Pretty Serious Naileontology Collection 2

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pretty-serious-naileontology-

After the gorgeous first Naileontology collection from Pretty Serious, I was totally revved up for collection number 2, which I have here today! Again, there’s the fun game of trying to work out which vintage polishes inspired these shades. Unfortunately this time I was pretty rubbish at guessing…

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Blood of Knossos is my favourite. It’s a rich, metallic olive green that reminds me of L’Oreal Majestic Green, one of my fave L’Oreal shades ever, but darker. There are a lot of colours that are in this colour family, so it’s hard to guess what the exact inspiration is, so I’m just going to say Revlon Streetwear Toad and leave it at that.

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Elegant Touch Express review

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Since I have pretty nice, sturdy nails (thanks genetics!) I haven’t really had the urge to try press-on nails, but one night I left the polishing too late and had a pack of Elegant Touch Express Nails handy, so I thought why not?

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These nails come with glue pre-applied. Once you’ve picked out your nails (easily the most time-consuming part of the whole process), it takes maybe 5 minutes to apply them all.

1. Wipe down your nails with the alcohol prep wipe

2. Peel off the plastic backing

3. Press onto your nail, leaving a small gap between the false nail and the skin at the cuticle area.

4. File down any jagged bits with the included nail file and admire!

I used Garnet, a pretty deep plum colour.

The Good:

* Super fast…once you sort out which nails you’re going to use, that is. I’d prefer if the nails were organised so you could work out which ones matched quickly, because a lot of them look very similar.

* Really natural looking! Several people asked me about whether I got my nails done and were surprised when I told them they were press-ons.

* If you’re bad at nail art, they have some sets with nail art on them…or you can paint a plain set while they’re off your nail, then stick them on!

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The Bad:

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Essence The Gel Top and Base Coat review

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First off, let’s get things straight – Essence The Gel Top and Base Coat is NOT a gel product. Gel products have small plastic particles called monomers or oligomers, which link together and form a durable coating when a chemical called a photoinitiator is activated by light. There’s a full explanation of the gel polymerisation process here, but in short, it’s like the monomers are chocolate chips spread over a tray, and the photo initiator makes them melt and harden together as a single sheet. Usually the photoinitiator is activated by UV light from a lamp, such as in Shellac or other salon or home gel products.

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Recently though, a few gel products have come out which are activated by exposure to normal light – Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is the most successful one. The top coat contains a light-activated gel – in other words, a photoinitiator and some oligomers. Here are the ingredients:

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Should I buy 3-free, 5-free, 6-free or 7-free nail polish?

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Too many numbers! What’s going on? 3-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde. 4-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin. 5-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or camphor. 6-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor or parabens. 7-free polish does not contain …

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Pretty Serious Naileontology Collection Swatches

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The latest Pretty Serious collection Naileontology is smaller than usual, but that’s because it’s an ongoing collection which will feature new polishes over the coming months. If you’ve read founder Kaz’s blog Pretty Random, you’ll know that she’s a massive vintage polish fan. The Naileontology collection contains polishes inspired by discontinued classics – I think I know which polishes these are based on, but I’m not enough of a vintage polish nerd to be entirely confident so I’ll keep my dodgy novice opinions to myself!

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All three polishes released so far have sophisticated work-safe finishes which is totally my jam right now. Here are the swatches…

Eye of Copernicus is an inky navy blue jelly with silver microglitter. It was the polish I thought would be the most boring, but I think it’s my favourite – jelly-based microglitters always suck me in big time, and I am so in love with navy blue right now. I love how the glitters aren’t entirely covered up by subsequent layers – instead, you end up with glitters peeking through to various degrees, giving a gorgeous depthy night sky effect. And of course I love the nerdy name!

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Essence Australia: Good Girl Bad Girl & Unforgettable Kiss Collections

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More Essence Trend collections are coming! Here’s what’s launching in Australia in the next couple of months…

Good Girl Bad Girl (available March-April 2015 in Priceline)

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Quattro Eyeshadow (bright, dark) ($5.75), Blush ($5.10), Lipstick (dark purple, fuchsia) ($4.70), Effect Top Coats (rose gold, silver) ($4.10), Like a Good Girl Fragrance ($6.95), Like a Bad Girl Fragrance ($6.95), Lipgloss ($4.10), Multi Style Eyeliner Pen ($6.15)

Not pictured: Nail Polish (6 shades) ($4.10)

This collection is half good girl themed (pastel shades) and half bad girl themed (brights and darks), which means there’s something for everyone. The eyeshadow palettes are really lovely – the shadows are prone to a bit of fallout, and the textures aren’t that exciting except for the rose gold which is gorgeous. One quad has pink, peach, rose gold and light purple while the other has fuchsia, rose gold, black and dark purple. I’m a bit partial to the darker quad, and while pigmentation isn’t amazing, the sheerness makes them quite wearable.

The blush is quite similar to the Silky Touch Blush in peach in their standard range. The lipsticks are quite nice – there’s a fuchsia (Caught in the Middle) and a deep plummy purple (It Wasn’t Me!). It Wasn’t Me! is my must-have pick of the collection – it’s a really unusual, gorgeously rich shade, though it wears off quickly with food.

The eyeliner is a three-pronged eyeliner, which is meant for helping you dot eyeliner between your lashes, giving them a fuller look. While I love that Essence have caught onto this trend early, the ink of this eyeliner is not that waterproof and a little sheer.

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How Do You Say… Nail Edition

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So you’ve learnt how to pronounce skincare words, but what about nail polish? Here’s a handy guide to help you sound like even more of a pro when you flaunt your nail polish vocabulary…

Essence Australia: Beach Cruisers & Wave Goddess Collections

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Essence have a bunch of trend editions coming out in Australia over the summer, and I’m giving a sneak peek of them today! As usual, their collections are full of fun, innovative, great value products, and excitingly, Essence are finally bringing their fragrances to Australia. The two summer collections are Beach Cruisers and Wave Goddess.

Beach Cruisers (available January-February 2015 in Priceline)

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Blush ($5.35), Nail Polish (red, coral, gold, aqua) ($3.65), Bronzing Powder ($5.35), Waterproof Mascara Topcoat ($4.25). Body Spray ($5.35), Wet Bikini Bag ($7.35), Lip Gloss ($3.50)

Not pictured: Wet & Dry Eyeshadow (yellow, peach, turquoise) ($4.25), Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (metallic copper and turquoise) ($4.25)

This collection has a few interesting products. My favourite is the body spray that smells like the Essence fragrance “Like a Day in Paradise”, which smells to me like peach, apple, vanilla and coconut, though it’ll be better as a winter scent in my opinion (it’s a bit heavy). There’s also a waterproof mascara top coat which adds a waterproof layer to any mascara – I don’t think it actually dries, so it’s actually a waxy water-repellent coating.

The nail polishes are the textured sands which were so popular last year. My favourite is Keep Calm and Go to the Beach, a teal creme with green and gold shimmer. The blush has a pretty gradient effect which lets you pick how intense your blush is, based on how much sun you’ve been getting – it’s like the Blush Up blushes, but it’s a more wearable deep coral-to-light peach with subtle shimmer. From other reviews, the eyeliners look gorgeously richly pigmented.

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