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Welcome to the Toadstool Cottage Crafts blog.

Hi I'm Pip and this is my blog about the behind the scenes goings on of my business - Toadstool Cottage Crafts. I've always loved craft and sewing but last year I thought I'd see if I could make it into a business.

This blog is a way of sharing my journey with you the ups and downs the successes and disasters (and there have been a few!). I know it will at least give you something to laugh at, but hope it will provide you with tips and inspiration for your own craft endeavours! If you have a question or something to say just leave me a comment.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

First time for Gel nail varnish.

I bought some gel nail varnishes and an LED lamp for both of my daughters and my daughter-in-law for Christmas, so naturally I had to buy one for myself.

I had spent quite some time researching the best buys for the lamps (we all had different ones so that we can compare) and the varnishes and was very proud of myself for selecting 'soak off' varnish. Ideal for one of my daughters who has very sensitive skin on her hands and fingers, my only concern was - if the varnish soaks off, then surely it will soak off in the shower and whilst washing dishes etc.
However we discovered that it doesn't 'soak off' in water, it requires nail varnish remover to soak it off!
We tried them out on Boxing Day. It did take quite some time to cure our nails this was because the lamps were 12 watt and all the instructions I could find on the internet were for 36 watt lamps, so we just tripled the times required for all the various layers. I think we probably over did the times and in future we will experiment with shorter times.
18 days later and my nails are still looking brilliant.
Can you spot the nail that I broke on Christmas Eve?
I never managed to get 10 perfect nails at once.

You can even see how much my nails have grown over the last 18 days. I have never had 'gel' nails before and I am so impressed with them, no cracks or chipping, still intact all around the tips and still so shiny.
Today I decided to attempt to remove the varnish.
I had read somewhere that you should soak the cotton wool pad in acetone, wrap it around your nail and then wrap it in foil.
However they kept falling off, so I wrapped them in cling film as well.
They stayed on slightly better but all my fingers kept sticking together!
Reminds me of the time I tied to glue a broken finger nail back together, don't actually remember exactly how I did it, but I managed to glue my finger to my lip!
I removed the first foil and as the varnish was still there I began to scrape it off with a metal cuticle scraper. By the time I got up to about the seventh nail I realised that if I had just waited longer the varnish was now quite soft and bubbly and came off easily!
Scrapping off the varnish was not a good thing to do
I have now rubbed a cuticle/nail oil all over my nails and they look a little better.

I am going to invest in those plastic peg like structures that clip the cotton wool pads onto the ends of your fingers and in future let them 'soak off' for longer.
Despite my problems removing the varnish I absolutely loved my beautiful, long lasting, shiny nails and I will soak them for longer next time to avoid scrapping and damaging their surface.
We each had 6 different colours of varnish, so I have another 5 colours to choose from and I can't wait to try my next colour.

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