Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nail Alert: OPI The Man With the Golden Gun

Have you seen the new topcoat by OPI? To celebrate James Bond's golden anniversary, OPI has released a special top coat that contains 18 carat gold leaf! Talk about feeling high class!

It also comes in a limited edition gold bottle and its a bit pricey as compared to the regular polish (about USD30)  but what did you expect? it's gold on your nails!

This ATAS top coat is meant to be painted over a base colour and appears as golden flakes with a super shiny finish to your manicure.
I think it gives off a rather nice robin egg look, instead of the usual shatter (which can come off a little over powering). 

I would love to get my hands on one! But I would feel absolutely guilty about changing my nails once a week! Can you imagine just throwing gold away like that? I wouldn't be able to sleep at night! 

Next on my to do list........FIND A DUPE! How hard can it be? We have silver flakes readily in the market, someone will make a gold foil flake look alike...right?

In the meantime, the rest of the James Bond collection is quite standard and nothing really screams BUY ME (i think).

From right to left  1st row- The Spy Who Loved Me, Casino Royale, You only Live Twice, Die Another Day, Skyfall, Golden Eye
2nd Row - The World Is Not Enough, Moonraker, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Living Daylights, Live and Let Die, Tomorrow Never Dies 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Naked nails

Over the weekend I decided to remove my nail polish because they’d been chipped on my toenails and as much as I like dark colors, the green on my fingernails was a little too somber for me.

So I went to Sasa to check out nail polish removers because Chelly had recommended that they had alcohol-free removers. Unfortunately, the outlet I went to didn’t have much to choose from and none were alcohol-free. So I settled on this – Oversa. It was the only one that didn’t look like the usual Sally Hansen and Cutex polish removers.

This claims to have nutrient oils, pro-vitamin B5 and keratin and it comes in a convenient pump bottle that nail salons are so fond of using. It also smells really nice, like a cross between a floral and powder scent, reminds me of my grandma. I wonder if it’s dangerous that it smells good that people don’t see a need to use it in a well ventilated space? After removing the polish, my nails didn't have that ├╝ber dry feeling but instead was smooth with what felt like a thin layer of oil. For a small bottle of 175ml, it doesn’t come cheap at $7.95 but for the goodness it packs, I don’t mind paying the price. Will see how long a bottle will last so watch this space.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Glitter at Tiffany's

I ran out of nails to paint so I decided to do my toes instead. I was looking for an easy design that didn't require too much time because my back starts to hurt when I bend over to do my nails. #growingold

I started out with 2 coats of Re-Fresh Mint from China Glaze and sponged the glitter on.

For sponging, I either apply the paint directly on the sponge or pick it up from a pastil plate. I read that a lot of girls actually re-use their sponge but I can't do that. The polish dries up and everything becomes stiff. Unless they wash it I guess. But what for? These things are really cheap.

In order to maximize the sponge and make the entire "cake" last (didn't you hear? the world is ending, stock up on sponges! heh heh ), I tear a tiny piece each time and use a tweezer to sponge the polish on. Each piece should be able to last an entire set of nails. The trick is NOT to let the sponge soak in the polish, your printing becomes sloppy and gross. All you need to do is dab and go, dab and go.
Try to make the bottom edge of the nail covered with glitter and slowly dab less and less as you approach the top. If you want a really finished look, you can dab the base colour downwards a little when you are done with the glitter.

This style is very forgiving and is especially useful if you have smudges or dents you would like to cover.

As with everything else, finish off with topcoat! In this case, I used SV, my absolute holy grail item.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: SNAIL Cell illuminating Multi-Step Treatment

I am a big fan of snail products and can hardly resist when I come across a new cream/mask/gel/whatever-else that is supposedly infused with it.

In Singapore, I think it was the Korean brands that first started bringing in snail stuff. But recently I have been seeing a lot of other brands bringing it in too.
Here is a video I found from 3 years ago, discussing snail secretion in beauty products in America. 

I am currently using the Darling Cream from Etude house and I love it so far. It makes my skin feel soft and healthy the next day. My tub is going to end in maybe a month time and I have started to scout for a new snail cream. So far, I am very interested in SnailStreet Snail Cream. The website is great and it tells you about the wonderful benefits of the cream and the wonders it does with your face. 
I just take the miraculous results with a pinch of salt. If it really is that wonderful, people with flawlessly beautiful skin would be everywhere. It sells for SGD55 and delivery is free in Singapore. Even cheaper than my Darling Cream :D
From the reviews I have read online, it is lighter than the Darling Cream and is absorbed a little better (86% snail stuff). It supposedly dries up upcoming pimples too. The Darling Cream claims to do that too but I honestly have not noticed anything like that. But to be fair, I hardly get pimples to test it out.

In the meantime, I am also trying out some snail masks! SASA has quite a few to choose from and I recently bought a few. Last night, I tried out SNAIL Cell illuminating Multi-Step Treatment mask.

I bought it simply because it looked cool with two portions and everything. (Im a sucker for silly things like that). Also, it was only $2.80 
The top half contains an ampoule that is supposed to help your skin absorb the snail essence better together with all that cell illuminating nonsense. In my science class, I tell my kids that cells are the basic building blocks of life, so no, I really don't think that a simple $2.80 product can make them illuminate. 

The ampoule has a gel like texture and a neutral smell. However, it got really watery and started dripping off my face. Next, you apply the mask on top and leave it on for 20 min before removing it and massaging everything in. The mask was a real let down. Extremely thin and tore easily. 

After I removed it, my face felt so sticky I actually washed it off.
I don't see or feel anything different with my face either. Meh.

  • It didn't work
  • Watery mess all over face
  • Super sticky
  • Only $2.80
Totally. Not. Repurchasing. 

I have a better feeling about the others I bought though..cant wait to try them out!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tips from a guru

Came across this video on Pinterest. Such basic information but would no doubt be beneficial to us nail geeks.  

Chanel Nail Expert Reveals His Secrets to Getting the Perfect Manicure at Home

My heart's a stereo

In my previous manicure, I had a serious love-hate relationship with the white glue base..and then i came up with a brilliant idea! I decided to apply glue in the center of each nail and avoid the circumference. This way, at the very most, it's be slightly more difficult to remove at the edges but a breeze to remove the bulk of it :D

Items I used:

For this manicure, I used (left to right) SV base coat, white glue from PopBazic (Less than a dollar at Popular), Got the Blues for Red by Opi, Candie by China Glaze and  Cassi by Zoya.  I used two paint brushes, one for applying the glue and one for painting the heart on. The grey thing in front is my new nail buffer from SASA.

Speaking of nail files, i love them! I remember first buffing my nails in Primary 6 and was just so amazed at how smooth and shiny they made my nails. I bought this particular nail buffer for SGD1.40 at SASA and it works so well at making my nails nice and smooth. I only use these things to smooth my nails though. I don't bother with the shine anymore. So I always try my best to find the ones with the smooth sides only. Save money.
Because I do my nails so often, my nail bed sometimes starts to flake a little and peel.
Also, I have developed a recent aversion to using polish removers and have been simply peeling everything off. Hence my white glue obsession. Making your nails smooth before starting your manicure is important because it removes all the flaky bumps and helps the paint adhere nicely.

See how the nail looks so much better after?

Anyway, after the glue dried, I applied the base coat. Base coat is still important despite having the glue as a base because the glue does not prevent staining. You will still need a base coat to protect your nails.

I applied one coat of Cassi by Zoya and stopped myself from applying two as I had initially planned. It had the makings of becoming a granny looking color and I decided that less is probably more in this case.

Once that dried, I applied one coat of Candie by China Glaze. This polish looks so pretty in the bottle.
But it looks like glittery puke once you apply it.
I don't know why, but it has a sort of matte finish which makes everything look so dull and milky. Also, it gets rough and patchy and kinda gross when it dries.
Thankfully, I am not usually bothered by this because with a glossy topcoat on, it gets pretty all over again.

I know I told myself I wanted a simple manicure without any designs or anything but I really can't resist. I used a small brush to paint the hearts on alternate fingers. I was a little worried about the hearts (especially how on earth am I supposed to paint it on my right hand), and in the end I decided to just go with drawing 2 rectangles that meet at a point. With a toothpick, I pick up a bit of polish and make the top edges a little rounder to look a little more like a heart.

Once all that is done, Gelish time! My personal favourite part.

I quite like this one! Might do it for my toes as well :D

I've got a book on my nails

My favourite mani of all time. Newspaper nails!

For this, I used electric beat from ChinaGlaze and Isopropyl Alcohol from Guardian for the imprinting.

I watched lots of youtube videos for this and failed so many times. I tried so many methods, soaking the newspaper strips, soaking the nails (bad choice), dabbing the strips..the list is long.

Finally, i came out with a technique that works for me.

  • Paint your nails with your base colour first. Use grey if you want the real newspaper look. 
  • Cut up strips of newspaper or magazine paper. 
  • Once the nails are dry, place the strips words side down, on the nail bed. 
  • Soak a cotton pad with the alcohol and dab the alcohol onto the paper
  • Do not press so hard till the liquid spills all over the place. Just make sure that the paper is well soaked.  It is important to not let the paper shift when you press.
  • Remove everything and paint a top coat on. Done!!

There are also many videos on how to do these nails using water instead.

 I tried them too, but nothing imprinted . I don't know why. No worries though, the alcohol is easily found and cheap too. So far, i havent found it damaging at all.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What's in a coral

I always thought that Coral was for tan people. So far I have only been using the usual pink stuff for my cheeks. For the past 4 years, Giddy pink from Clinique was the only blusher that i own and use.
However,  I was walking past Bobbi Brown at CenterPoint when I saw this pretty little pot with its pretty colour inside! I know it looks shockingly bright in the pot, but it glides on pretty natural I LOVE IT.

I love this colour so much that it has started a coral phase. I just bought a pair of nude shoes with Coral ribbons on them. Also, rings and bracelets :x
Another from from a few months ago..

I think this was a little too much. It reminded me of porn star nails. A little too pink and a little too glittery.

What I liked about this mani though, was the drip like style at the tips (only on the thumb though). My first time trying it and it was soooo easy! I love it! The pink was from Faceshop and the glitter was from Forever21. Top coat was SV, the best yet!

I don't think you're ready for this jelly

I did this mani quite a while back. End of May I think. It was my first week at ABC school and I remember feeling scared that it was too dark for the school to accept . Looking back, it probably was.

I used black diamond from Sally Hanson and a pinkish glitter from Anna Sui (courtesy of Marissa!) I think it reminds me of the Galaxy.

Removing it was a real pain though. Next time i attempt this, white glue is going to be at the bottom for sure!

Jigsaw toes!

Who knew jigsaw nails were so easy? You start with 4 boxes and then connect them with a dot using your dotting tool!
My only regret? Not using tape for the boxes, I got lazy and free handed the boxes. As a result, I got these uneven looking "jigsaw pieces". But fret not, top coat comes in to save the day as it always does!

I used Pink Plumeria from China Glaze, Rose (it's actually white) from Sasatine 


After staring at the Sakura nails by @prettynailsbymal on instagram for so many weeks, I finally tried to recreate something similar.

I used Pink Plumeria from China Glaze, Rose (it's actually white) from Sasatine for the petals, Dubhe 99 from Couleur Inc for the flower center and Lechat black for the branches. And clear Gelish for the topcoat.

This mani lasted so long without chipping..about 2 weeks? I finally removed it because I got tired of the design and it had started growing out..

tape mani with glue base

I just got my thin blue tape from Gmarket!! I was so excited to use them that i rushed through the manicure and didn't give it enough time to dry. As a result, some parts came out blotchy, and as a FURTHER result, the Gelish topcoat came out blotchy as well.
Even after 24hrs, the Gelish top coat still didn't give that plastic feel, but more of a rubbery feel.

I usually test to see if the gelish top coat is good to go by pressing something sharp into it, if it leaves a mark, it means it hasn't really dried yet.. I do this for all top coats actually. For this mani, I used S06 from elianto and Farah from Zoya.

However, the main thing i wanted to try out was using glue as a base I have been reading all over the nail blog world about using normal school white glue as a nail base. It is supposed to peel off in a nice single piece without harming your nail.

The result? It freaking works!! But it works a little too well if you ask me.

My mani only lasted a day before the edges of my middle finger starting flapping about in the middle of class. My plan was to go home and stick some more glue on but....meh who can resist that kind of temptation. I peeled the whole thing off and I am very pleased to report that the whole nail paint came off in a single piece! Think of all the nail damage im avoiding by not using the usual removers! The only downside? Who wants a mani for only a day??
(To be fair, im sure alot of people have their glue bases on for days without it coming off, but because my job is so physical, I think it just wasn't suited for my lifestyle).

Just bought 6 new polish off gmarket! cant wait for them to arrive!!