Good foundations and sturdy overlays 

Hi nail polish lovers! 

Can you guess what today’s blog post is about from the title? I’ll give you a clue.. It will sandwich your nail colour. 

Hopefully you guessed: base coat and top coat! I have been painting my nails for years and the second most common question I get from muggles (non polish obsessed folks) is “how does your manicure stay so nice? Mine always chips straight away!” My answer is always the same – base coat and top coat. I’m always flabbergasted by the amount of people who don’t use base or top coat or haven’t even heard of it before! P.S: If you’re wondering, the most common question is “where do you get your nails done?”

I’ve used several base and top coats in my time – they’re always either on the cheaper end of the scale (dollar store) or easily able to be picked up from Farmers or an online store. Base and top coat is never going to be riddic expensive but is it such an important part of your manicure so there’s definitely a need to have some on hand! 


Every time I put on base coat, in my head I can hear Sandy from Cute Polish saying “to protect your natural nail”. I have been using this Hard as Nails base coat by Sally Hansen on and off since I became a nail polish fiend. It is a little thick but I find that a thicker base coat can mean less chance of a stain nail bed if you use a blue or a red nail polish and also goes over ridges or split nails really easily. What it doesn’t do, is it doesn’t magically fix your nails into not splitting but if you seal the tops of your nails each step of your manicure, it will be less likely to chip or split. You can find this base coat at Farmers stores.

The top coat I’ve been loving lately is Seche Vite – which is a classic among nail polish loving circles. There are a few top coats that come highly regarded and this is one of them. HK Girl is another and Essie is not without its charms too. I haven’t tried HK Girl yet, but am told by people who have used Seche and HK Girl that they prefer HK – so if you’re happy with that sort of two degrees of separation recommendation then go for it!

Seche Vite has got a bit of a stink to it, which goes away once dry. It’s also a quick dry top coat which is a must for me. This can result in some shrinkage around the edges, but it’s not as bad as some other quick dry top coats I’ve tried (like Jordana Quick Shine, which is my usual go to). The final result is a super shiney manicure, which looks a lot like gel polish! I picked up my bottle from Sally’s Beauty Supply in America but locally you can get it from the Beyond Beauty website but disclaimer: I’ve not purchased from here before.

Do you always use a base and top coat? 

Love and glitter 

Kalliana 💖

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Leppy chevvy nail art

Oh hello lovelies!

I actually have some pretty fierce nail art to share with you in this post. I know it’s been a little while, but you know how I love leopard print, it’s actually really simple (because any mistakes can be forgiven easily).

I saw this design on All Nails Everything’s Instagram a couple of weeks ago and I immediately thought “I NEED TO DO THIS” since chevron and leopard are my go to designs! How did I not think of this sooner?!

I used two coats of Beige by Picture Polish (yay! Independent brands!) as the base colour and then used a gold BYS polish called Buried Treasure for the leopard spots. I don’t have any striping tape (and I’ve never used it.. Too scared!) so I used the polish for the gold in the chevron too. The original design was matte but I made mine glossy. I haven’t actually had matte nails in a really long time.. Maybe it’s time for a revisit! I usually go with glossy because fast dry top coat.. Hello, ain’t nobody got time to wait for nail polish to naturally dry..

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P.S: don’t forget to LIKE my Facebook page and follow my Instagram @9to5nails

Red and black chevron nail art

Hey lovelies!

Yep! I know! I lagged again. Silly me. In any case, did you see that there’s a new Polish Addicts New Zealand blog? You can check it out (and my profile) here.

Today I have a pretty “bad-ass” manicure look for you, it’s semi inspired by the Gwen Stefani range by OPI but really just ended up looking like this after I played around with a striper for a bit and had some patience with glitter.. Hehe..

I do have the red from the Gwen collection (over and over a-Gwen) but for this manicure I actually used The Thrill of Brazil as the base colour for this mani. It is one of my fave reds at the moment, I’ve found it doesn’t stain my nail as much as other reds I’ve used have and goes on smoothly (opaque in two coats, oh yessss). I alternated the chevron base with the black striper and used glitter from an Ulta3 polish.. Very carefully fishing it out with a toothpick and placing it on the point of the chevron!

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365 Days of Color swatches

Hello

Oooohhhh wee I love nail mail! Recently 365 Days of Color had a 20% off promo and they’re one of my favourite indie brands. The shipping is so reasonable in cost ($4.50 USD) and the minis are really good value for money.

I have swatches of two of the polishes I got in my most recent order, June Gloom and Itty Bitty Bikini to share with you today.

First up, June Gloom. I layered two coats of this over Lady Muck by Butter London. It’s a very pretty grey based polish with neon glitters. I loved the swatches on the site and I LOVE IT in person too. It’s sooooooo awesome. I am really glad I got it and definitely will wear it and maybe even repurchase when it runs out.

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Next up, Itty Bitty Bikini. I layered this over Ciate Mojito. It’s a very bright neon green with black tiny speckled glitter and large bar glitters. I’m not the biggest fan of this polish and it’s probably one that I would break out maybe at Halloween or if I was doing a nail polish/art challenge and it called for green. I’m not the biggest green fan and I think I expected it to be a bit more mint chocolate chip-ish.

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If you would like to check out the 365 days of color store here is the link. As always these were purchased with my own money and my thoughts are my own.

Swatch: Pretty & Polishes Rainy Day Lady

Hello

It’s been too long! I apologise, I got a really bad cold and couldn’t bear to paint my nails for a few days there because my head was just so clogged up. Tasty!

Just a quick swatch-a-roo for you today! Another untried that has been sitting there for a wee while by indie brand Pretty & Polished called Rainy Day Lady which is a crazy colourful glitter topper! I layered two coats over a unnamed polish by Skin Food. I really love indie polishes for crazy and unique glitter combos.

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Swatch: Dollish Polish Drop Your Sword

Hello

Well I finally decided to post this swatch today! I have been sitting on this blog post for a long time mostly because I feel like I post a lot of swatches and I didn’t do all of my Dollish Polish ones at the same time.

I purchased this a while back with a whole other bunch of Dollish Polish lacquers. This one is called Drop Your Sword and is pretty much a jelly sandwich in a bottle. I decided to swatch it on its own with no undies and I really like how dainty and pretty it looks. The gold peeks through just enough for you to notice it. I used three coats and generous amount of top coat. I did try it over a blue base (Sally Hansen Himalayan Blue) but I bumped my hand against something so no photos of that unfortunately but I do like it better on its own.

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You can purchase Dollish Polish here.

Pink and Black Polka Dot

Hello

I recently got the Vintage Minnie Minis by OPI which I have been wanting for a while. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of pretty pinks and reds! I wanted to try it out and went with a simple polka dot look with an accent nail. Yes, I know this collection is pretty old but hey.. Polish is polish, right?!

I used I’m All Ears as the main base colour and then did a black polka dot on top and just painted a plain pink for the accent nail with If You Moust, You Moust. I usually don’t like shimmer polishes but I do like I’m All Ears – it’s so playful and cute!

Well I hope every one is having a good week so far! The weather here has been so horrible and the forecast predicts that it’s supposed to rain all week – oh boo!

Don’t forget to like my Facebook page!

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Dark Red and Black Stripes

Hello

Well, the weather is certainly taking a turn for the worst here in NZ.. Brrrrrr! I had to buy an electric blanket to keep my toesies warm!

Winter always reminds me of darker colours and I always steer clear of darker reds because I feel like they make my hands look old. I actually do! I even showed my nails to my boyfriend after I painted the base colour and asked him if he thought it made my hands look old.. I guess no one ever warns guys about the weird things we might ask them about our appearance.. Hahaha!

I used a Nicole by OPI polish called Sealed With A Kris. No offence meant to Kris Jenner, but even the name makes it seem old. The polish itself is very nice. It starts off like a jelly but then moves into a cream once you build up the layers. I went with black stripes over the top because I just couldn’t do this one plain Jane. Maybe I feel like darker reds make my hands look old because my mum loves darker reds? Hmm..

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Teal with Black V Tips

Hello

I pretty much took inspiration for this manicure from the bottle of the polish that I used as my base colour which is Ciate Headliner. This is one of the polishes that I got from the advent calendar that my boyfriend got for me for Christmas and I am ashamed to admit that I don’t think I’ve tried out all the colours! In December I did the Christmas nail art challenge, so I think I can be forgiven? I didn’t have time to swatch!

The polish is a very pretty teal colour in a creme finish but unfortunately it is a bit streaky.. Boo! I only used two coats here but I think it would benefit from a third. I used a black striper to create the V shaped French tips and then filled it in. I was going to go for just a regular French tip but I thought eeeeeeyyyyy why not jazz it up a little?!

I like these little Ciate bottles though, they are too cute with the little bow! Hehe! The only other little annoying with the ciate minis is the brushes because I’ve found that a couple have some bristles that have just decided to go haywire and I’ve had to trim/cut or pull them off to ensure that the brush applies smoothly.

Well, hope you’re all having a fantastic week so far and may your hump day be filled with joy!

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Pretty Shabby Chic Nails

Hello

Well happy Saturday to you all! I have tried to be lazy today but that just was never going to happen.. I went shopping (for birthday presents) and bought a whole bunch of new clothes and Max Factor polishes.

The other day I wanted to revisit the whole vintage floral nail art look on a base colour that I recently got, OPI gargantuan green grape. I always love the way this type of manicure looks and it is actually so easy to do! I guess once you’ve done it, every time you revisit it gets easier to do? What are your favourite colour combinations for this kind of manicure?

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