Instagram roundup

Even before I was a blogger, I liked to share my nails and makeup with the world on instagram. I’ve done a bit of a round up of some of my favourite beauty-related pictures from my personal instagram account from back in the day, and I hope you enjoy! In this picture from September 2012 we have my collection after 6 months of frantic buying, because I was no longer working in a job where I couldn’t paint my nails! This is some pretty basic nail art from Valentine’s Day 2013 – Orly White Out over Nicole by OPI’s Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi from their Kardashian Kollection   My attempt at stamping wasn’t  a great success and I haven’t repeated the experiment. Not sure what colour that polish is, I didn’t have it in the caption. I invested in some french tip stickers and did this. The lighter pink is China Glaze Temptation Carnation and the darker pink is Orly Basket Case. My long-suffering boyfriend assisted with this, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I only wrote that the pink was China Glaze and I haven’t narrowed it down because I have so many […]

Pretty Glittery Polishes from Peacock Pie

Today I’m going to reviewing two nails polishes that I was lucky enough to win from the gorgeous NZ indie nail polish company Peacock Pie through a giveaway. I got them about a month ago but I had my gel manicure on for so long that I didn’t have a chance to use them until recently – spoiler alert: I LOVE them!   First up is Zozo – it’s a gorgeous pink ‘crelly’ (creme-jelly) with blue and purple glitter that I think is just the cutest thing ever. Lani said it reminded her of icing for biscuits and I think that’s a perfect analogy, it reminds me of hundreds and thousands biscuits. Can you see the resemblance? I’m not that used to using polishes with such chunky glitter so it took a little bit of getting used to how to apply it so that there was a relatively even distribution of glitter, but in the end it looked great. I found that both polishes were nearly one coat-ers, but I went with two so that they were fully opaque. I’ll show you one, and two coats (+ a top coat of Sally Hansen insta-dri) for the comparison. Next up I wore Wing It, […]

gel polish manicure by nailed it nz on lena talks beauty

All about gel polish

Recently I was showing off my new gel manicure to someone, and they asked me ‘what is gel polish?’. I explained it to her, but I thought it’d be a good post to explain what it is to my readers, because it is a bit of a confusing topic. If you don’t know what I’m referring to when I say gel polish, you may be familiar with the term shellac. Shellac is actually the name of a range of gel polish by CND. Other brands include Gelish, Artistic Color Gloss and OPI Gel Colour. It seems to me that Shellac has got to the point where people use the name of the brand to describe all products of the same type – like gladwrap for plastic wrap, or vivid for all kinds of permanent marker. I’m not sure on the statistics of it, but from what I’ve seen, Shellac is the most common gel polish that’s offered in salons around Auckland. I tried to research about what makes gel polish different to normal polish at a chemical level, and found it to be quite confusing reading. If you’re interested in the chemistry of it, you can read more about it here. […]

Gorgeous gel manicure from Monaco Nails and Beauty

I was lucky enough to win a free appointment at Monaco Nails and Beauty in Ellerslie, Auckland, through a giveaway on their Instagram. I was so happy with my manicure, so I’m writing a review today to recommend the salon to any Auckland-based readers who are looking for a great place to get their nails done. When I arrived, the technician (Katie) was very friendly, and helped me through my indecision of choosing the right shade of Color Gloss gel polish. They had an enormous range of gel polish, as well as all sorts of pigments that can be used for truly incredible art work. I selected a dark purple with a slight glitter, to suit the dark purple trend of this winter. Katie was very hygienic and careful – gently pushed back the cuticle but didn’t cut it at all. This was a real relief to me after having watched an exposé about unhygienic nail salons a few nights earlier. She managed to tidy up a nail that was all ragged from some biting, and shaped my nails exactly how I like them. I was offered a drink and we had a great chat while she painted my nails. It […]

Turn your manicure matte with Sallly Hansen

Matte nail polish is a big trend at the moment, and Sally Hansen has a great new product to transform your manicure to a matte one. No need to buy a collection of matte polishes – by applying this top coat over normal nail polish, your manicure will turn matte in seconds. The top coat dries very quickly, and is great at preventing chips too. I was so impressed with this, I’d tried another top coat previously that was not a good look, but I am in love with how this looks. Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat is available in NZ at The Warehouse for $14.99, as well at Farmers, and anywhere else that Sally Hansen is stocked. Have you tried this? What do you think of the matte nail polish look – a big fan, or totally over it?   A shorter version of this post was originally published on

Star Kin ‘Indigo I Promise’ Nail Polish

A month or so ago, I joined a great Facebook group for kiwi nail polish addicts, and it’s really rekindled my love of nail polish. Polish was like my gateway drug into my make up addiction, but I hadn’t been as into it recently, beyond painting my nails each week. In this group, I was exposed to some incredible NZ indie nail polish brands, and through an arduous process I decided to make my first indie polish purchase from Star Kin by Every Sensory. When they arrived (of course I couldn’t limit myself to one, but I’ll review the other at a later date) I was so excited. I ordered on Thursday, they were shipped on Friday afternoon, and arrived on Wednesday – considering Monday was a public holiday, I was quite pleased with that. They were really well packaged in bubble wrap, and she even included a small hand-poured soap, a few lollies, and a lovely note. This is what I love about buying from small businesses – the personal touch. Today I’m going to be reviewing Indigo I Promise – described as “a very deep blue crelly base, jam packed with copper micro glitter and copper shimmer”. I had to […]

Review: Collection Cosmetics Nail Polish

Recently Collection Cosmetics (re)launched in New Zealand, and as part of this they did a big giveaway on their Facebook page. I was lucky enough to win a nail polish – shade number 12 which called Purplicious. I have had this on my toes for the last few weeks but figured that once was probably enough when it comes to posting pictures of my toes on the blog, and took some pictures when I put it on my fingernails. I really liked this polish, it was beautifully opaque in two coats, not at all streaky, and dried very quickly. I liked the chunky top of the bottle as it was easy to hold while painting, and the brush is just a very standard size/shape – not too big or too small. The longevity has been good so far, I’m 3 days in and no sign of a chip despite my propensity to do reckless things with my nails. Here’s how it looks on my nails before I cleaned up around the cuticles, and added a top coat: This is the final result, which I’m very impressed with for such an affordable polish – they’re only $6.39! I would rather have 4 or 5 […]

Beauty Review Vault haul

Beauty Review is a great New Zealand-based website that sends out full sized beauty products for people to review on their website. You can also review products not sent to you by them, chat on the forum or read the interesting articles that they put up. Four times a year they have a ‘vault’ sale which is where you use the points you earn by reviewing and participating on the site to buy products. They held one a few weeks ago and today I’m going to review the products that I received. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Lip Gloss Set – RRP $59 I chose this with the intention of giving it to my mum for a belated Mother’s Day gift – a bit of a cheapskate, I know, but my mum loves a bargain just like I do. And yes, she knows I was going to swatch them for the blog. She’s so long suffering. Anyway, on to the review – to be honest I was a bit disappointed with it – the glosses are quite small and weren’t anything special compared to just about every other lip gloss I’ve tried before. They work out to be $3.70/ml, whereas an Australis […]

How to make your manicure last!

There are few things more upsetting than spending time painting your nails with a gorgeous colour, and having it chip off within a day or two. I want mine to last for about a week, and using these techniques I generally achieve that. You will need: A base coat – I use Orly Bonder Nail polish, whatever you fancy. A top coat – I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail polish remover and cotton balls Tiny paint brush Paper towel/tissues The very first step is to make sure that your nails are free of any oils before you start – use nail polish remover on a cotton ball even if your nails don’t have polish on them. If there is any oil on your nails, from hand cream or even food then that will cause the polish to not adhere as well to your nail, and that can cause it to chip. Next you apply your base coat – I really like Orly Bonder, I’ve tried a few others but this is the best so far. I buy mine from eBay as it’s about half the price as buying it in store, but you can easily get it at Farmers. Now […]

Product review: Sinful Colors Nail Polishes

Today I’m going to do a review of a couple of Sinful Colors nail polishes that I purchased recently. It’s a brand that I had seen online, but never seen in person until recently. They were $5.99 each, which is a really good price considering OPI and Orly are around $25-$30 each. The colours are Dancing Nails #835, which is a shimmery red, and Frenzy #922 which is a glittery purple. The formula of Dancing Nails was a little bit difficult to work with. I found that it was a bit runny, which meant my manicure looked a bit sloppy, until I got the hang of using much less in my brush. The photos below show that it my application wasn’t amazing but I think in future it’d look better.I wore Dancing Nails on my fingernails for 4 days and then removed it as my friend wanted to use me as a model for her nail tech course. My polish was just starting to show wear on the tips of some of the nails, and I think I easily could have worn it for a week without it chipping. I did use Orly Bonder base coat and Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Top coat, as […]