OPI *Nail Envy* {review}


I have never been a very firm believer in nail hardeners/strengtheners, and have always just defaulted to Rimmel Stronger Double Duty which works super well as a base coat. But i recently borrowed Nail Envy and was pleasantly surprised. It comes out clear, and looks almost gel like when left plain on nails. I didn't use it long enough to see if it really does strengthen nails, but when having my nails done recently I was told by the nail tech that she swears by this little goodie.

Get yours at your local Dischem for somewhere around the R200 mark (rather pricey in my opinion). 

Click here for OPI's Facebook group in South Africa

TipTop Nail Polish {collection}

A few snaps of my TipTop collection of mauves and pinks (with a dash of glitter thrown into the mix). 
You can get your paws on these awesome polishes for only R39.99 at your local Dischem or Clicks.
Click here for reviews of my TipTop collection.

Nail polish 101

It has taken me a while to learn the best tips and tricks for making my nail polish stay put, without peeling and chipping after the first day.

But as our bodies are just about unique as our fingerprints, your nail bed and therefore the strength of your nails will vary from person to person.

BUT saying this, I am just about certain that using a base coat and top coat when painting your nails will improve the durability of your manicure!
A base coat prepares your nail bed for the polish, and will prevent your nails from yellowing (while increasing the durability of your polish). The top coat seals in your colour, helping to prevent the polish from chipping. I just love express dry drops from Essence, it contains {magical} powers which never fail to dry my polish in a flash!

These are my favourite polish basics at the moment:

You can get your hands on all of the above at selected Dischem and Clicks stores.  The TipTop base coat at time of sale was R39.99 and the Essence nail products ranged from R19.99 to about R39.99...very reasonable.

If you try these out, let me know if they have made you happy or not :)


Essie {Lapis of Luxury}

I have loved this soft powder blue shade on my toe nails for the past 2 weeks (and yes it's still going strong!). Essie really do make great quality polish that lasts for days on end with no chipping (that's if you don't mind the +-R90 price tag!). And they do have such lovely Summer shades out at the moment!

You can find Essie at selected salons, Sorbet Salons & at Dischem for +-R90

Wedding Nails Inspiration & {Inglot Review}

My wedding is just under 10 days away {please excuse the rush of wedding related posts!} and I have been scouring the net for idea's of what to do for my nails. Here are a few pictures of pretty mani's, as well as the shade I will be wearing next Sunday...enjoy! xxx

{Source for all images}

I am loving all the soft pastel shades at the moment, and my wedding nails will be no exception. My nails are very long at the moment {I'm not complaining!} but too much colour is tending toward the 'garish' side of things, and I'm wanting to go more soft and romantic. So I've settled on a soft pearly pink colour from Inglot. 

It goes on smoothly and evenly without too much fuss, and leaves no lingering aroma of chemicals. Two coats were enough to make my nails pop, without distracting too much from my ring. I am very keen to hit Inglot again soon, the colour range was what impressed me most. There were so many nail colours to pick, i cant believe i left with only one in my hand!

Get yours from most Woolworths stores, and designated Inglot counters nationwide for R99.

Essence Cuticle Moisturiser {review}

I found this little gem at Dischem the other day, while looking for some new polish shades for Spring. My cuticles have been a little dry (leading to my nails not quite looking as healthy as they should) and this cream is exactly what I've been needing. I have always used Sally Hansen's cuticle oil, but being an oil, it's very 'oily' and I end up leaving oily residue all over everything. This cream is super easy to use, with a small nozzle, you just squeeze the cream out onto your cuticles, a little rub here and there and voila! And the smell is great too :)

Find it at Clicks & Dischem for around R29.99 (a steal!)


TipTop *Triple Putty*

Yet another lovely colour to add to my collection of TipTop nail polishes. I loved the deep burgundy colour of Crushed Grapes (which lasted a whole 9 days on my nails before I finally had to part with it!) and so went off shopping for another wintery shade. Grey is definitely one of my favourite colours, and looks gorgeous when paired with anything (especially apricot and baby pink, which are our wedding colours! Click here to see whats happening on that front, with just over 4 months to go things are getting pretty stressful!). 

As always, TipTop polish goes on beautifully, and gives an even amount of colour in every stroke. I did find that I needed to do 2 coats of this colour, but that just added to the richness of it.

This is  #948, Triple Putty:

You can find TipTop at most Click's stores nationwide, for R39.99 (which is just as easy on the wallet as their colours are on the eyes!). Click here to join them on Twitter, and click here to join in their fun competitions and giveaways on Facebook!

TipTip *Crushed Grapes*

Loving the new addition to my ever growing collection of TipTop Nail polishes. They always paint beautifullym dry quickly and last for ages. Plus, they are Formaldehyde, Dibutylphthalate, Camphor and Toluene free meaning they are better for your nails than most brands, ultimately resulting in healthier nails! 

This is 918, Crushed Grapes.
Dark colours can be tricky on long nails, which mine were until i broke one on my car door (*ouch!!*). What better way to disguise short nails that with a gorgeous shade, perfect for the cold winter ahead. 

You can get your hands on TipTop at most Clicks stores nationwide for R39.99. 

TipTop are always running awesome giveaways and competitions on Facebook, be sure to check out their page to join in on the fun!

French Manicure by *Essence*

I have always struggled with doing a French Manicure on my own hands (it's always that silly right hand that gets smudged/bumped/funny lines...why was I not born ambidextrous?!) and so when I spied this handy French Manicure Pen I just had to give it go. And boy I was not disappointed. After much shaking and pushing (that's precisely what the instructions say on the pen) a steady stream of white polish appeared and this is what I was able to accomplish:

Not bad hey? I had to stick a pretty butterfly nail art sticker on the second finger due to *smudging* on my part but otherwise it was so easy. And of course I also had to purchase this lovely French Man' top coat...the perfect light pink colour for a very natural looking french. I'm 5 days into my 'manicure' and my nails still look lovely. And using my fab new quick dry drops my mani was ready to go in super quick time!

Essence is available at Clicks stores nationwide...

Essence French Manicure & Pedicure Pen - R29.99
Essence French Glam Nail Polish - R29.99

I'd love to see your handiwork, if you do try these products post a pic on my Facebook page :)

**just a little note...I was not sponsored to write this post or any other review on this blog. If by any chance I am sent a product for review (hint hint PR reps) I will always make it clear and aim to give you an objective and honest review*

Essence *Nail Art Express Dry Drops*

What a mouthful :) I picked this up a few days ago at Clicks. Being a firm lover of the Essence range, I had yet to try out their nail products and thought I'd start this one. I love how easy it is to use (thanks to the little dropper) and the product glides right over the nail allowing for maximum coverage of "dry"ness. I tried this over 2 coats of polish and they sure did dry quickly. A new favourite in my nail care collection.

Find it at Clicks for R29.95

TipTop *Creamy Orange*

And yet another Tip Top polish from my ever growing collection. This one is a delightful coral/orange/passion red colour that looks best on short nails, which mine are now thanks to my horrible fridge door which aims to snap each and every one of my nails *sniff sniff* At least my nails make me smile now that they are painted :)

This is Creamy Orange...
TipTop is exclusive to Clicks. Get yours for just R39.99.

Click here to for the Facebook group where you can share your latest nail wear.

TipTop *Sherbet Angel*

I have been loving this range of nail polish from Clicks since I spotted them a few months ago. They paint beautifully, don't bubble and are pretty good when it comes to being chip proof. I hadn't given them a second glance the first time my eyes brushed past them, as the snob in me thought that paying anything less than R80 for a nail polish = waste of time. But surprise surprise, these little guys have left me amazed. If you apply (like Rimmel's Stronger Double Duty), as well as (like Sally Hansen's Insta' Dry), you could get about a weeks wear.

What I also love about Tip Top is the huge range of colours, from neon pinks, to powder blues, and every shade in between. They have also recently launched a range called "You Crack Me Up" which gives a (you guessed it!) a cracked effect when applied...fun for summer :)

*I am wearing Sherbet Angel*
Tip Top is exclusive to Clicks stores, and at a price of R39.99 you really cant go wrong. 

Happy painting!

100 Followers!!...A Thank You *GiveAway*

A little while ago I had a little giveaway of some Soap & Glory products (well done to Sally who won!!) and I had also mentioned that I would be giving away the following to my 100th follower:

At the time I was on 74 followers, and now I am on 101...yay! I thought I was never going to get to 100 and here I am. So for those of you newbie bloggers out there, the only piece of advice I can give you way to increase your number of followers is to keep posting and engage with fellow bloggers...you have to play around in the sandpit to make friends :)

 A huge thank you to all of you who read my blog, I hope I continue to keep you entertained and up to date with all sorts of interesting bits and pieces!

Now, with google connect, I am finding it very difficult to find out who my 100th follower is. So, to say thank you, I am going to give away the above gorgeous Barry M nail polishes, and a tube of Soap & Glory Hand Food to the person who comes up with the most creative/interesting/bizarre name for a nail polish. Just drop your idea's in the comment section below. Good Luck! xx

**the following rule still applies: winner have to reside in South Africa as shipping laws make it very difficult for me to send liquids overseas...so only South Africans will be eligible for this giveaway, but please don't let that stop you from checking out my blog! Lots more giveaways to be done in the future with non-liquidy prizes...yay!**

RBH Salon, Ballito

The weather over the past few days has been cold and wet, not ideal for the beach, but ideal for treating oneself to some "rest and relaxation". Thats exactly what Odette and I found at Redlands Beauty and Health Salon in Ballito. An hour later, we walked out the door with the softest pads and cutest toenails...for a lovely R170. The next time you find yourself in Ballito, go on and treat yourself...your feet will love you for it :)

*Essie* Van D'go

At the moment I'm really loving Essie's range of nail polishes. I did a post recently on # 633 High Maintenance which is very sheer and pretty. 

This one, #710 Van D'go, is a bit more on the barbie side of pink. I would say it tends more on the salmon side though and is perfect for Spring. Just make sure to do 2 coats, the first coat always looks horrible, but the second coat is like magic...here I'm wearing Rimmel's Stronger base coat and Sally Hansen's Insa-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat which dries all polish in seconds and leaves a nice shine.

Find it at Dischem for +-R90

Sally Hansen *Insta-Dri* Anti-Chip Top Coat

I have been using this top coat for a good few years now...it must be good if I keep buying it right :) Well it does exactly what it claims, and that is dry any nail polish in 60 seconds. If you're like me and have 2 coats of polish on and a base coat, it's a little more than 60 seconds but definitely shorted than the 2 hours I used to have to wait! It also gives your nails a nice glossy finish.

Using a topcoat helps to prolong the life of your manicure (just as a base coat will do) but it also stops your nail polish from chipping.

Pick it up at your nearest Clicks or Dischem for  R80 (a little dear but worth every cent!)

Rimmel Stronger *DoubleDuty* Base Coat

This little baby is my absolute favourite base coat (and has a beautiful shimmer that looks fantastic when worn alone too). It's a "double duty base coat, enriched with calcium and keratin. These add strength to weak nails and protects them from damage. I've used this base coat for 4 years now, and although I've tried others, have yet to find one that works as well as this one.

When painting your nails, it's important to always use a base coat (even though it does add a bit of time) as it will stop your nails from getting that horrid yellow tinge. Wearing a base coat also prolongs the life of your manicure. This one in particular has helped my nails stop 'peeling' too.

Find it at Clicks and Dischem for +-R45.

*Essie* High Maintenance

This colour is perfect for spring (at least it felt a bit like spring yesterday, today I'm not so sure) but at least it will put you in the mood for spring. High Maintenance (#633) is a sheer milky creme colour that goes on effortlessly. It's ideal as a French Manicure base coat. I've got on 2 coats of Essie, as well as Sally Hansen's Insa-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat (review to follow soon!) which dries any polish in matter of seconds...

I have always shied away from Essie, opting to rather go for Revlon as I had the impression Essie was very pricey In fact, it's cheaper than Revlon :) Retailing for +-R90 at Dischem. They also have a far more diverse colour range which changes with the seasons...fancy hey :)

Rimmel *60 Seconds*

Rimmel 60 Seconds in 615 Fast & Fuchsia
This little guy does works wonders when you need a little pick me up...bright nails can really do that, especially when it's grey and cold outside. If you're not quite ready/brave enough to have it on your hands, it looks just as good on your toes!

Available at Click's for R49.99

Nail Art...

While trying to complete my next Journalism Assignment, I came across this:

This 'newspaper' inspired look comes from a very the very clever French blogger Sylvie Taillon over at Passion Nail. She achieves this look by applying her favoured nail colour, waiting till it dries and placing pieces of newspaper over the nail...easy peasy!

In order to get the newspaper print to release, she suggests dabbing the newspaper cuttings with vodka while they are placed over the nail. Follow this step, once nails are dry, with a topcoat – Voila!

And in keeping with the Royal theme, how about these????

 Thanks to GraziaDaily for all the tips :)