Get Pantone’s color of the year with CND Vinylux

Get Pantone’s color of the year with CND Vinylux 0

I am so excited Pantone announced the color of the year for 2015- Marsala 18-1438.  To make things even better, for those of you who are like me and don't enjoy waiting, CND is showcasing some already existing colors in their Vinylux line that are tres Marsala.

Pantone calls Marsala "a naturally robust and earthy wine red, [it] enriches our minds, bodies, and souls. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing a captivating pop of color for nails.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors"

 According to CND,  "What better way to experiment with such a rich and full-bodied color than on your nails? CND’s VINYLUX® Weekly Polish collection includes a variety of Marsala-esque shades that are perfect for incorporating 2015’s Color of the Year into your daily look!"

And well all know how much I absolutely Love CND's Vinylux. ("a two-part system consisting of a Color Coat that adheres directly to the nail, eliminating the need for a base coat, and Top Coat with ProLight Technology, that increases in durability with exposure to natural light. The system dries in 8 ½ minutes for a full week of chip-free wear!")

 Some of the Marsala inspired shades include:

Crimson Sash: a deep shimmering cranberry red.  Reminds me of the limited edition CHANEL shade Malice #637.

Bloodline: a dark red creme with blue undertones.  A great everyday sophisticated shade.

Decadence: a true  red creme, with blue undertones.  It is much lighter than "Bloodline" mentioned prior.

Scarlet Letter: a classic bright red creme.  This was the lightest of all the shades mentioned.  This is an everyday year round red as well.  You can't go wrong with. 

Masquerade: a deep shimmering berry.

(all swatches shown here are two coats).

I personally really like Marsala.  I think it is a pleasant neutral shade that suits both men and women well.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the spring and summer months.  Perhaps with a glitter sheen, or a matte finish, playing around with the texture and appearance of the color might breathe new light into it as the weather warms up.

Nonetheless, with the five shades discussed above you have an excellent start to being right on trend.  They all painted on incredibly smoothly, and had excellent coverage in two coats.  My personal favorites include: Crimson Sash, Bloodline, and Decadence.

For professionals wishing to recreate the Marsala inspired nail art shown, click here for step-by-step instructions. 

For more information on CND and their Vinylux line, check out their website:

For more information on Pantone, you can also check them out online here:


Introducing Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics!

Introducing Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics! 0

Introducing for the first time ever in the US, Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics, 5 free tongue and cheek lacquer line hailing from Canada.

According to Cheeky Monkey, "We believe all women should feel free to express their personal edginess... Engage the cheeky side of things – you get the joke... Cheeky Monkey cosmetics are environmentally safe and 5 Free healthy. They are edgy and fun, but above all, high quality. Just like the women who wear them." All that goodness aside, the names of the colors are Insanely great, with even base coats and cuticle oil having clever double entendres like "Make me Moist" & "Wet Dream". As if the formulations and fun names weren't enough, each color has a detailed story describing its origins, along with a cocktail pairing!! 

I met the owner of Cheeky Monkey Andrea Pahn, recently at the Pasadena Nails Only Show, and she is comparably as fun as her product line. 

Some of the colors I reviewed include:

Camel Toe: a rich caramel coffee beige brown.  

Raunchy Bitch: a deep metallic blue purple. 

Cheap Whore: a sheer jelly red.  Requires 3 coats to be more opaque.

Blue Room Ball Buster: a dark metallic navy blue.

(each of the swatches shown here was 2 coats for full opacity, with a top coat). 

For more information on Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics, or to purchase, check them out here:

CND Additives Summer 2014 “Paradise” Collection

CND Additives Summer 2014 “Paradise” Collection 0

As you all my now know I am a huge fan of CND’s Additives, and for summer 2014 they have introduced 5 brand spanking new limited edition shades that definitely set the summer sun ablaze. I personally love how creative one can truly be with the Additives, the possibilities are endless.

The “Paradise” collection of Additives includes not only the 5 new shades, but 2 awesome art implements- a Spatula for mixing (I personally love mine to custom mix glitters for gel manicures) and an Amazing Thumb Palette (which I Love and use all the time, and previously wrote a blog post on:

The 5 limited edition pigment shades in the Paradise collection are:

Tropic Sunrise: a sultry hot neon yellow.

Island Heat: a shimmering gold kissed hot orange.

Pink Lotus: a bright neon hot pink.

Midnight Tide: a metallic shimmering deep ocean blue.  My personal favorite in this collection!

Sizzling Sand: an iridescent sparkling white.

As per usual, this CND Additives kit is limited edition, so pick up yours fast before they’re all gone!

For more information on CND, check them out:

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:

INM Says “Cheese” @ NailPro Pasadena 2014 !!

INM Says “Cheese” @ NailPro Pasadena 2014 !! 0

I would have to say the biggest draw and commotion at this years NailPro “nails only” show in Pasadena was not the presence of multi talented singer/actress Anna Kendrick, but INM’s introduction of their Photobooth! Everyone from show regulars, top personalities- Katie Cazorla (the Painted Nail), to top competitors- Lorena Marquez & Chris Mans, to brand reps- Mami Griffin (Sha-Nail) & Morgan Haile (Morgan Taylor Lacquer) all stopped by INM‘s newest addition to their booth to flash their pearly whites along with some fun goofy props.

Not only was INM’s photobooth a huge draw, but so were the amazing nail demos they performed by top industry leader Lorena Marquez, and new competing protegee Chris Mans.

Also at NailPro Pasadena, was a challenge for the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest pink & white nails ever in history, to perform a full set in under 10 minutes- a truly remarkable feat!

In case you missed out on all the great deals on INM’s wonderful products, you can still check them out on their website:

AnGel Artist Gel Pots- Series 2

AnGel Artist Gel Pots- Series 2 0

I recently had the privilege of playing with the Series 2 of Artist Gel Pots from AnGel by Ikonna. .

Series 2 comes in a convenient case, perfect for traveling, and features 12 awesome new shades. Say goodbye to using traditional acrylic paint when doing nail art! These potted gels do not set or dry out, like acrylic paint, until you cure them in the light. The gels have an amazing viscosity, which makes them ideal and perfect to work with, allowing ease of control. The kit retail for $119, and will last many a manicure. I can not recommend it enough! Every manicurist that performs any type of Nail Art NEEDS this kit in there arsenal!!

The colors included in Series 2 are:

Lemonade Parade: a bright creamy yellow

Blank Pages: a pure bright white

She’s Got Envy: a great and creamy grass green

Pinch Me Pink: a flamingo pink

Frostbite: a cement gray

Fresh Face: a peach apricot

In the Buff: a caramel camel

Ice Cold Stares: robin’s egg blue

Lavishly Lavender: a deep grape purple

Peri”wink”le: a cornflower blurple (blue/purple hybrid)

Sparkle My Interest: a glistening dark gunmetal metallic

Silver Stars Shine: a metallic silver

For more information, or to purchase AnGel products, check them out here:

Merricures interviews MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer

Merricures interviews MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer 0

I recently had the honor of having brunch with MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer’s awesome Creative Director Veleta Vancza on her recent trip to Los Angeles. We had an amazing time together.  Such a beautiful and creative spirit. Check out our interview below.

1) What are some of your key responsibilities as creative director of MINE Lacquer?

I wear many hats, I do product development, in every way from formulation to packaging and design; the overall vision of the company.  Everything about the company is in my head, and so it’s my job to get it out into the world in the way I want other people to see it.

2) What initially inspired you to create the product?

The idea that there could be a gold nail polish, and how do I make it happen.  it was really a research quarry for me than a vision I would have a brand.  Once I was able to make gold nail polish, I thought, “Okay, I can really make this into something truly amazing.” So, the brand came after.  It’s all inspired by the idea of gold nail polish.

3) What inspires you most now?

People’s reactions.  I like making things people interact with , and I’ve been making art that hangs on walls for so long that it’s nice to make something people actually wear.  I’ve been out of jewelry for a while so it’s refreshing to make a new kind of jewelry.  I am inspired by design & symmetry.  Basic design principles are exciting to me, and working them into the world in new ways. 

4) Has your experience in the jewelry world aided your transition into cosmetics?

Yes, because I think about adornment all the time.  There’s this catch phrase in the art/jewelry world – “wearability is determined by the wearer.”  I might think a pair of 6” stilettos are totally ridiculous and I can’t wear them, but there’s a lot of people that choose to wear them because they love them and they want to wear them, so in art/jewelry we have the same idea.  What’s great about nail polish is anybody can wear it – Anybody, and that makes me happy, that I have created something anyone can wear on their nails.

5) How has your knowledge and appreciation for jewelry affected your product?

MINE is inspired by jewelry and precious materials, and an appreciation for purity and the intrinsic value and beauty that are inherent qualities in precious materials.

6) What does luxury mean to you?

Quality, perfection, and desire.

7) Which of your lacquers do you wear most often?

The Gold + Graphite combination is my favorite.  Mostly because I wear black every day.  I love that it’s this olive-y green color, and it changes in the light, so it can come off as either punk or elegant.  But truthfully I wear them all, I love them all, and I made them all because I really liked them.

8) What are your thoughts on men wearing nail lacquer? Are you seeing it more often, or do you believe it’s just a trend?

I do not think it’s a trend, I think it is becoming more trendy,  and I think it is here to stay.  Every day I see more and more men wearing nail polish and it makes me incredibly happy.  I find that MINE is actually an easy sell to get men to wear polish because of the material.  Often I will say to a guy “can I paint your nails?” He will respond “I don’t know,” to which I reply “Well, it’s 24KT gold.” He will say “Huh!  Maybe just one nail.” After I paint the one nail he’ll say, “Wow, that’s beautiful, you can paint them all.” They never say “get it off of me!” Even people who don’t wear nail polish or who have never considered wearing nail polish I feel MINE is the perfect transitional product to get men to wear nail polish all the time.  I personally love doing men’s nails, and I like watching them enjoy it.  There is no reason nail polish should be gender specific.  Beauty is beauty, and its fun, and there’s no reason both men and women can’t enjoy it.

9) Do men tend to have a favorite color?

Men who paint their nails often tend to gravitate towards the Graphite.  However, it varies all over the place;  I feel it depends on their mood. The fact that there’s precious material in the polish helps persuade their decision making.  I see men say “Should I do Graphite because it’s so cool, or should I just do Gold because it’s Gold?” 

10) What are you most excited about next for MINE? Will there be more colors, perhaps a rose gold, diamond, or ruby infused lacquer in the future?

I personally love product development, there are infinite colors I can make. Right now is a really exciting time because I am finally seeing [the product] in the world.  I have been working on MINE for 7 years, and I love seeing people wearing it that I don’t know.  I get really excited to see it on a blog post or mentioned somewhere.  Some of the [colors/gemstones] mentioned will be available very soon (wink wink).

 For more information on MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer, or to purchase, check it out here:

Formula X- Swatches!

Formula X- Swatches! 0

I recently got to play around with the newly launched Formula X line sold exclusively at Sephora.  I really liked how highly pigmented and smooth the colors all were, and very easy to work with.  Not that I typically mention this in a product review, but the glass the bottles are housed in are virtually indestructible; I mistakenly dropped the bottles multiple times from high up on accident onto my hard wood floors, and not even as much as a scratch appeared on the bottles.  I’m not saying one should try doing this at home, but it is nice to know how durable the packaging is.

Fluorescent: a sparkling and shimmering lime green. Took 3 coats to become fully opaque.  Part of the Liquid Crystals collection.

Wavelength: a shimmering 90’s bright pink.  Also took 3 coats to become fully opaque, and is part of the Liquid Crystals collection.

Cloud 9: a semi sheer porcelain white. Part of the Translucents collection.

Chaotic: is a black and white opaque glitter splatter top coat.  This can be used on its own, or over another base color. Part of the Xplosives Top Coat collection.  

Flashy: a slightly sheer jelly bright ruby red. Part of the New Classics collection.

Ignite: a deep dark rich blood red. Also part of the New Classics collection.

Unless stated otherwise, all swatches shown here are 2 coats for full coverage.

To find out more about Formula X, or to purchase, check it out at:

CND Additives Review

CND Additives Review 0

I recently tried 2 of the Additives from CND‘s staple collection.  I could not be more pleased with these pigments.  I find Additives to be the easiest & most fun way to create an amazing gel ombre effect that will please All of your clients.

The creative possibilities with Additives is truly endless, & CND offers many suggestions on their website:

I’ve said it before, and I will re-state it again, I personally am OBSESSED with CND’s Additives!! They are so unique, and no other nail companies on the market are making anything similar.  And I receive countless compliments and positive feedback from others whenever I use them in my manicures.

The 2 Additive colors I tried are:

Spectrum Shimmer: a chunky glittery pink/purple iridescent pigment.

Haute Pink: a deep rich hot magenta pink pigment.

For both 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 online at:

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:

More Swatches of ENP Nail Design Gella Gel Polishes !!

More Swatches of ENP Nail Design Gella Gel Polishes !! 0

I recently got to try out more Awesome gel polishes from ENP Gella.  I particularly love this line because they feature a shorter nail brush, which allows for a smoother and more controlled application. In addition to the shorter brush, these gels are the fastest curing on the market! Each coat cures in a REMARKABLE lightning fast 10 seconds!!

Macie #85565: a fine sparkling salmon pink glitter.

Lola #85547: an opaque mint green. I personally LOVE this shade.  Also, not too many companies offer a similar shade on the marketplace.

Christine #85505: a light blue with gray undertones.

Grace #85533: a cute cornflower blue.

Ruby #85545: a multi- faceted shimmer gray.

Elissa #85569: egg yolk yellow.

Poppy #85571: a crisp Dutch orange.

Natalie #85528: a peacock teal.

Jade #85542: a grassy green.

Claire ## 85530: a royal blue with a subtle reflective purple sheen.

All swatches shown here are 2 coats, and were cured for an amazing 10 seconds each in an LED lamp.

For more information on ENP Nail Design, check out:

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:

Some Awesome Nail Art

Some Awesome Nail Art 0