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ILNP Bikini Bottoms

Fun mail day when new polish arrives! First time trying both the color and top coat. Color is Bikini Bottoms from INLP (awesome, smooth application–I liked the flat brush. Color is amazing!). Top coat is one that I’m trying out, hopefully to replace Seche Vite (I love SV but the shrinkage issue is super annoying). It’s called HK Girl from Glisten & Glow Cosmetics. It’s extra smelly (painted with a window open), but it dried SUPER fast and is very shiny. No sign of shrinkage yet, but the bottle is new.

Instagrammed by starofmay

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Dior Vernis Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Tra-La-La & Dior Gel Coat Review

Since Dior came out out with a new gel-like formula a few months back, I’ve wanted to test out some of the polishes. They’re supposed to mimic the look and longwear of Shellac or traditional soak-off gel polishes, but without needing to cure your nails under a UV or LED lamp (see this post for my first experience with soak-off gel polish).

So I picked up a few of the Dior Vernis Gel Shine polishes from Sephora. The first color I tried was Tra-la-la, a cool-tone pale pink. It’s a great color and I actually wore it while I was traveling.

Tra-la-la is very sheer, so I painted five thin coats to achieve full opacity. Mildly annoying, but I loved the color so much and application was so smooth and easy, I didn’t mind it too much. It did make for some thicker-looking polish when I was done, though. Interestingly, a few hours after drying, it looked much thinner look. Most of the time that many coats of polish it TOTALLY obvious. But with this polish, it seemed to thin down as it dried. It didn’t lose it’s opacity (after all, there were five coats), but it didn’t look thick at all. Pretty sweet!

I used two coats of Orly Bonder as a base (my current routine as I grow out some staining from dark polishes), painted the five coats of Tra-la-la, and then topped off with one coat of Dior Gel Coat. I’m not sure what made this combination so magical, but this manicure lasted an amazingly long time. Usually when I travel, I paint my nails the night before and the polish doesn’t last after the beating my nails get with packing and handling heavy suitcases. It’s my usual traveling ritual to immediately re-paint my nails after I arrive at my destination. However, this manicure lasted nearly 4 days and I only re-painted because I wanted fresh polish for the flight home (I’ll share that color tomorrow).

One thing to note. While the polish didn’t chip, cracks in the polish were noticeable right before I removed it. I don’t think the cracks were noticeable to anyone else, but I was particularly focused on my nails since this was a new polish that I was trying out. I believe the cracks were a result of my nails still being slightly flexible–a good thing in my opinion. If your nails are too brittle, they’re more prone to break.

All in all, I’d highly recommend both the Dior Vernis Gel Shine polishes and Dior Gel Coat. Used together, you really do get a manicure that mimics a gel polish without needing to set it with a UV lamp. The Gel Coat applied a lot like Seche Vite, but a little bit smoother, and like Seche Vite it was super shiny even a few days later.

Removal was like any other regular polish.

*Dior Vernis Gel Shine polishes and Dior Gel Coat are available at Sephora, Dior counters, and department stores. $25 USD each. All polishes personally purchased.

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Revisiting Stripe Ombré Nails

One of my favorite manicures to go back and look at it is my Stripe Ombré Nails from two years ago. I thought it was high time to try recreating that look. :)

This time I chose a pale pink, light coral, bright pink, orchid, and dark burgundy color palette. Like the previous manicure, I painted my nails white first and then applied four strips of nail striping tape. Then I painted the different polish colors…

The result is a fun ombré look! I haven’t done a tape masked manicure in a while so I was a bit rusty, but I think by the time I finished up my thumbnail, the masking was working pretty well. I did discovered that the best way to prevent the colors streaking with a top coat was to brush on the top coat in the direction of the stripes.

So while time consuming, I really do love this look. :)

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Sheer Plaid Nails

I saw a manicure on Pinterest the other day and wanted to try it out, but with different colors. The colors I picked were a bit sheer, and it ended up creating a sort of plaid look. Super cool!

Polishes Used:
Essie Chinchilly
Essie Watermelon
Essie Resort Fling
Seche Vite Top Coat

I created this manicure by first painting my nails with the gray color (Chinchilly), appying a top coat, and letting it dry completely. Then I used scotch tape and masked off a portion of the nail so that I could paint the lighter coral color (Resort Fling). I made sure to do one nail at a time and remove the tape immediately after painting the coral color. Then I applied a thin top coat and let it dry. Finally, I taped off the other side of the nail, painted the magenta color (Watermelon), and peeled off the tape immediately. Then I finished the nail art design with a clear top coat. :)

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China Glaze Dance Baby

I was traveling last week and when I travel I always seen to come home with broken nails. This time was no exception. So after my pinky fingernail became a little stub, I shortened all of them. Easier to let them grow out when they’re similar lengths, you know?

So please excuse the itty bitty baby nail on my pinky finger that I’ll be sporting for a next few weeks. :)

This color is Dancy Baby from China Glaze…

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