Pink Armor Nail Gel – Product Review

Today I would like to tell you about the Pink Armor Nail Gel from Verimark:

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I have heard a lot of good things about, this nail polish, but I am always very sceptical until I have tried something out for myself… ;P

And WOW, did this product live up to its reputation!!

This polish basically has both a treatment, as well as an aesthetic purpose, because it makes your nails look prettier and healthier, while at the same time helping your nails to actually become prettier and healthier 😉

It consists of a Protein rich Keratin formula that protects the nail, while penetrating deep down to repair and strengthen the nail.

It also has optical brighteners that make the white of your nail tips look brighter and make the nail beds look pinker, to bring out your nails’ natural beauty for a flawless look!

Because of all the nail art that I do – which means using stronger polish removers, and using them very often – as well as the super stressful work environment that I have been in for the last year – AND not getting enough sleep on 6 nights out of 7… my nails have really been in a terrible state 😦 They have become very soft and thin, with the top layer constantly splitting from my tips, and this presented the perfect opportunity to test out this product.

And after using it as advised – two coats, once a week – for the last month, I can confidently testify to the wonders of the Pink Armor Nail Gel.

My nails have already started to grow out stronger, and because they are so well protected by the polish, there is less breaking and splitting that takes place.

These are my nails now without anything on them (they still have a lot of ridges, but looking much better than a month ago):

PinkArmorBefore

And this is after applying 2 coats of the Pink Armor Nail Gel:

PinkArmorAfter

As you can see, it gives a really glossy nail gel finish 😀

What I also liked about this polish, is that it dries really quick, so you can apply your 2 coats really quick, and be able to ‘use’ your hands again not too long after.

The Pink Armor Nail Gel is available at Verimark stores nationwide, or at any store that stock Verimark products, like Macro, Game, or even some Dischems and retails for only R99-00

PinkArmorFinal

Final Thoughs: I would most definitely recommend this polish to anyone struggling with weak/dry/splitting nails!! I have already spoiled my mom for mother’s day with one of these little miracles, and plan to recommend it to my nail art customers as a way to rest/feed their nails for eg. one week a month, to keep their natural nails healthy & happy!! 😉

It is also a great alternative for ladies who prefer a natural look (no colour).

Have any of you tried it out yet?! I would love to hear about your experiences?

Nail Art 101 – Gemstones / Rhinestones

This week’s Nail Art “Jewel” – pardon my pun – is Gemstones & Rhinestones.

This nifty little tool is SO versatile – allowing you to add just the simplest touch of Nail Art to your mani..

simpleRhinestones

OR.. create an intricate Work of Art..

complicatedRhinestones

And of course everything inbetween 😉

Gemstones & Rhinestones come in many, many different shapes, sizes and colours, which also adds to their versatility:

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AND – they are available in many different places.. from the Chinese shop on the corner, to your local Arts & Crafts store, Beads store, Haberdasheries, and of course places that officially sell nail and nail art supplies!!

One of the most used online stores for Nail Art supplies is the Born Pretty store! And I will definitely recommend them if you are an online shopper. They have a wide variety at very reasonable prices.

There are a couple of different ways to attach your gem/rhinestones to your nails, and each have their own positives and negatives:

  1. I prefer using craft glue, because it still allows a slight “movability/flexibility” when it has dried, so the stone doesn’t pop of immediately when you accidentally knock it against something. But it does take quite a while to dry, so you have to be very careful with your nails for a very long time (hours) after applying.
  2. Regular nail polish, like your clear top coat for example. This seals in the stones quite securely, but I have found that it is very hard to NOT trap air bubbles (right against the stone) when you paint over it with your topcoat.
    Tip: Do not use a lot of top coat, rather a thin layer, and sweep it past / down the sides of your stone/s rather than over. (please do share with us if you have any other tips on avoiding those annoying air bubbles?)
  3. And then there is of course Nail Art Rhinestone glue, that is specifically manufactured and sold for this purpose. I have not yet bought or used one of these, so if you have, please do share your experience 😉

Now let’s look at some ideas using gem/rhinestones:

Here I did a Half Moon mani, with a triangular half moon using the negative space technique and some freehand painting and dotting to create the simple lacey pattern. And then I added some Rhinestones on top of that:

LightBlue&Rhinestones3

Or here I just painted a simple black on all of my nails. And then did a diagonal line down the centre of each nail, using a different rhinestone for each nail:

RhinestonesFinal2R

RhinestonesFinal1R

This was one of my St Paddy’s day designs, where I blinged up the green Cross shapes with some green rhinestones:

GreenGems3

I also loved this simple idea for toes, and will definitely be trying it soon 😉

rhinestonespedi

So there you go! A lovely little nail art tool/technique that you can use for adding just a touch of glam to your mani, or to go wiiiiiild!! 😉 ha-ha-ha

DIY Nail Whitening Treatments

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I don’t know about you guys, but even when I am very diligent, and ALWAYS use a clear base coat before I apply my colour/s – to prevent the staining of my nails – constant wear of dark coloured nail polish inevitably eventually leaves me with some yellowing of my nails.

And although no one can see these yellow stains while I am wearing my bright coloured polishes, it becomes a problem when I want to do a lighter or a French Mani

So here are a couple of DIY nail whitening treatments that I have tried out:

My preferred method is a Lemon juice and Baking Soda Paste:

Image 1

Ingredients:

  • Lemon juice – one and a half tablespoons
  • Baking soda – one and a half tablespoons (or add more until you get a thick enough paste)

Method:

  1. Remove all nail polish from your nails
  2. Wash and then soak your nails in luke-warm soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes and dry with a clean towel.
  3. Use a cotton bud to apply some petroleum jelly (vaseline) to the area around your finger nails, and your cuticles.
  4. Use a small bowl and add your lemon juice and baking soda together to form a thickish paste.
  5. Use some cotton buds to apply the paste on top of your nails as well as under your nail tips, and leave it on for about 5min before rinsing thoroughly.
  6. Apply your preferred cuticle oil on yours nails and cuticles and finish off with a nourishing hand moisturiser.

Repeat this treatment once a week for best results, until your nails are back to its natural bright white 😉

 

Another option is to use Hydrogen Peroxide with your Baking Soda, instead of the Lemon Juice

Image-2

Ingredients:

  • Hydrogen peroxide one tablespoon
  • Baking powder 3 tablespoons

Method:

  1. Remove all nail polish from your nails
  2. Wash and then soak your nails in luke-warm soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes and dry with a clean towel.
  3. Use a cotton bud to apply some petroleum jelly (vaseline) to the area around your finger nails, and your cuticles.
  4. Use a small bowl and add your hydrogen peroxide and baking soda together to form a thickish paste.
  5. Use some cotton buds to apply the paste on top of your nails as well as under your nail tips, and leave it on for about 2-4min before rinsing thoroughly.
  6. Apply your preferred cuticle oil on yours nails and cuticles and finish off with a nourishing hand moisturiser

Again, repeat this treatment once a week for best results, until your nails are back to its natural bright white

 

The 3rd method is to use Whitening Tooth Paste

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Ingredients:

  • Any whitening toothpaste
  • An old toothbrush

Method:

  1. Remove all nail polish from your nails
  2. Wash and then soak your nails in luke-warm soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes and dry with a clean towel.
  3. Use a cotton bud to apply some petroleum jelly (vaseline) to the area around your finger nails, and your cuticles.
  4. Use an old toothbrush and gently scrub your nails with a little bit of whitening toothpaste and leave it on for 5min before rinsing thoroughly.
  5. Apply your preferred cuticle oil on yours nails and cuticles and finish off with a nourishing hand moisturiser

Do this treatment once a week for best results, until your nails are back to its natural bright white

 

Certain brand names also have a nail polish remover that has a slight whitening effect.

You can use these each time that you remove your nail polish, to help keep your nails whiter.

Try:   The Clicks brand, available at Clicks pharmacies nationwide

 

And the last product that I want to mention that you can use when it comes to nail whitening, is Essence Studio Nails Pro White Gloss

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This is a fast-drying pro white gloss with a special anti-yellow formula. This nail polish not only ensures naturally white nails, but also offers a radiant shine and long lasting gel-finish thanks to its unique texture.

It is specifically for using on its own (not as a base or top coat), when you want to do a natural nail look (no colour), or a French Manicure.

Last Thoughts:

  • Never overdo any of these treatments, as they do have a drying effect on your nails. So no more than once a week!
  • Always moisturise your cuticles, nails & hands after doing these treatments
  • Do not try any of these treatments if you have any broken skin around your nails, as it WILL burn 😛
  • Should you experience any irritation at any time, stop your treatment immediately, and rinse the area under cold water. (I have never had any bad reactions myself, but some people’s skin are more sensitive than others)

Let me know if you know of any other DIY nail whitening treatments not mentioned here. And what worked for you or didn’t work for you! 😉

Avon Colour Attract Magnetic Nail Polish – Product Review

This week we’ll be taking a look at Avon’s Colour Attract Magnetic Nail Polishes.

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This was the first ever Magnetic Polishes that I used, and it actually took a little practice to get the most out of this magical invention… 😉

If you paint your layer too thin, the polish dries before the magnet can get to work.. And if you paint it too thick, its a bit of a goey mess, and the magnet also doesn’t want to work that well… lol

But this was all due to my inexperience with magnetic polishes, not the Avon Colour Attract 😉

I found that this polish has a decent amount of magnetic particles, which is essential for the patterns to form. And it also gives a beautiful shimmer effect if you decide to apply the polish just like normal polish, without using the magnet.

They also have several different magnets available, so that you can play with different patterns while using your Colour Attract Nail Polish:

MagneticWands

The number of colours in this range is decently large, and includes really beautiful colours!

I have done swatches for you of the 6 colours that I currently have:

Magnetic Metal: – This is a great Dark Grey/Silver colour

Magnetic-Metal

Spellbound Green: – This is a fantastic Metallic “Faded” Green colour

Spellbound-Green

Lavender Lure: This is a lovely Light Lavender colour

Lavender-Lure

Rose Flash: This is a beautiful “Burnt Orange” colour

Rose-Flash

Fuchsia Force: This is a fabulous Fuchsia colour (one of my favourites!)

Fuchsia-Force

Blue Attraction: This is a bright Metallic Blue (and definitely another one of my favourites!)

Blue-Attraction

Another thing that I absolutely love about the colours are the clever names!! As you’ll see above, the are all cleverly Metal of Magnetic related!

I found that the polishes dry really quickly, which is great! And as I mentioned previously, they also look really pretty as normal polishes (not using the magnet with them), for example – here I used  Magnetic Metal:

Grey-&-Turqouise-Bling-1

The only negative, that I found with this polish is that some of the colours are a bit sheer.. and because of the magnetic effect, you can’t exactly build it with a second coat ;P

So one has to be very careful and precise to paint your layer thick enough to not be sheer, but at the same time not have it too thick – so the magnetic effect does not want to work..

But despite this, I really love these polishes, and wear them quite often when I don’t have time for doing a more intricate Nail Art Design 😉

I also incorporate them into my Nail Art designs, like this Mo-Vember design below:

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The Avon Colour Attract Magnetic Nail Polish range is available from any Avon Representative nationwide.

Which Magnetic Nail Polishes have you guys tried out and are your favourites? Let me know in your comments below! 😉

See you lovelies again next week!!

Blonds have more fun… or DO they?….

Mhuahahahaha (evil laugh)

OR is that only what we want you to believe… so that you don’t all come over to the ‘dark side’ where all the REAL fun is to be had… 😉

I am a brunette in my 30’s and I am not shy to say that I have never ever been tempted to try out being a blond. Not even highlights. I love my dark hair!!

I sometimes play with different shades of ‘dark’ 😉 Venturing over to an auburn with a tinge of red in the sunlight of summer, something darker with just a hint of plum in the winter months. But overall, I’ve always been and always will be a dark chocolate girl 😀

And this suits my personality perfectly!!

Being a brunette makes me feel like it adds that little bit of mystery… like: “what could be brewing in that mind under that brilliant mane of chocolate”.. ha-ha-ha

Another plus about being a brunette is that its so much easier to “take 5” from being the centre of attention. I can easily slip into the understated ‘girl next door’ persona during the day, when I just want to have a ‘me’ day, and then slide into a sexy little outfit and wow the salsa dancefloor with the shiny locks of my mysterious mane in the evening.

It also lends itself to ‘playing’ a lot more with different shades of brunette. As I mentioned earlier, either towards the warmer red side, or towards the cooler plum side. Which, again, is a much needed quality, as I am a person who loves to play around with different, styles –  in everything that I do, or wear, or how I style my hair, or how I do my make-up, etc… So I totally love the diversity of being a brunette!!!

Darker hair colours also tend to have way more shine than lighter ones… To quote a fellow blogger of mine : “The sun drinks up our dark strands like water and projects a glimmer off each piece that’s hard to match.”

Another one of my big passions in life is to DANCE!! And for the last couple of years I’ve been living this passion through my Salsa & Bachata dancing! I’m even in our dance school’s performance group. And another feature that my dark hair provides, is that it adds a little Latina Flavour, even though I am actually a very Afrikaans South African, with no Latina blood at all.. Ha-ha-ha

Now for those of you who still believe that Blonds have all the fun… Here are a couple of pics of me as a Proud Brunette, having more fun than most of the blonds that I know 😉

PS. This blog post about my “Hair Colour Personality” was inspired by Madison Reed.

Madison Reed is a salon hair color and hair care range that you can use at home – and that is better for you – free of gluten and harsh chemicals like ammonia, resorcinol, added paraben and PPD. Their long-lasting formulas are packed with rich nutrients like keratin, argan oil and ginseng root extract for stronger, shinier and healthier hair.

Go check out their services and hair dye products online.

And while everything I shared here about myself is true, I have no animosity towards blonds or redheads or any other hair colours 😉

But I also don’t believe in stereotypes or stereotyping, like “blonds have all the fun”… ha-ha-ha.  Besides, I definitely think that I break that mold 😀

What do you guys think?!

Nail Art 101 – Gradient/Ombre Mani’s

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So today’s nail art technique can be quite versatile – either as a nail art creation on is own, or as a “base” for a more intricate design – and again with endless colour combination options.

Gradient Mani’s (or also known as Ombre Mani’s) are basically done with 3 or more colours that are blended into each other on your nail.

Now as the name suggest, it was originally done with different shades of the same colour, to create the gradient effect. But it has since been evolved by the bold & fearless so that you can basically use any 3 colours in your combination 😉

This was the first gradient mani that I ever did, so it’s not as neat as it could be.. but still pretty 😀

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1. Start with your clear base coat and then one coat of the lightest colour that you are going to be using in your combination, eg.

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2. Paint a generous amount of your 3 colours onto your sponge, overlapping the edges, and then sponge it onto your nail using very slight vertical wiggling movements to make sure that the edges of the 3 colours is well blended on your nail (here I used a foundation sponge which I cut a little smaller).

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I have found that you have to repeat this step a couple of times to ensure that you get the right amount of polish on your nails, because a lot of it is sucked into the sponge and then doesn’t all transfer onto your nail.

Also try to re-sponge before the polish on your nails/sponge get too tacky, otherwise you’ll end up taking more off with your sponge than you are putting on… lol

3. Wait for it all to dry 100% before carefully applying your clear top coat, for a softer effect (and for the obvious benefits of adding shine and your mani lasting longer)

OR leave the out the top coat for a more textured effect.

4. Another method is to also apply the 3 colours directly on your nail (over the base colour) and then sponging on some more of the same 3 colours on top of that as in step no 2.

There isn’t really a right or wrong, basically try both methods and see which one works better for you!

Here is another example where I used 3 colours that aren’t quite shades of the same colour, but from the same ‘colour family’ as a “sunset” gradient 😉

SunriseGradient2

And here I created a “field & blue sky” using the gradient technique, as a base:

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For this ‘Field of Spring Flowers‘ design that I did:

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Again – so many options to play with en too little tiiiime!!! ha-ha

Try doing your gradient horisontally on each nail, or in multicolours as a rainbow going across all of your nails.

Or add some bling by using 3 glitter polishes.

The possibilies are really endless!! So go out and be creative my lovelies xox

Makeup Tips for a Picture Perfect You

We’ve all been there before… you’re out somewhere for a function or special occasion and the photographer corners you… but you’re quite confident, because you knew pictures were going to be taken and you took extra care to get ready for the occasion. But then you see the pictures a couple of days later and to your dismay you wonder, “Did I really look like THAT?”

Sure, the photographer, the camera, the lighting and the way you stand could all help you look better in photos, but the correct makeup can also make a serious difference! So here are my 10 easy tips on how to make your makeup work for – and not against – you in photos. (The rest is up to you… ;))

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1. Tidy Eyebrows

Someones eyes are usually the focal point when looking at a face, and since our eyebrows frame our eyes, they are equally important! Make sure you shape them neatly the day before your photo session, removing any out of place hairs. And on the day, use a little bit of gel or hairspray on your eyelash/eyebrow comb, to keep them securely in place after brushing them into a neat shape.

1. Tidy Eyebrows

2. Bright Eyes

Use some eye drops to get rid of any redness in your eyes about 10-15min before you start with your makeup. Bloodshot eyes are never very flattering.

2. Eye-drops

3. Use Natural Light

When I go do the make-up for a Bridal Party, I always find it so frustrating when they choose this beautiful stunning room to get ready in… but it’s really dark & gloomy, with practically no natural light… This usually then leads to me hustling them all outside onto the patio to do their make-up 😉 So for the best results – try to apply your make up in natural light as far as possible (not direct sunlight though). Indoor lighting is very deceiving and can alter the appearance of your make up dramatically.

3. Natural Light

4. Go Matte

This has 3 parts to it:

  • Firstly, keep the shine down, especially on that troublesome T-zone – from your chin, across your nose and across your forehead. Invest in a high-definition foundation (originally developed for actresses and news anchors on HD TV) because they will hide literally everything in the harsh lighting sometimes used in photography. Try Make Up For Ever HD Foundation.
  • Secondly, Yellow tinted powder is better than shimmery or translucent powders for photos, and should be used to set & mattify your foundation. But, keep in mind that piling on too much powder can make your skin look dull, so also have some oil-absorbing sheets handy to blot away shine when needed.
  • Thirdly, mattes also refer to flat colours that don’t have any sparkle or shimmer. When you are going to be photographed you want to avoid anything that is going to reflect the photography lighting (e.g. the flash) off your face too much, and make you look more like a Christmas tree or Disco ball… lol

4. Go Matte

5. Choose Under Eye Concealer carefully

Most of us try to cover up dark circles under our eyes with a little concealer, but this can sometimes be a 2 edged knife… If you choose a concealer that is too light, you’ll have halo’s under your eyes instead of dark circles, neither of which are very flattering. ;P If you have dark circles under your eyes, avoid using a lighter colour in hopes of masking the problem, rather use a concealer with yellow/peachy undertones to offset the blue/darkness.

5. Undereye Concealer

6. Contouring with Bronzer & Highlighter

A photograph doesn’t actually record the shape of anything but leaves it to be subconsciously inferred from patterns of light and shadow. Therefore subtly shading or highlighting you facial features with makeup can make a big difference in your photographs. Use a bronzer a shade or two darker than your natural colour under your cheek bones, under your chin, along either side of your nose, and the outer corners of your forehead. And then apply a lighter colour on the areas that light hits naturally, like the tops of your cheeks, centre of your forehead, and the bridge of your nose.

6. Contouring

7. Dark Eyeliner & Mascara

A darker hue of eyeliner & mascara will give you better contrast and definition, helping to make your eyes pop more on the photos. This doesn’t mean that you should go Goth… But do keep in mind that the lights and flash have a ‘wash out’ effect, so just go a little darker than you usually would. E.g. If you normally use browns, opt for black or a dark navy blue.

7. Dark Eyeliner & Mascara

8. Wake-Up your eyes

Dab a highlighting eyeshadow on the inner corners of your eyes and blend along your lash line (top & bottom) towards the middle of your eyes. This will help to open up your eyes and make you appear well-rested.

8. Wake up Your Eyes

9. Rosy Cheeks

Photography lighting tends to wash the colour out of your face, especially under a heavy flash. Using blusher will add definition and colour back to your face. Use a bit more than you normally would, but don’t over apply blush either. Start light and gradually build it up by adding more, concentrating on the apple of your cheek (where you would naturally blush).

9. Rosy Cheeks

10. Lushes Lips

Wearing lipstick that is too light will cause your mouth to blend in with the rest of your face. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to go with the brightest red lips, but you do need some colour to create a contrast of your features for best results. Use a lipliner that matches the colour of your lipstick and a gloss over your lipstick will make it pop more than a matte finish.

And as a final tip: blue-red hues will make your teeth appear whiter.

10. Luscious Lips

And there you go! 10 easy tips that won’t take up too much extra time and will be totally worth it! 😉

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