter toppers. :)

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Mermaid Nails

Happy Saturday, friends!

The other day while painting this design, I had one of those moments where everything I did, I had to undo. I started out with one design in mind, but changed it 4 more times after. I'm glad the final design worked its way through and resulted in something that I like. :) I hope you like it too!

The colours I used were Essie Bikini So Teeny, a beautiful pastel periwinkle blue, Shimmer Polish Leslie, a sparkly aqua, baby blue, and silver glitter polish, and Liquid Sky Lacquer Teal It Like It Is, a holographic teal thermal polish. Shimmer Polish can be found here and Liquid Sky Lacquer can be found here

I did a slight ombré on my index and pinky nail with Bikini So Teeny and Teal It Like It Is and handpainted fish scales and a mermaid silhouette on the other fingers.

Teal It Like It Is changes from a dark teal when cold to light aqua when warm.

Here is the cold state:

And here is the warm state. You can see that the ombré nails also changed slightly.

Thermal polishes are also called mood changing polishes because they are similar to mood rings that change colour depending on your body temperature.

Monday, March 03, 2014

LVX Spring 2014 Cameo and Monaco Polish Review

Good day, lovebugs!

Spring is my favourite season because of the promise of new growth and the emergence of beauty. The blossoms start peeking through and soon will develop into vibrant colours that we all know so well. 

I have 2 more beautiful colours to show you from LVX's Spring 2014 Collection, Cameo, a rich ruby red and Monaco, a deep royal blue.

Cameo is a dark, rich fuschia. It's creamy application was smooth and was opaque in 2 coats. This colour reminds me of a fine red wine.
It's so sophisticated and classic.

The next colour is Monaco, a vibrant royal blue. It is bold and bright for Spring. It is one of my favourites of the bunch.
It is deep and rich. With any dark blue polish, I recommend a base coat to prevent your natural nails from staining
Here's a nautical-esque manicure I did with Monaco. I love blue and white stripes!

LVX's Spring 2014 Collection is full of rich, vivid colours. They capture the season perfectly while also tapping into the hottest colour trends of the year. I cannot say enough about LVX polishes. They are non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free. There aren't many brands, mainstream or independent, that can say the same. The application of all of the polishes is smooth and easy with their wider brush. Please visit for details on their international stockists and other beautiful colours available. 

Sunday, March 02, 2014

LVX Spring 2014 Orchid and Roux Polish Review

Happy Sunday!

For today's feature review, I have 2 more colours from the gorgeous Spring 2014 Collection by LVX

I'll be showing you Orchid, a pretty purple with pink undertones, and Roux, a vibrant coral red.

First up is Orchid, inspired by Pantone's colour of the year, Radiant Orchid. It's a rich, warm purple mixed with pink shades to make it more feminine. 
The creamy application of this was great with only 2 coats needed to get this opaque look.
And here's a manicure I did with it, pairing it with some hand painted roses.
Remember when I said in an earlier post that I hoped to find some more polishes inspired by Radiant Orchid? Well I definitely found one in this beauty.

Next up is Roux, a bright, bold coral red with slight orange undertones. It is luscious and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside :)
I love, love, love how vibrant this is!
And here's a manicure I did with some cute heart petal flowers.

Again, LVX is an amazing avant garde brand that gets its colour inspiration from fashion trends. They are non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free. There aren't many companies out there that can say that. I highly recommend this brand because they are socially conscious while not compromising on quality. Visit their website for more info!