Saturday, 25 August 2012

Nail Mythbusters - What Happens If You Put OPI Axxium No Cleanse UV Top Sealer on Nail Polish

A while ago I started experimenting with nail products as I had lots of unanswered questions about whether you could mix certain products with others. I have spent hours trawling the internet to try and find answers and I figured that there must be others out there who had the same unanswered questions as me, so I decided to do the experiments myself and report back on them in a feature I call...drumroll...Nail Mythbusters!

The Experiment: Today I'm looking at what would happen if you put OPI Axxium No Cleanse UV Top Sealer on top of nail polish. 

Usually this product is applied as a finish to OPI Axxium Gel and it produces an amazing glossy finish which I have struggled to get from any other polish top coat. As usual I had tried to find out the answer by looking online but had no luck at all. I wanted to know if it would help a manicure to last longer without chipping, whether it would provide the amazing gloss that it does in gel extensions and whether the overall effect would be as good as a gel polish manicure.

About half way through the curing process, I took my hand out of the UV lamp to see how it was looking. It looked great, really nice and glossy, so I put my hand back under to finish. When I removed my hand after the full 2 minutes I noticed a little crinkling. The finish wasn't as smooth as it should have been but the glossy finish remained. I put the polish under a bit of strain by picking at the sides and was surprised to see that it started to chip (not as easily as standard nail polish alone, but still quicker than properly prepped and applied gel overlays or gel polish).

The conclusion; Although it sort of works, I wouldn't recommend doing this. It just doesn't look that good. I like my nails to have a super smooth and glossy finish, and I would rather spend a few minutes extra having a gel polish manicure or pedicure. 

Round-Up of Some Wonderlust Nails Treatments

 Full set of Swarovski Crystal Toes

OPI Axxium Extensions in French

ASP Extensions in Cool Red

Full Set of Rockstar Nails in Silver Holo

Full Set of Rockstar Nails in Silver Holo

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Bling Bling Bling

There's no denying that Swarovski Crystal nails are a big trend this season, and I always love to try something new so I researched using gold crystals instead of the traditional colour and was surprised to find that nobody had really tried this out. If you have ever looked at a Swarovski Elements colour chart, you will have seen that there are a few colours which could be described as gold, depending on the look that you want. I decided to go for Light Topaz as this in my opinion is the truest gold that they do. I found a supplier in the UK that did them in the SS5 size and quickly purchased a sample of 200, which I estimated would do my big toes. I then purchased some gold Trendy nail wraps to go on the remaining toes.

Here is the result:

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Orange Gel Nails with Swarovski Crystals

Just plain and simple ASP Volcano gel overlays with a but of bling, Swarovski Crystals of course! I just can't get enough of them. Think I'm addicted. x

Swarovski Crystal Twinkle Toes and Full Set of Bling!

This week my Swarovski Crystal Nail competition winner came over to claim her prize and she had fully loaded big toes with a few accent crystals on the remaining toes which looked lovely. I used the OPI Axxium DS Radiance as the colour gel on top of the base gel which is often the preferred choice for those who don't have a full set.

Later on in the week I did another full set of toes, but this time I used OPI Axxium overlay gel which is the file off system. This client was about to go on holiday so needs something really hard wearing and long lasting. This system should certainly do the trick.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Pink Holographic Swarovski Crystal AB Manicure With Gel

Isn't that the longest title you have ever seen on a nail blog?! It was sort of needed as there are so many different trends included in this set of nails, that I didn't want to miss out a single thing.

I did this very girly set of nails last night on one of my friends and Chief Hand Model, Daisy May. I had received a very exciting delivery earlier on in the day which included some more classic Swarovski Crystals as well as a stunning new colour that I have decided to launch due to the popularity of my Swarovski Crystal Manicures and Pedicures, Swarovski Crystal AB. She chose the pink Tutti Frutti gel for the overlay and decided to go for a holographic top coat called Disco Ball, which complements the iridescent shine of the crystals.

This is starting to become very expensive to offer as Swarovski Crystals don't come cheap, however they look so much better than standard crystals that you can purchase fcraft raft stores, eBay or in big multi-packs for next to nothing from China. I would never compromise on the quality as I promise you that it's just not worth it. I have tried with cheaper alternatives but the sparkle is gone as soon as a protective top coat is applied and if a top coat isn't applied then they just don't last.

Thanks for reading, and as always, your comments are always read and appreciated.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Full Set Of Swarovski Crystal Nails On Toes

I did another fabulous set of Swarovski Crystal Bling Nails on toes recently and they were a huge success. They are going down a storm at the moment and I have only been promoting them over the last few days! Take note nail technicians: Swarovski Crystal Nails have to be the top nail trend of 2012 for sure!

If you read my previous tutorial post then you will see that I secure them with OPI Axxium DS Radiance gel so they can last up to 6 weeks if they are looked after.

The lady that I did them on was thrilled and the pictures don't do them justice. If you are interested in booking then there is 10% off until the end of July so they are only £45 on toes or £50 after the end of July. I always use the best OPI products and genuine Swarovski Crystals. The cheaper gemstones are no good and result in a very poor imitation, so don't accept anything less than Wonderlust Nails. Xx

Friday, 8 June 2012

Swarovski Crystal Nails

 Photo: Swarovski Crystal Big Toes

I had the pleasure of doing a lovely lady's *Bling Nails* pedicure this evening. I applied authentic Swarovski Crystals to her big toe nails and OPI Axxium gel in DS Radiance on the remaining toes. I then finished them off with a cost of clear top cost to protect and seal them.

I chose to use gel as it is hard wearing and also offers better value for money as it lasts longer than doing it on to polished nails. The crystals alone cost about £12 and with the cost of the OPI gels on top of that it is expensive to do.


  • Apply a layer of UV gel base coat and cure under a UV lamp.
  • Apply the first layer of the super sparkly OPI DS Radiance and cure under the UV lamp.
  • Apply the second coat but don't cure yet.
  • Start to apply individual crystals to the nail (I used SS7 on the big toe but I have SS5 for the other toes as they are smaller and I want to give a really professional finish).
  • Once the nails are covered, cure under the UV lamp.
  • Carefully apply a coat of clear top coat, taking sure not apply too thickly otherwise the sparkle is reduced and the crystals can look like beads rather than bling.
  • Finish off with a finishing wipe and apply OPI cuticle oil.
I would love to know what you think about these and if you have had Swarovski Crystal nails then I would love to know what your experiences have been.

I price this treatment at £30 for the big toe with OPI gel on the remaining toes or you can book to have a full set for £50. I am offering a special 10% discount until the end of 31st July 2012.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Nail Mythbusters - Can I use a 36 watt UV lamp instead of a 9 watt UV lamp for curing colour gels?

The Experiment: Can I use a 36 watt UV lamp instead of a 9 watt UV lamp for curing colour gels? 

I did a ton of research into whether I could do a set of colour gel nails with a 36 watt lamp instead of the recommended 9 watt. I purchased new colours without thinking and then had a last minute panic about whether I would cook someones hands or feet, so I did an experiment. I figured that there must be other nail technicians out there who had wondered the same thing. Here's the result:

In order to make it a better test I tested the 36 watt lamp on two different brands, ASP from Sally's and my lovely faithful OPI Axxium  Soak-Off Gel Color. I also decided to use myself as the test subject as I would be able to tell quickly if there was a problem or if something wasn't right. 

I started off with the gel base coat. The curing process seemed normal and worked well. There were no adverse effects so I continued top the first colour layer. Again, no problems or areas for concern so I continued to the second layer of colour. I started to feel more and more confident that this was going to be a success, but the true result would only be realised once I had completely finished the set so I added the clear top coat and then wiped of the excess once all steps had been completed. The result was fabulous, just the same if I was doing a set with the OPI Axxium File-Off system which actually requires the 36 watt lamp.

I would be really interested to know if anyone has tried a 36 watt lamp on the OPI GelColor range. I'm going to be offering this shortly but I want to know whether I have to spend a fortune on the OPI LED lamp or whether I can use my 36 watt lamp for this as well. When I'm doing mobile nails in the local area, I don't really want to have to be draggin around more than I have to, as nail tech's out there will know that we need a lot of kit!

Important note: As mentioned in a previous post, I like to think of myself as an OPI purist and would always recommend that you do your research when using a different lamp. These are my personal experiences and I would always try to use the suggested lamp. I needed to try this experiment as I had a set of nails to do but didn't have time to get a 9 watt lamp. I now have a 9 watt lamp and would use this unless I absolutely couldn't for some very good reason.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Nail Mythbusters - What Happens If You Mix OPI Soak Off Gel With Other Branded Base Gel and Top Coat Gel

The Experiment: Have you ever wondered what would happen if you used a different brand of gel base and top coat to your usual gel colour? 

Recently I had purchased some OPI Soak Off Gel (DS Radiance) which arrived safely. I also ordered the OPI Soak Off Base Gel and Top Coat, but the last 2 items were purchased on eBay and unfortunately never arrived. I desperately needed the complete set as I was due to do a set of sparkly silver overlays but there are no OPI suppliers near by to me and I couldn't wait for an online order to arrive. I had a bit of a think and wondered what would happen if I used my ASP soak off gel base and soak off clear gel with the OPI soak off gel. I am usually a complete OPI purist and a total product snob but I like experimenting and couldn't find a true answer online so I decided to try a set of overlays on myself. 

Result: I'm thrilled to report that it worked really well!

The finish is gorgeous and glossy, there is no lifting or shrinkage and my nails feel fabulous and strong days later!

I am still planning to purchase my regular OPI Soak Off Base Coat and Top Coat, however if you are strapped for cash or can't get what you need at a moment's notice then "cheating" could work.

Note: I used ASP products and OPI. That doesn't mean to say that mixing just any brand will be as effective. Please let me know what your personal experiences are so that all readers get a true and well rounded opinion.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cherry Pie Short Nail Extensions

I used another one of my ASP colour gels on a customer today; Cherry Pie. She liked having shortish nails but they were all a little uneven in length so we evened them up with some short extensions. The colour was far pinker than was shown on the sticker, but we agreed that it was still a fab colour and would look amazing with the tan that she was going to have on holiday next week.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Bubble Gum Pink Gel Nail Extensions

I had an impromptu booking yesterday afternoon by someone looking for pink gel extensions. I was really excited as it was the perfect opportunity to use my new gel colours that I bought from Sally's recently. I have been struggling to get OPI anywhere locally and it's been really annoying me, so I really needed to get an alternative without compromising on quality.

Whilst at Sally's I found ASP colour gel in Tutti Frutti (amongst a couple of other pink shades) and decided to give it a go. It was really nice to work with considering it is about half the price of OPI however it was a little runnier than I am used to so you have to apply thinner layers which is quite annoying. I finished off with a layer of clear top coat and I think that the result was lovely. I certainly won't be giving up my OPI all together as its quality can't be beaten, but if you can't justify the £25 a pot price tag (and that's before you have bought the base and top coat) then I would certainly recommend the cheaper ASP range.


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cool Jubilee Nails Heavy On The Diamonds

It's 60 years since Queen Elizabeth's Coronation and what better way to celebrate than a set of gorgeous patriotic nails. I did my daughter's nails and my own and used inspiration including The Crown Jewels, the Union Jack flag, the traditional postage stamp and the E.R crest.

Let me know what you think! X


Monday, 7 May 2012

Crystal Manicures and Pedicures

I have recently had a lot of enquiries for Swarovski Crystal manicures and pedicures and have run out of kit, so I have ordered some OPI Axxium DS Radiance as the embedding gel and Swarovski Crystals. All in all it set me back quite a lot as I anticipated that I would need about 500 crystals for a pedicure/shortish set of nails and OPI doesn't come cheap in the UK, however I went to the beauty wholesalers earlier on today and took a closer look at Sally's range and thought that it would be fun to have a play around with their own range. I ended up buying ASP Base Coat, Disco Ball gel and Clear gels, as well as a pack of 250 standard crystals. The Disco Ball gel is a clear gel with holographic glitter micro glitter. It looks stunning and despite some not so favourable reviews, I found it to be really great to work with. It came out with a great effect and overall I think that it's a brilliant cheaper alternative. As a nail professional I will still offer the premium quality version with OPI and Swarovski as I am a bit of a nail snob and want to give my customers the absolute best finish, but I would certainly not be unhappy if a nail technician gave me a set of nails like this (I'm referring to the middle one just in case you were wondering!). Unfortunately the iPhone doesn't have a great zoom and I have used Instagram to give a different effect, but I think that you get the idea.

I would really like to know what you views are on Crystal Manicures/Pedicures, and if you have any experiences then please feel free to comment.

Just in case you were wondering, I offer the Swarovski and OPI version for £30 ($48.57US) for just the big toe/one finger on each foot/hand with OPI Axxium DS Radiance gel, with gel on the remaining fingers or toes, £50 ($80.95US) for a full set of toes and £60 ($97.14US) for a full set of finger nails. Nails Inc offer the Crystal Manicure in their salons for a hefty £120 ($194.28US).                   


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Price List Available

My new Wonderlust Nails pricelist for mobile nail services in Somerset is now available.Includes lots of cool and unusual services such as the Swarovski Crystal manicure, Rockstar Nails etc. I am also looking into nail wrap suppliers, so these will be coming soon!

See the Wonderlust Nail Services tab for full details.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

OPI Giveaway!!! Who wants Red Lights Ahead...Where?

In honour of my new Wonderlust Nails Facebook page, I have decided to offer one of my favourite OPI nail polishes from the Holland Collection - Red Lights Ahead...Where? 

OPI say this "coral-packed red is the hottest in the district" and they are right! So on-trend for Summer 2012 and looks so amazing on any skin tone.

The offer ends at 8pm GMT tomorrow, so get your skates on and enter!

To enter please comment on this post, like my Wonderlust Nails page on Facebook and share the post on Facebook.

If you have any questions then give me a shout! Good luck. xxx


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Long Time No Speak

Sorry that I have been a big quiet on the blog for a while. I have been really busy with ill children and most recently ill me. Have had a terrible sickness bug that seems to not want to leave my household and it really hit us all hard. I am hopefully getting towards the end of it although I haven't been able to get my appetite back fully, but I have my Manicure and Pedicure Diploma course tomorrow with Emma Hawkes from Taunton Nail Training Academy so I need to fight through it.

I also realised that I forgot to show you all what Anniversary Gift Part 2 was, so here it is...

It would also be rude not to show you my new OPI Manicure and Pedicure range which I will be testing on my sister who is my model on my course tomorrow. I'm very excited about these products as OPI is always amazing quality and the smell coming from the bottles even though I haven't opened them is lush! They had better be good as they are the most expensive range that I looked at. I wanted to start as I meant to go on and believe that it's really important not to scrimp on products as you almost always get what you pay for.

I have Tropical Citrus Soak, Tropical Citrus scrub, Tropical Citrus Mas and Tropical Citrus Massage. When I bought these a while ago I also treated myself to a new bottle of Avoplex Cuticle Oil, which also smells and feels delicious.

I will update you when I'm done, but for now I'm off the learn every possible anatomical part of the hands and feet. Wish me luck as I'll need it, especially for the exam.

Friday, 6 April 2012

SALE ENDED - OPI Holland & Nicki Minaj Collection Sale

I had a major nail polish haul and am now auctioning loads of the OPI Holland Collection, the Nicki Minaj Collection and a group lot of 6 gorgeous China Glaze polishes, including a stunning holographic one!

The individual polishes are currently still at their starting price, so look now to grab a bargain! Auctions end at just after 8pm GMT tonight!!!