[Beauty] How to make your DIY Gel Nails last?

Gel nails have their pros and cons but one of the main reason why girls have their nails done in gelish nail polish is due to the durability. Gel nails are known to last longer than normal nail polishes, although they are more harmful due to curing under UV/LED light.

Apart from having my manicure sessions done at nail salons, I like to DIY them myself.

These are the tools which are required :

grey DIY gelish nails x normal nail polishes

I have blogged about them before earlier on, so do take some time to read here before moving on, especially if you are new to this 🙂

I get most of my stuffs from Qoo10 and they aren’t expensive.

Although the quality of the nail polishes make a huge difference, I realised that some cheaper gel nails (authenticity unverified though) can last too! I know how expensive it is to have manicures done every now and then and also how pricey gel nail polish brands such as Gelish Harmony, Artistic, Red Carpet are…

I have soft and brittle nails (natural and due to wearing nail polishes too long) and often experience breakage and chipping. Furthermore, recently I have been suffering from short lifespan of my gel nails as they peel easily. And I don’t mean like chipping off bit by bit, it’s like the whole piece of nail polish peels off from my whole nail bed!

It’s definitely annoying especially since it can occur few hours or the day after my DIY manicure! Not to mention, it is also very unsightly. #OCD

So here are some useful tips which I have discovered that would help you achieve longer lasting gel nails :

1. Remove your previous manicure properly. I didn’t really follow this because most of my gel nails were able to peel off, so I took the easy way out and peel them all off, although not advisable. Heh.

2. Buff and file your nails. 

3. This is the most important step. I skipped this step previously and that was why my gel nails kept peeling off. Cleanse the nail bed thoroughly with Acetone. 

4. Apply pH bond. I used to think applying pH bond was sufficient and never really thought that there might be some residue left from my previous session despite peeling them all off.

5. Do not allow the nail polish to come into contact with your skin. If it does, remember to WIPE IT OFF BEFORE YOU CURE IT. This is because curing your nails under the UV/LED lamp ‘seals’ the nail polish and hardens it, thus making it difficult for you to salvage it without removing the whole nail polish again. Any ‘gaps’ will cause your nail polish to chip/peel. 

6. Apply an additional layer on your finger tips to ‘seal’ the whole nail bed. 

7. Apply an additional top coat and cure it for a longer time (optional).

Here are some of my humble works thus far :

diy gel

Hope you enjoy them and thanks for reading! 🙂

Manicure and Pedicure with Prettify Me – The Nail Therapy!

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Hello all!

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Last Saturday, I went to pamper my nails again and attended a manicure and pedicure session with PrettifyMe – The Nail Therapy!

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Located at the shopping street of Singapore, PrettifyMe – The Nail Therapy provides ample space to accommodate everyone at its Orchard outlet.

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Getting your nails done at PrettifyMe –  The Nail Therapy simply translates into a pampering session with their cozy settings and soothing music  as the background music.

And that’s not all.

For me, I like chatting with my manicurists while having my nails done. In addition, I can safely vouch that most customers look forward to be serve by friendly manicurists while pampering their nails.

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Rest assured that PrettifyMe – The Nail Therapy provides you with just that!

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My nails before manicure :

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After manicure :

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And pedicure :

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I went ahead to have my nails done with simple designs which can prove to be very alluring as well. ‘Simplicity takes it all’ mindset is sometimes better than having overwhelming designs and 3D embellishments occupying all your nails.

I like the ‘shirt’ design on my fingernails. They are cute and still somewhat a head-turner, as well as the adorable innocent looking red and white polka dots on my toes nails! Still reliving the National Day spirit I see! icon razz Manicure and Pedicure with Prettify Me   The Nail Therapy!

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Beauty Review – China Glaze Neon Nail Polishes

In preparation for  an upcoming wedding this Saturday with a Candy Lane theme, I had to let my creativity juices flow. However, due to the limited ‘candy’ colours available in my nail polish collection, I chose these 2 neon colours from China Glaze.

I must now eat back my words that mixing normal and gelish nail polishes is now a BIG NONO for me. I realised that they don’t last! Although it’s actually mostly the nail polishes on my pointer fingernails get chip off. Was advised by my colleague who works as a PT manicurist that I shouldn’t be mixing them both, but heck, I did, and many times and the rest of the fingers were rather durable! The only annoying thing is that, once the nail polishes chip or peel off on my pointers, they do so constantly! Can you imagine having to repaint, cure, repaint, cure, repaint, cure…? And this repetitive process is only to paint 1 nail completely. Times the number of times the nail polish peels/chips… And especially annoying when you have a function/event to attend, then they get ruin just before or during the event. Ugly nails, shouldn’t even exist!

Bought some China Glaze nail polishes from Qoo10.

Photo 06-06-2013 07 03 56 PM

 

China Glaze Neon Collection

China Glaze Neon Collection

China Glaze Pool Party

China Glaze Pool Party

China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy

China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy

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The lumpy and uneven layers :(

The lumpy and uneven layers:(

Photo 13-06-2013 01 24 22 PM

More lumps..:(

Photo 13-06-2013 01 25 11 PM

Closer look.

*I must admit I do have shaky hand by the way.

After posting a picture of my NOTD, my ex-classmate and I discussed a little over FB. And in conclusion, China Glaze Neon nail polishes are :

  • Clumpy
  • Dries out too fast which creates lumps and thick layers
  • Too runny

Seche Restore’s review was also discussed.

  • It didn’t work for my CG Snow Globe. It remains lumpy.
  • Was told that it should only be used on normal nail polishes than gelish.

So all in all, I think CG nail polishes are quite sucky now, especially if you have left them untouched for awhile. Upsetting, because I’ve been buying them as they are relatively cheaper.

Gelish nail polishes aren’t cheap and cheap ones might not be good (and they might be fakes).

Flip Flop’s quality was worse than Pool Party’s.

Am gonna think twice before getting anymore CG nail polishes in the future :(

DIY gelish nails x normal nail polishes

YES! You’ve read it right! I’ve attempted to go all full force by experimenting using normal nail polishes and mixing it with gelish nail polishes (base and top coats).

I’ve always wanted to try using normal nail polishes as the base colour because gelish nail polishes are DAMN EXPENSIVE!!! It costs about $20 per bottle vs $8 (china glaze from DYON international – Cineleisure Scape)! I bought my 1st gelish nail polishes, top and base coats from gelish harmony from DYON as well 🙂

I’ve to first disclaim that the results might not turn out as pretty as gelish nail polishes or durable for that matter. But keep my fingers crossed anyhoo.

Here are the products and tools that were used.

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Now, don’t say that I’ve not been sharing awesome deals (if you’ve been reading my blog, you would know I DO share great buys with honest reviews (not sponsored)).

Base coat, Top Coat and China glaze were bought from DYON International from Cineleisure Scape. I’ve even linked their Facebook page for you 🙂 How can you not love me eh? I’ve been getting most of my OPI and China Glaze nail polishes from them. China Glaze are going for 3 for $20! How can you resist?! Well, I couldn’t. So I’ve quite a handful of them lying around, which I thought might not work with gelish nail polishes or curing with UV/LED lamp.

But tadah! IT WORKS!

Laquee Rette Blue Purple Glitter were from Qoo10 – lovely.desiires

Cute Ribbon LED Lamp (18Watts) and Gelish Harmony Nail Surface Cleanse from Qoo10 – Crystalife

You can actually replace the Nail Surface Cleanse with lint wipes as well 🙂

How do you go about DIY-ing your own gelish nails?

I’ve actually blogged a detailed entry on this before, so please read here if you are keen 🙂 It’s actually not that difficult, except if you have to remove your previous gelish nails on your own (which I’ve also included a step-by-step in that tutorial post) and if you have shaky/retarded left hand like mine. Other than that, it’s pretty simple and hassle-free with LED lamps!

Here’s the final result!

Photo 26-05-2013 10 26 44 PM Photo 26-05-2013 10 26 20 PM Photo 26-05-2013 10 28 01 PM

A thousand apologies for the poor reso and lighting. The picture doesn’t do justice for the colours. I mean it’s not 100% salon-standard quality, but it’s still acceptable and pretty for a DIY attempt! I shouldn’t be so hard on myself… HAHA!

The purple base colour is actually much lighter than you see in the pictures.

I love how both purple base and glitter colours have a tinge of blue undertones and slight shimmery sheen! Both colour combinations kinda reminds me of fairytale pixie magical dust… you know what I mean.

Googled some images on the China Glaze Tantalise me so you actually have a clearer view on the colour.

A little short review on the products and sellers.

lovely.desiires : Spillage in 1 of the 3 bottles I bought. Delivery was long as items were mailed from HongKong. Took abt 2 weeks. Seller’s customer service was acceptable. Nail polishes were cheap compared to other brands such as Gelish Harmony. Honestly, I do not think the brand matters as well as the product works well for you and proves its worth. So far, the 3 Laquee Rette glitter UV/gel nail polishes worked well for me 🙂 But I can’t be 100% sure if its authentic? Nevermind that, like I’ve said, as long as it works well for me, I don’t mind if it’s non-authentic or an inferior brand.

Crystalife : One of my favourite sellers on Qoo10! Her customer service is superb! Replies very promptly. Her items have proved their worth thus far. Bought the LED lamp, nail cleanse and acetone. She sells gelish nail polishes with brands such as Gelish Harmony and Artistic too (20$ ++) and other nail art tools.

DYON International : maintains sales both online on their FB page as well as retail flea market booth at Scape. Takes some time to reply queries via FB and some queries were left unanswered and ignored. But staff at the booth was alright. Prices for China Glaze and OPI were quite cheap. Gelish Harmony polishes were market price. Bought a better base coat for strengthening my soft brittle nails at 30$++ but didn’t prove its worth, but gotta continue using it, no choice.

So yes, I hope these reviews were of some help to you. Like I’ve always said, sharing is caring. 🙂

And yes, in conclusion, YOU CAN MIX NORMAL NAIL POLISHES WITH GELISH NAIL POLISHES in this sequence (apply gelish base coat – cure it under UV/LED lamp – apply normal nail polish (I applied 2 coats) – cure it under the lamp (IT ACTUALLY WORKS! HAHA!) – apply additional glitter/nail designs (optional) – cure it under the lamp – apply top coat (u can apply 2 coats – cure it under lamp – wipe with nail surface cleanse/lint wipes)

Just hope this combination lasts though 😉

HAVE FUN GIRLS! 😀

Beauty Review – CNY Nails!

Before I share my experience on my manicure and pedicure with Sweetie Nails, I would like to say that no, they aren’t my sponsors and neither were they recommended by others. I blame myself for slacking too much in my plans for CNY preps that I didn’t manage to make time to head down to JB to get my nails done. But, it was also because my bf hasn’t been feeling too well recently, as mentioned in my previous post.

So anyway, excuses aside.

I had to painstakingly google for a nail salon at around my bf’s gramps’ house because I was gonna rush down to pamper my nails after work and finally did so last night.

Every single goddamn nail salon ARE FULLY BOOKED.

If you’ve not gotten yours fixed, I’m sorry you might have to source real hard yourself.

Sweetie Nails are fully booked as well and I thank god for offering me an available slot with them last night.

I was just so adamant in getting my nails fixed because CNY eve is just this Saturday and I’ve a last minute invitation from my boss to join the Co’s CNY reunion dinner which is gonna take place tonight. Just a pre-emption, there will be no photos because the nature of my company doesn’t allow cameras and camera phones. I shall not elaborate much.

So I was extremely delighted when Sweetie Nails told me that they have a slot but it’s gonna be at 8.30pm. I hate time lapses seriously because I won’t know what to do in between. And I utterly loathe going home and having to come out again thereafter.

So as planned, bf and I decided to go for a hair cut/trim.

But NO, eventually we had to forgo that idea due to time constraint.

BECAUSE THERE WERE NO CABS AND IT WAS RAINING HEAVILY.

Those who have been cabbing around recently, especially during this festive period would totally comprehend my situation.

CABS ARE ALWAYS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN OR ARE ALWAYS UNAVAILABLE WHEN YOU NEED THEM.

I have no idea why but life is just like that man. UGH.

So yes, Sweetie Nails is located at Tampines area if you are keen. Will share their address later. No, am not doing an advert for them. Just purely sharing my experience I had with them.

Pictures first.

I know I have awfully ugly toes. 😦

Here comes the total bill : $228

FFFFUUUU I know.

Bf jumped at the very moment I disclosed the amt to him, lol. And jumped even more when he saw the simple designs I chose.

I had to pay additional 5$ each for hands and feet due to CNY period (beauty parlors really wanna chop and hack u into million pieces during festive period!) and 30$ for removal of my gellish fingernails (if I’d knew, I would remove on my own such I’ve done it before, read it here for step by step tutorial for the removal of gellish nails – plus it was a removal of my own FAILED DIY gellish nails) and $20 for removal of gellish toenails.

That adds up to 60$ alr and that’s even before I get my nails painted.

With that amt, I could do a simple gellish manicure/pedicure with no nail art.

Goddammit.

So yes, I had nail art on both finger and toe nails and that explains the total bill.

I can’t remember the exact breakdown of the bill, sorry about that.

About their service, I was a little annoyed when they didn’t attend to me when I first entered their salon. I hate it when  it makes you feel like a total dork and invisible. I would certainly be more glad if they had extended their warmth invitation and welcome of my presence and patronisation?

But anyway, their attitude became gradually better after some time and were much friendlier.

I was really entertained during the sessions by other weird customers due to some drama there as well as the huge tv staring at my face. So much so that I often forget which hand to insert under the LED lamp to dry the gellish nail polishes. LOL.

I chose express for both manicure and pedicure.

For my manicure, I actually chose a design which consists of darker and more prominent gold with a greater ratio of red : gold. However, what resulted was a little off what I’d expected. Both bf and I thought it would look a tad better with more red since it’s for CNY.

There were no cutting and much filing done, since I’ve alr done them the day before.

Gold was first painted, with 2 coats, followed by the gold glitter to make it more prominent because the gold is really quite faint. There after the red was painted, followed by the drawing of simple flowers. Next was the application of silver glitter and then the top coat.

I know some nail salons charges additionally for top coats, but I’m pretty sure mine didn’t. But I could be wrong because I was already dumbfounded at the total bill and it was already quite late. Started at 830pm with removing the initial gellish nails, and ended at around 10.45pm.

So far so good, the manicurists were pretty patient as I had accidentally smudged it a few times because of the lack of space between the cushion and the entrance of the LED lamp. Position was rather awkward as well.

For my pedicure, I felt that the nail art on the toes weren’t up to standard and expectations. I chose this design so that I won’t look so CNY-ish and could still carry it off after the festive season. But the white nail polish keep running off and the positions of the dots weren’t that fantastic if you take a look. The pearly ribbon was ok until I took a closer look, some of the pearls had their pearl-ish colour ran off. 😦

It was quite a disappointment, especially for the price paid.

I can’t ask for much since firstly, they don’t have a website. Speaks alot about the company.

Secondly, what I’d gathered info was that this is abt the 3rd changed hands. Previously it was known by other names.

Thirdly, it’s a nail salon at neighbourhood area, so can’t expect much. Esp compared to Lush nails which I took much fancy of 🙂

Fourthly, I just made an appt with any nail salon that had slots during this busy period and didn’t do much due diligence on my part. Even if I did, almost all were fully booked.

On the setting of the nail salon, it seems ok except for the restroom area which is rather slippery and dirty. The air con was quite cold too. Chairs were quite comfy and spacious as well. With cushions for support of the manicure sessions as well as back rest.

So yes, my verdict?

Overall rating :

I think they might be a little more deserving than 3 stars, more like 3.5 stars? 🙂

By the way, I was also told that removal of the gellish nails for the next visit would be free regardless whether or not I continue sessions with them again.

Problem is, hopefully they would remember me if I’m ever going back there again.

Sweetie Nails

Address: 802 Tampines Avenue 4, Singapore 520802
Phone:6782 3477

On a side note, I am looking for nail sponsors urgently as well to pamper my nails every now and then. Preferably in the east.

In addition, I’m looking for other sponsors for beauty, food, travel and clothes as well! 🙂

Please contact me at jeangan@live.com if keen.

Looking forward to receiving replies from interested parties!

Love,

Jean

Step-by-step Tutorial for the Removal of Gellish Nails

The only reason why girls opt for gellish nails is because of its durability. Gellish nails can last for weeks depending on how you maintain them. Of course, there will be empty spaces on your nail bed between your cuticles and the nail polishes as your fingernails grow over time. It may be unsightly but to me, what’s even more an eyesore would be how the gellish nails themselves, as in the designs and 3D designs do not last. Being anal and a selective perfectionist, such situation irks me. A little OCD there as well.

Manicure, we don’t just pamper our nails for the sake of pampering them, but also, I’m sure like most ladies, just by looking and admiring them day to day makes us happy! Such cheap thrills are easy happiness, don’t you think so? 😉

I did my gellish manicure with Priscilla at Nails Etcetera and I’d decided to remove them myself!

Removing gellish nails can be a pain in the ass! You will need alot of patience and strength to push out the softened gel nail polishes.

I googled for tips in removing gellish nails and Acetone nail polish removers are apparently used for that purpose. Using the normal nail polish removers will not work. This is also the reason why getting gellish nails done is also a hassle because you will have to head back to your manicurist to have them removed and which if it’s purely removal, there will be charges incurred. Most nail salons remove them for free only if you decide to continue engaging their manicure services.

I got my Acetone gel nail polish remover from Gmarket with this seller! Of course, like you, I do read up on reviews before ordering anything. So learn to shop smart! 🙂

The wonderful thing when ordering from this seller is that she provides instructions (very impt – but you can actually google it but thumbs-up for effort and customer service!) as well as the wooden sticks. She has mailed 5 wooden sticks which you would require to push out the gellish nail polishes once they are softened and weakened by the Acetone nail remover.

Essential equipments required :

1. Acetone nail polish remover

2. Wooden sticks

3. Cotton balls/pads (I didn’t have cotton balls so I’d used cotton pads instead)

4. Coarse nail filer

5. Aluminium foils

6. Smooth nail buffer

7. Cuticle oil ( I didn’t use this in the tutorial because I was just plain lazy =x But pls, do apply it if you have!)

Bf bought a set of the Onsen nail set for me few months back 🙂 I’ve always used this when I did my own manicure 🙂

Now as per the instructions, use the coarse nail filer to file the surface of your gellish nails till you get a rough surface. There will be alot of nail dust and might get a little messy, so do prepare some wet wipes just in case.

Next, damp the cotton pad/balls with the Acetone nail polish remover and make sure you apply sufficient amount, if not some areas might not be weakened and would be difficult to remove. After that, wrap it around the nail bed.

Now wrap it snugly with the aluminium foil around your whole fingernails. Make sure they are tightly secured otherwise, they might easily drop off and you would want to prevent any quick evaporation of the Acetone remover.

I know, they look like sausages ready to be BBQ-ed! 😀

Previously, Priscilla from Nails Etcetera  had gotten me to place my wrapped fingers into the UV nail lamp, but although I bought 1 myself, I didn’t use it. It was a little painful when I placed them in, so I thought I could make do without it.

Even without using the UV nail lamp, I felt a little tingling hot sensation.

You must also note that Acetone removers are harmful to your nails and some even disputed that they are harmful to your liver as well. But anyways, nails polishes and normal nail polish removers are harmful too. Basically, whatever chemicals you apply or consume (obviously referring to medicines and supplements!) generally, are not 100% beneficial to your body. 😉

You should see that your gellish nails partially peeled off. I didn’t apply sufficient Acetone that’s why the 1st application was not very successful. But since it was my virgin experience, I forgave myself 😛

Next, use the wooden stick to push the soft gellish nails.

I seriously loathe this step because it’s so difficult to push them out. I have soft brittle nails too so it’s like I’m totally ruining my nails. But then again, removal of gellish nails do destroy your nails!

See how cui they are? And this was even after when I buffed it with the soft buffer from Onsen!

And oh yes, I did cut my nails short as 1 of them broke before removing. Goodbye long nails 😦

I bet the 3rd step was redundant since I was going to repaint my nails anyway, but filing and smoothening them should do our nails good. At least the shininess made me happier somewhat (Self-denial).

From left to right : China Glaze Tantalise me, China Glaze Soft Globe and China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise (Used this on my toes nails!)

Of course, the essentials are not forgotten. Use them in every DIY manicure 🙂

From left to right : China Glaze Fast Freeze Quick Dry, Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat (Not really fancying this, need to source for better base coat. Any to recommend? :p) and China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat.

1. Apply base coat

2. Apply desired colour nail polish

3. Apply 2nd coat (esp if colour is faint)

4. Apply top coat

5. Apply snow globe nail polish

6. Apply top coat again

7. You can double apply top coat again if you want

8. Apply quick dry coat

I have very soft and brittle nails, so I have to apply several layers of top coat. I’ll have to apply nail hardeners soon too.

Result ?

I know I have ugly toes 😦

When worn with heels

I hope this DIY tutorial has helped you in one way or another! 😀

Thank you all for reading! 🙂 ❤

P.S. : Oh yes, don’t forget to check out my beauty article on My Fat Pocket here on Mascaras!

P.P.S. : I will be sharing with you guys next on my shopping experience with Gmarket and which are the recommended sellers as well as those blacklisted ones! So if you do shop at Gmarket frequently, do keep a lookout! 🙂

xoxo,

Jean

 

 

Sponsored Beauty Review – Nails Etcetera with Priscilla!

Did another manicure session with Nails Etcetera with Priscilla! You may read my previous post on the previous designs I did with Priscilla! 🙂

Removed my previous gelish nails for around 1 hr and then proceeded with my new designs! The removal process was quite straightforward but during the soaking period, my nails felt it was burning! I guess this is quite normal for removing gelish nails? Haha!

Anyway, pictures! 🙂

Wanted something more outstanding with different combination of colours, so chose this design! 🙂

By the way, Priscilla has recently invested in this Gelish Nail dryer which offers shorter drying and waiting time! Really amazing! I was really impressed! 🙂

One of Priscilla’s most expensive investment… Definitely worth it! 🙂

So, if you are looking for excellent professional nail services, why not give Nail Etcetera a try today?

Quote my name ‘Jean Gan’ to be entitled to 10% discount with Nail Etcetera!

You may also wish to check out other awesome designs by Priscilla on her blog and Facebook Fan page!

Priscilla is also currently having a rewards programme which allows you to redeem  a Free Express Gelish Manicure!

It’s very simple to qualify, just follow these steps :

Nails Etcetera -Home Based Nail Salon located inAnchorvale, Sengkang

Operating Hours:

Monday – Saturday
10am / 2pm / 4pm / 7pm
(Appt. after 9pm is available on Fri & Sat)

Sunday & PH
10am / 2pm / 4pm

Contact info : 97267125/nails.etcetera@yahoo.com