hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

The benefits of cuticle oil for nail health

What do we want? Healthy nails!

We’ve heard from loads of you who are nursing your nails back to health after years of gels, SNS, and acrylics and this, combined with the pending cool weather in Australia means now is the time to get behind cuticle care. If you look after your nail matrix and keep it hydrated, your nails will be healthier. And as we have said many times before, healthy nails are beautiful nails.

Nail Matrix 101

We can’t talk about cuticle care without mentioning the nail matrix, of which cuticles are a big part. “What is this nail matrix?”, you ask. See that little half-moon at the bottom of your nail? It’s really a full moon and is your nail matrix. The other part of the full moon (aka, the rest of your nail matrix) sits under your skin. This matrix is your nails’ brain trust, nerve centre and is where your nail health and growth is determined. It’s also super-sensitive so we have to be very gentle with it and treat it right if we want healthy nails.

french manicure nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

Protect your matrix for healthier nails

As we all know, cuticles play a key role in nail health and protect you from environmental pollution, bacteria and infection. Cuticles also lock-in hydration, which is very clever of them and the reason why cutting or trimming them is a no-go. It’s also counter-intuitive. When you cut your cuticles, your body’s natural reaction will be to send skin cells into overdrive and the skin will grow back thicker than before. You can, however, gently clean off the dead skin that is stuck to your nail plate using the famous ‘orange stick’. Orange sticks are your friend.

orange stich nails tool used on fair skin tone hands

Cuticle care is self-care

Nourish your nail bed and create a mindful self-care moment at the end of the day by massaging some cuticle oil or cream into the base of your nails before bed. While you sleep, the cuticle oil can really sink in and hydrate your nails. You won’t be washing your hands as you would be during the day, so it gives all that lovely, luxe oil a chance to do its thing.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

We love our cuticle oil

Sienna cuticle oil is luxurious, and our lightly scented freesia oil is particularly divine. But in a pinch, you can also use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil or vitamin E oil if your cuticles are in need of nourishment.

Cuticle oil in glass bottle with golden dropper by sienna

Sienna cuticle oil giveaway

Yep. It’s that easy to keep your nail health up, so no excuses! If you do want to grab a bottle of Sienna cuticle oil, we’re sending a free bottle with every online spend of $100 or more. You can choose from freesia or naturally unscented at checkout. While stocks last (and they won’t last long!).

pastel nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

4 great looks for easy at-home nail art

No nail tech? No problems

We love the dreamy nail art designs created by natural nail guru, Seika of Line Spa and Polish. She created a gorgeous collection of designs for us last year and they’re still getting plenty of love. So you can imagine how thrilled we are that she has created some super-chic designs for us once more with some favourite Sienna colours. The best part? These designs are so easy to achieve and you probably already have everything you need at home. If you have ever wanted to nail the perfect French mani or that dreamy ombre look that’s doing the rounds, this one is for you. Alright! Let’s get those nails looking fresh!

Nail prep is everything

Get everything you need close to hand before you start, just as if you were giving yourself a straight-up mani. (You can read our tried and tested DIY manicure tips on our website).  As ever, for all these designs we recommend starting with a protective base coat to give you a smooth surface to paint on and finishing with a top coat for glossy goodness at the finish line and to keep all your gorgeous nail art locked in. One final tip: We know this sounds obvious, but the key to all these designs is to make sure each layer dries before you apply the next. Now on to the designs!

Perfect french

Base coat | Winter | Top coat

It’s a classic for a reason.

You know those pesky little stickers on apples, oranges, avos, and almost every other piece of fruit? We’re about to make good use of them in the most surprising way in an eco-friendly beauty flex that would make MacGyver proud.

  • Gather your fruit stickers and cut five of them in half so you have 10 stickers. Check to make sure they all have the same curved line.
  • Get your nails ready. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • If you’re going all-out, apply a soft, sheer French pink over your entire nail and allow to fully dry.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the white French line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Take a bright white polish and apply a small amount along the edge at the tip of your nail.
  • Using the curve of the fruit sticker to guide you, paint a small amount of polish in downwards strokes towards the edge of the label to create the white stripe. Start at the sides and do two thin coats.
  • Allow to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds before gently peeling the labels off. Hot tip! Peel the label off from the sides.
  • Finish with top coat.

Voila! You have achieved a perfect French mani in minutes. A bright red, black or pastel colour would also look great if you fancy giving the classic French mani a unique twist to make the look yours.

Split french

Base coat | Sunflower (thumb) | Tango (index) | Sweetheart (middle) | Heart (ring) | Kiss (pinkie) | Top coat

Get on board Team French manicure, 2020 style. Seika has used our Summer Love collection here to keep the colours in the same range. All the heart eyes.

  • Prep your nails. File them, make sure they’re clean and apply  base coat.
  • We’re using fruit stickers again to help create a perfect straight line. Cut them in half so you have enough for each nail.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the split French line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Using downward brush strokes, fill in the colour for each nail. As ever, the best results will come from two thin coats.
  • Let your polish dry for at least 30 seconds before peeling off the fruit label stickers. Start from the side and gently peel them off.
  • Apply Top Coat.

Yes, it’s really that easy. This is a mani with so many possibilities. Embrace the rainbow or keep it monochromatic.

Dreamy ombré

Base CoatRosieSweetheart | Top Coat

The wow-factor is high. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t. If you’ve got a clean eye-shadow applicator handy, you will be rocking this dreamy ombre in no time.

  • Prep your nails. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • Dab a small amount of Rosie and Sweetheart on to a palette (plate, Tupperware lid, or similar), keeping your colours separate. Start with a small amount of polish so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Use your eyeshadow applicator and start tapping small amounts of Rosie on to your nail. Start from the tip of your nail and lightly tap the neutral base colour on to your nail and gradually make your way down towards the cuticle area. Always start from the edges.
  • It’s time to add a brighter colour to give your mani some depth. Use another applicator to tap Sweetheart on in the top half of your nail.
  • Finish with top coat.

Swoon. Your nails look amazing and oh-so-grammable.

Pastel camo

Base Coat | Reverie | Melody | Wish | Whisper | Top Coat

Just yes. We are so into this. Seika took our coveted Poetry collection and love of pastel ombres to the next level with this modern but pretty look. Let’s get it!

  • As always, prep your nails. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape and apply base coat.
  • Paint your nails with the base colours. Reverie (pinkie), Wish (middle finger and thumb).
  • The camo feature nails will be on your pointer and ring fingers. Paint these nails with the base coat of Melody. Don’t worry about streaking. This coat is for coverage, not neatness.
  • The first colour for the camo design is Reverie. Paint approximately three wiggly lines over your nails. Imagine you are painting teeny tiny clouds. The more organic in form the better, so vary the sizes. Leave to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds.
  • Paint over your entire nail (including your mini ‘clouds’) in Whisper. Sheer white also works if that’s what you have to hand.
  • Use Wish to fill in some of the empty space with more camo pattern shapes.
  • For the finishing touch, apply Melody in tiny camo shapes around the nail to highlight the look.
  • Apply Top Coat.
  • Your nails look wildly stylish! You clever thing, you.

Thank you so much for sharing your skills and creativity with us, Seika. Follow Line Spa and Polish over on the ‘gram for the news and inspiration you know you need.

Line Spa and Polish and sustainable beauty

Line Spa and Polish is a beauty biz after our own luxe, eco-loving hearts. They are a 100% vegan, sustainable nail service and stock only the highest quality products that adhere to their philosophy: ‘wellness and environment should not be compromised for beauty’. We are, of course, thrilled they use Sienna! Alongside a no cruelty, no toxins approach to the products Line Spa and Polish use, the salon has been 90% plastic-free since they opened, and are constantly innovating to further minimise their impact. Did we mention that their founder, Seika, is a next-level nail tech?

What to look for in a sustainable eco beauty product

How to give your beauty routine a sustainable makeover

There’s no need to shaft the planet in the name of beauty. It’s possible to use great quality beauty brands that give great results without compromising your values. But it’s not always easy to know what to look for, even if you’re an experienced beauty enthusiast. From packaging to ingredients, from ethics to manufacturing processes, allow us to present our guide to all things ethical, eco-friendly, sustainable beauty.

The rise (and rise) of clean, sustainable beauty

Millennials and Gen Zs are generally more conscious of their impact on the world than previous generations, (go you good things!), and expect businesses to do better in terms of their sustainability and ethical practices for people and planet. The result? Eco-beauty is having more than a moment.

Photo: Rêve En Vert
Know your terms

Sustainable, ethical, non-toxic, clean beauty, organic, cruelty free, vegan, green beauty… The list of green credentials brands can claim is long, and it would be remiss of us if we didn’t start our guide off with a few quick definitions.

Green beauty/Clean beauty

There’s no clear definition here – which is confusing – but UK Vogue reports that most clean beauty advocates are concerned with aggressive ingredients and synthetic chemicals.

Non-toxic

Non-toxic and clean beauty are often used interchangeably. A non-toxic product is one made without a long list of ingredients that have been linked to harmful health effects. Look for certifications from organisations like Made Safe (who certify Sienna) who screen ingredients against an Ingredient Database of known harmful chemicals which are found on scientifically authoritative lists from organisations and agencies from around the world. They also screen to examine ingredients for bioaccumulation, persistence, and general and aquatic toxicity.

Cruelty free (cf)

Put simply, cruelty free (or cf as you will often see it, particularly on products from the UK) means that a product and its ingredients were not tested on animals, nor are they sold in countries where animal testing is mandatory. Leaping Bunny has an informative FAQ section if you want to explore this further.

Vegan

A vegan beauty product contains no animal ingredients. Confusingly though, it is possible for a vegan product to have been tested on animals, and a cruelty free product not be vegan.

Natural and Organic

Natural products contain ingredients from plants and nature and are minimally processed. Organic products are made with non-GMO ingredients that are free of chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or antibiotics. In Australia, a product must be certified by a government approved body before a brand can claim it’s organic.

Ethical

In the context of beauty and personal care products, ‘ethical’ usually refers to the treatment of people. An ethical brand will pay their workers properly, make sure they have proper breaks and are of the proper age (ie: no child labour), and will also apply the same standards to their supply chain. Some people also expect ethical brands to contribute more broadly to the communities where they work. Education, charity initiatives and partnerships with local organisations are a few examples of what this can look like in action. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Nude and neutral nail polish glass bottle with timber cap line-up by sienna
What to look for in clean, sustainable beauty

Transparency is everything and knowledge is power. We deserve to know what’s in our products so we can be empowered to make decisions that reflect our values. As beauty guru Sali Hughes says in her feature on sustainable beauty brands: “not all brands are doing everything, some are better than others, and still others could be doing more… but we don’t have time to wait for perfect”. So when you’re researching your next beauty purchase, look at what’s important to you – be it the treatment of animals or a non-toxic formula that prioritises health and efficacy – and spend your hard-earned accordingly.

How to dodge greenwashing

Most of the terms on this list of definitions aren’t regulated by governments, which is actually pretty shocking. This gives less-ethical companies carte blanche to use terms like “natural”, pure” and “organic” to lull consumers into thinking they are making positive, health and environmentally-orientated choices. It’s not okay. Most brands with strong environmental, health and ethical credentials will list ingredients on their website and, in many cases, be certified to show they are walking their talk. Certifications to look for are B Corporation, Leaping Bunny, Made Safe, Choose Cruelty Free Australia, Vegan Action and PETA.

cruelty free vegan non-toxic b-corp accreditation logos in brown
Vegan and Cruelty Free beauty explainer

If animal welfare is a deal-breaker for you, look for a brand that is both cruelty- free and vegan. The New York Times has this super-informative article which explores the reasons why the future of the beauty industry is vegan and not animal-tested. Hello, green science!

Beauty Packaging 101

There are a few different roads to go down here and research shows consumers want to travel them. A 2018 study found 72% of people surveyed in the UK are interested in buying beauty products packaging made from PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastics. We can be the change! Innovations like creating packaging from sugar cane waste are starting to gain traction, while other brands offer a refilling service so you can reuse the same packaging on repeat. Easy-to-recycle glass is making a comeback as well and some companies (like Sienna!) offer an in-house recycling program. And we can’t go without mentioning Terracycle, an innovative organisation who partner with companies to create zero-waste solutions for beauty and personal care packaging.

Timber Caps by Sienna
People, planet and beauty

Thanks to people like you who care about how their actions impact our world, things are changing for the better. We’d love to hear from you about what’s important to you when you’re considering how a brand and how their values align with your own. Get in touch!

Introducing Onyx – the jet black nail polish of dreams

Introducing, Onyx, the inkiest non-toxic black nail polish you ever did see. Black crème has been the most requested colour since we launched in 2014 so it’s been a long time coming! Onyx is a glossy, opaque midnight black and is super-wearable –you’re going to love it.

Jet black nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

Black nail polish looks great with every skin tone and every outfit. It literally goes with everything; whether you’re rocking a full face of glam makeup and a formal frock or a busted white tee and your favourite vintage jeans, you know black nail polish is going to be a hit. It’s ridiculously chic on short nails and vampy on long, pointy talons. Trust us, once you cross over to the dark side with your nails, you’ll never go back.

Onyx is super-glossy and, of course, comes in our luxe, non-toxic formula. It’s black nail polish done the Sienna way.

See it now or keep scrolling to see it compared to other colours from the darker end of our collection.

neutral nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna and baby's breath flower in the background

For the love of neutral nails

If you find a flattering neutral nail polish, well, you have pretty much nailed the HG of your beauty kit. Neutral nails are elegant, look cool, make your hands look younger and go with everything. You’re ready for anything! But neutral nails aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, and it isn’t always easy to choose the one for you. So let’s go deep into colour science and explore the neutral nail palette.

neutral nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna and baby's breath flower in the background

We love neutrals

If you’ve followed us from our launch way-back-when, you’ll know we are pretty big fans of the neutral nail. One of our earliest shades was a gorgeous sheer caramel (still with us!) and we’ve always had a penchant for organic tones. Sienna has always been inspired by the natural beauty of our world and this, paired with one of our core values of “beauty for all”, means we have a pretty rocking collection of neutrals that work for everyone. We’re a gang of neautralistas!

neutral beige sheer nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna
Image: Barefoot Dancer

Neutral nail inspo

Of course, there are no rules when it comes to choosing a colour. If there is a colour you love, even if it’s not traditional for your skin tone or fashionable right now, you mani-up and rock it! And some colours just look fabulous on everyone. But if it is a neutral nail colour you’re after, experts agree that the secret is going one-to-two shades lighter or darker than your actual skin tone. So without further ado, here is some neutral nail inspo to get you started.

Dark skin tones

The world is your nail bar, you lucky human. Dark and deep skin tones handle most nail colours with style and the only one you should avoid is greige – the lovechild of grey and beige – as it tends to make your hands look dull and washed out. No thank you. However, warm clay and dark rose crème are beautiful choices. One of our top picks would have to be rich brown with a touch of red and it is an insanely good look on darker skin tones. When in doubt, look for a polish that sounds like it could conceivably be part of your morning coffee order – we’re talking about colours like coffee, mocha, chocolate and cocoa.

Dark pink purple nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna
Image: Blush

Medium skin tones

Creamy beige is a good friend to the medium skin toned. Pale, creamy beige nail polishes work so well because they hit the sweet spot between highlighting the tan tones in the skin while giving just the right amount of contrast. It’s a lush look. Other colours to make your mani sing are peach, caramel, dusty mauves and pink polishes with white undertones.

dusty mauve pink nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna
Image: Rosie

Olive skin tones

Do you have olive skin? Sheer caramel polish with slight red undertones looks beyond chic and is a polished, sophisticated manicure that doesn’t look at all flat. Perfect. If you’re on the paler end of olive skin, head on over and check out this peachy tone of the neutral polish family. Peach gives your nails a look that is warm and glowy with good health. It’s especially cute during summer.

Peach nude nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Image: Helena

Light skin tones

An opaque light champagne pink crème is one of those magical nail colours that is universally flattering, but we have to say it is ridiculously beautiful on lighter skin tones. For neutral nails with a touch more contrast, try a soft blush pink with white undertones like our much-loved Melody, which looks amazing on medium skin tones too, btw.

Light pink nude nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Image: Serenity

Fair skin tones

The vibe we’re going for here is ‘your nails, but better’ and the best neutral nail polish colour to achieve this is pink. Pink plays to both the pink and blue undertones common in people with fair skin and a soft flush of sheer pink is super- flattering. If you can find one with a lovely glossy finish, even better. If an opaque creme finish is more your style, try something fresh and bright against your colouring.

Nude pink shimmer nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna
Image: Embrace

How did we do? We hope you found some neutral nail inspiration. We swatch our colours on different skin tones on our website if you’d like to see more. And if we’re missing a neutral for your skin tone, let us know.

healthy pink nails

7 tips for healthy nails all year round

healthy pink nails
Winter or summer, it’s always a good time to take care of your nails. It doesn’t take long to keep your nails in shape. Here are our tried and true tips to keep your nail health game strong.
1. Don’t cut your cuticles

Your cuticles seal in moisture and protect your body from environmental germs so it’s best to keep them intact.

Our tip: Use cuticle oil to soften and hydrate your cuticles. If your cuticles are bothering you, push them down gently with a manicure stick (aka ‘the orange stick’).

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle
2. Use a base coat

A base coat will protect your nails and strengthen them. If you want an everyday slick of clear gloss to protect your nails, base coat is the one you should go for. It works to strengthen your nails by acting like a band-aid. It holds your nail together so you’ll get more length, strength and less breakage. Your nails will also look glorious. #winwin

base coat nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by sienna on baby's breath flower background
3. Don’t pick at old polish

We know it’s tempting (we know, we know) but resist the urge to pick it off as it can damage the nail bed underneath. Instead, use a hydrating water-based nail polish remover or wipes. We don’t want to toot our own horn too much, but our remover is good. It’s enriched with Vitamin E to give your nails the health boost they’re craving and won’t dry out your nails at all. It doesn’t even smell.

no Acetone Remover and Remover wipes in glass bottle with gold lid by sienna with baby's breath flowers background
4. File your nails to keep them a uniform length and shape

It’s much easier to keep short nails healthy as well. We know we’ve said this a hundred times, but please file in the same direction. See-sawing a file back and forth will damage the nail matrix (no thank you) and will also result in raggedy edges. No one likes a raggedy edge. A glass nail file is gentle on your nails and will never go blunt. It’s quite the eco-friendly flex.

Our tips: It’s always tempting to pick hangnails. Don’t do it! Use the clippers instead. Use a glass nail file and smooth out any ‘nicks’ so they don’t go on to get caught on other things and damage your nails further.

hands using glass nail file by sienna
5. Stay hydrated

Like the rest of you, your nails need hydration. This means drinking plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out, and cuticle oil to nourish your cuticles from the outside in.

6. Eat for nail health

Healthy nails love vitamin E, A, C, K &B, zinc and essential fatty oils are all good friends to nail (and hair) health. Here’s a quick list of foods that tick the nutrient boxes. We understand you may not be able to get your hands on them easily in different parts of the world, but if you’re interested, we’re talking about dark leafy greens, avocados, raw pumpkin seeds, almonds, orange root vegetables, chickpeas, lentils, ground linseed, hemp seeds, walnuts, cashews, wholemeal bread, and quinoa.

7. Be gentle with your nails, product-wise

Avoid products with high percentages of alcohol (hand sanitiser and cleaning products are the biggest culprits. Protect your mitts with gloves if you’re cleaning and show them some love with a good hand cream post sanitise. Cuticle oil and hydrating nail polish remover are two quick additions to your self-care routine that will keep your nails healthy.

What do you do to keep your nails healthy?

Nail care products nail polish remover wipes jar with gold lid cuticle oil and glass nail file by sienna with white flowers
10 different red nail polish bottles with timber cap by Sienna with baby's breath flower background

Red nail polish is always a good idea

You know we love our earth-inspired neutral and soft pink nail polish around here. But we are also huge fans of a good red polish. We’re not alone. The top ten bestselling nail polishes globally are ALL red. What’s so good about red you ask? Everything.

10 different red nail polish bottles with timber cap by Sienna with baby's breath flower background

More than a feeling

When things are feeling a little bit wild out there in the world, it’s always reassuring to have your nails looking good. When it comes to a red mani, you can magnify that sensation to the power of ten. You cannot beat the feeling you get when you’re rocking a great red nail polish. It is, after all, a classic for a reason. Confidence! Freedom! Rock ‘n’ Roll! Sophisticated! Who’s in charge here? You are!

And there’s a red for every mood, skin tone and situation. Let’s get to know the world’s favourite nail colour.

Classic red

Apple red nail polish is probably the red you think of first. Classic red is the OG when it comes to statement manis and is a strong, stunning red that gives a vivacious, high-impact manicure. Kate Moss reaches for a classic red when she’s doing her nails, and if it’s good enough for an iconic supermodel…

Mid-tone apple red nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

The hip red

Vermilion red-hued nail polish is the hippest red polish of them all. Vermilion red is an intense red with a touch of orange that is beloved by cool kids, the glam squad, and just about anyone else who loves a strong mani. This is a colour that says “Yep, I’m feeling confident.” What skin tones does it suit, you ask? All of them.

Intense vermilion red nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by sienna

Earthy red

Red nail polish that gives a nod to the natural world has been the ‘gateway red’ for many a neutral nail lover at Sienna. Earthy, organic red and dusty rosebud red give a gorgeous ‘pop’ of colour while keeping it grounded. This family of reds tend to be universally flattering and versatile enough to wear anywhere and, thanks to the darker undertones, work well all year round.

Organic mid-tone red nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna

Dark red

If you grew up in the 90s, there was only one shade of nail polish worth having, and that shade was dark red. Did it ever go out of style? Never. These wine-toned polishes have always had a dedicated fan-base, but we are happy to report they are also enjoying a major comeback at the moment. Deep merlot creme verging on black and deep magenta plums are a little bit mysterious and more than a little bit chic. As with all Sienna colours, you can see dark reds swatched on different skin tones on our website.

deep red plum nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna

Berry red

Red nail polish. But make it subtle. If classic red polish feels too “Whoo-hoo-look-at-me”, cast your eye towards this group of polishes. Red polish with pink undertones reads a little softer for a muted look and feel. We’re talking raspberry reds, plum reds (which we realise isn’t a berry, but is fruity!) and reds with a strong blue-base.

Plum Red Nail Polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by Sienna

Bring the bling red

Shimmering, sparkling red is tipped to be a key nail trend for Spring 2020 and we are so here for it. Actually, we’re here for it all the time. This is a cheering, celebratory nail colour that is perfect for parties, special events, the supermarket, anywhere.

Raspberry red shimmer nail polish hand swatch on dark skin tone by Sienna

We swatch each colour on different skin tones, check our product pages to see more.

Hand with ombré manicure on coffee table, nail polish bottles and glass nail file by sienna

How long will my nail polish last?

AKA the million dollar question. We’ve been asked how long our nail polish lasts on your nails and, long story short, we can’t answer the “how long” question definitively for everybody as there are so many factors to consider and we’re all so different. As an overview though, genetics and natural nail health are the number one factor that affects how long polish lasts on your nails. Generally speaking, healthy nails = long-lasting manicure, irrespective of the kind of nail polish you use. But use of alcohol-based products for cleaning or hand sanitising and prolonged exposure to chlorinated water are some of the other culprits that affect your nail health for the worse, and in turn the longevity of your mani. The other key factors to impact how long your nail polish lasts are your nail prep and application technique.

Luckily, we can help with most of these (Spoiler: not genetics). Read on for more details as we go deep into the nitty-gritty of what might be causing the odd mani-misadventure, and share some of our best tips to keep your nails looking fresh and ready for the ‘gram.

Nail care products nail polish remover wipes jar with gold lid cuticle oil and glass nail file by sienna with white flowers

Genetics

How is genetics related to manicure longevity? Well, the stronger your nail is the longer your manicure will last. The hardness of your nails is mostly genetic and not much can be done about the shape they grow in or how fast they grow. You can help them by working on your overall health. So eat your leafy greens and plenty of foods rich in zinc, vitamin A, E and C, as well healthy fats (Oh hello, avocado). Of course, it goes without saying you need to stay hydrated. Chronic stress and fatigue inhibit growth, and age can be another factor that slows the nail growth train down. On the other, ah, hand, nails do grow faster in summer. Nails. They’re so much more complex than they look.

Our tips: If you have strong nails, you don’t need to worry about a thing. If they’re not so strong then follow the steps in ‘how to do a manicure’ and all the tips below.

Dry and dehydrated nails

Dry and dehydrated nails are more likely to peel and split which means the surface of the nail is not smooth and the polish will have a hard time adhering. We want your Friday night mani to make it to #manimonday intact. So the first thing to do is identify why your nails might be dry and dehydrated. Hand sanitiser and cleaning are necessary evils for most of us, but these are products with high percentages of alcohol and this is the absolute enemy of a long-lasting mani. Cold climates don’t help either. If this is you, the first step is to use a good hand cream.

Our tips:

  • If you’re cleaning, pop on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands and nails, just like Nana used to.
  • Cuticle oil is another superhero of the nail care world. We wouldn’t dream of skipping moisturiser on our faces, let’s give our nails and cuticles the same love. You know they deserve it. While we’re talking cuticles, did you know cuticles actually serve a really important purpose? They seal in moisture and keep environmental germs out of your body. It’s really important to leave them be (no cutting or picking) and let them do their important work.
  • Hydration from the outside and the inside out. In other words, cuticle oil and hand cream help from the outside but don’t forget to drink your water! Your nail starts to grow from the ‘matrix’ – the spot just above your cuticle. Staying hydrated helps your body produce healthy cells – including the ones that will be your nails.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

Swimming and water exposure

Prolonged exposure to all kinds water is going to affect the longevity of your mani. The nail becomes waterlogged, expanding, and lifts the polish off the nail. It also gets between the layer of nail polish and your nail bed.

Our tips:

  • Use a good oil based cream on your hands before swimming to repel as much moisture to the nail as possible
  • Again, gloves while doing dishes are your friend

washing hands with soap in pastel green sink under running water

Nail Prep is paramount

Much like painting anything (walls, portraits, etc), you need to prepare your surface before jumping in with the colour or the result will not be the luxe, smooth one of your dreams. Where to start with nails? We got you.

Our tips:

  • Remove any residual polish and clean off any oils and moisturiser from your nails. You want a clean, dry surface so nothing comes between your nail bed and the polish. Nail polish will stick better to a dry surface.
  • Long nails = bendy nails. And bendy nails compromise the adhesion of polish. Nail polish is a solid surface ‘on’ your nail bed and while it will handle some bending, this does weaken your polish. If your nails are prone to bending, short nails are the way forward. Not only are short nails chic beyond words, your mani will last much longer as there’s less chance for bending.
  • If you can avoid nail soaking, please do. Waterlogged nails are softer and water gets in between your nail bed and the polish, which as we now know, is not the goal.
  • If your nails have ridges, gently buff them. Ridges cause pooling of the nail polish which means it will be thicker in parts and thinner in others. This leads to varied drying time which then leads to trouble for your mani. If you can’t get your hands on a buffer, try applying base coat before colour and this should act as a ‘ridge filler’.

hands using glass nail file by sienna

Technique

The way you apply your polish can also affect how long it lasts on your nails. We’ve got all the tips and tricks to help you out with this.

Our tips:

  • If you’re shaping your nails, file in one direction rather than in a back and forth motion. This destroys the nail matrix and is a fast track to breaking nails. Let’s just not go there.
  • Next, try a sticky base coat. We don’t want to brag, but ours is pretty damn fantastic. A good base coat will protect and strengthen your nail while providing a good smooth surface to paint on that helps the polish stick to your nail.
  • Okay, the polish. The aim is thin layers. Thin layers, people! They really are the key to a successful application. Once you’ve painted your two/three thin layers of polish, seal the free edge (the tip of your nail) with a horizontal swipe of polish.
  • Finish the whole thing off with some top coat to protect all your work.

We have a guide to giving yourself a natural nail manicure at home if you’d like more detail.

Hands applying nude pink nail polish by sienna

Taking care of (nail) business

Nail polish isn’t supposed to last forever – and that’s a good thing. Chipping will happen eventually but there are some steps we can take to slow it down and preserve your gorgeous mani.

Our tips:

  • If you do spot a rogue chip, you don’t have to junk your entire manicure. Just top-up the offending chip with a touch of polish. Just remember the golden rule about keeping the coats thin.
  • Use nail clippers to remove hangnails. It’s always tempting to pick them. Don’t do it!
  • If your nails get some little ‘nicks’, use a glass nail file and smooth them out so they don’t go on to get caught on other things and damage your nails further.

Do you want more nail care?

We’re so proud of all our nail care and nail polish products and we are here to help you with any questions you have. We love hearing from you and it’s a real thrill for us to see all your beautiful Sienna manicures. Follow us over on Insta for more nail care goodness and mani inspiration. You can also find loads of videos saved under Nail Tutorials in our Highlights.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

Self-care for the soul and your nails

This week, we’re looking at some of the things you can do to take care of your mind and your body while you’re in spatial isolation. We’re talking hand and nail care (obvs), DIY vegan face masks, bringing culture to your monitor and maintaining your friendships via the power of technology.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

A shout out to the people. All the people.

We’d like to send our gratitude to the people in so many different professions who are working hard to look after us right now. We don’t have enough words to describe how thankful we are. And if these times are tough for you in other ways, we see you.

Self-care for your hands and natural nail care

If your hands are anything like ours, they probably feel a bit like paper after a steady diet of frequent hand washing and hand sanitiser. Thankfully, we know what to do here. We’ve always been huge fans of the clean beauty DIY-style, and a little while ago we wrote all about how to give yourself an easy non-toxic mani at home. Gather your kit, choose a cheering playlist and go for it. And If you know your way around a straightforward manicure or you just want to get fancy/learn a new skill, check out the easy but gorgeous nail art designs Line Spa and Polish did for us a little while back. Once you’ve mastered the introductory designs, click through the slightly trickier but still achievable designs here. Whether you opt for a straight-colour mani or super-chic nail art, the crucial thing here is hydration, baby. Grab your cuticle oil and hand cream and apply throughout the day. You’re probably washing your hands every five minutes, so take the opportunity to break out the cuticle oil/hand cream as part of the routine.

Hands applying nude nail polish by sienna

DIY vegan face masks for homebodies and heroes

If you’ve got kids home from school at the moment, you might consider a solo trip to the bathroom quality self-care time at the moment. Half of the Sienna team are in the same boat so we totally understand. But, depending on their age, kids might enjoy helping to mix up some vegan face masks in the kitchen. You’ll probably be able to find most of the ingredients for these masks in your kitchen, so you can just whip them up and cue the smooth skin. Incorporate them into your mani/pedi routine if you fancy going recreating the full day-spa-at home-experience. This also a lovely and refreshing way to put a wall between home life and a punishing day at work.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna

Culture, fitness, kindness and cute animals

We touched on a few of these in our Insta this week and we got some great suggestions too. Jump over to our page to add your own ideas on how to stay sane and support both your nearest and dearest, as well as our wider communities. As Ben Lee said way back in 2005, “We’re all in this together”.

close view of vegan fake smoked salmon dish from no bones restaurant in byron bay

Byron Bay Vegan – Our picks for the best plant-based dining!

It’s no secret that we love our food in Byron Bay and you probably won’t be surprised to hear there are plenty of delicious vegan and vegetarian spots in town. With new plant-based eateries popping up all the time, we thought we should share some of our favourites. We hope you’re hungry!

Yulli’s Kitchen

It might be beloved of vegans who routinely describe it as “the best food I’ve ever had”, but you don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate all the goodness on offer at this Sienna favourite. The menu at Yulli’s Kitchen is 100% vegan and is probably best described as both ‘modern Asian’ and ‘insanely good’. The crispy tofu deserves poetry it’s so good, but you can order anything here with confidence. Whoever is working that kitchen is a magician for modern times, as far as we’re concerned. There’s also a pretty impressive wine list, cocktails and, of course, the full selection of famous, in-house Yulli’s Brews craft beers. Head to their Insta and prepare to drool.

close view of mango slices dessert with comestible flowers from yullis restaurant in byron bay
via instagram: @yullisbyronbay

No Bones

No Bones has found a home in a sweet spot downtown Byron Bay, and thank goodness for that. The food is creative, delicious and oh-so more-ish. Everything is sourced locally (where possible), made in-house and like many other Byron businesses, the No Bones girls do it all with a strong commitment to sustainability and the environment. The cocktail list is also a thing of beauty – try the John Meloncamp or the Grateful Undead. This is a great place for an early family dinner, but if you were searching for a place to take the special plant-based someone in your life… No Bones could be it.

close view of vegan fake smoked salmon dish from no bones restaurant in byron bay
via instagram: @nobonesbyronbay

Byron Bay General Store

The Byron Bay General Store is a local icon. It was established in 1947 and is one of our oldest buildings. When the current owners opened their doors in 2017 after six months of renovations and planning, they were greeted with queues down the street! The General Store is a friendly, laid-back place for locals and visitors and it serves up cracking coffee alongside delicious, great quality food – all sourced from local suppliers. They describe themselves “as mostly plant-based”. We describe them as “delicious”. We’re talking about vegan waffles here, people. They have a cute play area for kids (so good for the parents), the nourish bowls are out-of-this world-good, the people watching is great and you get 10% off your bill if you walk or ride your pushie there. What a time to be alive!

close frontal view of avocado toast with lemon wedge and sesame seeds from the general store cafe in byron bay
via byrongeneralstore.com

Folk

Folk is one of our favourite spots, and many a meeting was held in their lush garden during the early Sienna days. It might be set in a slightly unlikely location (next to a caravan park), but that doesn’t stop it from being a super-sweet, chilled-out garden café with the most innovative wholefoods menu you ever did see. Do not start us on the joys of their vegan burrito. Okay, just one word: phenomenal. Everything is made in-house with a commitment to vegetarian and plant-based eating. The coffee is consistently excellent and so is the music. Don’t just take our word for it though. Folk has had plenty of love from magazines like Architectural Digest, Monocle and Gourmet Traveller. Get yourself there, stat.

Top view of a plate with vegetarian tacos from folk cafe in byron bay
via instagram: @folkbyronbay

There’s a lot of vegan love in Byron Bay

So while these might be some of our favourite plant-based eateries, Byron Bay is a pretty accommodating place. Most places will ‘veganise’ a dish for you if there is something on the menu you really fancy, and we’re hard-pressed to think of anywhere that doesn’t have at least a couple of vegan and plant-based offerings on their menu. You’re in Byron Bay, baby! It’s just how we roll here.