May 31, 2010, 10:41:00 AM

Review: Sally Hansen Nail Quencher Hydrating Base Coat

Sally Hansen Nail Quencher Hydrating Base Coat

Hi everyone! I'm sorry for another review, I'll be posting nail polish again very soon! But I'm in dire need of some advice so I'll start off with this review about Sally Hansen's Nail Quencher Hydrating Base Coat.
Please note: this product is discontinued so maybe this review isn't relevant for everyone, however I found some places where it's still easily available, so I figured, why not?

Sally Hansen Nail Quencher

I actually got this product because I had heard many many ravings about it, it's a holy grail base coat for a lot of nail polish junkies out there! In the first weeks of using it, I thought it was pretty ok: my nail polish didn't chip right away, and it prevented staining rather well.

But after a few weeks it became painfully clear: I don't like it. At all. And I think it's safe to say that, because I finished an entire bottle!

It goes on pretty thick due to its gel-like substance, I figured this is why my nails weren't as stained. But it bubbles, like crazy. And honestly, I don't want a base coat that leaves my nails looking like a moonscape.
The emptier the bottle, the thicker the base coat got. It even got stringy on me, and therefore highly unmanageable.

The drying time wasn't great either, I actually had to wait a good 5 minutes before I could get on with the rest of my manicure. Another disappointment was the brush, it's small. I don't want to spend too much time on applying something exciting as a base coat, so I need at least a medium sized brush and something that dries quickly.
So overall, it's safe to say, this base coat is not working out for me.

Please help me!

And that brings me to the following question:
What base coat do you use or would you recommend? So far I've tried OPI Natural Base Coat, OPI Ridge Filler and the Sally Hansen. Please help me out!

Thanks so much for stopping by! -

Follow up

Hi everyone, I did a quick follow up because you were all so incredibly helpful!! Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences with me. After reading all your comments I think I'm going to give either Nail Tek or Essie's Protein Base Coat a try. Of course I'll review these at some point for those who haven't tried these. Wish me luck and thanks again!

Your recommendations

May 29, 2010, 10:50:00 PM

Review: Lush Handy Gurugu

Lush Handy Gurugu

Hi guys! Maybe it's just me, but when I'm in love with a product, things often go wrong.. My favorite hair mask: discontinued. My favorite veggie salad: not so veggie anymore. My favorite hand cream: they changed the formula. Can you believe this? I'm not kidding! But in a way I'm glad, because in the search of the next perfect hand cream I found a match. In fact, I love it even more than the previous cream I've been using.

Lush Handy Gurugu

First of all, Gurug..what?! Hell, I don't even know what it means but I do know Lush's Handy Gurugu is something special. Lush did this lovely writeup on their website:

You'd think because this hand lotion has such a light and fluffy consistency it would be lightly moisturizing, but Handy Gurugu is a rich cream that sinks in quickly and really goes to work on dry, sore hands. We mix in a multitude of butters including fresh Shea butter, purchased fairly from women who whip it up by hand in a village in Ghana (they're really strong - trust us we went and tried to whip it up ourselves and let's just say our arms were quiet puny compared to theirs)

And, as far as I'm concerned, they're not lying! Handy Gurugu is fabulously fluffy and light yet really moisturizing. It's quickly absorbed and doesn't leave my hands greasy (as with Smitten, which would be great for extremely dry winterhands), which is a major plus. I love the smell too. The scent is very strong though, I think you'll either hate or love it, it's definitely not for everyone. It reminds me of a giant herbal explosion; it smells extremely earthly. The smell lingers for a long time too, I can smell it almost throughout the entire day. If this makes you feel a bit reluctant, I'd suggest a little batting of the eyelids and ask for a sample to try it out!

For some people the packaging could be a downside, because it's in a tub you'll have to stick your fingers in it. If you don't want cream under your nails, use your knuckle to get the product out of the tub, I do this with day creams as well!

I love how Lush uses only cruelty free and fair trade ingredients. This is most likely bustin the price as well, but I don't mind paying a bit more for a good cause. The price of Lush products vary a lot depending on the country you live in, here in The Netherlands a jar of Handy Gurugu retails for €12,95 for 100gr (or $16 for 3.4oz)

So in conclusion, I found a new love in Handy Gurugu, if you ever happen to stumble upon a Lush, I'd say at least ask for a sample!


Rose Water (Rosa centifolia), Fair Trade Organic Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Glycerine, Stearic Acid, Organic Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Triethanolamine, Fresh Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum), Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Chamomile Blue Oil (Matricaria chamomilla), Organic Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera biennis), Organic Peanut Butter (Arachis hypogaea), Organic Pumpkinseed Butter (Cucurbita), Organic Cashew Nut Butter (Anacardium), Organic Almond Butter (Prunus dulcis), Tincture of Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), Cetearyl Alcohol, *Benzyl Salicylate, *Coumarin, *Geraniol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Chlorophyllin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

May 28, 2010, 2:40:00 PM

How to: Ruffian!

Hi everyone! Today I'm writing about how to do a Ruffian. I've got this request from the lovely Natasja so here it is!
This manicure is created by Creative Nail Design (CND) especially for the NYFW Ruffian Fashion show. Since then everybody has been calling this manicure the Ruffian, or Ruffian inspired, manicure.
Although it has been around for a few months now, I still think it's hot! It's like the revamped funky french if you ask me.

I've seen different techniques on how to do this, but I do this in a very simple way. A lot of people use french tip guides or other stickers to create that curve, but I always make a huge mess when I even look at guides. I actually just apply the ruffian like I would with a normal manicure, I just start higher up.

I made pictures first but they all came out blurry, so I decided to draw them!

1. Start off with a clean nail, apply base coat.

2. Apply the base color of your choice. This is how I do it.

3. Place a drop of polish at the center of the nail, a bit above where you want to start the ruffian.

4. Carefully push the drop downwards, to where you want the ruffian to go.

5. Now move your brush upwards making a straight line till the end of the nail.

6. Go back to the base of the ruffian and swipe the polish along the curve of the nail.

7. Keep dragging the polish until the whole side of the nail is covered.

8. Repeat step 6, but do this on the other side of the nail.

9. Repeat step 7, but do this on the other side of the nail.

10. You're all done! Finish with a (quick drying) top coat.

Some other tips:

  • I would recommend only using 1 layer for the ruffian, otherwise it will look like it's really laying on top
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Don't choose a base color very close to your skintone, or it will look like you have a major gap.
  • If you think Ruffians are a bit too much you can always use 2 colors that are close or experiment with matte and glossy.

ManGlaze Ruffian manicure
Ruffian made with ManGlaze Matte is Murder and regular top coat

Thanks so much for stopping by!
- Michèle

May 26, 2010, 12:50:00 PM

ManGlaze - Franken Jugg's

ManGlaze Franken Juggs


Creating a monster? These big EMPTY juggs have a wide mouth. Naturally, they'd come in pairs but then we thought why not 3 juggs? Our dumbest idea yet is the biggest industry innovation since ...matte nail polish. Sexy monster by Australian artist Tegan Coddington!
3 for $3.33 + S/H (Web exclusive. Not available in stores)

That's what the ManGlaze website says about their juggs. Don't you just love this concept, or their wit? If you don't know what a Franken or Frankening is: Frankening a nail polish means your creating your own custom nail polish mixing other existing colors or pigments. A lot of people clean out old bottles especially for this, but that's such a drag! ManGlaze has a solution for this, their Frankening Juggs! You get these in a set of 3, mixing balls included!

First: the artwork is AMAZING. I don't know any nail polish brand with labels this awesome. And wait, do I see the Iron Maiden font there? Love. The label also allows you to write down the name you've made up for your own custom color and the ingredients you used. So cool!

Second: The bottles have a very wide opening which really comes in handy when you're pouring all kinds of stuff into it. Don't fill 'm up completely, because the mixing needs some room. When you're done simply close the lid and shake! Now this is where things get a little tricky though. Since the opening is very wide the nail polish automatically adheres to the cap, so when you open your jugg make sure you don't have a lot of nail polish dripping down, because it can get messy. The only solution to this would be making a smaller neck, but then the whole mixing process wouldn't be as easy. The brush is a bit stiff, but nothing unmanageable. (and apparently all new bottles already have an improved brush!)

ManGlaze Franken Juggs

I would have attached a picture of the Franken I made, if it didn't fail that miserably. It just wouldn't dry! That leaves me with this tip: if you're Frankening with different types of nail polish, good old toxic nail polish combined with b3f nail polish, it's possible to run into problems like this!

Anyway, if you're ordering ManGlaze polish, make sure to get these too, they just rock so much!

Do you Franken?

May 24, 2010, 2:58:00 AM

Green spring mani!

Essence Colour & Go Rock It Baby!

Hola dear readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend, the weather in Holland was amazing, spring at its best! The weather was so good, I felt like bustin out another spring mani. I even dug up this nail art carousel by Essence. You all know I'm such a wuss when it comes to nailart, so it was still unpacked, covered by a layer of dust haha.

I used Sephora's Picnic at the Park as base color, I'm planning on doing a comparison with it soon, so I'm not really going to get into that right now.But if you're planning on using it: it stains like crazy. Be warned.

I topped this with a layer of Nfu Oh 50, a really pretty lilac base with duochrome flakies. The flakies weren't as dense as I hoped so I applied a 2nd layer.

I must have gotten a sunstroke because after that I took my Essence Nail Art Glitter Mix, called Glam it up and chose some pretty duochrome flower glitters. These glitters flash seagreen and purple depending on the light, really cool! I applied them when a toothpick in the still wet layer of Nfu Oh. These glitters are quite thick and definitely not bendable. I think this is a really pretty nail art kit, the other glitters look really cool too. There are 2 kinds of flowers, 2 kinds of circle thingies and 2 kinds of teardrops.

Does good weather influence your manicure as well?

Essence Nail Art Glitter Mix - 01 - Glam it Up!

May 23, 2010, 2:33:00 AM

Essence - Rock it baby!

Essence - Colour & Go - Rock It Baby!
Essence Colour & Go Rock It Baby!
Essence Colour & Go Rock It Baby!

Hi everyone! As you might have noticed I made some minor changes to the blog! I had to make myself stop because I can seriously spend hours and hours searching for plugins and change this color and that font.. I've also added a 'reply to comment' feature, because replying in a text file was driving me bonkers, haha! Ok ok, enough of this talk!

Essence Rock it Baby! Rock It Baby belongs to the Colour & Go line, which consists out of tiny bottles in pretty colors. These polishes have the reputation of being one of the cheapest on the block, but a bottle only contains 5ml, for a price of €1.25. Still no biggy of course, just sayin'.

This color is awesome, a blurple with tiny pink and turquoise shimmer, that shows especially well in sunlight. Application was pretty good, considering it's Essence. It wasn't thick, and it didn't bubble, so consider 2 of my most common Essence problems tackled! I applied 3 coats, just for camera, 2 could work as well.

Another funny thing worth mentioning: the bottle claims "1 second per nail", so this mani was done in only 10 seconds, yay! Haha, riiiiight. Still head over heels with this color though, it's almost kicking my beloved All Access to the curb!

That's all for today, Thanks so much for stopping by!
- Michèle

May 22, 2010, 3:54:00 AM

The Battle of the Balms

Battle of the cuticle balms

You probably all know by now that I love Lush's Lemony Flutter and just don't know when to stop, when it comes to my constant raving about it. It isn't the only good product for cuticles out there though, so I thought I'd share my opinions about some other Cuticle balms I've tried so far. I've used cremes and oils as well, but for today the focus is on balms.

Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage CreamSally Hansen - Cuticle Massage Cream

The jar says this is a cream, but I'd like to disagree. From all four this one has the sturdiest substance, it's not soft at all. Also, it doesn't really melt when you apply this on your cuticles, so absorption isn't good at all with this one. If you put this on at night, it's definitely still there in the morning. The smell isn't that strong, it smells like Apricots, which is really nice. There's also a chance Sally Hansen tests on animals, since they never bothered to reply to my email where I expressed this concern.

I give this product a 4 out of 10.

Essence SOS Nail & Cuticle Balm
Essence - SOS Nail & Cuticle Balm

Now this is such a cute jar! When you first get this, the balm looks like a swirled candy cane, a sweet mix of pink and white. Essence SOS Nail & Cuticle balm contains shea butter and almond oil. This balm applies pretty smooth, and it does melt, absorption isn't perfect but it's not as bad as with the Sally Hansen balm. The smell of this one is strong! It smells like sweet almonds, I love it.

I give this product a 7 out of 10.

Lush - Lemony Flutter
Lush - Lemony Flutter

Ok, my beloved Lemony Flutter. Lemony Flutter contains lots of good stuff! Among the ingredients are many different oils like soya, flaxseed, avocado, castor and many more oils. The base of this balm is shea butter with fresh lemon infusion. This one goes on the smoothest of the bunch. It also leaves my cuticles the softest. Lemony Flutter is a bit greasy though, that's why I like to apply this product at night. The smell is very strong, I've heard some people can't stand it, but I love it. It smell like fresh lemons.

I give this product a 9 out of 10.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Burt's Bees - Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

I know the opinions differentiate on this, but I think this is the next best thing to Lemony Flutter. It contains beeswax and different oils like citrus and almond oil. The substance isn't as soft as LF, but I love that it goes on quite transparent, so it isn't that noticeable. Unlike all previously mentioned balms. The smell is lovely too, it's best described as the smell of Napoleon candy! I didn't find it to be as hydrating as Lemony Flutter and that's the only reason why it isn't my favorite. It was a neck to neck race though, so:

I give this product a 8 out of 10.

So these were all my opinions, please share your favorites?

May 21, 2010, 12:42:00 PM

ManGlaze Giveaway: The Winner!


Hi guys! My giveaway ended last night, so the last few hours were spent going through entries, sorting them out in a spreadsheet. There were so many, I was so overwhelmed, thank you ALL so much for entering and the neverending support!
I used to determine the winner and I'm pretty sure you're very curious to see who the winner is...

... I can tell you one thing, the winner won 2 awesome nail polishes by ManGlaze: Matte is Murder and Fuggen Fugly. Second, the winner is a she, and she lives in a country where a lot of my readers come from...

...Brazil! So who is it then?! With no further ado, I present to you the lucky winner:


Congratulations Karla Scoparo! I will be e-mailing you for your address shortly :-)

May 20, 2010, 9:00:00 AM

Eyeko - Coral Polish

Eyeko Coral Polish

Wow. That's what I thought after I put this polish on. Wow. I don't really own anything THIS bright, and I think this polished unleashed a secret longing for colors like these, haha. I'm not sure whether this is considered a true neon, but it sure is BRIGHT. I do have some coral-y colors, but I certainly don't own anything similar. I think I'll be wearing shades like this a lot this summer!

Besides the color, I'm in love with the packaging of Eyeko polishes, every color has it's own designed label, cute huh?
The only thing that bothered me a bit, was the application. It's definitely on the thick side. It took 3 layers to even everything out. But if you add some thinner, it's pretty much perfect! I wore this polish for about two days, and experienced some chipping on my thumbs.

Eyeko Coral Polish
Check out this cute packaging!

Eyeko polishes cost £3.50 (€4.- or $5.40) for 8.5ml. Eyeko products can be bought online at Their shipping is extremely cheap: either free (if you're in the UK or Europe) or $5.40 for all international orders.

This polish was sent to me for review by Eyeko

May 18, 2010, 9:00:00 AM

Diamond Cosmetics - Monarch Masquerade

Diamond Cosmetics - Monarch Masquerade

Hi guys! Things have been a little hectic lately.. As you might have noticed I've got some hosting problems, my bandwidth just keeps going to shreds. I figured something out though, but this means I'll have to edit each and every post, so a lot of pics are still inaccesible, I'm working on it!

For today I have this gorgeous purple to show you: Monarch Masquerade by Diamond Cosmetics. This was actually the first polish I've ever tried by Diamond Cosmetics and I have to say: I'm impressed. Thinking this had to be too good to be true, I tried another one, and another one, and...

...I'm still impressed. The application of this polish is pretty much perfect. I brushed on 2 coats, and it all went on smooth and evenly. No streakyness, no bubbling. And the color.. wow. This isn't just any purple, the color is so rich and full with glow and sparkle, this became one of my fave purples instantly!

Oh I almost forgot! Diamond Cosmetics nail polishes cost practically nothing! Depending on where you buy them, they'll cost around 4 euro! And the bottles contain 12.6ml, so pretty good deal for so much quality, I'd say!

This polish was sent to me for review by Boozy Shop. Boozy Shop is a lovely webshop, that sells a lot of great brands like Diamond Cosmetics, Essie, Sinful Colors, Milani, Wet 'n Wild and they even carry the famous 88 palettes. They ship throughout whole Europe.

May 17, 2010, 9:00:00 AM

ManGlaze - Matte-Astrophe

manglaze matte-astrophe

Hello everyone, today is a dark day for all metalheads out there, therefore I found a ManGlaze mani to be quite appropriate. I've used a dark shimmery color by Allesandro as the base, unfortunately I cannot find a name or number on the bottle so it will remain anonymus for now. It is quite pretty, well at least that's what I think, and I'll definitely show it to you soon!

On top of this I applied ManGlaze's Matte-Astrophe. I've did a real short review on it the other day, in my Matte Top Coats comparison post. In short: awesome application, thin, smooth and not streaky! Dries to a gorgeous matte finish in appr. 30 seconds. The wear is pretty decent too, it stays quite matte and doesn't really chip. And oh, have you seen the artwork on the bottle? Damn hot.

Now, you've might already noticed the insane crackle effect. Some people told me they never experience this coolness, but I think I've got it figured out. If you apply Matte-Astrophe on top of a fully dried polish, it's bound to dry more like a regular matte top coat. If you want to get the crackle going, try applying it over wet, not fully dried, nail polish. Just sit back and watch the magic happen.

What do you think of this Crackle effect? Hot or not?

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

May 15, 2010, 9:00:00 AM

How to: Unmask the OPI fakes!

Disclaimer: This blog post only applies to NEW OPI bottles

Unmask the OPI fakes

A few weeks ago I was talking to Daphne from NailSwatches and she gave me a link to this wonderful eBay guide, that showed the differences between real and fake OPI bottles.
I know there's been a good deal of drama going on about how it's forbidden to sell OPI online. I'm feeling I'm pretty much alone in this, but I can understand why OPI would want some control over their distribution, there are a lot of fakes going around! Why would you care? If it's a fake, there is no guarantee over the quality and ingredients whatsoever, you might even end up with the wrong ugly color.

How can you tell? Well, I can't be sure about the really old bottles since I don't know enough about them, but if you're buying pretty new colors keep the following things in mind.

The following information is only valid for the NEWER OPI bottles

The Front

When you're looking at the front of your bottle, pay attention to the following things. Make sure the right font has been used and that it is aligned properly, without being skewed. A lot of times you can tell whether it's a fake or not, by looking at the bottom line.

The letter L of mL is always uppercase and the letter 'F' in Fl. is always uppercase. Same goes for Oz, the 'O' is always uppercase.

Back of the OPI bottleThe Back

There should be a couple of things on the back of the bottle: The address of the distribution centre in The Netherlands and the address of OPI in the US.

Also, there should be four warning signs, always in the order you see in the picture. If this isn't the case, big chance it's a fake.

The Label

A genuine OPI bottle always has a label on the bottom of the bottle, the only bottles that don't have this are the mini's.

There is in fact, always a double, second layer, if you peel the first one off, you should be able to see it. The first label contains information such as the product name, product code, bar code and the 'Peel Here' suggestion. On the back of this first label you'll be able to find the ingredients. The 2nd label has the product name and code aligned in the center, and no barcode.

Serial Number

Real OPI, again except mini's, bottles have a serial number engraved, on the side, towards the cap. You can't really see them that well, but they should be there.

A lot of online sellers make sure you can't read the serial number anymore, by filing it down. But this doesn't mean they're fake.

If the serial number is extremely noticable, good chance it's fake.

OPI on the Brush

Genuine OPI bottles will have the brand printed on one side of the brush. It isn't that noticable, but if you wipe the polish off, it should be there.

Mini's don't have this though. If you find this logo, and it looks a bit weird, fake!

The inside of the cap

Now, this only applies to new OPI bottles, because it appears to be that old bottles are different when it comes to the cap. The inner edge of the cap should be gear shaped, and not smooth.

It seems like older bottles do have smooth insides, so if you're not sure, look up the release date of your polish. Polishes from the Designer Series also have this smooth cap!


Now, this is a hard one, because you can't always tell right away. OPI bottles always have two steel balls in the bottle! If there's more or less, it's most likely a fake. If you're doomed and your polish is quite thick, goopy or opaque (well, that a plus, I admit), it may be hard to spot this, but if you're 'lucky' enough to own a sheer, you immediately can see this by tilting the bottle to the side.

ProWide Brush SealThe ProWide Brush seal.

Some OPI bottles come with a plastic seal on the cap, that says "Exclusive ProWide Brush". Not all OPI bottles come with this seal, so if you spot an etailer or eBay seller only selling bottles with this seal, they're bound to be fake!

Please note: this information applies to the new OPI bottles, I can't be sure about the older ones.

About the labels, there is a wide variety of labels out there, so if your labels look different that doesn't necessarily mean they're fake. A lot of OPI's different lines, like the Designer Series or Suedes have different colored labels, as you can see in the next picture. There might be even more for all I know!

Edit: Ainnir found out that green labels doesn't necessarily mean the polish is b3f, read all about it here!

real opi labels
Different labels

I saved the best for last, let's have a look at some awesome older, maybe fake, bottles. These pictures also show that all the above mentioned rules don't necessarily apply to (really) old bottles. Even though I'm not sure about their fakeness have a look at these pictures, Natasja sent me!

OPI - H-andover the Amethyst
OPI - H-andover the Amethyst

Some watchful readers commented saying older bottles do only have 2 or 3 warning signs on the back and that all bottles from the mid-90's-ish or before will have the Paris / Los Angeles / Roma on them! The OPI on the brush appears to be a fairly recent development as well. These two bottles still look suspicious though!

OPI At Your Quebec and Call
OPI - At Your Quebec&Call

Do you happen to have some fakes?

Link to the original eBay guide and special thanks to Natasja/MooiDonna for her amazing pictures!