Gel nail polish is my current obsession. Obviously I’m a big fan of nail art but I have also been really short on time lately so I’ve been lax on painting my nails. I hate having to remove or repaint when my polish chips so I decided to give gel polish a try.
Gel polish is basically what it sounds like, a hybrid between regular nail polish and full gel nail systems. Systems like shellac and gelish are the same thing. The point is that they last for much longer than regular polish, most of them advertise 14 days with no chipping or scratching etc with the idea being that you don’t need to remove them until the nails grow out.
The lovely Celina bought me a gel lamp for Christmas so I ordered some polishes from GlazeMe.com.au.
So what is the process?
First you need to gather all of your materials and prep your nails.
Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol
Gel uv lamp
Shape your nails using a file and then use a buffer to smooth out any ridges or unevenness. My nails are quite uneven after a few of them snapped 🙁
Clean the nails with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer so it will create a good surface for the gel to adhere to.
Paint a thin base coat on to the nails. I find it easier to do one hand at a time but it will also depend on the size of your gel lamp.
The gel polish won’t actually dry as soon it’s cured in the lamp so if you go over the edges you can just wipe it off. Make sure to clean off any gel which is on your skin or cuticles because it will make the gel more likely to flake later.
Cure under the lamp for the amount of time recommended on your bottle. Keep in mind that different lamps are different wattages so the curing time will differ depending on that too.
Once the base is cured do 1-2 coats of the colour. Make sure that you apply polishes to the tips of your nails as well, when the gel cures it shrinks slightly so if you don’t tip them they might show through.
Do fairly thin coats. Because the gel doesn’t dry until it’s cured, if you do thick coats it might drip into odd shapes before you get a chance to cure it.
I did a coat of pink plus a coat of glitter flake over the top and cured between each coat.
Next apply the top coat and cure.
Gel polish is dry as soon as it’s cured so don’t worry about bumping it afterwards. It will have a sticky film over it but it will be dry.
Wipe the nails down with some more hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol and they will shine up nicely!
That’s it! While it does take a little while to do, there’s no annoying drying time so I actually found it much quicker than doing my nails normally. I was very happy with the quality of the polishes and prices from the glazeme website as well so I will be ordering some more colours soon!
In my experience the polish did last around 2 weeks but I tend to get a bit bored with my polish after a week so I tended just to peel it off and start again (bad! Don’t peel your polish off, it’s bad for you!).
Anyway it’s a big thumbs up from me to gel polish, it’s very convenient when I’m feeling rushed and lazy. Now I need to get myself some actual gels to start experimenting with extensions again.
My next experiments though, are going to be whether I can sandwich regular polish between gel top and bottom coats and have the same long lasting wear. I’ll let you all know how it turns out.
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my hair FAQ so I thought it was high time to make it a bit more comprehensive!
For the record: I really couldn’t care less what hair trends are, I’ve had my hair a LOT of different colours and styles over the years. The first time I did different colour tips was in 2003, I started doing gradient/ombre colours in around 2009ish and have been doing it consistently since. You are welcome to voice an opinion about my hair (and many people have clearly voiced them!) but please don’t think that leaving me negative comments will some how convince me to changing my hair, that is just a bit silly -_-’
During dying I usually look a little like a crazy person.
After dying and sleeping on it damp:
After using the L’Oreal Rowenta Steam Pod on it:
What brand of dye do you use?
For bleaching I use L’Oreal Super Blonde Creme Prelightener. It’s basically a colour stripper. Generally one would add other dye after using this bleach or use a toner. I like the orange shades it leaves so I do not.
You used to use Wakk Stain dye, where can I buy that?
Yes I did, it was great. Unfortunately it’s no longer being produced so I can’t tell you. If you find any, let me know!
Do you get it done at a salon?
No. I cut and colour my own hair due to financial constraints and a general distrust of people who wield sharp pointy things near my face.
How often do you do you dye your hair?
Around once a month I bleach and every second wash I add a little more pink while I’m conditioning to keep it bright.
What other colours have you done?
Black, blue, green and various shades of red and orange, blonde to black/brown gradient, bright red with blonde tips and the current combination. Here is a post on my hair history.
What colour is your hair naturally?
How can your hair withstand so much torture and damage?
My natural hair is really thick and frizzy so it could always take a lot. I think the really important answer though is that I’ve been dying my hair since 2001 so I have experience, I know what works with my hair and what doesn’t. I always read and follow instructions fully and I avoid things like heat and bleach as much as possible. I tend to film all of my hair tutorials on the same day every few months so there’s really not that much damage actually going on here.
Can you advise me on how to dye my hair like yours? Or give me any tips on doing this myself?
Nope! It’s not because I don’t want to help but I have no idea about your hair and I don’t want to give you any bad advice. I don’t suggest you try any of the things that I do because your hair might be dramatically different to mine. I really can’t give you any advice so I suggest that you seek it from a professional stylist. A professional stylist can touch and feel your hair to make a judgement on whether the colour you want to go is realistic to expect without frying your hair. Stylists usually offer advice sessions for a small fee so you can always ask advice even if you are planning to do the dying yourself. For nice hair it’s well worth the expense!!
Can you do my hair for my prom/event/whatever?
Sorry this isn’t the kind of thing I do, I don’t have any hair related qualifications and am not comfortable doing other people’s hair.
Where did you learn how to do all of these hairstyles?
Trial and error! The best way to become good at something is to do it over and over again. There are 365 days in a year so you’ve got at least that many chances to practice each year ;D
Why don’t you do you hair in *INSERT STYLE* anymore?
I get bored very easily 🙂
I didn’t understand *INSERT TUTORIAL STEP*, can you re-film it, explain it, or take more detailed photos of it?
I can certainly try to explain things more clearly but keep in mind that my schedule is very tight so I don’t generally re-film or re-take photos, I will sometimes update the text with more information if many people have problems with a part.
Can you please make a tutorial on how to do *INSERT PHOTO I FOUND ON THE INTERNET*?
I can certainly add it to my to do list but it’s quite a long list!
Why don’t you do tutorials for people with short hair/no fringe/other things you don’t have?
Well mostly because I don’t have those attributes myself so I can only work with what I’ve got. I do try to find friends or models to work with me so I can do a bigger variety but most people I know prefer to be off camera and at this point I’m not going to cut my hair just to film short hair tutorials. Maybe in the future if I feel like a change it will be a possibility.
What shampoo/conditioner/treatments do you use?
Previously I used baking soda instead of shampoo and I really liked that. Unfortunately because my hair is so long and easily damaged from filming hair tutorials after around a year I found that I needed something stronger to fix the damage. I switched to the Garnier Goodbye Damage range. There is a review here.
In terms of serums I use the Goodbye Damage serum on my split ends and the L’Oreal Steam Pod one on the rest of my hair after showering to protect it from heat damage.
I use some kind of hair oil (currently L’Oreal Mythic oil but they are basically all the same) to protect my hair while I’m bleaching.
In terms of hairspray I haven’t found a perfect one since my favourite black Cedel was discontinued. I’ve gone through several bottles but nothing is quite as good so I will update this when I find a good one again.
That’s it, I don’t usually use treatments, masks etc.
What appliances and styling tools do you use?
I use a Parlux 3800 hairdryer if I have to dry my hair. I hate using a hairdryer though so I air dry if possible.
I use a GHD occasionally to curl my hair. I think they are quite expensive though so previous to the GHD I used a VS Sassoon travel curler.
I use the L’Oreal Rowenta Steam Pod to straighten my hair and do my fringe. I also use it for basic curls sometimes. It’s expensive as hell but it’s an amazing product and I was lucky enough to win one as a door prize.
I’m not sure what brand this brush is but I prefer brushes with thicker nylon bristles. No particular reason, they just feel nice.
I also occasionally use a teasing comb if my styles require more volume or staying power. The teasing comb I use was from Takuya but any old one will do.
What did you use to keep *insert hairstyle* up?
Most likely bobby pins and hair ties. I don’t generally use anything other than these unless it’s a really specialised style because it’s not needed. You can really achieve pretty much anything with hair ties, bobby pins and a good dose of hair spray.
Can I bombard you with questions even though you already answered them here?
Sure thing. You’re always welcome to email me and I’ll do my best to help but keep in mind that I get a LOT of emails so I can’t always reply.
Hope that answers all of your questions! Let me know if you have any others and I’ll include them here 🙂
So James is obsessed with lemon curd and lemon flavoured things in general. We decided to try our hand at actually making it because we thought it would be cheaper… turns out lemons are like $2 a piece at the moment and we used 2.5 lemons so really this was probably the most expensive lemon curd ever. It was still totally yummy though.
This recipe is a combination of this recipe and our own experiences.
1 cup of white sugar
Juice of 2.5 lemons (around 1 cup)
125g of butter, melted in the microwave
Firstly squeeze the lemons into a cup. It works better if you have one of those fancy lemon juicing cone things, but failing that use a strong hubby.
Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl and mix well. Add the lemon juice, zest, butter and mix again.
Mix thoroughly for a few minutes. Microwave for 1 minute at a time, every minute mix it so anything that’s stuck to the bottom is distributed evenly. We ended up microwaving for a total of 4 minutes on our crappy old microwave but I get the feeling it would only take around 3 minutes in our new powerful one. The mixture will thicken up every time you put it in, James wanted something runny that could go on toast and cheesecake, but you might want it more solid.
Push the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the zest and any lumps then put it into a really cute sterile container to cool.
Alternatively, spread on something and just eat it warm. Just don’t burn yourself!
I enjoyed it spread on waffles in the morning, James enjoyed it on everything… especially a spoon ^_^
Quite some time ago I posted about this silk scarf that I had made to wear as a rose on my bag. A lot of the comments asked how to tie it in the rose shape so here we go!
First, you need to actually tie it around something, when I’m putting it on my bag I use the handle but in this tutorial I’m using a lamp because it was the right height. You could also do this using your hair as the part to tie it to or anything really.
So start by grabbing one corner of the scarf.
Tie it in a knot around your item leaving the corner hanging out to form a leaf. This will be tied one more time at the end so make the leaf a little longer than you want the end result to be.
Take the rest of the scarf and twist it fairly tightly.
Wrap it around the centre knot to form a spiral.
When you have wrapped most of it and only have a little left, tie the end in a knot with the first leaf you made so it forms the second leaf.
But how does this work on a scarf which wasn’t specifically designed to be the colours of a flower?
Again start with the corner.
Tie in a knot around the bag handle/hair/whatever
Twist the end.
Twist into a spiral to form the rose. This scarf was huge so I had to twist it tightly in the middle and a little looser to make a nice rose.
Looser towards the ends.
And knot the ends together so it stays in place.
Rose done! It still looks really cute! This style works the best with scarves that are one colour along the edges and one in the middle as it forms the leaves better but plain or patterned silk scarves still looks great.
There you have it! You could also use this to decorate gifts, for example if you are giving someone a bottle of something you could tie a scarf to the neck and now it’s two gifts in one!
Let me know if you give it a try and what you wear it on!
I finally cleaned up and organised my crafting area so now I have a really pretty space!
I covered the table in contact that was left over from the kitchen.
I’m going to do something about those lights too because I don’t think I need them anymore.
I took the large mirror from the bathroom and painted it white too. I also got rid of the lampshades, instead I stapled paper into tubes to diffuse the light more.
I covered the craft shelves in decoupage using the same paper as my bedroom door and I bought some more storage boxes from Daiso. I think I want to get rid of some of the little shelves there but not sure the best way to do it. Maybe at least covering them with white paper would be better. Not sure!
So it’s starting to come along! There are still things that need to change like the mini shelves, the yarn box and the fact that I have far too many supplies for the space they’re in >_< But yay progress anyway!
Illustrator. Strong tea, knitting, spinning, watercolours, stickers and writing lists. Living with her adorable boyfriend fiancé Jimmy, fluffy puppy Miss Lottie and Bergamot Bunny in Melbourne, Australia.