ISSE Long Beach 2017

ISSE Long Beach 2017 0

I had the best time this year at ISSE 2017.  The annual hair, beauty, makeup, nail, and spa show that takes place at the Long Beach Convention Center was held this year on January 28-30.  

This year was very different from years passed.  Primarily, almost all of the nail brands were situated near each other, making my life and job a whole lot easier.  In years passed, nail companies were mixed throughout the show so you kind of had to search high and low to find them.

Some of the nail brands in attendance included: Akzentz, Belava, Bio Sculpture Gel, China Glaze, Christrio, Color Club, Skyline Beauty Supply, ibd, Jessica Cosmetics, LeChat, Nail Labo, Orly, E Nail Couture, Sha-Nail Pro, Vetro, Young Nails, Gelish, Morgan Taylor, Entity Beauty, Artistic Nail Design, Famous Names, Bio Seaweed Gel, etc.  

Some nail brands that showed there for the first time included: Aora Nails, Kokoist, Joya Mia, Brillbird USA, and NCLA. 

Some of the nail brands not there this year: essie, CND, Light Elegance, INM, Crystal Nails, ENP, OPI, & Apres Nails. 

I loved meeting up with the various companies and catching up and seeing whats new.

I also enjoyed meeting with the newer brands showing for the first time at the convention.  Brillbird USA, for instance, is an awesome highly extensive product line from Hungary.  They offered so many cool things including one stroke art paint, 3-D sculpting gels, and flakey chrome pigments, which is soon to become all the rage.

Aora Nails, this was their first year at the show and they made quite a splash with their huge and highly impressive booth showcasing their chrome pigments and magnetic gel polishes. 

Kokoist, a fantastic brand from Japan, was there for the first time, showing their gorgeous highly pigmented potted gels and highly popular fine brushes.

NCLA was there to promote their new line of gel polishes, Gelous?, which I recently got to try and must say, I really Love the formula. They're all 7-free, highly pigmented, and last up to three weeks. 

As a whole, I would say this year was year of Chrome. Almost every brand was offering some sort of iteration of the trendy pigment powder, and performing many demos showing what can be achieved with it.  Some of the brands offering chrome included- Skyline Beauty Supply, Nail Labo, Aora Nails, Bio Seaweed Gel, Bio Structure Gel, LeChat Nails, and E Nail Couture. The most impressive and informational of all the brands I felt was LeChat.  They have a rather extensive offering of chromes, 12 colors, and one of their top educators, Anastasiia Morozova, showed me a few of her award winning design techniques. 

Some of the brands did things differently this year and combined booths creating an almost mega booth.  Hand and Nail Harmony, for instance,  partnered up with Skyline Beauty Supply and had one large booth representing many of their brands, including: Morgan Taylor, Gelish, Artistic Nail Design, and Entity Beauty. 

Skyline Beauty Supply probably had the biggest of all the companies booths, having 5 different segments all showcasing different things.  There was Whale Spa on one end,  Vetro in the middle,  Sha-Nail Pro on the other side of that wall, Chrome Pigments and matte top coats were in their own section, and then Hand and Nail Harmony section as mentioned previously.  So they definitely took up the most floor space at the show this year and had the largest booth.  

Nonetheless, I would have to say Nail Labo was yet again the busiest booth of the show.  Whether it's demos with famed celebrity nail artists, like Britney Tokyo or Miho Nails, looki-loos, or just shoppers stocking up on their favorite brand at a discount.  

I can't fail to mention I met one of my favorite YouTubers, Suzie Manko, from Suzie's Nail Career Education.  She was so sweet and lovely in person I adore her all the more. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTldDNXS4GeChcmwm55mXYQ

Like every year, I had each of my nails done by a different nail artist from around the world.  My absolute favorite this year goes to my left thumb which features a hand drawn portrait of my malti-poo BooBoz, by the highly talented Vu Nguyen.  It took him around ten minutes to do, and literally used just white and black gel polish in various mixed ratios.  The result is absolutely stunning and so life like.   

If you weren't able to make it to this years show, I highly suggest checking it out next year, there is already information up on the website.  Also, if you don't want to commit to a three day pass, you can always go for one day and still have an amazing experience.

For more info on ISSE, check out their website here: https://probeauty.org/isselb/ 



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.  


Akzentz Fall Winter 2015

Akzentz Fall Winter 2015 0

"Canadian based Akzentz Professional Nail Products releases New & Fall Winter 2015 shades of Gel Play available through Authorized Distributors October 2015.

Gel Play changed the nail art industry when it first debuted summer 2014 and continues to lead with innovative nail art technology in the marketplace. These highly pigmented LED and UV curable gels have a thick consistency that mimic artistic paints making them perfect for detailed hand painted artwork.

The Fall & Winter 2015 release includes four new Glitters: Cherry Red, Golden Nugget, Green Glitz and Platinum Quartz as well as two new Paints: Hot Pink and Raw Sienna.

“The product follows our history of 100% gel, solvent-free products,” affirms Akzentz President Sandra Haigh, “It continues our legacy of being made in Canada with only North American and European ingredients.”

The Gel Play line now boasts 14 paints with heavily pigmented solid colours, 14 vibrant Glitters, six sparkling Glitter Shifters that shift their tone depending on the base colour, wildly popular Bling-On an extra strong bonding gel that stays put for attaching embellishments and Glitter-Me, a clear and light consistency gel base perfect for adding glitter powders already owned" according to the official press release.

Now I don't have the entire Fall Winter 2015 line to share with you.  I do however have some shades from each of the lines.

OPTIONS (soak off gel polish in a pot) [4 g / 0.14 oz]

Ocean Peal (Chameleon): blue/purple duo chrome.  The shade shifts depending on the angle, or light refraction. I am beyond obsessed with this color! My personal favorite.  An absolute must! Very unique as well.

Moody Sunset (Chameleon): silver/purple duo chrome.  The shade also shifts depending on the angle, or light refraction.

French Blue: a deep royal peacock blue creme. 

(all swatches are 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp).

GEL PLAY PAINT (hyper pigmented potted gels for art work) [4 g / 0.14 oz]

Hot Pink: a hot vibrant neon Barbie pink creme.

Glitter Cherry Red: a fine glitter crimson red.

Glitter Platinum Quartz: a shiny silver chrome.

(because it's Halloween time, my most favorite holiday, I swatched these gel paint shades by creating spider webs.  These are very easy to do using Gel Paints, and I don't even need to flash cure between painting all the lines.  I just cure it all at once after the painting is completed, which ultimately saves you lots of time.)

LUXIO (gel polish in a bottle) [15 mL / 0.5 oz]

Mirage: a micro fine silver glitter with flecks of purple and red.  I used three coats to make this fully opaque, primarily because the glitter is super micro fine.

Celebrate: a beautiful bold lavender creme. 

Rebel: a burnt cranberry red creme.

(unless stated otherwise, all swatches shown here are two coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp). 

I must honestly say I am truly impressed with Akzentz continual innovation.  I feel that every season they out do themselves and come out with something so amazing.  In this case, my personal obsession is with the new chameleon Options color shifting gels in Moody Sunset & Ocean Pearl.  I hope that Akzentz continues forward and introduces many more shades in the future featuring this awesome technology.

I think as all whole the colors are all wonderful.  I didn't experience any issues whatsoever with the formulas.  

As always, the smell is incredibly minimal with Akzentz products, which  both me and my clients Love and appreciate.  The less harmful smells in my book the better. 

For more information on Akzetnz, check them out online here: http://www.akzentz.com/

New Gel Play Colors from Akzentz!

New Gel Play Colors from Akzentz! 0

Happy Hump Day everyone!

I hope your all having an awesome week.

I am really excited to introduce the latest colors of Gel Play from the folks at Akzentz.  If you didn't read my previous article on the initial Gel Play release, you can check it out here: http://www.merricures.com/blog/gel-play-by-akzentz/

I Love the brand Akzentz, and I absolutely adore their Gel Play line, and greatly appreciate that they continuously expand it, adding more amazing colors.  It makes my life doing nail art so much easier!  Never do the paints dry out like acrylic paints, and I don't have to wait for them to air dry either like with conventional polish.  Once cured in an LED or UV lamp for the recommended time, they are good to go.

The latest colors come in both Glitter (metallic finish) and Paint (creme finish) formulas, and include, and are pretty accurate with their corresponding name:

Copper Dust: a rich rusty reflective copper. 

Glistening Gold: a warm light yellow gold.  

Pink Champagne: a rose gold glimmer. 

Cosmic Silver: a pewtery sterling silver. 

Nude: an opaque fleshtone with light pink undertone. 

Teal: a terrific teal creme, the perfect marriage of blue and green. 

Brown: a rich chocolate coco brown creme. 

Prussian Blue: a deep navy blue creme.  In the pot the pigment looks virtually black, but I can guarantee it most certainly isn't.  

 I could  honestly not speak more highly of these new Gel Play shades.  They're all amazing and should be added to your art kit.  Clients are requesting nail art more and more, and if your in the market for a high quality, well pigmented, low odor art gel, then look no further.  I found the formula to be quite perfect, painting on smoothly and evenly.  The shades are very highly pigmented, so there are absolutely no issues of proper coverage, or of shades looking slightly dull.    

Pick up some of the Akzentz Gel Play line at your local distributor, and I promise you wont regret it.

The Gel Play line of Akzentz comes in 4g (0.14 oz) pots, and is available now. 

For more information on Akzentz, check them out online here: http://www.akzentz.com/


Spring Summer 2015 from Akzentz

Spring Summer 2015 from Akzentz 0

Happy Hump Day!

I hope you've all had a wonderful week thus far.

Today I am excited to share with you all the latest gel collections from Akzentz for Spring Summer 2015.  From both of their popular soak off UV/LED gel lines, they've introduced 6 new shades to their gel polish LUXIO line, and 10 new shades to their potted OPTIONS gel line.

First up, I've got the new LUXIO gel polish collection to share:

Whimsical: a light sky blue creme.

Almondine: a creamy beige nude.

Pixie: a bright light peach creme.

Darling: a coral creme with orange undertones.

Enlighten: a pistachio light green creme.

Fanfare: a bright bold royal blue creme.

(all swatches are 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

Next up I've got the latest potted gels from the OPTIONS line:

Risky Pink: a bright magenta pink shimmer.

Snazzy Blue: a bold ocean blue with shimmer.

Bursting Yellow: a semi-sheer lemonade yellow shimmer.

Cream Mint: a light green mint creme.  Has more of green undertones and no blue undertones.  Sometimes mints can go either way, leaning either blue or green.   This definitely leans on the green side.

Bashful Pink: a semi-sheer beige nude creme with slight pink undertones.

Lily Lavender: a smokey mauve creme with lavender undertones.

Luminous Blossom: a carnation pink creme.

Pink Blush: a semi-sheer pink nude creme, with pink undertones.  It is significantly leans more on the pink side than "Bashful Pink" does.

Pristine Buff: a dusty rose pink creme.

Honey Almond: a khaki beige creme. 

(all swatches are 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

 Overall I am really happy with these new colors from Akzentz.  I think all of the shades are very practical and highly wearable, including most of the new OPTIONS colors that are very skin-tone oriented, these are excellent for all year round.  I like the fact that there's a little bit of everything for every type of customer: some shimmers, some nudes, some fun brights, some pretty pastels, its just a very nice and impressive color palette overall.

The formulas on all of the shades from both systems was excellent, causing absolutely no problems whatsoever.  I found the shades to all be highly pigmented, providing complete coverage in 2 nice coats.   

My personal favorite shades include: Fanfare, Enlighten, Pixie (from LUXIO soak off polishes)

& Snazzy Blue, Cream Mint, and Lily Lavender (from OPTIONS potted gels).

All of the Spring Summer 2015 colors are available now.

For more information on Akzentz, or to find a distributor near you, check them out online: http://www.akzentz.com/

Merricures visits ISSE- 2015

Merricures visits ISSE- 2015 0

Hey guys.  I hope you all had a great weekend, I know I sure did.

This past weekend was ISSE, the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach California, held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

I started the first of 3 days off with a bang, having a VIP Media meeting with Jan Arnold, co-founder and style director for CND.  I was so honored to find out I was her first appointment of the day!! Go Team Merricures!! I absolutely adore Jan, her passion, knowledge, and charisma I find to be both infectious and inspiring.  She walked me through a wonderful presentation of both Spring and Summer 2015 Shellac and Vinylux collections.   She also told me about a brand new revolutionary product launching next month, that I can’t wait to share with you all (trust me, I wasn’t leaving that meeting without a bottle of it).  Jan was also very eager and proud to mention CND U, an online forum for nail education, had proudly launched.

We gabbed about New York Fashion Week and all of the amazing collaborations CND does with various designers, including: Libertine, Opening Ceremony, The Blonds, etc.  Because we are both so passionate about fashion I had to take a break from nails and quiz Jan on her amazing fashion sense.  I had to know who are her favorite designers.  I was very surprised at how quickly and proudly she responded: 1. Comme Des Garcons (because they are never trendy). 2. Libertine (because of their unique perspective). and 3. Simone Rocha: (her latest obsession from London).


Then it was off to the show.  The show didn’t begin on Saturday until 1 pm, and I unfortunately had to work an event on the other side of town in the early evening, so I was only able to stick around for 2 hours that day.  Needless to say, the adrenalin rush of frantically running around trying to have catch up conversations with friends and colleges was a bit of a challenge.  I did manage however to have a couple demos done at Young Nails and Akzentz.

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While getting a demo, I spotted 3 of the lovely contestants from the hit nail reality show “Nail’d It”, including Ashley Craig, the 1st place winner, who received $100,000!  They are all so great and sweet.

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The next day, Sunday, was much better and more relaxed.  I had a full day to properly catch up with a majority of my friends, and get some really cool demos done, including from Britney Tokyo and Natalie Minerva (of Nail Swag) at the Nail Labo booth.

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I must admit I’m not the only one who was excited to get a demo done by these ladies.  People were aggressively lining up and causing a stir at the Nail Labo booth because everyone was so excited and needed to purchase the exact products the girls were using to create their remarkable designs.


But when you see the kind of art these incredibly talented ladies do you understand why there was such a commotion/line.  In addition to promoting Nail Labo products, which are of the highest quality, all made and imported from Japan, the girls were promoting their latest endeavor, a 6 piece line of highly pigmented gels specifically made for doing nail art, called Tokyo Swag.  I’ve got some to review for you all, but more on that a little later.


I also had the honor of meeting the top 3 finalists of NAILS Magazine’s Next Top Nail Artist Contest Lexi Martone, Lavette Cephus, and Danielle Costantino.  The girls were all so lovely and humble despite their immense creative talent.  I was lucky enough to have a demo performed by Lavette Cephus (who was later announced that evening as the winner).

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I couldn’t get over how cool Lexi Martone’s Nails were.


This is Lavette working her magic on me-


Nonetheless, the girls are each so remarkably talented.

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Sunday I also died when I met one of my idols, celebrity nail tech Kimmie Kyees.  She was such a delight and a wonderful person, more so than I ever could have imagined.  She even gave me a few pieces of advice on tips she has learned over the years.

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I also got to spend some quality time with my favorite buddies over at INM.  They filled me in on all the new awesome products they have added to their line, including 4 new multi-use pens, quick dry spray, and an expanded lacquer line.

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Sunday evening, after the show ended,  NAILS Magazine and CND hosted a wonderful cocktail party/awards ceremony at nearby Cafe Sevilla where the winner of the Next Top Nail Artist competition was announced.  There were tons of nail industry guests in attendance, including Sam Biddle, Katie Cazorla,  and Doug Schoon to name a few.  The awards themselves were MC’d by Hannah Lee and Jan Arnold.

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As you probably know by now, my girl Lavette Cephus won! She cried and was physically shaking.  Once she calmed herself down she delivered a beautiful acceptance speech.

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Monday was the last day of the show.  A lot of people in the industry call this “Students Day;” lots of individuals training in beauty school, hair, or nails come.  By this day, Akzentz was highly picked over, virtually sold out of most products; having to take down many orders to be filled later on.  I honestly think they did the best out of all the nail companies exhibiting at the show as far as selling product is concerned.

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New to the convention this year was an awesome multi-competition winning line from Hungary, Crystal Nails.  They have been highly successful throughout Europe for the last ten years, and are making a splash Stateside, offering an incredible insane amount of colors.  They make over 500 shades of each hard gel, gel polish, and acrylic.  Some of the colors I saw were incredibly unique and oh so beautiful, and glitters for days in every shade of the rainbow and beyond.

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All sorts of technological innovation including: color changing, chrome finish, magnets, and light refraction were being demonstrated by award winning and famous nail techs, including Classic Mully, who also appeared on Oxygen’s hit show Nail’d It.  I was fortunate enough to have a demo with her, which she shared her incredible art technique with me using their ChroMe & Tiger Eye Crystalac gel polishes, painting the underside of my nail primarily.

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Also new this year to the convention was The Nail Spot, a designated area for all things specifically nails related: hands-on and complimentary nail classes, creative nail demonstrations, and competitions.

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Absent this year from the show were a few major brands, including Essie, Cuccio, and hair care giant Moroccanoil.  I also noticed some companies downsized their booth, and in some cases significantly,  as much as half.  I do not know why, but I am sure they all have their reasons.

Overall the show was great.  I had an incredible time, and highly recommend everyone experience the ISSE show at some point. It’s an experience not to be forgotten.

Check out the rest of my photos in the gallery below.

New Fall & Winter 2014 from Akzentz

New Fall & Winter 2014 from Akzentz 0

Hi guys! I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was wonderful and relaxing.

I am excited to introduce some brand new products from Akzentz for Fall & Winter 2014.  

Akzentz gel products are all formulated in house in Canada, and I find their formulations far superior to many other brands.  I was taught by a good friend of mine, Mami Griffin, a nail stylist superstar herself, who instilled I always smell a product to see how strong the chemicals used in it are.  When compared to other brands I test Akzentz always wins the smell/chemical test by a landslide. Not only that, but I find Akzentz products to be of top- notch quality.      

For their Luxio UV/LED Soak Off Gel Polish line, they have introduced 6 new colors for the Fall/Winter season: Seduction, Magic, Wisp, Silver, Rose Gold, and Gold.  I have a couple of them to share with you here.

I tried Rose Gold: a fine rose gold glitter.  A great rose gold is very difficult to come by, and I Love this one, its perfect! I highly suggest you pick it up. I applied three coats here for full opacity.  

Seduction: a shimmering blackened ruby red.  I applied two coats.  

They have introduced 10 new shades to their UV/LED Options Gel Line, a potted gel for traditional paint on application with a gel brush; very Japanese style- super Kawaii 😉  .  The 10 new shades include: Cobalt Blue, Berry Truffle, Sweet Maple, Blue Moon, Floral White, Purple Dusk, Purple Smoke, Fire, Merlot, and Mulberry.  This is an additional 10 shades to their over 140 colors and counting.  I also have a couple of these to share with you all.

I tried Merlot: a glistening dark Merlot  purple, with a very fine glitter shimmer to it up close. 

Blue Moon: a deep dark navy blue creme.

This was my first time trying out the Options products from Akzentz, and I am really impressed.  I found them to be highly pigmented, providing complete coverage in two coats, as shown here.  The formula was self leveling and easy to work with.  There was zero brush strokes or any issues.  If you are interested in trying a good potted gel that can cure in both UV and LED look no further.  I highly suggest you try the Options line from Akzentz.  

Akzentz is also introducing their brand new Matte-On, a brush on matte effect top coat.  It "can be applied over any cured gel as a final top coat to add a velvety matte look and feel," according to the press release.  I used Matte-On here over three shades from the Luxio Gel Polish line: Spirit (dark blue), Myth (teal), & Breathless (powder blue). It is incredible easy to use and the results are stunning..  You can transform literally any gel color you already own into a new, very on trend, matte look. Customers will be very pleased and highly interested, I can assure you.  

For more information on Akzentz or to find a distributor in your area, please check them out online: http://akzentz.com/


Gel Play by Akzentz

Gel Play by Akzentz 0

I am very excited to share with all of my readers some more new products from the "Gel Play" line by Akzentz.  Billed as "the Art of Creativity," designed for the nail artist at heart, the new "Gel Play" line from Akzentz introduces 8 paints, 6 glitters, 6 Glitter Shifters, Glitter Me, and Bling On to their already extensive line of gel products.  

Today I will be sharing some of the Glitters and Paints with you all.


Blue: a very fine aqua sea blue glitter.

Silver Sand: a very fine platinum gold.  I know that "silver" is even in the title, however, in person this is definitely a champagne color.  Leans more towards the gold spectrum than silver.


Black: a true jet black.  I was very surprised at how highly pigmented it was. 

White: a pure creamy "White Out" white.  

Glitter Shifters:

Coral: a fine iridescent coral glitter.

As a whole, I really enjoyed the new Paints and Glitters from the "Gel Play" line.  I found the consistency ideal.  It was not too think, or too thin.  It would stay where you put it, while simultaneously being very easy to work with and control.  

I have tried other art oriented gel products that didn't work nearly as well.  They would cure bumpy and elevated, leaving me with a non-smooth finish.  I didn't experience any of those issues with the "Gel Play" line. The product consistency was terrific, and upon final cure, there was no raised uneven bumpiness whatsoever.  

Each shade from Gel Play comes in a 4g/ 0.25oz jar, and is curable in both LED and UV light systems. 

I am interested to see if in the future Akzentz will add new shades to the line.  We will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I highly suggest you pick them up for yourself and give it a whirl.

For more information on Akzentz, you can check them out online, here: http://akzentz.com/

Introducing Gel Play by Akzentz!

Introducing Gel Play by Akzentz! 0

Happy Hump Day everyone! I hope you are all having a great week.

I am so excited to introduce the brand new "Gel Play" line from Akzentz.  Two new gel products, "Bling On" and "Glitter Me" that will revolutionize the gel manicures you perform.  Both of the products are inspired by famed Japanese manicurist guru Mami Griffin.

"Bling On" is a thick clear gel that is used to help adhere rhinestones, crystals, charms, and various objects to the nail without having to seal with top coat.  The formula is a bit on the thick side, which I loved, because it was very easy to work with.  I laid out a thin layer and than started adding my crystals and gold studs one by one.  I was able to move the gems around to the exact position I wanted without any trouble.  Once everything was in it's proper place, I cured for 30 seconds in an LED lamp, and then wiped off the inhibition layer and voila.  

I love this product for so many reasons! I have been dying to find a product that will strongly and effectively secure my rhinestones and crystals to the nail without needing to cover them with a top coat.  Once you cover a Swarovski crystal with a clear top coat gel you completely dull the shine and brilliance of the crystal, which is the entire point of buying and using pricey Swarovski Crystals.  With Bling On, once the design is cured, the gems aren't going anywhere, and sparkle and shine exactly how they were intended to do so.  This product is the answer to my prayers! I highly highly recommend it for everyone!!  

"Glitter Me" is a thin light weight clear gel designed for mixing glitter.  There are a few different ways you can work with this product.

1) You can apply a small amount of the "Glitter Me" gel directly to the client's nail, and then sprinkle the glitter onto it.

2) You can mix equal parts of the "Glitter Me" with glitter to make a completely customized glitter gel that you can than paint onto the clients nails.

I really enjoyed working with this product, because I found it highly versatile and helpful.  I traditionally would use a conventional clear soak off base gel to mix my glitters with, but "Glitter Me" is a much better consistency to work with regarding that.

I love the brand Akzentz and am so pleased they introduced these two new products.  I strongly feel and highly recommend all manicurists give both "Glitter Me" and "Bling Me" a try.

For more information on Akzentz, you can check them out online: http://akzentz.com/index.php


LUXIO by Akzentz Soak Off Gel Swatches

LUXIO by Akzentz Soak Off Gel Swatches 0

I recently tried out some great gel polishes from LUXIO by Akzentz. As I mentioned in a previous post, I found the formula on all of the gel colors to be quite thick and great, thicker than most gel polishes on the market. The thick consistency of the gel provided for a more smooth and controlled product application!

 Moody: a denim blue.

Galaxy: a multi shimmer dark gunmetal grey.

Spirit: a true royal blue.

Intrigue: a bold deep raisin purple.

Intuitive: a forest pine emerald green.

Precious: light lilac lavender.

Potion: a burgundy with red micro shimmer.

Myth: a great green with blue undertones. My personal favorite in this collection.

Each of the swatches shown are 2 coats of gel color, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED light.

To find out more about LUXIO gels or to purchase, please check them out at: http://www.akzentz.com/index.php

Color Effects Gel Top Coats from LUXIO by Akzentz Swatches

Color Effects Gel Top Coats from LUXIO by Akzentz Swatches 0

I recently had the privilege of trying 2 of the awesome “Effects Top Coat Gels” from LUXIO by Akzentz.

These top coats can be used as the final step in your manicure to give a whole new look to your base gel color. For the swatches shown here, I used both Effects Top Coat shades over a Black base (Noir– from Luxio) and a White base (Polar from Luxio).

Purple Effects: micro fine irridescent purple shimmer suspended in a clear base. Takes me back to my youth! Over Noir (a black base), it creates a spectacular dark sparkly fine glitter purple.  Over Polar (a white base), it casts a sparkly pinkish purple glow.

Copper Effects: micro fine light copper shimmer suspended in a clear base. Over Noir (a black base), it creates a sort of “galactic space” effect.  Over Polar (a white base), it casts a soft golden coppery glow.

To find out more about LUXIO or where to buy, please check them out at: http://www.akzentz.com/index.php

Nude Shades from LUXIO by Akzentz Soak Off Gel Swatches

Nude Shades from LUXIO by Akzentz Soak Off Gel Swatches 0

I recently had the privilege of trying out some lovely nude shades of gel polish from LUXIO by Akzentz. I found the formula on all of the gel colors to be quite thick and great, thicker than most gel polishes on the market, and this provided for a more smooth and controlled product application.

Delicate: a soft baby pink.

Neutral: a rich dusty rose.

Whisper: an opaque creamy nude skin tone shade.

Cremelle: a sheer creamy nude.

Each of the swatches shown are 2 coats of gel color, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED light.

To find out more about LUXIO or where to buy, please check them out at: http://www.akzentz.com/index.php