My Experience (So Far) With Sensationail Invincible Gel Polish

I don’t go to nail salons. Mostly because of the expense, I prefer doing it myself. But the results can be… meh. Until now.

This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while: a DIY gel manicure system! And particularly one by Sensationail. This is a gel product that is touted as lasting up to 14 days per manicure. And, while I know that for some that’s just too long to go between manis, for me it’s a very attractive concept. I work with my hands and have a very difficult time wearing regular nail polish past a day or so without chipping and scratching it up quickly, causing it to look just plain tacky.

So I made the leap and purchased the $60 starter kit that comes complete with everything needed for the first 10 manicures (they claim, anyway.) Apparently you can also purchase a separate removal kit, but the instructions detail a method of removal that does not require separate purchase of anything other than acetone. Included in the starter kit is the LED lamp, the color gel polish, the gel base and top coat, the gel primer, the gel cleanser, the buffer/filer, and the lint-free wipes. Oh, and of course you get very good instructions… with pictures!Sensationail-starter-kit

I’m not really sure how long the process takes most people, but it took me around 45 minutes to complete because I was being super-careful about everything. It’s actually a pretty simple process (one which I’ll not detail here), but there are a couple of recommendations I should make:

• Be VERY sparing with the gel primer. Seriously, don’t use much.
• Really try to avoid getting gel on your cuticle and finger. It’s not that you won’t get it off, it’s just kind of a pain doing so.
• Cure your two thumbs together and then each set of the four fingers together each curing cycle. All five don’t really fit well into that mini-lamp-thingy.
• When the instructions say “cap the nail,” make sure you run the brush over the entire nail after capping it so there’s no globby look to the tip of your nail.
One thing I really love about curing nails, as opposed to drying them, is how they are completely hard and dry when you are done. You can’t mess them up by accidentally touching something wrong…you don’t have to run around with your hands in the air to preserve their perfection till they’re truly dry. Once you’re done with the process, you’re done. What I also love is the glass-like sheen they have. Even on a good nail day, I have a real tough time getting them to look that glossy with regular nail polish.
As I’m writing this, it’s day two of having my Sensationail manicure, and I’m not seeing any wear yet. I’ll be sure to update this post by day 14, if not sooner, depending on when I start to see noticeable wear. But for now, I’m very happy with this product (yes, I know they’re probably not fun to remove) and with the concept of the gel manicure in general! I can’t wait to get some more colors (Oh, BTW, each gel color runs about $12)!!
These are supposedly all of Sensationail’s gel colors, but you probably won’t find every single one of them available in stores.

Chalcedony And Scarves From Turkey

Warning: more girly talk of spring accessories and the like. Men beware.

Well it’s finally spring, but in my neck of the woods you wouldn’t know it. Here I was all set to welcome warmer days with lighter accessories and apparel, but apparently Mother Nature has other plans… oh well. I am so over boots.

None the less, the acquisition of some new accessories has brightened up my week. Every year one of my best clients gives me a generous gift card to her jewelry and beading boutique – a store that glimmers practically floor to ceiling with amazing finds from all over the world. I literally feel overwhelmed with indecision every time I visit due to the sheer number of beautiful beads and jewelry she sells. But this time around I found just what I had been wanting; a beautiful strand of varied chalcedony teardrop briolettes. chalcedony-strand

I love, love, LOVE chalcedony. It’s a versitile little gem that just has a way of picking up light and glowing. So of course the first thing I did was make a pair of simple teardrop earrings and a little pendant necklace to match. They’re so evocative of spring rain (what must that be like?) and ocean breeze. This was a major score!chalcedony-teardrops


But What About The Scarves?


Warm weather clothing with huge scarves? No.

The other thing I was very excited about receiving was my order of two scarves from Turkey. I’ve been looking around in shops here in town for something different, and apparently impossible to find – a delicate scarf. For whatever reason, everything in stores has to be extremely long, rather bulky, and overall not very pretty. I don’t want to go into spring and summer changing up my outfits, but still having to accessorize with huge scarves – which doesn’t seem to phase many – but I won’t do it. Sorry, but no.

So I hopped over to Etsy and found exactly what I had in mind: a Turkish shop called Fatwoman featuring many beautiful scarves that aren’t all so long and bulky (of course, many that they sell are). This was again one of those scenarios of finding it hard to choose among such a large selection of great items. I ended up picking two and ordering them, but I will say I wish I had gone for three. I didn’t notice until after my purchase that fast shipping only applies when more than two items are purchased, so I did wait around a month for my order to clear customs. Oh well, lesson learned. Otherwise, I was very pleased with the scarves that arrived. They were just as beautiful as the pictures, and actually a little more so in person. They did have a bit of an odor – just a trace of mothballs mixed with some other scent I can’t name. But one hand wash and hang dry later, they have no odor at all and are some of my favorite accessories.


One of the two very delicate spring/summer scarves I purchased.

So that’s my spring fashion update. If you’re a blogger of the female persuasion, I’d enjoy hearing about what spring accessories you’re loving this season!

Best Spring Color I’ve Found: A Nail Polish Review

I’m pretty girly when it comes to things like clothes, accessories, and makeup. Nail polish, however, falls more into the category of an addiction/obsession. I probably own more nail polish than most nail salons (ok, maybe not. But close). And it’s probably because I become fixated on a certain color, or a certain shade of a certain color – and my mission is to find that perfect polish.

Well, mission accomplished (for this season, anyway).

I’ve had lilac on the brain for some time. But the lilacs that I could find and had purchased were either a tad too cool, too pale, or too muddy. I was after that perfect lilac that was just warm enough to almost look pink, but also pale enough to to never be mistaken for pink (although the untrained eye, aka men, might not catch the subtle distinction between the perfect lilac and pink). I’m sure you’re thinking that this is way TMI on my thought processes regarding finding nail color. But I’m not sure I’m alone in this approach, after all, there’s a reason certain colors and palettes become huge trends. Also, we live in an age when all colors are on the table, not just your reds and semi-reds. But part of what makes a good nail color is whether or not it looks good ON your nails, next to your skin. There are certain colors I can’t pull off with my yellow tones. lacey-lilac nail polish

But the color I’ve found for you today is one I firmly believe will look beautiful on just about anyone, with almost any skin tone. I say this because it is both warm and cool, and just the right value (relative lightness or darkness) to compliment fair, medium, or dark skin, whether summer or winter toned (ok, maybe really reddish skin… not so much). It is L’Oreal in ‘lacey lilac’. I think this is a brand new color. Also what I like about it is that it has a very consistent coverage (2 coats is plenty) and very good shine. So if you’re out of top coat like I am – not a problem.

Anyway, spring is upon us – so no more heavy, rich winter colors, people! Go out and get ‘lacey lilac’ from L’Oreal and prepare to feel pretty!