Saturday, February 22, 2014

Epic Nail - Summertime Shellac Starter Kit Review

 I reviewed Epic Nail's Nail Foil a while back (click here). I wore the nail foils to a wedding and I showed the foils to every girl I had a conversation with - most were in awe and didn't know what nail foils were.

I am not a salon go-er, nor have I tried Shellac nails - I thought it was something you can only get done at nail salons. Naturally, I couldn't resist when Epic Nail asked me to review this kit ^_^


The Summertime Shellac Nail Kit includes:
  • 1x    12 watt pink LED Nail curing lamp
  • 6x    Shellac Polishes:  Cosmo, Cheeky Pink, Aqua Addiction, Sherbert Sorbet, Big Sky and Summer Dream
  • 1x    Top Coat
  • 1x    Base Coat
  • 10x  Cuticle pushers
  • 20x  Alcohol wipes


Everything seemed rather technical when I opened the box, then I saw the brochure and realised the user friendly nature of the kit!


 


I fixed my nails and applied the top coat.

Once completed, I put my fingers into the LED machine. The machine was SO easy to use!

I flicked the "On" button at the back, set the time to 90 seconds (using the +/- buttons) and hit the little light bulb button to start the timer. The LED light came on as soon as I placed my fingers in. A beep sound will be present (pull your fingers out) and the LED lights will automatically switch off.




I applied a layer of coloured polish and cured for 90 seconds. This was followed by the application of top coat + another 90 seconds of curing.

Once everything was done, I used an alcohol wipe to remove sticky residue.
 


 I couldn't believe the result, extremely smooth and shiny. I always thought why I should go to nail salons when I can paint my own nails at home. Now I can do my own shellac, stolked!

Pros
  • I love the finish, the feel of the shellac on my nails, how smooth and shiny it is
  • Longevity - I've had my orange polish on for 2 weeks now, no chips. 
  • Gorgeous colours
  • Easy to use
  • No drying time required, the curing does it all for you. 
  • No pungent lacquer smell!!!

Cons
I honestly can't think of a single con for this kit.


Shertbet Sorbet

Cosmo

Cheeky Pink

Summer Dream

I'm going to a wedding this weekend and I'll be wearing peeptoes, I prefer to have coloured nails in peeptoes so I thought, why not shellac my toes as well? Since my feet are more tanned than the rest of my body, the pastel creates a perfect contrast. I think I'll be shellac-ing my toes more often!

Big Sky


 Aqua Addiction


Removal





Epic Nail was super thoughtful and sent me a removal kit for the shellac nails. I've never used pure acetone to remove nail polish, the caution signs made me a little nervous at first.

I followed the instructions provided by Epic Nail, took the foils, soaked the cotton pad with acetone and wrapped it around my fingers. It's inevitable that you'll get acetone on your skin, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.




There were still some shellac residue on my nails after 15mins. So, I left the rest on till the 20 minute mark. The shellac bubbled up (see below) and I was able to remove it with the cuticle stick provided quite easily, however I had to scraped off a bit of the top bed of my enamel. Once I finished removing, I applied coats of vaseline to each cuticle.



The acetone made my fingers quite dry, so don't forget to moisturise! I genuinely love my new nails and I think it's amazing that I can now do my own shellac at home instead of forking out $35-$45 to get them done at the salon.

To me, these are salon quality - more reason that I will not set foot into a nail salon! Although, I personally did not prefer the removal process, but I guess if you do your nails on a regular basis you would probably feel more accustom to it. To be honest, I like the outcome enough not to remove it, I'm quite happy to do my shellac at home and leave them off till they decide to come off on their own.
 
 I am really happy with the shellac kit ^_^  It's fantastic to have around the house in preparation for special events or regular use!



Epic Nail is kindly offering my readers free shipping for any kit. Enter this code at checkout: KITLILY
Offer expires March 21st

Check out their website: www.epicnail.com.au

Have you tried Shellac Nails? Which is your favourite shade from the kit?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lust Have It! Monthly Box February 2014


 I actually prefer receiving my LHI without a box, my collection of boxes are piling up in my room. Was there a theme for this month?




Clairol Professional Volume Mousse
$19.50 for 250ml
Received 50ml

I use a bit of hair wax to get my flyaways into place. Other than that I'm not a person for too much hair products, they tend to leave a spider-web like white residue on my hair. However, I do need volume! I'll give this a go.


Vaseline Untimate 10 Anti Aging Body Lotion
$19.29 for 750ml 
Received 25ml

We received a sample of this at Carols in the Domain, my boyfriend and I both thought it was anti-aging cream for the face. I didn't realise it was a body lotion. Oops. 


 The Cosmetic Kitchen Eyeshadow in Celebrity
$22.50
Full Size

Quite happy about this product. A fairly neutral shimmery sandy gold colour. One of the colours I use quite often. It's also talc free, certified cruelty free and certified vegan. Huge bonus!


The Cosmetic Kitchen Brush
$22.50
Full Size

Anther product I am quite happy about. I think this is a blush brush? I've never had a brush with a guard before. The bristles are very soft ^_^

Clairol Professional Colour Radiance Shampoo
 $13.95 for 250ml
Sample Size

I've dyed my hair once in my life and decided never to do it again, just in case I want to sell my hair. So I'm not sure what I'd do with this. Maye use it wash my brushes?


Hand Spa Bijoux - Hand Wipe
$1.50 per sheet

This isn't an anti-bacterial wipe! It contains royal jelly, hyaluronic acid and soy bean. Curiosor and curiosor.


Juice Beauty green apple peel sensitive
$65 for 60ml
Sample Size

I've never heard of this brand... but it's a certified organic exfoliator. Apparently this exfoliator will refine and reduce wrinkles, lighten hyperpigmentation and firm your skin. Sounds like things I need for my skin! 


A buy one get one free from Harvest box - www.harvestbox.com.au/freesnack


I didn't get lucky dip (dammit!) - did you?

Not too bad of a box, there were some interesting products and products I'm keen to try, but nothing really stood out for me (I might have incurred inklings of post-holiday depression - that let down feeling knowing you're no longer on holiday). I'm nearing the end of my annual subscription - which is kind of scary to know that a year went so quickly. I've been racking my brain trying to decide whether I should re-purchase another annual subscription. I have really enjoyed the vast majority of my LHI boxes, but my beauty collection has reproduced rapidly in the past year. Ahhh... it's like thinking about the meaning of life, this is something for me to mediate on.

What did you think about this month's box? Did you get anything different?

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Travel with Me: Konnichiwa Nippon こんにちは日本~ Hello Japan! ^_^ {Pic Heavy}

Pardon my poor Japanese - my trip to Japan has inspired me to take up Japanese class down the track this year.

I woke up in utter disappointment to find myself in my own bed. My boyfriend and I landed in Sydney on the 14th. In the last few days, we realised how much we have adapted to the culture and customs during our trip. We started cruising around in a Sydney car with no seat belts on, slurping our noodles in satisfaction, answering phones in a different language, bowing instead of saying thank you, expecting shops to be open at 10pm and wondering why the streets are so lonely with no pretty lights. One month went too quickly.

Our 10.3 hours worth of plane ride was painful... we sat in the most uncomfortable seats, zombified and unable to sleep. The view was beautiful though.

I'll make separate posts for food, makeup, my tour in China and my weeks in Shanghai.



We had activities jam packed during our week in Japan. The subway was really easy to use, lots of roman characters. Japan is a fast paced country, but Japanese people are incredibly polite. We got lost at the subway station once and started swarming around like headless flies, a subway worker came to us for assistance, we pointed at the suburb and said "Mitaka", he realised we didn't speak much Japanese and walked us to the correct platform.





Studio Ghibli @ Mitaka, Tokyo

Studio Ghlibi was amazing, the museum did not allow photography as they displayed all the intricate techniques (graphics, clay etc) on how Miyazaki put his animations together. There were street signs (such as the picture above) directing you to the studio from Mitaka Station. If you are keen to go, make sure you book your Ghibli tickets with your travel agent (approx $25AUD pp).


Suwa Lucanidae Museum @ Mitaka, Tokyo

We went to the Suwa Lucanidae (Stag Beetle) museum in Mitaka (2mins from Studio Ghibli). The Museum was tiny, probably equivalent to the size of my conjoined kitchen/dining room and living room put together. Very cosy, the Museum worker was very welcoming and polite. Approx 200yen ($2AUD) entry fee per person.


Menji Jinju Shrine @ Shibuya, Tokyo
If you go to Japan, you should probably visit one of their shrines, I'm not a religious person, but I found this to be a very interesting experience. It was more spiritual than anything.


Parasitological Museum, @ Menguro, Tokyo

Menguro is the home of the world's only Parasitological Museum in the world. Look at those parasites! Entry is free.




Saku Garden Parada Ski Resort @ Saku City, Nagano

My first time skiing, I slid backwards down the hill and fell on my face. I thought I was gonna die or fracture something.. but it was kinda fun. If you pre-book with Saku Garden, your full skiing experience will be under $100AUD - including return transport, gear hire and entrance to the ski resort.


Takeshita Street @ Harajuku, Tokyo

This reminds me of Newtown in Sydney a little bit. I wouldn't recommend shopping here, products are very touristy and prices are jacked up. If you want to do some clothes shopping, I recommend 109 department store in Shibuya.

**Note** Make sure you take your shoes off in the change room, one of the sales assistant got very upset I wore my shoes in there.





Robot Restaurant @ Shibuya, Tokyo

We thought this would be a great place to see robots in action, but it wasn't exactly what we expected. Due to it's touristy nature, the service was probably the worst I've experienced in Japan - make sure you book in advance, otherwise they'll make you stand outside in the cold for half an hour. Entrance fee costs 5000yen per person ($50AUD), this includes a tiny portion of the most distasteful Japanese food. The performance was "interesting" a lot of half naked girls in bikinis and fish-net stockings, a great place for seedy men and perverts. It got better and a bit crazy when the dancing robots came out.





Hot Spring @ Ogawa-machi, Tokyo

Finally went soaking in the hot spring, it's just like how you would see it on tv, minus the towels. Yup, you strip down naked O_O. Don't fret! Men and women have separate springs. I went in by myself and had no idea what to do, but figured it out eventually. 

To maintain the cleanliness of the spring, you need to strip down and wash yourself first - they provided Shiseido shampoo, conditioner and body wash!!! Once completed, I soaked in an indoor spring for a few minutes so my body can adjust to the temperature. Few minutes later, I went and soaked in the real outdoor hot spring.

Once I finished and got dressed in some white cottony clothing, I met up with my uncle and boyfriend in the waiting area, we went into a heated room - ridiculous temperature - to lay for 10 minutes. We were drenched with sweat - and hopefully all the toxins came out too. I went back to the separate dorms for a wash and another soak. My body was aching from the skiing and falling, this pretty much cured it. 

We sat in the dining area and had some complimentary tea once we were done with soaking. The venue was amazing.




Mount Fuji @ Shizuoka, Shinzuoka Prefecture

 I'll let the pictures do the talking.. oh by the way, the pond is 70m deep... check that clarity!





Wish I can tell you where this was. We went 21m underground to see how traditional Japanese people would store blocks of ice underground and deliver it to their king, post-refrigeration.



Again, pardon my memory, can't tell you the location of this Monkey Show. But it's about 20 mins from Mt Fuji. The monkeys were very cute and talented, although I'm not sure how much I agree with putting animals in human clothes.


My wonderful family in Japan, they showed us so much gratitude ^_^



I'll finish off with some cat photos. Meet Maru ^_^ she loves chewing on this stick!





Websites:
Studio Ghibli: http://www.studioghibli.net/
Menguro Parasitological Museum: http://www.kiseichu.org/Pages/english.aspx
Robot Restaurant: http://www.robot-restaurant.com/E/

Have you been to Japan?

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