A big nail trend this year was to do with Nail Vinyls. They are an easy nail art alternative for those of you lacking skills or with the shakes (like me). I have vinyls from quite a few brands but my favourite brands are Nail Vinyls, Vinyl Boutique, What’s Up Nail Art Store and She Sells Sea Shells UK. They all make good quality vinyls with unique designs. Don’t forget to use a quick dry topcoat and leave it for an hour before using nail stencils, otherwise you will rip off your base colour. I am yet to find an Australian nail vinyl/stencil maker that I like as much as these brands but hopefully someone will pop up in 2015.
|Pink Ribbon Day Nails using Nail Vinyls|
If you’re looking for something even easier to use, then decals are for you. Late in 2014 I found out about Nailed Kit. Nailed Kit provide two packs of decals a month when you sign up to their subscription plan. The decals are super easy to use and look really great. I used them for some Christmas nails and I was really happy with the results. A cheaper alternative is to get some from Born Pretty Store. They have lots of cheap nail art items and you can get an extra 10% off if you use my code ALAX31.
|Born Pretty Store Decals Review|
2014 has seen me go from not knowing what clean-up is to being obsessive about it. I am far from perfect with my clean up but I can usually get an even look per nail. The items that have really helped with clean-up have been my clean-up pens from ebay and a small brush with square tip that comes in a three piece set from ebay. I use the pens for the large areas that I need to clean up and then dip the little brush in straight acetone from the hardware store, and swipe it between the cuticle and polish to get a clean line.
I also have lots of favourite hand and nail care products that I found during 2014. My favourite cuticle oils are Dadi’ Oil, Two Birds Lacquer and Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil – you can read more about them in my Cuticle Oil Review. To help my cuticles look nice, once a week I use Peita’s Polish Cuticles Be Gone and lightly rub the dry cuticle bits off. Most cuticle removers are far too strong for my skin and cause my eczema to flare but I’ve never had this problem with the Peita’s Polish one.
I tried many hand and cuticle creams during the year and found out that I didn’t like a lot of them. I have luckily found two cuticle creams that I do really like which are the Powder Perfect Cute-icle balm in the stick form and Bliss Kiss Simply Sealed Mini Lotion Stick. As for Hand Creams, I adore the scent and quick absorbency of Romy Eucalyptus and Lemongrass Hand Cream but it is so expensive. A much more cost effective alternative is the Sukin Hand & Nail Cream.
|My favourite nail care products|
Last but not least, my favourite nail files. I won a beautiful set of Mont Bleu nail files from a Squeaky Nails giveaway. I am so happy I won them as they are amazing. The files are genuine crystal glass nail files made from Czech tempered glass. The small grit means that my nails are less prone to breaking, as bigger grit files seem to cause cracks in my nails. The glide along the nail tip and also have lots of beautiful designs to choose from – I highly recommend them.
|My Mont Bleu nail file set|
That’s it for my 2014 favourites. If you think I’ve missed something or know of something that I must try in 2015, leave me a comment below.