Friday, 31 October 2014

Stamping Gradient Roses

I felt inspired to try a gradient stamp.  I've been wanting to try a gradient stamp ever since I saw Oooh, Shinies! post.

I've tried to recreate this using the following ingredients:

 - Base Coat: Orly Bonder
 - Base Colour: OPI My Very First Knockwurst
 - Stamp Colour: OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest + China Glaze Peotic
 - Stamp Image: MoYou Tourist Collection 07
 - Top Coat: Posh é

Keeping it short and sweet.
Thanks for stopping by and if you're not subscribed to Oooh, Shinies! What are you waiting for?

xx Karen

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Incoco Nail Strips - Cloud Nine French Tip

Hello Nailistas!

I'm sure you know of this product already, but I hadn't tried them yet and I wanted to see what the hype was all about.  I have to admit I'm a fan!

What I like most about the Incoco Nail Strips is that they're made with actual nail polish.  I think this is what makes them stand out from the rest of the competition.

I've used other nail strips, but they tend to crack, rip, bubble, or just don't fit my nails.  The best part about Incoco Nail strips is the fact they are made from 100% real nail polish, so this makes them more pliable. You can stretch them (not too much, they too will rip if stretched too far) and pull them into shape and the end result is a professional looking finish.

I was in the market for some french tips for my upcoming wedding. I personally find it laborious to do French manicures.  So was really interested to see how Incoco French Tips stacked up.  I was so impressed how simple these were to apply, and perfect every time! This is part due to the fact you can pull them into the right position so easily.

For a first timer to Incoco Nail Strips, I am now an absolute fan!

I have pictured below my end results using French Tips in Cloud Nine.  I wasn't too sure what colours i was ordering on the online shop, perhaps if they used real photos, they would give buyers and better indication of the colours you are getting.  Cloud Nine is essentially a clear top colour over a white French tip. 

Incoco claim that their nail strips last up to 14 days... like many I see this and then pfft. yeah right...

After 7 Days... 

It's been exactly one week, and below are picture of my nails.  Let me tell you, these nail strips just keep blowing my mind.  If I was to paint my nails with a French Manicure the old fashioned way, they would have already peeled off from the edges after just the 2nd day (tops!), this also includes using stamping french nail tips too.   

Below are pictures after 7 days! and I'm going to persist to keep them for another 7, I will update this post next week.  I'm dying to know how they last after 14 days, and I think they have the stamina to do it without any issue.

It's been 7 days and we don't have a dish washing machine (that'd be me) and they look amazing still.

I've really tried to highlight in the picture below the wear on the tips... but as you can see it's so minimal.  I can't stop looking at my nails :)  I've never had a French Manicure on my nails look this good for this long!!

Needless to say I've made another order for another batch of French Tips and some other colours.  Incoco also sell the French Tips on their own, so I'm curious to know how they will survive under a coat of regular nail polish and top coat.  If you are interested, let me know in the comments below and I'll make sure to make a post on that too.

Make sure to come back soon, I will post up photos after 14days soon.

I just wish the postage to Australia wasn't so expensive :(

After 14 Days...

Ok, I finally got there! Let me say it wasn't easy, have you tried to keep the same manicure longer than a week?!? it's hard.  Especially if you're like me and like to change your nails every couple of days! That's mostly because the polish chips and my OCD kicks in and need to re-do my manicure. But these nail strips didn't do that, and I think that's what impressed me the most.

Anyway as promised here is the result after 14 days.  Not any more wear than after 7 days.  These babies just kept impressing me.  And to be honest all they needed was a quick file to remove the wear on the tips and they would have been right to keep going.

xx Karen

Monday, 28 April 2014

piCture pOlish - Tiffany

Hello!  I finally got around to wearing Tiffany by piCture pOlish.

And it's beautiful, I got so many compliments at work, and I loved telling them that the colour was called "tiffany" as in Tiffany & Co :)

I apologise in advance I'm still working on my photography quality, and while i managed to clear out all the noise in the photo the colours seem washed out.  I am open to your tips on taking photos for nail blogs, Fashion Polish is my idol! her photo's are amazing.

Here I have my Tiffany & Co. glasses case for comparison. In real life they were actually pretty close.

xx Karen xx

Monday, 21 April 2014

Epic Nail - Nail Transfer Foils Review

Hello lovelies,

I'm excited to be back with another review.  Not just to share with you these amazing nail product, but I've just come back from a holiday in Italy. Going away always makes me appreciate home, and I sadly realised how much I missed my nail polishes!! I limited myself to just two colours while I was away. I think that was very restrained of me.

Anyway... Back to the review...

I have had yet another opportunity to do a review for Epic Nail, this time transfer foils.

So here is the end result. This is All Laced Up,  I used a base coat of ColorClub Worth The Risque. 
Each Roll of foil is 4cm x 100cm.  Comes packed with a cardboard inner and a transparent hard plastic storage tube.  Epic Nail have some pretty awesome kits or foil packs which come with the glue you need and 6 different foil designs which in my opinion is good value for money.  Or you could just get a single roll. Also have look at their shellacs, I did a review a little while ago (here). 

Epic Nail regularly have specials so it is worth subscribing to their email list.

All Laced Up
(buy online here)

To be honest, at first I didn't like foils, it's true.  I couldn't quite work out if it was actually as difficult as I was finding it be OR I just wasn't getting it.  I had almost given up trying after many failed attempts.  Sometimes it's best to put things aside and come back to it when you're ready, I'd had enough for one day and I wasn't getting anywhere anyway.

Weeks past and I saw a fellow nail art YouTube-r I follow [Miss80Million], she made transferring the foils look so easy and I was inspired to try once again.  Her video was a basic introduction to transferring foils, this is where I needed to pick up from where I had last left off.  I needed to go right back to step one.

So I did some more research about common problems others faced when using transfer foils. I was relieved knowing I wasn't alone!  I will also note here, I'm still trying to grow the courage to attempt marbling once more...

So watching Miss80Million's video gave me the motivation to try again. And they worked! It actually worked! By the end of it I was doing two even three fingers at a time. The biggest tip I learnt was to WAIT. At least 5-10mins for the glue to dry before applying the transfer foil. 

Tips & Lessons Learnt:
In no particular order of importance, here is a list of things I discovered myself and also from what learnt from others in my search.
  1. Use a base colour - Needs to be completely dry
    Choose a colour that closely matches the foil.  Because the foil may not cover the entire nail perfectly, this covers up any untidy edges.  One coat is probably all you need.  Think of it as a clean edge manicure insurance policy.

  2. Patience, you need to WAIT!!!
    Some packages say to wait 3mins or until the glue "goes clear".  This is what I did first time... and it never worked. I found many other nail enthusiast said to wait, and then wait some more, sometimes up to 15mins.  And they were right girls and boys.  I painted 2 nails, watched some TV then came back about 10mins later and it worked.  This was my breakthrough moment!
  3. Use a Cotton-Bud (or Q-Tip)
    Orange sticks could pierce the plastic sheet of the transfer foil.  Or you could use your fingers, but you seem to get more even pressure and control using a Cotton-Bud to smooth out the bumps and bubbles.
  4. Place carefully
    Take the time to place the foil properly (remember there is no rush, the glue will be better the longer you wait anyway).  Once the foil touches your nail, you can't 
    re-position it! This can be an issue if the foil is a pattern.
  5. Don't forget Top Coat!
    It's so important to seal in the foil, not only makes it last longer, but it's so pretty and shinny too.

    As a suggestion, perhaps apply a fast drying top coat after your base colour, just in case you stuff it up.  With nail polish remover you can remove the foil layer without damaging your base underneath.  This way you save yourself painting you nails from scratch again, and attempt to re-foil (take-two).

The finished results I think are amazing. I was too embarrassed to take pictures of my first attempts, but in reflection I should have, just so I can show you what a big difference following these handy tips made.

Have you tried foils before? What was your first experience like? What do you find helped? 

xx Karen xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Mary Kay Fairytales & Fantasy Collection - Mulberry Forest and Enchanted Mauve

Welcome back!

"This season at Mary Kay, get swept up in the ethereal beauty of a fairytale land and immerse yourself in the mystery of a fantasy world with a striking, modern twist.  The special-edition Fairytales & Fantasy Collection can help you create enchanting looks worthy of a happy ever after"

I have recently purchased the two polishes released as part of Mary Kay's Fairytales & Fantasy collection (Autumn 2014).  Over the regular nail lacquer box is this beautifully designed cover slip of deep violet and lilac with gold trims.  Gorgeous, and I haven't even opened the boxes yet!

Enchanted Mauve
is a gorgeous nude creme, perfect for nail art bases or for when you don't want to scream colour.  This nude has a slight peachy undertone to it.  

Below I have applied two coats of Enchanted Mauve (no top coat) and I could easily have added a third layer to even out the nail, it wasn't an full opaque creme as I was expecting but still did the job in two coats.

Mulberry Forest
is a rich burgundy with gold, bronze shimmer throughout.  As the barometer starts to fall, this is the perfect shade to compliment any glass of red wine in front of a open fire.

I used two coats of Mulberry Forest (no top coat) in the pictures below.  It spread evenly and perfectly with two coats. I tend to be a little heavy handed when I apply my first coat sometimes... I found that one coat completely covered the nail.  So if you are short of time to paint your nails, one coat of this my be enough, but don't forget top coat! (fast drying if you need to run out the door asap!)

Purchase from Mary Kay Beauty Direct Online
Some of you may or may not already be aware, but I am Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.  I love their products and have been using their beauty products for over 2 years now. From daily skin care to colour cosmetics and yes, nail lacquer!

So if you are from Australia or New Zealand and would like to get your hands on these little beauties, you can purchase them at Mary Kay Beauty Direct online, but please don't forget to quote my consultant number at checkout.

My Consultant number is: 155637AU

xx Karen xx

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Epic Nail - Shellac Nail Polish Review + Readers Discount Code

Hello My Lovely Readers,

I have the pleasure to provide you a review for a wonderful shellac nail polish from Epic Nail.

I was approached by Epic Nail to review their new Foils range (also to come very shortly).  I was fortunate that I've purchased products from EpicNail online already, so you see ladies, I already know how wonderful these products are.  I asked if I could review their shellacs as well and they did more than accommodated my request.

I have a coupon for my wonderful readers FREE Shipping on all orders with a product total over $30.00 (this includes purchases on any polishes, foils, kits and accessories). To redeem this offer you will need to enter BLOGKAYBEL into the coupon code box prior to checkout.

Shellacs polishes are very affordable (without compromising quality) for only $9.99 and they have kits that are great value.

If you don't think they're not fabulous enough yet, every order goes in to the draw to win a Mini iPad every month! and they constantly have specials, subscribe to stay updated.

- The Review - 
Below I have swatched Wicked, a gorgeous classic red.  I used my own UV curing lamp. Base Coat and Top Coat were also provided by EpicNail.  

Below is after one week of wear.  Besides the usual regrowth these beauties looked just as gorgeous and bright as the first day I painted my nails.

Thank you for stopping by.  Hope you take a look at Epic Nail see their range of shellacs, foil, kits and accessories for all your manicure and pedicure needs and especially take advantage of their specials offers.  

Don't forget to use my special coupon code at checkout if your order is over $30.