Dip Nails

On Wednesday the 28th of March I got my first set of dip nails, also known as SNS nails. It was an interesting experience. This is an acrylic powder which bonds to the nail. It is not acrylic nails as you know them, though. They feel a lot lighter and you don’t do infills, the powder is removed and completely replaced on your next visit, similar to how gel nails are removed.

First of all the manicure overall is less “invasive” – they do not do all the filing, buffing and cuticle paring they normally would. This may be better for the natural nails underneath long term.

After the previous nail polish is removed, a base coat is put on but not your normal base coat, then the nails are dipped into a container full of powder. Surprisingly the powder does not stick to the finger, just to the nails. The finger is tapped gently to remove excess powder. The powder may be coloured and even in some cases sparkly.

Because I chose to have french tips, the white you see here is also powder in a different colour. Only the tips of the nail are dipped in the white powder. Underneath the powder are my own natural nails.

Some thoughts on this manicure –

Thursday 29th – After 24 hours – My nails are a LOT stronger with dip powder on them. Over time having gel nails I have identified times of the day where I have to be more careful – number one being after getting out of the shower. Time in the water does tend to soften both my real nails and the gel polish. That is not the case for dip nails.

Saturday 31st – I am loving this manicure. The one possible downside is if you look very closely you can see dots in the clear area of the nails – so you can actually see the powder. But that is far outweighed by the strength of the nails.

On Sunday the 1st of April planned life changed somewhat with the illness of BeeGee. This actually changed how I live life for the next two weeks. Anytime I touched the chicken, there was a handwashing. I’m a bit more handwashing orientated than your normal person but even I do not usually wash my hands several times an hour unless I am cooking.

Dip nails may work great for people who have their hands in water a lot.

I thought this would be an excellent test of the dip nails and I was right. The best thing about them – during the BeeGee time, I did not even have to think about them, or be concerned that I would break one. I did not baby them at all like I usually might with a normal gel manicure.

They grow out just like the normal gel nails do. This pic is the day before I got them redone, so you can see the gap of regular nail between the dip manicure and the cuticle. This photo does show the dots a little bit better than the previous pic too. You can also see that the white tips have grown out and you can see the normal nail underneath.

When we usually do a french tip manicure, my nail artist will paint the tips artificially a lot lower than they really are, so as the nail grows out you don’t see as much of the normal nail underneath.

I did manage to crack one approximately two weeks into the mani but unlike a regular manicure, this did not mean I had to run off and get it fixed right away. It was only the dip coating that I cracked and not the nail underneath, and the crack did not seem to have any effect on the strength of the nail at all..

After this great experience I decided to get another dip manicure and this time I decided to keep all the length my nails had grown in the past 3 weeks. Removal is done exactly the same way as gel nails – cotton wool soaked in nail polish remover is placed on top of the nail and aluminium foil placed over the top. I found that the powder comes off a lot easier than the gel does, so there is a lot less grinding and scraping.

Two days after having this done I am still on the fence about whether the length is a good decision for me. A week after having this done I am having some trouble doing some things with this length of nail. I’m worried I might not get my full 3-4 weeks out of this manicure due to the length – lesson learned for next time.

I am not especially worried that I will break one – dip nails are pretty incredible strength wise. I’m starting to wonder if it is possible to break them. I think if it could be done I would have managed it by now. I am wondering if one may be more likely to rip ones own nail out of the nail bed rather than break one of these.

I chose to go with a full colour rather than just tips this time. I’m still on the fence about the length of this mani, but we will see how it goes. :)

Manicures, Nail Art

Nail Tree

A recent manicure photographed at Minnamurra Rainforest.

My nail artist was not feeling the best when I visited her to get this manicure. I could tell from the moment she touched me that she was running a fever. But she also had a shop full of somewhat impatient people trying to get their nails done all at once and she was trying to get out on time this particular day. She knows I am patient and willing to wait but not everyone else is.

I did not notice until she had finished the small error that she made. Can you see it? It does not bother me at all, because this is my favourite nail colour.. This purple has holographic glitter throughout, which reflects back a rainbow of colours in certain lighting. I’ve had it as french tips a few times now and if in doubt about which colour to pick, I choose it.

She saw it, frowned and immediately offered to redo her work, I said heck no, you want to get out on time and it does not matter. I know it bothered her because she is a perfectionist. But sometimes it is worth living with imperfection. :) I won’t send her these photos. I know it would drive her up the wall. You can see more of her work here.

I’ve been getting gel manicures since late 2016 now, and I have learned a few things along the way. In particular what tends to damage or scratch the gel, and how to avoid breaking a nail. I know when to be extra careful, like loading and unloading the dishwasher and washing machine, opening boxes, that kind of thing.

I’m mostly able to get 3-4 weeks out of most of my manicures and the current pedicure I have was done on the 30th of January – it is still going! There was one recent exception where my finger nails just went on a big growing spree and within two weeks needed to be redone, they had grown so much. I do get them cut right back each time because if I am leaving them for 4 weeks they will grow anywhere between 3-5mm during that time.

There is a new system for doing nails called the dip manicure which I might give a try soon. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Nail Art

So That Was August

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Bargain Beanies – these were $3 each from Cotton On. I wear a lot of beanies around the house these days and I figured for $3 each I might as well have some stylish ones. Why have I been wearing beanies around the house, you wonder? Wonder no more – here are our temperatures for the month of August in celsius –

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No wonder I was freezing cold much of the time. Two days where the low was over 10C (50F) – that is very cold for where I live. We have not had much rain at all. We have had many days where there were no clouds, so as soon as the sun disappeared the temperature dropped.

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Thank the deities I found these gorgeous and extremely comfortable boots on sale at Mathers – these are the Colorado Caffara which I managed to score for the massive price of $40 during a sale on an impromptu shopping trip with my parents which came to me as a surprise one Saturday afternoon.. They were originally $249. I have been wearing them a lot lately.

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I found this goldstone ring for $10 at a local place – I cannot resist goldstone. It is one of my favourite things. I am planning to see if my favourite rings can be resized soon but until then, I can wear this one. It matches my new boots too.

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As mentioned in my No Buy July post, I intended to buy this pin from Noni B, and buy it I did, though I got it for just over $17 during a sale. It does pay to sign up for their email mailing list and rewards card thingy, if only to be told when things are going to be on sale. :)

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We did a little reorganizing and created a nice sun trap for the kitties which happens to sit right next to the chickens favourite place to hang out and dust bathe when they are free ranging.

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They can relax and enjoy the warm sun PLUS have chicken entertainment. Most mornings now they are both found somewhere here.

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They take it in turns for the cat tower, the other cat usually sits on the chairs which are covered by an IKEA bath mat.

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Meanwhile the chookies have just experienced their first blueberries for the season and they were very happy about it. Delicious blueberries = happy chook moments.

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There were two manicures in the month of August – my nail artist opened her own shop this month which was super exciting for her and I am so happy for her. The first manicure was blue with a holographic glitter in it, which threw a rainbow of colours. I got 3 full weeks out of this mani, but in the next photo you can see why I like to stick with tips only – see the new growth which has no polish?

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This particular nail colour also showed me exactly where I use my nails to do things, as parts of it turned pink with wear towards the final week of the manicure. The pinky finger in particular got a lot of wear – I figured out this is where my finger meets my tablet cover and I use my pinky nail to hold it upright while reading at night. It was so weird, there was no change in the thickness of the polish or the quality of it, not at all. Just a colour change.

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I mentioned the other manicure last week, but here it is pictured resting on the outfit I mentioned. Again it is difficult to take photos of these things and do them justice. You can almost see how it matches this dress perfectly. That is a chiffon tank dress from Millers which I bought in late summer and then the weather got too cold to wear it. I have been thinking about this dress for months, waiting to wear it and finally we got a warm day.

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The dress and I, plus The Other Half, went to Shellharbour, then we took our new “long way home” which goes via Robertson, where I took the obligatory Big Potato Photo. It was a beautiful day, reaching highs in the 20s. The next day it SNOWED in Robertson, and we suddenly went from 16C to 6.6C here.

Home, shopping, sparkly

I kinda got nothing.

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Trust your Snoskred to schedule a pedicure for a day which does not exceed 14 degrees C. I struggle to wear flip flops on a hot summer day here in Australia. I parked as close as I could to the nail salon and walked as fast as I could.

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Going there was ok. While I was in there, the local August winds picked up. Walking back to the car was an icy adventure, made more difficult by the sun catching the sparkly in these toes and distracting me from the wind. It is amazing what nail artists can do now – this is a black base with a large, thin glitter applied which makes it look like black opal with highlights of teal, blue, purple, orange and pink. Photos do not ever seem to do justice to these things.

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I don’t usually do pedicures other than when I am going on holidays. This year I am going to make more of an effort to take better care of my feet – not so much the painted toes part, but a regular pedicure and I have a referral to a podiatrist. My feet have lost nearly 2 sizes recently and it has changed where my foot is developing the thicker skin so I want to get some advice on that.

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My past couple of manicures I have let my qualified nail artist do whatever she liked. It has been a fascinating experience, and I wasn’t really quite sure about this most recent artwork to begin with. I did not realise at the time she did this, but I’d had an outfit in my mind for a while and it was not until I put it on that I twigged – this matched my outfit perfectly! I like to think I mentally transmitted my outfit to her and she did my nails to match.

My mind is blank at this time. I’m going to blame the cold weather. I just want to huddle up wearing all the clothes plus beanies and gloves.

Fingers crossed my blog mojo returns and I can schedule some posts ahead of time again!

Fashion, sparkly, Vitamins

Manicure Fiesta

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I have never been a “girly” girl – there was never any nail polish in our house growing up. It wasn’t a thing we were into. I am terrible at nail painting due to a lack of experience, talent, and skill. I probably could become good at it with a lot of time, effort, and learning to use my left hand as well as I use my right hand. But realistically that is unlikely to happen.nails7
In late 2016 I was having a Good Nail patch – thanks to my daily hair skin and nails vitamins, they were growing stronger and healthier than ever before. I was using Hard As Nails by Sally Hansen which I would paint on every few days to make the nails shiny and slightly more protected from breakage. nails2
I had wanted to try getting a proper shellac – or gel – manicure for a while but I was very wary. I had heard tales of woe, of unsterilised equipment, of fungal nail infections UGH. I did some serious research and asked around, and one local place kept popping up in the conversations. After a bit of umm-ing and ahh-ing, I bit the bullet and made an appointment.
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So what is a shellac manicure? This excellent post tells the story of shellac better than I probably could. The photos do not really do these justice, it is hard to get a good photo of these nails.
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To summarize it quickly for you, after each coat of nail polish is applied, your nails “cure” with the help of a UV lamp. When you walk out of the salon you do not have to worry about wet nail polish.
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The other benefits include much stronger nails and the polish lasts for 2-3 weeks – and sometimes 4 depending on what you get up to hand wise. Since I started getting the gel nails I have not had a single nail break, and I don’t baby them, they do what they have always done.

I have occasionally done a bit of damage to the manicure but you have to work pretty hard to damage it. Most times when I have damaged a nail it has involved metal coathangers, the ones you use to hang up jeans etc. Gel works for me but it does not work for everyone. In particular it would not work well if one had their hands in water a lot.
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Until I did this, I never realised how having great looking nails can improve your mood. It makes sense now, given that during any day you look at your hands more than any other body part.

I prefer the French tip style manicure because if you have colour down to the bottom of the nail you notice a gap as your nails grow. But the French manicures are no longer just white tips, as you see from my many examples here. You can choose a colour, you can add some glitter on the top, and probably my favourite manicure so far was black tips with red holographic glitter.

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I also loved the ones with electric blue and the pastel but very sparkly green. One appointment I arrived early and sat down with the colour charts and made a memo in my phone of all the colours I wanted for future manicures, so I usually know before I arrive what colour I want to try this time. I’m thinking gold is coming up this week but The Other Half loved the black with red glitter, so I see a repeat of that in my near future, as well.

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My manicurist thinks I am strange because I always ask her to trim the nails back, she said everyone else wants to keep the length. I don’t need my nails to be long. I just want them to be neat, shiny, and sparkly. If I let them get too long I begin to have trouble typing.

Fashion, Nail Art, Vitamins

Carter Gets A New Hat

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A couple of months ago, we were sitting down at our local bowling club watching a band (sadly not The Villains) play and there were these kids with sparkly sequin hats. I said to The Other Half – I would like one of those for me!

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On a trip to Warrawong to get my car washed and pick up chicken from Lenards, I handed over the car keys and was told to return in 2 hours. We did some serious wandering around and in a shop called either Smart Dollar, Hot Dollar, or some other word I can’t recall in front of the Dollar, hats with sequins were discovered. For the low price of $5, I picked up this gorgeous purple number, and for the time being it resides on the skull of my excellent and quite silent friend Carter.

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He was already wearing this purple tee, it is just coincidence that the hat matches it. I had considered a few other colours, silver and pink, and decided that purple would go with the most outfits of mine.

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A profile view. Carter suggested keeping his beanie on, and the hat fits better that way. :)

Carter, photos, sparkly

Swarovskis

swarovski

If you have been a reader here for even a short time, it will not come to a surprise to you that I love me some bling.

This is my official Swarovski phone case. I first saw it while on an escalator down to the bottom floor of Westfield in Sydney. It was sitting in a case of a phone shop. I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it, because I love me some Swarovskis. It came with a certificate of authenticity.

I did not know then the reason why – when we dropped over to Paddys Markets, there were so many knock off phone cases with crystals in them. And I bought a knock off for my next phone purely because there were no official ones to be found.

About Snoskred, jewellery, sparkly, yay

Another Favourite Thing

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Years ago I scored this gorgeous mosaic mother of pearl pendant via the TVSN jewellery clearance area for less than $15. I wrote about it on the blog, here – Mosaic Kingdom.

They sometimes have amazing bargains in the clearance areas on TVSN. I check them every so often for new stuff. I’ve scored some bargain outfits that way, as well as other stuff. The bargains can be especially good at change of seasons time..

I also keep an eye on the Ezibuy clearance area. Some of their stuff you can find in David Jones for 2-3 times the price, especially the Sara brand which I like. They often have gorgeous tunics on there for $15 and they keep sending me free delivery codes, so I’ll keep shopping there.

Is there anywhere you shop online?

Any places you find to be awesome? ;)

jewellery, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, shopping