I find that posts on Bank Holiday Mondays tend to have less views than others so I thought I would keep it easy and more about the pictures. So today’s post is a nails of the day #NOTD post which is much easier to take in if you are winding down after a hectic weekend or if you have a sore head after last night’s shenanigans.
(L-R without flash, with flash)
Today I am showing you an Essence Colour & Go nail polish called 172 Splash! This is a lovely metallic teal green and I think this is the perfect transitional colour for the end of summer / beginning of autumn. It’s still bright enough to not look out of place on a bright sunny day but it’s not as bright as the neons or pastels that are usually most popular in summer. It’s also metallic! Metallic polishes, like glitters really catch the eye. If you are easily distracted by shiny things like me then this is one of those shades that you find yourself turning your hand back and forth under the light. This is one of the reasons why I don’t paint my nails too often; the pretty shiny shades that I want to paint my nails create a dangerous distraction.
(That’s my ring finger, not the middle one!)
I found that this is an easy to use formula in that it’s not messy or gloopy so it glides on easily. It’s almost fully opaque with one coat but I find two thin layers look better. The brush is great; it’s wide enough that I can do most of my nails with one careful swipe down the middle, so painting my nails with this is quick. It dries quickly too, the first hand is nearly touch try by the time I have finished the second hand. Essence Colour & Go polishes retail for about €1.70, so you are getting a great polish for under 2 quid. You will see in my pictures that I am pretty messy with nail polish but I think someone with a steady hand could achieve just as good of a mani with this as with an expensive designer brand.
(L-R without flash, with flash)
What is your current favourite nail polish colour?
If you’ve been following this little blog for a while now you may already know that I’m not a great one for painting my nails on a regular basis. One of the reasons is that I hate waiting for the polish to dry. Many brands claim to dry in 60 second and now there are some that claim to dry in 1 second. The varnish may be “dry” but it definitely hasn’t hardened. I certainly wouldn’t suggest going to the loo a second or even 60 seconds after painting your nails. Have you ever touched a nail with your finger to see if it was dry only to leave the imprint of your finger print on your nail? Even when you have waited an hour after painting your nails with the fastest drying nail polish, you can still end up smudging them.
Many bloggers swear by the top coat Seche Vite to quickly dry and harden nail polish, but I’ve never tried it so I won’t be doing a comparison. Seche Vite is not readily available where I live so I would have to order it online. Sally Hansen on the other hand is a brand that is available in loads of pharmacies and grocery stores. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (€7.95) is a top coat that you apply over whatever nail polish you choose. It dries and hardens the nail polish in a matter of seconds so you are free to get on with life. You can go to the loo, sort the clean socks, do the dishes, or actually go have some fun without smudging your nail polish. I get a lot longer out of a mani with Insta-Dri because the polish doesn’t chip as quickly as it normally would and it also adds a bit more shine.
In the pictures below I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri over Essence Colour and Go in C’est La Vie, a cute coral, which is perfect for summer. Essence Colour and Go nail polishes are cheap and cheerful (€1.79) so normally I wouldn’t make it to the end of the day without chipping it. It also took three coats to get this one opaque and the more coats, the longer it takes to harden, so the more likely I am to smudge it. With the Insta-Dri it hardened in seconds and it lasted almost four days without any chips.
(Without Insta-Dri and with Insta-Dri)
What top coat do you rely on? Have you tried Insta-Dry?
Supposedly there is a heat wave on the way, let’s be honest, even at the slightest whisper of the phrase heat wave and we lose the run of ourselves. We know Ireland’s idea of a heat wave is when we have three or more days where the temperature rises above 10 degrees and yet we still get all giddy and get out the auld denim cut off shorts, the floral crown headbands and plan our dewy glossy makeup looks. I’ll be honest, I’m too old for the cut off shorts and floral crowns and my skin is too oily to do dewy but I can certainly do glossy lips.
Today I am comparing Lancôme’s Juicy Tube in Marshmallow Electro with Essence Glossy Lipbalm in Sweet Strawberry. There is very little shade difference because they are both very sheer so my natural lip colour comes through them both. I know how much you all love a good dupe so I’ll say it now, the only real difference between them is the price tag. The Essence one is about €1.30 while the full size Lancôme Juicy Tube will set you back €20 but my one was a free gift with purchase sample size.
(L-R: Before, Essence Glossy Lip Balm, Lacome Juicy Tube)
Both are comfortable to wear and really hydrating, however the Essence Glossy Lipbalm is a little bit stickier but only a little bit. The scent is also strong with the Essence one but it fades quickly. I prefer the more subtle scent of the Lancôme Juicy Tube and the scent doest last longer. There is loads more sparkle in the Juicy Tube but they both look equally glossy on the lips. I think the extra sparkle in the Juicy Tube makes my lips look a bit plumper but again I’m splitting hairs here. Look, I like a luxury product so I’m trying to justify the enormous price difference. The Juicy Tube does last a lot longer but gloss is so quick and easy to reapply and at €1.30 using the Essence one all up and having to repurchase is not going to break the bank. So in truth, I am happy to get a Juicy Tube as a free gift with purchase when I am buying other Lancôme products anyway but I definitely won’t be spending €20 on one when Essence Glossy Lipbalms are a perfectly good dupe.
Have you tried either of these glosses? What are your thoughts?
Well its good and bad news with this Essence Gel Nails at Home Kit. I saw the press release for this ages ago and have been stalking the Essence stand in my local Penneys every week since. The bad news is that it is not a replacement for getting gel nails done in a salon for a special occasion. The good news is that you can use any nail polish with it and that polish then lasts a lot longer than if you just used it as normal.
It is quick and easy enough to use and you just follow these steps:
Use the cleanser to clean nails
Apply the Primer, which dries quickly
Apply the Peel Off Base and cure each nail under the lamp for 10 seconds
Use Cleanser again to remove any stickiness
Apply your choice of colour polish and wait for it to completely dry
Apply the Clear Gel Top Coat and cure under lamp for 10 seconds
Finally use the Cleanser again to remove any stickiness
Some tips I learned:
If you normally make a mess painting your nails this will not suddenly make you magically paint them perfectly.
Make sure you have lint free cotton pads!
Instead of applying the Peel Off Base / Gel Top Coat to all nails and then curing all the nails, I suggest curing each nail directly after applying the product to that nail, especially the thumbs. The base and top coat are thick and runny so if you turn your hand to side to do the rest of your nails the products slides to the side of the nail thanks to gravity.
I prefer to cure each nail twice to be sure, to be sure, but it’s probably not necessary.
I know lots of ladies like to change their nail polish very regularly and so don’t mind the paint, remove and paint again process. I like when my nails are painted but I don’t like painting them and waiting for the polish to dry and harden. I also don’t like removing the polish and usually leave it as long as possible and end up peeling the polish off and ruining my nails in the process. So this kit is a winner for me because I should get a week or more out of each paint job and then I can just peel it off without any damage to the nail.
So far it’s lasting well, it’s been 5 days and still no chips. I do think it wouldn’t take much to lift it at the sides of some nails but that may be down to my messy application and not so much a fault of the product. It’s also not as shiny as a salon gel manicure but DIY home kits are never going to be as good as getting it done by a professional.
All in all, I think it’s a handy little kit that is worth the money; the lamp is €24.99 and the starter kit (with Cleanser, Primer, Peel Off Base and Clear Gel Top Coat) is €12.99. I especially like it for the Peel Off Base. Have you tried this or any other of the home DIY gel nail kits?