Opallac Jelly Polishes

Opallac are on fire at the moment. They have just released 5 new jelly shades that are exclusive to their website. The jelly trend is quite polarizing in the nail world, but if you follow me on Instagram you will know I adore it. If you haven't heard of it before, it's when you have a clear nail extension on and then paint it with a sheer polish, making your nails look like jelly or glass. 
The thing that I think is really cool about these is that because they are sheer but also very pigmented you only need one coat to get the look, but it also means they are PERFECT for leadlighting. If you scroll to the bottom image you will see what I mean. To get this look you simply stamp a design onto the nail, then use a dotting tool to apply each colour. This has been around for ages in the normal nail polish world, but it works even better in gel. You don't have to worry about the polish drying up on your tools as you work, you can flash cure between each colour so there is no bleeding, and at the end there is no dry time! I am soooo in love! 
The Jelly range is available from Opallac's website, and they are $16.95 each. 

Jelly Frose

Jelly Mango Tango

Jelly Pina Colada

Jelly Lime Mojito

Jelly Maliblue

With mermaid powder on top 

The leadlighting look

Opallac Nude Shades

There has been so much going on in the Opallac world lately - you would have already seen the matte top coat, but now we have 3 new nude shades. All of which are gorgeous, but no matter what skin tone you have one of these (if not all) will suit you. As we've discussed before, I love Opallac because it is a really good high quality gel that is available to everyone, and you can pick up most of their shades at Priceline. As you can imagine I own A LOT of gel polishes, with everything from $2 Aliexpress polishes to high end pro brands. And these really stand up there with some of the real high quality polishes.

So each of my swatches is 2 coats - they are all beautifully creamy and opaque. Of course all my swatches have some art just because I can't help myself! Nudes are the best base for art after all!

Opallac is available through their website or from Priceline stores.

Sweet Romance

Faux Fur

Bare It All

Kertosis Pilaris

Today I wanted to talk about a slightly non-nail related topic - keratosis pilaris, aka chicken skin. It is insanely common (I've read some claims that it can effect up to 80% of the adolescent population) so chances are you either have it, or if you're doing nails on other people you are going to come across it it. 

KP looks like tiny red bumps on the skin and feels like sandpaper. It's caused by a buildup of keratin that forms a plug that blocks the opening of a hair follicle. It's meant to clear up after age 30, but I'm over that hill and am still covered.

This condition is not always something that bothers people, but my skin literally looks like one of those worse case scenarios off WebMD! It's all over my arms, legs, butt and even a little on the back of my hands. It's a charming look as a nail tech! The worst part for me is it has taken me most of my life to find our what the heck it is! I used to get teased at school where kids would dare each other to touch my skin, and I thought I was some kind of leper! It's only now I can tell you it is TOTALLY harmless. It amazed me that even at nail school we had lists of skin conditions that effect arms and hands so we could check for contra-indicators, but it wasn't there! The only thing to look for is if they are naughty like me and pick at it, leaving open wounds. 

So I have been doing a lot of experimenting with different products to see if i could find something that would help - and I hope help you or at least make you a bit more informed. It basically comes down to exfoliation (but not too much - it's a fine line) and moisture. Chemical exfoliates seem to be the way to go, so you need to look for products with a decent amount of ingredients like glycolic acid, AHA, BHA

Some of the things I have tried include plain old exfoliating with a loofah and moisturiser which smoothed the feel but didn't do much for the appearance, a few different exfoliating products like a rock salt scrub and a moisturiser that had a small amount of glycolic acid. It wasn't until I did some reading that I saw a lot of positive things about Paula's Choice and I bought a whole bunch of samples to try (and then their lovely PR sent me one full sized to try as well). 

The 2 main products I have ended up using are Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA and the Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA. They both worked well for me, but I prefer the lotion just because I like the moisturised feeling it leaves and I think it works a little bit better on my skin. I was applying these after my shower each night - which makes sense just because you need to be careful going in the sun with these as you will burn easy, 

So here are some before and after pictures. These were taken 2 weeks apart You can see it has;t magically make it go away, but there is a huge difference! My skin also feels totally smooth which is a miracle for me! Note that the dead skin and redness in the before pictures is not from picking, my skin was just that inflamed from the condition.

Taken on my macro lens - you can see the bumps have reduced greatly

Before After

Taken on my phone so you can see more what it looks like to the naked eye. such in improvement!


Click here to check out the full Resist range from Paula's Choice

Hawley Treatment Colour Polish

I love Hawley products - when I was at nail school this was the brand we had to use, and many of their items I can now not live without. And that's not because it's all I've tried, I have an entire room of products that I've tried (not kidding - I would take a photo but I still haven't found adequate storage for everything so it is a MESS!). I even went and splurged and bought their efile which I could not live without. 
So when they released their new polish line, I had to try because I knew it was going to be a winner. 
Their treatment polishes are a 4 in 1, meaning it's a base, treatment, colour and topcoat. They contain argan oil, vitamins e, c and b5 - so they really hydrate the nail and help with growth.
There are a few brands who do things similar but the thing that REALLY stood out for me with these is the gloss when they are dry. They honestly look like you have a gel to coat on. 
The formula is quite thick, but very pigmented so they are very easy to apply. They say you only need 2 coats (although I did a sneaky 3 for my swatch just because I did thin coats and like my colour very opaque).
My only complaint is that they have a great range of core colours but I love my nails with as much loudness and bling as possible, but if you want a good solid range to use on your or a clients natural nails then these are a great go to!
So go check out their site and have a look at the whole range (and if you're a acrylic tech like me I highly recommend picking up their Illume Hyrdrofresh and Permabond primer while you're at it - you can thank me later).

Glitter Gals Australia

Glitter Gals Australia is a pretty new company on the nail scene, and they are already killing it. So I got a mega glitter haul from them to share with you. 10 glitters, a nail file and triangle dish. There are so many different glitter varieties on their site it is impossible to pick a favourite. They do also sell nail art item and tools too. I've had a lot of fun using these glitters both to encapsulate and on top of the nail in gel.  So here is some photo spam with a few nail designs I have done using the glitter. 

Glitter Girls Australia: Website here

Chameleon Halo encapsulated in clear acrylic

Holo purple mix and Silver shards encapsulated in clear acrylic

3d gems in gel topcoat

Hot pink fine glitter rubbed into the gel tacky layer then stamped over.

Opallac Gel Matte Top Coat

Can we all take a second to celebrate that you can now get a matte topcoat in Priceline? Opallac have just released a Gel Matte Top Coat and it's awesome. I got sent these to review, but I honestly would have bought a bottle anyway! They do say it's for use over their own gel colours, but so far it has worked perfectly over every gel polish I have tried.
It's super simple to use - you do your mani as normal, then put a single coat of the top coat and then nuke it for 60seconds. It's really fun to watch because it looks all glossy when you put it on, but when it goes into the lamp it turns mattes.
It feels really soft and velvety, not rough in the slightest. And although I never wear the same nail design for more than a few days, I did wear the bottom set here for 4 days and the matte stayed perfect the whole time - it didn't wear down at all which has always been a problem with outer matte top coats I have tried.
So I totally rate this, and it is a great way to get a whole bunch of new looks out of your existing gel polish collection.

Opallac is available through their website or from Priceline stores.

Colour: Elite99 Black and red chrome from Born Pretty

Colour: So Soiree with gold foil

Hand Cream Round Up

Spring is here and I am trying to get rid of some of the dryness all this cold weather has created! And just because I am now wearing acrylics doesn't mean I can stop taking care of my hands and the nails that are growing underneath all the glitter. So here is a round up of my current hand cream collection. Let me know what you think and if you have a favourite cream you think I should try out!
Hand and Nail Treatment Cream
This cream came as part of trio last year, but I have it on my rotation because it smells so good. It has a subtle tangy grapefruit scent. The cream itself is very light and absorbs fast leaving absolutely no residue at all. Its lightness makes it good as a handbag cream to use throughout the day, but I would go for something heavier if you want a treatment.

Hand and Nail Treatment Cream
This bottle is very deceptive - to look at it I was expecting something boring to come out of the tube but I was very wrong. It has a sweet vanilla and floral scent to it that is divine. The cream is a light weight (but heavier than the Clarins) and absorbs quickly although it does leave a slightly sticky residue. With avocado oil, vitamin E, almond oil and lavender oil, it has everything you'd want to help keep your hands soft. 

In the Rau - Dry Body Oil
Ok this isn't strictly a hand cream, but I am including it because I really love it. It is a spray bottle of oil that I like to use all over my hands and arms at night to get them nice and soft in the morning. It has a subtle scent that is hard to describe, it's somewhere between a vanilla and a wood. The oil is made up of raw marula oil, coconut oil, milk thistle, and camellia oil. As it is straight up oil it is very heavy, but great for that intense moisture. 

Dry Skin Hand Cream
You can probably tell from the state of this tube that this gets a lot of use. It's a super heavy cream - perfect for smothering your hands/feet in and then popping on some gloves/socks. I spend a lot of time in hospitals and this is my go for being stuck in air conditioning without enough to drink and not enough skincare. It boasts being 20% highly concentrated shea butter. Its only downfall is it has quite a bland scent - almost a little bit like sunscreen.
Hand Cream
True fact - Nivea hand cream is the first cream I ever bought for myself and to this day I always keep some at the office to combat air conditioning dryness. The have 3 different formulas: anti-age (with Q-10 to help with age spots), smooth care (with shea butter) and nourishing care (with almond oil). They are pretty self explanatory for weight - and they range from a medium weight to a heavy weight. They all absorb nicely and leave a slight silkiness to the skin once absorbed. The scent is that signature Nivea scent that all their creams smell like.