February 28, 2014

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel (Orange Version) Review | Manicurity.com

 Nothing to Disclose 

As a nail-oriented beauty blogger I have to combine my love of nail-related things with touching my precious electronics (laptop, camera, iPhone, etc.) so I'm always on the hunt for what I consider a magical unicorn moisturizing product - i.e. one that is both moisturizing for my precious finger areas, but also the opposite of greasy so that I don't smear it all over everything. I recently picked up the Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel to see if it was my unicorn! Could an adorable orange gel with suspended vitamin beads be the answer to my moisturizing-yet-matte need?

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel (Orange Version) Review | Manicurity.com

Finish, Texture & Lasting Power

Lightweight, slick-feeling orange gel formula with little orange vitamin beads! The gel seems to absorb quickly and sort of 'sets' into a very lightly sticky feeling. The 'smooth' feeling lasts at least a few hours. But if you massage it in too much, especially in conjunction with oils or lotions at the same time, it can ball up and come off :(


Delicious! It has a sweet, zesty orange smell a little like orange soda. I find it very pleasant, plus it is not particularly long lasting so if you don't love the smell you don't have to smell it for very long :) [Most scented polishes give me a headache after a while, but this doesn't bother me.]

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel (Orange Version) Review | Manicurity.com


Comes in a glass bottle that reminds me a little of their polishes - like the Fuzzy Coat bottle with the Xtreme Wear lid - with a fluffy, slanted doe-foot applicator. I like that you can see how much product is left because it's a clear bottle! I don't love that the wand is too short to reach the bottom of the bottle; feels like the little product that's left is hard to get at. Also I'm not totally sure if the applicator is 100% sanitary; I know some people use single-use applicators for lip glosses with this kind of wand to keep the product sanitary. At least with this cuticle gel you would use it all up in a few months vs. a lip gloss you might want to keep for a longer time.

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel (Orange Version) Review | Manicurity.com


- Smells nice!
- Let's get real - popping little beads is super fun!
- Like the satin finish it gives my cuticles; "looks" really healthy
- Applicator pulls out enough product so you don't have to re-dip a bunch (it's the little things, y'all)


- This product doesn't like to mix well with others; it can ball up if used with cuticle oils or lotions
- Too much product can feel a little sticky
- Tints light-colored polished nails orange (temporarily)
- Wand isn't long enough to reach the product at the bottom of the bottle

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel (Orange Version) Review | Manicurity.com

Overall (TL;DR)

I like this cuticle gel, but I don't know if I love this cuticle gel. I like that it is lightweight, easy to rub in to my fingers and sets to an attractive satin-y finish that makes my cuticles look really pretty and healthy. I don't know if this is really moisturizing enough to be the only product I'm using - especially because I don't find it likes to combine with other products well (like lotion, err...). Instead, this seems to be a day-time 'maintainer' type product that keeps your nails looking their best once they are already fairly well maintained. It's absolutely perfect for what I initially bought it for - to keep next to my laptop and use in the middle of the day while I'm working on the computer!

Best for: Someone with a decent cuticle care routine that's looking for a day-time 'maintainer' type product for work (not a super obvious scent, and not greasy so it seems great for the workplace)
Try if: You've been looking for a moisturizing product that isn't greasy
Skip if: A slightly sticky finish is a total turn-off for you

Pricing & Availability

Available wherever Sally Hansen is sold (like drugstores, Ulta, etc.) for roughly $6-7! I got mine at CVS during the Winter Beauty Clearance sale for $1 and change.

Would I repurchase?

Maybe! I am always looking to try new cuticle care products, tho, so I wouldn't consider this a "must purchase right away HG" type item.

Have you tried the Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel? Do you have a favorite cuticle product to recommend to me?!

Disclosure: I bought all the things mentioned! If you'd like to know more about my policies, please see my disclosure page.

February 24, 2014

Basic Nail Care Tips!

Basic Nail Care Tips! How to Have Healthy Nails from Manicurity.com
(image source)
Today we're going to talk about basics of nail care! Mostly to remind myself of the things I already know but have failed to do lately. So this is like a "learn from my public, self-published shaming and also maybe remind me to moisturize more plz?" post. Nail-related blog posts have been sort of few and far between, mostly because I have been a naughty naught nail blogger caught in a cycle of less-than-awesome nails. Why? Because I've committed the #1 biggest sin - a lack of moisturizing. Please enjoy this "do as I say and not as I do because I'm clearly mucking it up lately, geeze" post!

How to Have Healthy Nails*

*A guide from a normal human, not a professional nail tech, so take that as you will. I am pretty sure these are all safe, good, sound ideas but if they are wrong I am positive someone will let me know because it's the internet.

Basic Nail Care Tips! How to Have Healthy Nails from Manicurity.com - MOISTURIZE!

#1 - Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

It is fair to say that every single one of my nail problems lately can be traced back to not moisturizing my nails enough. I've had corners of my nails break off more frequently in the past month than I can remember, and yesterday I was carelessly trying to pull a shoe on quickly and tore my nail half way across pretty deep down my nail bed. Why? Because my nails are brittle. They need lots o' luving. I bought a new soap dispenser for the bathroom and I think it spews out more soap than my last one, thus drying my hands out more this month than previous months. Psst. This issues directly relates to point #2 - I had some icky bits (hangnail type damage) because I wasn't moisturizing enough which kept me from keeping my shizz polished. Boo.

So what should I be doing? I should be doing my previous 1-2-3 whammo punch of moisture that I used to practice. I typically do:
  1. Cuticle oil! One that absorbs well instead of just being greasy is best [obvs] ((my previous favorite was from Dragon Lady Lacquer, but she seems to have disappeared from the interwebs? So sad!))
  2. Lotion! For day a light lotion that absorbs quickly and easily, for night a slightly thicker, creamier one
  3. Something waxy! This is any sort of waxy, balmy type product that really helps to seal in the oil and lotion. 
I got some tips from my favorite profesh nail tech, Bee of Bee Polished, so I'll be scooping up some new CND items at Ulta soon (I love their $3.50 off $10 coupon)!

Basic Nail Care Tips! How to Have Healthy Nails from Manicurity.com - Stay Polished

#2 - Keep That Shizz Polished!

I haven't been changing my polish when I need to. Instead I've been wearing nail art designs I like for longer than I usually do (like a week instead of days). But sometimes it gets way chippy. Like real bad. Like ARE YOU KIDDING ME, YOU ARE AN ADULT kinda bad. Let me ~suggest~ to you that it follows logic that chipped polish = chipped nails. Blech. Bad, bad Emma. Here's a ridic example: once I was zipping a zipper and had a small chip in my polish on the side of my right index finger. I was a tad overzealous in my zipping and you know what happened? A massive horizontal crack/rip/whatever you call the worst kind of nail sadness right across where there was no nail polish. I WOULD say lesson learned, but clearly it is not :(

So here's tip #2: Keep those nails polished!! It makes them stronger and less likely to chip, break, rip, peel, etc. Not to mention it looks way better that way.

#3 - Your Nails are Precious Jewels, Not Tools!
[i.e. Don't Flail So Much]

Ugh, I mean, haven't we all heard this before? But sometimes you wash the dishes to be a nice functioning member of your own household, or you are trying to smash an Antonius organizer thingy into a Helmer drawer so your makeup isn't all over the house, or you open a drawer by slamming your hand into it instead of gingerly grabbing the handle like a "normal" "poised" "adult" "person". If your nails are over a certain length, you have to be a little nicer to them to make sure they don't get damaged by your spontaneous flails. But you know what else? If my nails had been polished and I had been moisturizing more frequently I wouldn't have had breaks or splits from doing the reasonably normal activities listed in this post (dish washing, organizing, opening a drawer to get out aluminum foil to remove glitter to paint my nails, etc.).

Take home point for this is: Be aware of your nails when you're working with your hands! Don't stop doing fun hobbies and/or cleaning which involve hands just because your one true hobby is nails, but simply be aware that quick movements with your hands can result in nail tragedies.

Hope you enjoyed this post! I wanted to write a post that sort of comically explained my lack of nail-related blogging while providing you with something actually useful and enjoyable to read. These are pretty much common sense tips for 'seasoned' nail-oriented men and women (so I don't expect these to be mind-blowing innovations). If YOU have any tips, especially about remembering to moisturize, let me know in the comments! I think I need to leave a bottle of lotion next to the sink so I immediately moisturize after washing my hands.

February 19, 2014

Wet n Wild Color Icon - The Naked Truth Palette

 Nothing to Disclose 

Before we begin I have to admit that I am a fiend for neutral eyeshadow palettes. I love neutrals. I could own like 20 similar shades of an eyeshadow and still be excited about each one (me, hoarder? no...) SO you can imagine my excitement when I found this new Wet n Wild 5-pan Color Icon eyeshadow palette in 'The Naked Truth' slightly hidden in an endcap display at a local Walgreens - and with a $1 discount coupon attached?! I felt like I had won the neutral drugstore eyeshadow palette lottery! [PS. Can someone please make that a reality? I would buy tons of tickets for that kind of lottery.] To really test this palette out I swatched it first, then wore it 3 different ways over the course of a week or so before compiling this beautiful review. I've got swatches, eye looks, my thoughts on the formula and wear time, and a little feedback on the new 5-pan design. Fun!

Wet n Wild 5-pan Color Icon eyeshadow palette in 'The Naked Truth' - swatches, looks, review | Manicurity.com

February 14, 2014

The Digit-al Dozen: Sugared Violet Lace Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day, beautiful readers! Today I have some over-the-top girly, glittery, sugared violet-esque valentine nails loosely inspired by vintage lace for the last day of The Digit-al Dozen does Vintage Week! Read on to hear more about these super sweet nails.

The Digit-al Dozen: Sugared Violet Lace Valentine - super cute, girly, and glittery Valentine's Day nail art for short nails | Manicurity.com

February 13, 2014

The Digit-al Dozen: Ode to Avocado

I feel like nothing screams vintage the way that avocado-colored appliances from the 1960s and onward do! Also I really like guacamole. So today I have some really fun and lighthearted avocado inspired half moon nails (also a tip to 1950s-ish style nails) with a freehand avocado accent nail. Read on to hear how I did these!

The Digit-al Dozen does Vintage: Ode to Avocado Nails - half moon and freehand avocado-inspired nail art | Manicurity.com

February 12, 2014

The Digit-al Dozen: Soft Subtle Mod Stamping

 Affiliate Link 

Today I'm sticking with a more vintage color palette and taking inspiration from some reproduction textiles (see my inspiration photo here)! These nails aren't really "my style" but they are incredibly beautiful and I feel like that's what a challenge like The Digit-al Dozen is all about - pushing yourself to try new and creative ideas based on a theme. Check out all the details after the jump!

The Digit-al Dozen does Vintage: Soft Subtle Mod Stamped Nails - subtle vintage nail art for short nails | Manicurity.com

February 11, 2014

The Digit-al Dozen: Vibrant Rosebud Skittles

I honestly thought that with a theme like 'vintage' for this month's Digit-al Dozen challenge that I would be showing you rosebud manicures on 5 differently colored base polishes... Miraculously I have brainstormed some other ideas (finally) so I'm limiting myself to just one rosebud mani and making it a little contemporary with some bold colors! Rosebud manis are crazy easy, but always look really beautiful! How easy? So easy I can do them with my left hand on my dominant hand since it's just like swirly blobs :D

The Digit-al Dozen does Vintage: Contemporary Vibrant Rosebud Skittles - fun nail art idea for short, nubbin nails! | Manicurity.com

February 10, 2014

The Digit-al Dozen does Vintage: Eames Dot Pattern

Beautiful readers, guess what? It's that time of the month again! i.e. DIGIT-AL DOZEN TIME. Things have been a little slow here; I took an accidental and unannounced week off from nail blogging and of course chipped almost all the corners off of my nails during that time. So for now I have adorable semi-nubbins! For February the Digit-al Dozen theme is 'vintage' and I'm starting it off with a fab mid-century modern pattern. I'm also trying to use my stockpile of new and untried polishes for the month of February, so for this week I'm faced with a double challenge *cue dramatic music*. Check these out!

The Digit-al Dozen does Vintage: Eames Dot Pattern Nails with Floss Gloss Dinge and Faded - easy nail art idea! | Manicurity.com

February 5, 2014

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com

I stumbled into a new display of Wet n Wild items recently and frantically grabbed a bunch of things because Wet n Wild is my weakness - the perfect combo of bright, pretty colors at a budget-friendly price point (it's like they're giving it away to me for free almost!). One of my purchases was a shade of the new for 2014 Color Icon Glitter Single cream 'shadow' in the color Bleached. And it is beautiful!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com

Bleached is a glitter "cream" product - a clear, slick gel base "infused with aloe and coconut oil" stuffed with glitter pieces. I chose Bleached from the many new glitter Color Icon shades because the glitter pieces shift from gold to orange to green (like the flakies in my favorite flakie polishes do!). The glitter pieces are slightly bigger than what I typically see in something like a pressed eyeshadow and definitely look like glitter; no subtle that-glitter-could-pass-for-shimmer glitter here.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com
Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com
blended on my hand | swatched on my finger | on my cheekbone

I patted a little of Bleached between my brow bone and crease area because I am weird about glitter near my eyes, but was feeling a little rebellious I guess! 30 minutes after patting some of Bleached on it migrated pretty far down my lid towards my lashline (especially near the outer corner) and the slick/creamy base also caused my eyeshadow to crease drastically on one eye (literally it's creasing in my crease). Ideally I would like to put this product in the very center of my lid so that it catches the light, but I'm a little bit nervous to put Bleached nearer to my precious sight orbs. For fun I also tried Bleached as a highlight on my cheekbones ((above photo)), but I would never rock that look unless it was for a costume party; I find the glitter too big for highlighting.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com
freshly applied | creasing (after 30 mins)

For Face and Body Only

Now I feel like it's important to discuss glitter, eyeballs, and how those relate to each other. This product - the Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single - is marketed as a shadow, described as a shadow in their official product description (online) and goes so far as to say it's crease proof (which to me is eyeball related, because where are you putting body glitter that it has a chance to crease?), it is listed under 'eye' and then 'shadow' on the official WnW website, AND placed near other eyeshadows in store displays...and yet it clearly states on the back of the package that you should definitely only use it on your face and body. This is not surprising but it does give me pause (gives me pause about putting it nearer to my eyeballs because I don't have a spare pair sitting around, but that would be very Minority Report-esque). Why is this 'not for eyes' thing not surprising? Glitter is not FDA approved for the eye area!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single Bleached - swatches, review, wear test | Manicurity.com

Cosmetics grade glitters are more safe if you're willing to put glitter near your precious eyeballs because they are usually comprised of round glitter pieces (no sharp corners to scratch you!). Also, cosmetics grade glitters are typically made of a soft polyester vs. sharp metals or plastics used for craft-store or automotive type glitter. I'm not here to tell you if you should or should not put glitter on your eyelids; that's a personal choice. If you're a super beautiful badass and you want to put glitter on your lids, make sure you use a sticky base to keep the glitter in place and out of your eyes!


I think Bleached is beautiful but I don't know that I am brave enough to wear it on my actual eyelids; the 'creamy' gel base is slick and I have issues with creasing on a good day. This seems like a better fit for someone that doesn't struggle with cream-type products creasing and/or someone more willing to ignore warning labels. Why did I buy a glitter product that I am too chicken to use?! TBH I was too distracted by the *~*glitter*~* in the store and forgot about all the reviews I had read about this product NOT being eye safe -____- But it was only a dollar so I think I'll survive!

Do you wear glitter on your eyes? Have you picked up any of the new Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Singles?!

Disclosure: I bought the thing(s) mentioned in this post. If you would like to know more about my policies, please read my disclosure page.