Saturday, June 28, 2014

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil Review

So today I'm changing things up a bit and doing a review on one of my favorite nail care products: Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil.

This comes in a classic bottle like the ones Essie polishes come in. It has the same skinny brush, too. 

I started using this product a few months ago. Now, I haven't tried many cuticle products. The two I've tried are the two I like, this one and Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, so I am not an expert on cuticle products, but I really do like this one.

This oil is available wherever Essie products are sold. It is usually displayed along with base and topcoats.

This oil is a good consistency, not too thin or thick. 

It's light and absorbs fairly quickly, but still leaves a slight shine.

 It has a light apricot scent that is fragrant but not too strong. It's actually pretty scrumptious!

It softens your cuticles so they're easier to push back.

It's fairly easy to apply, but because of the structure of the bottle you will essentially only be able to apply it easily where you can apply polish easily. If you can sit on your bed with a polish bottle in your hand and paint your nails, you will most likely be able to do the same with this cuticle oil. However, if you're like me and need and flat surface to do your nails on, you'll need to apply this oil on a table or something of that nature. In other words, I don't recommend this oil for travel. For this reason, I kind of wish it came in a tube or something so you could take it on the go. 

The thing I like most about this oil is that it gives your cutes a clean, polished look in seconds! However, I find that, while it does moisturize your cuticles, the moisture it gives doesn't last as long as other products I've tried. 

Overall Rating:
8 1/2 out of 10. I really like this product and I feel that you do get a lot of oil for your money's worth. However, I docked a half a point for the lack of portability and a point for not providing long lasting moisture. That being said, I do recommend this product. It's the first cuticle moisturizer I tried, and you can see the difference it made in these pictures below. However, I would not recommend this product for "fixing" your cuticles if they're very damaged. Granted, that is what I used it for, but it took a pretty long time to get them in an acceptable state... like, a few months. Rather than using this oil to fix your cutes, you may want to use this oil to maintain them.

Here is a picture before I started using the cuticle oil. You can see the hangnail on the left side of my thumb and the raw area on the right with some dryness mixed in all around. Sigh... Not pretty.
Here is a picture taken today, about four months later. 



I hope this review has helped you! Good luck in all of your nail care ventures!




Monday, June 9, 2014

Some Recent NOTD's

Greetings, nail lovers! I have A LOT of catching up to do with my NOTD's, so I guess now's the time! Some of them are recreations of various YouTubers' or bloggers' designs, in which case I will link to their post. Oh, and one more thing! I've been doing my lovely friend's nails recently, so some of these mani's are hers.

Here we have a lace half moon mani. This is a sort of recreation of Lucy's Stash's Lace Half Moon Manicure, one of several that she's done. I used Spoiled Correction Tape to paint the white base. I waited for it to completely dry, then applied reinforcement stickers to the "half moon" area and painted over it with Sinful Colors Cream Pink, a squishy neon pink with gold shimmer, and peeled off the reinforcements, revealing a white half moon. I waited for THAT to dry, and then used a black Hot Designs nail art pen to make a smaller half moon inside the white one and then black dots at the edge of the white half moon, and then connected the small black half moon to the black dots with black lines. Wheeee!

Here is just a simple mani with an floral accent nail. This are the gorgeous nails of my very dear friend, who I am currently getting addicted to nails. The hot pink is Essie Mod Square, which you can find a review of here. The accent nail is Essie Fiji, with flowers made with a dotting tool. The blue is Essie In The Cab-ana and the silver centers are Essie No Place Like Chrome. This mani definitely shows that I LOVE Essie!

This mani is based on the Chit Chat Nails' technique called a Skittlette, which she describes here. I like this idea a lot! However, I didn't quite like the result. Originally I had made the my pinkie completely covered in pink glitter, but I didn't like the look of that, so I took it off and changed it up. I started with a black base (Spoiled Visually Slimming). I then used a tiny paint brush to paint small swirls on the middle and ring fingers with Essie Mod Square and then went over the swirls with Essie A Cut Above. I finished with a matte top coat and then added a faux rhinestone with A Cut Above at the base of the nails. Done!

This is a nice mani, cute and sweet. It is a recreation of cutepolish's Pearls and Pastel nails, which I really liked! I painted the bottom half of my nails with Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac. I then added white stripes to the purple with Spoiled Correction Tape with a tiny brush and used a dotting tool to add white dots where the purple met the naked nail. I added OPI Happy Anniversary! to the white dots to imitate the nail art pearls (which I don't have). I finished with top coat, and then added a matte top coat to the polish! Pretty!

Here are my awesome friend's nails again! This is a simply triangle look. I started with Sally Hansen Pixie Slicks, a nice bright pink. I then blocked off a triangle with Scotch Tape at the tip of the nail with Spoiled Paying With Platinum, an interesting duochrome. It's grayish with flashes of purple, and at extreme angles, green. It went well with the pink... I like green and pink and purple together!

This is a recreation of a look from a video by MissJenFABULOUS, a YouTuber. I started with Essie In The Cab-ana on my thumb, pointer, and pinkie fingers and Sally Hansen Pixie Slicks on my middle and ring fingers. I stroked In The Cab-ana down the middle of my middle and pointer fingers and then, with a tiny paintbrush, I flicked white (Spoiled Correction Tape) and the pink over the blue. On my 
thumb, pointer, and pinkie fingers, I made a large dot of pink at the base of my nail and a smaller pink dot above it, and smaller white dots inside the pink dots. Voila!

This was a rainbow dotticure. I used (in ROY G. BIV order) Essie Mod Square, Essie Really Red, Sally Hansen Sun Kissed, some non-brand random yellow ice cream shaped polish, Spoiled I'm So Jaded, Sally Hansen Blue Me Away, and OPI Funky Dunkey. I made rows of dots with a dotting tool. I wore it like that, then a few days later added Maybelline Clearly Spotted on top. It looked sort of ombre this way!

Now we have watermelon nails, again on my BFF. I started with Sally Hansen Coral Reef for the watermelon color, and then with the Kelly Green polish from the Hot Designs nail art pen I made a green French tip. I added a white line with the white Hot Designs pen in between the green and coral. Then, with the black pen, I added three seeds on the coral.

Last (and kind of least), we have a jelly sandwich. The polish I used was a bit too opaque, but oh well. I started with two coats of Orly Sky Blue Color Flip, a blue polish with a lavender and sometimes sea foam green sheen. I added a coat of Essie Set In Stones, a silver hex glitter, and then another coat of Orly. It turned out to be a bit thick, but it was a really nice mermaid-y look.

Whew! Well, that's it! I'm all caught up. I hope you enjoyed, and maybe it gave you some inspiration! If you decide to recreate something, please show me in the comments down below! See ya!




Sunday, June 8, 2014

How to Prevent Chipping Nail Polish

Possibly the most annoying thing for me in the world of nails is chipping polish. It's devastating to put so much effort into painting my nails and doing nail art, only to have it chip the next day, in which case I remove the whole thing and do somehting else. Granted, I don't mind this much, because I get bored with my polish pretty fast, but still. If I want something to stay, I want it to stay.

...Which brings me to the topic of preventing chipping. Let's review the possible causes of chipping.

Excess/Residual Oils-- Your nails naturally produce oils. If you apply hand lotion and cuticle oil you have those oils as well. It's important that they have oils to keep them hydrated, but these oils and nail polish are a bad combination. They prevent the polish from firmly adhering to your nails, which causes chipping. Be sure to swipe your nails with nail polish remover immediately before polishing to remove these oils. Some brands also make products to clean your nails, like the Formula X by Sephora Nail Cleanser.

"Water Damage"-- While washing your hands won't really penetrate the nail polish, submerging your nails in water (pools, baths, etc.) for extended amounts of time can be detrimental to the life of your mani. If your nails have some length past your finger, a "free edge," water can seep under the polish and cause your polish to chip. To create a barrier against water damage, always "wrap" your free edge. To do this, do one last swipe of polish along the free edge. You can choose to wrap using your color and top coat or just your top coat. See this post by All Lacquered Up for an in-depth how-to!

Inadequate Base and Top Coat-- Base and top coats are essential to a long-lasting manicure. A good base coat sticks the color to your nails while providing a nice surface for the polish to be applied on. I recommend Orly Bonder and Essie First Base, which both have rubberized elements in them to adhere the polish to your nails. A good top coat seals your polish, preventing wear and tear. I recommend Essie Good to Go and Essie No Chips Ahead to protect your mani.

I hope this post has educated you on chipping and has given you some good tips and products. If you have any questions or want to share your own tips, comment down below!