Udderly Smooth Hand Cream Review

When it comes to hand creams I have a few faves, but I also like to try new brands.  So when I ran out of the AVON cream that I keep at my desk at work I picked up this new stuff at Dollar General.  It’s called Udderly Smooth Hand Cream and it was around $2.50 for a 4 oz. tube.

udderly smooth

The tube says it was developed for dairy cows, I’m assuming to care for their udders that are always getting tugged at.  Poor babies’ boobies!!  But I’ll be honest, the fun cow print on the packaging is what motivated me to buy it.

The formula is much more runny than I expected.  When I flipped the cap I squeezed the tube to get some of the product to come out.  Turns out, squeezing isn’t necessary.  It’s very runny, so it oozes right out of the tube on its own.  Initially, I was turned off about how thin it was, but I have gotten used to it.  There’s an emblem on the tube that states NON GREASY, but doesn’t practically every cream say that?  In this case though, it’s true.  It absorbs very fast and doesn’t leave an ooey gooey feeling on my hands.  It feels much more squeaky clean than other lotions.  Also, it has a very mild scent, similar to baby lotion.  I like that although it’s not thick and greasy, it does seem to leave my skin soft and smooth.  So I’d say this stuff works just fine.

Usually I prefer thicker lotions, and I don’t mind a greasy feel since in my head I figure greasy = moisturizing.  But in comparison, Udderly Smooth has a nice light formula.  I’d assume that this could be great for people who dislike greasy formulas.  And could also be good if you wash your hands multiple times a day, and therefor have to re-apply lotion a lot.  This stuff’s convenient since it absorbs fast, has a clean feel to it, and you won’t be leaving moisturized fingerprints all over everything.

So there ya have it!  Udderly Smooth Hand Cream.

Hey, did you notice my nail art at all?  I’ll be posting these pastel peacock nails tomorrow.  See ya then !

UPDATE on May 5, 2014- So I realized that my cream is much runnier than it should be.  I spotted another tube at a pharmacy and I shook it and it felt solid.  Mine is noticeably very runny!  I contacted the company using the email address on their website about 5 days ago.  I haven’t heard back yet but I will let you know if they respond.  I still have my receipt so I might try to exchange the product at Dollar General.  I think the cream is nice, but it’s making a mess since it squirts right out if you open the tube without being really really careful. Not sure what the deal is there!

 

Poshinality Dreamer- Review

Have you heard of this new nail polish brand called Poshinality?  If you’re into socially responsible companies then you’ll be happy to hear that Poshinality nail colors are vegan, toxin-free and they even donate some proceeds to charity.  Another cool thing is that all of Poshinality’s nail colors are named after a fashion style, or a personality trait – so every girl can find a bottle to help her express herself.   Oh wait, and men too, let’s not exclude them now!  My boyfriend’s a painter and I’m gonna see if he’ll let me do his nails with this purple called ARTISTIC.  Wish me luck with that.  Anyway, for my review I was able to select from a few different shades, so I picked the one that matched closest to my personality- DREAMER.  Let’s look at this pretty!

poshinality dreamer

I would always wear a glitter topper over another color, so for the purpose of this review I applied Dreamer over a black polish. Dreamer is a copper chunky glitter.  It’s a clear base with copper hex glitter, tiny copper glitter, and tiny gold glitter.  The addition of the gold specks really kicks it up a notch and in my opinion, gives it a ritzy luxurious effect.

dreamer copper glitter

I only needed one coat of Dreamer.  I got really great coverage with just the one coat.  No glitter fishing either.  I think all the tiny glitters in there make the formula nice & fluid so the glitters dispersed evenly on my nail.  The glitters lay flat and are not too bumpy either.  Huzzah!  One coat of seche vite topcoat made it pretty smooth.  No glitter food needed.

I also took a few photos outside so you could see the glitter in natural light.  Just as pretty I think!

copper glitter swatch poshinality glitter

I’m really happy with this polish and I look forward to picking out my next bottle.  I’ve been eyeing DRAMATIC since I tend to be a tad bit emotional and dramatic at times.  Just a tad (wink, wink).  But really, look at this bright blurple hue >> DRAMATIC!  Yowza!

If you’d like to find out more about Poshinality check out their site here at http://poshinality.com or track them down on pinterest, twitter or facebook.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Essence Peel Off Base Coat – Review

I was using my own DIY peel-off base coat for a while.  But when I saw this Essence product in a store while on vacation I just had to grab it since I have a hard time finding essence stuff where I live.  I think this Essence Peel Off Base Coat was only maybe $1.99 if I remember correctly.  Sorry to say, not a fan of this product though.  I don’t think it works well. I’ve tried it twice and didn’t have good luck either time.

essence peel-off

First off, before application, your nails must be squeaky clean with no oils on them.  This formula has a tendency to retract and bead up on your nail.  Even with freshly washed hands this happens.  So you may need to wipe your nails with acetone before using Essence Peel Off Base Coat.

One thing I liked is that you can see when it’s dry.  The bottle says to wait ten minutes, but I don’t think it even took that long.  FYI- Essence dried much faster than my diy stuff.

When I first tried it out it took a lot of work to get off.  I used an orange stick and had to pick a lot!  It was not fun.  Second time I had many more layers of glitter so I thought it would work much better- I was guessing the glitter would peel off in one stiff piece.  But it totally didn’t.  I picked so much (and I used my nails this time, not an orange stick) and it was a hassle.  My nails looked crappy and damaged since it was peeling off the surface of my nails.  Also, it didn’t protect them well as you can see in the last pic above- I got wicked stains!  And I didn’t even think that Zoya Zuza was a stainer.

In essence, I would skip this essence product.  White craft glue (elmers) works better!  Plus, there’s a whole bunch of other products on the market you could try.  Lindsay over at NAIL THAT ACCENT just did a great comparison of a few of the top brands of peel-offs.

What kinda peel-off stuff works best for you??

Incoco French Manicure Review

*These products were provided to me for review

I’m so excited to show you some Incoco nail strips today.  Did you know that Incocos are made with real nail polish?  A lot of the pics I see online are of their full nail strips.  Incoco carries an extensive array of full nail designs that look so enticing (chevrons, stars, hearts, marble, etc).  But DO NOT discount their french manicure strips!  I have to admit, my first thought was to pick some funky FULL nail strips that reflect my personality- afterall, I am a huge nail art fan (in case you haven’t noticed).  But after researching their product line I realized that their basic french manicure strips are really unique!  So today I will be showing you two different french manicure styles from Incoco.  They make two kinds of french mani products: standard french and french with designs or colors. I cannot hide it, and I will not make you wait to hear what I think…….I LOVE THEM BOTH!

First let’s look at Champagne.  Champagne is one of their standard french designs described as a ‘classic french set with white tip strips and light beige sheer strips with a frosty finish’….

incoco champagne day 6

WHAT’S IN THE PACKAGE?

-One sheet that includes 16 white tips.

-Two sheets of the sheer beige full nail strips.  There were 8 strips on each sheet for a total of 16.

-A small nail file and cuticle stick are also included.

They have a video on their website that shows you how the strips work, which I watched several times.  Their video doesn’t show that there are two white tips on each strip.  I accidentally tossed a few used wrappers aside before I realized that I was supposed to peel off 2 tips from each.  Oopsy.  I guess the ones I received in the mail look a little different than the video.  So I put this graphic together so you can see what comes in the package (see below).

psd incoco french set copy

APPLICATION?

1-Peel the plastic covering off, then tug on the grey tab to peel the tip off the sheet.  Apply the tip to your clean nail.  If you are nice and warm then the tip will be more pliable in case you need to stretch it at all.  Use a nail file  in a downward motion to file off any excess.

2- Apply the full nail strip to your entire nail and file off any excess.

WEAR-TIME?

Incoco claims that they last up to 14 days.   I really wanted to wear them for as long as I could to do a concise review.  But I didn’t expect them to last as long as they did!  Although I loved, loved, loved my frenchie, I removed the manicure after a week. Keep in mind that 7 days for me is like an eternity when you consider that I have a nail blog to run here and I’m in the habit of changing my nails almost every day.  I had some tip wear, but no chips.  I did notice that the sheer beige surface had some minute cracks in it.  But they weren’t very noticeable.  I must say, Incoco’s wear time is impressive.  Here’s a shot of DAY 7!  Still lookin’ good!

incoco champagne day 7

Now let’s look at the second set of strips!  They’re called Giftwrapped Tips.  They are a bold and stylish red plaid design which comes with clear full strips to lay over top.  Most (but not ALL) of the standard french sets come with tinted full strips, while the fancy french designs like this one come with clear.

Giftwrapped tips

incoco french giftwrapped tips

WHAT DO I LOVE ABOUT INCOCO?

♥ They somehow ‘settle’ onto your nail and look better as time goes by.

♥ Did you use a strip that was too big for your nail?  Just use some nail polish remover around your cuticles and the excess strip melts away- it’s made from real nail polish!

♥ They’re made in the USA.

♥ They really stay put!  They don’t feel like they’re gonna detach and peel off like other decal-type nail strips.

♥ Easy to apply.  I didn’t mess them up.  The first time it took an hour.  But the second time it took 37 minutes.  I anticipate the full nail designs taking about half that since you only have ten strips to apply instead of 20.

GOT COUPONS?

Yes ma’am!  You can used code CRAFTY15 to save 15% off your cart until March 11th 2014 at incoco.com

Champagne and the other standard french sets can be found online here: French Manicures.  Giftwrapped Tips and the other funky french sets can be found here: French Designs & Colors.  I am still wearing my Giftwrapped Tips (I’m on day 3) and I’m already planning what to get next.  I think the black french tips called LICORICE would look hotttt!

GOT GIVEAWAYS?

Oh, yes I do!  Incoco is graciously giving away a set of their nail strips to one of my lucky readers! Giveaway runs until March 1st 2014.  Only USA and Canada residents can enter.

Enter for free now >> an INCOCO giveaway <<

The winner will be selected on March 2nd 2014.   The prize is any in-stock pack of nail strips from incoco.com – your choice of any one style & free shipping!  Prize will be mailed to you directly from Incoco.   I will verify all entries.  If you cheat, I delete!  Remember, USA and Canada only please.  Good luck to everyone!

Duri Rejuvacote Review (before and after)

Today I’d love to share the results of my 10 day trial of Duri Rejuvacote.  I’m always searching for my next holy grail nail treatment.   Is this the one?  I have before and after pics for you!

My pointy nails have been in pretty good shape lately, but every few weeks I’ll get a break (usually on my right-hand middle finger).  But since my nails are already healthy, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to see much results from using Duri Rejuvacote.  But I sure did! Good? Bad? Ugly? Keep reading!

duri rejuvacote

What is Duri Rejuvacote?

From Duri’s website:

Rejuvacote “the nail doctor” will heal and cure your split, cracked and acrylic eaten nails. In a matter of weeks you will enjoy the look and feel of strong, vital, natural nails. It’s not a promise, it’s a guarantee.

It takes only 2-3 weeks to see dramatic improvement on your nails when you use Rejuvacote. It will force your nails to grow stronger, healthier and longer.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USAGE-

Apply Rejuvacote daily over bare natural nails or over nail polish. It is designed to be used as a base coat and a top coat.  The package instructions say the following:  Begin with clean dry nails.  Apply one coat of Rejuvacote as a base coat.  Apply nail color if desired.  Apply Rejuvacote as top coat, daily.  After 7 days, remove with polish remover.  As your nails improve, apply every other day or as needed.

I change my nail color often so this is what I did-  I applied one coat of duri as a base coat, then my nail color, and then some seche vite topcoat like normal.  The next day I would remove all polish and start over with a fresh base coat of Duri.  I repeated this process every day for ten days.   So basically, I applied a fresh base coat of Duri everyday for ten days straight.  I even continued to use the product for another five days after for a total of 16 days (to give it a fair chance).  But for the purposes of this review we will look at results after my ten day trial.  In my opinion, ten days time is realistic and feasible, yet long enough to see results.

MY RESULTS-

I am not happy with the results for three reasons: 1- my nailbeds turned bright pink, 2- my nails started looking bumpy and ridgey, and 3- the tips of my nails starting peeling and breaking.

duri review by craftynail

PINK?  Yes, the skin under my nails looked like it was turning pink!  I did a french mani a few days after usage and my natural nails that poked through looked so funny and bright pink!  Especially my left-hand ring finger.  Look at the ‘AFTER LEFT’ pic in the above collage and you’ll see what I mean.   Thank goodness that my nails went back to normal a week later (after I stopped using duri).

BUMPY? After about 5 days or so I noticed that my nails looked like they had a lot of ridges on them.  Now I’m not sure if the surface of my nail actually got bumpy, or if it’s just the way Duri’s finish appears on the nail, or maybe my imagination?  But I am not a fan.

PEELING?  Yup, my nails started peeling.  I haven’t had peely nails for a few years now since I take really good care of them (with the exception of my naughty middle finger on my dominant hand that often peels or breaks).  But some of my nails are always perfect like my pointer/index fingers… and even they started to peel!  I didn’t notice the peeling ’til near the very end of the trial though. They seemed ok for the first week, but after about day 8 I noticed the tips looked like layers were lifting up a teeny bit, but I ignored it and kept doing what I was doing.  Until the last day….

JUDGEMENT DAY- After ten full days of usage (technically 11 days) I took my ‘after’ pics.  This is how it went down- I removed my nail color with nail polish remover, moisturized, got my camera out, and then I noticed that one of my nails was broken!  Yup, right in time for the photography portion of the review.  Oh duri, sorry to do this to you, but a picture says a thousand words!

It’s also important to know that I continued to use the product for another five days and managed to break two more nails in that time.  So that means I broke a total of 3 nails in a week.  That is so unlike me!  I never break that many in a week.  Boo.

Here’s a left-hand pic of day 10 right before my last duri application.  Not lookin too good. 😦

duri day 10

FINAL THOUGHTS-

I used this product for 15 days straight and I can say for sure that it had a negative impact on my nail health. So there ya have it.  I think Duri Rejuvacote is one of my least favorite nail strengtheners.  It’s right up there with Nail Tek (uck).  After using Duri I was forced to file my nails down to eliminate my peeling tips.  That’s $8 bucks down the drain!  I have gone right back to my Sally Hansen Maximum Growth and I feel better now.

But please remember that everyone’s nails are different, so it’s very possible that this product may work for you.  I’ve read a slew of blog posts stating that this stuff is phenomenal and they use it daily.   I have also heard from others that Duri can sometimes make your nailbed burn and sting like crazy?  What??  I’d like to know what the stinging is all about!?!  If this has happened to you, I’d like to hear about it!

If you’ve used duri before I’d like to know what you think!  Thank you for reading! And if you’re looking to grow your nails long here are my favorite strengtheners and some tips n tricks: Craftynail’s Nail Tips.

*This product was purchased by me.

MoYou London XL plate and stamper review

*these products were provided to me by MoYou London for review

My nails are long at times so the sizing of nail stamping images is crucial to me.  I’m happy to show you a plate today that’s perfect for long nails!  It’s called MoYou Pro Plate Collection – 05 XL.  It’s important to know that there are two versions of this plate.  The original plate and the new-fandangled XL plate.  From what I hear, customers were asking for larger designs which prompted MoYou to re-create some of their products.  Hence, my pro plate XL was born!   I also chose to try out their large size stamper and scraper set since it was designed to work great with the XL plates.

xl stamper

Let’s look at the large size stamp & scraper set first.  It comes with two plastic scrapers.  This is new for me since I’m used to using metal scrapers which seem to scratch up the surface of my plates.  I really like the idea of plastic scrapers instead. →UPDATE 5 months after writing this review:  I never use the plastic scrapers anymore.  My old metal konad scrapers work better in my opinion.  Yes, the metal scratches the plates,  but they make for cleaner scrapes.

As for the stamper, it’s two-sided.  The small pink side is hard which is good for small intricate stamps.  Whereas the large white end is nice and big and squishy.  It’s definitely a lot larger, softer, stickier and more cushy than my old trusty Konad stamper.  In fact, it’s so sticky you can see some fuzz and cat hair stuck to the stamper in my pics.  This initially annoyed me a lot.  But after cleaning it with an acetone soaked pad I found that any little residual pieces of fuzz did not deter from the stamping quality.  I will have to get over the fact that the squishy end is hard to clean all the way.  BUT, on the bright side, it grabbed the designs off my XL plate like a real champ!  You won’t have to press down hard to pick up the design, or to transfer it to your nails.  This is handy for two reasons: 1 its less effort and 2 you can stamp on top of a base color that isn’t necessarily dry yet!  I tried two different manicures with this plate and stamper and both had two coats of color that were not entirely dry… but no worries.  The nice squishy stamper dropped the design onto my nail with ease.  Usually with my Konad stamper I have to press real hard to get the design to hit the far edges of my very curved nails… and when you press hard like that you hafta make sure that your base color is dry or else the mani will get all flubbed up.  Well, with my large MoYou stamper I barely applied any pressure, the design reached all areas of my nail with ease, and my still-wet base colors were unharmed.  One thing to note- save the big squishy end of the MoYou stamper for large designs, and use the small end for smaller designs.  I had better luck that way since the big end didn’t transfer tiny designs well.  Overall, I’m very happy to have this new large size stamper.  It is my go-to stamper for full-nail designs now.  Don’t press hard and you’ll see it works well.

xl stamper from moyou

Moving on to my Pro Plate 05 XL.  It comes wrapped in a plastic sleeve and has the typical blue peel-off film to protect the surface.  I really love the designs on this one.  They are well etched and sufficiently large enough for long or wide nails.  I measured them to be 15mm x 21mm which is bigger than any other brand plate that I own (see my size comparison of other brands right here).   Each plate also has a hard plastic base attached to the back of it which makes it feel nice and sturdy and gives the plate nice smooth corners. Shown below is pro plate 05 XL before I removed the packaging.

pro plate 05 xl

You can see that this #05 plate gives you 12 XL images.   The comparable non-XL plate is labeled #03 and has 18 designs on it.  So by choosing the XL you lose a few images, but if they fit your nails better then it’s probably worth it.

So are you ready to see my first attempt at MoYou stamping?

moyou pro 05 manicure

It’s a mixmatch/skittles mani so you can see some of the different stamps from the plate.   I really like using a cream base with a shimmery stamp, or a shimmer base with a cream stamp just to pump up the level of contrast a little bit.  I think the peacock nail may be my fave.  I applied two different blue Butter Londons to that design and when I scraped it off they blended a little bit, but for the most part it worked well to create two different colored feathers.  As for the other nails, the green snakeskin was stamped on using Sinful Colors magnetic nail polish, and the zebra was stamped with black konad  polish.  All of the polishes I used seemed to stamp well with this plate.  Since I usually stamp with Konad special polish… I was happy to see such great results using MoYou plates and regular ol’ nail lacquer.

pro plate stamp

My second manicure is a wood grain design.  This wood stamp is what really excited me when I saw a pic of the plate online.  I just love the idea of making my nails look like organic materials… plus, my dad is a woodworker so I have a fondness for that kinda stuff.  I’ve been wearing this manicure for three days now and I just love it.  The brown hues are muted so you don’t even notice the design at first glance.  But if you do a double-take you’ll see the cool wood grain appear.

wood grain moyou

I used two coats of Zoya Pandora which is a nude shade and while it was still pretty tacky, I stamped some black Konad polish and regular brown polish over top.  Again, I was thrilled that my wet polish didn’t get smushed by my nice new stamper.  The black looked kind of stark against the nude though, so I sponged some brown over top to mute the appearance of the grain. The results are a subtle but unique manicure and I love it.

wood nail art

I’m thrilled with my XL pro plate.  I didn’t have any issues with application and I never messed up even one of my nails.  I also received another plate called Back to the 60’s -01 from the Time Traveller Collection.  I will have to show that to you soon!

I’m really excited about all the plates that MoYou London carries and they keep pumping out fresh collections all the time.  If you’d like to see more MoYou London goodies you can visit them online at http://www.moyou.co.uk.  Just know if you buy a plate labeled as PRE-SALE or LATE SHIPPING then it will not ship til a later date.  Make sure to use code SHINY20 to save a generous 20% off your cart until Nov 1st, 2013. 

Thermal Polish from Brijits Digits Boutique

Today I’m showing you another cool indie polish from Brijits Digits Boutique.  This one’s a thermal color-changing polish called Orchis des Marais.  It’s a special polish with a fancy french name, ooh la la!  I hafta say, this is the most fun that I’ve had with a polish in a really long time!  Take a look at it and you’ll see what I mean…

orchis-des-marais-thermal

Shown here is one basecoat of Sally Hansen Maximum Growth, two coats of Orchis des Marais and one coat of Seche Vite.  If you apply thin coats then you may want three coats of the thermal, but two did the trick for me.  It appeared violet when I first applied it but shortly after it started turning pink.  On the right-hand side of my photo collage you can see all the blue shimmer in there too- just gorgeous!  Orchis des Marais dries quickly and has a nice finish.  Thermals have a tendency to be matte and dull so I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

Here’s a pic of Orchis des Marais when I first woke up in the morning and my hands were cold as ice.  We haven’t turned the heat on yet this season.  Brrrrr!  ↓

brijits-digits

And here’s a shot of my nails after a nice hot shower.  They’re bubblegum pink now and the tips are quickly starting to cool off as you can see.  ↓

orchis-des-marais_brijits-digits

Throughout most of the day my nails were a pretty gradient that started out pink and got more purple towards the tips.  They did change very easily too.  If you hold a cold drink you’ll see them shift right away.  Or if you get a droplet of water on your nail you’ll see a perfect little purple circle appear!  So much fun!  All day long I kept looking down- ooh I’m cold, oooh now I’m hot!  Also, I noticed that my right-hand middle finger was strangely cold and purple most of the time.  The weird thing is, that nail breaks all the time too.  It’s my one problem nail.  Maybe my chi doesn’t flow well in that finger?  LOL  You can see in the top left photo of my collage that it’s more purple than the rest!  What’s up with that?

Overall, I’m thrilled with this polish.  I need more.  In every color.

If you’re looking for a heat-activated polish you can find Orchis des Marais on Etsy at Brijits Digits Boutique.

What do you think of color-changing polishes like this one?