Monday, November 26, 2012

Dots & Sparkles

Ok, so I know I said I was taking a break but it's so hard not to have my nails painted and now my nails are basically all even, just SHORT! There's still about half the damage left to grow out but it's getting there. SO, to get on with it, enjoy this mani!

I was getting tired of all the dark colors lately and I had been using a lot of blues lately for some reason too, I needed some PINK in my life! It's still kind of fall ish with the gray and mauve but not dark.

I hate when people don't include the thumb so here it is. Haha.

Polishes I used.
From Left to Right:
Sinful Colors - Soul Mate, Borghese - Milano Taupe, Revlon - Stunning, Rimmel - Steel Grey

xo, Colleen

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Taking a break :(

I know I've just started out, but I seriously need to take a break and give my nails time to heal and grow. Five weeks ago I removed acrylics which I had worn for about 3 years, at least! I did my own acrylics and NEVER used a drill but it was still damaging. As you'll see in the pictures below, there is a noticeable difference from my thin damaged nail to my new healthy growth.

I have tried many things to try to get my nails strong but nothing is working. I know I just need to wait for all my new growth to come in. I have been taking 5000mcg tablets of Biotin twice a day since the beginning and it is helping a lot. I think my nails are growing out pretty fast. And there is a sizable difference in thickness. If you could feel my nails there are huge ridges where my old nail meets my new nail. Anyone that's had acrylics knows what I'm talking about. I'm super excited about that!! I know my new nails will be strong and healthy.

You can see here how much new growth I've had. The pink at the front is where I previously had acrylics. The white at the backs is all my new growth!
(sorry these pictures were taken with my cell phone)

This is the worst my nails have been since taking off the acrylics. I first tried Duri Rejuvacote but I got that horrible burning sensation and couldn't continue. Then I tried Salon Sciences Starting Over After Artificials. It made my nails very weak and bendy and they still are. And because they are so bendy they've started to split :( In the pictures you'll see I'm holding Nail Magic. I just started wearing this on Sunday 11-11-12. These pictures were taking on Monday. I've added a new coat each day so now I have 3 coats on. I'm not seeing any change. They are still very weak and bending. I believe this is not the original formula of the Nail Magic. This is Nail Magic Botanical Strengthener with Horsetail. I read a lot of reviews of people saying the original one burned them so I wasn't going to go anywhere near that one! 

It is impossible to keep my nails at even lengths right now because they are constantly breaking and splitting. So I have decided to take a break from having pretty polished nails because lets face it, nothing I wear right now is going to look it's best. I am just going to keep them short to hopefully prevent any further damage. I am going to nourish them as much as I can and they'll be ready in no time! I think in another month and a half to two months they will be all grown out and then I will be able to grow them to a nice length and shape them how I want. Until then please bare with me and stick around. I promise I will be back with greatness! I might be updating periodically with more pictures to show my growth and if I find something that really works to make them strong in the meantime I will let you know. 

If you have any tips I am willing to hear them all! Just leave a comment on this post! I know there are good things out there and not everything works for everybody but I am getting tired of spending money on stuff that isn't working that lots of people rave about. So I'm just going to wait it out. But if you have any natural remedies that don't cost lots of $$$ please let me know.

Thanks for reading, I know it was a lot but I wanted to make sure to explain everything. Hopefully I see you all soon!!

xo, Colleen

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Turquoise Stone Nails

I was inspired by this picture/tutorial on Pinterest and my nails were already painted a turquoise color the day before so I decided to give it a shot. I'm not thrilled with how it came out. I liked it better before I added the "cracks" but oh well. Practice makes perfect right! (And I'm sorry for the inconsistencies in my nail lenghts and shape. They are still growing out from acrylics and this is the worst they've been since I removed the acrylic).

First, start off with a turquoise base. I used Wet N Wild - I Need a Refresh-Mint.
(Sorry for the Instagram pic)

Then scrunch up some plastic wrap.
(Where I first went wrong. All I had was bubble wrap so I couldn't get it scrunched enough.)
Then paint on your black polish and dab it on a piece off paper to get off any big blobs.
I used Orly - Liquid Vinyl

Then dab it on your nails until you get a pattern that you like. And clean up around the cuticles with some polish remover.

Then with a black striper add some small "cracks".
(This is also where I messed up.) I feel like mine are too thick and poorly placed.

Finish off with a topcoat and you're done!

Hope you enjoyed! I'll be doing this again in the future because I really do like the look. Hopefully I get better results next time!

xo, Colleen

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

OPI - The Living Daylights

From the Skyfall collection.

I ordered this on for $5.95 plus $2 shipping! Here I've layered it over Wet-N-Wild's Saved by the Blue, inspired by Lorraine Stanick's photo on Instagram!

This glitter is so pretty! I just wish my nails were in better shape to show it off!

Taken in natural daylight but not in direct sunlight:

Taken in shade:

Wet N Wild - Saved by the Blue
What I'm wearing under The Living Daylights

Bottle shots

Can you just see the awesome in this bottle? So gorgeous!

Get your hands on it people! You won't be sorry!

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Nail Care Routine

Here is my basic nail care routine. I do this at least once a week. It might not be correct but it's what I like to do. You can follow what I do or tweak it to what works best for you. You do not have to use all these same products, these are just what I currently use, and they do change from time to time. And I don't do all these steps all of the time. I do them as I need them.


  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail file
  • Nail Clippers
  • Cuticle Remover
  • Cuticle Pusher
  • Cuticle Nipper (I only use this if i have a piece of hanging cuticle/skin)
  • Cuticle Oil
  • Nail Strengthener


  • Remove any nail polish and wash hands. If your nails are stained and you want to whiten them, they do sell whitening pastes but I just use a mixture of Baking Soda and Peroxide and scrub the nails with a brush. A tooth brush will also work.
  • If you need to clip your nails do so. Then file and shape them how you like. Do not saw back and forth with your file. I usually file in one direction towards the center. 
  • If you like you can soak your hands and nails for about 5 minutes in a warm soapy water. Then pat dry. I usually skip this.
  • Apply cuticle remover and let sit. (Mine says 15sec, i usually do about 30sec).
  • Push back cuticles and remove any excess skin on nail plate.
  • Nip any excess hanging skin but do NOT clip cuticles.
  • Rinse off all excess cuticle remover.
  • Apply cuticle oil and massage into cuticles, nails and hands. Let absorb if you can.
  • If your nail strengthener is not an actual polish apply now. I use a cream. Again massage into the nails and let absorb. If your strengthener is a polish, after letting your cuticle cream absorb, wash your hands and now apply your strenghthener.
  • Now you are basically done. You can leave the nails bare if you like but I recommend always having your nails polished in some way. Even if it's just a clear coat.

Sorry no pictures with this post. Kind of hard to take pictures myself when both hands are being used. Maybe i will update this later on if I can get my hubby to take pictures maybe? But I think I explained it really well.

xo, Colleen

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mini Polish Haul!

I picked up a few polishes today while grocery shopping and I decided to share them with you! I would have like to have done swatches of these but I didn't want to remove what I'm currently wearing. So you'll just have to keep watch for future posts with these.

From left to right:
Pure Ice - French Kiss, Wet N Wild - Gray's Anatomy, Wet N Wild - Saved by the Blue, NYC - Matte Me Crazy

Pure Ice - French Kiss $1.97
I didn't have any true blues in my collection so I couldn't resist this when I saw it. It's a cream, no shimmer.

Wet N Wild - Gray's Anatomy $1.68
Recently I saw a picture on of Models Own - Indian Ocean and I fell in love with it but it is out of stock on the website and I don't know of anywhere I can buy it right now. So when I saw this I thought it was pretty similar so I snatched it up! It's sort of a duo chrome metallic of blue, green and purple. 

Wet N Wild - Saved by the Blue $1.68
This is a darker true blue color. I would say it's like a metallic but there is not shimmer. It kind of reminds me of OPI's - Tomorrow Never Dies from the Skyfall collection. I can't wait until my Zoya - Gilty arrives to pair it with this!

NYC - Matte Me Crazy $1.72
I haven't dabbled in the art of matte nails yet. So I decided to pick up a cheapy brand one to try it out. 

Hope you liked my haul! Stay tune for posts with swatches of these polishes to come!
xo, Colleen

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Duri Rejuvacote : Review

I had heard great things about this system and since I had removed my acrylic nails about a month ago, I was looking for something to heal my nails and make them strong and healthy while they were growing out new healthy nail. So I decided to give this a try! I ordered mine off of for about half the price it sells for on it's website.

Here is what the package looks like:

Now first off, in some of the reviews people had mentioned feeling intense burning in their nails and fingers almost immediately after applying this. Some said it did wonders for their nails and they've used it for years with no adverse side effects. I've never experienced any issues with a nail polish before so I thought I would be fine. 

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.

Begin with clean dry nails. Apply one coat of Rejuvacote as 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.

ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, tosylamide/formaldehyde resin, isopropyl alcohol, n-butyl alcohol, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, camphor, ci 15850 (red 6 lake), hydrolized wheat protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed keratin protein, calcium pantothenate.

The bottle:

Here is my experience. I prepped my nails with my normal routine and they were clean of any polishes, creams, cuticle remover, etc. I started to apply the Rejuvacote and before i was even done with both hands the sensation started, but I continued and finished both hands with two coats. But within minutes all my nails and fingers were on FIRE!!! People were not lying about the burning. The best way i can explain it is if you've had acrylics done and they drill too much, it's the same burning sensation but times 10 fingers! After the polish had dried I applied olive oil and my Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and the burning stopped after about 20 minutes. 

Then it came to Day 2. Each day you have to apply a new coat. I thought foolishly that maybe it would just burn the first time. NOT THE CASE! When i did my coat for day 2 the same burning all over again! And then all of day 3 my nails and fingertips were so sensitive! Like I had just ripped off acrylic and my nails were mush! And I ended up getting TWO breaks that day! So when it came to doing my coat that night I couldn't bring myself to do it. I wanted so badly for this to work!

Some of the things that I've read said it could be due to being allergic to one or more of the ingredients but I've never experienced something like that from any nail polish before. Some people also said it could be that my nails were just too weak, thin and sensitive but that doesn't make sense to me because it claims to be for "acrylic eaten nails" and my nails really aren't THAT damaged. So sad to say this was a doozy for me :(


**UPDATE** After about 6 weeks of not having acrylic I decided to try this again. At this point I did not experience any of the burning and was able to wear it from then on without any burning. If you are able to wear this, it really does work as a nail growth product. My nails did grow quite fast. But another defect I found with this since being able to wear it was that it chipped horribly. Within 24 hours. It was impossible to wear this continually for 7 days. The most I ever wore it was up to 4 days but that was with painting right over the chips. Or I would basically put it on, take it off, put it on, take it off, and it did still work to help my nails grow but there was no way it lasts 7 whole days with no chips or peeling.

So in all, I personally would not buy this again. It does work but not for all that hassle. I much prefer OPI - Nail Envy. That is my MUST HAVE product.

xo, Colleen

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blog revamp (again)!

Ok, so this blog has changed about 50 million times now and I've never kept up with it. Hopefully this one is here to stay! I have now created this blog to be all about NAILS! My love for beautiful natural REAL nails, nail polishes, nail tools, DIY tools, HOW-TO'S, nail care, products, tutorials, nail art, etc. All photos and art are MINE and are original unless otherwise noted. I may recreate looks that I have seen, if so I will credit the original owner. I may even feature some other bloggers or links to other places I've seen a nail look that I admire. So please bare with me while I get this going and hopefully I stick to this one! Also, I gave this blog a fresh, clean, simple look and I love it! Hope you do too :)

Also, here are other places where you can follow my work:

Instagram: @lusterlacquer
ManiDiaries: @LusterLacquer

Stay tuned lovies!!
xo, Colleen