Monthly Archives: February 2017

Acrylic Nail Art

 Unlike most nail salons, Adore Dolls Parlour in Varsity Lakes, on Australia’s Gold Coast, offers the niche service of acrylic nail art at an affordable rate. Owner Nicole Hague was always artistically inclined as a child. As a self-proclaimed terrible nail-biter, she began using stickers to cover them up. In high school she would get acrylics but she couldn’t find anyone to do the kind of “bling and diamonds” she wanted so she started decorating her own nails.

Then she encountered a few Japanese tourists in her hometown who had extremely embellished nails unlike anything she had seen before. That sparked an obsession that led Hague first to nail school in 2010, and then to her doing nails out of a small studio. In November 2013, Hague’s clientele had grown so much, she and her team moved into the salon they are in today.

Focusing on one specialty could be perceived as limiting, but with a four- to six-week backlog of appointments, Hague and her team have no shortage of demand for her salon’s services. Hague herself has even stopped taking on new clients. This can be an issue since some clients prefer to see the owner because of the perception that the owner provides the best service. “What they don’t realize is that my girls are the best on the coast,” she says. “Everyone here is amazing.”

In fact, there are very few dedicated nail salons at all. There are more general beauty salons here, she says. “Those salons don’t have an autoclave and don’t use fresh tools and fresh files on every person.”

Keeping with the boutique theme salon, Adore Dolls Parlour sells only a few retail items: clothing with the salon’s logo, a tote, and OPI Avojuice hand cream and Joss Cuticle Oil for customers to maintain their nails between appointments.

Hague explains that she and the three other nail techs in the salon can create any custom design that customers request. The salon’s pricing has different levels to suit clients with more subtle taste and those who are looking for embellishment on every nail.

She and her techs draw nail art inspiration from almost anything — current fashion trends, nail art Instagram accounts, pictures clients bring in themselves, and of course, trade magazines. Because the salon now sees so many customers regularly, often these clients will let the techs do whatever kind of nail art they want, making it up as they go. “I love having free range. That’s how I come up with my best designs,” she says.

Additionally, Hague encourages her nail techs to keep up their own nails by providing free nail art and other salon services for each other. That way, techs can show off their custom nails or lash extensions in the salon for client inspiration. Not to mention it’s free advertising for the salon when techs are out and about in Varsity Lakes. “Because we’re all so obsessed with nail art I don’t think we could go without. We’re all able to work with these crazy nails.”

Though this unique salon is doing very well throughout its market, Hague has faced some difficulties with owning a salon. She explains that reminding her staff she is the boss is one of the hardest challenges. She is very close with her team and likes to thank them by taking them out to meals or shows occasionally, so that line can get blurred. Still, she tries to take care of her staff and ensure their happiness because they’ve been with her since she was operating out of a small studio.

Hague explains that the closeness of the techs carries over to the customers because clients like coming in and seeing the same faces every time. “We make every appointment personal. We like to know what’s been happening with customers since we’ve seen them. We build relationships,” Hague says.

With the success Hague has seen, Adore Dolls Parlour will be franchising with a second salon opening in Brisbane early next year.

Glitter Eye Shadow

omeone very wise once said, “You can never have too much glitter.” For the most part, we’re inclined to agree. Unfortunately, the glitzy, glittery eye shadow of our teen years came with a few drawbacks—namely, the tendency to leave a trail of shimmer everywhere, from our cheeks and our clothes to every surface we touched. After just one day of sparkly eye makeup, we’d be finding flecks of shimmer for weeks, and the experience left us more than a little glitter gun-shy.

Cue Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, a cream eye shadow with super-shiny pearl and glitter pigments that glide over eyes with the flick of a wand. Unlike loose glitter, there’s no flaking or fallout—once it dries down, it locks into place until you take it off. To help you ease back into the world of glitter eye makeup, we put together a quick tutorial with this shimmery superhero and a few of our other Stila favorites.

What You’ll Need:

• Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Bronzed Bell

• Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Molten Midnight

• Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in Intense Black

• Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Dolce


Step 1.

Apply Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Bronzed Bell, a bronze loaded with silver and copper glitter, to the center of your eyelid. You can dab the wand applicator directly onto your skin, or tap an eye shadow brush onto the wand to pick up the product. Using a blending brush, blend the eye shadow all over your eyelid before it dries down.

Step 2.

take an eyeshadow brush and tap it on the wand of Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Molten Midnight, a deep black with silver and gold sparkle. After you pick up some product, make a few dots along the crease and outer corner of your eye.

Step 3. 

To complete the look, draw a thin line of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in Intense Black along your upper eyelashes to add definition. Curl your lashes, apply your favorite mascara, and finish with a natural nude lip that won’t steal the spotlight from your flashy lids.

Beauty Glossary

  1. Acne conglobata: Type of acne in which interconnected nodules are located beneath the surface of the skin.
  2. Acne mechanica: Acne caused by exposure to heat, covered skin, pressure, or repetitive friction.
  3. Acne vulgaris: The most common type of acne, associated with blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules, commonly referred to as pimples or zits.
  4. Actinic keratoses: Precancerous growths that can appear red, thick, and rough; usually found on sun-damaged skin.
  5. Antioxidants: Vitamins A (including beta carotene), C, and E, thought to repair and protect skin cells by neutralizing damaging free radicals.
  6. Atopic: When an antibody present in the skin makes someone more likely to experience allergic reactions.
  7. Basal cell carcinoma: Type of skin cancer that forms at the base of the epidermis of the skin and usually does not spread to other parts of the body; associated with long-term overexposure to the sun.
  8. Chemical peel: Chemical solution applied to the skin to remove damaged outer layers.
  9. Dermabrasion: Procedure in which a rotating brush is used to abrade, or remove, the outer surface of the skin.
  10. Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin.
  11. Dermis: The middle layer of the skin.
  12. Epidermis: The outer layer of the skin.
  13. Exfoliate: To slough off the outer layer of skin cells.
  14. Follicle: A shaft in the skin through which hair grows.
  15. Isotretinoin (Accutane and other brand names): Oral vitamin A-based medication used to treat severe acne.
  16. Laser resurfacing: Laser procedure to remove signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.
  17. Melanin: A chemical in the body that gives skin and hair their unique color.
  18. Melanoma: Life-threatening form of skin cancer that usually develops in an existing mole.
  19. Mole: Pigmented skin lesion also known as a nevus.
  20. Noncomedogenic: A product not likely to clog pores and cause acne lesions.
  21. Phototherapy: Artificial ultraviolet (UV) radiation treatment for some skin diseases.
  22. Plaque: Raised, but relatively flat, patch of skin.
  23. Psoriasis: Skin condition characterized by red, raised, scaly patches.
  24. Pustule: Inflamed acne lesion containing pus.
  25. Retinoids: Derivatives of vitamin A used to treat a variety of skin conditions.
  26. Rosacea: Skin condition characterized by prominent spider veins and sometimes swelling.
  27. Sclerotherapy: Treatment that reduces the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins by injecting them with a special solution.
  28. Sebaceous glands: Oil-producing glands in the skin that are attached to hair follicles.
  29. Topical: A product applied on the skin.
  30. Tretinoin: Topical retinoid used to treat acne by unclogging pores; also used to lessen signs of photo-aging.
  31. Ultraviolet light: The sun’s UVA and UVB rays that can cause both skin damage and skin cancers.
  32. Urticaria: Raised reddish, itchy areas, also called hives.
  33. Whitehead: Closed acne lesion caused by a clogged hair follicle.

Best Makeup Brushes

Just like you’d never expect to recreate a salon-perfect blow dry with a beaten-up hairdryer and a comb, getting flawless make-up is all down to using the right kit: namely, finding the best make-up brushes for the job.

A good brush can elevate your makeup from stripey and patchy to seamless – which should be reason enough to dedicate time to finding the right ones. Brushes come in a mind-boggling variety of shapes, sizes, prices and fibres, so navigating the market can be quite treacherous.

A good brush will feel luxurious, have minimum shedding and last you a good long while – providing you take good care of them.

What’s the difference between synthetic bristles and natural bristles? How many do you need? How many is too many? To help your brush-buying that bit less stressful, we’ve put together a handy guide for you.

The best budget make-up brushes

Brushes are a very personal thing, and everyone’s different, but one thing that’s universal is that it’s worth investing in good ones. Note that we say good, and not expensive – while some of the best brushes come with a steeper price tag, some of the most reliable, tried-and-tested offerings come from more affordable budget brands. Real Techniques, the brand from make-up artists Samantha and Nicola Chapman, boasts an ever-expanding range of brushes that don’t compromise on quality, despite their affordable price tag.

Should I use synthetic or natural brushes?

As for synthetic versus natural, the general consensus is that synthetic brushes are better for applying liquid products. As they’re less porous than natural fibres, they won’t soak up as much product, meaning you get better colour payoff and a smoother finish. Natural fibres are often better for powder products, as they absorb any excess and give a healthy, balanced finish.

What are the best make-up brushes for contouring?

Contouring, a make-up technique that enhances bone structure by carefully applying lighter and darker shades of product, has become ubiquitous thanks to Kim Kardashian and co. But which brush is best for contouring? If you’re using a powder bronzer, opt for an angled brush: this will allow you to pick up an optimum amount of product and will allow for easy blending along your cheekbones and up towards your temples.

Which brushes are best for applying foundation?

Finding a brush that works with your favourite base (Powder finish? liquid? stick foundation? We could go on…) and your skin type is no mean feat. Luckily, we’ve put together another guide to dedicated to identifying the best foundation brush for you.

The best make-up brush sets

If you’re a relative newbie to the make-up game, there are few better places to start than with Real Techniques’ Core Collection Kit, £15.70, a four-piece set comprising a pointed brush for contouring, a rounded buffing brush, a precision brush that’s perfect for concealer and an angled foundation brush.