Monday, 27 February 2012

International Giveaway - OPI I Mainely Eat Lobster

Remember that as soon as I reach 20 followers (or Wonderlusters) I will be putting up a draw to win a full size bottle of OPI 'I Mainely Eat Lobster'. 1 in 20 odds are pretty good, so read my Giveaways page for more information!!! We're getting close to that target, so the quicker you sign up, the sooner the giveaway will be.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Professional Beauty Show Countdown

I'm super-excited, only 7 days until the Professional Beauty 2012 exhibition at the Excel in London! My blog posts have declined a bit (sorry about that) because I have been busy trawling the website to find out which exhibitors are going to be attending, and have then been writing buying lists for all of the goodies that I need/want.

I have been speaking to Emma Hawkes at Taunton Nail Training recently about the next training courses that I would like to do. My main priority is the Manicure and Pedicure Diploma, so I need a starter kit for both. There are so many products out there and my first instinct was to stick with what I know and buy OPI, however I am going to keep and open mind and test out the other ranges on offer before I commit.

The next service that I wanted to offer was Minx nail wraps, however after speaking to Emma she has almost convinced me that Trendy nail wraps are the way to go as they have such an amazing selection. Again, I'm sure that there are plenty of brands out there, and should try before I buy. I have almost decided again OPI Nail Apps as the website says that they should last for 2-3 days if applied properly, whereas Minx can last 3 weeks or more!

I cannot believe that I have managed to resist buying this beautiful OPI Professional Case from Lena White, especially as I really, really need one. I have done a bit of online research into alternatives, and to be honest there doesn't seem to be much competition as some of the general beauty cases aren't really fit for purpose and look a bit naff, but again, I'm prepared to wait to make sure.


One purchase that I'm definitely going to make a beeline for is the new Holland Collection by OPI. Reason? I'm part Dutch and squealed with delight when I saw this advertised. The names are amazing and the colours are really on trend, and the OPI stand is set to be one of the biggest there!!!! Yay.

Note to self: avoid the Fake It! stand as Chantelle Houghton is going to be signing autographs...yawn. But Amy Childs is going to be there and I love TOWIE so I am definitely getting tickets for her seminar (that's if there are any left).

Monday, 20 February 2012

Katy Perry Disco Ball Crystal Covered Nails


I am most definitely going to be doing these Katy Perry disco ball nails very soon. I imagine that it will take a really long time, so maybe best to wait until I don't have the kids around. I might actually do them on the train on the way to the Professional Beauty show at the Excel in London!!! 

In the meantime, here is a video tutorial that I found on You Tube. Click here to view.

L xxx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Excellent Gel Nail Application Video

I have been trying to find a really good video on You Tube to help me with my gel application technique, as all who have trained in this method will know that it's like passing your driving test - you learn the basics in your training and then you perfect your technique by practising. I had found it difficult to find a clip that really helped me, but this evening I came across a lady called Laura Bliss from the London College of Beauty Therapy. To view the video click here.

I hope that this also helps other new Nail Technicians like me.

L xxx

Adele Does the Louboutin Manicure at the Grammys

You may have seen that I recently featured a black and red OPI Louboutin Manicure on my blog (if you didn't see it then go and take a look).

I'm loving how Adele rocked the Louboutin Manicure at the Grammys, but instead of using the black on the top of the nails, she used a gorgeous silver glittery polish. 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

OPI Axxium Soft French Overlays

My friend Jo came over last night to have her gel overlays done on her nails, and I thought that I would post the result. 

Please ignore the uneven length of her nails. She needs to grow some broken nails out, but didn't want to shorten the length of her other longer nails.

She has had overlays done in the past so I knew that I could get an honest opinion from her. She said that she likes how lightweight and natural they feel, and one of the main features of the OPI Axxium is that it is so light, but without compromising the strength of the gel.

Jo had pretty good nails to begin with, but we decided to use the pink overlay gel to make her nails appear even healthier. I also used the soft white on the free edge to create a natural french finish.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Wonderlust Frankenpolish

A couple of weeks ago I had no idea what Frankenpolish was. I thought that it was a new brand that I hadn't heard of and I was intrigued. I saw a few blog posts on it and soon realised that it is when you mix other polishes to create a new polish. I especially like the jelly glitter type so I decided to have a go at making my own. I had a bottle of Nails Inc Warwick Avenue hanging around that I hadn't used for ages and I hated it going to waste. I picked up some glitter and started experimenting with the various colours and eventually decided on a equal mix of red, blue, green, silver and purple.

Unfortunately (well not so unfortunately as it turned out) the glitter that I used was quite cheap so the colour from the glitter ran a little. The overall result was therefore a lilac instead of a soft baby pink. Never mind though. I don't have a lilac polish and it actually looks pretty amazing on, and the glitter hasn't lot it's colour or lustre.

I don't have time to post a picture of the polish on the nail at the moment as I have just returned to work after 3 days off and I have tons of work to do in the evenings, but I will try my best to get the result up by Saturday.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Comprehensive Guide On How To Spot A Fake OPI Polish

I have decided to sell a couple of OPI nail polishes through eBay just to see how they do, and I was surprised to find out how many fakes there are out there, so cue my next post.

I have done quite a lot of research on this as I wanted to be as comprehensive as possible, so here are the many ways to spot a fake:

The Front Of The Bottle

Letter "L" of "mL" is upper case and "Fl" is lower case. The font of the number "5" is also very important.

The base of the bottle should also be smooth and even. This is often the quickest way of spotting a fake, as OPI is all about quality, especially on their packaging.

The Back Of The Bottle

Apart from the clear printing of all the information, the order of the 4 lines is also a clear indication of a fake. If the order of the lines is different to the one's shown in the genuine picture below, or the safety icons or font is small then stay well clear.

Embossed Logo on Brush

The real OPI brush has an embossed logo on the top of the brush. It is quite hard to see it and I couldn't get a very decent picture. My advice is to push the paint downwards against the bottle head repeatedly. Because the logo is embossed, you can feel the rough texture.

The Brush Itself

As you can see from the picture above, the brushes are thick, with many bristles and flatten down to produce great coverage. Many copies will have a thinner brush and the poor quality is clear.

Inside The Cap

The inside of the cap isn't smooth it has gear-like ridges all around.

Code Numbers

Original OPI has some code number at the top of each bottle. It is quite hard to see it, but it is there if you take a look properly at the bottle.

There is also a more visible code number at the bottom of each bottle, and this is printed in black.

Double Layered Sticker On The Base

You can see the same code on the sticker at the bottom of the bottle and this is also where you will find the colour code. Make sure the color code matches the name of the color. You will have to refer to the OPI website for the correct code.

There is a "peel here" sign on the sticker and there should be no way of sticking that sticker back on. If you can then be wary! When you have peeled off the sticker, you will see a list of ingredients. 

Ribbed Bottle Base 

OPI bottles have a finely ribbed base. Many fakes can be spotted as there is either no ribbed base or the ribbed texture is chunkier.

Steel Balls

If you put the bottle on it's side and let it rest for a minute, you can see there are two little steel balls in the bottle. If there is only one or none then it's probably a fake. I gave up on trying to take a picture of this as I couldn't get the focus right, however it is very clear to see then when you have an authentic bottle.

Mini Bottles

The usual rules don't always apply to the mini bottles, so there are a few differences to consider.

OPI have lots of mini bottle collections, and these mini bottles don't have the sticker on the bottom of the bottle. There is however a colour code printed on the base. They also don't have the steel balls like the standard sized bottles, but they do have the OPI logo stamped into the brush arm.

Cap Seals

Not all OPI polish comes with a cap seal so if it doesn't have one then it certainly doesn't indicate that it's a fake or that it has been used. The bottles that have this seal on indicate that it has a pro-wide brush as opposed to the standard brush (which is still fabulous by the way!).

Don't Get Fooled By Good Fakes

Good fakes seem to have an embossed logo on the brush, codes printed on the top and bottom of the bottle, however the name of the colour is often incorrect and/or the code doesn't match to the name. Often the sticker looks totally wrong too.

If buying from eBay then be careful to use sellers that specify that their OPI products are genuine. Excellent feedback is not an indication that they sell genuine OPI


Essentially there are many ways to spot a fake, and using these warning signs will reduce the likeliness of buying a fake, however OPI claim that the only true way to tell a fake is to test the contents of product.

I hope that you have found this post useful and if you have any other methods for spotting a fake then please feel free to post below.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Sunbed Fail

I have been feeling a bit pastey lately and wanted to de-ghost myself, so I went for a sunbed and was advised to use some tan accelerator. I was handed something which smelt of pineapple and came in a yellow bottle...very nice I thought. I decided to stick to 9 minutes in the oven as I hadn't been on a sunbed since October and I'm really conscious of their ageing effects.  

All was fine until I was getting ready to go to my Zumba class and I realised that I had turned the colour of OPI Thrill of Brazil (see what I did there). Basically I'm red all over and I'm cooking from the inside, which is definitely not a good look. Anyway, I'm a trooper and I went to Zumba despite my mishap. I endured 60 minutes of physical torture because I kept my hoodie on throughout the whole class in order to hide what a tit I had been and the instructor kindly decided to "crank it up a notch" this week. When I got home I looked even more like a dish from Red Lobster. 

So the moral of the story is...never take advice on which tan accelerator to use from a man with botox, wearing pink leopard Minx nail wraps or you will end up like this...

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Noooooooooooooo I Feel Naked

I started to remove the gel extensions tonight and got distracted by watching TOWIE. For some stupid reason I got the clippers out to cut down the tips making it easier to file, but forgot that my natural nails are actually quite long now. Basically I now have stubby left hand nails and am going to have to add extensions all over again.

Having never cared about nails in the past, I was quite surprised at how gutted I feel, but I realised that I am more attached to my talons as I had originally thought. Seeing this, my hubby decided to cheer me up by taking me up on my nag to take more of an interest in my interests. I watch him play MW3 on the PS3, so he decided to help me with my infills on my right hand as I was too forlorn (I have honestly never used that word in my life) to do anything other than drink red wine. I have to explain that Mr W has never picked up a nail file in his life and doesn't look like the person who ever would, but honestly he was really good at it. I have a bit of a bleedy patch where he filed my cuticle and I was too polite to stop him, but then he saw the look on my face and I then felt that it was OK to then shout a few expletives. I will finish off the left hand tomorrow as I now have three days off work - yay!!!

L xxx


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Valentines Nails

I was planning to file off my gel extensions this weekend as they are getting a little bit long and I have a lots of new OPI polish that I'm dying to show off, but I had always wondered whether nail polish would work over gel. I decided to give it a try and knew that I had nothing to lose, because if it didn't work then I would just remove them anyway.

As it was Valentines weekend (Mr Wonderlust is working on Valentines Day) I decided to use the red hot OPI The Thrill of Brazil. I had already filed off my left thumb extension as it had a snag in it and didn't look great hence why my thumb nail doesn't feature much in this post. I'm pleased to report that the polish went on really nicely and dried brilliantly. I was half expecting it to turn into a horrible, gloopy, melted mess as I had no idea if the ingredients of the polish would react with the ingredients in the gel. I am definitely going to do this again to refresh tired french extensions.

L xxx

Thursday, 9 February 2012

OPI Axxium Gel Nail Extensions

I decided that it was time to get some more practice in with gel nail extensions as I have to get the knack of working with the OPI Axxium sculpture gel. My natural nails have been growing really well, but I have felt that they are dry and bendy, so I wanted to give them a little added length and strength to help them along.

 Ever since I started training, I found that I was a bit heavy handed with the sculpture gel and brush and as a result, it ended up a bit uneven. One of the main services that I will be offering as a nail technician will be extensions, so I am determined to get perfect as soon as I can. 

I started to practice on tips attached to my freaky fake hand and eventually I felt confident enough to have a go on my myself, and here is the result of my first solo attempt (without the supervision of my tutor Emma from Taunton Nail Training).

Shame about the flash on this one, but you get the idea.

I actually feel happier with the right hand which I was surprised with as I am very much a right hander, but maybe the extra concentration paid off after all.

The pictures above were taken 5 days after I carried out the treatment, and they are still staying strong, however I have learnt the following:

  • I need to working on practicing my filing and shaping of the extension as some are more oval than others.
  • I need to make sure that all nails are the same length as a couple are a little longer than others.
  • Until I build up my experience I need to level the finish a little better and they aren't as even as I would like them to be, although they certainly aren't bad for a first attempt.
  • I have to practice the 'rock on' tip gluing method a bit more as the ring finger on my left hand has an air bubble, which shows under the gel and could compromise the finish and staying power of that nail.

As always, let me know if you have any improvement suggestions as I want to get really good at this, and constructive feedback is vital.

L xxx

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

OPI I Vant To Be A-lone Star In Many Guises

I'm loving OPIs I Vant To Be Alone Star, so much that I tried it with my Rimmel Matte Top Coat and also with Save Me from the Nicki Minaj collection. 

The matte finish looked amazing, especially with the shimmer of the blue on it's own. The end result looked like silk without being too over the top and would be perfect for both the daytime and the evening.

OPI I Vant To Be Alone Star and Rimmel Matte Finish
OPI I Vant To Be Alone Star and OPI Save Me from the Nicki Minaj Collection
OPI I Vant To Be Alone Star on it's own
OPI I Vant To Be Alone Star with Rimmel Matte Finish Top Coat

L xxx

Friday, 3 February 2012


I have decided to add interest to my blog by offering an OPI giveaway as soon as 20 members have subscribed to my Wonderlust Nails blog. I have added details of the giveaway on the new 'Giveaway' page, so please take a look. You have a 1 in 20 chance of winning, which aren't bad odds, so tell your friends!!!

If you would like to enter then leave a comment at the end of this blog, along with your GFC Name and email address.

Nicki Minaj OPI Polish

I didn't think that it was possible to love nail polish any more than I already do, as I have become a little bit of obsessed...well, more like addicted, especially since OPI entered my life. That was until I realised that OPI were launching a range by Nicki Minaj. 

I waited quite patiently until 2012, and decided to order a set of minis from eBay just after the launch and they finally arrived this week! My set includes very cute mini versions of Did It On 'Em (lime green) Pink Friday (bubblegum pink), Save Me (glitter and holographic streamers) and Fly (turquoise) and I am thrilled to show you the results with the help of my 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son, who just had to get in on the action, not because he is a girly boy but because he is obsessed with the colour green and loves the lime shade.

I started with the usual OPI From Start To Finish Base Coat and Top Coat in one and then painted my daughter's nails in the three bright colours. I added two coats for depth and then added a coat of Save Me on top. If I was doing a manicure on myself then I would add a top coat as well, however I didn't feel that this was necessary on this occasion.

I love all of the colours and the pictures really don't do them justice. I can't tell you how amazing the glittery streamer effect looks and I will definitely need to buy a standard sized bottle of this as it isn't going to last 5 minutes.

I would really like to know what everyone thinks, and as usual this means positive and negative feedback. I would also love to know if anyone has this polish.

P.s You may notice that I have had to do an update on this post, as my OPI Nicki Minaj minis box has a typo - I thought that Save Me was actually Metallic 4 Life. Either someone has made a typo on the box, or the wrong mini bottle was put in. Has anyone else had the same problem? I don't really mind as I have a polish almost exactly the same as Metallic 4 Life and I prefer Save Me a million times more anyway.