Thursday, 28 February 2013

Indie interviews: Sayuri Nail Lacquer

Welcome to the second installment of Interviews with Indies! Today we have Anthea, the creator of Sayuri Nail Lacquer, which launches tomorrow. Before the big day, we thought we'd pick her brain and get the behind-the-scenes story...

Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Anthea, and I’m a self-confessed polishaholic. I have a qualification in fashion design, and I’m currently studying a degree in business (marketing and Japanese) at university.

How did you first get into nail polish?

I had one friend introduce me to nail foils, and another to OPI, which then got me really interested in nail art. The rest is history.

What inspired you to start your own line?

I've always been a creative person, and I really wanted a way to combine my qualification in fashion design with my love of nail polish. Like clothing, nail polish goes through trends. It closely mimics the same colour palettes and textures used in the fashion industry. For me it’s a way to express myself.

Where did the name "Sayuri" come from?

It’s a Japanese girls' name that I came across during my studies. I thought it was really pretty so it stuck! Depending on the kanji used it can translate to ‘small lily’, hence the lily flower in my logo.

Tell us all about your logo.

I had artist Laura Goodings create Sayuri for me. I was hoping to capture the essence of who I imagined Sayuri to be, and Laura managed just that. I like to think that she’s sweet and gentle, but behind that innocent exterior she’s up to mischief.

What are (in your opinion) your best creations?

My favourite polish from my first collection, Streets of Tokyo, would have to be Fairy Kei. I’m loving pastels at the moment and this polish is influenced by the soft, pastel tones of the Fairy Kei fashion style. For anyone avoiding pastels for fear of appearing too ‘girly’, try layering this one over black. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Fairy Kei

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s Lolita. This one was inspired by the Gothic Lolita style, and I think it’s beautiful but haunting. Unfortunately it’s a hard one to photograph, but it reflects a stunning garnet flash when it catches the light. Perfect for those who prefer vampy hues.


How do you come up with new polish ideas?

My inspirations usually come from unconventional notions that pop into my head when I least expect it. I guess that’s why so many people have described my design aesthetic as ‘quirky’. I have no idea if I can pull something off, but I run with it anyway.

What's the best thing about being an indie polish maker?

The freedom to be my own self and not have others telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. I love that it gives me the ability to grow and learn on my own. Yes, I’ll make mistakes along the way, but who hasn’t?

What's the worst?

As much I love working things out for myself, working independently means that I’m limited to my own knowledge. I don’t have access to some of the resources that larger companies do.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world on a polish line, who would it be?

I’d love to work with Dee from Rainbow Honey. Rainbow Honey was the first indie label that I became captivated by, and I appreciate that so many of Dee’s inspirations are linked to Japanese culture since that’s an interest of mine.

What else do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?

In my spare time you can usually find me doting on my Siamese cat. He’s like a child and if I don’t pay him the attention he demands he’ll prevent me from getting any work done. When I’m not giving him tummy rubs I’m working on my blog Nailed Obsession.

Oshare (swatched by Anthea over black)

What's the one tip you'd give for perfect nails?

Treat them as jewels, not tools.

What are your picks for the top trends in indie polishes this year?

I think that we’re going to see more daring glitter and colour combinations than before. I’m noticing that some indie polish makers are starting to experiment with texture too, so I think that’s something that we’ll see more of as the year progresses.

Mizuiro (swatched by Anthea over OPI Happy Anniversary)

What is the most important piece of advice you've been given?

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”. Don’t sell yourself short by taking the easier, safer route. Launching Sayuri hasn’t all been fun and games. There have been times when it’s been frustrating and there have been setbacks, but without these moments Sayuri wouldn’t be here today.

What keeps you going?

The reactions I get from customers. There’s something heart-warming about seeing people enjoy something you’ve poured so much love into.

Sayuri Nail Lacquer launches tomorrow (March 1st) with its first collection, 'Streets of Tokyo'. More information, including swatches, can be found here

Disclosure: Anthea is a contributor to Lacquerheads of Oz.


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tape manicure basics

Hey there fellow nail obsessed lovelies! I’m going to discuss Tape Manis today – what they are, how to achieve them, and the best tools for the job.

The basic definition of a tape mani is any sort of manicure that uses tape to create lines or areas not to be polished. There are many ways to use tape to achieve different effects. Tape manis are an extremely easy way to make cool nail art without having to buy special tools - it’s cheap, simple and anyone can do it!

Types of tape

Masking tape - regular reinforced paper tape. The sort that you’d use to stick to walls, as it won’t peel paint off. You can buy it for a few bucks at Officeworks, or most newsagents.
(Source: HiCube Coating Masking Tapes)

Scotch tape - plastic school tape, generally comes in little rolls and dispensers for a few bucks from Officeworks or most newsagents.
(Source: RR Products Inc)

Striping tape - You can buy these 1 mm wide rolls of super thin foiled tape off eBay for about $1 for a pack of ten. These can be used for detailing on top of your polish, as well as for marking off areas to not polish. These can be a huge pain to deal with at times due to the thinness of the tape, but persevere, because this is the tape you’ll need for the fine lines, and the tape I use most.

(Source: Kate's Mani)

How to achieve it

Despite looking awesome and insanely difficult to do, tape manis are actually incredibly easy.

In its basic form, these are the steps to accomplish it:

1. Paint your base coat, and a base colour. Make sure to reach opacity with this colour.

2. Allow the base colour to dry completely. COMPLETELY. This is its own step, because it is so vitally important. If the base colour is not fully dried, when you try to remove the tape in step 5, it will peel off the base colour as well, and ruin all your hard work.

3.  If using masking or Scotch tape, cut up several of the shapes you’ll require for your design, and begin to apply them to one nail at a time in the desired pattern.

Steps 4&5 must be done in quick succession.

4. Paint one thin, opaque coat of a contrasting colour on top of the tape on one nail, and

5. Quickly and carefully peel off the tape in the reverse order to which you applied it.

6. Make sure to do one nail at a time, so your top colour doesn’t dry before you can peel the tape. Letting the top colour dry will cause it to pull off with the tape, ruining your sharp lines.

7. Add top coat to protect your design, and you’re good to go!

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can try more complex designs, like the ones in the top collage.


- If using masking or scotch tape, cut your shapes before you start painting. Find a desk edge or a corner to stick them to, so they’re ready to go and you’re not cutting with wet nails.

- BE PATIENT. You need to make sure that your base layers are completely dry before you start taping and painting.

- Play with the tape a bit while you’re cutting it. You don’t need it to be SUPER sticky, just sticky enough to seal out wet polish. If it’s a little oily from your hands, you’ll be less likely to mess up the base coat.

- When removing the tape, do it like a band-aid: as quick as possible. If you pull it up slowly, the paint will smear. Trust me on this one.

- TOP COAT, TOP COAT, TOP COAT! Your top coat will cover all manners of sins. I can’t begin tell you how many times I bang a semi-dried nail into my couch or my face or ANYTHING. Top coat is a gift from the gods. Make sure you take advantage.

Lastly and most importantly:
- This takes practice. It will not look good the first time. Accept this from the beginning and set aside an afternoon to try it out. You will master it sooner than you think, but like everything, it is a skill, and thus needs practice to perfect.

Nai has almost finished her Bachelor of Primary Education, and is not sure where to go from there! When she’s not polishing and posting to her blog NananaisNails, her Pinterest and her Instagram, she’s generally to be found on a couch reading something scifi/fantasy – most likely Harry Potter.


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Aussie Nails Monday Round-up: Rainbow/Mardi Gras Special Edition

The Sydney Mardi Gras Festival is one of the biggest gay pride festivals in the world. While the famous parade isn't til March 2nd, many festival events are already happening around Sydney. Conveniently, the theme this week for the Aussie Nails Monday nail art challenge was rainbow. Here's a selection of rainbow nail art which might give you some inspiration if you want to celebrate this event!

Read More


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Photoshop for Nails: Curved Watermark Tutorial

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to bring you my first post in my Photoshop tutorials series!

After seeing countless posts about girls asking how to do the highly desired curved cuticle watermark, I've taken it upon myself to enlighten everyone. So I must say, welcome to the highly requested and much anticipated curved watermark tutorial!

Read More


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Indie interviews: Gloss 'n Sparkle

Aussie indies are set to take over the world, with the recent stocking of some of the more popular brands by international distributors Llarowe and Shoppe Eclecticco. We thought it was high time to dig into the minds of their creators - first up is Gloss 'n Sparkle's Angela Clark, who was kind enough to answer a slew of questions for us...

How did you first get into nail polish?

I’ve been wearing polish since I was a teenager, which was a LONG time ago, well so it feels, really I’m still very young! I only started getting into it seriously when I got into doing nail art, and always needed new shades to create ideas I had. My collection started growing, my interest in polish grew stronger and here I am now making my own.

What inspired you to start your own line?

I often would mix shades I had together to make colours I needed for nail art, then I discovered glitter and fell in love, nail art in a bottle! Mixing glitter into my regular polish wasn’t always successful; it would usually end up stuck in the bottom of the bottle, so I started researching how to do it properly and the rest is history.

Where did the name "Gloss 'n Sparkle" come from?

I started a tumblr page for my nail art a while back and this is what I called it. When it came to trying to think of a name for my polish, I couldn’t look past it. It's glossy, it sparkles, perfect!

What are (in your opinion) your best creations?

Out of all my creations my personal favourite is Edge of the World. The final product is based on one of the first experiments I did when I started making polish. I loved it but it took me a long while to be happy enough with it. Teals, greens and blues are my favourite so this polish is everything I love, all in one bottle. As a bonus it’s named after a song by my favourite band!

Gloss 'n Sparkle Edge of the World (Pretty Purple Polish)

Unicorn Droppings is one of my best selling polishes, I get compliments from strangers whenever I wear it. I’m proud of the name because I imagine it’s exactly what unicorns' business would look like, and who wouldn’t want to put that on their nails?

Gloss 'n Sparkle Unicorn Droppings (Lab Muffin)

How do you come up with new polish ideas?

A lot of experimenting, colour combinations I see around me, nights spent starting at my glitter stash holding shades together to see how they look. I’m planning some new releases for 2013 based on something I learnt at school, not giving away any more than that.

What's the best thing about being an indie polish maker?

Being able to make myself lots and lots of nail polish! That and being able to do something where I can be creative, and grow at my own pace, allowing me to keep raising my son my priority. I work nights after he is asleep and I am really looking forward to him starting preschool in January so I can have more time to work and start sleeping properly again.

What's the worst?

As mentioned above, the late nights I spend working sometimes. Not having anyone else to share the responsibility with. I am a single parent and my son isn’t old enough to help stick bottles on labels yet so it’s all up to me. Fortunately I still enjoy it regardless!

What else do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?

Outside the world of nail polish my days usually revolve around my son. I’ve gotten quite good at building with Lego and Zoobs, racing Hot Wheels, playing Ninjago and building train tracks. Then there’s playing at the park, going to the beach or pool, long walks or chasing him on his bike, anything that wears him out at the end of the day so I can work at night. I also enjoy painting on canvas too, not just nails, drawing, graphic design, reading, a good TV series, but my ‘me’ time is a bit of a rarity lately.

What's the one tip you'd give for perfect nails?

I’m a fan of nails all the same length and shape, long or short, round, pointed or square, it doesn’t matter. If they all match that’s perfect in my eyes.

Gloss 'n Sparkle Above Deck (Every Little Polish)

What are your picks for the top trends in indie polishes in 2013?

With the huge amount of indie brands around now I think we continue seeing lots of originality with colour combinations, finishes and textures from brands trying to stand out from the crowd.

What is the most important piece of advice you've been given?

Do what you love to do, simple, and very wise. I’ve spent most of my career working as a graphic designer, and have loved it, but a change is as good as a holiday so they say, so now I am following another passion.

What keeps you going?

My motivation is being able to work for myself, not have a boss (other than my 5 year old one) and to be flexible with the hours I work, so I can enjoy life in between. Oh, and coffee, lots of coffee.

Gloss 'n Sparkle can be purchased through Etsy or Big Cartel (Australia only), or through international distributors Llarowe and Shoppe Eclecticco (worldwide).


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Instagram Tips & Tricks with @strawbrie Episode 2: Getting Featured

Welcome to another installment of Instagram Tips and Tricks with @strawbrie!

Another question I get asked a lot is:

What are feature accounts & how do they work? 

Feature accounts are accounts that post other people's photos and give credit to the original artist by @mentioning them in the comments. (@Mentioning is when someone "tags" you in their comments and you receive a notification). This can be exciting if a large account with many followers chooses to feature you, as you can gain new followers and likes on your own account from the exposure! Some feature accounts have hash tags that you can post on your pictures to be considered for features. Your use of their hash tag implies permission for your pic to be used and credited in most cases! Hash tags will only work if your account is public.

Some accounts that do this are:

@nailartoohlala #nailartoohlala
@nailartwow #nailartwow
@nails2inspire #nails2inspire
@barbiefingers #barbiefingers
@thefashionqueen #queennails
@thecraftyninja #craftyfingers
@bedizzle #benailed
@thenailartstory #thenailartstory

So... How do I get featured? 

This, my friends, is entirely random, but I can give you some tips to try and help you out!

- Make sure your tags are spelt correctly!

- Make sure your pictures are bright and clear by taking photos in good lighting, and practice your "mani pose"! (I hold onto a bottle of polish that I used in the mani). I personally just use my iPhone camera to take and crop my pictures, all you need is your phone and a steady hand.

- Interact with feature accounts by following, liking and commenting. You're more than just nails! You have a personality, so let it shine through!

- Give nail art a go! People LOVE seeing it and if you're feeling REALLY clever, try a "pic-torial"! (Step-by-step pics of how to create the look).

- Try entering nail art comps hosted by IG accounts, it's a good way of getting your pics seen and you might even win a prize!

- Have you cleaned your cuticle area? You might get excited and want to share your artwork with the world, but it CAN make a difference to getting a feature if you haven't taken this important step.

- Consider editing photos using an app like Snapseed to help show the true colour and sparkle of your pic. You want it to stand out! 

- Try adding a border! I use the Picframe app to add borders and my watermark.

Wait!... What's a watermark?

A watermark is text (usually your IG or blog name) added to your pic to protect your copyright. Unfortunately some accounts do NOT give pic credit to the artists & the watermark is protection against this. If an account steals your pic, you can email IG directly (via the cog icon in the top right corner of your home page) and they will help you. It's against the Instagram Terms of Service to use another person’s picture without written consent.

I hope this is helpful and I'll be sure to answer some questions and give more tips and tricks soon.

Happy IG'ing!


Brie is a little bit crazy... in the good way! You know the type - bright pink hair, always doing something creative, singing Disney songs in public! When she's not entertaining kids at her day job, Brie is constantly furthering her education in all things beauty related. She is a qualified nail tech and runs her specialist nail art studio "Strawbrie Salon" in her spare time!

To see examples of her work you can follow her on Facebook, or on Instagram (@strawbrie).


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Indie and boutique polish directory

After reading up on what an indie is, you might be wondering how to get your hands on some. Well, we're here to help! Today we bring you...

The Lacquerheads of Oz Indie and Boutique Polish Directory!

This is what (we're hoping) will become a one-stop-shop for finding out which places ship to you, or alternatively, what to ask your international swap buddies to help you get a hold of.

The list is obviously incomplete - there are a LOT of indies out there! Please help us out by filling in the form at the bottom of the page if there's an entry you can help us out with.

Happy shopping!


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Nail Art Tutorial: How to do cupcake nails in 6 easy steps

Editor's note: It's Anthea's birthday today. Happy Birthday Anthea! :)

Pastel colours are in fashion right now, and what cuter way to wear them than as cupcakes on your nails? This step-by-step tutorial makes cupcake nails simple, even for beginners. If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, try doing a cupcake on one nail only to begin with as a sweet feature nail.

Step 1. Apply your protective base coat and then apply a nude polish.

Step 2. Apply a light shade of your chosen colours to the tips of your nails. These will be the cupcake cases.

Step 3. Using a thin brush or nail art striper, use a darker shade of each colour used in the previous step to paint vertical lines on top of your lighter colours.

Step 4. Using the polish that you want to use for the icing of your cupcakes, paint a dome above the cupcake cases, and cover parts of the cases slightly so it looks like the icing is dripping. I just used the brush that comes in the polish, but you might prefer to use a large dotting tool.

Step 5. Use a glitter polish on top of the icing to form sprinkles. Don't worry if it's slightly bumpy, your top coat should even it out. Let it dry a bit before adding top coat - otherwise your hard work will smudge!

Step 6. Apply your clear top coat and quickly add some flat back pearls or rhinestones while the top coat is still wet. I used a dotting tool dipped in clear polish to pick up and place my rhinestones. Do a second coat of top coat to seal the rhinestones in place.

Polishes used:
Nude: OPI - Barre My Soul
Greens: Revlon - Minted and China Glaze - For Audrey
Pinks: OPI I Think In Pink and OPI - If You Moust You Moust
Yellows: China Glaze - Lemon Fizz and OPI - Need Sunglasses?
Blues: Essie - Bikini So Teeny and China Glaze - Secret Peri-wink-le
Purples: China Glaze - Sweet Hook and OPI - Do You Lilac It?
White: Essie - Blanc
Glitter: Gloss 'n Sparkle - Unicorn Spawn

Anthea is currently studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Japanese, and has a qualification in Fashion Design and Technology. When she's not busy cramming for her next exam she’s working on her nail polish label ‘Sayuri’, set to launch in March 2013, and blogging at Nailed Obsession. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram (@anthea_nailedobsession).


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Polish destinations: Priceline

Note: we are not affiliated with Priceline, nor have we been paid to write this post - this is purely an informational post to help Aussie girls out when polish shopping!

We all love to shop for polishes online - it is usually cheaper, and the anticipation of receiving a package in the mail is half the fun. But sometimes it’s great to be able to pop into a shop to get a quick polish fix. This is where stores like Priceline are a godsend. Nail junkies like myself can often be found here scouring the shelves for a new addition (or more!) to our collections.

Priceline is an Aussie-owned chain store that sells everything health, beauty and wellbeing related. They have over 300 stores around Australia, so it is highly likely that there is a store near you.

Now onto the fun stuff - the brands.

Priceline stocks a generous range of cosmetic brands, ranging from Aussie favourites to the big overseas names, and are branching out a little and stocking some harder-to-find brands, which is great news for polish addicts!

Here are the nail polish brands that can be found at Priceline:
- Australis
- Bourjois
- Cutex
- Essence
- Face of Australia
- Hello Kitty 
- Kiss
- L’Oreal Paris
- Luminail 
- Manicare 
- Max Factor 
- Maybelline
- Models Prefer
- Nailene
- Natio
- Prestige Cosmetics
- Revitanail
- Revlon 
- Rimmel London 
- Sally Hansen
- Savvy 
- She 
- Sinful Colors

Sometimes they may have dump bins full of polishes that are heavily reduced by big brands like OPI and Orly to pick through, and you never know what you may find each time you visit. They have regular sales, and also have a “Sister Club” rewards program where you can earn quarterly discount vouchers to spend in store.

Priceline is a great one-stop shop for all of your nail related needs. Apart from polish they have a wide range of nail care products including hand creams, files, removers, clippers , treatments and much more.

Visit Priceline’s website here for more details. You can also shop online if you are unable to get into a store.

Chantelle is a Lacquerhead from South Australia. Having worked for over 10 years as a Nail Technician she is currently taking a break from the industry being a mum and enjoying writing her nail blog, A Polished Prance.


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

All About the Big 3

If you're a newcomer to the wonderful world of nail polish, there is a lot of jargon to decipher. But a bit of jargon you should stop and pay attention to for a moment is “Big 3”. The Big 3 are three chemicals that have been used in nail polish and nail hardeners for a long time, and are currently in the process of being phased out since they can be dangerous to health. A lot of brands have declared themselves proudly 3 Free, meaning they don't use formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

But what are these chemicals? What are we risking by using products that aren't Big 3 free?


Commonly found: Preserving animal tissue, disinfectant, some hair straightening products
Why it’s in nail polish: Very effective nail hardener
Main health concerns: Nose and eye irritation, nasal cancers, leukemia

I don't know about you, but when I think formaldehyde, I think school science classes. Memories of dead, pale eyes floating in a jar of yellow liquid swim to the front of my mind, and suddenly I'm 12 again, freaking the hell out because I could swear that frog just blinked at me and oh god oh GOD its leg just fell off!!
...I'm okay.

The point is that according to my research, it's pretty unlikely you will absorb much of it through your skin, unless you actually paint yourself all over with nail hardener. Which seems like a bad idea anyway. However there does seem to be a pretty good indication that opening a bottle of nail hardener could release formaldehyde gas for you to suck into your pink, absorbent lung tissue.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any concrete information about how much formaldehyde gas is actually released from nail products when you use them, since it varies pretty wildly depending on the actual product in question, and many other factors. However, large amounts (like those found in hair salons) can cause headaches, dizziness, watering eyes and difficulty breathing. With the amounts in nail products, it won't hurt you in the short term, but with sufficient amounts, in the long term it can give you cancer. The US National Toxicology Program listed formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen in 2011, and steps have been taken to limit the amounts allowed in consumer products. While the ordinary nail polish user is unlikely to be affected (unless you have a formaldehyde allergy), salon workers, particularly those who deal with formaldehyde-containing hair products which are heat-activated, can be exposed to dangerous levels.


Commonly found: Paint, paint thinner
Why it’s in nail polish: Solvent
Main health concerns: Intoxication (similar to being drunk), long-term damage to brain and nervous system

Toluene is a solvent, which means it's used to make sure all the ingredients in a nail polish don't clump up into chunky bits, and instead make a nice smooth liquid.

While toluene can be absorbed through skin contact, like formaldehyde, the amount of skin that comes into contact with nail polish is pretty small, no matter how clumsy you are. The vapour released when it dries, however, can be easily absorbed through your lungs and nose into the bloodstream and travel throughout your body, including to your brain.

However, the amount you are likely to breathe in when using nail products in a reasonable way (i.e. not huffing them) is pretty low. The official EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) found in 2006 that toluene, as used in nail polish products, does not pose a risk to health.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

Commonly found: plastics, adhesives, inks
Why it’s in nail polish: makes the polish a bit flexible and less prone to chipping
Main health concerns: possible birth defects, possible hormonal effects

While formaldehyde and toluene aren't used that many consumer products, DBP on the other hand is absolutely EVERYWHERE. As the Australian Government National Pollutant Inventory points out, dibutyl phthalate is used extensively and is now widespread in the environment. Most people are exposed to low levels of DBP in air, water, and food. Some of the dibutyl phthalate in food is from plastic packaging. Air and water also contains small levels of dibutyl phthalate.

Yikes, right? BUT the NPI also goes on to point out "At these low levels dibutyl phthalate is not expected to cause any harmful effects."

These probably have DBP in them too

There is some more recent research which has suggested that DBP might act as an endocrine disruptor (i.e. it can mess around with your hormones) – but this research is in its early stages, and there isn't a lot of concrete information available.


None of these things are great. I wouldn't put them in my children's birthday cakes. You shouldn't drink them. You shouldn't hold a bottle of polish containing them to your nose and huff it. But are they going to kill you? It’s unlikely. However, if you're still stressed and want to avoid them anyway, you can chill out, because luckily most major brands are Big 3 free these days.

Cassie is a thirty something Sydneysider, who can be found spouting her endless opinions all over the internet. Her opinions are largely confined to The Reluctant Femme at present, but if you feel like you need a constant stream of it, she can also be found on Twitter (@anwyn).

The Reluctant Femme - Poison? On MY Nails? - Show Your Working
Lab Muffin - Big-3 - Formaldehyde
All Lacquered Up - The Big 3 (toxic chemicals that is)
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry - Formaldehyde Toxicological Profile
Los Angeles Times - A Danger at Your Fingertips?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - Toluene
National Pollutant Inventory - Dibutyl Phthalate Fact Sheet
Consumer Product Safety Commission - Toxicity Review of DBP
GreenFacts - Dibutyl Phthalate
Science & Environmental Health Network - Phthalate Esters and Endocrine Disruption


Got any suggestions, comments or useful tips to add? Please tell us!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Q&A: What's your hand and nail care routine?

There are a lot of us in Lacquerheads of Oz, so if you have a question, we usually have an answer! Our reader question today is from Michelle, who asked, "Can you show your nail regime as to what you do to your nails on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?"

Since everyone's nails and skin are different, regimens vary a lot, so here's what some of our contributors have to say:

I have pretty flexible nails, so I coat them with OPI Nail Envy about 3-4 times a week, and if I'm not wearing polish I try and have Nail Envy on too. I file my nails whenever there is a rough edge, otherwise it's every two weeks that I shape them. I use a cuticle balm from an Aussie Etsy seller twice a day or more as I use 100% acetone to remove my polish every day which is really drying.

I have very hard nails so they tend to snap. I always use Duri Rejuvacote as a base, and take Swisse Hair Skin Nails to help with flexibility. This makes them grow like crazy, so I take 1-2 mm off each week with a glass nail file. When I remember, I use OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil to Go and Lush Lemony Flutter. I use whatever cream I have lying around, at the moment it's OPI Avoplex High Intensity and The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector. I hate the smell of hemp but it does wonders overnight under cotton gloves when my hands are feeling really dry and unloved.

I have strong nails (yay genetics!), so I take minimal care of them. I file weekly with a padded emery board. My hands are dry, so when I remember, I use Trilogy Everything Balm on my cuticles, and try to use Endota Spa Lavender & Alpine Pepper or Trilogy Ultra Hydrating hand creams. I also use a DIY glycerin/acetone remover to protect my cuticles, since I change my polish so often!

I'm a recent Duri Rejuvacote convert, because my nails were forever peeling and flaking at the sides. Apart from that, I use an angled brush to mash Lush Lemony Flutter into the cuticles, and whatever hand cream I have around when I remember. I also use the marvellous acetone/glycerine remover.

My nails are generally well behaved, but a couple flake a little so I use Duri Rejuvacote every time I paint them, no exceptions. I rarely file, only if they need a bit of a reshape. I smother my cuticles with Lush Lemony Flutter and Skin Food Nail Vita Essence whenever I get a chance, and push them back with a rubber pusher twice a week. I also use DIY acetone/glycerine remover so my skin doesn’t become dryer than the Sahara Desert when I take my polish off.

I have generally healthy nails and they grow fast, so every time I remove my polish I file them down and shape them with a padded cardboard emery. I have yet to find the perfect base to help with my peelies. When I see a peel, I buff it out to stop it progressing. When I remember, I use Gloss 'n Sparkle Cuticle Oil, and moisturise with Lush Handy Gurugu. I also take Swisse Hair Skin Nails daily, which have helped a bit. If nothing else, my skin's definitely appreciating it!

I change manis 2-3 times a week using home-made acetone/glycerin remover, followed by filing with a crystal file. I either use a chemical cuticle remover to remove overgrowth, or just push the cuticles back if they're tidy or sensitive. Then I'll massage in OPI Cuticle Oil and apply hand cream. Before a mani, I use Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener and Mavala Barrier Base. Afterwards, I use Lush Lemony Flutter. I moisturise whenever I remember.

I've got weak nails so I use OPI Nail Envy under every mani, and a crystal nail file for shaping. My hands are dry so I try to moisturise after showering, using CND Solar Oil for my cuticles with Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, as well as a good slathering of Burt's Bees Honey and Grapeseed Oil Hand Creme. If I want a deep moisturising, I also add Burt's Bees Hand Salve. Once a week I use Sally Hansen's Cuticle Remover.

I also have pretty strong nails - I use Duri Rejuvacote as a base, always. I use a cuticle remover once a week, and push them back once or twice a week. I moisturise twice daily, and apply cuticle oil twice daily. I give them a quick file with a 180 grit once a week, just to even them out and very slightly shorten.

I use Duri Rejuvacote as the base for every mani. Once or twice a week I use Orly Cutique to remove my cuticles cause they can get out of control. I use the magic mix of acetone/glycerin as a remover so find that I don't need to moisturise as much as I used to, but I do have Lush Lemony Flutter and Hand Food Hand Cream. I file maybe once or twice a week.

I file weekly with nail polish still on (easier to make sure the shape is even). After using pure acetone to remove polish, I wash my hands and moisturise with hand cream and Lush Lemony Flutter. My nails are pretty strong but ridgey so I usually buff them a bit. I always forget to push my cuticles back, but when I do I use Blue Cross cuticle remover. I moisturise my hands throughout the day and rotate between Lemony Flutter, coconut oil and Lucas Paw Paw ointment on my cuticles at night.

I have strong nails but they tend to peel, so I use Duri Rejuvacote daily which has eliminated my peeling problems. I file my nails about once a week (with polish on) and use cuticle remover very occasionally. I use Gloss 'n Sparkle Cuticle Oil whenever I paint my nails, and use Burt's Bees Cuticle Balm or A'kin Hand and Cuticle Cream at least once daily. For polish removal, I use the amazing acetone/glycerine mix which has been wonderful for my skin.

Note: we are not sponsored by Duri Rejuvacote, Lush Lemony Flutter or any of the other products mentioned. We just love them!

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