Saturday, January 30, 2010

NOTD: Glitter Gal 3D Dark Purple

Here's the other holo polish that I recived from Kerry at Glitter Gal. A gorgeous dark purple with chunky holo glitter.

Glitter Gal 3D Dark Purple
Excuse my ghastly pale hands, they're not this bad in reality but for some reason they looked like that in the only colour accurate picture I got

I took the picture using flash on a low setting as it was late and dark, but it looks pretty accurate to how it looks in sunlight and lamplight. It's super pretty and I love how dark it is compared to other purple holo's I own. I had a little application issues with this, it was like it wanted to grab and drag itself and I had some bald spots after the first coat but I waited for a little longer than normal for it to dry before applying 2nd coat and that smoothed it all out and made it perfect. Maybe I should let my basecoat dry for a little longer before using this next time.

*Product courtesy of Glitter Gal
Friday, January 29, 2010

NOTD: Glitter Gal 3D Copper

Today I'm wearing Copper from Glitter Gals 3D collection and it's gorgeous. The finish is definitely compareable to China Glazes OMG collection, which is pretty much as good as a holo can get in my book!

Glitter Gal 3D Copper

As all holo's this one is much more impressive in reality than in pictures but I did my best to catch the effect and get it colour accurate at the same time. This is three coats and application was flawless, I love how there's a full size brush in that little bottle. The colour makes me think salmon pink, not copper. It does look more like copper in the bottle though so it might be my skintone that is changing the colour, but that's only a good thing as I think this colour is much more flattering on me than any copper would be. As usual when wearing Glitter Gals products I feel the need to go shop for more. I'm a sucker for holo's and they have a big range of colours to chose from. Me likey!

Every time I post GG NOTD's I always get asked where to buy them so I figured I'd add it to the post instead :) Glitter Gal polishes can be purchased directly from their website They ship worldwide!

*Products courtesy of Glitter Gal

PS. Saw that I've hit 200 followers, there will be a new giveaway starting next week when the first one is over! Keep an eye out for that!!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coming Up: Glitter Gal Holographic Polishes

Kerry at Glitter Gal sent me 2 of their holographic, or 3D, polishes that I didn't own to review. I'm really excited about both of these colours, check them out!

Left to Right: Glitter Gal 3D Copper and 3D Dark Purple
The white balance on my camera was set all wrong, therefore the yellow'ish background, but the bottle colours still look pretty accurate to me.

The purple has the same chunky holo glitter as in the previous Glitter Gal polishes that I've tried. The copper on the other hand look more like a China Glaze OMG holo in the bottle, with the fine glitter and more of a smooth holographic finish. I'm definitely excited about these, I had been eyeing the purple before and the copper one with the different holo finish definitely looks interesting. Pictures of these on my nails are coming up later this week!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Dorothy Who?

This beauty had been sitting in my untrieds for way too long! Haven't really been in a glitter mood, but decided to wear this one anyway and I'm glad I did! It's gorgeous!

China Glaze Dorothy Who?

China Glaze Dorothy Who?
Blurry to show the glitter

China Glaze Dorothy Who? bottle

This is a blue jelly'ish base packed full with blue and silver glitter. Absolutely gorgeous, no pictures do this polish justice. It took 3 coats to get it opaque which isn't bad at all compared to other glitters I own. I could rave about how pretty this is for hours, but other than that there isn't much to say about it. If you like blue glitters you NEED this!
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Giveaway Reminder!

Hello Ladies!
Just wanted to remind you about my giveaway, there's still one more week to enter! I would also like to thank all of you who already entered, one of the best things about this is all the new blogs I've found by reading all the comments. Awesome blogs I didn't even know exsisted!

This is what you can win:

First Prize
Left to Right: Viva la Diva #1, #2, #3, #5 and #6.

Second Prize
Left to Right: Viva la Diva #2 and #6.

Click any of the pictures above to get to the contest!

I noticed I was getting close to 200 followers and that's the mark for my next giveaway! I won't reveal the prize just yet but I can tell you it's something most of you will recognize but it's also something that is really hard to come by now a days.. curious? ;D
Friday, January 22, 2010

Polish Bloggers Network: Lacquer Link Love 1/22/10

Chromatic Misadventures has put together a wonderful array of swatches that include nail colors from Nails Inc., Zoya, Butter London, Essie, and so many more.

Polish Up brings you the sparkled beauty OPI Blues in the Night.

Can you appreciate a good haul? Well if so, let Black Nail Polish and Lipgloss show off the awesome goodies that she received from Lisa of Glammed Up.

The Nail Nerd has a polish sweet tooth caused by Orly's Sweet Collection.

Happy Vamp Valentines Day! The Swatchaholic shares a wonderful Konad sweet... I mean treat with all of you.

Raz from Manicure Mommasswatches her CND survey goodies and gives you an up close and personal preview.

Are you quite unfond of the scent of polish remover and feel you could live without the smell?! Well if so, Polish Galore gives a wonderful review of the lavendar scented polish removers Seche Erase & Zoya Remove.

Kellie from "Also Known As dazzles us with the gorgeous new shades of OPI's Designer Series featuring polishes infused with diamond dust.

Probably one of the most popular colors in the China Glaze Up & Away Collection, Prim and Polished brings you gorgeous swatches of Four Leaf Clover.

Naive Nails gives us a little Absolutely Alice from OPI's Alice in Wonderland

Green is the hottest color of the season... and polishSWATCHES brings you a shade you'll adore.

and now for the goodies....

Bring on the Network Giveaways!!!

How would you like to add 3 bottles of China Glaze polish to your collection? Well, let Polish Galore show you how!

You'll definitely want to be sure and check out the Nail Nerd Giveaway... she's giving away some gorgeous Viva la Diva Nail Lacquers.

Black Nail Polish and Lipgloss is having a fun and creative contest that you just have to see for yourself. I just can't spill the beans on this one!

And lastly, have you been dying to get your hands on polishes from the China Glaze Up & Away Collection?! Well, if your answer is yes... check out the Polish Freak and she'll be glad to give some to you.

Orly Sweet Swatches

Here they are, what you've all been waiting for! Or even if you didn't, here's swatches of the half of the Sweet collection that I recived.

L to R: Gumdrop, Cotton Candy and Lollipop
This is half of the Sweet collection - available April 2010

Orly Gumdrop
Gumdrop is a turquoise pastel creme. I had expected this to be more mint green for some reason, the promo text says turquoise though and that's exactly what it is. It's really flattering on me and I can definitely see myself wearing this alot later this spring. It took 2 coats for it to be opaque and I had no application issues what so ever, the formula was smooth and easy to work with.

Orly Cotton Candy
This baby was a surprise! As I've said before this wasn't really appealing to me. Never had a thing for light pinks and this one looked like a pig pink in the bottle, the colour a cartoon pig would have, but with a slight peachy tone. My skintone brought out all that peachy goodness though, to my delight. It really is peachy, or like a pastel coral on me. It's a great spring and summer colour. Really want to wear this on my toes. This one was a bit streaky and stringy and it took 3 coats and topcoat for it to be opaque and even.

Orly Lollipop
This was a colour I thought I would love but I didn't, I like it but I don't love it. It is a pretty purple pastel, but it made my hands look super pale, like I'm undead or something. I have a golden undertone, that shows in the picture but in reality it made my skintone look grey and pale. I will give it another chance when I've developed a little tan, or atleast got more colour on my skin from not being freezing all the time! On the good side it was almost opaque in one coat, had I put a little more polish on the brush to cover my whole nail I would have stopped at that. But I didn't and got some streaks so I needed a 2nd coat to even it out.

Over all I'm happy with these colours, and I want a few more from this collection especially the yellow one, it looks great in the swatches I've seen! I thought the formula was good on all of these, was only Cotton Candy who gave me a little problem but it was easily fixable by applying 3 coats so it was no biggie. I think Gumdrop is my favourite and Cotton Candy as the close 2nd and last Lollipop, but I have a feeling I'll change my mind later on when I try them against more tanned skin. I'm again happy that Orly sent me a colour I would never have picked myself cause I ended up liking it far more than I thought. They came with little lipglosses but one was missing so I decided not to swatch those, I can tell you that they smell GREAT though, like fruity candy, I just love sniffing them, too bad they don't taste as good as they smell! These colours will be available in april so keep your eyes out at your favourite e-tailers!

*Products courtesy of Laforce + Stevens
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orly Bloom Swatches

I've finally swatched the Orly polishes I got, all but 2 anyway. So I'll show you the Bloom colours today and Sweet tomorrow

L to R Thorned Rose, Wandering Vine, Blushing Bud
This is half of the Bloom Collection.

Orly Thorned Rose
Thorned Rose was the one colour out of the 3 I didn't find appealing at first. In the bottle it looks like a dark berry red creme, but I was wrong! It's a blood red jelly and it's really pretty on the nail. I can definitely see myself wearing this again, it makes me think of vampires. This is 3 coats, it was kind of opaque after 2 but I had some lighter areas and did another coat to even it out.

Orly Wandering Vine
Wandering Vine is everything I had hoped Enchanted Forest (Orly Fall 2009) would be. I wore that shade once and then I trade it off, it just fell flat on me. This on the other hand is gorgeous! Pretty dark green creme, that looks green in pretty much all lights. It's shiney and I love this colour. Took 2 coats for it to be opaque and it went on smoothly.

Orly Blushing Bud
Blushing Bud is a hot pink creme. Nothing spectacular about it, but I didn't own any pinks like this so it was very welcomed in to my collection. I like pinks, even though I tell myself I don't when I go polish shopping, hardly any pinks end up in my basket and I'm not sure why. This colour looks brighter and almost with a neon touch in some lights and like a regular hot pink creme in others. It would have been opaque in one coat if I had been a little more careful, but I had to do two to even it out. The formula was a little thick and I think I might thin it a little to make it easier to work with next time.

I ended up liking all 3 of the colours Orly sent me from this collection. Wandering Vine was my favourite as I had thought but Thorned Rose was a surprise and is a very close 2nd. I'm really happy they sent it to me cause I would never have bought it myself judging from how it looks in the bottle. Over all the formula was good and they were easy to work with, and the colours were gorgeous even though they kind of feel like fall colours more than spring to me.

*Products courtesy of LaForce + Stevens
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Octa Gone Wild

Hi guys!
This weekend has been super hectic, and I didn't manage to get anything done which means no Orly swatches yet =( But I've got tomorrow off work so I'm gonna try and get all of them done in the morning. Today I'm wearing an "old classic", kind of, Octa Gone Wild from China Glaze's Kaleidoscope collection. The only colour I own from that collection, and I regret not buying the rest. Think a few colours are still available at some e-tailers though.

China Glaze Octa Gone Wild

China Glaze Octa Gone Wild -low light

China Glaze Octa Gone Wild - Bottle

This is the holographic collection that came out before China Glaze's OMG collection, if you compare the two Kaleidoscope has bigger holographic particles versus OMG who is much more fine. They both have that real holographic finish though, it's not just holo glitter or shimmer in a coloured base. It is super interesting to look at, you can see the holo effect even in low light but it's in sunlight or direct light this polish really pops. It applied smoothly and I didn't have any problem with dragging when appyling multiple coats, like some have experienced with holo polishes. By the time I got to the last nail on the hand the first one was already dry enough to apply next coat. After 2 coats some nails were opaque while others weren't so I did 3 coats on all. Would probably have been enough with 2 if I had applying more even coats. I topped it off with Poshé as I always do, some say topcoat lessen the holo effect but that isn't anything I have noticed. At first when you apply the topcat it will lessen, but as soon as it's fully dry all that holo goodness is back again and I need topcoat or I'd have all nails chipped within 15minutes at work :P
Friday, January 15, 2010

Polish Bloggers Network: Lacquer Link Love 1/15/10

Get prepared as The Swatchaholic shows off her Konad skills. Bringing you her fabulous "throwback" Hello Kitty Manicure inspired by MAC's Love Lace collection.

As Magic-Maid takes you to the Land of Oh Ahz and makes you think twice about clicking your heels to leave.

For those of you who have been pining over Chanel's Jade nail color, PolishFreak brings you a possible dupe. And if that particular green wasn't enough for your color fix check out Polish Up's shade from Charlotte Russe.

The Nail Nerd gives us a little "Viva la Diva" .... as Helens Nice Things shows off a lust worthy Holographic polish from H & M.

Bright Lights Big Color shows us how to "Step Outside the Box" all while Phreshmentality shows us that a little money dedicated to our nails never hurt anybody.

Also, check out Network Giveaways....

PolishFreak is giving away a set of American Apparel's backordered nail polishes.

Polish Galore is giving away Cina Glaze's Up & Away Grape Pop, Seche Vite Top Coat, and a bottle of Matte Magic.

The Swatchaholic is giving away a host of different polishes along with some nail jewel accessories.

and Body Soul Beauty is hosting her weekly Friday Freebie giveaway.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NOTD: Viva la Diva Fall #4 + Konad

Hi guys!
The Orly colours will have to wait until the weekend when I'll have more daylight hours to swatch on. Today I'm wearing a polish from the Viva la Diva collection I'm giving away here. Of course I had to pick the only colour not in the contest, but #5 is a very close relative to this one. I wanted to add some Konad and it took 5 (yes, five!) tries to get the little bow straight, don't know what was up with me when I was trying to do this. Didn't clean up the old stamps enough either so after adding topcoat I saw the whole nail had a thin coat of silver shimmer. It would look nice, if it was on all nails!

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #4

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #4 Bottle

I've said it before but it's worth saying again, I really like this collection! The colours are nice and dusty, wearable almost all year around and they are opaque in one to two coats, I did 2 coats for this manicure. This purple is super pretty, I would call it a dusty grape. It's slightly more dusty than it shows in the picture, looks closer to the bottle picture. I was pretty uninspired with the Konad, but I really wanted some decoration so I used China Glaze Sci-Fi and m56 on the ring fingers and finished off by placing a little rhinestone in the center of the bow. That's all I had today, have a nice thursday everyone!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming up: Orly Spring and Summer Collections

I know you guys might have already seen these, but I am super excited about these colours. Orly was super kind and sent me 3 bottles each from the Bloom (Spring 2010) and Sweet (Summer 2010) collections to try out. They look great, most of them are colours I had planned on buying, and the rest looks much better in real life than in the pictures I had seen so I'm excited about them too!

Here is what I got

Orly Bloom Collection - Available now
Left to Right: Thorned Rose, Wandering Vine and Blushing Bud

Orly Sweet Collection - Available April 2010
Left to Right: Gumdrop, Cotton Candy, Lollipop

Out of the Bloom collection I had already been eyeing and thinking about buying Wandering Vine and Blushing Bud, they look great in the bottles! Thorned Rose is not a colour I would have picked myself, it is pretty though and look better in reality than in pictures. I don't own anything like it so it'll definitely be interesting to try it out. I'm a sucker for pastels so I've been looking forward to the Sweet collection. Gumdrop and Lollipop are my spontanious favourites out of the three I recieved. I hadn't planned on buying Cotton Candy at all as I thought it'd be a straight pastel pink, but it kind of has a peachy tone which makes it much more appealing to me. Going to be interesting to see how these look on the nails!

*Products courtesy of LaForce + Stevens
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NOTD: Glitter Gal 3D Electric Blue

Wanted something brighter today and went with this pretty electric blue colour with holographic glitter from glitter Gal. I wouldn't call this a real holographic polish as the glitter isn't as dense as in China Glaze's OMG collection for example, but it's pretty none the less and the blue colour makes me happy!

Glitter Gal 3D Electric Blue

Glitter Gal 3D Electric Blue with flash

Glitter Gal 3D Electric Blue bottle

This polish looks on the nail as it does in the bottle in the bottom picture, the holographic glitter is much more visible than I was able to capture in the pictures of my nails, the electric blue colour is accurate though. It went on smoothly and was almost opaque in one coat, had a few spots that weren't so I did two coats to even it out. This polish is really fun, bright and pretty and the Glitter Gal formula is very good. I'm really taking a liking to their polishes, even though I've only worn 2 so far, when my budget allows it I need to buy a few more I think!
Monday, January 11, 2010

NOTD: P2 Glory

Just a quick post to show you guys I'm still alive. I've had alot going on this weekend and now I'm feeling ill, sore throat and fever'ish :( Decided to paint my nails today to cheer myself up and I grabbed this pretty from my untrieds box. P2 Glory, a colour I can't really decide if it's green or gold. Antique gold maybe? It looks almost olive green in some lights, it makes me think of one of my major lemmings China Glaze Out on Safari, wish I owned that so I could do a comparison. It's a friggin' awesome colour anyway!

P2 Glory

P2 Glory

P2 Glory Bottle

This beauty was almost opaque in one coat, but I did two anyway to even it out. It was a tiny bit thick but still very easy to apply, probably thanks to the P2 brush shape which is a bit wider than regular brushes and spreads more polish on the nail and makes it easier to control. I liked this polish in the bottle, I LOVED it on the nail! Don't own another colour like this but have a handful on my lemming list so I have a feeling this will be used alot! Wish P2 was sold in Sweden, so far I have really liked their colours, brushes and formulas.
Saturday, January 9, 2010

You've Got Nail Giveaway!

Who wants some polishes from down under? I know I do! Jacie from You've Got Nail is having her January Giveaway, and is giving away 5 bottles of Models Prefer polish! Check it out!

Click the picture above to get to the contest!

The Story About the Missing Followers Box!

I have been recieving e-mails from readers who are unable to follow my blog, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a post about it to explain it and try to solve it for you guys.
The problem is when the followers box (located in the right most column, named Other Nail Nerds) either go missing completely or will load as an empty white box, sometimes it'll even load a part of an ad which is not supposed to be there!
It can look something like this:

Using latest version of Mozilla Firefox

If this is happening to you, note what browser you are using. It seems to only happen in older versions of various browsers and in Firefox (doesn't matter which version here). The easiest fix is to install and use the latest version of Internet Explorer or Google Chrome and you shouldn't have any problems viewing my site. I know Firefox had some issues in their latest update, maybe something that affects this, so I hope that soon there won't be any problems using that browser either.
This is what it should look like:

Using latest version of Internet Explorer

I know which script is the "bad guy" and interfers with the follower box, but I do not know why it would not display correctly, why it's only the followers box that is affected by it or why some browsers have no problems with it while others do. I have been trying different things to try and solve this but so far I've got nothing. I'll keep trying, but updating your browser might still be a good idea!
If you find any other problems on my site, please let me know so I can get right on to fixing it, try to anyway :P
Friday, January 8, 2010

NOTD: Orly Happily Ever After

Today I'm wearing Happily Ever After, a dark berry pink creme from Orly's 2009 fall collection, Once Upon a Time. I call it a creme even though it has a slight shimmer, in most lights it isn't visible so it's like a creme with a little surprise. This is a colour I've changed my mind about a million times, especially during application. Do I like or is it just not for me?

Orly Happily Ever After
Note that it is darker in real life than in the pictures. For some reason my index finger nail looks darker than the rest, that is closer to reality

Orly Happily Ever After with flash
See the tiny ammount of shimmer? It definitely shows more in the bottle
than on the nail

Orly Happily Ever After bottle

I think I do like it, maybe even more than I thought I would when I bought it. The first coat of polish made me think "Oh, no! Why did I buy this?!", it was an extremely unflattering dark pink. Then it just got better with each coat, the colour got deeper and more berry, after 3 coats it was opqaue and it looked okay but thought it would need some Konad to be wearable for me. Now though, after it has dried and darkened and I've worn it for a couple of hours it has definitely grown on me. It doesn't need Konad! It's pretty as it is!
Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nail Art: Burberry Print

Hi guys!
I couldn't get myself to remove the gorgeous Nfu-Oh combo from yesterday, gonna leave it on til tomorrow, so instead I have some archive pictures for you. I have loads of old pre-blog nailart pictures so I figured why not post one of those? This is my take on the Burberry print on nails.

Burberry Print on Nails

Materials I used
L to R: My little mini franken, Burberry, I mixed especially for this manicure, No name nail art colours in Black, White and Red

Aaah! Look at my little nubbins! This picture is from late summer I believe, had much shorter nails back then. Keep seeing cute short nails on blogs and swatches and start to think that maybe I should file mine down too, but when I see these pictures I change my mind, this just isn't me.
For this manicure I started with 2 coats, I believe, of my very crappy and chunky franken. Then striped with the white colour, 2 lines going in each direction with just a small space between. Alternating doing the horizontal lines at the top and bottom of the nail. Filled in that space with a black stripe and added another one on the inside of the white lines. Finished by drawing the red lines and top it with Poshé. I'm surprised the lines look this good cause the brushes in these eBay nailart polishes are horrible. Some are short and thick, others long. Some have bristles sticking out in every possible direction and some are just bent. Ugh! Anywho, I can't decide if I like this design or if I just find it kind of cheesy.

What do you guys think?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NOTD: Essie Midnight Cami meets Nfu-Oh #52

I just can't stop looking at my nails! As you know I recieved some Nfu-Oh's recently in a swap with Kirsten, but I hadn't tried them out on my nails yet. Experimented some on fake nail tips to figure out nice combinations for layering, this was one of them. But it's just so much better on the nails, check it!

Nfu-Oh #52 over Essie Midnight Cami

Nfu-Oh #52 over Essie Midnight Cami with flash

The happy couple! L to R: Essie Midnight Cami and Nfu-Oh #52

This is 2 coats of Essie Midnight Cami with one coat of Nfu-Oh #52. It's absolutely stunning, it's like a flakey duochrome. It shifts between blue and green depending on the lighting and I think I've seen some purple flash by a few times, and it has shimmer and flakies. All that mashed up in to one manicure is just awesome overload! The top picture shows how it looks in daylight, can really see the green and blue flakies pop on the blue bottom. The flash picture is how it looks right now in lamp light, it's just packed with green shimmer, looks like an emerald green shimmer fest! I keep moving my hands around to see how it changes in different lights, the pictures just don't do this manicure justice. It's impossible to capture everything that is going on with this polish, I need a friggin' video blog or something! As for application, the Essie is an Essie, never had any problems with them. It might have been a tiny bit runny but that seems to be common with dark blue colours and I'm always a little extra careful when applying them, it took 2 coats to get opaque. I had expected the Nfu-Oh to be more sheer but one coat was enough to get that shimmer and flakie madness going on. I need to try this beauty on it's own, it's real base colour is purple so it can't be anything else than fabulous! I definitely need to get my hands on a few more Nfu-Oh's when my budget allows it.
Happy hump day everyone!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NOTD: Zoya Yasmeen

Today I'm wearing the gorgeous Zoya Yasmeen, probably one of the most perfect purples out there. Not much else to say about it, check it out!

Zoya Yasmeen

Zoya Yasmeen Bottle

This beauty is definitely my favourite purple shimmer, it's so gorgeous. It's perfectly balanced between blue and red and the slightly lighter shimmer makes it looks really deep and interesting. The formula is great, it went on smoothly and was opaque in 2 coats. I have been wearing this for the past few days actually and I am impressed with the wear, it almost looks like I just applied it. No chips, no tipwear and it's still shiny and pretty. If you only plan on buying one purple ever, it should be this one!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tip and Toe Care: Part 4 At Home Manicure

Now we're finally up to one the fun parts of this series, at home manicure! This will be as a step by step guide to walk you through a good weekly manicure routine for natural nails, but of course most of it can be implemented on artificial nails as well. I'll try and explain things along the way but if something isn't clear just ask, or maybe you can find the answer in one of the previous articles, you can find the links at the bottom of this post. Let's get started!

Start by removing old polish, don't forget to clean under the free edge. To affect your nailplate as little as possible try not to rub while removing polish. Moisten a cotton pad or ball, gently press against the nailplate and hold until the nailpolish is dissolved then swipe towards the free edge. For nailart items, glitter polishes or other hard to remove nail polish you can wrap the finger tip in aluminium foil instead of holding the cotton down. This will prevent the remover from evaporating before the polish or nail glue is fully dissolved. Use a cotton bud or a orange stick wrapped with cotton to remove any polish that might be under your free edge.

Filing, Shaping the Nails
The aim of filing is to shape the nails without causing damage to the nailplate. Make sure you have a good file or emeryboard (you can read more about nail files in Part 3). Hold the nail file lightly between your thumb, middle finger and index finger, never apply pressure while filing, let the file do the work. Holding the nail file at a 45degree angle, leaning the bottom part towards your finger tip, start filing in one direction only, from the outside corner towards the middle. Sawing back and forth across the free edge can distrupt the nail plate layers and cause splitting or peeling. Some say the ideal shape of the nails should mirror the shape of the cuticle i.e. oval cuticle should have a oval free edge. I personally think you should pick the shape you like and feel comfortable with.
Here are the most common nail shapes:

Round Nail Shape
A round nail shape will give your nails strenght and a natural look. Start by filing the lenght down as much as you want, file off the corners to make them round and make the curve of the free edge smooth and rounded.

Square Nail Shape
A square nailshape has a straight free edge with smooth corners. This shape is fairly strong and is a popular shape. To get a square nail shape you have to file down the free edge to the length you like. Make the side of the nails straight by holding the nail file along the side wall. Finish by slightly curving the corners and smooth the free edge.

Oval Nail Shape
The oval shape is probably the most classic and elegant shape but unfortunately it makes them easier to break. To make an oval shape you start by filing the lenght down as you like. Start shaping the nail by creating an arch from the side wall to the top (middle) of the free edge. Make sure you get both sides symetrical, creating a smooth oval, egg shape.

Squoval Nail Shape
Squoval is a fairly new shape that is becoming more and more popular, especially for longer nails. It's a mix between square and oval with the straight side walls but the tip is rounded or oval instead of straight. Start by filing down the free edge to the lenght you like. Make the sides straight by holding the nail file along the side wall. Depending on how much of a rounded tip you want, start a little bit down on the side wall and start making an arch towards the top (middle) of the free edge, make sure you start at the same spot for both sides to make the curve symmetrical.

When you have achieved the shape that you want, smooth and seal the free edge by using a 3-way buffer. This will seal the layers of the free edge to prevent splitting or peeling.

Cuticle Care
There are a number of ways to remove the lose skin around your cuticles. Here are the ones I find the most gentle but effective.

Removing cuticles without a specific product.
1. Soak your fingers in warm water for a couple of minutes. Add some aroma oil or liquid soap to the water to help cleanse and relax you fingers.

2. Thoroughly wipe your hands

3. Apply cuticle cream, oil or lotion to the entire cuticle line and rub it in.

5. Use a cotton bud or orange stick wrapped in cotton. Dip it quickly in water to make it damp and gently push the cuticle back and by using circular movements removing the excess skin.

6. Wipe off excess creme.

Removing cuticles using a cuticle remover
There are various types of cuticle removers, make sure you read what it says on the product you have as the directions might be slightly different.

1.Apply the cuticle remover all around the cuticle area and soak your nails for a few minutes in warm water.

2. Remove the fingers from the soaking bowl and start removing the lose skin by pushing the cuticles back using an orange stick or a metal cuticle pusher. Do not use downward force as this might damage your matrix. Keep in mind that you only want to remove the dead skin, not break the seal between the nailplate and the nailfold or damage the live skin.

Some removers are already watered out and you do not need to soak before starting to remove the cuticles. Just apply, wait a little bit and start pushing your cuticles back and soak your fingers afterwards to clean your hands and make sure there's no product left on your fingers.

Never soak your nails for longer than 3 to 5 minutes. Soaking longer than that will fully saturate your nails causing the nail plate to swell. Once the plate returns to it's normal shape any nail polish that is applied will crack and chip.

If you have hang nail it's best to use a cuticle nipper and gently, following the curve of the cuticle, cut the dead skin off. Be careful so you do not cut any live tissue.

At this point you may want to exfoliate your skin. Gently massage your scrub product all over your hands for a few minutes. You can use olive oil and salt mixed together if you don't have a scrub or just like to do things yourself.

When you are all done wash your hands using liquid soap and a nail brush, don't forget the underside of the free edge! Moisturize using a regular hand lotion.

If the nail plate is ridged or otherwise uneven you may wish to smooth it using a buffer. Buffing also makes your nails shiny and will seal the nail plate making it more durable if you do not wish to use nailpolish. If you're going to apply nailpolish and your nail surface already is smooth you can skip this step.

Whenever the nail plate surface is filed in any way, even with a buffer, it should be filed in one direction only. Buff from the matrix towards the free edge, by moving in the direction of nail growth you don't disrupt the nail plate layers as you would if you used a sawing motion or moved from side to side. Keep the speed under control, if you start feeling heat in your nail it's time to slow down or the nail might get dehydrated.

Once you have buffed all nails, using all 3 sides of the buffer apply some cuticle oil and gently massage in all around your cutucle area. I like to put a few drops of olive oil in an eggcup, heat it in the microwave and apply that. The warm oil feels great!

Applying Polish
Applying polish sounds easy enough, but there are a few things that are good to think about.

Start off by removing any moisture, oil or lotion left on your nails, as the polish wont adhere properly to an oily surface. Wipe your nail plate with a cotton pad damp with nail polish remover or a 'prep' product. Don't forget the underside of the free edge.

Always use a basecoat as this will prevent staining and also make the colored polish adhere better to you nails. As I've mentioned in previous articles, nail polish protects your nails from water and fully saturated nails is a bad thing. I always apply basecoat to the under side of my free edge as well, it helps them keep their shape and not curve from constantly being saturated and dehydrated.

Start applying the colored nail polish by painting a little bit of polish on the free edge, the very tip of the nail. This will bind together with the rest of then polish preventing tipwear and chips for a longer period of time.

Starting from the center of the nail, touch the brush right before the cuticle line and carefully push up the polish towards the cuticles leaving a small space, ideally the width of a hair but do more if you need to, then stroke down towards the free edge. Draw the cuticle line with the corner of the brush and stroke down towards the free edge on both sides of the middle stripe. 3 or 4 strokes should be enough to completely cover the nail, additional stroking might lift and move the enamel leaving behind streaks and/or bare spots on the nail surface. It's important that the polish do not touch the cuticles or surrounding skin as that will dehydrate the skin and block the nail folds from absorbing necessary moisture. If your hands don't feel steady or if you for other reasons have a hard time getting that little gap you can clean it up afterwards using an orange stick or a toothpick.

Repeat the previous step and do as many coats as needed for the polish to be opaque and even.

Finish off by applying topcoat! Using a slow drying top coat will make the color more vivid as slower evaporating solvents produce brighter colors. Using a polish dryer that blow air on your nails might lower the adhesion and gloss of your polish.
I'm personally a fast-dry topcoat junkie, when I paint my nails I want it to be done fast! And changing my color almost every day it doesn't matter if it would start losing brightness versus if I had used a slow drying topcoat. Some fast-dry topcaots migth cause shrinkage or cracking, it's a whole science and it has to do with how your body react to the ingredients. So try different products until you find the right one for you! Might be something to think about if you want to wear your manicure for as long as possible.
Now when you're all perfectly polished, finish up with a little bit of cuticle oil and you're good to go!

Links to previous articles in the Tip and Toe Care series:
Part 1: The Nail Anatomy
Part 2: Nail Growth
Part 3: Natural Nail Care

My own knowledge
Marti Preuss -
Minnie Matsumoto -
Various other websites where no author or sources were mentioned,
therefore I do not know who to credit.
If you recognize any of the material posted here as yours don't hesitate to contact me

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award!

I got tagged by the lovely Arie from Catch the Beauty with Arie. This is my first tag *squee* Thank you Arie :)
For this tag you're supposed to tell 7 random facts about yourself, here are mine

1. I really am a nerd. I love video games, anime movies and fantasy books.

2. One of my personal goals is to own, and to read of course, all Dragonlance books.

3. I love to sing in the car, loudly! But hate to sing when other people could hear me.

4. I sell shoes for a living, but wish I was working with nails or interior design.

5. I've been dying my hair for so many years I'm not sure I know what my real colour is. I've had everything from blonde to red hair, I'm currently dark brown.

6. I have 2 cats which I love and talk to all the time when I'm at home. I can have the weirdest conversations with them. But that ok cause they don't judge me! :P

7. I like to think I can speak alot of languages, but in most cases I understand more than I actually speak. The languages I can speak fluently though are Swedish, English and sign language.

I'm tagging:
Kirsten from Een Minder Mutsig Nagelblog
Gildedangel from Naive Nails
L from Bright Lights, Big Color
Evil Angel from Black Nail Polish and Lip Gloss
Deez Nails from Deez Nails
Kelly from Plane Beauty
And everyone else who feels like playing and haven't been tagged yet!
Looking forward to reading your random facts!

No Nails but a New Blog Design

Hi everyone!

I got a new blog design as you probably can tell! Wanted a cleaner look with more features, hope you'll like it as much as I do. If you have any ideas or inputs, notice that something is missing or not working, let me know!
I've not only made a new design this weekend, I also formated both of my computers and forgot to save Photoshop, doh! So until that is sorted there wont be any new NOTD's =(
Just letting you guys know why the blog has been quiet for a couple of days, hopefully I'll have all necessary programs back up and running shortly and I can get back to my daily posts!

Until then, take care and don't forget to enter the giveaway! It's open to EVERYone!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My First Giveaway!


What better way to start the new year than with a giveaway? Initially I had planned on having my first giveaway at 50 followers, but it happened so fast and at that point I didn't have any good prizes :( Then I planned for 100 followers but what the heck. I don't want to wait!
I have polishes from the collection I just swatched to give away. If you missed that post click here. I picked up every bottle they still had in the rack and ended up with a 1st and 2nd prize! Figured it was a good collection since I personally like them, they're not available outside of Sweden and they're discontinued and HTF which I hope will make them appealing to all of my followers! Anyway, less talk, more contest!

First Prize
Left to Right: #1, #2, #3, #5 and #6. The first prize winner will recieve almost the full collection, unfortunately I wasn't able to find another bottle of #4

Second Prize
Left to Right: #2 and #6. The second prize winner will walk away with 2 of my favourites from the collection.

All of the bottles are in unused condition, have my own set of the collection which I used for the swatches.


Here's how to enter:
Post a comment where you list your entries and include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. Please post only one comment with all entries, this will make it alot easier for me. To make it fair for everyone I will disqualify entries that does not follow the rules or haven't included an e-mail address.

1. Become a follower, if you are already a follower that's certainly fine! Use your blogger/google friend connect account to post your entry and make sure you're not following privately, that's the only way I can check that this mandatory rule is being followed. (1 entry)

Optional extra entries:
2. Spread the word! Make a post about the contest on your blog that links back to this page and contains one or both of the pictures of the prizes. Please provide a link in your entry comment. (2 entries)

3. Add me to your blogroll, if I'm already on it that counts too. Please provide a link in your entry comment. (1 entry)

You can get a total of 4 entries! This contest is open to everyone, doesn't matter where in the world you live, it ends February 1st at midnight GMT+1 (6pm EST). A full month from now so that everyone that wants to enter gets a chance!

Good luck everyone! This is my thank you to all of you who are following me and comment on my blog. That's what makes blogging fun! Hope you will enjoy this giveaway as much as I do!
Thanks ladies! (and gents of course, if I have any that read my blog)


Viva la Diva Fall 2008 Swatches

Viva la Diva is a Swedish drugstore brand. A brand I didn't care much for until recently, always thought Swedish drugstore brands were expensive for drugstore brands :P But Viva la Diva's quality is surprisingly good and they have a wide range of colors and finishes. This specific collection came out for Fall 2008, but I didn't pick them up until recently. It's discontinued but one store in town still had a few bottles left! Woo! They're more expensive than most brands you can find at e-tailers but cheaper than buying those name brands at the stores here. Nail polishes and make-up is generally expensive in Sweden, so I guess these are "cheap" considering.
This collection consist of 6 colors, conviniently named 1 through 6. I did some quick one finger swatches, and why am I showing you this now you might ask? You'll find out in my next post! ;)

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #1
This is a light dusty, greyed out purple. Super pretty colour. Really pigmented, it was opaque in 2 thin coats, probably would have been fine with only 1 thicker coat.

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #2
Muted army green colour, looks a bit olive green in brighter lighting. Used 2 thin coats, for shorter nails or if you do thicker coats 1 coat will suffice. One of my favourites of this collection.

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #3
Dusty, muted pink. It looks "pig pink" in the bottle, didn't think I would like this at all but on the nail it dried to a darker, more dusty pink which is much more flattering. Took only 1 coat to be opaque, I like!

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #4
Medium, dusty grape purple. Really pretty, don't own a color like this and I dont know why! I seem to only buy lilac cremes, and purple shimmers but no real purple cremes. I've been missing out, this is gorgeous! This was 2 coats but just as the rest of the collection, 1 thick coat probably would had been enough.

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #5
This is another gorgeous purple creme, #4's darker sister. Not quite as dark as in the pictures, but a very dark purple. Looks purple in all lights though, not black as dark cremes have a tendency to do. Used 2 thin coats but 1 thick probably would have done the job.

Viva la Diva Fall 2008 #6
Dusty, tan, nude colour. Another one of my favourites. It gets a grey tone in some lights, it's really pretty if you like nudes. Bet this is gorgeous as a base for some Konad. Very work appropriate but still not boring. This was a bit more chunky than the rest of the colors as you can tell in my picture, maybe it's just my bottle, gonna add some thinner to it before I use it next time. I'm sure a topcoat would even it out, but I did all the swatches without and didn't want to do this one different. Used 2 coats but 1 would be enough if you're careful while applying.

I like this whole collection, they're all really pigmented, the colours are super pretty and perfectly dusty. Could work both in the spring and the autumn. The few cons are that they're only available as mini bottles (but since they're so pigmented you wont need to use as much for a mani) and their names, I guess it makes sense to call them 1 to 6, Viva la Diva name all of their polishes by numbers. But they already have those numbers on other colours in their core collection, might get confusing. The biggest con is probably that it's discontinued and pretty much impossible to find now, I bet it would sell well as full size bottles in the core collection!

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