HOW TO: Pretty Polka Dotty Nails

If you know me, you’ll know that I canter on my merry way without a second thought to the condition of my nails. Ginger’s eyes twitch ever so slightly at the sight of the aftermath of my 2-week-old self-done mani coat. It takes him a couple of “Leana, when are you going to do your nails again?” for me to finally get sick of it and take it off, after which, my nails would be naked for weeks.

Last week I saw an Instagram post by Beauty South Africa that has changed the way I do my nails forever.

So, I tried my hand at it and this is was the outcome … Polka Dot Nails

And here’s how I did it Some Colours that I usedI’ve been using Hey Gorgeous’ Vanilla Cuticle oil that we got in our goodie bags – AH-MAH-ZING!

Start off with a base coat. I love Tip Top Nails vitamin E base coat – and it dries really quickly. If you don’t have a base coat, you could use any clear colour. I’ve been toying with the idea of a clear glitter coat. Tip Top Vitamin E

*** For the purpose of this tutorial, I used my toenails as guinea pigs *** My naked toes

1) Cut toothpicks in half (You’ll use the thicker part and not the pointy part). Take your first toothpick half (you can also use a dotting tool if you have one), dip into your first colour and dot wherever the hell you feel like it! All the colours

dot them anywhere2) Continue doing this with all the colours you chose. Try to use the sharp point of the toothpick towards the top of the nail to create some diversity – it looks like bubbles.

3) Once you’re done and happy with your dots and it’s dry, cover with a top coat. I would NOT suggest something with glitter for the top coat as it destroys the look of the the “bubbles”. My toes

And then you’re done!

You’re welcome! * skips away *

Stok mannetjie signature

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I got Essence bombed

It took some convincing for me to latch onto the Essence phenomenon. I don’t usually go with the status quo but there’s no denying that Essence is a serious player in the cosmetics market. What I love most about them (and what keeps me glued to Hey Gorgeous too) is the constant reinvention and new products that seem to pop up every time that I gawk at the Essence shelf in Clicks.

I recently got gifted at the Cape Town Bloggers meet and by my “bride to be friend” with a bunch of cute Essence goodies that I was eying, but wouldn’t have bought myself. Not for want of intrigue, but more because I was on a serious spending hiatus.

Currently, my arsenal of Essence products consists of:

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1. Essence – Stay with me in I like Cotton Candy

There was a little bit of a mix up with my RubyBox order in December and to make up for the long wait, the lovelies sent me a little baggie of goodies AND a handwritten note from Kathleen Scaglia. Amongst the goodies was a Stay with me lip gloss. This little treasure isn’t sticky and the colour really does stay longer than the usual gloss. The colour is gorgeous and I can’t wait to try the others in this range too. This fun gloss is a must in any handbag.

2. 3D eye shadow

To be honest, I haven’t tried this yet (sacrilege I know) but eye shadow is one of those things I put on when I absolutely have to. I’m guessing my girl card is being revoked now. The one thing that really stands out for me… literally, is the dark blue shade… it actually stands out – like 3D. I’m not quite sure if there’s a reason behind the 3D effect or if it’s just for show – I’ll have to check out a few tutorials to get my facts straight.

3. Essence XXXL shine lip gloss

I love a good lippie – in fact, I’m currently rocking 4 different ones in my handbag plus another 5 on standby. The Essence pink XXXL Shine lippie is so much fun. It looks fun, it smells fun and it makes me feel like I’m 6 years old again, playing with my Tinkerbell cosmetics. I hate stickiness in lip gloss and won’t think twice about chucking a R100 lippie out if it makes my kakebene lam coz my lips are sticking together, but here I don’t have this problem. I would honestly recommend this lippie to any girl who wants something to keep in her purse for when the hot Wakkaberry guy rings up her order (lols)

4. Essence Long Last retractable eye liner in Black

I fell in love with Avon’s Glimmer stick – it made me think “I’ve been sharpening pencils all this time?”. I’m never going back to sharpening pencils again – ever.

The problem with the Glimmer stick was that it was slightly expensive and doesn’t have a very long life. I thought I would be summoned back to my medieval pencil eyeliner until my bride to be friend gifted me with an Essence retractable eye liner. At only R19 at Clicks I don’t ever have to go back to splinters in my eyes. In fact, I even prefer the Essence one to the Avon because it lasts much longer and doesn’t smudge!

5. Quattro Eye shadow

I got this jewel from Lisa Jade in the delish box she sent me. It is truly a low maintenance gal’s best friend. The only thing you have to think about is the type of “look” you want. The colours are so different but they complement each other so brilliantly. In my opinion, it is the perfect handbag companion for the girl on the move. You don’t have time? No problem! The Quattro is all you need to create the look you want… on the move!

6. Essence Color and Go nail polishes

Here I have some mixed feelings. I love the colours of the nail polishes – I like them all. As far as quality is concerned, I found a little inconsistency:

That’s what I mint

My love for this colour was inspired by Ordinary Misfit (a nail art genius). I saw a post of hers and then I was off to buy my own – Essence… please take note. As soon as I got home I started playing with my new colour, but I soon shoved it aside when my nails took 2 decades to dry and for the rest of the day I picked up some chips that made it impossible to pull it off.

Nude

I got this one from the Bloggers meet. This one was thinner and took 2 coats for me to properly see the colour (which isn’t bad). It dried quicker and lasted much longer. Get the most out of the colour with a super base coat and top coat and you’re set to go for the rest of the week.

Space queen

Lisa Jade gave me this one. This clear pinkish colour with the added “wow” factor of glitter is definitely my favorite in my nail polish cavalry. Try two to three coats for a fun gel-like look or use as a top coat to create a totally different colour.

My overall experience with the products is simply FANTASTIC. Initially, my Essence abstinence was fuelled by its appeal to the Teen(y) market as opposed to the (late) 20 something year old customer. There was, however, a part of me that wanted to take part in the Essence revolution. It was only after I read reviews by women my age and older that it occurred to me that it’s only make up, darn it! Not Mickey Mouse accessories. We always take ourselves so seriously, so it’s nice to have a brand like Essence that puts a smile on your face when you get ready for work in the mornings.

PS… whatcha think of my totally self -made magazine looky-liky pic?

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Essence Paper Print

😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

Speaking as someone with a very unsteady hand, the prospect of having wonderfully patterned nail art without any effort at all and in the comfort of your own home, was a very appealing prospect indeed.

The instructions are simple:

  • Paint your nails with any light colour of your choice and let it dry
  • Cut pieces of the transfer paper into desired sizes to cover your nails
  • Paint the print side with the transfer solution
  • Press down onto nails for 15 seconds and
  • Pull the paper from the nail

You’re supposed to be left with a lovely print.

Firstly, the only paper print I could find was Justin Bieber themed – my first instincts told me that some Bieber haters in the production of the Paper Print might have been behind the malfunction. But then I watched some tutorials on line and the 70% of the vids I watched were unsuccessful.

I tried everything and after I lost the top layer of my skin (1 too many polish remover shots) I decided to try a different approach.

I painted my nails with a light colour and followed the instructions again. This time, instead of peeling off the paper as instructed, I ran cold water over it and gently rubbed off the paper, like you would do to get a label off a jar.

This seemed to work but I had to act quickly and get the top coat on it so that the little leftover paper wouldn’t dry and look … papery.

It’s not expensive and if you really want to try it, go for it, but don’t expect it to come out perfectly. Even the girls doing the tutorials were like “What am I doing wrong?” and they all followed the instructions to the T!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Sunday night pick me up – Tip Top Nails

When I feel really bummed on a Sunday night, I do something that takes my mind off things. Tonight it’s a little fun with nail art.

I started off early already with the orange and pearl duo from Tip Top Nails and simply went orange – nothing special:

Orange & Pearl duo from Tip top nails - on sale now at Clics R59

Orange & Pearl duo from Tip top nails – on sale now at Clics R59

Then I decided to splash two different colours on each hand… because I think it’s going to take a miracle to get through the new week alive.

Purple & lilac on the left hand with the thumb in pearl (coz that's how I roll)

Purple & lilac on the left hand with the thumb in pearl (coz that’s how I roll)

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Red and lilac on the right hand

Apologies for the poor quality of the pics… they were taken with a cell phone… yikes. Thanks Tip Top Nails… this made my Sunday a little better.