nail tech

Street Beat Summer 2016 Collection Review

Street Beat Summer 2016 Collection Review 0

"Turn up your boom box this summer, it's time to start feelin' the beat on the street! Introducing Gelish and Morgan Taylor's bold and eye-catching array of bright colors for the summer 2016- the Street Beat collection.  The collection includes six new shades: from a striking coral, to a powerful pink pearl, and a fierce teal, to a wild style yellow-orange creme.

"We were inspired by the artistic expression of street art and hip hop for this collection," says CEO and founder of Gelish and Morgan Taylor, Danny Haile. "Each bright shade resonates with inspiration and expressiveness. From energetic, upbeat pinks to a must-have pastel lilac, every shade is trendy from the runway to the streets." according to the official press release.

The Street Beats Summer 2016 collection includes:

B-girl Style: a neon bubble gum pink creme. [neon pink pearl]

Street Cred-ible: a bright nacho cheese orange creme. Took 3 coats for full opacity. [orange/yellow creme]

Cou-tour the Streets: a light pink creme with slight lilac undertones. [lilac creme]

Tag, You're It: a bold neon magenta shimmer. [fuchsia pink pearl]

Give me a Break-dance: a more green leaning teal with slight shimmer running through it. Took 3 coats for full opacity. [teal pearl]

Hip Hot Coral: a bright coral/pink hybrid shimmer. Took 3 coats for full opacity. [hot coral pearl]

(all swatches shown here are 2 coats of the Gelish Minis, unless stated otherwise, cured for 30 seconds each in an LED lamp, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

What I love and enjoyed most about this collection is how fun, bold, and bright the colors all are.  What I didn't love about this collection is the lack of pigmentation.  As gorgeous as the colors are, half of them required 3 coats in order to become fully opaque.  The main downside to three coats is the time required for application.  If your clients aren't in a hurry, or if you don't have clients booked up back-to-back than it shouldn't be an issue.

My personal favorites include: Give me a Breal-dance, Tag, You're it, and Street Cred-ible.

The Street Beat Collection from Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor will be available for a limited time in May 2016.  Gelish MINI is available at Sally Beauty Supply stores and http://sallybeautysupply.com/ for $13.99 per bottle and Morgan Taylor is available at https://www.morgantaylorlacquer.com/ for $9 per bottle. 

 

Loose Stones NO More- Hello Apres Nail !

Loose Stones NO More- Hello Apres Nail ! 0

If your anything like me, you cringe and absolutely hate it when stones and embellishments fall off nails you've spent hours creating.  Nothing is worse than receiving a call from a client claiming her crystals are popping off. :/

I have searched and searched, high and low, and have physically tried virtually every product on the market, and nothing has worked for me.  Finally at long last I found a solution, and my nail art game is definitely stronger than ever and on point! Introducing Apres Nail.  A relatively small company that makes 3 products, all designed to keep your stones, embellishments, and nail art work perfectly intact. 

I was first introduced to Apres Nail back in the beginning of February at the ISSE show. 

I am absolutely in love with this line, and hopefully you will jump on board as well.

The three products Apres Nail offers are-

Diamond Gel: "replace your acrylic glue with our Apres Diamond Gel- the strongest gel adhesive on the market.  Rhinestones, crystals, jewels, studs, etc- you name it.  Our Diamond Gel is strong enough to support any and all shape and sizes of nail charm for an incredibly superior hold.  No more fear of your nail charms falling off prematurely.  Formulated to provide a long-lasting bond for polish and nail charms.  Diamond Gel can be used with any gel polish and charms to complete a beautiful nail art design." according to their website.

It's all absolutely true.  Believe the hype.  I have tried Gorilla Glue, which dries with an ugly white residue. I've used Akzentz Bling On and Resin Gel from Nail Labo, both with less than stellar results.  This stuff however truly works.  Its literally like liquid gold to me.  Its very easy to work with also.  It's not nearly as thick as other bling adhesive gels on the market, and yet it works so much better than they do. If you don't believe me, just take a look at my photos. Literally one month, 4 full weeks, and I use my hands a ton each and every day, and work on clients and with tons of chemicals, and not a single stone or embellishment came off.     

Diamond Gel retails for $16.95  0.5 fl oz (15 mL) pot.

Structure Gel: "thick viscosity clear gel fortifies/repairs weak and damaged nails. For multifunctional use, seal and smooth nail charm designs with Apres Structure Gel for a reinforced surface to ensure long-lasting wear.  Structure Gel can be used with any base gel polish to strengthen the nail for optimal color gel application."

I absolutely love this easy to use gel to secure my 3-D embellishments, nail studs, glitters, and mylar pieces.  Client's use their hands a lot in their daily lives, and nothing is worse than getting a nail charm caught on a knitted sweater, or in your hair.  The Structure Gel absolutely helps avoid that problem.  I paint a layer on top of my embellishments, cure, and I am good to go. 

Structure Gel retails for $14.95 0.5 fl oz (15 mL) pot.

Top GelCoat: "our revolutuonary Apres Top Gelcoat is guaranteed to outlast and outshine any other brand on the market.  Specifically formulated and heavily tested...your answer to long-lasting finish that is compatible with any brand of color gel polish. Easy and smooth application with no bubbling... without the need of wiping down any tacky residue! Prevents peeling, chipping, or discoloration.. for a result that can last over 4 weeks!" 

I have tried so many different gel top coats out there and I have always had different problems.  Some are too thin and run into the cuticles, some are way too thick, others go bad quickly and need to be thrown out, and almost all gel top coats inevitable turn white shades to a rather yellow tinge within a week or so.  Not with this stuff.  A great consistency, not runny at all, immense shine that literally lasted for a complete month, which is when I finally decided to change up my nails, and absolutely no discoloration. I am so pleased to say that I have finally found the perfect top coat I use as the finishing touch to all of my gel manicures.

Apres Top Gelcoat retails for $12 0.5 fl oz (15 mL) bottle.

As will all of my posts, I am absolutely not paid to promote or endorse a product.  I truly believe in this stuff because I know first hand how well it works.  I have personally been testing it, on both myself and my clients, and we're all happy campers.

If you can only start off with one product for now, I'd suggest the Diamond Gel.  Client's love their Swaorovski Crystals, but definitely hate it when they fall off.  Say goodbye to those days forever 🙂 !!

For more info on Apres Nail or to purchase online, check them out here: http://www.apresnail.com/ 

 

Akzentz Fall Winter 2015

Akzentz Fall Winter 2015 0

"Canadian based Akzentz Professional Nail Products releases New & Fall Winter 2015 shades of Gel Play available through Authorized Distributors October 2015.

Gel Play changed the nail art industry when it first debuted summer 2014 and continues to lead with innovative nail art technology in the marketplace. These highly pigmented LED and UV curable gels have a thick consistency that mimic artistic paints making them perfect for detailed hand painted artwork.

The Fall & Winter 2015 release includes four new Glitters: Cherry Red, Golden Nugget, Green Glitz and Platinum Quartz as well as two new Paints: Hot Pink and Raw Sienna.

“The product follows our history of 100% gel, solvent-free products,” affirms Akzentz President Sandra Haigh, “It continues our legacy of being made in Canada with only North American and European ingredients.”

The Gel Play line now boasts 14 paints with heavily pigmented solid colours, 14 vibrant Glitters, six sparkling Glitter Shifters that shift their tone depending on the base colour, wildly popular Bling-On an extra strong bonding gel that stays put for attaching embellishments and Glitter-Me, a clear and light consistency gel base perfect for adding glitter powders already owned" according to the official press release.

Now I don't have the entire Fall Winter 2015 line to share with you.  I do however have some shades from each of the lines.

OPTIONS (soak off gel polish in a pot) [4 g / 0.14 oz]

Ocean Peal (Chameleon): blue/purple duo chrome.  The shade shifts depending on the angle, or light refraction. I am beyond obsessed with this color! My personal favorite.  An absolute must! Very unique as well.

Moody Sunset (Chameleon): silver/purple duo chrome.  The shade also shifts depending on the angle, or light refraction.

French Blue: a deep royal peacock blue creme. 

(all swatches are 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp).

GEL PLAY PAINT (hyper pigmented potted gels for art work) [4 g / 0.14 oz]

Hot Pink: a hot vibrant neon Barbie pink creme.

Glitter Cherry Red: a fine glitter crimson red.

Glitter Platinum Quartz: a shiny silver chrome.

(because it's Halloween time, my most favorite holiday, I swatched these gel paint shades by creating spider webs.  These are very easy to do using Gel Paints, and I don't even need to flash cure between painting all the lines.  I just cure it all at once after the painting is completed, which ultimately saves you lots of time.)

LUXIO (gel polish in a bottle) [15 mL / 0.5 oz]

Mirage: a micro fine silver glitter with flecks of purple and red.  I used three coats to make this fully opaque, primarily because the glitter is super micro fine.

Celebrate: a beautiful bold lavender creme. 

Rebel: a burnt cranberry red creme.

(unless stated otherwise, all swatches shown here are two coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp). 

I must honestly say I am truly impressed with Akzentz continual innovation.  I feel that every season they out do themselves and come out with something so amazing.  In this case, my personal obsession is with the new chameleon Options color shifting gels in Moody Sunset & Ocean Pearl.  I hope that Akzentz continues forward and introduces many more shades in the future featuring this awesome technology.

I think as all whole the colors are all wonderful.  I didn't experience any issues whatsoever with the formulas.  

As always, the smell is incredibly minimal with Akzentz products, which  both me and my clients Love and appreciate.  The less harmful smells in my book the better. 

For more information on Akzetnz, check them out online here: http://www.akzentz.com/

Cuccio Pro Forms Review

Cuccio Pro Forms Review 0

"Designed by professionals for professionals, these high quality forms from Cuccio Pro are made from a thick mylar that help guide nail techs in the building and design of square or stiletto shaped nails. Used as an alternative to nail tips, these forms are applied to nails making it easy to construct any length with the assistance of the guide lines. Leave it as is for square, or squeeze the form sticker together at the tip of the nail to design a stiletto shape. Each roll contains 250 forms. For more info, please visit cuccio.com." according to the press release. 

I really love these forms.  I have used so many different ones and have always had some sort of issue.  Some forms require you to physically cut them, this takes way too much time. Other forms can be way too sticky.  Prior to trying these my favorite forms were by Gelish.  However, Gelish re-designed their forms and the newer version is way too sticky.  These new forms however from Cuccio are such a breeze to work with.  They are honestly my new favorite.  They have the perfect amount of adhesiveness, they don't need to be cut, and they stay put in place.  They make sculpting a dream.

I couldn't recommend them more. 

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

CND Additives Fall 2015 Contradictions Collection

CND Additives Fall 2015 Contradictions Collection 0

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

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

The CND Fall 2015 Additives Contradictions Collection includes:

Jaded Rebel: (pigment effect) a deep shimmering jade green pigment powder.

Midnight Revelry: (glitter) a gunmetal gray glitter.

Crystal Crush: (glitter) irregularly shaped iridescent blue glitter sliver chunks.  My personal favorite Additives in the collection.  Looks insanely gorgeous over black or similar dark hues. 

Amethyst Blast: (glitter) a dark purple bar glitter. 

Whiteout: (glitter) a white circular matte glitter.  

(all swatches shown here are taken in outdoor light and for the most part are done on both white and black backgrounds to show different levels of effects that can be achieved).  

I have always been a big fan and advocate for CND's Additives, and sure enough this latest collection manages to exceed my expectations.  What I love most about the Additives is the creative freedom.  CND enables and empowers you, the technician, to create endless and such imaginative works of art, you are only limited by your own imagination.  I think this latest collection of theirs offers a nice variety of completely different textures, that can certainly enhance and add some rich ornamental fun to any manicure; from bar glitters, to fine pigments, to glitter flecks that resemble shards of glass. 

My personal favorites in this collection are: Midnight Revelry & Crystal Crush.

The CND Fall 2015 Additives Contradictions Collection sells for $29.75 for the set of 5, and is available now.  

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

Introducing OPI Nail Envy- Strength in Color

Introducing OPI Nail Envy- Strength in Color 0

 

IDEA: Strengthening treatment plus coveted color in one
 
WHAT IT IS: The fortifying power of OPI’s Original Nail Envy Nail Strengthener is now combined with softly tinted color in four gorgeous OPI shades. The trusted formula you love—from the world’s number one salon brand, OPI—has added delicate, subtle color for the very first time. Infused with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium, the new Nail Envy “Strength in Color” delivers maximum strengthening aid to transform weak, brittle, damaged nails into stronger, longer, harder nails shining with bold, true-to-bottle color.
 
Inspired by of-the-moment creamsicle hued and pink quartz spring runway looks, this first-of-its-kind collection includes classic OPI favorite shades like Hawaiian Orchid, Samoan Sand, and Bubble Bath, plus a Nail Envy-only exclusive offeringPink to Envy. Simply apply this innovative two-in-one nail strengthener plus color lacquer directly onto nails to add some much needed muscle to your manicure" according to the official press release. 
 
Nail Envy Strength in Color comes in the following four shades:
 
Pink to Envy: the sheerest pink-tinged wash.  To me this is virtually clear.  It primarily gives a healthy subtle glow to your nail if you will. [a Nail Envy exclusive shade in sheer light pink]
 
Bubble Bath: a semi-sheer light pink ballet slipper. [a sweet candy pink]
 
Hawaiian Orchid: a creamy deepened rose mauve creme. [a tropical pink with hints of light purple]
 
Samoan Sand: a creamy beige toned nude.  one of my most favorite shades of all time.  I am so happy OPI decided to include this color in their Nail Envy line up. 🙂 [a warm beige-pink]
 
(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight). 
 
Bravo to OPI for continuously finding technological innovations to help preserve and protect client's natural nails.  I know we are all sort of in this gel frenzy, but lets not get to carried away.  Even with proper application and removal, over time, gel manicures can take a toll on our clients nails, and going back to a conventional nail polish for a bit isn't always a bad idea.  For OPI to take some of their most notable shades and infuse them with vitamins and minerals to help the nail be its healthiest is so wonderful in my eyes.
 
I found the formulas to be very easy to work with on all of the shades.  I didn't experience any issues whatsoever.  They painted on smoothly and evenly.  
 
I will be keeping these fabulous new nail strengtheners permanently in my nail kit, and highly suggest you do the same for your clients.
 
The OPI Nail Envy "Strength in Color" shades will retail for $17.95 per 0.5 fl oz (15 ml) bottle.
 
For more information on OPI, check them out here: http://opi.com/
CND LED Lamp Review

CND LED Lamp Review 0

Hey guys!

Today I am excited to introduce you all to the latest in technology for gel lamps.  I know what you must be thinking what could be so great or different about a new lamp?, but leave it to the folks over at CND to come out with something revolutionary.  Introducing the CND LED Lamp featuring 3C Technology

"Cures all 5 fingers (or toes) in half the time, CND's 3C Technology optimizes light, energy, and time for maximum shine and long wear, uses optic mirrors to target exposure to the nail" according to the ad.

The machine is designed to work exclusively to cure CND Shellac and Brisa gels, however I have tried the machine out with many different brands of gels without having any issues.

Some of the features of this lamp that set it apart from its competitors:

- no bulb replacement ever!!

- acetone resistant, a major plus!!!!

- zero assembly is required

- its super quite

- very lightweight and portable

- it is very e.z. to use, and self explanatory with the labeled numbered step buttons- 1 ,2 , 3

- there are grooves for fingers/ toes to ensure proper placement

- highly compact and not bulky at all

- features a very cool and unique, almost "space like" design; by far the best looking and creative design for a lamp out on the market in my opinion.  

Also a major new bit of technology introduced with this lamp is the Pulse.  Pulse, or blink curing if you will, was developed exclusively by CND to help clients who feel heat when they first cure their gels.  If a client has a thin nail plate, they have a tendency to feel an exothermic reaction as the gel starts to cure, meaning their finger gets hot and the clients gets very uncomfortable.  In order to prevent this, CND's lamp pulses on and off for 10 seconds, specifically to prevent the spike in heat from occurring and to ensure a gradual yet complete cure.  

What do the different buttons on the machine represent?

1. This is for your base coat.  The lamp will pulse on & off for 10 seconds.

2B. For Brisa gel.  The lamp pulses for 10 seconds, and then stays on constant for a remaining 50 seconds.

2S. For Shellac.  The lamp illuminates for a constant 60 seconds.

3. For Top coat.  The lamp pulses for 10 seconds, and then stays on constant for the remaining 50 seconds.

I personally Love this machine and highly recommend it.  This the lamp I am presently using on all of my clients in my salon, and they too love it, and always think it looks super "cool".  

The only down side I have to mention, is it makes a beep when it's done curing.  Although it doesn't bother me or my clients, I was however doggy sitting recently, and whenever the machine beeped, the dog would bark and run to the front door.  I assume it's the pitch of the beep that made the dog crazy.  Needless to say, the sound shouldn't be a make or break in your decision to invest in the lamp.  I highly recommend it, and am sure even our little furry companions will learn to deal with the brief beep.

The lamp is out and available now for purchase.

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

 

 

 

 

Tweezerman Implements

Tweezerman Implements 0

Hi guys.  I hope all is well.

Fellow nail techs always ask me what implements I use for my services, and I am finally going to share that with you all.

I use all Tweezerman implements.  They are excellent quality, very trustworthy, non destructible, and easy to sanitize and keep client.

Some of the products I'm going to share with you include:  

Regency Finish Collection Fingernail Clipper: the stunning laser-etched pattern is 100% sanitizable and easily clips fingernails with ultra-precise blades and ultimate performance.

Regency Finish Collection Toenail Combo Clipper: this combo clipper and case feature an extra sturdy super sharp blades for clipping toenails with perfect precision.  The removable case is designed to catch clippings for easy throw away and clean up and is shaped for comfort and easy handling. $12  

I love these clippers especially for the removable case that collects all of the clippings.  I hate when you walk into a salon and you see discarded nail clippings all over the place- super gross! There are no excuses with this one!

 Pushy and Nail Cleaner (Stainless Steel): 2-in-1 nail tool combines our famous Pushy cuticle pusher with a convenient nail cleaner.  Super-thin edges are buffed smooth to prevent scratching while the textured body provides a perfectly secure grip. $18

I use this little tool particularly to clean under my clients nail beds, and it gets into the tiny grooves with no issues!

 Half Moon Pushy and Curette: half-moon shaped pushy is contoured to tenderly push back cuticles without scraping the natural nail. The reverse end of the tool features a curette designed especially for cleaning edges and tight corners where polish and debris hide, particularly essential in aiding the removal of gel polish that can remain on the nail after soaking.  

I use this gadget for removing all dead skin and excess cuticles from the nail plate.  It is gentle enough that it doesn't scratch the nail plate whatsoever, and it works Wonders with pedicures too. 

Eco Friendly File: for medium sanding on acrylic nails and for filing edge on natural nails. 100% biodegradable. $3.50

Premium Emory Board: pack of 5 thin wood files.  Ultra durable. ($5 for 5  files)

Sansation Nail File: reinforced center for durability and strength.  Durable, washable and sanitizable. $4  

I really like the shape of the files, and love the fact that some of them are washable and can be reused.

Ingrown Toenail File and Cleaner: after you soak and while nails are soft, gently slide either end of file under ingrown to lift nail- choose the flat or curved end depending on shape of nail. To file away ingrowns, slide file side under lifted area and slowly pull file out to thin the under-surface of the nail and relieve pressure. $14

I am personally very fortunate that I do not come in contact with many clients suffering from ingrowns, but when I do encounter them on occasion, this tool gets the job done!

Grip N' Snip Spiral Spring Cuticle Nipper: features a spiral spring for the ultimate in style, comfort and control. The looped handle maximizes precision and provides a no-slip grip, while the opening and closing action is ultra-safe and smooth. $25

Rockhard Cuticle Nipper: the sturdy design of this nipper is reinforced by its rock-hard, stainless steel construction.  Features sharp, long-lasting snipping tips for smooth cutting.  Great to take to the nail salon. 1/4 jaw. $26

If your only going to invest in 1 pair of nippers, I highly recommend the Spiral Spring ones.  I know the shape seems a bit odd at first, but let me tell you, don't be fooled by the shape.  This bad boy cuts like no other, and the spiral spring is so revolutionary, I don't know how I used traditional cuticle nippers prior!  The shape is so sturdy, and aerodynamic, it just feels so right when its in your hand. 

and last but not least,

Sapphire Crystal Foot File: features tiny, abrasive sapphire-ceramic crystals fixed to an easy to clean stainless steel handle and uses the latest, advanced surface technology to provide maximum abrasivity for the ultimate in comfort and efficiency.  Created to withstand frequent sterilization by autoclave or hot-air devices, as well as spray or liquid disinfectants. $38

I can not perform a pedicure without this!  It is textured on both sides, with one side being significantly more coarse than the other.  I haven't had to use a chemical callus treatment on any of my clients since I started using this.  I can even perform dry pedicures without water and as long as I use this foot file my clients feet are baby soft like butter.  

 For more information on any of the Tweezerman products mentioned in this post, or to purchase online, check them out here: http://www.tweezerman.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/

 

Venice Beach ’81 Collection Spring/Summer from Cuccio

Venice Beach ’81 Collection Spring/Summer from Cuccio 0

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you guys all had a great weekend.

Today I've got a great new Spring/Summer collection of gel polishes to share from the folks at Cuccio.

"In 1981 Roby and Tony Cuccio set up shop selling nail polish on the world famous Venice Beach boardwalk.  On that day their dream of building an international beauty brand that embodied the essence and magic of the California lifestyle began!

Inspired by the boardwalk's boundless energy and inspiration, the VENICE BEACH '81 collection is a celebration of color honoring the spirit of this dream and the mecca for style, fashion and creativity that Venice Beach has become," according to the press release.  

The Venice Beach '81 Collection of Cuccio Colour Veneer includes:

A Star is Born: various sized pink and baby blue matte hexagonal glitters, along with tinnier matte navy glue glitters, all in a clear base. 

Soul Surfer: a light dusty lilac purple creme.

Mimes & Musicians: a mix of pale yellow, pink, and magenta matte hexagonal glitters, all in a clear base.  

Roller Skate: an aqua teal blue shimmer.

Good Vibrations: a pastel buttery yellow creme.

Pink Cadillac: a bright magenta pink creme.

Muscle Beach: a bold deep teal creme with slight green undertones.

California Dreamin': a vivid orange coral creme.  

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

Overall I think this is a great collection from Cuccio.  The color palette is really pretty and a very good representation of the colorful eclecticism Venice Beach embodies.  Growing up in Los Angeles myself I have frequented the beaches and boardwalks of Venice since childhood, and have many  fond memories.  All that aside, I won't let my childhood interfere with providing a non-biased review.  

The formulas on all of the shades was really great, and applied smoothly and evenly in two coats.  None of the shades required a third coat, which I was very pleased with.  

My personal favorites from the collection include: California Dreamin;, Soul Surfer, and Roller Skate.

The Venice Beach '81 Collection of Cuccio Colour Veneer is available now.  

Check out Cuccio online here for more information: http://cuccio.com/index.php

 

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: 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin Nail Strengther- Gelish Vitagel Review

Vitamin Nail Strengther- Gelish Vitagel Review 0

Hey everyone.  Happy Hump Day!! I hope you are all doing fantastic.

I am very excited to introduce two revolutionary products from Gelish.  Introducing VitaGel, the world's first ever light cured (either UV or LED) vitamin enriched soak- off gel designed to strengthen and grow your natural nails.  Say goodbye to chips, splits, and peeling nails, and hello to stronger, healthier, more beautiful natural nails.

If you or your clients are anything like me, constantly changing their nails, damage inevitably sets in at some point.  Despite the meticulous and extensive good care I take of my nails, because I am a blogger changing my nails on average 4 times a week, sometimes more, my nails take a very harsh beating.  Because I also see clients, I typically avoid wearing nail polish on my fingers, and stick with soak off gel; coming in contact with as much polish remover as I do certainly doesn't help maintain my manicures.  

There is now finally an answer to this problem.

The folks at Gelish have created VitaGel, a vitamin enriched soak-off nail strengthener gel in two unique formulas.  Both are designed to promote conditioning of the natural nail for healthy and stronger nails, while helping manicures last longer and free from chips.  VitaGel is said to help maintain a gel manicure for 14-21 days, and a polish manicure for up to 10 days!! 

I've put both formulas to the test now for a week, one on each hand. I applied a thin layer and cured for 30 seconds in an LED lamp.  I then painted my nails with nail polish.  

STRENGTH: is made to help maintain natural nails.  According to the press release, "Enriched with Vitamins A,E, & B5 to provide much needed nutrients to promote healthy nails.  Designed to nourish and strengthen the natural nail.  Helps gel polish and nail lacquer resist chipping for extended wear."  

RECOVERY: is made for thin and damaged nails.  " All the benefits of STRENGTH in a more concentrated formula for added durability.  When applied on a weekly basis, fortifies and strengthens the natural nail to counteract stress and increase flexibility," according to the press release. 

 It's been a little over a week and I must say I am highly impressed with how my nails look and feel.  Although yes there is some polish chipping, as evidenced in the pictures, I find it minimal, especially considering how much I use my hands.  This week alone I have traveled on location to do nails on sets, I've done multiple clients' nails, cleaned my own house, and scrubbed my dishes. In general I am pretty hard on my nails and hands.  Combined with the fact my nails see a lot of damage from all the product testing I have to do for the blog, I am really impressed with VitaGel.  

I have been applying the STRENGTH formula to a couple of clients of mine, and they too claim they notice less chips in their manicure.  

I personally saw less chipping and more physical strength in my nails with the RECOVERY formula.  Although both VitaGels are great, I personally found the added extra strength from the RECOVERY formula more reassuring. 

Overall, I think both VitaGel formulas are great, but if you have to chose just one, I recommend RECOVERY.

Gelish MINI VitaGel are available now for $20.99 each on SallyBeauty.com.

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

To Purchase, head on over to http://sallybeauty.com/