Yesterday, I took you through everything beauty, hair and skincare.
Today, it’s my passion and one true love – nails. Yep, it’s Top 5 time ladies with some bonus smack talk about my other favourite products.
I’ve used OPI base coats for at least 15 years. In my opinion, they don’t come any better. Not only do I get a fabulous base for my lacquer, they also protect against my nails staining.
At the moment, I’m quietly in love with the Natural Nail Base Coat. It glides on easily, dries instantly and gives me a manicure base that, combined with a top coat, gives me a manicure that lasts up to seven days without chipping or fading.
Oh, this is so easy. Seche Vite.
I think it all comes down to how you use it. Here are my tips:
a) apply a thick coat to the nail. Sometimes, the coats I apply are so thick that the brush doesn’t even touch the nail. The thicker the coat, the greater the protection on the nail.
b) always wrap the tip. Seche Vite will shrink your nail polish. When I say shrink, I mean that that, as it adheres to your nail, you will see the colour pull back from the cuticles and tips. Shrinkage along the cuticles and sides is always minimal but, to avoid shrinkage along the tips, wrap them with Seche Vite.
c) You cannot use Seche Vite over dry polish or bare nails. It won’t work. Full stop. It’s designed to bond with wet nail polish, creating that fortified buffer between your polish and the outside world. I will apply my lacquer to all ten fingers and then apply Seche immediately whilst the lacquer is still wet / tacky.
d) Seche Vite will thicken about half way through the bottle. I know this is annoying but the formula is working as it should. Think about it: polish is designed to be wet in the bottle, but dry as soon as air hits it. That’s just the way nail polishes work. If you’re working with a fast dry top coat, which dries even faster when air hits it, the formula will get gluggier quicker than other top coats (because the contents of the bottle is being exposed to air). Keep a bottle of Seche Restore handy and you’ll soon be able to get your Seche Vite back to its original condition. Bonus points to Restore, because you can also use this product on any lacquer that has seen better days.
I love Solar Oil. It goes on beautifully, absorbs instantly and gives my cuticles a lovely moisture surge.
But, honestly, I ADORE BeautySnapz Cuticle Oil. I think it’s the convenience of having my cuticle oil in a qtip which is what makes these so beloved by me. I can use these on the train on the way into work without worrying about cuticle oil spilling all over my bag.
You know I’m going to be hopelessly biased here, right?
I’ve used alot of nail files but, honestly, I love my You’ve Got Nail glass files.
These took me months to source as I really wanted a file that I genuinely loved and rated.
These are beautifully balanced (so they are easy to use), double sided (double the fun), and the finish they give is gorgeous.
Oh man, why do I have to choose!
2011 was an amazing year for lacquers. I could probably do a Top 50 and still have trouble picking.
But I’ve played fair and picked five lacquers that caught my imagination and heart this year. Just don’t ask me to number them and pick a No. 1 because that’s a choice no nail fanatic should have to make.
Miki Dragon Nails
I still have no idea where to find these (so I am jealously guarding Dragon Nails as I’m scared I’m going to run out), but you can guarantee that, with a finish like this – and a price tag of under $5 – I’m searching.
China Glaze Midtown Magic
China Glaze’s product development team are evil geniuses. They come up with lacquers that – instantly – become classic.
Midtown Magic is….. magic.
Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless
Yes I’m totally cheating here by including a collection but, really, when you come across a collection that MAKES YOU GO ONTO GOOGLE AND RESEARCH HISTORY, it’s something worth caps locking about.
Inspired by the Boot Girls of Berlin (seriously, Google ‘boot girls’, it’s fascinating), this collection is stunning. From top to bottom here, we have Taint, Vice, Kink and Faux Pas.
Models Prefer Skinny Leg Jean
Proving that you don’t need to be a China Glaze to produce a glorious shimmer, Models Prefer Skinny Leg Jean is gorgeous.
Now, if Models Prefer can fix their dang brush, we’d be in business.
Face of Australia Private Jet
When it comes to glossy creme that, like Tom Jones, removes knickers…… Private Jet is that lacquer.
This has been my favourite creme all year. Everything about it is perfect: formula, colour, shine.
And it will set you back under $10.
So there you have it. I would like to thank everyone for their support in 2011. It’s been an incredible year. I can’t wait to see what 2012 holds.
Take care over New Year’s Eve and I will see you all in 2012!