Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

This I a pretty famous product, but for some reason I bough it not long ago. And I love it! It comes on this nice tin container, that is easy to open even with wet/slippery hands, yet it is safe to throw in your purse, it closes securely.

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The cream is very thick, so you need just a little bit. It is 100% natural and smells soooo good- real sour lemon flavor. The butter is easy to apply throughout the day, as it isn’t too greasy, and I find it very moisturizing. I do a lot of housework, and my cuticles can look dreadful. I can see real improvements with this cream. It works so much better and is so much easier to use than oil.

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I’m wearing one coat of Sensationail’s Pink Chiffon SOG here.

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Easy, Fast, Non-Damaging Removal of Soak off Gel Polish

There are lots of tutorials on how to remove SOGs out there, but many are too much effort, too drying for skin and nails, or simply too stinky! Here is how I remove SOG. I am going to skip cuticle removal part here, as it it better to do that separately anyway- you don’t want any acetone near freshly removed cuticles.

You will need very simple and inexpensive items, that generally can be found in any home, and if not, in the nearest drugstore. They are: aluminum foil- 10 pieces big enough to wrap top of your finger, petroleum jelly, acetone (plain nail polish remover will not be effective enough), cuticle pusher- plastic great for pushing away the polish, metal for removing leftover chunks, nail files, 10 small lint-free material pieces size should be just enough to cover your nail when you fold the tissue- I had a dried out wet wipe that I cut up, and liked how it worked.

Aluminum foil, petroleum jelly, acetone, cuticle pusher, nail files, small lint-free material pieces or something similar.

1. Shape your nails with polish on. This way you can see the shape and the length better, and thus have nails look better with your next choice of color. I do not pay attention to the free edge of the nail, and make nails on index finger, middle finger and ring finger the same length, and then little finger nail is shorter, and the thumb is however it looks right. Also, I make sure nails on both hands are the same length.

2. File off the surface of your manicure, this will help acetone to penetrate the gel and break it up for easy removal. Should look something like that- no shine.

3. Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the cuticles and skin around the nail.

4. Take one of the small pieces of material, fold it, soak in acetone, and apply directly to the nail- no use in having acetone anywhere else but on the gel itself. Here I want to say that I have tried Gelish’s gel remover, and in comparison I like acetone much better, as it seems to remove SOGs better, and unlike Gelish’s remover, doesn’t make my nails curl painfully during removal, so I suspect, acetone might be less drying.

5. Carefully wrap the finger with foil making sure the material stays in place:

6. Keep all this on for about 10 minutes, you can press on your nails a bit every now and then to help acetone work. You can do 2 hands at the same time to speed up the process, I prefer to do one hand at a time, because it is a bit challenging to do all the applying and wrapping with foiled fingers.

7. After you wait for 10 minutes you can start removing the foil by twisting it gently and pulling it off the finger, you will get the result similar to what’s on the picture below. This is Sensationail gel, and it is not the easiest to remove. Some SOGs like IBD, Ez-Flow just lift right off completely, this one is kind of crumbly, but removal method still works well.

8. You can remove the stubborn pieces of gel by gently scraping them off with a cuticle pusher. I do not like orangewood pushers, as they don’t do a good enough job and the flat surface is too small, which makes it too easy to damage your nail. I use a small plastic scraper to remove big chunks, and a metal cuticle pusher to remover stubborn leftovers. Be sure to be careful and gentle not to damage your nails!

9. Here are my nails right after gel removal- I have not applied any lotions or treatments yet, but you can see that the skin and nails are not dried out, and look absolutely normal thanks to Petroleum Jelly. The chunks on nails and skin are just gel chunks.

And just like that I remove my SOG manicure completely painlessly and on a budget! Hope this was helpful!

Sensationail Pink Chiffon

Sensationail Pink Chiffon, 2 layers, Daylight

I got this SOG as part of their Starter Kit. I do like the color- it is great for natural-looking french, and base/top is very glossy, but it is not my favorite gel polish. I feel like it is very prone to lifting off and peeling, and it is quite annoying given I am very careful about applying polish to perfectly dry, degreased nail, and not getting any polish on cuticles. Another thing I don’t like is application. Sensationail has base and top as a 2 in 1 product, and it is very thin, so you have to be very careful when applying not to get any on cuticles.

The color is nice if you like semi-sheer light polishes, but it is not easy to apply, it is a bit streaky, so it does take time to even out the coverage. On the pictures I have 2 layers, and I like that look. 3 Layers is similar, nail’s free end is still visible. If you want a full coverage, you’d need at least 4 layers.

Sensationail Pink Chiffon. 2 layers, daylight

 

Sensationail Pink Chiffon, 2 layers

EzFlow TruGel in Patina. Many Pictures!

I have been incredibly busy with a bunch of things at work and outside work, so never even got to share some new swatches! You are about to see one of my most recent buys- EzFlow’s TruGel in Patina. I really like EzFlow’s soak-off gel polishes for a number of reasons- they are super affordable (you can get a bottle for 7-8$ on Amazon), they are great quality, easy to apply, last really well through any troubles you might face.

EzFlow in Patina is a very beautiful color, pictures don’t do it justice. It is a very deep, almost black, mauve/brownish color, the color of dried blood, with golden and subtly multi toned shimmer. The brush is great and easy to use, 2 coats give a full, even coverage, as can be seen in pictures.

For this manicure I’ve used Gelish primer, Gelish base, EzFlow TruGel in Patina, Gelish top coat, and Sensationail LED lamp. Curing time 30 sec for base and top coat, and 1 minute for color polish. I suspect, all those brands might cure faster, but it is easier to do it this way with Sensationail LED lamp’s timer.

Photo taken with flash to show the shimmer better:

EzFlow TruGel Patina under flash

In daylight.

EzFlow TruGel Patina in daylight

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And one photo in artificial light. Trying to show the gorgeous shimmer that you can see under bright light or sunlight, but it is not nearly as impressive as in real life.

Patina in artificial light

Stay tuned to see more great swatches. I plan the next one to be IBD’s Peridot- a rare one!

Spoiled Bite Me Review

I have posted a couple of swatches of Spoiled before here ( https://elizzabethby.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/spoiled-nail-polish-review/ ), and here is another shade called Bite Me. It’s a nice dark burgundy color, almost black.

I still have a bit of mixed feelings about these polishes. Wile I really love the superb staying power- they somehow survive all my cleaning, washing, and using my nails as various tools. Seriously remarkable, I kid you not. And while their extremely slow drying can be overcome with speed dry topcoat (both Seche Vite and Sally Hansen do great), there is a very big annoying problem. That problem is the brush. It is very big, fully, and not always neatly shaped, which makes it very difficult to cover the nails evenly, and even more so to get closer to cuticles for perfect manicure. Hence, very big gaps between my cuticles and colored part, and nail polish here and there on the skin, and I can’t stand when that happens. Sure, I could just use another, smaller, brush, but it seems like too much trouble.

Really good polish for $1.99, really bad brush. Dear Wet’n’Wild, fix the brush, will ya?

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Revlon Top Speed in Jelly. Swatch+ review.

I haven’t doen any girly posts in a while, so here’s one. I have recently bought several shades of Revlon nail polishes, and today I’ll show one of them.

Top Speed does dry fast, and there are some amazing shades to choose from. Unfortunately staying powers of enamels are not as impressive. I always use Orly’s rubberized base coat, Seche Vite top coat, and seal all exposed sides of the nail with nail polish and topcoat. That typically helps the polish to last longer, but in case with Top Speed, after about 24 hours it started wearing off, and was chipping off by the end of day 2/3.

Anyway, here’s shade number one- “Jelly”. Amazingly pretty color.

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