nails

Manicurist Mondays x Lexi Martone

Manicurist Mondays x Lexi Martone 0

Name: Lexi Martone

Salon: Salon Martone, East Northport, NY 

Instagram: Leximartone

Website: http://leximartone.com/ 


What inspires you and your designs?

Fashion. Art. Sculptures.  I do all kinds of crazy shapes.  Art that inspires art.

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

 I've done everything from spinning pizza's, to motors, lights, dry ice, music playing through speakers.

Describe a favorite manicure you've performed?

I love my Power Puffs.  

What's a favorite trick you've learned?

I hold my breath when I paint straight lines.     

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

For fathers day one year a woman wanted different pictures of her husband encapsulated on her nails; a photo album of pictures on her nails.  I've also done jingle balls.   

check out some of Lexi's work below.

Glam and Glits Acrylic

Glam and Glits Acrylic 0

I hope everyone's had a great week, I know I sure have.

Today I am very excited to share with you some really cool Acrylic powders from Glam and Glits. Some of the colors are mood/color changing, and others are traditional solid colors. I've got a few from both to share with you all.

Introducing Glam and Glits Mood Effect Acrylic Collection. The first and only mood changing acrylic powder in the world! These 48 playful shades change color based on your body temperature, your mood, the heat of your cup of coffee, or even while you're holding an ice cold smoothie! Be in the mood now and get ready to shift shades right at your fingertips!Size: 1 oz jars.  Made in USA.  INGREDIENTS: Poly (ethyl mathacrylate), Poly (methycrylate), Dibenzoyl Peroxide & Pigments." They sell for $13 each.

From the color changing Mood Effect Collection I've got:

Aftermath: a jet black with white glitter specks, that becomes dark grey when warm. [In the aftermath you have to deal with your choices; luckily this color was your first choice! Watch as silver speckled forest green transitions from dark to light with just the warmth from your hands.]

Consequence: an eggplant purple with white glitter specks, that becomes like a whitish light pink when warm. [When the consequences are this good there’s no reason to stop and think. Your reward is watching blue glitter-flecked purple transitions to nearly white with just the warmth from your hands.]

Side Effect: a turquoise aqua, that becomes a whitish light lavender when warm. [Finally, something with positive side effects. No need to call your doctor if cream teal transitions to the lightest shade of purple with just the warmth from your hands.]

"Dare to get NAKED with Glam and Glits new acrylic collection, NAKED COLOR!  This long-awaited collection consist of 48 new colors that range from delicate champagne, shimmery nudes to deep red matte with micro shimmer are just to name a few. Each shade leaves a smooth, even finish and lasting color with our advanced acrylic formula that is blended with ultra fine pigments. Never get bored again and have a world of exquisite possibilities right at your client’s fingertips! Size: 1 oz jars, Made in USA.  INGREDIENTS: Poly (ethyl mathacrylate), Poly (methycrylate), Dibenzoyl Peroxide & Pigments," according to the website.  They sell for $10 each. 

From the more traditional solid colors, Naked Color Acrylic Collection I've got:

Make Wave: a light dove gray cream with slight shimmer in it.

Pout: a bright bold hot Barbie pink cream.

Coffee Break: a shimmering espresso chocolate brown

(all swatches are taken outdoors in natural light, and are topped with a polish high gloss top coat)

I had a lot of fun playing around with these acrylic powders, especially the mood effects ones. I have never seen color changing acrylic before on the market.  Polish, gel polish, yes, but never acrylic.  I must say I was very impressed with the quality.  I also really love the fact that the powders can be used with Any brand's monomer.  That is incredible!!  

If you do a lot of work with acrylic, give Glam and Glits a try.  

For more information or to purchase directly, check out: http://www.glamandglits.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 Kiara Sky Gel Polish

Introducing Kiara Sky Gel Polish 0

I hope you've all had a great week so far.

I am very excited to introduce a really cool and innovative gel company- Kiara Sky

Fall in love with Kiara Sky® Soak-off Gel Polish, a patent-pending formula that assures long lasting wear, high-gloss shine that resists fading and color changes over time. The only gel polish in the market that can be applied as a three or two-step system. Yes, you heard it right base coat application is completely optional.  Finally every woman has a choice! Perfect over natural nails, overlays and pedicures. Cure 30 seconds under LED lamp or 2 minutes under UV lamp. Removes quickly and completely in just 8 minutes without any damage to the natural nail. Available in 101 trendsetting colors and matching nail lacquers.  LED and UV light compatible.  Size:  15 ml.  Made in the USA," according to their website.

 In addition to their regular line of gels, they also have a selection of color changing shades. "Introducing Kiara Sky’s mood changing gel polish collection, OMBRE! This glossy and long-lasting temperature active gel polish changes color as your body temperature and mood changes. Have an Enchanted-soft color in warm temperature and a vibrant Wicked shade in cooler temperature. With 33 mood-changing colors, you wont be disappointed with Kiara Sky’s new OMBRE collection."

I've got a few shades from both lines to share with you all. 

High Mintenance: a mint apple green creme. [When your spirits are as high as your standards there’s only one way to go…straight to the top. Let this cool mint pastel take you there and make them stare!]

Out on the Town: a fine purple glitter.  Requires about three to four coats for complete coverage. Could also be used to make an excellent gradation design. [A night out doesn’t start until you show up…wearing shimmering purple glitter to your fingertips! Let your inner party animal go wild!]

And from their color changing Ombre collection-

Pumpkin Carriage: a bright peach cream.  When warm, a flamingo pink.  The shimmer in it is incredibly fine and virtually undetectable. [Medium orange transitions to salmon pink from just the warmth of your hands.]

Fairy Dust: a vivid magenta cream.   When warm, a hot pink. [Bubblegum pink transitions from dark to light from just the warmth of your hands.]

Sour Apple: a bright turquoise cream.  When warm, a light mint. [Regal teal transitions to a minty green from just the warmth of your hands.]

Abracadabra: a bold blue cream. When warm, a darker royal blue. [Glossy purple transitions to peacock blue from just the warmth of your hands.]

(all swatches shown here are 2 coats, unless specifically stated, and are cured for 30 seconds each in an LED lamp.)

I am really impressed with this brand.  I really enjoyed working with the product.  I found the gel to be highly pigmented, much more so than most gel polish brands on the market.

The fact that a base coat is optional with this brand is totally awesome and a huge time saver.  Saved time means you can take more clients on in your salon.  More clients means more money. It's a win win.

The color changing effect was really awesome and magical.  

If you haven't yet tried out this brand, I highly recommend it.  

The gel polishes retail for $13-$15 each per 15 mL (0.5 fl oz) bottle. 

For more information on Kiara Sky or to purchase online, check out: http://www.kiarasky.com/

 

Jin Soon Polish Review

Jin Soon Polish Review 0

I am very excited to introduce to my readers JINSoon.  For those who aren't familiar, Jin Soon Choi is a Korean born popular celebrity manicurist based in New York City.  Her eponomous polish line launched in 2012 to rave reviews, and now I see why.

The shades featured here include-

Auspicious: a light grey creme, with a very subtle lavender undertone.

Nostalgia: a perfect creamy nude.

Nocturne: a blackened gunmetal in a metallic finish.

Chamonix: a black that dries to a textured "leather-like" finish.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are photographed outdoors in natural sunlight). 

I am absolutely in LOVE with this line, and there are a few reasons why.  

First off, I love the packaging. It's very unique and different from whats out there on the market.  It's sleek and elegant, but most importantly it's not bulky; this is super important for me, for I'm always performing manicures on sets, and when polishes are packaged in too large of bottles I can't travel with as many.  But these small bad boys fit beautifully in both my travel kit, and in my hand when using them to paint.  

I found formula to be quite great and highly pigmented. I really liked the brush.  I found it very easy to work with.  Each of the shades I tried painted on smoothly, effortlessly, evenly, and with zero brush strokes.  The polishes all happen to be 5 free as well (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor), which is also a great thing- the less toxic chemicals the better.  

If you haven't yet tried out this brand I highly recommend you do so.

JINSoon nail polishes retail for $18 per 0.37 fl oz (11 mL) bottle.

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

ISSE 2016

ISSE 2016 0

I had a great time this past weekend attending the Intentional Salon and Spa expo in Long Beach.  Most nail brands were there representing their latest offerings.  Some, however didn’t make it this year, including CND and Essie.

Some of the most popular nail booths include: Vetro, Nail Labo, apres Nail, and NOQ.

Check out my pics in the gallery below.

Zoya Whispers Review

Zoya Whispers Review 0

"SIX NEW TRANSITIONAL SHADES -ZOYA WHISPERS
Experience color serenity with this muted and tranquil palette of transitional nail neutrals.
· Cala - ZP823: A soft nude with a kiss of warmth that will flatter most skin tones.

· April - ZP824: A light, rosy toned neutral that is a modern take on blush.

· Eastyn - ZP825: A subtle grayed grape that is more interesting than mauve and
gives a modern alternative that is ever so wearable.

· Misty - ZP827: An easy to wear taupe that is an updated version of gray with
just a touch of green to make it daring.

· Ireland - ZP826: A uniquely wearable green that is muted enough to make it subtle
yet still interesting. This green is well balanced between blue & yellow so it’s
flattering on all skin tones.

· Lake - ZP828: A softened blue that gives the effect of serene water with just a
hint of vibrancy to preserve its luminosity." according to the official press release. 

The Zoya Whispers collection is comprised of the following colors: 

Misty: a greige creme with slight light brown undertones.

Ireland: a soft light green creme.Provided amazing coverage.  Highly pigmented.

April: a creamy nude with rose undertones. Had great coverage with just one coat. 

Cala: a beige nude creme.

Lake: a dusty light blue creme with slight grey undertones.

Eastyn: a dusty light lavender creme with grey undertones.  Highly pigmented.  Provided excellent coverage in a single coat.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

What a pretty collection.  I honestly think this is the perfect transitional collection of colors to take us away from the metallics and glitters we were doing last year, but before we go with the bold bright and neon hues of summer to come.  I'm really impressed with the formula and how highly pigmented some of the colors were.  They all painted on smoothly and effortlessly, giving me zero problems. 

My personal favorites are: Eastyn, Lake, and April.

The colors retail for $9 per 0.5 fl oz (15 mL) bottle, and are available now.

For more information on Zoya, check them out online: http://www.zoya.com/

Introducing Phuse Implements

Introducing Phuse Implements 0

"Made from professional grade materials, the Phuse implement collection is all about the fine details.  Hang nail? Not having it- trim it.  Straight eyelashes? Curl it! Blemish, pimple, blackhead? Ugh.  Remove it! Head to toe tools that will take you from eek to awe," according to the official press release. 

I've got two Phuse's implements to share with you all.

Push It Cuticle Pusher: "With the Phuse Push It cuticle pusher you can push away unsightly overgrown cuticles on both your hands and feet.  Constructed from professional grade stainless steel the Push It cuticle pusher will not rust and will offer a lifetime of cuticle beauty." 

I love the size of this tool.  It's shorter in length than conventional cuticle pushers I'm used to, but I like that; it still gets the job done [it measures approximately 4.5" from end to end].  The body of the pusher contains a slightly ridged design which allows for an excellent grip.  There are two different ends to the pusher, one end is squared, the other is slightly rounded, allowing you to customize your manicure/pedicure to you or your client's needs.  The suggested retail price is $13.

Trim It Cuticle Nippers: "The Phuse Trim It cuticle nippers are equipped with a heavy-duty box joint, double spring tension and ultra-sharp tip closure that trim with professional preciseness.  Constructed from professional Japanese stainless steel, the Trim It cuticle nippers can be cleaned and sanitized without rusting, so start trimming."

It's a new year.  What better way to start off the new year than with a brand new set of nippers?! These are slightly smaller than nippers I am accustomed to, but let me tell you, don't let the diminutive size fool you.  These bad boys are super sharp, and hang nails physically don't stand a chance.  One can't own too many cuticle nippers, especially if you're a busy nail tech.  These nippers feature a black rubber non slip coating which allows for an excellent grip.  The suggested retail price is $25.

For more information on Phuse, and the other implements they make, check them out online: http://www.phusebeauty.com/  

Introducing Crystal Pixie from Swarovski

Introducing Crystal Pixie from Swarovski 0

"Swarovski Create Your Style announces the debut of its innovative Crystal Pixie for nails. Featuring hundreds of crystals in the smallest sizes for maximum sparkle, this product allows for limitless creative expression. Pixie is perfect for application by in-salon professionals and for creating endless fun DIY looks at home. Crystal Pixie will be available in four stunning colors—Cute Mood, Rock Shock, Deluxe Rush and Classy Sassy—from the end of 2015, just in time to light up the party season.

Four colors for endless effects

The hundreds of tiny crystals in Crystal Pixie create a mesmerizing effect that is like fingers dipped in stardust. Presenting a dazzling style for every occasion, Cute Mood offers a playful, girly palette, while Rock Shock takes an edgy, bold approach with metallics, studs and spikes. Deluxe Rush boasts a high-end, luxury mood with golden accents, in contrast to the restrained, monochrome elegance and pared back simplicity of Classy Sassy. Each style can be applied to a variety of nail polish colors to maximize their brilliance and beauty. The effect is always one of extraordinary three-dimensional radiance.

Brilliant contents

Inside each nail box the nail art fan will find a sparkling shot (five grams) of Crystal Pixie plus thirty Swarovski crystal Flat Backs in three complementary colors. A design sheet illustrating a range of style examples to aid inspiration can also be found, together with an instruction and application leaflet. The recommended retail price of this first-of-a-kind product is 24.90 EUR / 28.90 USD per box, according to the official press release.

I am so beyond in love with this product, it's almost difficult for me to express in words. Think of it like magical sand; thousands of teeny tiny bullion beads, mixed with crystal particles, nails brilliantly shine and come to life like never before. Crystal Pixie is hands down my most favorite new product that was introduced last year.  This is also the first nail specific product Swarovski has come out with, and I am hoping it won't be their last.    

Featured here are three of the four shades; Rock Shock is not featured.

Cute Mood: a crystal clear with iridescence.  This can look stunning and quite feminine on it's on, or under lighter shades.  However, when used against a dark color, or black, it takes on a whole new feel, and becomes this gorgeous multi-color cosmic creation.  The flatback crystals that accompany it include pale pink pearls, light pink and magenta crystals.

Deluxe Rush: a fun mix of gunmetal and gold.  The flatbacks that accompany it are white pearls, red and blue crystals. 

Classy Sassy: a pure jet black.  The flatbacks that accompany it include white pearls, grey and clear crystals.

I found Crystal Pixie very easy and incredibly fun to work with.  The creative possibilities are literally endless.  Check out some of the designs I came up with.  All of them were done using gel products.  

The depth, dimension, and shine you get from Crystal Pixie is truly out of this world, and is unlike anything on the market.  

I can not recommend it enough!! A must try.

For more information on Swarovski, check them out online: http://www.swarovskigroup.com/

Essie Retro Revival 2016 Collection Review

Essie Retro Revival 2016 Collection Review 0

"For essie's fabulous 35th anniversary, we're celebrating Vegas-style, in honor of the ultimate party town where it all began.  When the brand first debuted, there was no better place to create a splash than in Las Vegas where showgirls and chic card dealers fell instantly in love with the game-changing assortment of shades.  For them, a beautiful manicure was a winning hand.

In celebration of this iconic birthday, the legendary essie color archive has been opened with a thrilling glimpse into the brand's dazzling history.  The result is a limited edition collection of six iconic shades.  With pearl, sheer, frosted and iridescent shades, each promises a sparkling night of thrills.  And, yes... the rumors are true: we're bringing back starry starry night! It wouldn't be a party without this coveted item, until now fetching hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Isn't it fun getting into a retro mood? As a nod to the iconic vintage sign of the Stardust Casino that lit up the Strip, this one-of-a- kind collection features gold starbursts embellished on essie's signature white cap.  It's a time to head to Vegas to party like its 1981!" according to the official press release.

Essie's Retro Revival 2016 Collection includes the following shades:

Life of the Party: a deep cranberry shimmer. Very highly pigmented.  Provided excellent coverage with even one coat.  From 2002. [pinot noir pearl]

Cabana Boy: a pearly very light gray with a faint lavender undertone. From 2005. [ultra-cool pearly white]

Sequin Sash: a semi-sheer shimmering nude with beige/pink undertones. From 2005. [sheer glittery bronze]

Bikini with a Martini: a semi-sheer frosted pink with an iridescence running through it. From 2006. [frosted iridescent pink]

Birthday Suit: a light beige creme. From 1981, part of the original 12 essie colors. [cheeky delicate nude]

Starry Starry Night: a jelly dark navy blue with small silver glitter specks in it. From 1985. The original formula is said to have contained diamond dust.  Unfortunately this newer version doesn't, but it's still gorgeous, and to the untrained eye, you would never in a million years be able to tell.  [twinkling midnight blue]

(all swatches shown here are two coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

I don't think I have ever been more obsessed with a polish collection! I absolutely LOVE the idea of bringing back old classic coveted shades.  The notion is absolutely brilliant, and I sure hope this isn't the only time essie does it.  I also love the gold starbursts on the bottle, attention to detail is everything!

As far as the formula is concerned, they all painted on smoothly, evenly, and easily.  I didn't experience any issues like brush strokes, or pooling.  

It's so hard for me to pick favorites, but if I absolutely have to, I would say: Starry Starry Night, Sequin Sash, and Cabana Boy are my top 3 must haves. 

Keep in mind this collection is limited edition, so make sure to not wait and grab these colors before they're gone for good.

Essie's limited-edition Retro Revival 2016 Collection retails at $8.50 per bottle and will be available in January 2016 at http://www.essie.com/, fine salons, and beauty destinations nationwide. 

Kung Fu Panda 2016 Collection from Morgan Taylor and Gelish MINI Review

Kung Fu Panda 2016 Collection from Morgan Taylor and Gelish MINI Review 0

"Become a polished warrior as fast as lightening.  In conjunction with DreamWorks Animation's release of Kung Fu Panda 3, Morgan Taylor and Gelish MINI introduce the Kung Fu Panda Collection.  Find your favorite feminine hue amongst our six flirty colors to welcome Mei Mei- the fearless and fun-loving, ribbon-dancing panda. With varying, vibrant shades, take on theaters with style and spunk.

"For this collection we wanted to create a color palette around the new character Mei Mei in the movie," Taylor Daniel from the brands expresses.  "She's courageous and bursting with personality.  We wanted to bring that to life, and drew inspiration from her colorful, eye-catching ensemble flowing with red, purple, pink and other vivacious shades." Morgan Haile from the brands adds," according to the official press release.

The Kung Fu Panda Collection includes the following shades:

Warriors Don't Wine: a warm purple plum creme. [plum creme]

Extra Plum Sauce: a medium purple with a pink shimmer to it. [amethyst pearl]

Po-riwinkle: a light lilac creme. [light periwinkle cream]

Tigress Knows Best: a cherry red creme. [hot red creme]

It's Gonna be Mei: a metallic magenta pink. [rose pearl]

Kung Fu-chsia: a metallic fuchsia. [bright fuchsia pearl]

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

Overall I really like this collection.  I think the colors are fun, girly, very wearable and are shades clients would definitely request.  Although I have never seen any of the Kung Fu Panda films, I can already see the inspiration transpired in these colors.

I didn't have any problems with the formulas.  They each painted on smoothly and evenly.

I'm not the only one who is a fan of this collection; my 3 month old maltipoo BooBoz stole the print ad from me and had a grand ol time.

"Kung Fu Panda 3, will be opening in theaters on January 29, 2016.  The Kung Fu Panda Collection from Morgan Taylor and Gelish MINI will be available for a limited time beginning January 2016.  Morgan Taylor will be sold at select salons nationwide and at http://morgantaylorlacquer.com/ for $8.50 per bottle and $14.95 for the 4-piece mini pack. Gelish MINIs will be sold at Sally Beauty Supply Stores and http://www.sallybeauty.com/ for $13.99 each."