japan

New from Kokoist 2017!

New from Kokoist 2017! 0

Hi All.

I had a chance to meet with Kokoist (one of the top gel brands from Japan) at this years ISSE Trade Show in Long Beach, California, and they filled me in on some of their latest products, of which I am going to share with you all here.

The 3 latest products from Kokoist include:

E-148 Blackest Black: this is a potted gel, of jet black.  If you are looking for one coat coverage look no further, you have found the Holy Grail! I however absolutely Love this product for nail art.  It doesn't smear, smudge, or bleed.  It is incredibly well pigmented, and I don't even have to stir it prior to using it.  There is no need to go over anything you've painted.  Also worth mentioning this product is great to use with transfer foil on the cured tacky layer. It retails for $16.80. 

Thin Liner Brush: a super fine brush for doing highly detailed and intricate nail art.  The brush is very light weight and feels great in my hand.  There is a nice finish to the brush, which provides for a great grip.  I also Love and appreciate that the brush comes with a cap.  I hate brushes that don't come with caps. It retails for $17.80.    

MD-P Mermaid Dust: a sparkly iridescent fine glitter that has a beautiful magical effect.  Depending on the base color you apply this glitter to, the outcome will be totally different.  Here I show you the Mermaid Dust over both a black base, which creates a gorgeous color shifting effect of red/copped/green/gold that alters with the light's reflection, or for a more subtle shimmery effect, you can see the Mermaid Dust used over a light blue base.  Either way the pot is very generous and only a tiny amount of glitter is required, so this jar will last a long time.  All I did was brushed a small amount of it onto the cured base color, and did two coats of top coat to seal it in.  It retails for $12  

I highly recommend you give these and other products from Kokoist a try.  The quality is truly exceptional.  There is a reason why this is hailed as one of the best brands from Japan.

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

Essie Fall 2016 Collection Review

Essie Fall 2016 Collection Review 0

"There is a reason why the fashion-savvy flock to the number one street style destination in the world: Tokyo. Japan's electric capital boasts taste, flair and an uncanny aptitude for mixing fashion metaphors. If you're lucky enough to be there in the fall, you get the added picturesque pleasure of watching the autumn leaves change color against the magnificent gray backdrop of Mount Fuji in the distance. Get caught in a whirlwind of spectacular fall color fit for a Geisha, introducing essie fall 2016 collection.

From Ginza to Harajuku, it's impossible not to find yourself entranced in the mix of Tokyo's colorful surroundings! Inspired by essie Glorbal Color Designer, Rebecca Minkoff's, time in Tokyo, the essie fall 2016 collection captures the city's wild street style, electric cuisine and riot of autumnal colors.

The six shade palette of mesmerizing hues channels the changing fall foliage along with the modern and traditional sides of Tokyo's bustling city. Ranging from intense deeps to serene pastels, the essie fall 2016 collection bottles up the perfect balance of trendsetting color and classic looks.

now and zen all you need is a night on the town to maki me happy, tell the girls to kimono on over and go go geisha tonight. Tokyo is the city to forget playing koi- udon know me yet, but after a night of karaoke you'll never forget me." according to the official press release. 

The essie fall 2016 collection is comprised of the following creamy colors-

Kimono Over: a deep purple grape cream. [inviting damson plum]

Playing Koi: a spiced pumpkin cream. A mix of burnt orange and brown. [flirtatious orange rust]

Go go Geisha: a dusty light pink rose cream. [antique blossom pink]

Now & Zen: an elephant gray cream. [timeless sage gray]

Maki me Happy: a deep raspberry cream.  Requires three coats for full opacity. [crimson-wrapped berry]

Udon Know Me: a washed light blue cream, with slight gray undertones. [mysterious stony blue] 

(all swatches are 2 coats, unless stated otherwise, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

This is a very beautiful collection.  And I think some of the most creative, clever, and quirky names Essie has yet to come out with. Only one of the colors I am not a huge fan of, Playing Koi, but that doesn't mean others won't like it. 

My personal favorites are: Kimono Over, Now and Zen, and Udon Know Me

essie's fall 2016 collection retails at $9 per 0.46 fl oz (13.5 mL) and is available now.

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

 

Introducing Kokoist

Introducing Kokoist 0

I am very excited to introduce you all to one of Japan's best selling gel companies- Kokoist. Kokoist is one of the primary gel leaders in revolutionary high quality products and after playing around with a few of them, I can honestly say I am obsessed!

Forget gel polish, soak off gel all the way.  The potted white and black gels that I tried were hands down the best quality I have ever tried.  They were so incredibly well pigmented, my mind is still blown.  A one coat wonder black! I can't believe it, but its true folks- Maxi Black.  And the same goes for the white, Bluey White, so incredibly well pigmented.  They both painted on so smoothly, effortlessly like butter, self leveling to a beautiful finish. The potted gels retail for around $17.

The Gem Gels! Talk about a major game changer, and huge innovation.  Kokoist partnered with Kyocera in Kyoto to manufacture and synthesize "kyoto opal", "cultivated with a quartz-grain structure identical to that of naturally occurring opal." This magical stuff is sooooo fun to play and experiment with.  Gently fold it from the bottom up, do not stir the product, for best results and to maximize the opal particle's brilliance. It is incredibly easy to work with, and self leveled nicely.  I have the gem gel shown here in two shades, in White and Garnet, however it comes in a total of 5 colors, and they retail for around $20.

I highly recommend you give this brand a try. There is clearly a reason why they are one of the best sellers in Japan.

I am just grateful we can finally now have their products stateside.

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

 

VETRO Leaf Gel Polish Review

VETRO Leaf Gel Polish Review 0

I am so beyond excited to introduce you all to the latest product from renowned Japanese brand Vetro- their famous "leaf" gels now come in a bottle formula, as opposed to the traditional pot.

If you haven't yet heard of Vetro please listen up.  Vetro is one of the biggest and best gel brands and it's from Japan.  Try it once and you will see exactly what I mean.  The quality, the consistency, the formula, the application, everything with regards to this product is absolutely mind blowingly awesome and amazing.  I have tried a Lot of different gel brands out their on the market, as you might have seen on this blog, and to be quite frank, none of them even come close.

The three bottled Vetro leaf gels I have to share with you all here are-

Rose Leaf (966): the perfect 14 kt rose gold chunky glitter.  This is by far the best rose gold color I have come across.  All the other ones on the market currently are either too bronze or copper in tone, but this one is absolutely divine. 

Gold Leaf (272): a 14 kt gold yellow chunky glitter.

Silver Leaf (271): a sterling silver chunky glitter.

(all swatches shown here are 1 coat, cured in an LED light for 30 seconds, and topped with a top coat. All swatches are taken outdoors in natural light).

I am so obsessed with these!!

It's hard to put into words even exactly what they are.  I don't feel glitter is the proper word to describe them.  Instead, its like chunky flecks of actual gold.  It sounds odd, but trust me, it's so stunning in person.

Can we please talk about the fact that these are all 1 Coat Wonders! I have not yet come across any one coat wonders within the gel world.  They always require two to three coats to reach full opacity.  Each of these shades, however, are so densely packed that with one nice coat you have complete coverage.  No need to apply a  base color of the same shade, there will literally be no natural nail bed showing through; that's how amazing this stuff is.   

One coat is all it takes for full coverage.  This saves both tremendous time and money, two of my favorite things to save ;). 

The gel cures super fast, 20 seconds in an LED light, and 60 seconds in a traditional UV lamp. 

The gel painted on so smoothly and evenly, and did not require any sort of particular dabbing motion during application, like some other brands require.

I highly recommend you give these bad boys a try. You and your clients will Love them.  

They sell for $15 per 4 ml (9.13 fl oz) bottle.  

For more info on Vetro or to purchase online, check them out here: http://www.vetro-us.com/

Introducing Nail Labo’s Presto Gel

Introducing Nail Labo’s Presto Gel 0

Hello everyone.

I am so excited to introduce an amazing product line to you all from Nail Labo in Japan- Presto Gel.  A full line of the highest grade professional nail tech products around, it is known as “the most advanced soak- off system on the market to date.”  I am truly blown away by Nail Labo and it’s products.

There are many reasons as to why this company is different from its competitors.  First of all, they use only “Safety LED light: unlike existing UV lights, Presto LED curing technology has been commonly used in the dental industry and proven to be safe & reliable.”  Second, “Safe and great handling gel: the development of Presto Gels was achieved by applying dental technology in its construction, so that its viscosity is just right for controlled handling and lasting stability.  The Clear Gel is the base that adheres well with very little shrinkage.  The Top Gel prevents discoloration and leaves a beautiful luster finish.”

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And lastly, “Trusted quality of “Made in Japan”: development and manufacturing of Presto Gels has been carried out in Japan under strict inspections and oversight to ensure the safety and stability of product quality assurance.”

The latest line Nail Labo’s is introducing to their Presto Gel line is a collaborative effort of nail art gels with famed LA celebrity based nail artists Britney Tokyo & Natalie Minerva (Nail Swag) called Tokyo Swag.  Comprised of 6 shades, these highly non viscose gels (meaning they do not spread or bleed) are essential for any and all techs who perform nail art!

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The six shades of Tokyo Swag art gel include:

Swag #1: a classic cherry red

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Swag #2: a true vivid blue

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Swag #3: a sunshine yellow

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Swag #4: a grassy green

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Swag #5: a perfect bright pink

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Swag #6: a tangerine orange

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In addition to these Tokyo Swag art gels, Presto already has in their line an incredible black and white shade you can use for all nail art purposes: A02 (black) & A01 (white)

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I have tried and worked with many different brand’s art gels before, but these are hands down the BEST art gels I have ever used!  The non-viscose formula is Perfection, which means the gels stay where you put them; there is no bleeding, sliding, or spreading of product whatsoever.  They are incredibly well pigmented, you can even paint light colors, like yellow, onto black!! The art gels are also good to use straight out of the packaging! No stirring necessary.  It’s unbelievable!  I have never experienced this with any other gel product.  They also cure in a record breaking 20 seconds in LED! Saving time on in the process is always a major plus!

In addition to their gels, I also got to try out some of Nail Labo’s extensive brush offerings.

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All of these art brushes shown are made using the highest quality Kolinsky hair, and best of all, they include an aluminum brush cap, to protect them for safe storage and free from dust!

Gel Brush- Gel Design: I use it to cover larger areas with color, for instance filling in a character’s face, or painting a large bow.

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Gel Brush- Art #4: is the finest of the art brushes.  I use this for all small detail work, like outlines or painting lace.

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Gel Brush- Art #6: I use this for all line work.  Painting lines, grids, outlines, things of that nature.

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Gel Brush- Art #11: with long pointed needle like whiskers, this brush too is great for line work.

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I am not a great artist, so by all means please be kind, but here are some samples of some art work I have done using the Tokyo Swag art gels and Presto Brushes:

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I honestly can’t say enough good things about my experience with Presto Gels and all of the Nail Labo products.  To not only say that they are of the best quality is an understatement.  They are truly perfection.  Low odor, easy to use, highly pigmented, no bleeding, and fast curing.  If you haven’t tried them out yet, do yourself a favor and get some.  This brand is trusted and coveted from some of the best nail artists in the world.  If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us too. 🙂

For more information on Nail Labo, check out their website: http://www.naillabo.us/

And to purchase their amazing products: http://www.naillabostore.com/ 

 

Manami Nobe of Marie Nails

Manami Nobe of Marie Nails 0

Name: Manami Nobe

Salon: Marie Nails, Koreatown, CA

Instagram: Manaminobe


What inspires your designs?

I'm not a creative person... I can just copy the picture or do the design the customer requested.

What's the most "out there." non-traditional material you've incorporated into a manicure?

Chain

Describe a favorite manicure you've performed?

3-D sushi

What's a favorite trick you've learned?

Fabric art... floral gel painting, denim, etc. 

What's the most unique request you've received from a client?

The poop emoticon.

VETRO!

VETRO! 0

I recently met with the wonderful folks of VETRO at this years ISSE Convention in Long Beach.  Introduced for the first time ever to the US market at the convention. VETRO is a gel polish line made in Japan from the creators of ever popular brand Bella Forma.

The line has 69 beautiful gel colors.  The line also has some innovative products exclusive to them, such as the “Flat Design” and “Design Liner,” that are nail art brushes suspended in a cleansing solution, that enable you to easily create peacock designs, fine art, marble effect, or tie- dye patterns using any color you prefer.

Some of their colors, like 065 Luce Bronze, swatched here, come with a built in thin detailing liner brush, so nail art and design are a breeze.

I chose 3 colors from the line to showcase and swatch here.

076-Oro: a shiny sparkling bright yellow gold.

006-Seta Lip: a pearlized soft baby pink.

065-Luce Bronze: a sparkling rose gold.  This shade as the built in liner brush for detailing and nail art work.

Each of the colors shown here are two coats, cured each for 20 seconds in an LED lamp as directed.

For more information on VETRO, check out their website: http://www.vetro.jp/en/

ARTGENiC the hygienic Gel!!

ARTGENiC the hygienic Gel!! 0

I recently got to try out the first and only hygienic gel available on the marketplace= ARTGENiC.  ARTGENiC gels come from Japan, and are formulated with Nano Silver, which is said to posess natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

I LOVE this gel for so many reasons.  First, it comes in professional jars, as opposed to the polish-style bottles.  This means the nail technician has to paint on the gel, which allows for a more controlled application, and looks better to the customer.  In addition, the jars allow you to  you mix colors together easily to create new colors.

I have never seen gels in a jar that cure in both LED or UV light systems. This can save a lot of time when performing a manicure.  Also this gel is highly fantastic for doing any nail Art related work! I did some various Union Jacks/British Flags as a quick demonstration.

 

 

The 3 gel colors I tried were:

Non-Yellowing White 001: classic pure white. Would be excellent to use in a French Manicure.

Forever Black 107: the perfect black.

XOXO 109: a deep dark red.

The formula was Excellent and self- leveling on all colors.

All swatches shown here have a Base G (clear base), 2 coats of color, cured each in an LED lamp for 30 seconds, and Brush on Top Gel.

For more information on ARTGENiC, or to purchase, go to:http://artgenic.us.com/store/