Chrome Mirror Nails Exposed

Chrome Mirror Nails Exposed 0

Fellow nail artists, the internet and social media have gone ape- sh*t over mysterious chrome mirror nails the last few weeks.  People in droves are ordering and even pre-ordering a “magical” powder for upwards of $120 in hopes of achieving a reflective chrome mirror finish.

Please don’t be fooled.

I have found the chrome mirror effect to be more a technique than a particular brand or product.  I’ve been using CND pigments over a black or white base, each producing beautiful effects, at a mere fraction of the price.

Some tricks I’ve discovered from my experimenting:

  1. Use a soak off non wipe gel top coat.  ex) ENP Nail Design, Apres Nail, Max Estrada, The Painted Nail (all make one)
  2. Cure that top coat for a full 60 seconds in an LED light, not 30 seconds.
  3. Use pigments from any brand, including MAC & CND
  4. Rub, rub, rub that pigment into the gel top coat layer.

See below for some helpful videos.

😉

Essie Summer 2016 Collection review

Essie Summer 2016 Collection review 0

"Travel feeds the soul. Adventure excited the senses.  For thrilling sights in an array of shades, Antigua is the place to just be. From St. John's to English Harbor, the island's colorful towns, gorgeous craft makers, tribal text-styles and brilliant food excite the senses and are ripe for the ideal inspiration for the essie summer 2016 collection.

Summertime is the moment to get inspired by adventurous color, and there is no better place to defy convention and go bold, than the sun-soaked shores of Antigua! Leave the guidebook behind and strike out on a style itinerary all your own. No matter where you go, there's an essie Summer 2016 shade to reflect your fashion ambitions." according to the official press release.  

The Essie Summer 2016 Collection includes the following shades-

Hiking Heels: a bright bold cherry red cream. [scorching hot lava red]

Viva Antigua!: a turquoise blue with fine shimmer running through it. [iridescent crystalline turquoise]

Coconut Cove: a vanilla white cream. [sweet cream white]

Loot the Booty: a royal blue with fine blue and purple shimmer in it. [pave sapphire blue]

Tribal Text-Styles: a midnight sparkling gunmetal. [black gold and crushed onyx]

Berried Treasure: a bright red/magenta cream. [bright ruby berry]

(all swatches shown here are two coats and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

What I am most impressed and in love with this collection is the formula, how highly well pigmented the shades were. Almost all of the colors in this collection provided almost complete coverage in a single coat, it was truly remarkable. I used two coats as usual just for good measure.  

I also really love the sparkly nature of many of the colors, perfect for summer pedicures.

And even if your not head over heels in love with this entire collection, trust me and at least invest in a couple of the colors; the formula is honestly that good!

My personal favorites are: Tirbal Text-Styles and Loot the Booty

Each bottle is 13.5 ml (0.46 fl oz).

Essie's Summer 2016 Collection retails at $9 per bottle and will be available June 2016 

For more information on essie, check them out online: http://www.essie.com/

UNO by Gelish MINI Review

UNO by Gelish MINI Review 0

"Long lasting manicures just got a whole lot easier, especially for those who are challenged in the art of a DIY gel manicure. The makers of popular professional soak-off gel polish line, Gelish, introduce UNO by Gelish MINI, a new nail technology.  UNO by Gelish MINI is a single-step process that applies long-lasting nail color in under 5 minutes, making at-home gel manicures as easy as polish.

"Today, we're living as a faster-than-ever pace and have little time to spare on nail maintenance," says Danny Haile, CEO and Founder of Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polish. "Maintaining vivid color and durability in one easy step was a challenge we gladly seized."

The name says it all- no basecoat, no topcoat and no cleansing needed.  UNO by Gelish MINI only requires a one-step gel polish and an LED light to achieve durable, high-shine, and superb looking manicures that will last up to 7- 10 days.  Removal takes less than 15 minutes to soak-off.  Choose from 20 colors, ranging from neutral cremes to metallic glitters, for customizable looks." according to the official press release.

The UNO by Gelish MINI line consists of the following shades-

1.Honey Bare: a creamy camel.

2. Magic Mauve: a dusted rose shimmer.

3. Sprinkles on Top: a bold bright pink cream.

4. Selfie Centered: a deep magenta cream.

5. Always a Bridesmaid: a bright bubble gum pink cream.

6. You're such a Girl: a bold peony pink cream.

7. Unimpeachable: an orangey peach cream.

8. Traffic Stopped: a deep cherry red cream.

9. Ruby Lips: a crimson red shimmer.

10. Corner Office: an oxblood red cream.

11. Teal Then: an aqua blue cream.

12. Mermaid of Honor: a mix of fine blue, green, and teal glitters.

13. Very Blueberry: a cobalt blue cream.

14. Dragonfly: a lilac cream.

15. Electric Kiss: an electric fuchsia cream.

16. Violets are Blue: a medium purple cream.

17. Spiced Plum: a dark purple grape cream.

18. Charm Bracelet: a sterling silver frost.

19. Gold Rush: a yellow gold frost.

20. Classic Vinyl: a black licorice cream.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

I absolutely LOVE this revolutionary product! At long last there's actually an awesome DIY gel for the at-home consumer.  In the past two years virtually every brand has been coming out with a hybrid gel-like system, that's essentially just polish with some marketing jargon mumbo-jumbo thrown around. UNO, however, is totally different. It's an actual gel polish, meaning it has to be soaked off with acetone to remove, and it requires an LED lamp to cure it.

The fact that there's no primer, base coat, or top coat are major time savers! 

I found it incredibly easy to use and all of the shades painted on smoothly, easily, and evenly.  

I did apply two coats of each shade to achieve complete coverage.  

My personal favorite colors are: Honey Bare, You're such a girl, Very Blueberry, and Electric Kiss. 

The bottles are 5 mL (0.17 fl oz).

"Available beginning May 2016 at Sally Beauty Supply Stores and at SallyBeauty.com for $11.49 per bottle."

For more info on Gelish MINIs check them out online here: http://gelishminis.com/

Cuccio Colour Cocktails Summer 2016 Collection Review

Cuccio Colour Cocktails Summer 2016 Collection Review 0

"Raise your glass and toast to the new 2016 Cuccio Colour Cocktail Collection- a magnificent mixology or 8 soft and subtle shades that embody the true essence of Summer. Lets drink to your unique sense of style and passion for fashion with the trendsetting palette of luscious lacquers that help turn any mundane moment into your personal HAPPY HOUR!" according to the official ad release. 

The 8 new shades comprising the Summer 2016 Cocktail Collection include-

Strawberry Colada: a light glittery peony pink.

White Russian: a creamy milky white.

Pink Lady: a carnation pink cream.

Pink Champagne: a light ballet slipper pink cream.

Mojito: a light lemon yellow cream.

Bloody Mary: a see thru tomato red.

Long Island: a pumpkin orange cream.

Blue Hawaiian: a robin's egg blue cream.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

This latest collection from Cuccio is a very fun and festive themed one, in my opinion one of the best themed collections yet from them! I love that all of the shades are named after cocktails and that for the most part really embody the spirit and essence of the name reflected in the shade. 

I think this is a very wearable color palette offering lots of colors I see clients requesting. 

I found most of the shades to be highly pigmented, and they all painted on smoothly and evenly providing full coverage in two coats.

My personal favorites are: Strawberry Colada and Long Island.

For more info on Cuccio, check them out here: http://www.cuccio.com/ 

Zoya Seashells & Sunsets Summer 2016 Collection Review

Zoya Seashells & Sunsets Summer 2016 Collection Review 0

"ZOYA INTRODUCES TWO STUNNING NEW COLLECTIONS
FOR SUMMER 2016!
 Zoya Seashells & Sunsets

SEASHELLS: NEW Fresh from the shore...
Six sparkling, textured Zoya PixieDust* ** colors.

  • Levi - ZP841: Beige gold textured PixieDust with medium holographic hexes. Designed to update a classic neutral pixie with a little more glam.
  • Linds - ZP842: Cherry red textured PixieDust with red and fuchsia glitter to mimic the look of maraschino cherries dipped in sugar.
  • Zooey - ZP843: Classic pink textured PixieDust laced with a fine thread of gold and medium sized holographic hexes for an added layer of dimension.
  • Cece - ZP844: Full impact green, textured PixieDust with a thin vein of gold creating a fizzy lemon-lime effect.
  • Bay - ZP845: Sky blue textured PixieDust with fine silver and gold glitter creating a dreamy effect. Reminiscent of cloud gazing on warm summer days!
  • Tilly - ZP846: Starry grey textured PixieDust with a small holographic glitter interwoven with a darker gunmetal. Perfect for hot nights out on the town! 

SUNSETS: NEW Captured from the sky...
Six stunning Zoya Nail Polish* one-coat creams.

  • Cam - ZP847: Deep, fully saturated orange with a densely saturated, buttery smooth application. Rich and juicy like a ripe tangerine!
  • Dixie - ZP848: Juicy watermelon red with a densely saturated, buttery smooth application. A cool treat for hot summer days!
  • Brynn - ZP849: Popsicle pink with a densely saturated, buttery smooth application. The epitome of happy carefree color!
  • Liv - ZP850: Fun-filled purple that is seriously saturated and makes a statement! Great on any skin tone, with or without a tan.
  • Dory - ZP851: Vibrant cornflower blue with a densely saturated, buttery smooth application. Get ready to rock the waves!
  • Ness - ZP852: Softened jade green with a hint of blue to make it wearable for all skin tones. Reminiscent of sea glass found on your favorite beaches! 

AVAILABLE on ZOYA.COM NOW!

ZOYA NAIL POLISH – 0.5oz bottles
$10
(US)

Available in top salons, spas and on zoya.com

*BIG5FREE, TOXIN FREE: Zoya Nail Polish Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or camphor.

**ZOYA PIXIEDUST APPLICATION: For best results apply 2-3 thin coats of polish for full coverage to a clean oil free nail surface. Allow product to dry completely for full effect. Top coat can be applied for additional glossy effects." according to the official press release.

The Seashells collection PixieDust consists of the following shades-

Bay: a sparkling oceanic aqua blue with micro holographic particles.

Levi: a sparkling yellow gold with micro holographic particles.

Cece: a sparkling celery grass green with micro holographic particles.

Linds: a sparkling cherry red with micro holographic particles.

Tilly: a sparkling lavender tinged silver with micro holographic particles.

Zooey: a sparkling medium pink grapefruit with micro holographic particles. 

(all swatches shown here are two coats and taken outdoors in natural light).

The Sunsets cream collection includes the following shades-

Liv: a medium purple cream.

Dory: a medium bold blue cream.

Cam: a bold orange cream.

Dixie: a hot red cream with magenta undertones. 

Ness: a grass green cream.

Brynn: a hot magenta cream.

(all swatches shown here are 1 single coat, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

I am beyond obsessed with these two collections.  First of all, I have always been a huge fan of the PixieDust line.  I think this set in particular is the prettiest and best one yet!  The micro fine holographic glitter particles in each of the shades really adds tremendous dimension, depth, and a shiny brilliancy I haven't seen in the other PixieDust collections.

As far as the Sunsets collection, super highly pigmented one coat creams are my obsession.  If a client is in a rush, or if I am in an absolute pinch on a photoshoot set, these polishes are a dream come true.  One coat and you have creamy smooth even perfection.  I wish all nail polishes came in a formula like this.  Heaven has finally answered my nail polish prayers. ^_^

My personal favorites include: Dixie, Dory, Tilly and Bay.

Dazzle Dry Review

Dazzle Dry Review 0

"Dazzle Dry is a Lacquer SYSTEM that delivers what no ordinary nail polish can. The 'Original Gel Alternative' provides Gel-like longevity in wear with the ease of polish.  NO artificial UV/LED lamp or natural UV light curing is needed, nails air-dry Rock Hard in 5 minutes.  It's Vegan, Non-Yellowing and Nutrient-infused to strengthen and protect.  So, get ready to experience the performance of a Gel, almost as quickly and easily as you can say 'polish' and yes, it's actually good for nails too!" according to the company. 

But what makes Dazzle Dry different from conventional nail polishes?  It's a system, that has to be used together in order to function and give the results promised, it was developed bny a Dr., Dr. Vivian Valenty, and its 6 free: no toluene, no DBP, no formaldehyde, no camphor, no formaldehyde resin, no nitrocellulose.

There is a process and explicit instructions on applying this product correctly.  Initially I didn't follow the rules and had less than stellar results, but after following the instructions carefully the product was a dream to work with.   

Nail Prep is step #1.  This is used to properly cleanse and balance the PH level of the nail.  Even if you weren't using this nail system I would highly recommend using this product with your other nail lacquers as well.  It provides for a solid foundation on which you will paint. 

Then apply two coats of Base Coat, letting each coat dry before applying the next coat.

Apply two coats of color lacquer, the first coat painting very thin, allowing it to dry before applying a thicker more generous second coat.

Followed by the Top Coat, and you are good to go within 5 minutes.

The colors I tried include:

Midnight Express: a black licorice cream. Very highly pigmented.

Touch of Love: a light ballet slipper pink cream.

Rapid Red: a traditional cherry red cream, with slight blue undertones. Very highly pigmented.

Blue Blood: a duo-chrome teal,purple, grey, silver.  Color shifts depending on the light reflection.

Booties: a royal blue shimmer with micro fine purple/pink glitter in it. Very highly pigmented.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

First and foremost I was super impressed with how highly pigmented majority of the polishes were; even in one coat I got amazing coverage.  Secondly, I liked how quickly the polish dried, literally in 5 minutes, as opposed to 15 with conventional nail polishes.

I will say that application might take a little longer just because you have to apply two coats of the Base Coat, and you have to let each coat dry before applying the next, but overall, I think with the downtime of the polish setting and drying, you get an overall positive experience. 

My personal favorite color I tried was Blue Blood

I highly recommend you give this system a try, especially if you or your clients are looking for a good alternative to gel.  

For more information on Dazzle Dry, check them out online here: http://dazzledry.com/

Deborah Lippmann Pretty in Pink Review

Deborah Lippmann Pretty in Pink Review 0

"On the heels of deborah lippmann's widely successful Undressed (6 piece Shades of Nude set), comes this tender bouquet of pink hues to delight the senses.  From soft and subtle to bold and bright, this 6-piece collection has every shade of pink to match every occasion.  Each fashion- size lacquer within Pretty in Pink is opaque and rich in texture, set within a romantic rose design box.

Get like Molly Ringwald with these "Pretty in Pink" shades: Think Pink!, a full coverage ballet pink creme, Pink Cashmere, a full coverage dusty pink creme, Tickle me Pink, a full coverage posy pink creme, In the Pink, a full coverage orchid pink creme, Pink Cadillac, a full coverage carnation pink creme, and Kissin' Pink, a full coverage hot pink creme." according to the official press release. 

The Deborah Lippmann Pretty in Pink collection is comprised of the following cream shades-

Think Pink!: a light ballet slipper pink creme.

Pink Cashmere: a dusty rose light pink creme. 

Tickle me Pink: a strawberry milkshake pink creme.

In the Pink: a deep bubblegum pink creme.

Pink Cadillac: a bold medium slightly dusty pink creme.

Kissin' Pink: a bright magenta pink creme. Very highly pigmented, almost a One Coat Wonder!

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

Personally I am not a huge fan of pinks, however I absolutely Love and adore this kit.  I think these are all highly wearable and desirable colors that clients would request, and I also think this set makes the most perfect present for someone, whether its a birthday, anniversary, holiday, house warming, or just to take to someone's home who invited you for dinner. 

I didn't experience any issues with the formulas, no streaking or anything of the nature.  I received full and complete coverage within two coats of each shade.  I found the colors to all be really highly pigmented, which I love. 

Get this kit as a gift for someone, or for yourself, either way you can't go wrong.

My personal favorites are: Pink Cashmere and Kissin' Pink.

All of the bottles are .27 fl oz (8 mL)

Available May 2016 (SRP: $34) online at http://www.deborahlippmann.com/ and at Barneys New York, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora stores nationwide. 

SS 2016 Cuccio Colour Cruise Collection Review

SS 2016 Cuccio Colour Cruise Collection Review 0

"All hands on deck as we set sail on the maiden voyage of the SS Cuccio Colour Cruise Collection. A nautical inspired collection of modern Spring shades guaranteed to help you navigate the changing tides of current styles and fashion in 2016. Ride this wave of glowing, illuminating shades on what we like to call the Love Boat of Colour!" according to the official ad. 

The SS Cuccio Colour Cruise Collection consists of the following shades:

Pier Pressure: a soft pale pink nude creme.

Shore Thing: light icy blue frost with gold shimmer running through it.

On Sail: a carnation pink creme.

Got the Navy Blues: a deep royal blue creme. Had great coverage with even one coat.

I Want Moor: a soft peachy champagne pearl.  Had amazing coverage, especially for a polish with this type of finish.

Message in a Bottle: a pale lilac with pink shimmer running through it.

All Decked Out: a coral pink creme.

All Tied Up: a cornflower blue creme.  Incredibly pigmented. 

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

This is a wonderful collection for the spring time, there is something offered here for everyone.  I really appreciate the funny and quirky names.  In the past, Cuccio's names never really struck a major chord with me, but perhaps they have hired someone new in their naming division ;).

I was really impressed with the formulas on these polishes.  Many of the colors were very highly saturated with pigment, meaning you get great coverage with even one coat.  I didn't experience any issues with streaking or brushstrokes.

My personal favorites in this collection include: All Tied Up, Shore Thing, and Message in a Bottle.  

For more information on Cuccio, check them out online here: http://cuccio.com/

KFC’s new finger lickin Polish! 0

The fried chicken company, along with marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather, has produced edible nail polish for customers in Hong Kong.

 The nail polish comes in two flavors and colors: Original (kind of a beige) and Hot & Spicy (red). To use it, customers can paint the polish on their nails, let it dry, “and then lick — again and again and again.”

KFC says the nail polish is “sourced from natural ingredients,” perhaps in an effort to make customers feel safer about licking nail polish.

“The recipe for our edible nail polish is unique and was specifically designed to hold the flavor, but to also dry with a glossy coat similar to normal nail polish,” said John Koay, creative director for Ogilvy & Mather. “This campaign is designed to be intriguing and fun to increase excitement around the KFC brand in Hong Kong.”

kfc nail polish bottles

The KFC nail polish is packaged in a “designer bottle and box” (not a bucket). The chicken chain has promoted the nail polish on Facebook and social media over the past two weeks, even releasing a music video on YouTube.

The music video features a beat-boxing woman playing keyboard on a pillar, licking her fingers, while a robot-dancing guy shows off his Hot & Spicy KFC nail polish.

KFC says that it has asked customers to pick their favorite flavor to go into mass production.

Edible nail polish isn’t a new thing, though most of them are vegetable-based and marketed towards children.” CNNMoney

Morgan Taylor: A Very Nauti-cal Girl Summer 2016 Collection Review

Morgan Taylor: A Very Nauti-cal Girl Summer 2016 Collection Review 0

"Ahoy! Set sail with the A Very Nauti-cal Girl collection from Morgan Taylor Lacquer for May through July 2016.  Inspired by summer sailing, this four-piece collection navigates its way through the sun-filled season with a blazing red, deep sea blue, sunset magenta and sailor white.  This collection's cool shades boast a classic twist to keep your nails maritime ready until fall!

"This collection was developed for the beach babe who is the captain of her own style and enjoys expressing her personality through her nails," says brand namesakes Morgan Haile and Taylor Daniel.  "Each shade will help her cruise through the warmer serasons!" according to the official press release.

A Very Nauti-cal Girl collection is comprised of the following shades:

Girls Love Buoys: a bold and bright magenta cream.  A One Coat Wonder! Incredibly well pigmented. Sort of has a neon quality to it regarding the fact that it sort of drys to a matte finish. [magenta creme]

Catch My Drift: a royal blue cream with violet undertones. [cobalt creme]

My Yacht, My Rules!: an off white taupe with a shimmer running through it. [white frost]

Wish Upon A Starboard: a bright fire engine true red cream. [cherry creme]

(all swatches shown here are two coats, without a top coat, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

I have to be totally honest and candid with you all, initially I wasn't super impressed with the collection.  I found it sort of basic and unnecessary.  However, once I played around with it I started to change my mind.  

I found most of the shades to be well pigmented, Girls Love Buoys in particular- which covered completely in a single coat which always makes me supremely happy. The rest of the colors built up nicely with two coats. There was no issues with streaking or pooling.  

My two personal favorites and recommendations from this collection are: Girls Love Buoys and My Yacht, My Rules!

A Very Nauti-cal Girl 2016 summer drop-in collection from Morgan Taylor will be available for a limited time beginning May 2016 at fine salons nationwide and at MorganTaylorLacquer.com. The suggested retail price is $9 each (15 mL 0.5 fl oz) and $14.95 for the 4-piece mini pack (not shown here)

For more info on Morgan Taylor check them out online here: https://www.morgantaylorlacquer.com/

Essie Resort 2016 Collection Review

Essie Resort 2016 Collection Review 0

"Opulent silk. Saturated hues. Dazzling sights. essie's new resort 2016 collection is influenced by the magnificent fashion, culture, and sheer beauty of India.  From the Gem Palace of Jaipur to vibrant saris, India's incredible mix of colors and tradition is the ultimate inspiration for this mesmerizing collection.

The four new resort shades feature an exhilarating palette of colors seen throughout India's landscape. From the vibrant market stalls and golden desert sands, to the azure waters, the country's unique contrast of tradition and modernism treasures offer splendid inspiration.  Sparkling like a mirrored jewel, essie's resort 2016 collection is sure to be the trip of a lifetime!" according to the official press release. 

The essie resort 2016 collection includes the following shades:

Delhi Dance: a bright and bold bubble gum pink creme. [bright sari pink]

Nama-stay the night: a bold medium blue creme. [divine goa blue]

Going guru: a light mint green creme. [meditative mint lime]

Taj-ma-haul: an apricot orange creme. [spicy marigold apricot]

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

I have a personal soft spot for essie's resort collections.  Every year I get so excited for it to come out.  I like this collection, but I am not head over heels in love; the colors just don't do it for me personally.  They don't remind me of India, but then again, I have never been.  But upon first glance, India is not at all what comes to mind. Had I not read the press release I would of had zero idea there was an Indian influence. 

As far as the polishes are concerned, the formula was excellent and they were all very pigmented. I didn't experience any issues when painting, there was zero brushstrokes in sight. 

I have to admit though the names are very fun.  Essie doesn't always have the funniest or most clever names that some other brands have, but I feel they're definitely trying to improve that.

My personal favorites are Nama-stay the night and Going guru

The essie resort 2016 collection will be available in May, and retails for $8.50 per 0.46 fl oz (13.5 mL) bottle. 

For more info on essie, check them out online: http://www.essie.com/

Deborah Lippmann Summer 2016 Collection Review

Deborah Lippmann Summer 2016 Collection Review 0

"Happy Days are here to stay with NEW shades from deborah lippmann that will never go out of style.  These pigmented colors transport you back to retro Fifties era so you can look hip to the jive whether you're cruising in a hot rod or chilling at the drive-in. The dual-patented Gel Lab Pro formula infused with 10 exclusive ingredients helps to deliver HEALTH, WEAR and SHINE, providing the high gloss and cushiony plumped look similar to a gel, without nail damage. Swel!

HEALTH: Evening Primrose, Keratin, Biotin, Gren Tea Extrqact, Aucoumea, Rice Protein

WEAR: Bamboo, Nonychosine F

SHINE: Nylon, Carnauba Wax

Accompanied by a new advanced contour brush, its rounded tip follows the nail shape and 320 bristles spread evenly for an effortless, smooth finish.

As a seasoned nail pro and trendsetter, Deborah works side by side with fashion's elite and was inspired to create these show stopping shades to complement summer's cheerful and bright style aesthetic." according to the official press release.

The Deborah Lippmann Summer 2016 Happy Days Collection includes the following-

Beauty School Dropout: a bubblegum pink cream. 

My Boyfriend's Back: a periwinkle blue cream. A 1 Coat Wonder!

Happy Days: a bold orangy coral with a very fine subtle shimmer.

Splish Splash: a turquoise blue cream, with green undertones. A 1 Coat Wonder!

**Great Balls of Fire: Sephora exclusive. Strawberry red creme.  Not shown here.

(all swatches shown here a two coats, taken outdoors in natural sunlight)

I am so pleased and delighted with this collection.  I think it's totally on point for Summer, and the colors are all great.  Not only that but I am absolutely obsessed with the new Gel Lab Pro formula and the brush! The brush! I can't stress enough how pleasurable it is to paint with, perfection! This new formula just paints on so smoothly, easily, and evenly, it's literally fool proof.  It can make anyone a fabulous manicurist. 

I was also really impressed with how highly pigmented the colors were, two of which could get away with a single coat.   

If I had to pick my favorites to recommend they'd have to go to the one coat wonders- My Boyfriend's Back and Splish Splash

Do make sure to check out the brief video below featuring Deborah herself describing the inspiration behind each shade. 

The Summer 2016 Collection will be available May 2016 SRP: $20 each (.50 fl oz 15 mL) on http://deborahlippmann.com/ and at Barneys New York, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora stores nationwide.  

 

Street Beat Summer 2016 Collection Review

Street Beat Summer 2016 Collection Review 0

"Turn up your boom box this summer, it's time to start feelin' the beat on the street! Introducing Gelish and Morgan Taylor's bold and eye-catching array of bright colors for the summer 2016- the Street Beat collection.  The collection includes six new shades: from a striking coral, to a powerful pink pearl, and a fierce teal, to a wild style yellow-orange creme.

"We were inspired by the artistic expression of street art and hip hop for this collection," says CEO and founder of Gelish and Morgan Taylor, Danny Haile. "Each bright shade resonates with inspiration and expressiveness. From energetic, upbeat pinks to a must-have pastel lilac, every shade is trendy from the runway to the streets." according to the official press release.

The Street Beats Summer 2016 collection includes:

B-girl Style: a neon bubble gum pink creme. [neon pink pearl]

Street Cred-ible: a bright nacho cheese orange creme. Took 3 coats for full opacity. [orange/yellow creme]

Cou-tour the Streets: a light pink creme with slight lilac undertones. [lilac creme]

Tag, You're It: a bold neon magenta shimmer. [fuchsia pink pearl]

Give me a Break-dance: a more green leaning teal with slight shimmer running through it. Took 3 coats for full opacity. [teal pearl]

Hip Hot Coral: a bright coral/pink hybrid shimmer. Took 3 coats for full opacity. [hot coral pearl]

(all swatches shown here are 2 coats of the Gelish Minis, unless stated otherwise, cured for 30 seconds each in an LED lamp, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

What I love and enjoyed most about this collection is how fun, bold, and bright the colors all are.  What I didn't love about this collection is the lack of pigmentation.  As gorgeous as the colors are, half of them required 3 coats in order to become fully opaque.  The main downside to three coats is the time required for application.  If your clients aren't in a hurry, or if you don't have clients booked up back-to-back than it shouldn't be an issue.

My personal favorites include: Give me a Breal-dance, Tag, You're it, and Street Cred-ible.

The Street Beat Collection from Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor will be available for a limited time in May 2016.  Gelish MINI is available at Sally Beauty Supply stores and http://sallybeautysupply.com/ for $13.99 per bottle and Morgan Taylor is available at https://www.morgantaylorlacquer.com/ for $9 per bottle. 

 

NailPro Pasadena 2016 with Merricures

NailPro Pasadena 2016 with Merricures 0

I left Coachella and the scorching Desert heat behind me to attend this years NailPro Pasadena, or Nailchella, as it was appropriately nicknamed.  

I've been to many beauty trade shows in the past, but what sets NailPro apart from all the rest is the primary focus on the nail industry.  Thank goodness I wasn't getting bombarded with hair and makeup brands offering me samples and asking if I'm interested in receiving a demo blowout or mohawk.   

There was so much to take in: a competition with award ceremony, multiple raffles were announced over the loud speaker throughout the day, free education classes offered in multiple languages, and all around awesome deals on great products from many brands.

Some of the brands that were there include: Young Nails, Color Club, INM, Light Elegance, Bio Seaweed Gel, Bio Sculpture Gel, Minx, Apres Nail, VETRO, Essie, The Painted Nail, Akzentz, Atwood Industries, KUPA, Belava, Dazzle Dry, Crystal Nails, LeChat, US Naily Nail Printer, ibd, EZ Flow, Skyline Beauty Supply, Christrio, Footlogix, Famous Names, Jessica, Nailebrity, China Glaze, Gelibility, & Indiegirl.   

There were however a bunch of brands whose absence was felt and greatly missed, including: Gelish, Morgan Taylor, OPI, Nail Labo, Orly, CND, Gel II, Artistic Nail Design, nsi, N.O.Q, Kiara Sky, & nubar.  Perhaps they'll be there next year. 

As far as classes are concerned, I attended an INM acrylic class(beacause in my opinion they make the Best acrylic on the market) featuring educator and nail diva CustomTnails1, Temeka Jackson.  She did a great job answering questions from nail technicians of all experience levels, ranging from students to senior veteran professionals.  Temeka demonstrated her popular acrylic application on different mediums including on a tip, a form, and most impressively without using a form at all! The class lasted 45 minutes and became quite popular with more and more onlookers joining in. 

I personally did not stay to witness the award ceremony for the morning's competitions.  I had too much talking to do with all of the brands represented there.

Some of the stand out innovations include Minx, who has both a new formula (very easy to work with, and doesn't require as much heat) along with more large sizes on each sheet (think pedicures or male thumbs), Akzetnz, who introduced new mini pots of its popular gel shades, Essie, who revealed for the first time their upcoming gel-like polish line, which features a patented aerodynamic bottle shape and twisted brush wand.

It's sad but inevitably true that not all brands are equally popular.  Some booths were significantly more packed and crowded than others.  A few of the bigger stand outs include: Skyline Beauty Supply, which had a check out line literally almost half a block long, customers were shopping while they patiently stood to check out, which reminded me a lot of the nail trade shows in Japan.  Akzentz drew a big draw, on account of their new mini pots, matte top coat, and always popular Bling On. The INM booth featured some brand new beautiful displays, where a majority of their gel polishes (Gelavish) were completely sold out.  And as per usual, Young Nails grew quite the crowd both for customers shopping and watching demos.

I for one am very proud of myself and the fact that I only spent $30 at the show-  $20 on a safety bit from Young Nails, and $10 on foil art stickers from Skyline Beauty Supply (but only once the line died down).

I had an awesome time and can't wait for next years show.  

 

Zoya Spring 2016 Petals Collection Review

Zoya Spring 2016 Petals Collection Review 0

"A flourish of beautiful blooming nail color!

Introducing Petals, the latest color collection from Zoya Nail Polish just in time for Spring 2016. Inspired by the gardens of spring, this fresh and vibrant collection invites you to revel in the beauty of the season!

  • Leia: a sheer top coat with pearlized pink and green shimmer, in a clear base. Even with three coats you will still see visible nail line. [Sheer opalescent white with flecks of fuchsia, green and gold.
    Just as beautiful alone as it layered over your favorite spring shades!]
  • Aster: a blurple (blue/purple) shimmer.  [Fresh periwinkle with flecks of fuchsia to create a dewy finish,
    mimicking the look of spring flowers in the morning.] 
  • Azalea: a bright magenta pink shimmer. [Classic spring pink with a captivating white and fuchsia flash.]
  • Zahara: an orange sherbet with a fine pink shimmer to it. [Brilliant shimmering coral made modern with an opalescent effect.]
  • Tulip: a flamingo pink cream. [Pure pastel salmon cream with the slightest hint of sheen to mimic
    a petal soft finish.]
  • Laurel: a medium pink creme shimmer. [Warm pastel pink with the slightest hint of sheen to mimic a petal
    soft finish.]" according to the official press release. 

What I enjoyed most about the Spring Petals 2016 Collection was the pearlized reflective shimmer in many of the colors.  

At first glance of the collection, in the bottle Leia was my favorite.  Once I painted it on however I wasn't a big fan,  I don't love sheer polishes in general. However, when layered atop the other colors in the collection, as mentioned in the press release, you get a gorgeous effect.  

As far as the formula is concerned I didn't experience any issues whatsoever.  They were all very easy to work with, and painted on smoothly and evenly in two coats, with Leia being the sole exception. 

My personal favorites in the collection include: Leia, Zahara, and Aster.

They retail for $10 each, per .5 fl oz (15 mL) bottle. 

For more info on Zoya, or to purchase online, check them out here: http://www.zoya.com/