beauty salon

CND Vinylux Fall 2015 Contradictions Collection Review

CND Vinylux Fall 2015 Contradictions Collection Review 0

"CND’s new Fall 2015 Contradictions collection, featuring CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color and VINYLUX® Weekly Polish.

Turn up the contrast with the new Fall 2015 Contradictions collection from CND. Textures and tones collide for an unexpected elegance: leather and lace, street and chic, metal and pearl.

“This season’s trends celebrate an unexpected clash between gritty street elements and elegant details for a dynamic combination of glamour and grunge,” says CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold. “Nails evoke an edgy narrative with blackened pigments and heraldic ornaments. Enhanced almonds in purple and red are deepened and oxidized with smoked pearl and steel finishes” according to the official Press release.

I've previously reviewed the Contradictions Collection in Shellac, which features the same shades except for 2 which are exclusive to Vinylux.  To see my review and swatches of the other Contradictions Collection hues, check out my previous blog post: http://www.merricures.com/blog/cnd-fall-2015-shellac-contradictions-collection-review/

The 2 exclusive Vinylux shades for Fall 2015 from the Contradictions Collection are:

Grommet: a metallic pearly dark gunmetal with blue undertones.  I am obsessed with this shade.  I am wearing it on my toes as we speak.  I have already received countless complements on it.  I wish CND made this shade in Shellac!!  Hopefully in the future they will 😉

Couture Covet: a deep navy blue creme.  

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

I really like these new shades.  I wish CND made them in Shellac as well, particularly Grommet.  Both shades painted on smoothly, evenly, and easily, with zero brush strokes.  I also found them to be heavily pigmented, providing complete coverage in two coats. I highly recommend them.  If you are only going to buy one of them I would recommend Grommet.  

FEATURED BENEFITS: VINYLUX® Weekly Polish system includes a self-adhering Color Coat that eliminates the need for Base Coat; Top Coat becomes more durable with exposure to natural light; dries in just 8.5 minutes and provides week-long chip-free wear

PRICE: In-salon VINYLUX® Weekly Polish services range from $20-$35, depending on location; VINYLUX® Weekly Polish and VINYLUX® Weekly Top Coat retail for $10.50 per bottle

AVAILABILITY: Available worldwide Fall 2015; visit the Salon Locator atcnd.com/find-salon; visit cnd.com/VINYLUX, loxabeauty.com, ULTA or ulta.com to purchase

For more info on CND, check them out online- http://www.cnd.com/

 

 

Morgan Taylor Holiday: Home for the Holidays Swatches + Review

Morgan Taylor Holiday: Home for the Holidays Swatches + Review 0

Now that summer is slowly coming to an end, kids are going back to school, vacations are finishing up, and warm weather is beginning to cool down.  Before you know it the Holidays will be here, and to celebrate Morgan Taylor is launching their latest collection: "Home for the Holidays"! Six new fun and festive shades to really get one in the mood and to celebrate this wonderful time of year.

According to Morgan Taylor, "Celebrate what matters most with Morgan Taylor's Home for the Holidays collection.  Inspired by the memories made during the holidays, these six luxurious shades will have you catching the festive spirit in no time.  You may not get everything you want under the tree, but with its cremes, glitters, and shimmers this collection ensures you'll have the perfect manicure to help you look your best through the Holiday season."

The Home for the Holidays collection includes:

New Year, New Blue: a midnight shiny navy blue. Provided virtually full coverage in a single coat. 

Snuggle by the Fire: a rich ruby red creme. Covered completely in a single coat.

Just for the Occasion: a plum purple with fine magenta pink shimmer.

Deck the Halls: a glittery raspberry red/pink featuring larger pink hexagonal glitter pieces.

Midnight Rendezvous: a blackened base with fine blue and copper glitter flakes.  

Snow place like Home: an iridescent glitter in a semi sheer white shimmer base.

(all swatches shown here are two coats with a top coat.)

I really enjoy the colors offered in this latest collection from Morgan Taylor, they definitely capture and embody the true essence of the holidays.  With this being said, some shades I prefer more than others, but that's just a matter of personal preference.

Each shade polished very smoothly and easily, with zero fuss or streaking.  Some of the shades surprised me with how highly pigmented they were; both New Year, New Blue and Snuggle by the Fire provided full coverage in essentially a single coat.    

Much like the holidays, this collection won't be around for long, so go out and pick it up fast.

For more information on Morgan Taylor, check them out online: http://www.morgantaylorlacquer.com/

Zoya- Spring 2014 “Awaken”

Zoya- Spring 2014 “Awaken” 0

For Spring 2014 Zoya came out with a beautiful slightly pastel shimmery collection entitled “Awaken”. There are 6 shades in total, and they are the perfect transitional shades to the coming warm summer months.

The “Awaken” collection includes:

Dot: a pretty pale pink. Was initially released for fashion designer Zang Toi’s SS 2014 collection.

Brooklyn: a metallic sun kissed yellow gold. As with most metallic polishes, I found the formula to be a little streaky, so I would recommend using a ridge filler as a base coat.

Cole: a creamy peach. Was initially released during New York Fashion Week for Peter Som’s SS14 collection.

Dillon: a shimmering light sea foam minty green.

Rebel: a shimmering azure blue.

Hudson: a shimmering orchid purple.

Each coat shown here was 2 coats for full opactiy.

Each shade retails for $9

For more information on Zoya, or to purchase: http://www.zoya.com/

CND Shellac- “Open Road” Spring 2014

CND Shellac- “Open Road” Spring 2014 0

I recently got to swatch and play around with CND Shellac’s latest collection for Spring 2014 “Open Road”. CND Co- founder Jan Arnold says this “collection inspires women to let their hair loose, put the top down and drive towards the sunset… Living for the moment and wearing colors that reflect this attitude incites the need for adventure.” Amen to that. I in particular love the earthy qualities of this seasons hues.

The 6 piece collection includes:

Desert Poppy: a shimmering orange tomato.

Mint Convertible: a pale mint green apple.

Sun Bleached: a dusty rose pink.

Powder My Nose: a creamy nude.

Sage Scarf: a muted green sage with blue undertones.

Clay Canyon: a creamy buttery light yellow.

(Each swatch shown here is 2 coats, cured each in a UV light for 2 mins.)

For more information on CND, check them out here: http://www.cnd.com/

No-Blend Tips from Dashing Diva

No-Blend Tips from Dashing Diva 0

I absolutely LOVE these No-Blend Tips from the wonderful folks at Dashing Diva.  I have worked with tips from multiple different brands in the past, but these are significantly superior.  For starters, I find them incredibly easy to work with.  They are very flexible, yet incredibly strong. The shapes are absolutely perfect, very little filing is required for the perfect fit on ones clients.  I personally love to use them for extensions to add length when I am doing gel manicures.

The No-Blend Tip comes in a few different varieties including natural, french, and glitter styles.  Pictured here are: Natural, White, and Glitter (white- an iridescent glitter embedded in a white nail tip).

Also featured above are 2 different brush on glue options:

Brush-on Glue: has a thin viscosity, and is very flexible, allowing for excellent adhesion.

Tailor Bond: has a thick viscosity, and is designed to be used with full cover nails. Has very minimal bubbles upon application.

For more information on these products, or to purchase, check them out at Dashing Diva’s website here: http://dashingdivapro.com/

It’s a “Jeweled Life” with Dashing Diva

It’s a “Jeweled Life” with Dashing Diva 0

Leave it to the fabulous folks of Dashing Diva to offer these fun fabulous 3D Jewels that will add immediate pizzazz to any manicure or pedicure!

Pictured here is a sampling of the many bejeweled add on’s to the vast Dashing Diva arsenal from fun floral flowers, to loving hearts, to the rebellious rocker with skulls.

The jewels are super easy to apply, and can be secured with either acrylic or nail glue.

This is a fantastic addition to any salon service, and your client’s are going to love you for it as they gain countless complements on their new bling.

For more information on Dashing Diva, or to purchase, check the out here: http://www.dashingdivapro.com/

Gel Color by OPI- Brazil Collection Spring/Summer 2014

Gel Color by OPI- Brazil Collection Spring/Summer 2014 0

I recently had the privilege of reviewing some of the hottest gel colors from OPI’s latest collection for Spring Summer 2014- Brazil.  The color palette is highly diverse in this collection, meaning every customer will be satisfied with one of the gorgeous shades offered.

I am also very happy to state that a lot of the colors in this collection happened to be what I love to call “1 Coat Wonders”. Usually this is a term I render solely to conventional nail polish, but in this instance, many of the hues in this collection I had complete coverage and opacity with a single coat.  This cuts manicure time in half, allows you to take on more customers, and saves tons of product; its a win win situation.

The shades I reviewed include:

Don’t Boss Nova me Around: a creamy opaque nude.

OPI Scores A Goal!: a deep rich burgundy eggplant. A 1 Coat Wonder!

I Sao Paulo Over There: a warm mocha brown with purple undertones. A 1 Coat Wonder!

Red Hot Rio: a bright rich ruby red.

Next Stop… The Bikini Zone: a shimmering metallic purple silver

Kiss Me I’m Brazilian: a hot summery pink.

Taupe-less Beach: a greige (gray/beige) with lavender undertones. A 1 Coat Wonder!

AmazON…AmazOFF: a deep dark jungle green.  My personal favorite in this colleciton.  A 1 Coat Wonder!

(All shades swatched here were 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp.)

I found the formula on all of the shades to be quite excellent, with much consistency. I could not recommend this collection enough.  Many of the shades, particularly the earth neutral tones, could work well year round on majority of your clients. Each gel color retails for $14.95.

For more information on OPI or to purchase, check them out here: http://www.opi.com/

Unboxing MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer

Unboxing MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer 0

I recently had the privilege of unboxing and playing with the worlds first and only luxury nail lacquer- MINE.  I know what you might be thinking, this seems silly for nail polish, but I stand corrected, and so will you.

From conception to packaging the attention to detail is insane amazing.  Conceived by jeweler and artist, Veleta Vancza, a pioneer in the industry unto herself; each polish comes wrapped by hand in a custom black wrapped box that is sealed by hand with a wax stamp; very old school prim and proper.

Once opened, the magic continues to reveal an incredible hand cut Austrian crystal bottle epitomizing the utmost of luxury.  Even the bristles of the polish brush are completely custom and and are comprised of natural hair.  To protect the bottle, each shade comes with a black satin jewelry pouch, perfect for travel, or when you take your bottle to your manicurist.  Also included inside are two 24K Gold and 12K White Gold nail decals of the brands logo.

The polish itself is a force to be reckoned with.  This is not your ordinary high end department store brand of polish.  Hand poured, 5-free, richly and purely pigmented using only raw minerals, each shade require solely 1 coat (which is unheard of in the nail industry).  Upon reading this in the instructions I myself was highly skeptical, but was proven wrong very quickly.

Yes luxury is not without a high price.  MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer retails for $100-$500 depending on the valuable materials used, 24K Gold should be costly.  However, this is for the individual who truly wants to relish in all of the finest luxuries life has to offer.

The three sumptuous shades I reviewed include:

Fine Silver Lacquer: a pretty pale metallic silver.  Formula was non streaky, and very smooth and easy to use.  This shade is made with pure silver .999 !! Retails for $175.

Pewter Lacquer: a gorgeous green hued light gray.  This color is made with lead- free Pewter, and dries to a beautifully understated matte finish.  If you desire a glossy sheen, you can apply top coat, or take a more natural approach, and use a burnishing buffer as the company recommends, to reveal a metallic sparkle. Retails for $125.

Graphite Lacquer: a glistening dark gunmetal. The darkest of the 3 shades, I was in shock when I saw how opaque and prefect the coverage was in a single coat. Retails for $100.

(All swatches shown here were just 1 coat, as recommended).

All in all I am very impressed and am definitely a fan of MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer, and would recommend it to nail enthusiasts who appreciate luxury, or even to give it as a gift to loved ones; it’s already wrapped.  The presentation of the product is impeccable, and would proudly sit atop the most beautiful of vanities in ones home, or mansion, or apartment even.

For more information on MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer, or to purchase, check them out at: https://www.minelacquer.com/

Cuccio Colour Veneer Pastel Collection Spring 2014

Cuccio Colour Veneer Pastel Collection Spring 2014 0

I recently got my hands on the la

test collection for Spring 2014 from the folks of Cuccio and I LOVE it!! The collection is comprised of 6 highly pigmented and beautiful pastel shades that will definitely satisfy even the pickiest of salon customers.

The colors include-

Pinky Swear: a pretty pastel pink.

Quick as a Bunny: a light cement gray.

Life’s a Peach: a creamy pastel peach. Reminds me of peach flavored yogurt from when I was a kid.

In the Key of Lime: almost a pure chartreuse.  It is a perfect cross between yellow and lime green.

Mint Condition: a pastel green mint. Reminds me of the melt-away mints from my childhood.  One of my favorite shades in the collection.

Under a Blue Moon: the perfect cornflower blue.  This is my personal favorite color in the collection!  It reminds me a lot of Essie’s highly popular “Bikini so Teeny,” but this is so much better because it’s gel and will not chip.

All swatches shown here are 2 coats, each cured for 30 seconds in an LED lamp.

For more information on these or other Cuccio products, check them out at: http://cuccio.com/

CND Shellac Intimates Collection Swatches!!

CND Shellac Intimates Collection Swatches!! 0

I recently got to review one of the latest Shellac collections from the folks over at CND– the Intimates collection.  This collection is comprised of 4 shades natural pink/ blush shades that are very feminine and flattering.  These shades are perfect for conservative clients, or those who work in corporate 9-5 type jobs.

The collection includes:

Bare Chemise: A pale peach nude pink with a very subtle shimmer in it. The lightest of the 4 shades.

Nude Knickers: a light peachy pink nude shade.

Blush Teddy: a light bubble gum pink. features a very fine and subtle blue shimmer that runs through it.

Satin Pajamas: a dusty rose pink, with a bit of mauve mixed in it.

(For each swatch shown here I did 2 coats.)

For more information on CND or to find out where to purchase, please check them out at: https://www.cnd.com/

Gel II Rave Glow in the Dark Gel Polish Review!

Gel II Rave Glow in the Dark Gel Polish Review! 0

I recently played around with Gel II’s Rave, an awesome glow in the dark gel polish that is quite unique!

As with many of Gel II’s gel polishes, they are always coming up with the latest in nail technology, and this product is no different.

Rave does not require a base coat or a primer.  It can be used on its own, and goes on clear.  Or, it can be used as a top coat over any other gel polish shade you prefer and it wont alter the color.  The glow effect was quite strong and vibrant and I was highly impressed.  I can not wait to try this out on a full manicure and see all the compliments I receive.

For more information on Gel II products, check out their website at:http://www.geltwo.com/

CND Fall 2013 “Forbidden Collection” Additives Review

CND Fall 2013 “Forbidden Collection” Additives Review 0

For the Fall 2013 season, the folks at CND created an incredible new limited edition Additives nail art kit.  I personally am OBSESSED with CND’s Additives, they are so wonderful and unique, and no other nail companies on the market are making anything like it.

The kit comes with 5 limited Additive shades, 20 Silver round studs, 20 Gold round studs, and a Silver roll of decorative nail foil.  All of this comes packaged in a beautiful & highly chic metallic silver travel case; it even has compartments to store your nail art brushes!!

The limited edition Additive colors include:

Burning Ember: a metallic red- bronze pigment.

Deep Blue: a deep cobalt royal blue pigment.  My personal favorite in the collection!

Blue Heaven: an ultra fine blue/purple holiday iridescent shimmer pigment.

Plum Love: a metallic mid-tone plum purple pigment.

Steel Dreams: a metallic gunmetal pigment.

For all swatches shown here, I buffed the Additive into the tacky layer of a black Shellac gel polish.

For more information on CND Additives, or any of their other products, check them out at: http://www.cnd.com/

Gelish gel polish Swatches

Gelish gel polish Swatches 0

I recently tried some of the gre

at Gelish gel polish colors by Hand & Nail Harmony.

Carnival Hangover: a warm fuchsia.

Shake it till you Samba: a bright neon pink watermelon shade.

Gossip Girl: a dark fuchsia.

Strut your Stuff: a deep dark rich chocolate brown.

Hot Rod Red: a true pure perfect red shade.

Sweet Dream: a milky white sheer shade.  Would be great for french manicures, or for clients who want a white washed look.

Simple Sheer: an incredibly sheer, virtually clear shade.  There is a subtle light pink tinge to this essentially sheer clear shade.  Makes the nail appear a healthy and with a slight rosy pink glow.  Is ideal for clients who prefer a natural nail look.

Each swatch shown here is 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED light.

For more information on Gelish, please check them out at :http://gelish.com/

ENP Nail Design Metallic Acrylic Powder

ENP Nail Design Metallic Acrylic Powder 0

I recently tried out some shimmering metallic acrylic powders from ENP Nail Design. 

1) Metallic Pink a warm shimmer pink.

2) Metallic Bright Blue- a shimmering primary classic blue.

3) Metallic Lemon Gold– a holiday worthy gold with yellow undertones.

4) Metallic Bright Red– also a holiday worthy shade, a red with brown undertones.

5) Metallic Multi Silver– a micro multi shimmer holographic fine glitter.  This is my personal favorite in this collection! It is so shiny and beautiful!!

For more information on ENP Nail Design Acrylic powders or other products, check them out at: http://www.eznails.net/acrylic.htm

ENP Nail Design Colored Acrylic Powder

ENP Nail Design Colored Acrylic Powder 0

I recently tried out some highly pigmented colored acrylic powders from ENP Nail Design. 

1) Vivid Violet a light lavender.

2) Cherry Tomato- a timeless classic red.

3) Romantic Rose– a pale pink carnation.

4) Deep Blue Sea– a royal blue.

For more information on ENP Nail Design Acrylic powders or other products, check them out at: http://www.eznails.net/acrylic.htm