halloween blood nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

DIY Halloween nails with these chic and on-trend nail art designs

Halloween is coming and we have created three striking nail art designs that hit the sweet spot of spooky and chic.

halloween blood nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

Oh hello, Halloween nails

Halloween might look a little different this year, but whether you’re on the couch with a scary movie marathon or at a socially distanced get-together, nothing gets in the way of a good Halloween mani! And we have some great designs to share with you. The best part? These are all super-easy to achieve at home.

But first, nail prep

Because nail prep is everything. You don’t need any special tools to achieve these looks, but it is still a good idea to get all the things you do need close to hand (You can read our tried and tested DIY manicure tips on our website).  As always, we recommend starting with a protective base coat to give you a smooth surface to paint on and finishing with a top coat for glossy goodness at the finish line. A good slick of top coat also keeps all your spooky-chic nail art locked in.

Abstract pumpkin

TangoBase CoatTop Coat

Is it even Halloween without pumpkins? Nope. We’re going to skip the complicated carving this year in favour of this abstract pumpkin mani. We won’t tell anyone how easy this is, if you don’t.

  • Get your nails ready. Remove any old polishfile them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • Next, choose an orange nail polish. We are using Tango, our beloved tangerine crème. Alternatively, try this burnt orange.
  • Using your brush, paint a round shape on your nail. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round, this is abstract art, after all. If your round shape is organic in form, all the better.
  • Repeat this process on every nail, placing your round shape in a different spot on each nail.
  • Finally seal the deal with a top coat to protect your mani.

You are now ready to wow everyone with your Halloween nails. Compliments guaranteed at virtual parties and on the trick or treat circuit.

Black french

OnyxBase CoatTop Coat

Ou la la! The iconic French manicure has been given a Halloween makeover for 2020.

We’re going to revisit one of our all-time favourite eco beauty hacks to create this showstopping mani. If you don’t have a super steady hand (think nail tech precision) then you’ll find it easier to use the little stickers you find on apples, avos and/or oranges to perfect the French line.

  • Gather your fruit stickers and cut five of them in half so you have 10 stickers. We are going to use them to help create a beautiful, rounded line.
  • Prep your nails by cleaning up your shape, removing polish and applying a base coat.
  • Choose a black nail polish. We might be biased, but our jet-black Onyx crème is stunning.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the thin black line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Using the curve of the fruit sticker to guide you, paint a small amount of polish onto the free edge of the nail to create the black line. Start at the sides and do two thin coats.
  • Allow to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds before gently peeling the labels off. Hot tip! Peel the label off from the sides.
  • Finish with the top coat.

This is such a versatile mani and, now you know how simple it is, you can mix it up with different colour polishes to make the look your own.

Chic blood nails

FlorenceBase CoatTop Coat

Channel Carrie with this chic blood manicure for all the Halloween feels.

  • As usual, prep your nails so you have a good base to work with.
  • Choose a dark, deep red nail polish. We are using our magenta plum crème, Florence.
  • Lightly brush the tip of one nail with polish.
  • Next, remove all excess polish from the brush and use the brush to drag the polish you just applied down the nail in small strokes to create the drip effect.
  • Repeat the process on one other nail.
  • Paint the rest of your nails with a full coat of the same colour. We suggest two coats for densely pigmented perfection.
  • Finish with a top coat to seal in your handiwork.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the thin black line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Using the curve of the fruit sticker to guide you, paint a small amount of polish onto the free edge of the nail to create the black line. Start at the sides and do two thin coats.
  • Allow to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds before gently peeling the labels off. Hot tip! Peel the label off from the sides.
  • Finish with the top coat.

This is such a versatile mani and, now you know how simple it is, you can mix it up with different colour polishes to make the look your own.

And just like that, you have Instagram worthy nails for Halloween. Tag us @sienna.co to share your Halloween nail art with us.

hand holding glass nail file by sienna

Nail shapes 101. How to shape your own natural nails at home

It’s nail shaping time. We share the nail tech knowledge you need to do your own nails like a pro. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t.

Tools of the trade
You don’t need much to get started shaping your nails. For all these shapes, we do recommend using a glass nail file. Not only are they more hygienic than a standard emery board, but the fine grit allows you to be precise with your filing. They also smooth and seal the freshly filed edges as they go, preventing breaks and peeling. It’s quite the eco-beauty flex, as glass nail files will never go blunt. And everyone loves an eco-beauty flex.
hand holding glass nail file by sienna
Almond nails
Almond nails are a classic, elegant look on everyone. A-listers, your neighbour, your Pilates teacher, your nana; absolutely everyone can rock this look. Almond nails are long, before tapering in at the nail bed to a softly pointed tip. If you want to extend the look of your nails, fingers and hands, this is the shape for you.

Starting from the outside and working your way in, use your file to shape each nail towards the centre to create a soft tip.

Prep your nails with a base coat and a gorgeous colour like Serenity and you’re ready for anything.

almond shape nails with nude nail polish by sienna
Oval nails
Oval nails are a super-flattering look for everyone, as long as you’ve got a bit of length to work with. Baes with small hands should lock this look in, as oval nails elongate the overall appearance of your hands.

Again, starting from the outside in, use your file to shape the tip of your nail into an oval shape. The look you are aiming for is a rounded but flat, blunt tip. And that’s all there is to it.

Choose a stunning neutral shade like Rosie and finish with a glossy top coat and you’re good to go.

round nail shape with dusty pink nail polish by sienna
Square nails
Square nails are best suited for those with long fingers and slim nails as this look visually shortens fingers and adds width. Your mani time is going to be a breeze as square nails not only look modern and are cool-girl approved, they’re also very low maintenance.

Using your clippers, trim your nails straight across the top to create a straight-line finish. Use your file to smooth the edge and you’re ready to go, you clever nail-pro, you.

Choose a soft pink in a full crème finish like Melody for instant chic.

square nail shape with light pink nail polish by sienna
Squoval nails
The natural nail shape to rule them all. If your nail goals include low maintenance, natural nails, say hello to squoval nails. As you can guess from the name, the squoval shape is the lovechild of the square and oval nail shapes. They are best described as a square tip with gently rounded edges.

File the sides of your nails to create gently rounded edges but keep the line across the centre straight.

A colour like Wategos is perfect for a fresh finish.

squoval nail shape with pastel blue nail polish by sienna
Round nails
Mani trends come and go, but round nails remain ever-popular. This is one of the easiest shapes to create at home and works across all nail lengths – especially short nails. Round nails are perfect for those with a wide nail bed or people who want to optically elongate the length of their hands and fingers.

File your nails in one direction to create a gentle rounded tip that follows the natural line of your cuticle and Voila! You have achieved round nail glory, just like that.

Give your mani a little something-something and paint your nails with a bright and cheering polish like Sunflower.

Round nail shape with yellow nail polish by sienna
Now you know everything there is to know about natural nail shaping. We can’t wait to see you get your DIY nail bar on and shape your own nails to a salon standard at home!
hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

The benefits of cuticle oil for nail health

What do we want? Healthy nails!

We’ve heard from loads of you who are nursing your nails back to health after years of gels, SNS, and acrylics and this, combined with the pending cool weather in Australia means now is the time to get behind cuticle care. If you look after your nail matrix and keep it hydrated, your nails will be healthier. And as we have said many times before, healthy nails are beautiful nails.

Nail Matrix 101

We can’t talk about cuticle care without mentioning the nail matrix, of which cuticles are a big part. “What is this nail matrix?”, you ask. See that little half-moon at the bottom of your nail? It’s really a full moon and is your nail matrix. The other part of the full moon (aka, the rest of your nail matrix) sits under your skin. This matrix is your nails’ brain trust, nerve centre and is where your nail health and growth is determined. It’s also super-sensitive so we have to be very gentle with it and treat it right if we want healthy nails.

french manicure nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

Protect your matrix for healthier nails

As we all know, cuticles play a key role in nail health and protect you from environmental pollution, bacteria and infection. Cuticles also lock-in hydration, which is very clever of them and the reason why cutting or trimming them is a no-go. It’s also counter-intuitive. When you cut your cuticles, your body’s natural reaction will be to send skin cells into overdrive and the skin will grow back thicker than before. You can, however, gently clean off the dead skin that is stuck to your nail plate using the famous ‘orange stick’. Orange sticks are your friend.

orange stich nails tool used on fair skin tone hands

Cuticle care is self-care

Nourish your nail bed and create a mindful self-care moment at the end of the day by massaging some cuticle oil or cream into the base of your nails before bed. While you sleep, the cuticle oil can really sink in and hydrate your nails. You won’t be washing your hands as you would be during the day, so it gives all that lovely, luxe oil a chance to do its thing.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

We love our cuticle oil

Sienna cuticle oil is luxurious, and our lightly scented freesia oil is particularly divine. But in a pinch, you can also use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil or vitamin E oil if your cuticles are in need of nourishment.

Cuticle oil in glass bottle with golden dropper by sienna

Sienna cuticle oil giveaway

Yep. It’s that easy to keep your nail health up, so no excuses! If you do want to grab a bottle of Sienna cuticle oil, we’re sending a free bottle with every online spend of $100 or more. You can choose from freesia or naturally unscented at checkout. While stocks last (and they won’t last long!).

pastel nail art on fair skin tone by sienna

4 great looks for easy at-home nail art

No nail tech? No problems

We love the dreamy nail art designs created by natural nail guru, Seika of Line Spa and Polish. She created a gorgeous collection of designs for us last year and they’re still getting plenty of love. So you can imagine how thrilled we are that she has created some super-chic designs for us once more with some favourite Sienna colours. The best part? These designs are so easy to achieve and you probably already have everything you need at home. If you have ever wanted to nail the perfect French mani or that dreamy ombre look that’s doing the rounds, this one is for you. Alright! Let’s get those nails looking fresh!

Nail prep is everything

Get everything you need close to hand before you start, just as if you were giving yourself a straight-up mani. (You can read our tried and tested DIY manicure tips on our website).  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 for glossy goodness at the finish line and to keep all your gorgeous nail art locked in. 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. Now on to the designs!

Perfect french

Base coat | Winter | Top coat

It’s a classic for a reason.

You know those pesky little stickers on apples, oranges, avos, and almost every other piece of fruit? We’re about to make good use of them in the most surprising way in an eco-friendly beauty flex that would make MacGyver proud.

  • Gather your fruit stickers and cut five of them in half so you have 10 stickers. Check to make sure they all have the same curved line.
  • Get your nails ready. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • If you’re going all-out, apply a soft, sheer French pink over your entire nail and allow to fully dry.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the white French line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Take a bright white polish and apply a small amount along the edge at the tip of your nail.
  • Using the curve of the fruit sticker to guide you, paint a small amount of polish in downwards strokes towards the edge of the label to create the white stripe. Start at the sides and do two thin coats.
  • Allow to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds before gently peeling the labels off. Hot tip! Peel the label off from the sides.
  • Finish with top coat.

Voila! You have achieved a perfect French mani in minutes. A bright red, black or pastel colour would also look great if you fancy giving the classic French mani a unique twist to make the look yours.

Split french

Base coat | Sunflower (thumb) | Tango (index) | Sweetheart (middle) | Heart (ring) | Kiss (pinkie) | Top coat

Get on board Team French manicure, 2020 style. Seika has used our Summer Love collection here to keep the colours in the same range. All the heart eyes.

  • Prep your nails. File them, make sure they’re clean and apply  base coat.
  • We’re using fruit stickers again to help create a perfect straight line. Cut them in half so you have enough for each nail.
  • Place a fruit sticker on your nail where you would like the split French line to be. Press it down firmly and make sure there are no gaps where polish can seep through.
  • Using downward brush strokes, fill in the colour for each nail. As ever, the best results will come from two thin coats.
  • Let your polish dry for at least 30 seconds before peeling off the fruit label stickers. Start from the side and gently peel them off.
  • Apply Top Coat.

Yes, it’s really that easy. This is a mani with so many possibilities. Embrace the rainbow or keep it monochromatic.

Dreamy ombré

Base CoatRosieSweetheart | Top Coat

The wow-factor is high. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t. If you’ve got a clean eye-shadow applicator handy, you will be rocking this dreamy ombre in no time.

  • Prep your nails. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape (if you need to) and apply base coat.
  • Dab a small amount of Rosie and Sweetheart on to a palette (plate, Tupperware lid, or similar), keeping your colours separate. Start with a small amount of polish so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Use your eyeshadow applicator and start tapping small amounts of Rosie on to your nail. Start from the tip of your nail and lightly tap the neutral base colour on to your nail and gradually make your way down towards the cuticle area. Always start from the edges.
  • It’s time to add a brighter colour to give your mani some depth. Use another applicator to tap Sweetheart on in the top half of your nail.
  • Finish with top coat.

Swoon. Your nails look amazing and oh-so-grammable.

Pastel camo

Base Coat | Reverie | Melody | Wish | Whisper | Top Coat

Just yes. We are so into this. Seika took our coveted Poetry collection and love of pastel ombres to the next level with this modern but pretty look. Let’s get it!

  • As always, prep your nails. Remove any old polish, file them to clean up the shape and apply base coat.
  • Paint your nails with the base colours. Reverie (pinkie), Wish (middle finger and thumb).
  • The camo feature nails will be on your pointer and ring fingers. Paint these nails with the base coat of Melody. Don’t worry about streaking. This coat is for coverage, not neatness.
  • The first colour for the camo design is Reverie. Paint approximately three wiggly lines over your nails. Imagine you are painting teeny tiny clouds. The more organic in form the better, so vary the sizes. Leave to dry for a minimum of 30 seconds.
  • Paint over your entire nail (including your mini ‘clouds’) in Whisper. Sheer white also works if that’s what you have to hand.
  • Use Wish to fill in some of the empty space with more camo pattern shapes.
  • For the finishing touch, apply Melody in tiny camo shapes around the nail to highlight the look.
  • Apply Top Coat.
  • Your nails look wildly stylish! You clever thing, you.

Thank you so much for sharing your skills and creativity with us, Seika. Follow Line Spa and Polish over on the ‘gram for the news and inspiration you know you need.

Line Spa and Polish and sustainable beauty

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

Hand with ombré manicure on coffee table, nail polish bottles and glass nail file by sienna

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 products nail polish remover wipes jar with gold lid cuticle oil and glass nail file by sienna with white flowers

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.

hands holding gold glass dropper from Sienna's cuticle oil bottle

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

washing hands with soap in pastel green sink 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’.

hands using glass nail file by sienna

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.

Hands applying nude pink nail polish by sienna

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.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

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.

Lightning top coat, base coat and cuticle oil by sienna on white flowers background

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.

Hands applying nude nail polish by sienna

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.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna

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”.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna

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.

Brown sugar and Coconut oil in homemade pottery for a Coconut scrub Vegan Face Mask
Hand holding a small brown bol with Coconut Scrub Vegan Face Mask inside
Hands applying a Coconut Scrub Vegan Face Mask wearing deep brown nail polish by sienna

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.

Ingredients for a Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask
ingredients for a Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask
top view of Ingredients for a Fruit Cleanser Vegan Face Mask mixed in a bowl

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.

Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna
Ingredients to make a Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna
Hand pouring coconut milk in Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask by Sienna
Close view of fair skin tone hands applying Cacao Brightener Vegan Face Mask, and wearing Deep brown umber nail polish by Sienna

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.

orange design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna

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

blue and green Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
blue and green Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
blue and green nail art step by step tutorial by sienna

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 red Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Apple red nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Apple red Nail Art step by step tutorial by Line Spa and polish and Sienna

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

green and orange nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
green and orange nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
orange and green Nail Art tutorial step by step by line spa and polish and sienna

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

orange design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
orange design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
nail art tutorial step by step by line spa and polish and sienna
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

design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
design nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by line spa and polish and sienna
nail art tutorial step by step by line spa and polish and sienna
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
Yellow and purple nail art dots by sienna

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 nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Blue line Ombre nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Blue Line Ombre Nail Art step by step tutorial by line spa and polish and Sienna
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 hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Minimalist dots Nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
dots Nail art step by step tutorial by line spa and polish and Sienna

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

yellow and purple nail art dots on fair skin tone by sienna
Pastel purple Leopard Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Pastel purple leopard nail art step by step tutorial by line spa and polish and Sienna
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

red Brush strokes nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
red Brush strokes nail art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
red Brush Stroke Nail art step by step tutorial by line spa and polish and Sienna
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

Autumn Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Autumn Nail Art hand swatch on fair skin tone by Sienna
Autumn Nail Art step by step tutorial by line spa and polish and Sienna
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
light pink nail polish hand swatch on fair skin tone by sienna

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.

glass nail file by sienna

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.

cuticle oil in glass bottle with gold dropper by sienna

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.

woman sweeping her kitchen floor wearing plastic 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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Base coat and Top Coat nail polish glass bottle with timber cap by Sienna

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.

girl reading on her couch with her feet up in the air

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.