Tuesday, 31 January 2012

NOTD: Oriental clouds and KonadiFAIL

I got some nasty tipwear and chipping on my CNY mani, so I decided it was a great time to try out Nailside's cloud design with ulta3 Black Satin and Lily White (no topcoat).

I think it looks awesome! But I was already a bit bored of the red and gold pattern, so off it went after about 12 hours, along with a few millimetres of nail.

I was super-impressed by the themed manis the Australian nail chicks were wearing for Australia Day: Pretty Purple Polish, Shatter Me Claire, The Polish Haven, Hooked, and an entire week of Aussie manis on More Nail Polish... sorry if I've forgotten yours but there were just so many!

I wasn't feeling so inspired, but the day before I was patriotic enough to buy Nail It! Hot Tropic, a light green polish from Sportsgirl with a very subtle blue-green colourshift shimmer that almost disappears on the nail :( It's still a very nice green creme and on sale for at $2.45, a steal. 3 layers + Seche Vite.

Then it was time for my konadifail.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Vitamin C - what does it do for your skin?

(André Karwath/Aka)

There are a lot of things that are supposed to be good for your skin. Today I'm looking at one that is in a lot of anti-ageing products, and has rave reviews on Makeupalley - vitamin C. There's a bit of text-overload in this post so I've bolded text to hopefully make it easier to read :)

Vitamin C (aka L-ascorbic acid) is essential in your diet - it has a lot of roles in the functioning of your body, including production of collagen, as an antioxidant and in your immune system. Luckily, most people these days get more than enough vitamin C in their food. It's in many fruits and vegetables, as well as liver. However, it's possible to overdose on it, so be careful!

Collagen is an important part of skin strength and elasticity. Loss of collagen is one of the reasons wrinkles develop. Although collagen production naturally decreases as you get older, some things such as sun exposure (also known as photoageing) and smoking can prematurely lower your collage.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

NOTD: Green gradient nails

 Green is one of my favourite nail polish colours!

This mani required many shades of the same colour family, which is something that I (surprisingly) didn't have. I actually made up 3 ulta3 frankens for this! I'm sure the concept isn't unique but I can't remember where else I've seen it so I can't give credit.

Sorry for the crappy quality, this one was taken on my phone while waiting for some rain to stop!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Review: Crabtree & Evelyn India Hicks Island Living Spider Lily Body Cream

Moisturising components - shea butter, avocado butter, mango seed oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil
Effectiveness - a little goes a long way!
Scent - "tropical green citrus"
Packaging - lovely, heavy, durable container
Price - $0.23/g

This product has a mouthful of a name! It's my favourite "indulgence" beauty product. And yes, it does great things for your cuticles too!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Lab Muffin Guide: What the hell is pH?


One thing that a lot of cosmetic companies have recently been incorporating into their marketing talk is the concept of pH and pH balance. So...

What is pH?

pH is a measure of how acidic something is. Acidity is essentially the ability of something to donate H+ ions.

If something is acidic, it will

Monday, 23 January 2012

NOTD: Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

These are my nails: a very festive red (ulta3 Sizzling Red) and gold (ulta3 Gold Rush Fever). My first attempt at Konading, I'm not very good at it yet! This is from BM-203. (Excuse the state of my hands - CNY means lots of food, which also means lots of washing up!)

It's traditional for married couples to give unmarried people "red pockets" of money. I'm dreading marriage for this reason!

Today my friend came back from Hong Kong with two shiny new Nicole by OPIs for me! I'm looking forward to swatching them soon :)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Versatile Blogger Award and final bridesmaid nails!

Recently I was awarded the Versatile Blogger award by Alana of Pretty Purple Polish, whose lovely blog is here. Thank you so much! :)

When given the award, you have to:
  1. List 7 things about yourself
  2. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers

Here are 7 things about me:

- This is what I look like (when in a bear jumper) if you're curious (and some of my science textbooks are in the background too!):

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Interesting hair facts

10 facts about hair you mightn't have known:

1. Hair and nails are both mainly made of a type of protein called keratin, which contains a lot of an amino acid called cysteine. All this cysteine is one of the main reasons why keratin is so strong. There is also a lot of keratin in skin.

2. Cysteine is also why you can perm or straighten hair chemically - the chemical reactions that happen are called redox reactions. Cysteine is one of the things that give hair its shape.

3. Hair dryers set hair by changing the hydrogen bonds which also help give hair its shape. Unfortunately, water is also good at forming hydrogen bonds, so humidity quickly messes up your hard work!

Monday, 16 January 2012

NOTD: Blocky block block!

Recently I realised that I had close to no going-out shoes, so I went on a desperate hunt for some ridiculously bright and redonkulously big shoes. I came up with these.

They’re some of the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn. But I felt like I also needed a ridiculously bright, redonkulously big manicure to match. The Lab Muffin hates to be a fashion victim, but if this doesn’t fall under the category of colour blocking, I don’t know what does.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Bridesmaid nail polish frankens

For my friend's wedding the bridesmaids are wearing medium grey satin dresses with nude shoes and dusty pink roses. I've been frankening some possible nail colours for us - we have very different skin tones which makes it a bit difficult, but we've agreed on soft pink. 

These were all made by combining ulta3 Sizzling Red (only a few drops, it's very potent), Honolulu (bright yellow, needs heaps - it's rather weak), Lily White and Black Satin. I put Seche Vite and Rimmel Matte Pro Mattifying Topcoat on top. They look a bit like egg shells!

I think the pink on the little finger looks best. They're all a bit boring with the matte so I think I'm going to go without matte topcoat on the day. What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

NOTD: Gold and grey drag marble

A quick one today, sorry - I've been super busy with preparations for my best friend's wedding on Saturday! This is an old manicure of ulta3 Wild Berry (a blue-grey elephant colour) and Gold Rush Fever (a gold microshimmer/frost) drag marble.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

DIY skincare - oatmeal science

One of my interests is DIY skincare - I love cheap alternatives to expensive brands that work even better!

My best friend is getting married next weekend and I've been trying to clear up my slightly neglected face with some SOS skincare, so I've revisited one of my favourites - oatmeal.

Oatmeal is one of those rare traditional remedies your grandmother would tell you about - with scientific studies to back it up!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review: Skinfood Red Stone

Application - 2-3 coats; smooth application

Colour and finish - dark red glitter; slightly uneven finish

Drying time - fast

Packaging - nice brush
, cute flat bottle
Price -
$0.62-0.77/mL on YesStyle
.com.au (not incl shipping)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

NOTD: Outer space nails!

I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THESE. I think I can safely say these are my greatest achievement in nail design so far.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Lab Muffin guide - how do holo nail polishes work?

How do holographic nail polishes work?
The main types of polishes with holographic effects that I know of are linear holo (e.g. Nubar Reclaim, China Glaze OMG collection, Nfu-Oh 61), scattered holo (China Glaze Kaleidoscope collection, Milani HD) and holo glitter (a lot of glitter polishes have holo bits in them - OPI Teenage Dream is one example). They all work quite similarly.

White light is actually made up of many colours, and can be split - such as in rainbows. Holographic particles do this too - they're silver particles with a coating which splits or diffracts the light into a colour spectrum:

(Note: this is a very simplified diagram. The production of the spectrum is actually a bit more complex and involves patterns of constructive and destructive interference, but  the idea is essentially the same.)

The main thing which changes how "linear" a holo polish will be is how smooth the layer of holo particles is:

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