Artistic Nail Design 2015 Wedding Collection Review

Artistic Nail Design 2015 Wedding Collection Review 0

"Sparkle and shine with fanciful colours in mind.  Artistic Colour Gloss 4 new wedding- worthy colours.  

Freshen-up bridal mani colours with sophisticated shades with a touch of glam.  Artistic Nail Design's 2015 Wedding Collection- With This Bling, introduces 4 brand new colours that boast of femininity and flair.  From a dreamy pink to a classic pearl white, each shade will have nails for an unforgettable wedding day.

"For this wedding collection, I was inspired by the excitement of getting married- from the proposal to walking down the aisle.  Every shade in this collection is perfect for any bride-to-be," says Artistic Nail Design Executive VP and Creative Director, Alisha Rimando Botero.  With playful soft colours to a timless pearl white, any pick will accent any ring bling!" according to the press release. 

With This Bling collection includes:

Mani of my Dreams: a light blue green mint creme. [celeste turquoise creme]

Always Right: a pale lavender creme, with a very subtle grey undertone. [wisteria creme]

Put a Ring on it: a shimmering white. [pearl white creme]

What a Girl Flaunts: a light carnation pink creme. [soft carnation creme]

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

I must say I am very pleased with this collection; I know it's somewhat small, but it makes for a gorgeous color palette for the spring season.  These colors are pretty timeless and classic in my opinion, and are shades customers will always come back to year after year.  For that reason alone, I highly recommend them.  

I found the formulas on all be great, providing complete and smooth coverage in two coats.  

My personal two favorite shades are- Put a Ring on It & Always Right

The With This Bling collection is out and available now for a limited time.

For more information on Artistic Nail Design, check them out online here:


CND Gilded Dreams Holiday 2014- Shellac + Vinylux Swatches

CND Gilded Dreams Holiday 2014- Shellac + Vinylux Swatches 0

I hope everyone has been having a great week so far.

I am very excited to introduce the latest collection from CND, "Gilded Dreams" for Holiday 2014 in both Shellac and VINYLUX.  

According to the press release, "Holiday 2014 is adorned with sparkle and splendor.  Gilt finishes add shimmering allure to party couture with the new Gilded Dreams collection from CND.  This holiday season, nails are luminous with glittery paillettes on sleek almond shapes, magically iced in rose gold, icy blue, and silvery pastels," says CND"s Jan Arnold.  "Marie Antoinette meets Cinderella with out Limited Edition Gilded Dreams collection, which can be used to create scene- stealing nail designs for a glamorous grand entrance."

CND did things a little differently with regards to this collection.  You aren't able to purchase the three new shades individually, instead they come in a two pack.  Each of the three two packs comes with a .25 fl oz Shellac and a matching .5 fl oz VINYLUX of the same shade. 

The Gilded Creams collection includes:

Grand Gala: a yellow and rose gold hybrid duo chrome.  Depending on the light, the hue changes from yellow to rose gold.  Has more yellow gold in it than it does rose.  My personal favorite in this collection! 

Chiffon Twirl: a shimmering rose gold with silver undertones.  

Dazzling Dance: a sheer icy blue with a pink iridescence running through it, and speckled with tiny holographic glitter particles. For the VINYLUX swatch I used two coats.  This is a sheer shade, so the natural nail line and any imperfections on your nail will show.  For the Shellac swatch I used three coats because it wasn't as highly pigmented as the VINYLUX version of the shade.  I did however use a single coat of the Shellac over both a white and a black gel polish and the results were Gorgeous, especially over the black.   

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

 Overall I am very impressed with this collection.  I really love and enjoy the color palette and direction CND chose.  It is very magical, ethereal, and Holiday appropriate in my mind.  In general, duo chromes and rose golds are very rare to come by in gel polish, and this collection has both of those.  Although the color "Dazzling Dance" didn't do much for me on its own, I did like it a lot as a top coat to other base shades (especially black).  '

As with most CND collection introductions, the "Gilded Dreams" collection is limited edition, so do make sure to go out and pick up yours before it's too late.

For more information on CND, check them out online here:


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:

Mika Akagawa of Marie Nails

Mika Akagawa of Marie Nails 0

Name: Mika Akagawa

Salon: Marie Nails, Koreatown, CA

Instagram: Mikahana555

What inspires your designs?


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

Metal, wire, and lace. 

Describe a favorite manicure you've performed?

Anything simple, nude, clean, and clear. 

What's a favorite trick you've learned?


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

A 2" tall 3D Mount Fuji out of acrylic that protruded from the nail. 

Sheera Gersh of- Addicted to Nails

Sheera Gersh of- Addicted to Nails 0

Name - Sheera Gersh
Salon - Addicted to Nails, in Tempe, AZ
Instagram - Addictedtonails
Website -

1)What inspires you and your designs?
I love designs that are unique and have a "POP" that most people have never seen. I have to say there are all kinds of things that inspire me, bright colors, embedments...even wrapping paper at holiday time. My clients get super excited and loving my work is what makes my heart happy! 

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

I have embedded all kinds of material such as lace, glitter, sequence, paper, rhinestones, seashells, tinsel, mylar, dried flowers even beads but the most "out there" is still to come....keep watching 🙂

3)Describe a favorite manicure you've preformed?
One of my absolute favorite gel polish manicures is a jawbreaker design. It is a layering technique of different colors then gently using an e-file (you can hand file as well) to break through areas of the polish creating the look of a jawbreaker candy. LOVE! 

4)What's a favorite trick you've learned?
The most recent "trick" I learned was totally by accident...using the tip of your stripping brush to run 2 or 3 colors through uncured gel polish (could be done with nail polish as well). Love using bright or neon colors to create a tye dye effect. 

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

I have all kinds of clients from all walks of life, from stay at home conservative moms to tattoo covered alternative models to a few drag queens so this is why my salon motto is "Nail Artistry from Mild to Wild." I've created nails that mimicked Lady Gaga's perfume bottle. I have embed photos of one client's children. I have another client who attended a scrap booking convention; we recreated the companies logo on a computer and embedded the design in her nails, this was a BIG hit with convention goers!

Chris Mans of Jeweled Nails

Chris Mans of Jeweled Nails 0

Name: Christian Mans

Salon: Jeweled Nails, in Mission Viejo, CA

Instagram: JeweledNails



What Inspires you & your designs?

Japanese nail trends & fashion in combination with competition style nails.

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

Actual shed snakeskin layered in between gel.

Describe a favorite manicure you've performed?

Extremely "blinged out" nails created with jewelry parts from earrings, ,bracelets, and necklaces.

What's a favorite trick you've learned?

Creating 3D nails with a combination of soak off gel & gel polish created on forms and adhered to nails using builder soak off gel.

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

Russian almond shaped nails - 2 inches long.

Have your “Dessert First” with Venique

Have your “Dessert First” with Venique 0

I'm excited to introduce part of the latest collection from Venique Nail Lacquer- Dessert First.  6 decadently delicious shades that are perfect for layering, or can be worn on their own.  The shades are said to be "illuminated micro-crystals, long wearing, rich, layering pigments." I have to agree with that statement after trying them out myself.

What sets Venique Nail Lacquer apart from its competitors? Well, a few things: "Venique's unique ergonomic bottle makes it easy to give a perfect manicure every time. Its luxuriously heavy, custom design makes it supremely stable and comfortable to hold. A slightly flared cap allows for precision control. And premium, ultra-soft bristles contour to the nail for the smoothest possible application."

The 3 shades I tried include:

Tarte It Up: a glistening red/pink hybrid shimmer.  This shade covered beautifully in one coat.  I could not believe it.  Although in the swatches shown here, I used 2 coats,  you can totally get away with painting only one coat for this shade.  Beautifully highly pigmented.  

Forever Fritters: a tantalizing tangerine with gold shimmer.  I had to layer this shade to build up the color to become as opaque as I wanted it, 3 coats.

Cupcake Me Away: an incredible blue/purple hybrid shimmer.  My personal favorite out of these 3.  This color too took 3 coats to become fully opaque, but the end result was simply stunning and well worth the build up.  

All in all I am very pleased with Venique Nail Lacquer.  I found the formula to be very smooth and easy to work with.  The design of the bottle and the extended handle also aided in the smooth application.

For more information on Venique Nail Lacquer,  check them out here:


Kupa 10pc Carbide Bit Kit

Kupa 10pc Carbide Bit Kit 0

I Love this 10 piece Carbide Bit set from one of the top leaders in the industry- Kupa.  This kit literally has all the tools one would ever need to perform a perfectly finished sculpted manicure!!

Carbide bits shave enhancement product as opposed to scratching it the way sand, file, and diamond bits do.  Beware not to use carbide bits on natural nails.  They are specifically designed for use on nail enhancements.

The Kupa 10 Piece Carbide Bit Kit includes:

- 10 sanding bands

Stainless Steel Mandrel

- 2 Week Backfill Bit: 1/4 the size of a barrel bit, & trenches out 2 weeks worth of growth at the smile line & to replace white tip powder. (Is also commonly referred to as a Maintenance Bit)

- 4 Week Backfill Bit: 1/2 the size of a barrel bit, and is created to trench out 4 weeks of growth.  It is large enough to cut and remove entire nail product if needed. (is also known as a Maintenance Bit)

- Cone Bit: slim longer tapered bit that is used under the nails, cuticles, on top of the nail,  sidewalls, and or to prep the cuticle area for a fill.

- Inverted Backfill Bit: angled & larger at the top, this bit is used to cut and remove nail product in its entirety.

- Large Barrel Bit: used for surface work, shortening length, and backfill cutting. The flat top of the bit can be used to cut a new smile line also.

- Small Barrel Bit: like the Large Barrel Bit mentioned previously, this is also used for surface work, shortening length, and backfill cutting.

- Tapered Barrel Bit: It is perfect for doing work on the top surface, and to cut maintenance on small nails at a flat angle, & at the cuticle and sidewalls.  Also can be used to prep the cuticle area product for a fill due to small circumference at the tip.

- Under Nail Cleaner Bit: a highly pointed bit that's used for tight spaces like under the nail, sidewalls, and for making designer holes in nails to attach jewelry or dangling charms.

- Safety Bit: designed to perform safe cuticle work.  It can be used for underneath the nail and for shaping.  Is also perfect for beveling the enhancement at the cuticle during a fill.

For more information on Kupa and its products, or to purchase, check them out here:


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:

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:

yours truly featured in NAILS Magazine 0

I’m truly honored to be featured in the latest issues of NAILS Magazine regarding “is nail art over?” !! With @britneytokyo !!

MANIPro Original by Kupa

MANIPro Original by Kupa 0

I recently got to try out the MANIPro Original from Kupa Incorporated and am completely obsessed.  Kupa Incorporated is known for being the best E-file manufacturer in the nail industry, and using one of their machines for a couple of seconds, one can easily see why.

The machine is super light weight, compact, and highly affordable; the price was recently reduced even further from $160 to only $99.  It occupies 3” x 5” of table space, is supremely quiet, almost like the Prius of electric files.  But don’t let its compact size and lack of noise fool you, this little baby is quite powerful, offering a speed control range from 4,500 to 15,000 RPMs.

The MANIPro original is available in 2 colors, Licorice, a traditional black, or Razzberry, as pictured here, a translucent grape purple.

Inside the box, is included: the actual machine itself, the supremely lightweight hand-piece, a power converter, and sanding band mandrel, along with 10 sanding bands.

The MANIPro Original is also backed by a one year limited warranty in case anything happens.

I could not recommend the MANIPro Original enough.  If you have been struggling to find the perfect e-file to invest in than look no further.  I personally can use this machine to speed up so many of my salon services, saving me tons of time, which will lead to earning more money.  Instead of soaking off gels, for instance, which traditionally takes approximately 15 minutes, I can drill gel product off in virtually no time at all.

For more information on Kupa Inc., or to purchase, check them out here:

INM’s 1st Elite Educator Training

INM’s 1st Elite Educator Training 0

The weekend of March 1-3,  thirteen nail technicians from around the country were hand selected to congregate at INM’s headquarters in Anaheim, CA to participate in INM’s first ever Elite Educator Training.

The 3 day extravaganza was organized and ran by the remarkable, and newly appointed director of education for INM, Lorena Marquez,  a 26+ year nail tech veteran who has competed in over 200 competitions.

We laughed, we cried, we worked out butts off, and learned a ton.

 We started off the first day with an initial ice breaker, not only to get to know one another, but also to familiarize with each other’s artistic and creative abilities.  We were assigned a homework assignment prior to the weekend, where we had to create a nail design in 6 steps or less.  We than presented our work in front of the class.  After all the presentations and ice was officially melted, the initial training day was devoted to acrylics- Pink and whites, and colored acrylic, using INM’s numerous and beautiful powder paint acrylic powders.  We were partnered up, and got to work.

The second day of training was devoted entirely to gel- both traditional hard gel systems, the Entity gel system, and soak off gel polish, Gelavish.  We really got to get creative and have fun when it came to designing nail art with INM’s Gelavish soak off gel polish.

The third and final day was split into two parts.  The first half of the day each educator was assigned an INM product they had to present and “sell.”  The second half of the day was devoted to an exam to test what we’d learned the last couple of days.  We first had a 40+ question fill-in the blank exam that tested our knowledge of the INM brand, its history, and all of their products.  Than we had the practical part of our exam, where we were all partnered up and had 2 hours to perform 4 nails.  Two acrylic nails, one pink and white, one artistic colored acrylic.  And 2 gel nails, one a pink and white performed with traditional hard gel, and the second nail being a nail art design of our choosing using Gelavish soak off polish.

The educator training closed with a fabulous dinner/ awards ceremony at The House of Blues in Downtown Disney.  Christian Mans, was the star winner of the weekend, taking home 3 trophies.  Jessica Luna, Shannon Weissinger, and Elyse Perry also went home not empty handed.  Nonetheless, we are all winners.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend and a tremendous experience.  We built relationships with fellow nail techs that will last a lifetime.

The INM Elite Educators include: Tara Cote, Sheera Gerth, Deneen Daniels, Elyse Perry, Sharon Midgley, Christian Mans, Jessica Luna, Isabel Olmeda, Tita Carter, Shannon Weissinger, British Burnett, Diane Self, and yours truly Merrick Fisher.

For more information on INM and their products, check them out at:

Need not Fear, Essie Gel is here!!

Need not Fear, Essie Gel is here!! 0

At long last Essie has come out with a line of LED gel polishes to match their incredibly popular lacquer line. Presently, there are 36 colors in the line, but I can almost guarantee there will be many more in the near future.

No longer will customers come into your salon and say “Give me a gel manicure that looks like “Mint Candy Apple.” And then you have to go struggle to find something that closely resembles it.  Problem is finally solved.

I’ve italicized the nail polish equivalent for each gel shade mentioned below.

Dance Class: a pale semi- sheer beige nude. (Ballet Slippers)

Members Only: a shimmering pink beige. (Tea & Crumpets)

Well Collected: a creamy rose. (Eternal Optimist)

Net Worth: a bright aqua turquoise. (Where’s my Chauffeur)

Break a Sweat: a shimmering deep purple. (Sexy Divide)

Decadent & Devine: a shimmering deep dark chocolate brown.(Decadent Diva)

Life Partner: a deep dark burgundy. (Sole Mate)

Leather on Top: jet black. (Licorice)

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

For more information on essie, check them out here: