Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Manicure for 26 January 2015 - Australia Day!

It was Australia Day on Monday, so I decided to do a red, white and blue manicure with Australian Flags on my middle fingers. Sorry it doesn't show very clearly in the photo,

I started with one coat of OPI Natural Nail Base Coat.  I then painted my middle finger with three coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White. This colour was not easy to work with, and even with the three coats, I wasn't really happy with the coverage but, because I was going to put a transfer on those fingers, I decided to leave it on.
Next, I painted my thumb and pinky nails with 3 coats of MUD Deep Blue Sea.  I found this polish to be very, very thin, and even with 3 coats it was still very patchy, so I decided to cover it with glitter (details below).  I followed this with 2 coats of Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine Luminous, which I can honestly say I have fallen in love with, to my index and ring fingers.  It went on like a dream, and if I'd been putting anything else on the nail I could have just used one coat, but decided to do 2 because I wanted it to look great!  The colour is so rich, and one of the most beautiful reds I've come across so far in my nail art journey.  I know I will be using this again and again, if I can continue to get it once my bottle runs out.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for any on sale.

Now to the glitter, Avon Opal, which I'm absolutely drooling over.  The photo doesn't do it credit, because it is the most amazing clear-based iridescent glitter, which really looks like you have placed shards of opal all over your nail.  One coat was all I needed to get this much cover, and the glitter is right through the polish and hadn't sunk at all, so I didn't have to go fishing for it.  The finish was a bit rough, but a good thick coat of top coat soon fixed that. I think I'll be buying some more of this next time it's on special at Avon, just in case they take it off the market.  I might even buy two bottles, because I think I'll be using this one a lot, it is just sooooooo beautiful!

I then covered all my nails with one coat of OPI Top Coat, which is still my top coat of choice.  Then I placed a transfer of the Australian Flag in the shape of a heart to each of my middle nails.  This was my first time using transfers, and I actually found these easier to work with than stickers, because stickers have got a habit of grabbing on before I have them exactly where I want them.  They are just so sticky, but I guess I'll get used to them after I've used them more.  I have lots of both transfers and stickers, so will be using these a lot in the future.  I then applied one more coat of OPI Top Coat to my middle fingers over the transfers, which actually caused a bit of a disaster.  On my left hand, I was a little heavy-handed with the brush when applying the top coat, and the colour smudged.  On my right hand, the one in the picture, of course, I just sort of waved the brush over it with a rather thick glob of polish on the brush, and it turned out fine.  So, another lesson learned through trial and error.  And, you know how the saying goes, one should learn something new every day or it has been wasted.  I've certainly not been wasting my manicure days, I can assure you, because I learn something new each time I do a new manicure.

I have been inundated with new polishes this week, but haven't yet got any photos of them, so can't show them to you yet, but I will as soon as possible.  They all turned up at the same time yesterday (Tuesday) - some were brand new Indies (YAY!!! Finally got some!), some were mainstreams I'd ordered online from BuyInvite last month, and the rest were from someone destashing, which only cost me postage.  I can't thank her enough, because she ended up sending me 13 polishes, and I was only expecting 6 or 7.  If she reads this, she'll know who I'm talking about, so thank you so much, Brianna.

I finally got my Konad stamper yesterday, too (the postman was overloaded with packages for me - 6 all-up for the day), so I might try experimenting with some stamping again and see how it works.  I hope it does, because otherwise I'm giving up on stamping forever.  There are so many other wonderful things I can do with my nail without resorting to stamping, so it really won't be a loss.  I love the look, though, and I've got some wonderful stamping plates, so I'm going to give it one more try.

Well, that's it from me for another week.  I hope you'll come back and visit often, or even follow me through G+ or email, because I've finally worked some more of the gadgets out for blogging on Blogger, so more learning as I go.  I'll work it all out eventually, and hopefully my hubby and I will be able to get some better results with our photos, too.  We're still trying to figure out the best place in the house, or outside, to take them, and what to use as a background.

So, God bless you, and have a wonderful week!



(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

Words of Life and Hope

Monday, January 19, 2015

Manicure for 17 January 2015 - Very Disappointing!

Above you can see this week's manicure, and to say the least, I am extremely disappointed with it.  I thought I would give Seche Vite another go for my top coat, in case the problems I had last time I used it were because of incompatibility with the polish I used, but I wish I hadn't used it again!  As you can see, after only 2 days (and in actual fact the morning after I did my manicure), the polish had started shrink back from the tips and bases of my nails, and a hard edge had formed along the side of some of the nails, instead of being lovely and smooth like the other top coats I've used in the past.  All I can say is, I will only use Seche Vite again if I plan to only leave my manicure on for a day or so, e.g. if I am doing a review of polishes for someone, etc.  If I want one that lasts, I'll use something else.  Oh, well, one learns from one's mistakes, but I'm upset because this was my first time doing an ombre manicure, and I was hoping it would work out as well as it looked before I put the top coat on.

The polishes I used for this manicure were from a Fing'rs EDGE OMBRE Nail Polish boxed set of 5 different mini purple nail polishes.  The set came with a bit of sponge, too, so that I could do a sponge ombre manicure if I wanted to, and I might try it in the near future.  I'm sorry the colours didn't come out quite right in the photo, because they really are so rich and pretty. We're still experimenting with how to get the best results with our different cameras we have in the house, but I'm still not happy with the way the colours turn out.  I'll have to try some different lighting experiments and see if we can find something that gives better results.

I started with a coat of OPI Ridge Filler Base Coat, followed by a coat of OPI Natural Nail Base Coat.  The individual bottles in this set didn't have names for the colours, but you can see what shade I used on each nail, so it doesn't really matter.  All the polishes went on beautifully, and I only needed 2 coats to get lovely even coverage.  I then added one coat of Sinful Colors I Miss You glitter polish, which looks lovely under some lighting, but not so bright indoors in natural light.  The glitter in the bottle is a lovely tiny silver and holographic purple in a purple base, which was pretty transparent, but you could probably get full cover with 3 coats.  I might try this sometime and see how it turns out.

Next, I added 3 different shaped and sized gold decals to my ring fingers that I bought on eBay from echofairyland.  They have an amazing selection of Nail Art products, and their prices are amazing, so I can definitely recommend them.  Then, finally, as you already know, I added a coat of Seche Vite to all my nails, and another coat to the nails on my ring fingers.  No more need be said on that subject.  I think I covered it all at the beginning of my post.

The colours in the set look wonderful together, and I'll definitely be trying another ombre with them in the future, but with a different top coat.  I wasn't too sure how they would look before I started, so it really was an experiment to see what an ombre manicure looks like on MY nails, instead of on someone else's nails online.  I was a bit nervous before I started, as I always am when I'm trying something new.

Now to the other disaster that occurred while doing this manicure.  I had intended to do some stamping on my feature nails, but the two different stampers I already have, which I received in stamping sets, just don't work.  One came with my Salon Express Nail Stamping Kit, and the other one came with some stamping plates I bought online.  I tried using some stamping polishes that came with the stamping machine I bought to try (silly me), but they dried on the plates before I could even get the stamp on the plate.  So, I tried a couple of different nail polishes, but still no luck.  They aren't very soft, so that could be part of the problem, but even using the nail polish I barely got any of the image onto the stamper.  I tried a few different plates from different brands, but still no image.  So, I had to give up on that idea and I'll have to go back to the drawing board on that issue.  I'm going to try again with different polishes, and if I still can't get them to work, I'll buy a new stamper.  I even tried two different types of scraper, and an old credit card, but they didn't work either.  Altogether, the whole experiment was a disaster, and I was so looking forward to having a lovely design on my nails to show you.

I've also received my first request to do a review of some Indie nail polishes, which is a real thrill for me.  I didn't think anyone would ever ask me to, and I was really surprised when they said they wanted me to do some, and that they would send me their new collection to review.  I won't spoil the surprise by telling you the name of the polishes, so if you want to find out what they are and who they were made by, you'll have to check back in a few weeks (or earlier if they don't take too long to arrive).  It is not an Australian Indie polish, which is another reason I was so surprised that I was asked to do the reviews.

So, that's it for another week. I hope you'll come back often to see what I have to share with you, and you can now choose to follow me if you want to do so.  The links are on the top, right-hand side of the page.

God bless you, and have a wonderful week.


(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

Words of Life and Hope

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Manicure For 9 January 2015

Firstly, my manicure from last week lasted 7 days with very little damage at all.  I really am amazed at the way my OPI Base Coat and Top Coat perform for me.  They keep my mani so crisp and bright, and unless I actually hit my nail on something, I get very little wear at all.  I'll be looking out for larger sizes of these two products for sure, especially the top coat, as I use it every second day.

Nothing very exciting this week, but I thought I should still show you what I did.  The products I used were:  Sally Hansen Nail Rehab Strengthener, Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Base Coat, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Fruitti Petutie, Savvy by DB Confetti, Calvin Klein Hallucinate, and Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat.  I used the Sally Hansen base and top coats because I was using Sally Hansen nail polish, and they should work well together.  We will have to wait and see. Also, I still am struggling with cleaning up after I apply my nail polish.  I've got a new clean-up pen, and am still working out the best way to use it.  So please forgive the rough finish around the base of my nails.

I started with one coat of Sally Hansen Nail Rehab Strengthener because my nails haven't been doing very well just lately.  The damaged section is getting very dry, brittle and fragile, and my middle nail on my right hand is still being held together with a "tea bag" patch.  Just after taking this photo today (3rd day of my mani) I knocked my thumb nail on my left hand on the bench and took a chunk out of the tip of it.  I wanted to cry, becauses that nail was just starting to recover from a previous break and was looking pretty good.  I've filed it back a bit with my nail polish still on, and added another coat of top coat to it so that, hopefully, it will last until my next manicure in a few days.

Next, I applied one coat of Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Base Coat. I haven't tried this base coat before, so it will be interesting to see how it performs. Then I applied three coats of Sally Hansen Fruitti Patutie to each nail, followed by one coat of Savvy Confetti glitter to my ring fingers.  I did dab a few more bits of glitter in a couple of places to give it better coverage, but I didn't really need to.  There is so much glitter in this bottle of polish it is unbelievable.  It has heaps of small white, mid pink and dark hot-pink hexagonal glitter, with teeny, tiny little bits of the same colours filling just about every gap in between.  The base is clear, but you wouldn't think so when you look into the bottle.  It is just gorgeous, and could be worn with all sorts of colours, or perhaps on its own if you used two or three coats.

I wanted to add a little more interest to the look, so I finished off my manicure with one coat of Calvin Klein Hallucinate, which is a beautiful holographic glitter in a milky, clear base. I love this polish, and have used it a couple of times in the past because it gives me just the right amount of shimmer on my nails over any colour I've tried it with.  This is another polish I'm going to be keeping an eye out for while I'm looking around online. I'm not sure where, or even if, I can get it anywhere in stores in Australia, so I'll probably have to go to ebay for it, like I did last time.

I know it isn't a very exciting design, but I had a very busy week, so I needed something easy and quick to do, and I wanted it to be pink because of the pink cricket test match that was played in Sydney last week, and Jane McGrath Day in particular, when people are asked to donate funds to the McGrath Foundation.  This foundation, for those who don't know, was the brainchild of Jane McGrath, the wife of one of Australia's best ever cricketers, Glenn McGrath, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, and then with secondary breast cancer, which turned out to be terminal.  Jane realised that there were too many women living in regional and country areas of Australia who have to travel many, many hours to get to a hospital where they can access treatment for breast cancer, and possibly have to stay for days at a time, far away from their families when they really need them close.  She thought that, if there were enough breast care nurses in Australia, they could travel to the patients instead, and take the treatment to them, and also be there to support them, and their families, through their breast cancer journeys, whether the outcomes are good or bad.  After she passed away, the running of the Foundation was taken over by her best friend, Tracey Bevan, and Glenn, and it is so wonderful to see her dream coming to fruition.

It was the 10th anniversary of the Foundation this year, and 7 years since Jane passed away, but every year the test match played in Sydney is taken over by the colour pink - and the number of people who turned out in pink on Jane McGrath Day this year was astounding.  In fact, if you didn't have something pink on you stood out like a sore thumb, and you would really would have felt out of place.  Sponsor's logos turned pink, the stumps on the pitch were bright pink, the players wore pink caps, and had pink emblems on their clothing, and even the commentators for the match wore pink - one even had a complete suit, shirt and tie on. (They were all men but one, but the way.) Talk about commitment to the cause!!!!

This is an amazing charity and, after just 10 years, the Foundation now funds 101 breast cancer nurses throughout Australia, (and there should be more after the fundraising during this match), and their aim is to make it possible for every woman diagnosed with breast cancer, no matter where she lives in Australia, to have access to a nurse, and they believe that 200 nurses should be able to achieve that.  So, God willing, that won't be too far down the track.  It takes over $AU300,000 to fund one nurse for 3 years, and they won't take on a new nurse unless they have the funds to commit to that, so you can see what a big achievement this has been, and what a long road they have ahead of them. If you get the chance to donate to the Foundation, please do so.  I know how important the breast care nurses at the hospital were to me last year when I was going through my treatment, and they do an amazing job looking after us, but don't often get the recognition they should.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart to the nurses who looked after me last year when things were so tough.  You wonderful nurses all deserve medals, and are worth more than words can express!

So, that's me for this week.  Please let me know if you like my nail art designs, or not, and I'd love you all to leave comments to encourage me if you could.  I've finally found the widget that allows people to subscribe to my feed and follow my posts, so I hope you will join and come back often to see what I've been doing with my nails, or what new goodies I've found to share with you.  I scored some amazing new polishes this week, at bargain prices, so I might get my hubby to take some photos of them and share them with you in a day or two.

God bless you, and have a wonderful day.



(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

Words of Life and Hope

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My New Year's Eve 2014 Manicure

I've just realised that I haven't blogged about my New Year's Eve manicure yet.  I've been so busy, that I forgot all about it. So, here it is!

I decided to use the China Glaze "Unforgettable Collection" I received in the mail the day before, which I thought was really gorgeous and would make a great New Year's Eve mani.  The colors included in the set are:  Platinum Silver, Liquid Leather (black), Bridezilla (pale pink shimmer), White On White, and Nova (holographic glitter in a clear base). Here's a photo of the collection.

I started with one coat OPI Natural Base Coat, which is still my favourite.  It hasn't let me down once when I've used it, so I'll be keeping an eye out for it on special for sure.  Next I added two coats of Platinum Silver to my pinkies (two coats was all I needed for great coverage), two coats of Liquid Leather to my ring fingers (2 coats also ample here), three coats of White On White to my thumbs and middle fingers (which was still didn't give the cover I would have liked), 4 coats of Bridezilla to my index fingers (I think I should have added a pink nude under this, or some other pale colour), and one coat of Nova to my ring fingers over the Black Leather.  Then I added some quirky cat stickers I picked up online some time ago (can't remember where - AliExpress, I think), and I love them.  I adore cats (have two of my own), so I will most likely be featuring cat-themed nails quite a bit :)

I finished off with one coat of my OPI Top Coat, which I still think is better than Seche Vite if you don't want any shrinkage of your polish, and you want your manicure to last more than a couple of days.  The OPI dries quickly, and leaves a great shiny finish.  Seche Vite dries your manicure faster, but as I usually have plenty of time, I won't be using it very often.  I certainly don't think I'll be replacing it after I've used it all (I've still got a large bottle to go). I'll only use it if I need my mani to dry extra quickly. As usual, I will add another layer of top coat every other day to freshen it up and keep it on longer.

As you will notice, the tip of my index finger is still showing where the nail lifted off the nail-bed down the side of my nail because of the chemo earlier in the year (see just under my logo).  My other index finger is the same, and so are several of my other nails.  In fact, my left index finger is actually looking worse each time I take my polish off.  I'm praying it is not going to come off completely.  I'm hoping they will all grow out normally, but I don't know if they will or not.  I know a lot of people get permanent damage from chemotherapy.

Also, on Saturday evening I banged my lovely middle fingernail, shown in the photo, which I have been nurturing along for months and months, and took a great chunk out of it, so I had to file it right back.  I nearly cried, because now the nail looks all lopsided as the break was so far down my nail.  The cat on that nail now has part of his tail and bottom missing.  I immediately covered it all with another coat of OPI Top Coat, and hopefully it will last until Tuesday, when I intend doing my nails again.  The reason it broke instead of flexing is because the top half of my nails are still so very fragile because of the chemotherapy damage, and still look brown and ugly without any polish on them.  I file a tiny bit back each time I do my nails, so they are slowly growing out, and I guess I'll just have to be patient.  My middle finger on my right hand is still being held together using the "tea bag patch" method because the tip is threatening to come off at any time.  The patches are working well each time I do them, though, so I can definitely recommend it as a solution if you have a split in your nail.  I just couldn't rescue the other one because it broke right off.  BUMMER!!!!

The only polish I didn't particularly like in this collection was the White On White.  It went on very patchily, and was hard to get full coverage, even with three coats. The other colours were lovely to use, and went on very smoothly.  I particularly like the Liquid Leather, which is a black polish I'll be going back to time and time again, I think.  It went on so smoothly, two coats were more than enough, and the finish was really glossy.  I just love it!    I'm still struggling to get the stickers to go where I want them to on my nails, though, so a couple of them are a bit crooked.  The trouble is they are just so darn sticky :).  I'm going to try water transfers next time and see how they go.

Well, that's me for another week.  God willing, I'll be back again next week (if not before) with my next mani, and I hope the New Year is a great one for you and your loved ones.  Have a great week!



(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

Words of Life and Hope

I have nothing to declare - all polishes were from my personal stash, all bought and paid for by me.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Christmas Nail Polish Gifts

Hi, everyone.  Today I'd like to share with you all the great nail polish sets I received for Christmas this year.  I really was spoilt by my wonderful husband, Trevor, and my beautiful daughter, Meagan, and her family, and I want to thank them all for being so generous.  So, here are the nail polish gifts they gave me! I received several other lovely gifts too, but this blog is about nail polish, so I won't bore you with those :)

The first one is the "ulta3 Advent Calendar" my hubby bought me at the end of November.  As you can see, there is an amazing mix of 24 mini polishes, and would you believe I didn't already have any of them.  I was amazed! It was great fun opening the little window each day throughout December to see what the next colour would be.  I felt just like a little kid does when he/she opens his/her Advent Calendar and receives a little treat of some kind.  Silly me!!!

The colours are, starting at the top left hand corner, and reading left to right: "bright me", a lovely orange shade; "disco fever", a gorgeous red glitter in a clear base; "orchid", a beautiful deep purple shimmer; "emerald inten-city", a pretty green with a hint of blue; "pot of gold" - lots of gold glitter in a clear base; "lily white" (no description needed); "bon bon", a gorgeous, VERY pale apricot/peach shimmer (really hard to describe); "palette play", a lovely purple; "over the rainbow", which is an awesome rainbow of glitter in a clear base; "tahiti", a bright coral/orange shade; "glamour puss", a lovely silver shimmer; "blue marlin", a lovely mid-blue; "gold rush fever", a lovely gold shimmer, "new year's eve", a brilliant blue glitter in a clear base; "strawberry sundae", which is a lovely mid pink; "luck of the irish", a gorgeous bright green glitter in a clear base; "sizzling red", a lovely deep red; "lilac bloom", a lovely pale lilac/grey shade; "twinkle toes", a bright silver glitter in a clear base; "black satin" (no description needed); "pale dahlia", which is a lovely beige nude; "block it out", another lovely blue; "fruit tingle", an amazing beautiful, bright pink shade; and "pacific fever", a beautiful deep sea green shade.

Next is the "ulta3 "Colour Your World" Christmas 2014 Cube Collection", given to me by my hubby on Christmas Day.  This very quickly went onto my "Christmas Wish List" when I saw it at Terry White's Pharmacy. There were several colours in this set that were the same as those in the Advent Calendar, which was a pity, considering how many colours ulta3 make.  However, the Advent Calendar bottles were only 5ml minis, so this just meant I now have some full-size bottles of those colours (YAY)! They are: "lily white" (no description needed); "lotsa fun", a beautiful, very dark purple/blue with a little shimmer; "fruit tingle" (see above); "tahiti", a lovely coral/orange shade which is really bright and colourful; "pale dahlia" (see above); "lilac bloom" (see above); "sizzling red" (see above); "atomic oj", which is the most awesome bright orange I've ever seen; "gold rush fever" (see above); "emerald inten-city" (see above); and "silver grey", which really doesn't need a description.

Next is the "TBN Paint Tin Christmas 2014 Collection", also given to me by my hubby on Christmas Day, which has 14 different shades, all of which are great.  Some are fluoros, some are cremes, and there is even a glitter. As you can see, the packaging was really unique.   It looks like a plastic can of paint. The top and bottle are metal and the side of the can is clear plastic.  It really caught my eye when I saw it at my Terry White pharmacy, and I quickly added it to my "Christmas Wish List" :)

The colours are: "Crystal Clear" (no description necessary); "Skinny Dip", a wonderful beige/grey nude shade; "Mel-function", which is an amazing brilliant lemon-yellow fluoro; "Desperately Seeking Sue", a lovely orange fluoro; "Little Miss Mila", a lovely bright lipstick pink; "Give Me Moore"; a lovely scarlet red shade; "Cotton Candy", which is a gorgeous pale pink/mauve shade; "That's What She Said", a gorgeous lavender shade; "Jess-able", which is a beautiful rich purple; "Frog Prince", which is a lovely bright green; "Dream Catcher", a sweet pale baby-blue shade; "Rain On My Parade", a bright, mid-blue fluoro shade (picture is pretty close to true colour); "Black Beauty" (no description needed); and "Meteorite", which is an amazing glitter composed of different size black, white and holo glitter in a clear base - you really have to see this one to appreciate what it looks like.  It's awesome!

And last, but definitely not least, is the "BOE Presents MIDNIGHT Collection" of nail polishes and caviar beads that my daughter bought me.  The photo was taken with a flash, so unfortunately there is some glare, and we had to take them out of the box to photograph them because of the plastic window on the front of the box.  There are no colour names or numbers for the polishes, but there is a beautiful pale mauve shimmer, a lovely dark pink creme, a wonderful pinkish-purple shimmer, and a silver shimmer.  They are awesome! There are also two bottles of rainbow caviar beads, one bottle of cerise beads, and a bottle of silver beads.  They even added a tiny little black funnel to use to put the caviar beads back in their bottles after using them (this will come in handy for my glitter collection as well).  This is a beautiful collection, but when I contacted BOE to see if they could tell me what the colour names and/or numbers were, they told me they were one-off limited edition polishes, and won't be made again.  Such a pity, because they really are so beautiful.  So, if you see one at BigW, grab it before they disappear for ever.  You won't be disappointed.

Now you know why I said I was spoilt this Christmas.  I wasn't expecting all these polishes, and it really made for a beautiful Christmas Day for me.  When you add this to the other gifts I received, including one from my gorgeous granddaughter, Sioned (the first gift she's bought me since joining the workforce), you can see why I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family.  It may be small, but I love them all dearly, and I don't know where I would be without them, and that was even more special whilst I was going through my battle with breast cancer throughout 2014.  Thank you so much, guys.  You have no idea how much I appreciate you all.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too, and that the New Year will be a happy and prosperous one for you and your loved ones.  My next post will be my New Year's Eve manicure. Until then, God bless you, and I hope you'll come back soon to see what else I have to share with you.



(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

Words of Life and Hope

P.S. I have received no monetary or material gain from my reviews of the products used for this manicure.
Everything comes from my personal stash, all purchased by me, either in-store or online.