Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel Review

I guess I should start by saying that my nails are not pretty; never have been and never will be. I bit them, pulled at them, scraped and chipped nail polish off them for thirteen or so years. Nothing could stop me. Stop 'n' Grow was useless. I was an anxious child on a mission, and my nails paid the price. 

That is, until I was seventeen and I decided that I'd had enough. No more short little stubs that looked awful, thanks very much. I wanted long nails and that was that.

Or so I thought.
What I got were weak nails, that broke constantly; either coming straight off or cracking at the sides. I can't count the amount of money I spent or products I tried, to no avail. A month ago things got super bad. Eight out of ten nails broke within a few days of each other, and the ones that didn't were threatening to crack. The ring finger on my right hand looked about to split right down the middle. So after a recommendation from one of the girls in work (my hero) I sped to TKMaxx in search of products from the Nail Goddess- Sally Hansen.

The VitaSurge Strength Gel promises 'a fast absorbing gel formula for weak nails that split and peel. Dries clear. Stronger nails in 5 days. Vitamin C formula for strength and resilience. Multi-active bead infused gel formula instantly releases a surge of nourishing vitamins C and E for stronger more resilient nails. Helps increase flexibility so nails resist splitting and peeling'.
Naturally, after reading that I was sold, and the amazing turquoise colour made it even better. 

Application is simple. Just apply some of the product to your nails- bonus points if you get the little balls (no laughing) and rub it in either with a finger or the applicator. It dries in within two minutes or so, which is perfect for on the go use.

As far as I can tell the little white balls are the vitamins C and E and if you press down on one they break up and disperse. 

Now, I suppose the big question is did it work in five days? For me, no. But after one week of usage every night before bed I did notice a small difference. Now a month later my nails aren't splitting or peeling as much, although the problem hasn't been completely alleviated. Strength- wise I've not noticed a huge difference as my nails were actually pretty strong to begin with.
Possibly for someone with normal nails that  only occasionally break this could be perfect, but if you have severely damaged nails I wouldn't necessarily recommend this.

Have you tried it? If so, let me know and tell me your thoughts.
Claire x

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Makeup Brush Guide Part 1: Choosing Your Brushes

As Philoctetes in Hercules said: 'A hero is only as good as his weapon'. That being said, a make up artist needs good tools. Brushes are an essential part of any good kit, however, with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know what you need. The right brush will give you the best finish and maximise the quality of the products you're using. 
Until I learned what brushes different brushes were used for, and what I actually needed, I would mindlessly buy more and more and still find them to not really be right. So I decided to compile this little guide to help you figure out what you need and when you need it.

The Basics

Anatomy of a makeup brush
Almost every makeup brush is made from the head (bristles) and body (ferrule and handle).
Bristles can be natural or synthetic, and the handle can be wood or plastic. The ferrule is the connector between the bristles and handle and is usually metal.

Natural or synthetic?
Choosing between natural or synthetic bristles does make a big difference, believe it or not. Synthetic brushes are slightly more suited to liquid or cream products compared to natural brushes, as the hair is smoother and has less naturally occurring blemishes and doesn't trap products as much. 
Natural bristles are fantastic to use with powder products as they blend them so well, and give a beautiful finish.

Natural: pony, goat, squirrel, sable, horse, badger
Synthetic: acrylic, taklon

Types of Brushes

Makeup brushes can be divided into two main categories: face brushes and eye brushes. 
Eye brushes are an extensive category but can include:
Pointed liner
Angled liner
Crease blender
Basic eyeshadow
And all can be small medium or large but I think my fingers may fall off if I try to list them all.

So hopefully this has helped break down the endless selection of brushes available for you. If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them below.

Claire x