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Ultimate nail polish…

So today BarryM announced that they’d won the Cosmo award for Ultimate Nail Polish as voted by their reader’s.

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I have to admit I am a fan of BarryM. When I was first getting back into nails, and wanted to build up my stock colours to start my college course back in 2008, it was the brand I turned to for quality polish at a good price.

I won’t knock the Cosmo readers decision. BarryM is clearly a good ‘all rounder’. And big congratulations to all those hardworking people at BarryM.  However, I’m sure you all have your own favourite brands that you think deserve the title more.

So which is your ultimate polish brand and why?

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Healthy Nails Crystal File Review

*Products provided for honest review

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So I have a great product to introduce to you all today. The Crystal File by Healthy Nails is a glass file which comes in it’s own hard plastic travel case.

If there’s one thing you can do to help your nails, it’s get a good nail file. So many people blame their nail polish, their base coat, their topcoat, their hand cream, etc. for chipped, flaking and broken nails but in all honesty, it starts with your filing.

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Here are my three main rules for keeping your nails chip-free:

  1. Little pickers…MUST STOP. Remember to remove your polish, gel or acrylics correctly. Picking is NOT an option. Each time you pick you are taking off tiny slivers of nail,causing damage that no topcoat, hand cream or base coat can repair

  2. Try not to use your nails as tools. It’s tempting to use your nail to open up the back of your phone but it’s just not worth damaging your nails for. The more you resist those pickables (price stickers, plastic wrapped DVDs, etc.) the quicker you will notice an improvement in the condition of your nails

  3. Get a good file. The damaged caused by poor filing is irreparable – only solved by ‘the big chop’)

So when Healthy Nails sent me this sleek file for review I was excited to try it out.

First impressions

When I shook the parcel I was a little nervous of the rattle I heard. But on opening it up I was pleased to see the file was far from broken, but instead was safe in it’s very own hard plastic casing. The case itself is a sleek silver tube; perfect for handbags. So now there’s no excuse for biting off torn or chipped nails.

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I was given the choice of three colours but asked Andy who contacted me to choose whichever he liked. So on opening was pleased to find a classic, black handled file.

The feel of the file was also surprising. I’ve used a few glass files previously but this one has a much finer grain. So smooth in fact I was doubtful it would work well. Thankfully I needn’t have worried.

Did it do the job?

In a word: yes!

You may have seen on Instagram that I have a major break in my thumb nail. This is usually a warning sign to me that my nails may be getting overly long. It was therefore important to me that the file was able to bring my nail down a few millimeters without any further damage.

I was tentative at first, shaving off one powdery swipe at a time (never the back and forth sawing motion!) but on pressing a little harder was able to take off a good portion of the nail edge without any snagging or loose strands.

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Final thoughts

This is possibly the best file I’ve ever used. I didn’t expect to love it so much but found it left my nails smooth and cared for. The website promises ‘you will get just as good a finish to your nail in 10 years’ time’ and if it lasts even half that I’ll be ecstatic.

Thanks again to Healthy Nails for sending me the file. You can check out their website here: www.healthynails.co.uk They not only sell files but offer some excellent tips and advice on nail care generally too.

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Seriously Nails Guest Post

In order to reach out to my fellow lacquerheads in the blogging community I sent out a call to arms (‘request for guest posts’)  and in my hour of need Shannon from Seriously nails answered that call.

I am so glad she did; her blog is packed full of tip and advice, polish news, nail art and much more. If your looking for a blog with regular quality posts then look no further. Even more impressive is that Shannon is being generous enough to share NOT ONLY some practical tips and tricks with us all, but ALSO some awesome nailart too! I feel honored to host her post, so without further ado…

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Here it is. My first ever guest blog. Thank you for the fun opportunity!

A little about me. I am a licensed nail tech in Canada (long before they removed the licensing!) since 1989! (Yikes, that’s 25 years!!!) and recently got my license in Nevada, USA.

I immigrated here to be with my wonderful husband. We live in Las Vegas where we run a Hotel Furniture Liquidation company (that is a whole other story!)

While waiting for my immigration papers to come through so that I could legally work in the states, I started Seriously Nails. The blog site gave me my sanity back. I hated not working and not being creative, so it was born out of desperation and has taken on a whole wonderful life of its own. I seriously love sharing info about nails, the business, new products etc.

OK enough about me!

Here is the post for you.

I am thrilled to be able to do a guest blog post for Anna at LUSH Nails.

“LUSHNAILS- nail lovers unite”

Anna is a nail enthusiast like us. But she is from “across the pond” as they say here in North America. Anna lives in Liverpool, UK.

I did struggle with what to write for her audience. Finally, I decided that since I have recently been doing so much nail art (and having so much fun with it) that I would write about some of the things that I have learned.

Artists who work on any platform or canvas have their own tricks and talents that they like to use when creating their art.

I have found a couple that I thought I could share with all you nail art enthusiasts.

There are many mediums that people use to do nail art. One of my favourites is acrylic paint.

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Acrylic paints are one of the most forgiving mediums that I have worked with.

Unless you are painting acrylic on top of acrylic, you can fix any mistake you make with a simple swipe of a good art brush dipped in alcohol.

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ImageMy next favourite trick is Matte Top Coat.

I have found that if I use Matte Top coat to place gems, rhinestones or any of the wonderful nail jewels on my nails, it has a couple of nice advantages.

The first one is that there isn’t a huge build up of clear polish to make the art impossible to dry. You can just dot on the matte top coat right where you need it and place your jewel. It dries quickly without any clumpy mess. Plus the matte finish lets you see the art work in a true form.

Here is a example of this technique

I am making a 1/2 moon with a glitter polish and “toppers” in aqua blue to outline the 1/2 moon.

Here is a pic of the nail waiting.

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A pic with the toppers on tacky matte top coat.

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As you can see, using the matte top coat allows you to place the gems where you want and it leaves you without a thick coat of clear or glue so your art shines through.

So there you have it. My first guest post. Thank you Anna for making it all happen!

Like Anna says “Nail lovers unite”

Shannon from Seriously Nails


http://www.seriouslynails.com
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www.http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/seriouslynails
Twitter – @seriouslynails
Instagram – SeriouslyNails

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Thanks again Shannon for taking the time to write this guest post xxx

 

Pain in the…hands

 

Hello my lovelies, I just wanted to preface this post by saying I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING WHATSOEVER. I am just writing to explain my own experiences and hopefully share some useful tips, helpful hints and point you in the direction of some reliable websites.

So, what I wanted to talk about today is an occurrence that regularly happens to me when coiling my fingers for any length of time around a pot of polish: my joints get stuck! The solution is an awkward stretching of my fingers (accompanied by aches and clicks galore).

Unfortunately I have arthritis (see NHS website for more info: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/Pages/Introduction.aspx ) It first began with a dull ache at the base of my thumb joint in my late teens. It used to happen mainly during cold, damp periods of weather and was easily cured by wrapping up warm or taking time out to warm my hands under the hot water tap. Sadly time has taken it’s toll (ahem, I’m only in my 20’s) and it’s a downward slope from here. There is no cure but it is a condition that can be managed.

Essie Mint holding bottle

However, arthritis and my favourite hobby of nail art do not make good bedfellows. I find holding my hand still in one position makes my hands become painful. So the technique I was taught at college of holding the polish in the palm of one hand is definitely out of the window these days – a table can hold the bottle just as well (if a little further away for re-dipping).

One piece of kit (yes, I do keep them close to my nail supplies) I’d also recommend is a pair of fingerless gloves. You can remove, buff, file, repaint – all whilst keeping your hands warm! The only real downside is hand cream application (but as covered in my last post, I rarely use it as part of my manicure routine anyway!) I also try not to apply hand cream if my hands are already cold. I’ll wait and warm them first as otherwise the aches once again begin to creep in.

I also avoid immersing my fingers into cold liquids – by that I mean the polish remover that comes with sponge in the bottle that you dip your fingers into. Firstly, I’m not convinced it’s good for your skin to come into contact with chemicals unnecessarily (I know, I know, as a polish-addict I’m one to talk) so if you can get away with a neater removal technique that’s more contained then go for it. Secondly, I cannot prove it scientifically but my fingers definitely feel more crampy after using this type of remover.

hand massage

A few of my older clients have also been afflicted with arthritis and they would often pay a higher price for the luxury manicure purely for the hand and arm massage. By warming and gently manipulating the muscles and joints it can create a release of tension and has an overall soothing effect. You can get creams that warm as you massage, which might also be beneficial, but always talk this through with your client first to see if this suit their needs.

It can be unnerving for those manicurists who haven’t seen severely arthritic hands before – all knotted joints, lumps, bumps and fingers that appear misshapen – but if you take your time and give the hands your full attention, it can be a really rewarding experience for clients.

arthritis

Finally, and probably most importantly, movement is the answer (to many a question in life I’m sure: health & fitness, job progression, happiness, but especially…) when it comes to arthritis. I often automatically find myself performing little hand exercises to combat stiffness but I have since found this website listing a few different styles of techniques which you can combine to reduce arthritic symptoms: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/arthritis-hand-exercises

As I said earlier, I am in no way an expert and I would highly recommend anyone with concerns to go see their GP for specific advice. However, I do hope some people might find this post helpful. It is something I personally struggle with so if anyone else has tips they’ve found helpful I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Are you also an arthritis sufferer? Do you have nail clients with arthritis?

 

FABB Liverpool Event

So last Saturday was a first for me – I went to my very first bloggers event. Fabb Liverpool was advertised as an event run for bloggers, by bloggers. To be honest I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew there would be bloggers to chat to, exhibitors displaying their fashion and beauty products and a goody bag (…there was, and it did not disappoint!)

Fabb Cakes

However, I was also a little (a lot) nervous that there would be a lot of young bloggers clamouring for attention, stalls with pushy sales people, and going alone was worried that I’d be feeling a bit left out. In order to combat the nerves of going to the event alone I checked out Twitter to see who else was going and managed to tag along with three other bloggers.

Fabb layout

The choice of venue, Pan America Bar in Albert Dock, was a great location. Close to the city centre but formal enough that you felt as though you were attending a real exciting event. The upstairs bar was out of the way of drinkers and diners; we were given wristbands to get into the event proper.

Fabb wristband

Stallholders were friendly and helpful; they took the time to explain and demonstrate products and clearly knew their stuff.

Fabb Lush

LUSH – A brand that needs no introduction. Purveyors of handmade, animal friendly, and strongly scented bath and beauty products. A lovely activity they had at the Lush stall was the Emotional Brilliance colour wheel. The idea is you close your eyes, spin the wheel, then choose 3 colours by instinct on opening them. The order you choose the colours in represents your greatest strength, your subconscious feelings and your aspiration. I’m not sure how accurate the reading were (admittedly I am a total cynic) but it was definitely a fun activity that got us all involved and talking. The main question I wanted the answer to though – one I have thought many times before – when are they finally going to produce a range of nail polish? Soon I hope!

Fabb Derma freebies

Derma V10 – affordable skin and beauty products have landed! This was one generous brand; allowing each attendee to take away six products to try. Amongst which I chose two hand creams that I intend to review fully in a future post.

ESPA – I have been lucky enough to try this brand before in my favourite spa. On walking in and smelling the ESPA products I was transported back to days at the spa and instantly relaxed – reason enough for me to use this brand as the aromas were emotive in the loveliest way.

ARK – A clothing brand many will already know. They brought along some lovely, eclectic and original garments; definately blogger-style fashion.

Tropic – A beauty brand that I had not tried before. They not only produce 100% plant derived skincare but had the most beautiful make-up brushes. I was also tempted to try out their brow kits (like many a Liverpool girl I do like a defined brow)

Crystal Clear – I’d heard of this skincare specialist treatment before but seeing the live demonstrations just proved to me how well this brand really works. Some of their products are a little pricey but I’ve no doubt that those with specific skin problems could find the solution here – I’m lucky enough to have pretty good skin at the moment but would definitely look into them again in the future (when my wrinkles become a little more noticeable perhaps!)

Fabb bloggers

I just want to say a big thank you to the event organisers Tor and Ray who did a wonderful job. I would have liked to chat to them more (and other bloggers too) but was happy to have met the people I did: three of the loveliest bloggers I’ve met Laura (of elledeesbeauty.com), Leanne (of little-babble.com) and Sophie (of What-Sophie-Says.blogspot.co.uk)

I look forward to future Fabb events. I can see this just getting bigger and better.

Fabb Espa

What I loved: a lovely laid back atmosphere, good mix of products (some I’d heard of, others were up and coming brands), a jam-packed goodie-bag, a well organised event overall, meeting fellow bloggers for the first time

Would I change anything? The layout could have been better, once you got into a corner it was difficult to navigate back out – maybe spread stalls into the whole upstairs area. Wait to give goodie bags on the way out – they were a little heavy and more than one person’s handles bust! The giveaways were done at the very end of the event – this meant a lot of people had already left the venue (so their entries were invalid) – doing them midway through, with a fully captivated audience would have created more of a buzz. Most importantly, can we have more nail-related products next time please?

After the event: I now have many products to try out an review (watch this space) and have made connections with some lovely people who I hope to meet up with again

Fabb drink

Overall, I’d highly recommend other bloggers attend a FABB event. Check out the Facebook page to see if there’s one near you: https://www.facebook.com/fabbevents/info

Have you been to a Fabb event? Or any other bloggers’ event? Which is your favourite? Do you think there should be more events planned? Have you ever tried to organise your own bloggers event or meet-up? I’d love to know!

Anna x

 

 

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