Loving… Gel nails

How often do you paint your nails?

If you like to keep the same colour you’ll love gel nails. Similar to Shellac, Orly Gel FX is a gel nail system that is cured with LED lights.

I’m wearing Haute Red, a bright orange-red creme and I had my nails done at The Australasian College Broadway.

The pros and cons of gel nails

Pros

  • Once cured, they are dry straight away and you don’t need to worry about bumping or marking them
  • They last longer than regular polish. Orly claims it can last for more than two weeks but you should get 7-10 days without a chip
  • Uses LED light system which is safer and faster than UV light systems
  • Orly Gel FX formulas contain vitamins to help nourish your nails

Cons

  • Limited colour range, though they have chosen the bigest sellers from the normal polish range so your favourites are available
  • It takes longer to apply. There’s a primer, base coat, colour and top coat with 30 second curing time for each layer
  • It takes longer to remove. That could be a post in itself, but it’s an arduous process to remove.

If you love changing colours as often as you change clothes, gel nails are not for you. However if you like some time in the salon to relax and get your nails done, you’ll love gel nails. You can also buy the kit to do your nails at home.

Are you a fan of gel nails? And can you believe the Australasian College only charges $10 for a gel manicure?

Nail-spiration: Christmas Nail Art

It’s my favourite time of year!

I’m so excited about December as it’s a jam-packed month of fun. Not only is it full of Christmas festivities, it’s also my birthday and the start of summer in Australia. Don’t forget New Year’s celebrations to see the year off with a bang.

Now with all this going on it’s time to get your nails in on the festive fun. Here’s some nailspiration for all kinds of Christmas Nail Art.

Christmas Tree Nail Art

Christmas Tree tutorial from Pshiiit

Santa & Reindeers Nail Art

Credits: Polishpedia, Polish & Pearls, Katrina’s Nail Blog, Never Gonna Give You Up,

Festive Glitter Nails

Credits: All Lacquered Up, The Swatchaholic, Vampy Varnish, Glitter & Nails,

Find more Christmas nail-spiration on our Festive Nail Romance Pinterest board.

How will you wear Christmas on your nails?

My Nail Romance with Cosmetic Cupcake

Cosmetic Cupcake is an Australian beauty blog featuring some of the cutest nail art around. Meet blogger Michelle and learn some of her polish favourites as she shares her Nail Romance.

Tell me a bit about your blog

I’m Michelle and I’m from Sydney, Australia. I’m a Registered Nurse by day and a beauty addict the rest of the time! I started reading blogs late 2009 and I decided to start my own in February 2010 as a way to unwind from the craziness that was fulltime work and study. Polishing my nails and sharing a love of beauty with the blogging community has helped keep me sane over the last 2 years.

How often do you post?

I try to post about 5 times a week but unfortunately recently I’ve dropped off to only about 2 or 3 times a week due to work, wedding planning and general life stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up my normal schedule again soon!

Are you left or right handed?

I’m right handed.

What’s your best tip for painting your other hand?

Practise is the key! Also it’s important to steady your non-dominant hand while painting and to take your time.

How often do you paint your nails?

Usually I paint my nails about every second day and when I’m stressed out its daily!

How many polishes in your collection?

I have about 900 polishes currently in my stash.

How do you store your polishes?

I use an IKEA Helmer and I desperately need another! I’ve got plastic containers filled with polish all over my room at the moment.

Which brand has the best brush?

I think it would have to be OPI with their Pro-Wide brush. My nail beds are huge and the brush gives such an even, perfect coverage for me in 3 easy strokes.

Favourite polish brand?

This is a really tough one as I love lots of brands but China Glaze steals my heart the most. I love their colour range, the awesome formula and the price point is so reasonable even with the crazy Aussie markups. I really like the shape of their bottles too!

Favourite indie brand?

I really resisted buying indie polish because I knew that once I went down the indie path I would go crazy trying different brands. The brand that made me take the first step was Lynderella and it has to be my favorite too. I don’t give a hoot about the drama surrounding the polishes and just appreciate the fact that they’re awesome glitters.

Best luxe brand?

There are so many luxe brands I love but Rescue Beauty Lounge is my favourite. The formula is out of this world and worth every penny. RBL is followed closely by Deborah Lippmann and Anna Sui.

Best bargain buy?

Ulta 3 and they’re an Aussie brand too yay!

Favourite colour?

I love pink but I wear all colours!

Favourite colour combinations?

I love the way gold and pink, purple and silver look together.

Best colour for school?

I was never allowed nail polish when I was in school but I would have worn pastels and brights. Something fun!

Best colour for work?

I’m so fortunate that my Nurse Manager lets me get away with wearing crazy nail art and every colour under the sun at work. However, if I worked in a corporate environment I would probably go with nudes and pinks but with a twist – think a subtle holographic such as Butter London All Hail The Queen, Glitter Gal Frappe or Catherine Arley 670 (a really pale pin). I’d also add some subtle nail art such as floral stamping using white or gold.

Best party colour?

Nothing starts a party quite like GLITTER! My go to is any of the glitters from Deborah Lippmann or Milani Jewel FX.

What colour would you wear on your wedding day?

My wedding is in less than 6 months and I haven’t decided yet! Most probably a pink with shimmer as I bought the nail polishes from the Jill Stuart Bridal collection ages ago and I’ll be wearing a combination of the polishes on the day.

Best tip for making nail polish last longer?

Topcoat and sealing your tips. It makes a big difference!

What’s your favourite nail art trend?

I adore all types of nail art and I can’t have a manicure without it. My favourite would probably have to be glitter gradient manicures as they look fantastic but are super easy and don’t take long to do at all.

Thanks so much for sharing your Nail Romance Michelle!

Click over to Cosmetic Cupcake to get your fix of nail art and swatches. You can also connect with Cosmetic Cupcake –

Twitter: @cosmeticcupcake
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cosmeticcupcakecom
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cosmeticcupcake
Instagram: cosmeticcupcake

Loving… pretty pastel nails

As well as loving bright nails, I’m falling for soft pastel shades. Just as mint and peach have entered my wardrobe this year, so have pastel shades featured on my fingertips.

Nail Romance’s pick of pastel polishes

Try saying that 10 times quickly!

Hello Darling’s Not Your Nanna’s Nightie collection features seven delicious shades. Nail Romance loves Mint Slice and Butter Wouldn’t Melt.

Pretty Pastels from Face of Australia is a super affordable range that makes a multi coloured mani easy to do. Nail Romance loves Would you like some Orange Sherbet? and Once in a Blue Moon.

L’Oreal’s Miss Candy collection features more delicious pastel shades. These polishes have a larger brush which means I can change colour in just two brushstrokes. Too easy. Nail Romance loves Monaco Roses and Riviera Lavender.

These candy coloured nails look good enough to eat! You can find more pastel nail-spiration on the Pastel Nail Romance Pinterest board.

What’s your favourite pastel polish?

Nail-spiration: Nail Stickers

The cheat’s way to nail art, nail stickers give you the look of patterned nails with minimum effort.

I first discovered nail stickers in Sephora earlier this year. I am always doing my nails at the last minute and I ran out of time to paint my nails before heading to a friend’s wedding. I put a packet of nail stickers in my handbag and ran out the door. I ended up doing my nails as I walked to the wedding ceremony and I took the above photo at the reception.

Yes, these stickers are so easy you can put them on walking but I suggest sitting down for the first attempt.

Nail Sticker Shopping Guide

Sally Hansen and Sephora are my tried and tested nail stickers. I love the look of the Butter London range and need to try these very soon.

Tips for applying nail stickers

  • File and buff your nails before applying the stickers. Make sure your hands and nails are clean.
  • Before starting, check the size of the stickers to determine which will fit your nail. I like to lay them out so I know which is for each finger.
  • Don’t fret if it’s not straight first time. The stickers can be lifted and repositioned two or three times.

Nail stickers aren’t cheap when compared to the price of nail polish, but you get a salon finish for a fraction of the salon price. They’re quick, there’s no drying time and you can do them at the last minute for a professional finish.

Do you wear nail stickers?

My Nail Romance with Manicure Addict


Katherine Zemla is the Nails behind ManicureAddict.com. Her passion for polish started a little over two years ago. In a very short time she’s amassed a very large nail polish collection due to her lack of self control and need to hoard all the pretty bottles. She’s rocked everything from super long talon nails to nubs on her blog. Katherine treats her blog as her manicure journal. Nail polish has brought her so much joy that she gives back to her community when she can by doing manicures for a few local organizations. If you enjoy nail polish you’ll be addicted to her!

Tell me a bit about your blog

I started my blog as a Journal for myself so I could keep track of the manicures I was giving myself. I honestly did not think anyone would ever look at it. Fast forward two years later and I’m still doing it. I’m surprised I haven’t lost interest yet.

How often do you post?

Lately I’ve been trying to post on an almost daily basis. However there are days where life gets in the way. So on average 5-7 times a week. In the past I used to post a lot less frequently about 3-5 times a week so this is something that’s not consistent.

Are you left or right handed?

Right Handed

What’s your best tip for painting your other hand?

Practice and Practice! Slow it down, the more you rush through it the more likely you are to get paint everywhere. Even if you do get it everywhere it’s nothing a little brush with acetone can’t clean up so don’t be afraid to make a little mess!

How often do you paint your nails?

Depends on my mood! At least every 2 days sometimes I will paint over a manicure with another polish the next day. I don’t always paint my right hand to match my left. So more times than not I don’t have matching hands, and I’m totally cool with that makes me feel extra special.

How many polishes in your collection?

No Clue, I would say I’m near 2,500. It’s been a 1.5 years since I last counted and then I had 1,400. I keep telling myself one day I’ll take a week and do a spreadsheet but it’s so much easier to just buy more and paint my nails than worry about what all I have. In this case I’d like to say Ignorance is Bliss!

How do you store your polishes?

I keep my polishes in helmers. I have 5 of them and most of them are organized by color but I admit I do have 2 full helmers that need to be organized.

Which brand has the best brush?

I really like the wide brush that Sally Hansen uses in their Complete Salon line. But honestly just about any brush works for me.

Favourite polish brand?

This is a tough one but I’m going to say Sally Hansen. They are always pushing the envelope and constantly coming out with new colors and lines. They always have amazing formulas with pricing that is highly affordable. Not to mention they can be easily found most of the time. Before I went crazy with nail polish I only had 2-3 bottles and they were all Sally Hansen. It was Thanks to SH Honeymoon Red that awoke my Polish demon, I painted my nails with it and went “Woah, why have I not been doing this!!” It all went downhill from there very quickly!!

Favourite indie brand?

I really tried to stay away from indies for a long time, and it worked for a few months and then I bought one and quickly got hooked. One of my first buys was from The Hungry Asian and she continues to be one of my favorites. She really knows how to pair glitters with colored bases that just are magical. There are other indies I really enjoy but The Hungry Asian keeps me coming back for more.

Best luxe brand?

Lynnderella. Some may not consider this a Luxe Brand but I do. Any time I want to instantly perk up I reach over for a Lynnderella and it always does the job. I know there’s been a lot of drama linked to this brand but the glitter for me has always shined through the Drama. I just can’t see letting someone’s issues with a brand affect the way I feel about it when it makes me feel so good and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with it. What can I say? I’m addicted to the pretties!

Best bargain buy?

I love to go to my local flea market and hunt for polish, you’ll be surprised at what you can find there! I once came home with over 50 polishes that I bought for 40 bucks or so, and they were good quality polishes like the ones you find in your local drugstore. It’s the thrill of the hunt since you never know what you’ll find if anything!

Favourite colour?

Purple is my favorite color but I’ll wear any color any time of year.

Best party colour?

Any Glitter!

Best tip for making nail polish last longer?

Be sure to use a good base coat and reapply a top coat every few days

What’s your favourite nail art trend?

I love seeing all kinds of Nail Art, so all of it! I especially like seeing freehand nail art since it’s always fun to see what folks come up with. I don’t always have the time to create as much nail art as I’d like to but every now and then I do pull out my paintbrush and go crazy. It’s always a challenge but it’s fun to create!

Thanks so much for sharing your Nail Romance Katherine!

Check out Manicure Addict, and you can also connect with Katherine –

Twitter: @ManicureAddict
Manicure Addict on Facebook
Instagram: http://instagram.com/manicureaddict

Are you a manicure addict too?

Loving…Pink and Orange Neons

I’ve loved pink and orange as a colour combination ever since I was little. It’s not a conventional favourite, but it makes me happy. Especially when it’s neon bright!

Nails Inc Notting Hill Gate is a rosy pink neon, with medium shine that is opaque in two coats.

Hello Darling Teenage Dream a true highlighter pink creme that is opaque in one coat, though I’ve painted two coats here.

Hello Darling Love on Top is a vibrant hi-vis orange creme that is opaque in one coat, and super-bright in two.

Orly Holla is slightly darker than Love on Top, though still packs a neon punch. Almost opaque in one coat and fully in two. It had a slightly matte finish.

All polishes shown with two thin coats and finished with Hello Darling top coat.

Yes, I wore them all at once and I make no apologies for mismatching fluoro nails.

What’s your favourite unconventional colour combination?

My Nail Romance with Chalkboard Nails

Meet Sarah of Chalkboard Nails, the nails behind those fabulous swatches you’ve seen all over Pinterest.

Tell me a bit about your blog

Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m 23 years old and I live in Arizona. I started blogging in July 2011 and have loved every moment of it! Chalkboard Nails started out as a way to document my attempts at nail art. Now, it has grown into a resource for many different areas of nail art, and swatches as well! I try to post manicures of different skill levels to help make nail art more accessible to everyone. I also like to cover a lot of indie polish swatches to support the independent polish makers who don’t necessarily have a huge advertising budget.

How often do you post?

Usually 5-7 times per week. I produce a lot of content! I do try to post a mix of post types, though, so it doesn’t get repetitive.

Are you left or right handed?

I am right handed.

What’s your best tip for painting your other hand?

When painting with your non-dominant hand, I find it works best if you stabilize the pinky or wrist of that hand on a solid surface, like the table you’re working on. You can still move your hand around enough to paint, but it will give you a solid anchor point. For nail art, if I’ve done something super complicated on my left hand, I will often do a simplified version of the design on my right hand. There’s no shame in that!

How often do you paint your nails?

Usually daily! Occasionally I will go two or three days between manicures.

How many polishes in your collection?

Can I plead the Fifth here? Just kidding! I have somewhere around nine hundred polishes.

How do you store your polishes?

I keep my babies in two super sexy red Helmer drawer units from IKEA. I am coming close to needing a third, though!

Which brand has the best brush?

Great question, because I’m very opinionated about this! I think OPI’s ProWide brush is absolutely the greatest thing ever. While I’ve heard of it being too wide for some people, it’s perfect for my nail width and shape.

Favourite polish brand?

This is a tough one. I think I would have to give it to OPI again because of the brush and their fantastic formula. They’ve also been coming out with some really great and unique shades lately!

Favourite indie brand?

Oh man, this is the hardest question of all. The great thing about indies is that the market is so wide. That means that pretty much everyone can find something to fall in love with! I guess if I was forced to make a decision I would say Sonoma Nail Art. I am also a big fan of Pretty & Polished, Happy Hands Nail Polish, Lush Lacquer, and Cirque Colors.

Best luxe brand?

My favorite luxury brand is butter LONDON, though to be fair I haven’t tried that many high-end polishes. I would love to try Dior, Chanel, or NARS for example, but have a bit of a tight grip on my wallet. butter LONDON provides ultra high quality lacquers at a price point that’s on the lower side of the luxury spectrum.

Best bargain buy?

I’ve gotta go with Wet N Wild. I love their limited edition collections and they have a solid and inexpensive core line, too.

Favourite colour?

I really like the way that lime green polishes look with my skintone.

Favourite colour combinations?

I love pairing bright colors with grey. Some of my favorite grey buddies include hot pink, bright blue, and chartreuse.

Best colour for school?

I was actually never into polish while I was still in school! If I was, I probably would have gone on wearing the exact same stuff I do now like crazy nail art, neons, neutrals, glitter, pastels, brights…

Best colour for work?

My favorite nude for my skin tone is OPI Don’t Pretzel My Buttons, but it’s also possible to be work appropriate and still wear nail art! I suggest trying a nude to white gradient for a fresh twist on the plain old French manicure. You can also adapt many nail art designs for the office by using nudes, neutrals, pinks, and whites. Subtle leopard print? Awww yeahhhh.

Best party colour?

I’d go with anything that has an insane amount of sparkle, like China Glaze Glistening Snow or Zoya Aurora.

What colour would you wear on your wedding day?

I would love to do an intricate white lace nail art design over a naked nail base. I would also wear a pretty lavender like American Apparel L’Esprit.

Best tip for making nail polish last longer?

BASE COAT! Most lacquer lovers already wear it, but many casual nail painters think it’s a skippable step. It’s totally not! Base coat can be the difference between a day and a week of unchipped polish. I personally love CND Stickey but different products may work better for others.

What’s your favourite nail art trend?

I’d have to say gradients. They are so versatile. You can wear them alone or work them into a number of other nail art styles effortlessly.

Thanks so much for sharing your Nail Romance Sarah!

Head over to Chalkboard Nails to see more of Sarah’s fantastic swatches and nail art. You can also connect with Chalkboard Nails –

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chalkboardnails
Twitter: @ChalkboardNails
Tumblr: http://chalkboardnails.tumblr.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/chalkboardnailstv

Nail Romance – Love Your Nails!

Hello and welcome to Nail Romance!

Nail Romance is all about your nails. I feel naked without polish and have quickly developed an obsession for multicoloured nails.

After blogging for two years at Hair Romance, I’m bringing my love of nails to the Romance family. In the same spirit of Hair Romance, you’ll find easy tips and tricks for accessorising with your nails. Plus I’ll be interviewing leading nail bloggers about their favourites to share with you.

Whether you’re a polish addict or just trying to learn how to paint your own nails, you’ll find it all you need to love your nails at Hair Romance.

Get ready to have fun with your nails!

Christina x