Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Christmas Manicure 14 December 2014

Sorry it's been a while (12 days, I see), but I had another disaster this week.

My last manicure lasted 9 whole days with virtually no damage at all.  I was amazed, but I didn't want to bore you with more photos of it. However, I stuffed up royally with my manicure for this week first time around, so I had to take it all off and start again, after I had slept on it and worked out what I had done wrong.

So, today I have a Christmas-themed skittle manicure (with each nail completely different).  Here's the best photo I could get of it - although it still doesn't really do it justice,  it's pretty close.  I love the colours of all the polishes I used, and will certainly be using them again.

I started with 1 coat of Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Base Coat.  I then added 2 coats of Colours by TBN "Dancing In The Forest" on my pinkies, 3 coats of Revlon Brilliant Strength "Hypnotize" on my ring fingers (although 2 coats would probably have been enough), 3 coats of OPI "Alpine Snow" on my middle fingers and thumbs, and 2 coats of ulta3 "scarlet" on my index fingers. I found the OPI "Alpine Snow" rather hard to work with and, if I hadn't been adding glitter and stripes to the nails I used it on, I would have had to add another coat to get a smooth finish.  The other polishes were all really easy to work with, and I only added the third coat on the gold nail to add intensity to the colour.  This is a gold that I will be using a lot, I'm sure, because it is just so easy to use, and looks so amazing.  I think it would be great for stamping and/or water marble manicures, too.

Once my polishes had all dried, I placed strips of masking tape and striping tape on my thumbs. I then added one coat of ulta3 "scarlet" over the nail, quickly removing the tapes before the polish dried.  I'm afraid I wasn't very happy with the way the stripes turned out, because there were a few spots where I obviously hadn't pressed the tape down firmly enough, especially on the edges of my nails.  I discovered last night, after I had finished it, a tip suggesting that I use a coat of top coat on my nail before doing the striping, and I'll try that next time. However, as a first time striping job (where I painted over them instead of using them as the stripes), I am reasonably happy with it.   I then added 2 coats of KBShimmer "Kringle All The Way" to my ring fingers, and 2 coats of ulta3 "disco fever" to my index fingers.  I had to fish around for some large glitter with the KBShimmer, but there is heaps of different-sized glitter in the bottle (red, green and silver in different sizes, and tiny holographic glitter throughout), so it wasn't hard to get some large ones.  The ulta3 red glitter was really easy to use, and also has plenty of glitter.

Finally, I applied 1 coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (Yay! I finally got some!) to each nail, and I'm thrilled to bits with the finish it has given to my nails.  It covered all the glitter beautifully, and dried my manicure so quickly I couldn't believe it.  I will be interested to see how long my manicure lasts with this as my top coat.  I'll be adding another coat, as usual, every other day, and will let you know next time how well it goes.

The damage on my nails is still growing out, and I am nursing another break on my right thumb, but each week there is less of the horrible, dark-brown, fragile, flaking area on my tips left, and more of the lovely pink new growth at the base of my nails.  I am just filing a small amount off each week before I do my new manicure, and my nails are definitely getting a lot stronger each week since I started using the Jojoba oil at least twice a day. They seem to be growing faster, too, which is fantastic.  I'm also using Swisse "Hand Skin Nails" tablets, and I'm sure they have helped, too.

I've been having trouble finding a good, natural cuticle oil that uses Jojoba oil as a base that is a reasonable price, but have decided to make my own after I have used up all the treatments I've already bought.  I'm also having trouble finding a good, hydrating hand cream, but I've found some great recipes online, so I've decided to source all the products I need to make my own, and have also found a recipe for an exfoliating sugar hand scrub, and will be making some of that this week once I find some nice jars to put it in.

I'm amazed at how much information there is available about natural solutions to my hand care problems, and I have found suppliers and recipes for just about everything I need to make my own.  I am allergic to perfumed products, and also to a lot of the preservatives and other artificial additives cosmetic companies use in so many of their products.  It's hard to avoid some of them with my manicures, of course, but at least I can with the products I use every day on my skin and nails.

As I used 2 ulta3 polishes this week, I thought I'd mention the fantastic Christmas gift ideas they have available here in Australia this year.  My hubby bought me a wonderful ulta3 Advent Calendar full of mini nail polishes, and so far the colours have been amazing, and I haven't got any of the ones that I've opened the window for, so hopefully I won't have any of them.  There is also a cube of 18 full-size ulta3 polishes, and a large candy cane full of full-size polishes. I think they have a couple of other gift items, too, but I haven't discovered them yet.  Of course, I've put my order in to Santa for one (or more, perhaps) of them for Christmas.  There are some great Colours by TBN gift sets as well, and lots of others around the stores for other brands, so I'm hoping Santa gets the message and is feeling generous.

So, that's it for another week.  I hope you like what I've shared with you this week, and that you'll come back often to see what I've been up to.

God bless you, and peace be with you all!  Have a wonderful day!



(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.