Monday, 28 January 2013

The acne series: a teen's perspective of the Teen Aspect Kit

As anyone who has suffered from acne knows, it can affect any age and not one treatment will cure everyone so I have been trying to get a range of reviewers to try a variety of solutions in the hope that you will find your solution. Today's guest reviewer is Brook. Brooke  is 12 1/2 years and has pimply skin on her forehead, chin and both cheeks.   She has very oily skin from hormonal changes and has been suffering regular bouts of lots of pimples for the last 6 months or so. I had Brook trial the Teen Aspect Kit for me. 

According to Aspect, Teen Aspect is:

A simple, uncomplicated skin care range designed with the busy teenager in mind. Teen Aspect is suitable for pre-teens and teenagers who want a quick and easy-to-use skin care regime. Free of the typical nasties, it will not irritate, dry out or clog the skin.

The ideal way to try out the Teen Aspect range for only $59.95!  The Teen Aspect Starter Kit is the ideal start to clean, clear skin. The Teen Aspect Starter Kit contains:
  • Teen Aspect Cleanser
  • Teen Aspect Toner
  • Teen Aspect Facial Lotion
  • Teen Aspect Stop Spot Travel Stick

Here is Brook's review:

Teen Aspect Cleanser – “The smell is lemony and refreshing.  After I used it my face felt clean.  It was gentle on my skin.  The container is easy to pump out the cleanser and it goes all bubbly when I rubbed it on my face.  I only need to use one squirt for the whole of my face and it worked well.”

 Teen Aspect Toner – “The toner was my favourite because when I wiped my skin with it felt fresh, although after it my skin felt dry and that’s why I used the Teen Aspect Facial Lotion after it.  It smells very strong and lemony.”

 Teen Aspect Facial Lotion – “The Facial Lotion made my face feel moisturised and took away the ‘dryness’ of the toner.  It smells like the cleanser – the lemony smell.  This also came in a pump pack like the cleanser and toner. “

 Teen Aspect Stop Spot – “The Stop Spot was good to put on pimples that needed to be treated and it helped get rid of them.  It smells lemony too – which is nice because it was very refreshing in the morning and before I went to bed.  The Stop Spot is a liquid and I squirted a tiny bit onto my finger and put it onto my pimples.  My older sister tried to use it (without asking!) and applied Stop Spot straight to her face which doesn’t work because it ran down her cheek.”

 “All the products have the black , white and silver design which I liked and I like how it came in a set and looks really good together.  I did find my skin cleared up a bit when I used it all the time – both day and night.  When I stopped using it (because I got a bit forgetful) I noticed my pimples tried to come back.  I want to keep using this Teen Aspect range.”

Before using the Teen Aspect Kit 

After using the Teen Aspect Kit

Sigh...doesn't Brook have gorgeous skin!

The photo's speak for themselves. Brook's skin seems to have really settled down. As she is just entering her teenage years I wouldn't expect her to be completely pimple free but this kit is really keeping the majority of them at bay.

The Teen Aspect Kit can be bought from selected clinics for $59.95. For your nearest stockist call 1800 648 851.

Have you found the solution to your acne woes yet?

See here for other posts in The Acne Series.

All opinions are Brook's own and neither Brook nor myself received any remuneration for this post. Brook was provided with the Teen Aspect Kit for consideration.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Summer giveaway series: Parissa – Hot Wax & Azulene Oil

For the remainder of summer I have decided to run a series of giveaways. The will be at least one each week (hopefully more!). I am kicking off my summer giveaway series with a fab giveaway courtesy of Parissa - the at home waxing experts.

Win one of 3 Parissa gift packs valued at $25.98 each.

At-Home Waxing Experts, Parissa, formulate ALL their Hair Removal products using the finest quality, natural ingredients to create easy to use waxes that deliver salon results in the comfort of your own home.

Naturally formulated with beeswax, Parissa Hot Wax is pH balanced and safe for all skin types. This no-strip hair remover is ideal for removing short, coarse hair from sensitive areas like the face, underarms and bikini line.

Formulated to deliver effective relief from razor burn, bumps, redness and irritation, Parissa Azulene Oil is the perfect after wax accessory.

Parissa products gently exfoliate your skin while removing hair, leaving your skin softer, smoother and more radiant with every application.

How to enter:

There are three different ways in which you can enter (and you can enter more than once to increase your chances)

1. Tell me a funny or embarrassing waxing or hair related story in the comments below. The one that makes me laugh (or cringe!) the most wins.

2. Post a pic of hairy legs on my Facebook page. Be creative - they don't have to be your hairy legs. The most creative entry wins. Please comment below that you have entered the Facebook giveaway because, if you don't win that, then I will enter you into the random draw (see below).

3. Random draw. If you don't want to do either above, don't worry. You can still enter simply by following me in some format (GFC, email, Facebook etc). Just tell me in the comments below that you wish to enter the random draw. Everyone who has entered via option 1 and/or 2, and don't win, will automatically be entered into the random draw.

This competition will run from 5.00pm AEDST on 27/1/13 to 7.00pm AEDST on 3/2/13. Anyone can enter.

Mariah Carey by OPI collection: Can't Let Go Swatch

This morning I brought you swatches of Get Your Number from the Mariah Carey by OPI collection. Now, here are my swatches of Can't Let Go. This is a lovely deep purple that applies easily and is pretty much opaque after one coat (I used two here to ensure perfection!). OPI describe it as a matte purple with a dazzling sparkle. I found the sparkle to be silver (as opposed to hologram in Get Your Number). I think I prefer Get Your Number, mostly because I love the hologram sparkles.

Deliberately out of focus to show sparkle

There are 8 shades in the Mariah Carey by OPI collection - the following four Liquid Sand lacquers:
  • Can't Let Go -  matte purple with a dazzling sparkle
  • Get Your Numbermatte blue with dynamic sparkles
  • Stay the Nightmatte black with a red glints of glitter particles
  • The Impossiblematte fuchsia shade with confetti star power 

As well as four normal finish lacquers:

  • A Butterfly Moment - frosty tan nude 

  •  Anti-bleak - deep, creamy purple

  •  Pink Yet Lavenderpink glitter with a lavender shimmer

  • Sprung - shimmery copper

Which shade do you most want to try in this range? Are you a fan of Mariah Carey and/or her music?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. Can't Let Go was provided for consideration.

Mariah Carey by OPI collection: Get Your Number swatch

Mariah Carey has collaborated with OPI to create a collection of new polishes. Mariah took a very hands on approach, selection colour shades and names.

Her ranges features the new Liquid Sand finish. There is a huge trend for textured nail polishes (think crackle) and this is a total new entry to the texture market. According to OPI:

OPI’s new Liquid Sand lacquers dry to a textured, 'pebbled' effect leaving a sparkling textured finish with fine glitter particles. The Liquid Sand lacquers feature groundbreaking technology that offers a textured, matte finish infused with reflective sparkle. If worn without top coat, Liquid Sand lacquer gives nails a unique textured matte finish worthy of a superstar.

Initially, I was unsure how I would like the sandy texture but it actually looks really effective. I received many compliments when wearing the shades - I think because they came out quite sparkly and the effect is quite striking. It applies easily and is pretty much opaque after one coat; however, I used two coats to completely ensure opacity. You may notice that my middle nail looks blotchy - this is not due to the polish but I wrecked it changing Kiki's nappy and tried to get away with a patch job rather than redo it.

Below are my swatches of Get Your Number, which is described by OPI as a matte blue with dynamic sparkles.

I deliberately took this out of focus to show the
rainbow hologram sparkles

The Mariah Carey by OPI collection will be available from January 2013 for RRP $19.95 and can be found in David Jones stores and selected salons.

What are your thoughts on this new Liquid Sand finish? Does it excite you or are you sick of textured finishes?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This polish was provided for consideration.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Wedding make-up using Napoleon Perdis

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary. I am shocked at how fast the years have flown by. We have been together for 14 years now so it does feel like Brett has always been a part of my life...but, still, the wedding feels like it was a year ago, not 5 (though, when I look back at the photos we are both a hell of a lot skinnier so obviously time has past! I blame The Crazy Kid and Kiki for 'letting myself go'!).

Today is also Australia Day. Yep, we got married on Australia Day. It's pretty cool as it means that the date is impossible to forget, and we always get a day off; but, it also means that there is usually something else on that day so we actually haven't really celebrated our anniversary so far. Today, though, we are going to more effort. We have booked lunch at Gastro Park (if you watch Masterchef, that's the one where they made calamari crackling - sounds very interesting!) and then we are following it with a helicopter flight over Sydney so it should be a fantastic day. But, the point of this post isn't to tell you that but to share with you my makeup from the day.

At the time I didn't have a regular hairdresser so I decided to just get my hair done at a local salon at the shops. I then decided that since we had to go up there we may as well get our makeup done at a Napoleon Perdis store. It ended up being a good option for us and the best part was that the cost of having our makeup done was redeemable in products. For me, I had a trial and then the makeup on the day and it was $70 each time (not sure if the price is still the same today) but then I was able to choose $140 worth of makeup so I got all the products they used on me to touch up throughout the day. All of my bridesmaids also used Napoleon Perdis products so they were happy to get more makeup too!

At the time, my makeup skills weren't nearly what they are today. I wore very little makeup - pretty much just eye shadow and mascara, so I would never have attempted to do my own makeup. Plus, I liked the experience of being pampered on my wedding day. I actually didn't want to wear foundation (or much makeup for that matter) on the day as I never really wore it but my photographer talked me out of it. He made the point that I would be having a million photos taken that day and my skin would photograph shiny without foundation, plus I would look under done compared to other guests. What he suggested was that I get a makeup trial done then go over to his place and he would do a photo shoot with me so I can see how my makeup photographed. I am so glad I followed his advice as I was really happy with how it looked in the photos.

My eyes are my favourite feature so we decided to accentuate them and keep my lips looking more neutral. I used Autopilot Primer, Camera Finish Foundation, Bronze Patrol and I can't remember exactly the eye colours but they were teals and neutrals to bring out my natural green/blue eye colour plus match with the teal in my wedding dress.

Here are some of my photos. I used Alan Khan photography on the day, and these are a selection of the professional photos (we got to keep all of the digital negatives which I was so pleased about).

From the pre-wedding photo shoot - after seeing this
I knew my makeup would look good in photos


More posing!

My beautiful family - we have a running joke that
in every family photo, just to piss mum off, I go cross-eyed.
I wasn't going to make an exception on my wedding day!

I love this photo with my sister

Can't have a wedding post without a pic of my
gorgeous husband

Finally, I had to show you the back of my wedding dress - that was the best part!

My wedding day was the best day of my life, but damn, I never want to go through that again! We followed it up with 3 1/2 weeks in Thailand and Malaysia - pure and utter bliss (and that was the point in which we started getting fat and have never recovered!!).

Happy anniversary, Brett!

Did you do your own wedding makeup or employ the services of a makeup artist. Were you happy with the final result?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Detoxing Your Hair And Beauty Regime

Today I have a guest post for you from Evelyn Barnard. Evelyn is a freelance writer and is going to share with you her wisdom on toxins in your beauty routine.

Detoxing Your Hair And Beauty Regime

There’s much talk within the beauty world about the safety of many products. It seems that hardly a month goes by without some kind of worry about a certain ingredient that’s within every day cosmetics, hair care and skin preparations that we use all the time and without a second thought.

Some people want to look for natural or organic alternatives in many of the different things they use in their beauty routines to not only help their skin and hair and stop them from absorbing potential “unknowns” but also to help the environment too.

The SLS Debate

One of the hottest topics for debate is on the issue of SLS in shampoos and bathing products. SLS, or to give it its full name Sodium Laureth Sulphate, is a foaming agent that is put into many skincare preparations (including toothpaste) to make them lather up quickly and efficiently. Many people believe that the more lather they can put onto their hair and skin, the cleaner of impurities it will be. This isn’t always the case at all and there are many people who report skin and scalp sensitivities due to harsh cleansing agents.

In fact, SLS is an ingredient that has been widely in use since the 1930s when it was first introduced into places like car garages to clean engine parts, or used on roads to clean up oil spills! Therefore, this gives you an idea of how strong an ingredient it is and puts forward the question “Do we really want to be putting that onto our skin?”

It’s something that divides many people and many companies have raced forward to try and discover alternatives to SLS that provide foaming qualities without the harshness. Alternatives to SLS are:

Ammonium Laureth Sulphate: A slightly more costly ingredient to use in cosmetics, but one that, depending on where it is derived from can be gentler. Some brands with use Ammonium Laureth Sulphate that is derived from coconut. The ingredient label should state this.

Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate: A gentler cleanser that is derived from coconut and produces lighter, yet still thoroughly cleansing foam.

Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isothionate: Again, another ingredient derived from coconut that is seen to be probably one of the safest bets for the gentlest cleanse. It is recognised as so because it cannot be detected or traced in human tissue or urine even after repeated use.

Natural branding myths

Besides the issues of SLS, within the beauty industry there is a lot of controversy over what does actually constitute “natural”. As consumers we have to be really savvy and carefully check the ingredient labels to make sure that what we’re buying is indeed what it says it is.

Many products may say they are organic or natural, but if you turn to read the labels you will see they contain only minute traces of natural extracts or essential oils that are used perhaps more for fragrance than any real cosmetic benefit.

When trying to choose natural beauty products look to see when and where things like essential oils appear on the ingredient label. The higher up they appear, the more concentrated they may be and likely to have an effect.

Probably one of the better brands to make leaps forward into organic cosmetics is the Australian company A’kin, who have been in business for around fifteen years now. They have a whole product range that encompasses skin care, hair care and male grooming cosmetics that are genuinely mineral oil, SLS, DEA and Paraben free. Alongside this is a distinct lack of artificial colors and perfumes.

The products are by no means cheap, for instance, a litre of their Ylang Ylang Colour Care Shampoo comes in at just under $27, but they are richly concentrated, meaning you can halve the amount you would use with a standard shampoo or conditioner to get the same effect.

The products offer a sounds alternative to anyone who wants to try and dip their toe into the world of natural cosmetics but know they’re getting the right thing. The ingredient lists on the back of the packaging certainly make for interesting reading as most of what goes into them is recognisable as a natural extract, essential oil or gentle cleansing agent.


It really is that time of year when we’re probably all thinking about trying to eat well and sort our diets out, to get fitter and to take control of our health just that little bit more. It’s just as important to consider what we put into our bodies as well as what we use topically and detoxing the skin and hair can also be just as good a tonic as detoxing the body can too, so thinking about updating your beauty routine alongside your diet can be a really good way to go.

When we switch from products that contain things like SLS to brands that don’t, one thing that consumers may notice is that their hair or skin initially feels a little drier or in the case of their hair becomes tangled. This is generally caused by the gentler cleansing agents removing the build up of silicones and SLS which have caused dulling over time. If you continue to use the products consistently you should begin to find that your hair and skin get more used and start to look and feel healthier.

However, as with many things, it is entirely personal. There are many women out there who can have reactions to natural and organic brands as there are ones who react to standard chemist products. Patch testing with any new beauty product is essential whether it be organic or not.

Thanks Evelyn!

So, what are your thoughts on natural beauty - is it the only way to go or do you not mind a few 'toxins' in your routine. I have to confess that I am not super concerned about toxins; though I don't have sensitive skin so that might be why. However, I am totally different when it comes to my kids skin, trying to use as natural products as possible.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

U-B-Safe1: The essential sun safety product this summer

These days, everyone knows how dangerous excessive exposure to UV radiation can be. The Slip, Slop, Slap message has been around since 1981 so it has been drummed into us for most, if not all, of our lives (those not from Australia, Slip, Slop, Slap is a sun safety awareness campaign with the following slogan Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat,).

Whenever I know that I am going to be outside for a while, such as when I'm at the beach or park, I am always diligent in applying sunscreen to my kids. However, there are times when we are just popping across the road or are only planning on being outside for a few minutes when I don't bother. It is important to have some unprotected sun exposure each day to allow Vitamin D production to occur. In fact, there is currently a Vitamin D deficiency epidemic as we have been too diligent in following the Slip, Slop, Slap message. According to The Dark Side of Tanning, to maintain adequate Vitamin D levels:

  • In NSW from August to May, six to eight minutes of sun exposure to the face, hands and arms (15% of the body) on most days of the week at times when the UV index is below 3 (before 10am and after 3pm daylight savings time) is all the sun exposure a fair skinned person requires for vitamin D production.
  • In June and July this may increase to 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Short bursts of sun (outside peak UV periods) are better for making vitamin D than long periods, as the body can only absorb a set amount at a time.

But how are you to know when you have had sufficient sun exposure and are at risk of damaging your skin. Previously, you could only estimate but now there is a nifty new device, the U-B-Safe 1, that will calculate your exposure and warn you when you have been out in the sun too long. This device is useful, not only if you are concerned about your Vitamin D levels, but your sun exposure in general as we all know that excessive exposure to UV radiation causes premature ageing of the skin, skin damage and ultimately skin cancer.

The U-B-Safe 1 is a personal UV radiation alarm dose meter - you pin it to a part of your clothing, such as your hat or shirt, and it is sounds an alarm when your skin has absorbed the maximum daily amount of UV radiation for your skin type. You calibrate it to your skin type:

Switch 1: Very fair, always burns, never tans
Switch 2: Fair, Easily burns, minimal tanning
Switch 3: Light-medium, some sunburn, gradual tanning
Switch 4: Medium, minimal sunburn, always tanned
Switch 5: Medium-dark, rarely sunburns, always tanned

It is recommended that you don't use a setting higher than 2 for babies and children.

I recruited The Crazy Kid to be my tester to see how it works. He is probably a 2 but I set it at 1 as I'd rather be a little more cautious. Without him realising what I was doing, I pinned it to the back of his shirt. The device only measures when you are being exposed to UV radiation, so each time you are in the shade you are safe and it won't be detecting any exposure.

Crazy was running around the back yard, in and out of our sun room, playing in his cubby and on his slide so he was constantly moving between full sun exposure and the protection of the shade. It took about 30 minutes before a warning alarm sounded - this is a single beep that lets you know when you had better move into the shade. After about five more minutes of playing (in both the sun and shade), the full warning went off - the device started playing Greensleeves. Had I not heard it, the Crazy kid would have alerted me as he started running around in circles trying to work out where the music was coming from! I think it is brilliant the way it monitors actual UV exposure - as he was in both the sun and the shade Crazy had quite a decent play outside before the alarm went off. I would have assumed that he had reached his maximum sooner. It is also brilliant for monitoring times when you think you are protected in the shade but in fact filtered sunlight is getting through. When Crazy was 10 days old we took him to watch my baseball team playing. He was passed around but was kept in the shade the whole time, or so we though. He actually ended up getting a mild sunburn that day. I was gutted that I had let my 10 day old baby get sun burnt. Had I had this device back then, I would have been alerted that we were actually being fully protected by the shade.

The device has a daily and monthly memory feature that keeps track of your exposure throughout the day. So, if you are constantly in and out, it will keep track and add up your exposure, alerting you when you have had the maximum allowance for the day. This is brilliant for multiple park trip days or days when you go to the beach then come home and spend time in the back yard.

The device has been designed tough to be totally kid and industry proof. It is water proof up to 2 metres so you can leave it on while you go in the water. In fact, it is recommended that you pin one on your child's hat and don't take it off, that way your child will be constantly monitored wherever they go.

Every parent seriously needs one of these devices, especially when you have a young child who does not stay seated in the shade like they are supposed to. It is a brilliant way to monitor when it is time to come back inside. It doesn't replace sun screen or any of the past Slip, Slop, Slapping that you have been doing - you still need to keep that up, but this device allows you to monitor how much UV radiation you are being exposed so that you can balance your need for Vitamin D production with the need to avoid excess exposure.

The U-B-Safe 1 retails for $68 and is available online at  +61 8 94705677

Does the U-B-Safe 1 sound like a device that you would find useful?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The U-B-Safe 1 was provided for consideration.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

BYS Graffiti Nail Enamel in Grab the Loot and Caught Red Handed

I had high hopes for the new BYS Graffiti nail enamel - it sounded so fun. It is a two toned nail enamel that comes with a graffiti activator that allows you to draw free hand designs onto the polish.

Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. Ignore the fact that I have gone out of the lines on my nails (I ALWAYS go out of the lines). I did not find the graffiti effect to be particularly striking. It is definitely noticeable on Grab the Loot but I found it very difficult to detect on Caught Red Handed. The polishes apply easily and dry very quickly. Only one coat is needed (although I used two as my nails were looking a bit bumpy so i was trying to smooth them out a bit). The graffiti applicator comes with a very fine brush that has quite long bristles. I found this a little difficult to use for free hand designs - I couldn't get a neat dot for my polka dot design and found that it deposited a large amount of polish so it left the design lumpy (as you can see below. I would have preferred a felt tip rather than a brush.

Grab the loot

Caught Red Handed

Grab the Loot with a Caught Red Handed
feature nail

Caught Red Handed with a Grab the Loot
feature nail

I don't know whether the lack of definition between the base colour and the graffiti applicator was more due to my lack of nail polish skills than the actual product because you can see from the press image that I was supplied with that there should be a fairly decent difference between the two tones.

The BYS Graffiti Nail Enamels come in six colours - gold, silver, blue, green, purple and red and are $9.95 each (this includes the base colour and the graffiti applicator). They can be purchased from Kmart, Gloss Accessories, Cosmetics Plus, Ice Accessories, selected pharmacies or online from

Do you like the current trend of nail art or nail graffiti or do you prefer your polish simple and single coloured?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The two polishes were provided for consideration.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Gelicious Hybrid Gel Nail Colour swatch: Fake Tan

I don't like brown. I really don't like brown. I think my issues with this colour stem from the fact that poos are brown. Fake Tan was described as a brown by Gelicious. A glittery brown. Usually I'd steer clear of anything that remotely resembled brown but their description had me intrigued:

Oh glory me. If only we were all as gelicious as Beyonce. For those of us mere mortals prone to sunburn, a Fake Tan is a God send. This shimmery, multi talented chocolate shines above all others 

 This didn't sound ugly or poo like at all. I had to find out what it was like. And I am glad I did. I wouldn't call this brown at all - its more purpley to me. It is shimmery and lovely and definitely a very wearable colour.

If you missed my previous Gelicious mani's, here is Watermelon Gelato, Afterglow and Yacht Race. For swatches of the other colours, check out the swatch guide here.

The Gelicious lamp and polishes can be purchased here.

What do you think of Fake Tan? Do you have brown issues?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The UV lamp and ultra gloss top coat were provided for consideration; however, I purchased Fake Tan with my own money.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Gelish soak off gel polish

The latest at home gel polish that I will be reviewing is from Gelish. Gelish promises that their manicures last up to three weeks without chipping - and I found this to be the case. At the three week mark I only had one nail that chipped and that was because the nail was flaking before I put the polish on. I was hoping that the gel might save the nail but I was opening a soft drink can and off chipped the nail, polish and all. 

You need a few things to be able to do the Gelish soak off gel polish at home.

Firstly, a lamp to cure the polish. Gelish use LED lamps to cure their polishes. The difference between UV and LED lamps is the wave lengths of light that are emitted. The polishes contain photoinitiators that are activated when exposed to light of certain wave lengths. The photoinitiators are different in UV polishes compared with LED polishes; therefore, you need to make sure that you have the correct lamp for your polish. If you are going to use gel polishes from different brands, make sure that all the polishes are cured with the same type of lamp. If you use the wrong type of lamp, the photoinitiators won't become activated and you polish won't cure and harden.

I used the Mini Pro:45 LED Curing light which was brilliant as most steps could be completed in a matter of seconds. It was a tad annoying having to do my thumb separately (as you can see below it didn't quite fit in); however, the longest cure time was 45 seconds so it really wasn't a drama - I would do the fingers of each hand then the two thumbs together. Another great feature of this lamp is that it automatically turns off once the desired time has been reached so you don't have to pay attention or keep time. The Mini Pro:45 LED Curing light is $59.95.

The next thing you should get is the Gelish Mini Basix Kit as it contains every product that you need to do your gel manicure (apart from the colour of our choice. The Gellish Mini Basix Kit is $39.95 and includes:
  • Mini Gelish pH Bond
  • Mini Gelish Foundation
  • Mini Gelish Top It Off
  • Mini Gelish Nourish
  • Mini Gelish Cleanser
  • Mini Gelish Artificial Nail Remover

The first thing you do is gently buff your nails, then you sterilise and prep them with the pH bond. Then you apply the Foundation and cure it for 20 seconds (with the Mini Pro:45 LED Curing light - it is longer with the mini light - 1 minute). You can see in the image below that it leaves your nails looking quite matte. This is the perfect canvas to then apply your gel colour of choice.

Next you apply a very thin coat of your colour of choice. It is better to do multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat as thick coats tend to pool around the cuticles which can then lift and chip earlier than three weeks. I actually used 2 colours for this manicure - Go Girl, which is a bright girly pink and Silver Sand, which is a clear base with multi-coloured glitter throughout. Using the Mini Pro:45 LED Curing light, each coat just needs to be cured for 45 seconds.

Go Girl

Go Girl + Silver Sand

Go Girl + Silver Sand

Applying thin coats of Go Girl was fine - two coats and I had a completely even and opaque finish. However, I found it difficult to get decent glitter build up with Silver Sand and ended up having to dab it on a bit to try and get more glitter particles on it. It was worth it in the end as the final result was spectacular. The glitter topcoat made the manicure so much more exciting than straight pink and I actually got quite a few compliments for it.

The final step is to apply a thin coat of the Top It Off, making sure to paint over the tips of the nails to fully seal it. Your nails will be left feeling really stick/tacky at this stage. That is completely normal - they are completely cured and dry at this stage. To remove the tackiness, all you need to do is wipe over with the Gelish Cleanser and it will remove it without damaging the gel polish. You then just massage in the Nourish cuticle oil into the cuticles and surrounding skin to keep your fingers looking their very best.

To remove it, all you need to do is soak your nails in the remover. They state that it can be done in as little as 10 minutes but it took me closer to half an hour. It is no surprise that if you have a polish that can go 3 weeks without chipping then it is going to be difficult to remove. I think part of my problem was that I ended up applying about 6 coats all up trying to get the glitter to build up, so that was a lot of layers to soak off. One tip I have heard is to buff the polish before attempting to soak it off. You can tell when the polish has been soaked enough in that it starts to wrinkle off and then scrapes off easily with very little effort. If it is taking a lot of effort then it needs to be soaked for longer.

I was really impressed with the easy of applying the gel polish. It genuinely does look professional (assuming that you don't get it all over your cuticles - but if you do, just wipe it off before you cure it and apply again). It really did last 3 weeks chip free on all but one nail. That is almost too long as by this stage I had a good 4mm of nail regrowth which looked just as bad as a chip! There are over 70 colours to choose from in the Gelish range which can be seen here. This is yet another at home product, that is super easy to use and gives you results as good as you can get in a salon. As a mum of two young kids who doesn't have time to go to a salon anymore it is exactly what I need.

You can find the range of Gelish products at Hairhouse Warehouse, Price Attack and selected stockists. To find your nearest stockist, call (03) 9575 0600.

Are you a fan of the at home gel polishes or do you still prefer the tradition nail polish?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. The Gelish products were provided for consideration.