From Rounded to Square Nails

I’ve decided to try this square nail tips thing again. As you can see from a recent video they were getting quite long by my standards — accurate typing was becoming difficult and a week bit frustrating.

I find it easier and more productive to keep my nails rounded. I’m also less likely to scratch out an eyeball.

My nails with rounded tips

Anyway, I decided it was time to trim all the nails and since I was trimming and I was still using the Duri nail strengthener I thought I would try going square again. In the past the corners would break off within a few days and I’d end up trimming them short and going round again out of frustration.

My nails with square tips.

So far so good. It’s been just about a week maybe a bit longer and the corners are hanging in there. Not sure how much longer because I’ve started wrecking my kitchen (dismantling cupboards, sanding, painting).

How do you like your tips, rounded or square?

Water Color Blue

I said I was going to go on a blue trend and I am following through with Sally Hansen’s Water Color (#570) Complete Salon Manicure which looks quite similar to the Wait N’Sea by China Glaze I had on a few weeks ago.

My blue nails colored with Water Color blue in 570 shade.

While it is similar in color it is not similar in formula. The China Glaze was a bit “finicky” and this one was downright sticky. I absolutely love the color but the formula didn’t go on super smooth and definitely didn’t allow for the slightest fiddling. The first coat is not too bad (above) but not perfect (by my standards) and I probably should have stopped there. It was the second coat that really gave me some grief (below).

My nails with Water Color blue nail polish from Sally Hansen.

This last image is two coats without top coat, yet. The top coat helped to smooth things out a bit. The color is so fabulous. The next time I wear it I might try adding a couple drops of polish thinner to see if that makes a difference.

Visions of Love

Julep’s Love is described as a gold, pearl & fuchsia micro-glitter. It came in my February Maven box and I believe it was a “gift” for Valentine’s but am not sure. I took it with me as a back up nail polish when I went back home for a week. I ended up using it towards the end of the week. For some reason I only took one image of it and it was on my phone in the hotel. This is just one coat and I was happy with that.

My nails with one coat of Julep's special edition Love microglitter.

But I did make a few videos for Instagram. Go figure. The first looks like I’m still in the hotel:

And the second I’m playing with the sparkles under fridge water lighting. S.P.A.R.K.L.Y… I noticed I could see a lot more gold and glitter than I could with the previous one.

One coat goes on really nice and at first I thought I was really in love with the color and sparkle because it is so pretty but it has an overall gold sheen to it that I think is too much gold for my skin tone.

Owl Nail Art

I have been obsessed with owl anything this past year so when I saw MissJenFabulous’s Owl Nail Art video over six months ago I knew I had to give it a whirl (I finally decided to do it for my vacation trip back home and they lasted the whole week — I received great compliments too). I love Jen’s videos and this one is so short and straight to the point and the owls are incredibly cute. Have a look at her video tutorial:

I practised this once on some plastic fingers and again on a post-it note. I highly recommend practising what you are going to do before hand so you can get a feel for each of your polish choices and how they react when using a dotting tool etc.

First things first was the owl base to represent the main feather area. I used :

I worked the colors on both hands using the self-adhesive reinforcements like Jen did in the video. I almost stopped there because I liked the look so much but I’ll have to remember to do this another time — one color obviously.

To start things off I used paper hole reinforcements to give a nice curve at the nail bed.

When I looked at all four colors on my nails I kind of cringed a bit. I can humbly admit I am horrible at coordinating more than two colors but I was also limited by the choice of shimmer polishes I had. I wanted them to be in the same family at least and somewhat similar to video.

I love the look of the exposed matrix.

But once I started putting on the details it really pulled the colors together and made them look much better.

For the details I used:

  • Sally Hansen Lavender Cloud (bellies)
  • Julep Catrina (yellow eyes)
  • Art Deco black (pupils)
  • Julep Nan (beak)
  • Julep Rooney (stomach spots)

If you have any Sally Hansen whites in the Complete Salon Manicure I highly recommend them for doing the belly because the brush is so wide and made it so much easier to get the owl belly shape.

This Sally Hansen polish seems to be my go-to when I am doing nail art.

Once the eyes go in it really starts to come together across all fingers. They are pretty cute already!

I find I am getting better at dotting eyes the more practice I get. They are pretty cute.

And then the beaks. I used a little brush which I can control more than a striping brush for intricate details.

A little more cuteness with the addition of the beaks.

Then the belly spots.

I tried to vary the size of the dots like she did but occasionally forgot, still not bad.

I think they turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! Bare in mind no one will be looking as close as these pictures so the little flubs will be unnoticeable.

I had so much fun doing this nail art and love the results.

It wasn’t too hard; the left hand was considerably more tricky of course but I made a point of working on it first. This is the best nail art to turn out on my left hand so far. Overall, I would totally recommend attempting this nail art. I’d like to do it again with some funky pastels.

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Topic Links
* More MissJenFabulous ideas from Polish and Pearls
* Pick up new shades at Julep

Wait N’Sea Blue

I’ve been feeling a lack of blue in my life lately so you can expect to see many new blue hues in the posts to come. Beginning with today’s China Glaze Wait N’ Sea from their summer Off Shore collection. 

It is a lovely color but a bit finicky to get a smooth application. As you can see here, one coat is a bit sheer:

One coat of Wait N'Sea on my nails.

But two coats offers a nice opaqueness that I appreciate.

My review of China Glaze Wait N'Sea blue nail polish.

I decided to top it off with a Hard Candy top coat — first time using this brand, picked it up on a whim. It looks more like confetti polka dots than glitter and I loves it. It takes a bit of manipulation to move the confetti around but surprisingly the formula was quite forgiving. I only used one coat. I think it looks awesome with the Wait N’ Sea.

Topped off with a Hard Candy confetti top coat.

Topic Links
* Wait N’ Sea is available at Nail Polish Canada
* Wait N’ Sea is available at Amazon.com

Duri Rejuvacote Review

Nail Polish Canada sent me a bottle of Duri’s Rejuvacote 1 to review on NailTheLook.ca. I have never heard of this product which is from a Brooklyn, New York based company. It is a nail growth system and according to the packaging Rejuvacote is the “Nail Doctor” that will “heal and cure your split, cracked and acrylic eaten nails.”

I am testing out a nail strengthener by Duri.

The nail polish bottle it comes in is actually quite large and holds .61 fl. oz of pink filmy treatment. It has a strong scent when you open it that reminds me of the wart remover I had to use when I was a kid. FYI: nails don’t smell after it dries.

The smell encouraged me to take a closer look at the ingredients and if you are a 3-free or 5-free proponent then this product is probably not for you. Here is the ingredient list on my bottle:

Ethyl Acetate, n-butyl acetate, nytrocellulose [sic], formaldehyde resin, isopropyl alcohol, camphor, calcium pantothenate, gelatin, hydrolyzed keratin protein, formaldehyde, vitamin a, vitamin e.

This bottle of Rejuvacote is not formaldehyde free.

Update: Duri’s Rejuvacote 2 is Toluene, formaldyhide, and DBP free.

In the first part of my test I started with one coat and let it go alone just to see what its longevity was like with no follow up coats and noticed it peels off quite easily within a few days.

Testing Duri Rejuvacoate nail strengthener.

I started over again with fresh nails and didn’t use any regular nail polish for seven days. I noticed some drying at the cuticle edge but not really any other changes. The formula has a nice consistency and applies nicely. It stings if you get it on a hangnail so precision is important.

Hard on cuticles and hang nails.

It does peel but instead of starting fresh again I scraped off loose edges and continued with the next day’s coat trying to keep with the directions of applying for seven days and then removing and starting again. I didn’t use any color polish this first week even though the directions said I could on the second day.

Week two something weird started happening. My nails split like crazy. I almost stopped using the Duri but decided to trim things up and keep going for the three weeks I had committed to using it. As the week continued I contributed the splitting to the nail buffer I used a few months back before using a chrome polish — I actually think this splitting was the outgrowth from that — only because I have had none happen since.

I tried a few color polishes with the Duri in weeks three and four and as far as top coats go, it’s super shiny. As someone who has been wearing a lot of polish the last year I really found myself enjoying the pink tint of the Duri but I was still happy to get back to using some bright colors like this Punch Drunk Pink:

My first polish to use with Duri was Sally Hansen's Punch Drunk.

Last week I jammed my pinky in the vent of the oven door when I was opening it and while I didn’t snap off the whole nail I did damage a few millimetres from the tip. It hung on for another day before I had to trim it back. Normally, when this happens it’s an immediate funeral for the whole tip. But at this point they are starting to grow out nicely and I like the pink glow it gives my nail beds and surprisingly it doesn’t discolor the white tips. Here they are without anything on them:

My nails look good without the Duri too.

Then the other day I jammed my middle finger into the vacuum and snapped off a chip. It’s quite a large chip but I think it would have broken or cracked right down to the nail bed had I not been using this top coat — a broken nail at some point is unavoidable in my opinion but it is always a bonus if you don’t have to trim all the way down to start from scratch.

Broken nails are bound to happen no matter what product you use.

And my favorite part, it dries soooo fast. Super fast. I can put a coat on and do anything within three minutes. This includes when using it as a top coat over nail polish — which really surprised me and made me quite happy. Up to this point I’ve been in love with Julep’s Freedom Polymer Topcoat because it dries so fast and is durable but it is such a small bottle compared to this.

A bottle of Duri costs $12.95 from Nail Polish Canada. I have been using it once a day for over four weeks and I am still not a quarter of the way through the bottle.

I hate how some products disappear like you are burning through them. Even on daily use this bottle will last a few months.

I thought my nails looked good before and while I definitely think they look better, I don’t feel like they are “nails to die for”. I will definitely continue to happily use this product until completion.

I will definitely keep this treatment as an ongoing part of my current nail regiment.

Recommendations: If you are going to try it, commit to it and use it every day for at least three weeks before you decide whether or not it is for you. Continue to condition your cuticles every night and you still need to file your nails regularly to keep rough edges at bay.

Update: I am about three quarters of the way through my Duri bottle and I noticed, like most nail polish, the formula is a bit sticky than when I started. I have emailed the company to ask if I can add a few drops of thinner without affecting the formula and am waiting to hear back. In the meantime, I posted a video on instagram the other day about a crack I suffered in my thumb nail but if you check out my nails they otherwise look pretty good and I’m quite happy with them.

Have you tried Duri Rejuvacote?

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Topic Links
* Get your Rejuvacote from Nail Polish Canada

Punch Drunk Pink

I love the colour of Sally Hansen’s Punch Drunk pink/purple nail polish that many bloggers have likened in colour to the “Radiant Orchid” colour of the year although I find this more on the pink side. Regardless it is a lovely color.

My review of Sally Hansen's Punch Drunk nail polish in 440.

I only used one coat to cover my nails and as always Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure wide brush makes all the difference in application — I don’t think there is anything else I haven’t said already in previous posts about this brand.

I love the pretty shade of pink with a hint of purple.

It is all about the colour and while I don’t feel stupefied or disoriented it definitely makes me happy. I think Sally has another winner with this one.

The color is reminiscent of Radiant Orchid but I don't think it is an exact match but still, close enough for us average josie's.

Have you tried Punch Drunk yet?

Summer Nail Polish Collections

Seasonal nail polish collections always get me excited. There are so many swatch bloggers out there I feel like I can never see them all but there are a few I especially enjoy on a regular basis.

Check out these Summer Nail Polish Collection:

* The Polishaholic reviewed and swatched the I Love Polish summer collection. There are so many pretty polishes but I have to say my absolute favorite is the Masquerade (pink/gold/green multichrome).
* Peach Polish featured KB Shimmer’s summer collection. There are so many options with solids or glitter but I think my favorite is the Sea You Around which “has an emerald green jewel-toned crelly base” — so pretty.
* Beauty Crazed shared Quo by Orly’s summer collection (I love how short her nails are!). My absolute fave is Infused.
* The Happy Sloths shared Essie’s summer collection. Sooooo many wants! I love the “Intense Cocoa Mahogany”, “Unstoppable, Bold Orange”, “Compelling Cobalt Aqua”, and “Unforgettable Hot Guava”.
* Jary Nails shared the She nail summer collection which is quite electric all around. My fave would have to be the Blue Water.
* Polly Polish talks about Barry M’s summer mattes. I love the two blues best, Malibu and Cancun.
* Love for Lacquer shared Butter London’s Lolly Brights collection. Seriously, could that purple shimmer be more awesome?
* Glitter Gloss and Garbage worked with Zoya’s Tickled and Bubbly collections. So many options! From the Bubbly collection I love the Muse “mermaid blue” and from the Tickled that Kitridge “bubblegum pink” is tops for me.

See? What did I tell you, so many polishes so little time! I could go on and on but that’s enough sharing for tonight.

What do you have your eye on for this summer?

Wizard of Oz Nail Polish

This is kind of a long post because it involves the four nail polish collection from Julep celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz movie starring Judy Garland — one of my all time favorite movies that I have watched at least once a year since I was a little girl. I even have the soundtrack. That being said it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I purchased the collection as an add-on for $19.99 (but not enough that I would pay the full price of $56) with my April Julep Box and if you follow me on Instagram/Facebook you know I have been playing with them over the last few weeks.

Glinda the Good Witch Frost

I found this pale pink frost nail polish to be thick, hard to control, and streaky. Also for this nail polish to be Glinda I felt there was not a strong enough glitter component. What there is you need a magnifying glass to see.

I'm wearing the Glinda frost nail polish from Julep's Wizard of Oz collection.

Emerald City Creme

This bright emerald nail polish definitely goes on nicer than Glinda. Even one coat gives super coverage! It has a nice shine too. On the downside, even with a base coat it stained my nails. Nothing as bad as some yellows and oranges but there was definitely a green tint left behind.

My nails with Emerald City nail polish from Julep.

Ruby Slippers Glitter

I was expecting Ruby Slippers to be my favorite but on its own it was OK. It applies nicely and I was able to easily manipulate glitter without it getting gooey. This is three coats. The glitter is not super bumpy, maybe a light sand but with a top coat I didn’t notice enough for it to bother me. I want to try it again with a deep navy.

A bright red glitter nail polish from Julep called Ruby Slippers.

Here is the video I posted to Instagram so you can see it in motion:

Tin Man Holographic

This Tin Man nail polish is so awesome both in color and formula. It looks awesome with one coat or two and is my favorite of the Wizard of Oz collection.

My nails wearing the silver nail polish from Julep's Wizard of Oz collection.

Did I mention that this silver is awesome? I have it on right now and it is just the right amount of sparkle and holographic that I’d feel comfortable wearing it anytime.

I am in love with this silver Tin Man nail polish.

This collection should have and could have been so much more than it is. Four colors? Really? What about a Toto Black, Yellow Brick Road, Taupey Lion, or some bright color for the Munchkins? How about A Polish of a Different Color and The Wicked Witch? Seriously, I could go on. I think the collection should have been at a minimum of eight colors.

Playing with the Wizard of Oz

This collection came in a book size case featuring images of Dorothy, the Tin Man, Glinda, and the Emerald City. I think it is nice for gift giving but I’ll probably remove my polishes from it and add them to the rest of my color coordinated collection.

The outside and inside of my boxed set.

Before I even got to applying them on my nails I wanted to test them on my swatch fingers. My plan was to try and get all four colors on in some amazing nail art fashion.

My mini swatches of the Wizard of Oz nail polishes from Julep.

The most obvious and easiest option was to add the Ruby Slippers red glitter to the tips which I thought looked really good with the emerald green and OK with the silver.

Ruby glitter on tips of green and silver.

I decided to use Glinda as my basecoat and applied the Tin Man to the tips — I should have stopped there (Tin Man was excellent for applying to the tips by-the-way). I then decided I would add the red glitter under the tips thickly then thinner going to the cuticle. I definitely should have stopped here!

What I eventually ended up with .

I guess it is not super bad but I definitely didn’t love it.

Same look different lighting and angle.

Then I decided to add my favorite dots along the nail line technique. Well, talk about a helluva mess! This mani did not stay on long and because I didn’t like it is the reason I didn’t start off with it at the beginning of this post. But I wanted to still share it with you anyway. Even though I didn’t like this four color look — the process was fun and painting my nails has a learning curve for what works and what doesn’t. I can’t skip it in the real world so I thought I shouldn’t hide it either.

Silly me thought I should add green dots. Did not like it.

The Wizard of Oz collection is currently on sale for $29.99 but as a Maven member I have seen it as low as $19.99 during the monthly add-ons. The polish were sold separately at one point but I just did a search and that no longer seems to be the case.

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Topic Links
* Purchase The Wizard of Oz Collection from Julep

DIY Elmers Glue Base Coat

I ordered some clear empty nail polish bottles on Etsy so I could make a glue base coat. If you haven’t already heard what that is, basically it’s mixing glue with water and applying it like a base coat. It was initially used underneath difficult to remove glitter nail polishes so they can be peeled off instead of soaking fingertips in acetone.

Empty nail polish bottles I purchased on Etsy from CremeDeLaChroma.

Generally I wear my nail polish for about four days. Mostly because I get bored but also because I am a picker. It doesn’t matter that I know it’s bad for my nails — I have some deep neurological deviation that forces me to do it. Before I started wearing nail polish on a regular basis it was my nails and cuticles — it was more unsightly and painful but I digress. When I first heard of the peal off glue base coat I knew I had to try it.

Most of the videos I’ve seen are about a third of a bottle glue with a teaspoon of water or more to get the right consistency. My Elmers glue bottle was a pain in the ass. Seriously, it almost hit the wall at one point.

Trying to get glue in tiny bottle.

First I couldn’t get it to squeeze glue out (yes it was open), then it was squeezing too much out, then the glue was clogging the entry hole of the nail polish bottle. I made a mess. Thank goodness I put down paper towel before starting. I finally finished with the glue, cleaned up the mess, and added some warm water from the tap and shook that baby.

Making a mess with glue.

I applied one coat and it dried within two minutes. I decided to apply another coat and a real base coat (just in case because I am so paranoid about color bleeding these days).

My nails with two coats of DIY glue base coat.

It works. You can’t fiddle with it or wash your hands until you have applied nail polish otherwise it will be washed away. It definitely stays in place for a few days until polish started to lift around the edges. I have tried it a few times so far but am not sure if it is something I’ll make part of my routine.

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Topic Links
* Get empty nail polish bottles on Etsy