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After finally finishing exams, I decided to kick back and relax…so naturally I turned to painting my nails!

This manicure was partly inspired by spring, and partly by my desire to try out the gradient effect on my nails.

Following a base coat, I used Bloom’s Audrey for my background colour (2 coats). I then sponged on OPI Glitzerland onto the thumb, index, middle and pinky fingers using a wedge-shaped cosmetic sponge. The ring finger design was made using a dotting tool, Rimmel ’60 Seconds’ in 610 Pompous for the petals, and OPI Glitzerland for the flowers’ centres. Then, I applied a basecoat to seal the design.

Here’s another view of the nails. For the first attempt, I’m pleased with how the gradient effect turned out (although I had to redo a couple of nails from scratch). I can’t wait to try it out again using different colour combinations!

Despite how much I like the actual design, I am so annoyed about this manicure, and its all because of this…

Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat – one of the few beauty items I have ever bought without reading the reviews. I turned to it after a bad experience with OPI’s top coats. This is the WORST topcoat I have ever tried. Its extremely thick (I needed to thin it out after the 3rd use) and it bubbles insanely. It takes hours and hours to dry completely – I have applied this at 4pm and woken up the next morning with smudge marks!

My manicure took about 40 mins in total to do, and about 30 minutes after I was done I noticed this:

The bubbles are so clustered that they are distorting the design on the nail! It looks even worse in person because the bubbles reflect so much light. I have tried everything to reduce the amount of bubbling, but after reading reviews on the product, it seems to be the formula at fault rather than my application.

So after reading some reviews, I decided to dispose of the evil Sally Hansen bottle and went back to my favourite nail brand Essie (LOVE their Matte About You topcoat).

The First Base base coat retails for AUD19.95 and the Good to Go top coat retails for AUD21.95. Essie products are available from Myer.

I’m looking forward to a summer of relaxation, creative expression, new adventures, family & friends, and getting back to the things I love. Stay tuned for more beauty related goodness AND more book reviews coming really soon!!!

Thanks so much for reading!