Bluesky soak off gel nail polish review…

I love getting my nails done professionally, but at £25 every 3-4 weeks it was costing me more money than I could really afford. So I went off looking for a more affordable solution. For a while, I went back to painting my nails as normal but I found that even with high quality polishes I chipped my nails really quickly. I started to look into at home gel nails. I started off looking at the high end brands like gelish and CND but at over £100 for the starter kit, it was more than I wanted to spend, especially as I have no experience with gel nails. In the end I found the brand bluesky on amazon. At half the price I was allotrope worried about the quality as when it comes to nails I’m a big believer in “you get what you pay for” but after reading mostly positive reveiws, and looking into UV lamps vs LED lamps (UV is cheaper and cures all gel polish but takes longer, whereas LED is more expensive an can only cute polish suitable for LED but will cure in 30s) and making sure I could use the higher end brands with the lamp I took the plunge. I chose this starter kit containing:

  • A UV lamp
  • 3 random gel polishes
  • Base coat
  • Too coat
  • 5 Prep and wipe wipes

You will need to get a remover, as this particular kit doesn’t come with one but there are several starter kits on amazon containing variations. However I decided to go for the extra polishes and brought acetone based false nail remover from boots.

To use, you simply set your lamp up following the instructions, then, lightly buff clean nails and paint a thin layer of base coat on each nail, then cure for two minutes. Most lamps come with a timer setting which makes this easy, mine turns of after the two minutes is up and I simply have to flick a switch to turn it on for another few minutes.

After the base coat, apply your colour. Cute for two minutes and repeat. Finally apply top coat to seal and cure for a final two minutes.

Just a little word of warning, if you get any polish on your skin while painting make sure to clean up the edges BEFORE you cure the polish. I didn’t realise, but I left some top coat on the tip of my finger and although it does eventually peel off it was much harder to remove than normal polish.

Obviously, the next test was to see how long it lasts!

This is when they were first done. J found it easy to apply, and I love how shiny it is and it feels the same as normal polish on my nails! The black triangle gems are from poundland, and I stuck them on with nail glue before applying the top coat.

 

This is five days in, although generally they have lasted well a few of my nails are starting to chip along the free edge. One has actualy peeled off when I washed my hair.

Although the gel polish does last longer than a normal polish I have not managed to get 2 weeks wear out of it. The bonuses to it are definetly the faster drying time and easy application but I was dissappointed with the longevity. However I would buy it again and I think, for £5 a bottle it is worth it for nearly a weeks wear as it’s no dearer than many high street polishes!

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the coments!

Emma-Jayne xx

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Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Glitter tip nail art tutorial…

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Since the wedding, I haven’t kept up with my acrylic nail appointments. There are various reasons including time, and it being an unnecessary expense. As much as I love having them on, it has made much more sense recently for me not too. I will be having them back on before the end of the year, my auntie gets married in October so if not before I will definitely be having them done for the hen night! But until then, I want to make them pretty. And I have to be honest, one thing I have missed with my nails on is trying out various different nail designs myself. And changing it when I feel like it!

I love grey nails. I’ve had them similar to this professionally, although she used a different technique. But I do find sometimes just plain colour is a little boring. I don’t have the skills to do some of these amazing nail art designs out there so I wanted something simple but pretty. I personally think this ticks all the boxes!

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So today, I am using:-

•Barry M nail paint in grey 293.
•Jess nail polish in celebration.
•Nail varnish remover, cotton wool pad and a cotton bud.
•Avon nail experts liquid freeze quick dry nail spray.
•topcoat/base coat.

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First, I made sure my nails were clean and nail-polish free with a quick swipe all over with the remover before applying a base coat. I don’t know what brand it is, because I’ve had it for so long the label had come off.. Just use your favourite one! Then I used 2 coats of the Barry M nail paint. I use this colour on my nails a lot. I originally brought it because I think it’s a really great neutral colour but because it isn’t as harsh as black it is more wearable. At this point you can use a quick spray of the freeze spray, or wait for it to become touch-dry.

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At this point, I used my Jess nail varnish. This is actually from poundland. Personally, I think it takes a long time to dry but I really love the colours in the glitter. I actually brought it for Lillee, as she loves to have her nails painted but she is worse than I am for chipping it, so I only buy her cheap ones for now.

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I carefully, put a thin-ish line across the tip of my nail in the glitter. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I try to get as many glitter particles as I can closest to the tip of my nail so it creates a little gradient meaning the line doesn’t have to be straight. If you struggle with keeping it relatively even, you could use a French manicure template to get a more crisp edge.

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I finished with a topcoat, a spritz of freeze dry spray, and cleaned up my edges with a cotton bud soaked in a little nail varnish remover. And there you have it!

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I hope you like it!

Emma-Jayne xx