Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Nail trends & product picks - Winter 2013

There are so many beauty trends and products catching my eye these days that I thought I would put together some blog posts featuring these trends and products, so that I can share them with fellow beauty-istas and readers.  

This first post features nail trends and products, which will be followed by post featuring hair products and trends, and then another post on makeup (I was going to feature them in one single post - but it would have been WAY too long!).

I haven't been able to try all of the products, but I will be trying some of them & will feature these in separate blog posts.  I would love to hear feedback from readers if you have tried them and what you think of them!


Nail Art & Nail Textures

This is a trend which has really taken off over the past couple of years, and just keeps changing and evolving.  For me, I started taking notice of nail art when many nail companies released their cracking/shattering polishes.  Since then, there have been various textured polishes released, including suede, magnetic, glitter and matte polishes, nail art/polish strips and decals, as well as various embellishments.  In addition, we have seen some interesting and popular looks, including marbling, and the currently very popular ombre/gradient look and 'caviar' look nails.

In my recent post about OPI at Australian Fashion Week here, the nail looks on the catwalk emphasised a few trends - metallic, matte, nude and hints of nail art (such as on the tips or near the cuticle).

Products to try:

Matte nails 

OPI Matte Top Coat
RRP $19.95, David Jones & selected salons

Mix up the matte look by applying the matte top coat over your selected polish colour, then re-apply the polish colour to the free edge only, so that the free edge is glossy & the rest of the nail is matte.

Caviar Nail look

Ciate Limited Edition Caviar Manicure
RRP $36.00, Kit Cosmetics

Ciate is a certified '5-free' brand, which means no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin or camphor.  

Each Caviar Manicure set includes a pot of Caviar Beads and a pot of Paint Pot Nail Polish.  The process for application is as follows:
  • Apply a clear top coat to the free edge of the nail to seal in the Caviar pearls.
  • Allow 15-20 minutes to dry.
  • Remove with regular nail polish remover.
  • Use any shade as a base coat for you Caviar pearls.

BYS Nail Polish Caviar For Nails
RRP $7.95, Priceline, selected pharmacies &

Each BYS Caviar For Nails set comes with a coloured nail polish, and a pot of beads.  Application process:

To apply just paint your nail, dip it into the beads and wait 5 minutes for it to dry. Once dry gently brush the excess beads off and back into the pot.

Ombre Nail Look

The New Black Ombre 5 Piece Nail Polish Set
RRP $36.00, Kit Cosmetics

The New Black is a USA based brand, which is vegan-friendly and free of toluene, formaldehyde, camphor, and DBP.  The Ombre 5 Piece Nail Polish set (available in 3 different colour variations at Kit) comes with 5 shades to create an ombre look spanning across each individual nail.  

Nail strips

Glam by Manicare Express Nail Wraps - 'Lace Me Up' 
RRP $9.99, Priceline & selected pharmacies

These Nail Wraps by Manicare are a great way to get a variety of nail art designs - each pack has 2 different designs, with 40 strips in total (20 of each design), as well as a cuticle stick and nail file.  Designed to last up to 7 days.

The 'Lace Me Up' pack has a black lace design, and also a design featuring small little gem embellishments with black flowers.  I think this one would be great for anyone who wants to try the embellished, 3-dimensional look without having to attach individual embellishments.  

I have recently reviewed these & it can be viewed here

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips
RRP $14.95, KMart, Target, Big W, Priceline, Price Attack, Myer, David Jones, Woolworths and pharmacies

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips Kit includes 16 nail polish strips, a cuticle stick, and a mini file/buffer. The real nail polish strips provide nails with instant colour and shine. They are made of real nail polish & designed to last 10 days. 

OPI Nail Apps
RRP $19.95, David Jones & leading beauty salons

OPI Nail Apps give you customised nails in many patterns and prints. The apps can be applied in less than two minutes and last for at least two days. 

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps
RRP $19.95, David Jones & leading beauty salons

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps are long-lasting, 100 per cent real nail lacquer strips which combine a base coat, colour and topcoat all in one. Designs are available in both cream and shimmer finishes in 14 different styles. 

At-home gel manicure systems

These DIY, at-home gel manicure systems have really gained popularity over the past year.  Gel manicure systems, which were previously a salon-exclusive, involve setting gel polish with UV or LED light.  Many readers would have heard of CND Shellac, which is one of the most well known salon gel brands.  The process of gel manicure application requires no drying time, and provides a long wearing, glossy manicure of at least 7 days, with no chipping.   

To be able to achieve a gel manicure at home, you would think that this would cost a fortune, because in addition to the gel polishes, a UV or LED lamp is required, as well as removal solutions and tools.  However, some affordable at-home gel systems have become available, with their own starter kits which contain everything you need.

Opallac Gel Polish Kit
RRP $99, Priceline and

Opallac is a 100% Australian owned brand, with a gel polish system which is designed to provide manicures which last for up to 14 days.  The affordable 8-piece starter kit contains everything you need to create a gel manicure: a 7Watt UV LED Lamp, 3x Gel Colours (Cosmolicious, Seductress & High Tea), 1x Gel Base Coat, 1x Gel Top Coat, 1x 2-in-1 Shine & Soak Solution, 1x 30pack Remover Wraps.

The process involves:

1. Base coat, then cure for 90 seconds under LED lamp
2. Gel colour, cure for 90 seconds 
3. Second coat of gel colour, cure for 90 seconds
4. Top Coat, cure for 90 seconds
5. Wipe nails with the 2-in-1 Shine and Soak, to add high gloss shine.

A range of 25 gel colours are also available for purchase, for $19.95 each.

ORLY smartGels
RRP $79.95 (starter kit), $99.95 (LED lamp), $23.95 (each smartGELS colour), selected pharmacies, salons, and

This was the first at-home gel system that I became familiar with, after I saw it featured on TVSN.  I contemplated trying it but couldn't justify investing in it, as I keep my nails really short and trim them every few days, and think that these are better suited for someone who is after a solid week of wear without any maintenance.

ORLY is a brand that many would be familiar with, and they are one of the first professional brands to be '4-free' (that is, free of the so-called 'nasties that are toluene, DBP, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin).

The ORLY smartGELS Starter Kit comes with everything except for the LED lamp and Gel Colours (which need to be purchased separately).  It includes a Cleanser,  Primer, Base + Top, Cuticle Oil, Remover, Pocket Removers 20 pk, Lint Free Nail Wipes 20pk,  Pusher & Remover, and Mini File/Buffer.

The process for the ORLY smartGels involves: 

1. Preparing the nail - push back cuticles, buff nail surface lightly, then cleanse nail surface with a small amount of cleanser applied on a wipe.
2. Apply Primer to the nail tips only - allow to air dry for 30 secs.
3. Base + Top - cure for 30 secs.
4. First coat of colour - cure for 30 secs (darker shades may require longer)
5. Second coat of colour - cure for 30 secs (or more)
6. Base + Top - cure for 30 secs
7. Apply cleanser onto a wipe & wipe over nails to clean and add shine.
8. Apply cuticle oil to cuticles

Feel free to comment below about these trends and products - what do you think of the trends (are you loving or loathing certain ones), have you tried a gel manicure & what are your thoughts?

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