Sienna Nail Polish Manicure

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 Sienna Byron Bay

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.

cuticle oil Sienna Byron Bay

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

hands 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’.

Glass Nail File Sienna Byron Bay

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.

Apply Nail Polish Sienna Byron Bay

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.

Nail Care Top Coat Base Coat Sienna Byron Bay

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.

Nail Care Top Coat Base Coat Sienna Byron Bay

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.

selfcare manicure at home sienna byron bay

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.

Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay

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”.

Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay

DIY vegan face masks you need to try this weekend!

Do you want to experience that day spa luxury feeling at home? Of course you do!  If you’re hunting for the best DIY vegan face masks, we have everything you need, right here. Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to a three-step DIY facial treatment you can make using simple ingredients from your pantry. We’re all about clean beauty and staying as close to natural as possible when it comes to our skin, and there isn’t anything more natural than this! Read on for treatments so good, you could eat them!

Coconut scrub

Coconut oil
Brown sugar

It wouldn’t be right to start a vegan face mask session without a coconut scrub. This scrub will have your skin clean, soft and free of any residual makeup or dirt. It’s as simple as combining coconut oil and brown sugar. Coconut oil is used in plenty of natural skin products, and with good reason; it’s naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and moisturising. It’s chock full of fatty acids like lauric acid and also contains Vitamin E, aka the superstar ingredient of nail health. Is there anything coconut oil can’t do? Brown sugar is a great exfoliator – it’s not too harsh so won’t damage your skin, but has enough oomph to give it a decent cleanse. Once you have the scrub at a consistency you like, massage it gently into your face, (Don’t forget your lips), neck, chest and even your hands until everything is feeling lovely and soft.

Coconut scrub Vegan Face Mask Sienna byron bay
Coconut Scrub Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay
Coconut Scrub Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay

Fruit cleanser

2 strawberries
¼ avocado
½ banana
A squeeze of lemon juice

Mash together with a fork or whiz together in a blender, and add lemon juice until you get a sticky consistency.

Of all the DIY vegan face masks, this one is as good for your skin as it is nutritious for your body! Why is it so good? Strawberries are naturally acidic and help remove any excess sebum that can cause acne or blemishes and, when partnered with lemon juice, works to brighten your skin too. Banana is high in potassium and moisture which will also hydrate your skin. Avocados contain poly and monounsaturated fats, which keep your skin moisturised and helps fight against inflammation. It’s a winner. Apply the mask to your face (avoid your lips for this one), neck, chest and the back of hands and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before gently washing it off with a warm face cloth.

Hot tip! Warm water is most effective for this (and also feels lovely). Wring the face cloth out for best results. You want it damp rather than soaking wet.

Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay
Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay
Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay

Cacao brightener

Cacao Powder
Ground coffee beans
Ground oats
A dash of coconut milk (or other plant-based milk)

Combine the cacao, coffee grounds and oats together. Keep stirring as you slowly drizzle in the coconut milk until your mixture is the consistency of thick paste. Spread the mask over your face (avoiding your lips) neck and chest. You will feel the mask start to harden a little bit. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it all off with a damp cloth.

This works because cacao is an ancient ingredient, packed with Vitamin C, magnesium and Omega 6 fatty acids. When used on your skin, it promotes blood flow and encourages cellular repair, which gives you that coveted youthful, radiant glow! Coffee, as well as being delicious and the fuel that keeps us all going, is also known to brighten the skin, so partnered with cacao, it’s the perfect match.

Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay
Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay
Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay
Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask Sienna Byron Bay

So why not treat yourself this weekend? Prepare your masks, settle down with a book or a glass of red, and make an evening of it!

Check out our range of nail care if you’re interested in more vegan beauty and self-care.

Leopard Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish

5 simple, fresh nail art designs that anybody can do at home – (Part two)

It’s time to get our DIY nail bar on again. We had such a great response to our collaboration with Seika from Line Spa and Polish, we’re back with another round of fresh nail art, exclusively for you. This is nail art for everybody. (If you missed our first instalment, click through for all the inspiration and instruction here.) If you have mastered the designs from Part One, you are going to love these designs. This is nail art for everybody. Get your brushes ready, people!

Before we begin

It’s best to have everything you need close to hand before you start, just as if you would if you were giving yourself a regular mani. The best of our DIY non-toxic manicure tips are on our blog if you need a refresher. 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 to seal the deal and keep all your fabulous nail art locked in. One final tip: We know this sounds obvious, but make sure each layer dries before you apply the next.

Hot tips for the at-home nail art superstar

For some of these designs, you may need to improvise to create delicate shapes or lines. You don’t need fancy tools for this nail art. Look around your house, especially in your makeup and stationery drawers to use what you have to hand. Toothpicks are a perfectly acceptable drawing tool for nail art on the fly. A sewing pin in an eraser on the end of a pencil is the perfect dotting tool, as are bobby pins, and paintbrushes are always welcome to create different brush strokes and effects. Embrace your inner MacGyver and use what you have to hand.

1. Vertical wiggly french

Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Line Spa and Polish
Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Bonsoir Utopia
Bonsoir Utopia Nail Art Line Spa and Polish Sienna Byron Bay

Colours: Bonsoir and Utopia

Blue and green should always be seen… especially if they look this chic.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Paint your thumb and ring fingernail with the pastel mint green crème, Utopia (currently on sale!)
  • Paint your other fingernails with Bonsoir (deep navy crème with cerulean shimmer).
  • Create the outline of the wave with Utopia on your middle fingernail and fill it in.
  • Next, repeat this process using Bonsoir on your ring fingernail.

Could this be the ultimate look for cool girl nail art? We think so.

2. Apple french

Apple French Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay
Apple French Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish
Apple French Nail Art Line Spa and polish Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish

Colours: Freedom, Florence, Merlot, Gaia

Some of our best loved colours come together to create this sweet but sophisticated French apple look.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Create the outline of the apple heart on your thumb and ring nails with Freedom (bright vermilion red crème), and then fill it in.
  • Use a toothpick (or drawing tool of your choice) to create the apple stem with Florence (magenta plum crème).
  • Paint your pinky fingernail in Merlot (deep red wine merlot crème)
  • Give your remaining two fingernails two coats of Gaia (Fallow Brown Satin).

That’s it! All the (apple) heart eyes for this design.

3. Apricots

Apricot Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish
Sienna Byron Bay Nail Art Apricot Line Spa and Polish
Apricot Nail Art

Colours: Yogi, Olivia

We’re sticking to the fruity theme with this fun apricot design that combines fresh orange with the ‘it’ colour of the Northern Hemisphere fall, olive.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Paint your middle and ring fingernail and your thumbnail with Olivia (deep olive crème).
  • To create the apricots, start with your pinky. Drop three tiny beads of Yogi (mandarin orange crème) on to the pinky nail to create the apricot shape.
  • Use Olivia to create the stem of the apricots.
  • Repeat this process on your pointer fingernails.

It’s really that easy. This might look like a complicated design, but it’s completely nail art-novice approved.

Hot tip: when painting dots with your brush make sure to have a tiny amount of polish on the brush as it will pool on the nail. It’s easier to add more than take it off!

4. Leopard

Leopard Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish
Leopard Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Line Spa and Polish
Leopard Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay Line Spa and Polish
Colours: CourageMimosaOlivia, Embrace

Introducing the autumnal-hued counterpoint to the Pastel Leopard design that debuted in Part One.

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Paint your pointer and pinky nails with two coats of Courage (warm terracotta crème).
  • Next, use Olivia (deep olive crème) to paint three-four larger dots and several more smaller dots using A bobby pin or toothpick work both work well here.
  • To finish, paint your remaining fingernails with two coats of Embrace (grapefruit granita crystal).

Because leopard-print is a neutral.

Hot tip: make sure the dots are dry before painting the top coat or it may ‘drag’ the colour. The dots are thicker than the coats of polish so they take a touch longer.

5. Brush strokes with dots

Sienna Byron Bay Nail Art Nail Polish
Sienna Byron Bay and Line Spa and Polish Nail Art
Sienna Byron Bay Nail Polish Nail Art
Colours: Dream, WategosUnite, LusciousFlorence

We have reached the apex mountain of our at-home nail art designs. This design uses all the techniques we have been practicing to create the so-hot-right-now painterly brush strokes look. It’s slightly more complex than the previous designs but is still more than doable at home. Play around with this design, each nail can be as unique as you like. The gif above is a good partner to our instructions below, so let that guide you as well. We’re ready!

  • Apply base coat to every nail.
  • Start with a smear-like stripe of Wategos (clear blue water crème) on every fingernail.
  • Use the same technique to apply Dream (periwinkle crème) on the opposite side of your nail.
  • Next up is Unite (crushed hematite crystal). You only need a minimal amount of polish on the brush for this part. Swipe a painterly-like stripe down your fingernail, starting at the top of your nail and reducing the amount of polish to almost nothing by the time you get to the base.
  • Create a spatter effect by placing some tiny drops of Florence (magenta plum crème) at the base of the nail.
  • Finish up the design with some teeny tiny drops of Luscious.

It’s delicate, it’s painterly, it’s pretty damn beautiful. Well done, you!

Hot Tip: Make sure to use just a tiny amount of polish when you paint the brush stroke accents.

Line Spa & Polish and sustainable beauty

Line Spa and Polish is a beauty biz after our own sustainable, 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, Seiko, is a next-level nail tech?

Let us know if you try any of these designs! We’d love to hear how you go.

Keep up with all things sustainable nail care @siennabyronbay and @linespanadpolish on Instagram
Line Spa and polish Nail Art Sienna Byron bay

5 simple, fresh nail art designs that you can do at home – (part one)

Nail art is something everybody can do at home. And it doesn’t have to be super complicated to be effective. We love the dreamy designs by Seika of Line Spa & Polish in Vancouver and are so excited to share our collaboration with you. She has created some simple but swoon-worthy nail art designs exclusively for us using some of our most loved colours. Read on for all the Line Spa & Polish x Sienna nail art inspiration!

Before we begin

It’s best to have everything you need close to hand before you start, just as if you would if you were giving yourself a straight-up mani. You can read all about our DIY manicure tips here. 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 to seal the deal and keep all your fabulous nail art locked in. Also, who loves a high-gloss finish? Everyone, that’s who. 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. Alright! Let’s do this thing!

1. Blue line ombre

blue line ombre Sienna nail polish
Blue line Ombre Sienna Byron Bay
Blue Line Ombre Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay
Colours: Dream, Breeze, Wategos

Are you dreaming of blues? Us too. This sweet nail art design is as straightforward as it looks.

  • Start with Wategos (clear blue water crème) and paint a line down the centre of each nail, as per the picture.
  • Paint over the top two thirds in Dream (periwinkle crème).
  • Finally, apply Breeze (mid-tone aqua crème). on the top third.

Your nails look so fresh! You clever thing, you.

2. Minimalist dots

minimalist dots Nail art Sienna Byron Bay
Minimalist dots Nail art Sienna Byron Bay
Nail art step by step Sienna Byron Bay

Colours: Calm, Winter, Bonsoir, Merlot

Did somebody say ‘transeasonal’? This design is deceptively straightforward. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t.

  • Apply a base of Calm (warm clay crème) to every nail.
  • Paint a line of Winter (bright white crème) on the left side of your thumb and ring fingernail, as per the picture.
  • Use the brush (or a bobby pin!) to drop a small dot of Bonsoir and Merlot (deep navy crème with a cerulean shimmer and deep red wine merlot crème) on the same two nails.

Hot tip: make sure the dots are dry before painting the top coat or it may ‘drag’ the colour. The dots are thicker than the coats of polish so they take a touch longer.

Yes, it’s really that easy. This is such a flexible look. Mix it up and choose your favourite contrasting colour for the two dots.

3. Pastel Leopard

Line Spa and Polish Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay
Pastel Leopard Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay
Pastel leopard nail art Sienna Byron Bay
Colours: Lily, Mimosa, Fleur, Wategos

Leopards have been known to purr when they are happy. You will too when you see how your nails look. This is such a fun, warm weather look.

  • Paint your middle finger with Mimosa (pale yellow crème).
  • On the other four nails, use the brush (or bobby pin) to pain three-four dots in Lily (lavender crème).
  • Next, use the same technique to create one-two dots of Wategos (clear water blue crème).
  • Finish up with two dots of Fleur (blushing bride pink crème).

Hot tip: when painting dots with your brush make sure to have a tiny amount of polish on the brush as it will pool on the nail. It’s easier to add more than take it off!

4. Brush strokes

Brush Strokes nail art Sienna Byron Bay
Brush strokes nail art Sienna Byron Bay
Brush Stroke Nail art Sienna Byron Bay step by step
Colours: Florence, Liberty, Calm

Painterly strokes are having such a moment in nail art at the moment and the technique is totally achievable at home. Get your paintbrushes at the ready! (No, really).

  • Apply a base coat
  • Paint a coat of Calm (warm clay crème) on your thumb and ring finger.
  • Apply small brushstrokes of Florence (magenta plum crème) for a painterly effect on the other three fingers. You can use a paintbrush here, if you prefer.
  • Apply another small brushstroke of Calm.
  • Finally, add a smear of Liberty (Woodrose grey crystal) for the finishing touch.

Voila! You have achieved nail art glory.

Tip: Make sure to use just a tiny amount of polish when you paint the brush stroke accents.

5. Balloon French

French manicure Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay
Ballon French Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay
Balloon French Nail Art Sienna Byron Bay step by step
Colours: Hope, Artisan, Courage

This design brings together our sheer white crème, Hope, with two of our favourites from our collection of Autumn/Winter hues: Artisan (deep mustard crème) and Courage (warm terracotta crème).

  • Paint a curved line on every nail to create the balloon shape and fill in with Hope.
  • Use your nail brush to create a curved line over the top quarter of the nail on your middle and ring fingers in Courage. Then fill it in.
  • On the other side of the nail, repeat the process with Artisan, overlapping the part of the nail painted with Courage.

If you’re not confident drawing freehand, try using French tip stickers to help guide your brush. We have even heard of people using round stationery stickers to get the curve just right. Either way, the whole look is just so chic. We love it.

Line Spa & Polish and sustainable beauty

Line Spa & Polish is a beauty biz after our own sustainable, 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 & 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?

Let us know if you try any of these designs! We’re busting to hear how you go. If you enjoyed learning about how to create nail art at home, keep your eye out for Part Two of our collaboration with Line Spa and Polish with more designs coming soon.

Keep up with all things sustainable nail care @siennabyronbay and @linespanadpolish on Instagram
Manicure tips Fleur Sienna nail polish

10 tips to maximise the life of your manicure

Who loves a fresh-looking manicure? *raises hand* Everyone! If you followed our recent guide to a non-toxic manicure at home, your nails should be looking pretty good right about now. And while nail polish isn’t supposed to last forever – and that’s a good thing – there are some tips and tricks to keep your nails healthy and your manicure looking good for longer.

Read on for our tips to avoiding any mani-misadventures.

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1. Shape your nails in one direction

 

We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s always good to have a reminder. When you are shaping your nails, file in one direction and avoid sawing back and forth. Another good tip is to hold the file flat against the nail tip. If you angle the file, you can thin the nail tip.

2. Hydrate your nails and cuticles

 

You wouldn’t dream of skipping out the door without moisturiser on your face, but we often forget that our nails and cuticles need hydration too. Dry, dehydrated nails are more likely to peel and split, and that gorgeous polish you spent Saturday afternoon applying may not make it to #ManiMonday unscathed. Grab a hand cream and some cuticle oil and apply frequently to keep your hands looking and feeling their best. This is especially important if you are in a cold climate.

Manicure tips Sienna Byron Bay Cuticle oil

3. Say goodbye to personal care products with a high concentration of alcohol

 

Hand sanitizer may kill germs, but it can also kill your manicure. The high- percentage of alcohol in hand sanitizer eats away at the topcoat and causes the polish to become dull and fade. Hairspray and perfume will have the same effect as hand sanitiser, and are not your friends when it comes to maximising the life of your manicure.

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4. Wear gloves

 

No one likes chores but they are a necessary evil for most of us. Sigh. But did you know that chores are also responsible for shortening the life of your manicure too? Water gets into the nail bed causing the nail polish to become unstuck and lift. It’s a lovely thing, water. But it’s just not conducive to a long- lasting manicure. Protect your mani and your hands by wearing gloves if you are washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms or loading and unloading dishwashers.

Manicure tips cleaning gloves

5. Roll the bottle

 

It’s so tempting to shake a bottle of nail polish before a manicure. But resist! When you shake a bottle of polish you can create air bubbles and if they pop they will make a hole in your manicure. Roll the bottle between your hands instead. It’s still satisfying, we promise.

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Manicure tips Base coat and Top Coat Sienna Byron Bay

6. Base Coat

Base coats keep your nails strong and create a smooth surface for applying polish which, as we all know now, prolongs the life of your manicure. Base coat is designed to stick to your nail bed and differs from a top coat, which is designed to stick to lacquer.

 

7. Top up your top coat

Some people swear by topping up their top coat every second day to keep the shine high and the colour intact. Yes, it’s still a teeny-tiny bit maintenance, but if it’s going to keep your manicure looking beautiful longer.

8. Seal the deal with a side swipe

 

Finish your top coat with a horizontal swipe at the tip of your nail to seal the top coat and protect your gorgeous manicure.

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9. Drying time

 

While nail polish can be touch dry in a few minutes, it takes a bit longer for it to cure completely. We recommend painting them just before you go to bed or a Netflix marathon. That way they will have a good chance to dry and harden completely while your hands aren’t busy.

Manicure tips relaxing couch

10. BYO Polish to the nail salon

 

A hot tip for the nail bar aficionados: if you have a polish you love and you know works for you, take it with you to the nail bar. A professional application of your favourite product will you give you a mani that lasts for ages. A great nail tech will also clean up your nails and keep them looking chic.

We hope you enjoyed our 10 tips and they help with your manicure.

Spirit nail polish Sienna Hand photo

Easy steps to a manicure at home

In this crazy, busy world, a perfect manicure can make you feel like a total BOSS. We can’t always have our nails done professionally but thankfully, this is something we can do at home. Put your phone away, hit play on some soothing spa music, and follow our steps to give yourself a nurturing manicure at home.

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What you need

 

Get everything together before you start.

You need:

Sienna Manicure products nail care

1. Remove old polish

 

If you have any residual polish left on your nails from an old manicure, now is the time to wipe it off using a non-acetone remover or wipes. Tempting as it is to just brush over the top of your old polish with the new colour, give your nails the chance to shine by starting with a clean base. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly after using remover, focussing closely on the nails.

2. Shape your nails

 

Use a nail file to shape your nails. Sawing your nails back and forth will destroy the nail tip which, frankly, sounds terrible. This means your nails will split, resulting in peeling and breakage. File from the outside in to the middle on either side and stick with it. Healthy nails are beautiful nails.

Sienna Glass nail file

3. Apply a base coat

 

A great base coat will protect your nails while creating a smooth surface to apply your polish. It will also prolong the life of your manicure. Clever base coat!

HOT TIP: Base coat holds your nail together too so if you have soft nails, it’s perfect to make them strong. It’s also the product to use if you like a nude nail, it goes on clear and gives them a high shine!

Base Coat Hand Shot

4. Apply your nail polish like a pro

 

We are heading towards the business end of your manicure now as we apply the nail polish colour. We are aiming for two coats here. The best way to achieve the perfect coat is to get a decent size bead of polish on your brush and then as you pull it out of the bottle, wipe it away from one side only. Now, land the brush with a drop of polish in the centre of your nail. Gently do three strokes; one in the centre from the base to the tip, one on the left and one on the right and voila! You have achieved nail polish glory.

HOT TIP: Make your first coat thin and load up your second coat for full coverage. If you need to do a third coat that’s totally fine!

 

Pro tip

You don’t need to push the polish right down to meet the cuticle. Leave a teeny tiny gap to make sure you don’t ‘flood’ the cuticle area with polish which is a short cut to a messy finish. No one likes a messy finish, and your eye will not be able to tell the difference anyway.

Spirit nail polish Sienna Hand photo

5. Finish with a top coat

 

Seal the deal with a clear top coat. Repeat the three strokes technique, but finish with a sideways swipe of top coat at the tip of the nail to seal the top coat and protect your gorgeous manicure. As well as giving shine for days, top coat stops your polish from chipping early.

Sienna-top-coat-hand-photo

6. Cuticle oil is like kindness

 

You know what they say: “Cuticle oil is like kindness. Sprinkle it around everywhere”. We’re not sure if they really say that… but they should. Cuticle oil will give your nails instant salon-look realness and major hydration. If you do accidentally knock your nails before your polish has hardened, (we’ve all been there), the oil provides a little slip so they’re less likely to nick.

Take a moment

 

Now is a good time to just sit still. You can’t do much while you wait for your nail polish to dry anyway, so take the time and luxuriate for a few blissful minutes. Listen to some music or a podcast, or simply do nothing. Life moves pretty fast and taking a moment to do your nails can double as precious quiet time. So go on. You deserve it.

Sienna nail polish spirit
Spirit nail polish

If you would like to see more of our DIY manicures, check out the Nail tutorials tab on our Instagram highlights.

holiday nail art images dark skin

Nail Art to see you through the holiday season

Christmas nail art in reds and greens can often be fun, but we prefer to go with nail looks that see us through the entire holiday season. The holiday nail art trends this season are modern and a little bit edgy and when accompanied by a beautiful combination of colours, you can’t go wrong. Our two favourite holiday nail art looks are the simple stripe and reverse French. They’re subtle enough for the day time, but enough to make your outfit really pop during the evening. Any combination of colours will work, we chose these combinations because of how beautifully they pop! Don’t think you need to be a professional manicurist or full-time nail blogger to achieve these looks either, they are quick and simple and don’t require anything other than the bottles of polish.

Stripe Nail Art
Nail Art Luxe and Transcend Sienna Byron Bay
Colours: Luxe and Transcend
  1. Apply our Sticky Base Coat.
  2. Follow with 2 thin coats of Luxe.
  3. Accent the nail with a stripe of Transcend from cuticle to tip, through the middle of the nail.
  4. Seal with our Lightning Top Coat.
Reverse French Nail Art
Nail Art Sol and Harmony Sienna Byron Bay
Colours: Sol and Harmony
  1. Apply our Sticky Base Coat
  2. Start with two thin coats of Sol from base to tip of nail
  3. Follow with two coats of Harmony– starting 3-4mm away from the base, and painting towards the tip.
  4. Seal with our Lightning Top Coat

With both manicures, allow enough time for the nails to dry- because you’re applying a few more layers than usual, this may take longer than usual. Put your feet up, relax and enjoy your new holiday manicure.

 

Vegan Christmas recipe Butternut Squash

Cruelty Free Christmas recipes

We are strong believers that Christmas is a time to come together with family and celebrate the year that was, enjoy the company of loved ones and get stuck into a feast. A cruelty free Christmas feast that is. It is incredibly simple to swap traditional recipes for more wholesome, earth-friendly and vegan recipes- and we have your go-to guide here. For a cruelty free Christmas feast that will have all the non-believers convinced, read on!

Starters

cruelty free christmas vegan basil stuffed mushrooms

Vegan Basil Hummus Stuffed Mushrooms. Yes, you read that correct, only the most delicious combination of foods we could have imagined. This recipe comes from Hummusapien, and involves stuffing button mushrooms with a walnut, basil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, salt and hummus concoction. And we are totally on board. Head to her blog for the full recipe!

cruelty free christmas cranberry thyme cheese ball

This is the dish you bring for all the ‘I would go vegan but can’t give up cheese’ people: Cranberry and Thyme Vegan Cheeseball. This one is a classic, chuck in the food processor and you’re done type recipe (our favourite), and as far as consuming large amounts of cheese goes, it’s a lot more nutritionally friendly! Cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, thyme, cranberries and you’re pretty much done! Head to it doesn’t taste like chicken for the full recipe.

Mains

Vegan Christmas recipe Butternut Squash

When it comes to searching for perfect cruelty free Christmas mains, there is one thing we steer away from. Complication. Too many ingredients, too much mucking around, not enough eating. But this recipe is none of that. It simple, makes use of all the cooking time so you’re not sitting around twiddling your thumbs, and is every part a perfectly Christmassy meal. So what are we raving about? Butternut Roast! Simply, a butternut pumpkin, with all its insides scooped out and replaced with a delicious lentil stuffed. This one gets a huge cruelty free Christmas yes from us! Check out the recipe here.

This next one is another roast, also with lentils, but it’s Christmas right? And you can never have too many lentils! This loaf recipe comes from Wallflower Kitchen and has an amazing balsamic onion gravy to accompany it. It’s as simple as cooking all the ingredients in a pan, mashing them and roasting in the oven to form a crust. The gravy magic happens while the loaf cooks…multi-tasking!

Desserts

cruelty free christmas raw cake

The round we know you’ve been sticking around for! This Raw Vegan Cake is the definition of cruelty free Christmas! The triple layer raw dessert is just as visually appealing as it is delicious. Don’t stress if you’re unsure where to find lingonberries, we didn’t know either, raspberries work just as well! This super simple recipe is from The Queen of Delicious and we are ravenous just looking at it!

cruelty free christmas chocolate pudding pie

Chocoholics unite! This one is for you! Vegan Chocolate Pudding Pie. With a silky texture thanks to the silken tofu (and also added protein!), and depth of flavour coming from the coffee grinds, if you make one recipe, this is it! A bit of food processing and a bit of refrigerating and this one is done. Thanks Emilie Eats, you’ve definitely added to our cruelty free Christmas coma.

So there you have it! Cruelty Free Christmas is as simple as that. Tag us in any of your photos if you try these recipes!