gel nails

Introducing 3-D Gel by N.O.Q

Introducing 3-D Gel by N.O.Q 0

If you guys think the only way of achieving 3 dimensional designs is to use acrylic think again! Thanks to the folks at N.O.Q they offer two different types of 3-D gels that are very fun and relatively easy to work with.

N.O.Q Tube 3-D Gel

"THE 3D TUBE GEL PROVIDES DIFFERENT LEVEL OF NAIL ART WITH 3D EMBOSSING PATTERNS. COMES WITH VARIETY OF COLOR CONSTITUTIONS STARTING FROM ORIGINAL STYLE, PASTEL STYLE AND PEARL STYLE COLORS. UNLIKE VOLUME GEL, THIS PRODUCT IS FOR ORDINARY CUSTOMERS WHO HAS NO CRAFTY TECHNIQUES. EASY TO USE WITHOUT ANY TRAINING OR COMPLICATED NAIL ART TECHNIQUES. " according to their website.

The Tube 3-D Gel comes in 20 different shades, 3 of which are featured here.  

1: a creamy white

11: a robin's egg baby blue.

15: a light gray.

The Tube 3-D Gels are very easy to work with.  Literally all you have to do is squeeze and the rest of the design/pattern is up to you and your creativity. 

The only difficulty I experienced with these was taking them out of the package and screwing on the nozzle correctly.  I didn't find any instructions in English on the packaging, so it took me a few minutes to figure out how to assemble the nozzle and cap properly. A client of mine coincidentally came over and showed me how to unscrew the cap with ease; silly me, she figured it out in literally 2 seconds.  Once I got over that baby hurdle, they were very fun and easy to work with.  As with anything, it might take a couple of trys to get used to them and get the swing of things, but as the saying goes "practice makes perfect." 

The Tube 3-D Gels are 7 grams and retail for $14.90.

N.O.Q Volume 3-D Gel

"THIS IS THE 3D VOLUME GEL FOR CREATING 3D NAIL ARTS FOR NAIL PROFESSIONALS AND TECHNICIANS. WITH THE TOUCH OF THE PROFESSIONAL, THE VOLUME 3D GEL CAN PROVIDE A WHOLE DIFFERENT SPECTRUM OF NAIL ART. THE VOLUME GEL DRYS VERY SLOWLY BEFORE CURING, WHICH GIVES AMPLE TIME FOR CUSTOMERS TO DESIGN.  COMES WITH 10 DIFFERENT COLORS FOR DESIGN VARIATIONS. THE SIMPLIFIED VERSION OF VOLUME 3D GEL, 3D TUBE GEL IS AVAILABLE FOR GENERAL CUSTOMERS."

The Volume 3-D Gel is available in 10 shades, and comes in 4g pots. They retail for $14.90 each.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the Volume Gels were difficult to work with, but they do however  require some practice, skill, and patience.  The product is very thick and sort of stays where you put it, which is great and makes shaping it into designs and patterns way easier. When I made the flower petals I flash cured in an LED lamp for a few seconds after shaping each petal. 

A little goes a long way, so although the pots look and seem like they are small, you only use a very little amount of product. 

Shown in this post are colors-

No.1: a creamy white

No.7: a purple grape.

If you are relatively new to nails and nail art in general I highly recommend the Tube Gels.  If you are a seasoned pro nail artist, then I would recommend in addition to the Tube Gels trying the Volume Gels

For more information on N.O.Q or to purchase online, check them out here: http://noqusa.com/

 

Introducing N.O.Q Trick Gel 0

I am so beyond excited to introduce you all to an amazing and highly revolutionary product, Trick Gel, from famed Korean based gel nail company N.O.Q. This stuff is legit magical! When used on its own without the Clear Trick Gel, you achieve a solid regular gel color. When used in conjunction with the clear trick gel, however, you achieve an awesome magical artistic design pattern that is entirely unique and supremely cool.

"WITH TRICK SOAK OFF GEL, TRENDY AND STYLISH NAIL ART CAN BE DONE WITH SIMPLE AND EASY STEPS THAT ANYONE CAN FOLLOW. CUSTOMERS WITH NO GOOD HAND SKILLS CAN EASILY ACHIEVE VARIETY OF COMPLICATED NAIL PATTERNS WITH JUST  ONE TRICK GEL," according to their site.

The N.O.Q Trick Gels come in over 50 shades, and here I have three of them to share with you all-

No. 2: a jet black creme.

No. 46: a glistening purpley-silver. 

NO. 49: a glistening gunmetal grey with multi colored shimmering specks in it.

(all swatches shown here are one coat of trick color gel applied over one coat of clear trick gel, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp).

This was my first attempt at playing around with gel products from the N.O.Q brand, and I am so impressed with the results.  I wasn't sure how strong of an effect I was going to achieve with the Trick Gel, but I was highly surprised and pleased with how truly effortless it was to work with.  The product literally does all the magic/work for you; it's really that easy.  I didn't experience any issues whatsoever; the product painted on smoothly and easily.  

The creative possibilities of what you can achieve with Trick Gel are limitless! 

I had some colorful nail wraps on my nails I wanted to jazz up, and with a quick layer of the Trick Gel, my nails are so much more fun now and I'm already receiving countless complements!

You have to give Trick Gel a try for yourself! It's an absolute must.

The N.O.Q Trick Gels retail for $12.90 per 0.27 oz bottle.

For more information on N.O.Q or to purchase, check them out online here: http://noqusa.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/

 

The latest from ENP

The latest from ENP 0

Hey guys!

I've got some new exciting products and major changes from the folks over at ENP Nail Design.

They recently underwent a major repackaging of their products, and I am really pleased with the outcome.  

New Labels: the packaging has undergone a major transformation.  The bottles used to be black..  Now they are white, and feature a colored handle, so you can better see the color that is in the bottle.  Both myself and my customers prefer this new packaging.  

New Matchables: the Matchables include both a gel polish and a coordinating 5-chemical free nail lacquer, so for any clients who prefer to have matching hands and feet, now you can do so with great ease.  Featured in this post are Matchables in Red Carpet (glittering ruby red) and Ice Princess (a light lavender cream).  

New No Wipe Top Coat: the new no wipe soak -off gel top coat is a dream come true in my opinion.  It cures for 30-60 seconds in LED, or 2-3 mins in UV.  First of all, it is super shiny, like a sparkling diamond.  Secondly, the fact that you don't have to wipe the dispersion layer when finished is a major time savor, especially when you are booked with clients back to back.  I am obsessed with this product, and highly recommend you all pick up a bottle for yourselves.

For more information on ENP, check them out online here: http://www.eznails.net/

 

Cuccio Pro Max Pro 5 Mini Curing Lamp Review

Cuccio Pro Max Pro 5 Mini Curing Lamp Review 0

Hey everyone! Hope you guys didn't miss me too much while I was gone in Mexico! Fortunately I discovered some nail magic while there, and will be posting about it soon, so stay tuned... 

In the meantime, I've got an awesome new state-of-the art mini LED gel curing lamp from the folks at Cuccio- introducing the MaxPro5, a professional LED mini curing lamp that cure all 5 fingers efficiently and evenly.  

Do not let the space saving compact design fool you, this little bad boy packs a mighty curing punch!

 The unit features strategically placed LED lights at an angle to ensure even curing, including on thumbs.  It is very light weight and portable, making it ideal for mobile techs on the go, or even to share among technicians in a salon.

The MaxPro5 features a removable dual- sided bottom, one side for hands, the other side, which is slightly elevated, is for gel pedicures.

There is a timer with three different preset times: 60, 30, and 10 seconds.  

The unit is super easy to use, highly intuitive, and requires no formal instructions.  Simply plug it, and push the timer for desired curing time- voila.  

And unlike traditional UV lamps that require light bulbs be changed every few months, the LED bulbs featured in this unit never require replacement; just be sure to keep the bulbs free and clear of dust, to ensure proper curing.   

Also worth mentioning- how quiet the machine is.  I have worked with some LED machines in the past that made tons of unnecessary noise, this doesn't at all.  

 I am personally taking this bad boy with me to all of my clients, and highly recommend you pick one up for yourself as well.

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

Cuccio Sweet as Sugar Summer 2015 Collection Review

Cuccio Sweet as Sugar Summer 2015 Collection Review 0

"Cuccio Sweet as Sugar the Candy Colour Collection: A hyperactive colour collection of charismatic confectionary classics that candy coat you nails for the ultimate taste of the sweet life," according to Cuccio

I'm excited to introduce the latest Summer 2015 collection from Cuccio.  The shades are bold, beautiful, and bright, and will look fantastic on either fingers or toes!  The Sweet As Sugar! Candy Colour Collection includes:

Goody, Goody Gumdrops!: a coral shimmer with slight orange undertones.

Sweet Treat: a bold bubblegum pink creme.

Sugar Daddy: an aqua blue shimmer.

Grape to See you: an electrifying grape purple with slight shimmer. 

Double Bubble Trouble: a deep magenta creme.

Lemon Drop me a Lime: a bright neon yellow creme.

Tutti Frutti: an orange creme.  Looks somewhat like a jelly formula when used on its own, but when used with white as a base color, could really Pop! 

Very Sherbert: a creamy apricot orange. 

(all swatches shown here are 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED light. And images are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

I think overall this is a very fun collection.  I tend to be a fan in general of bright colors, they go perfectly with the warm summer weather.  Needless to say, this color palette definitely does remind me of candy :).  

The formulas were all great, I didn't experience any issues with any of the shades.  They all painted on smoothly and evenly in two even coats.

My personal favorites include: Grape to See You, Very Sherbert, and Double Bubble Trouble.

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

 

Cuccio Finger Mates Soak Off Gel Removal System Review

Cuccio Finger Mates Soak Off Gel Removal System Review 0

Hey guys.

I'm very excited to introduce you all to this revolutionary new product from Cuccio, that will forever change the way you remove gels- Cuccio Finger Mates Soak Off Removal Gel System Caps & Foams

They are super easy to use, and most importantly no more needing to cut individual pieces of tin foil to wrap your clients nails.  

Here are some important facts/details on the system:

-Can be used with any soak off gel system.  Also acrylics. I used these the other day to remove a clients set, and they worked beautifully!

-Designed to use body heat to speed up the color gel removal process.

-Less exposure to acetone due to precision delivery system.

-Quick and easy to apply on a customer or yourself, and I can definitely vouch for that! Easy as pie. 

- the Caps are re-usable, non-latex and are designed to fit all finger sizes.  

-User can freely move hands while soaking.  

- The foam pads are designed with a proprietary hydrophilic material, the foam pads are extremely absorbent which controls dripping and requires up to 50% less acetone.  

 I honestly can't say enough great things about this product.  I am so in love with it, I have already moved onto the larger refill bag size.  Never again will I find myself slaving away cutting square pieces of aluminum foil.  Good riddance!  I highly recommend you pick these up, you will not regret it.

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

 

 

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/

Artistic Nail Design’s 2015 Spring Collection Femme Florale Review

Artistic Nail Design’s 2015 Spring Collection Femme Florale Review 0

"This season, make an electrifying and vibrant statement with Artistic Nail Design's 2015 Spring Collection Femme Florale.  Inspired by an overload of fierce floral prints and exaggerated, oversized silhouettes storming the runway by high-fashion designers, the 4 brand new shades in the collection exude the essence of femininity and power."

"For this collection, I wanted to build a color palette that was stunning, bright and playful," says Artistic Nail Design VP & Creative Director, Alisha Botero.  "Each new shade is fresh and bursting with personality to complement any spring style," according to the press release.

 The four colors that comprise the Femme Florale Collection include:

Budding Fixation: a bold medium blue creme.  The press release calls it a rich cornflower blue, but in my opinion its not nearly dusty enough to consider it cornflower.

Killer Stems: a bright grassy green creme.  Reminds me of a color I'd see in a video game from my youth, think Super Mario Bros.  

Takes Tulips to Tango: a bright fiery coral creme.

Petal to the Metal: a vivid magenta creme.  The press release calls it lavender- pink orchid.

(each swatch shown here is two coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED.  All swatch pics are taken outside to depict accurate color.)

Overall I think this is a great collection.  I like that it's a small, only four colors, as opposed to other brands who make an unnecessary 12 colors per season; it gets way too redundant.  

I find all of the colors to be very pretty, and highly pigmented.  I thought for sure I was going to have to use a white base in order to make Killer Stems pop, but it wasn't necessary in the slightest.  

As far as the formula is concerned, I had zero issues: no brush strokes, pooling, or bleeding.  I personally Love the shades Takes Tulips to Tango & Killer Stems- I find them both beautiful and unique in the gel polish world.    

The Femme Florale Collection is out and available now.  I highly recommend you go out and pick it up for yourselves.

For more information on Artistic Nail Design, check out their website: http://www.artisticnaildesign.com/

Introducing Bio Seaweed Gel

Introducing Bio Seaweed Gel 0

Hey guys! I hope you've all had an awesome week and are excited the weekend is here.

I've got some new gel polishes to share with you all from Canadian based brand- Bio Seaweed Gel.  What makes Bio Seaweed Gel different from other gel polish brands on the market is their claim: "Zero dehydration, staining or weakening: the healthier gel polish."

But how and why is Bio Seaweed Gel different?  According to them, they are 5 free, so no formaldehyde, toulene, DBP, BHA, or solvents.  They are specifically designed to promote natural nail growth and shine.  All products are said to be self-leveling with zero shrinkage.  They also have a record in the industry for fastest removal- in under 5 minutes.  

Their gel polishes also come in two different lines, a "3 Step Colour" line, with over 76 colors, which requires a top and base coat, and a revolutionary "UNITY All-In-One" line, available in over 114 colors, which has all three steps in one single bottle.  I have one shade from each line to share with you all.

The 3 Step Colour gel I tried was Whimsical #52.  It is a fine holographic silver glitter.  I personally am OBSESSED with this shade.  This is an incredibly difficult and rare color to come across in the gel polish world and I highly recommend you all pick it up.  Its precise beauty is rather difficult to capture in photographs; although I have tried my hardest to accurately show it.  I used three coats in the photos for complete coverage, but honestly you can get excellent coverage with two coats.  

Because this color is part of the 3 step system, I used it with the "No- Sanding Base" and "No-Wipe Top."  The No-Sanding Base Gel, as the name implies requires no sanding or drilling of the natural nails prior to application.  It also doesn't require the use of any primers or bonders.

The No-Wipe Top coat is excellent too for a couple of reasons.  First off it is scratch resistant, secondly it has an immense shine to it, and thirdly it cures completely to the touch with no sticky residue/inhibition layer; saving you both time and product from not having to wipe it clean.

The UNITY All-In-One Colour I tried was Starry Nights #152. It is a deep midnight blue with fine silver glitter in it.  Two coats of this are you are completely done.  My mind is still blown.  I am so used to applying base and top coats, I barely knew what to do with my new found extra free time ;).  Also, once cured it is completely dry to the touch without a sticky residue to be wiped away.  This product not only saves you tons of time, but it also saves you lots of money.

A good friend of mine, who is a big name sake in the nail industry, taught me the chemical smell test once.  Whenever you get a new nail product, open it up and smell it- if it smells like crazy gnarly chemicals, then you know there's crazy gnarly chemicals in it.  When I opened up the bottles of Bio Seaweed Gel, I must say I was heavily impressed- very low odor.  Less odor means less chemicals, which means it is technically better for you.

I loved the Bio Seaweed Gels that I tried and look forward to hopefully testing out more in the near future.  In the meantime, I suggest you check out their site for more information and pick up some bottles for yourself to try.

For more info on Bio Seaweed Gel, check them out online here: http://bioseaweedgel.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gelish Mini- Cinderella Spring 2015 Collection Review

Gelish Mini- Cinderella Spring 2015 Collection Review 0

"This spring will be filled with magic and fantastical colors as Gelish MINI introduces the Cinderella 2015 collection.  Celebrating Walt Disney Pictures' release of the new live-action Cinderella, the collection showcases a unique palette inspired by the movie to spark anyone's fancy.  With six whimsical creme to sparkly shades and a trio of glitters from the TRENDS line, any pick is perfect to accent this season with charm and grace"  according to the press release.  

CEO and Creator of Gelish, Danny Haile says, "For this classic story, we really wanted to create an iconic selection.  Drawing inspiration from the movie, we were inspired to develop colors and statement glitters in soft, playful shades for the collection."

The 6 main colors from the Cinderella Collection include:

Watch Your Step, Sister!: a vibrant magenta pink creme.

My Carriage Awaits: a peachy coral with subtle fine pink shimmer up close.

Party at the Palace: a Tiffany aqua blue with shimmer.

If the Slipper Fits: an icy blue with iridescent and holo glitters.  A very unique shade.  This reminds me most of Cinderella in the collection, and happens to be my favorite shade.  Required three coats to make it opaque.

Ella of a Girl: a strawberry pink milkshake creme.

Live Like There's No Midnight: a deep blue with fine micro purple shimmer.

 (all swatches shown here are 2 coats, unless stated otherwise).

And the three new TRENDS shades include:

Make it Fit: multi colored glitter in a clear base.

A Moment of Magic: mostly yellow gold glitter, with some white and pink glitter bits mixed in, all in a clear base.

Stepsisters Rule!: mostly red glitter, with some magenta and holo glitters mixed in, all in a clear base.  This shade is Perfect for Valentine's Day.

(all TRENDS swatches are three coats to show color accurately).

 Overall I think Gelish did an excellent job of curating a collection that embodies the classic fairy tale.  There is honestly something in this collection for everyone.  Some of the colors are highly unique, like If the Slipper Fits, but some are also just okay, like Ella of a Girl; I must have reviewed at least 6 other gel polishes that look like this.  Nonetheless, I am a huge fan of the shimmer in a lot of the colors, like Party at the Palace, and Live Like There's No Midnight; it provides depth and dimension to the colors.  

As far as the TRENDS are concerned, I think they're great.  Layered they can be amazing on their own, or used as a top coat over another color, for some extra added oomph and pizzazz.  

My personal favorites include: If the Slipper Fits, Stepsisters Rule!, I'll Make it Fit, and Party at the Palace.

Now that I have played around with this collection, I can't wait to see the film when it comes out March 13th.  

In the meantime, this Cinderella collection of Gelish MINI's will be available for a limited time starting in February, and will be available at Sally Beauty Stores.  They retail for $11.95 per .3 fl oz (9mL) bottle. 

For more information on Gelish, check them out online: http://gelishmini.com/

And until the film comes out, enjoy the trailer: 

 

 

 

 

 

cnd- flora & fauna collection spring 2015 swatches + review

cnd- flora & fauna collection spring 2015 swatches + review 0

"Retreat to the peaceful harmony of nature with the new Spring 2015 Flora & Fauna collection from CND. Colors and styles are inspired by watercolor impressions of luminous landscapes.

“This season’s trends are all about unplugging from today’s digital world and embracing the simpler things. Sun-bleached tones and dreamy watercolor paintings emerge from the perfection of nature,” says CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold. “Nails are easy and softly squared – as wearable and simple as a barefoot stroll through the grass while finishes play with matte and shiny effects” according to the press release.

There are 8 new shades in Vinylux, six of which are part of the new Flora & Fauna Collection, and two are being released, Thistle Thicket and Blush Teddy, which were both previously released in the Shellac line.  

The Vinylux Flora & Fauna Collection includes:

Dandelion: a pearlized peach/pink shimmer.  Has a pearlized golden sheen running through it.  Slightly on the sheer- streaky side.  Required three coats to even out the brushstrokes.  I wish the formula was a little better because I really love this color.

Salmon Run: a salmon pink creme with peach undertones.  Also on the streaky/patchy side.  Required three coats.

Creekside: a powdery pastel baby blue creme.  I Love this shade.

Field Fox: a neutral creme taupe with mauve undertones.  A gorgeous year round color in my opinion!

 Wild Moss: a medium mossy green with micro silver shimmer specks. The silver specks give this shade an almost texturized look, although it's not a texture polish.

Fragrant Freesia: a pale peony pink with iridescent pink/purple shimmer running through it.

Now the two shades being introduced to the Vinylux line, but not necessarily part of the Flora & Fauna Collection.

Thistle Thicket: a very pale lavender gray.

Blush Teddy: a creamy light pink rose with a slight shimmer.  Reminds me of a strawberry milkshake.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, unless stated otherwise)

 

 

 

The Flora & Fauna Shellac collection includes the same six new shades as mentioned and shown above, with the exception of Thistle Thicket & Blush Teddy, both of which are already available in Shellac.

 

 

I really enjoyed this collection as a whole.  I find the colors to be very refreshing and going back to a place of Earthy nature.  I was a little disappointed in the formula on a couple of the Vinylux shades.  I have never had issues in the past with any Vinylux, so I am not sure if it's these particular colors, or if I happened to receive a  poorly mixed batch.   On the other hand, I had zero issues with the Shellac shades, so if you are still interested in those particular shades I had difficulty with in Vinlyux, I would recommend you skip those and get the Shellac version of the color instead.  My personal favorites include: Creekside, Field Fox, and Dandelion.

The CND Flora & Fauna Collection for Spring 2015 is available now for a limited time.

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

Announcing CND Spring 2015- Flora & Fauna collection

Announcing CND Spring 2015- Flora & Fauna collection 0

"Retreat to the peaceful harmony of nature with the new Spring 2015 Flora & Fauna collection from CND. Colors and styles are inspired by watercolor impressions of luminous landscapes.

“This season’s trends are all about unplugging from today’s digital world and embracing the simpler things. Sun-bleached tones and dreamy watercolor paintings emerge from the perfection of nature,” says CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold. “Nails are easy and softly squared – as wearable and simple as a barefoot stroll through the grass while finishes play with matte and shiny effects.” via the press release. 

More information along with full swatches and review coming soon...

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.

Glitters:

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.

Paints:

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/