ISSE Long Beach 2017

ISSE Long Beach 2017 0

I had the best time this year at ISSE 2017.  The annual hair, beauty, makeup, nail, and spa show that takes place at the Long Beach Convention Center was held this year on January 28-30.  

This year was very different from years passed.  Primarily, almost all of the nail brands were situated near each other, making my life and job a whole lot easier.  In years passed, nail companies were mixed throughout the show so you kind of had to search high and low to find them.

Some of the nail brands in attendance included: Akzentz, Belava, Bio Sculpture Gel, China Glaze, Christrio, Color Club, Skyline Beauty Supply, ibd, Jessica Cosmetics, LeChat, Nail Labo, Orly, E Nail Couture, Sha-Nail Pro, Vetro, Young Nails, Gelish, Morgan Taylor, Entity Beauty, Artistic Nail Design, Famous Names, Bio Seaweed Gel, etc.  

Some nail brands that showed there for the first time included: Aora Nails, Kokoist, Joya Mia, Brillbird USA, and NCLA. 

Some of the nail brands not there this year: essie, CND, Light Elegance, INM, Crystal Nails, ENP, OPI, & Apres Nails. 

I loved meeting up with the various companies and catching up and seeing whats new.

I also enjoyed meeting with the newer brands showing for the first time at the convention.  Brillbird USA, for instance, is an awesome highly extensive product line from Hungary.  They offered so many cool things including one stroke art paint, 3-D sculpting gels, and flakey chrome pigments, which is soon to become all the rage.

Aora Nails, this was their first year at the show and they made quite a splash with their huge and highly impressive booth showcasing their chrome pigments and magnetic gel polishes. 

Kokoist, a fantastic brand from Japan, was there for the first time, showing their gorgeous highly pigmented potted gels and highly popular fine brushes.

NCLA was there to promote their new line of gel polishes, Gelous?, which I recently got to try and must say, I really Love the formula. They're all 7-free, highly pigmented, and last up to three weeks. 

As a whole, I would say this year was year of Chrome. Almost every brand was offering some sort of iteration of the trendy pigment powder, and performing many demos showing what can be achieved with it.  Some of the brands offering chrome included- Skyline Beauty Supply, Nail Labo, Aora Nails, Bio Seaweed Gel, Bio Structure Gel, LeChat Nails, and E Nail Couture. The most impressive and informational of all the brands I felt was LeChat.  They have a rather extensive offering of chromes, 12 colors, and one of their top educators, Anastasiia Morozova, showed me a few of her award winning design techniques. 

Some of the brands did things differently this year and combined booths creating an almost mega booth.  Hand and Nail Harmony, for instance,  partnered up with Skyline Beauty Supply and had one large booth representing many of their brands, including: Morgan Taylor, Gelish, Artistic Nail Design, and Entity Beauty. 

Skyline Beauty Supply probably had the biggest of all the companies booths, having 5 different segments all showcasing different things.  There was Whale Spa on one end,  Vetro in the middle,  Sha-Nail Pro on the other side of that wall, Chrome Pigments and matte top coats were in their own section, and then Hand and Nail Harmony section as mentioned previously.  So they definitely took up the most floor space at the show this year and had the largest booth.  

Nonetheless, I would have to say Nail Labo was yet again the busiest booth of the show.  Whether it's demos with famed celebrity nail artists, like Britney Tokyo or Miho Nails, looki-loos, or just shoppers stocking up on their favorite brand at a discount.  

I can't fail to mention I met one of my favorite YouTubers, Suzie Manko, from Suzie's Nail Career Education.  She was so sweet and lovely in person I adore her all the more. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTldDNXS4GeChcmwm55mXYQ

Like every year, I had each of my nails done by a different nail artist from around the world.  My absolute favorite this year goes to my left thumb which features a hand drawn portrait of my malti-poo BooBoz, by the highly talented Vu Nguyen.  It took him around ten minutes to do, and literally used just white and black gel polish in various mixed ratios.  The result is absolutely stunning and so life like.   

If you weren't able to make it to this years show, I highly suggest checking it out next year, there is already information up on the website.  Also, if you don't want to commit to a three day pass, you can always go for one day and still have an amazing experience.

For more info on ISSE, check out their website here: https://probeauty.org/isselb/ 



OPI Starlight Collection Review

OPI Starlight Collection Review 0

"For this holiday season, OPI looked to the stars for guidance and inspiration.  The result: 18 out-of-this-world shades for nails that break the beauty barrier at the speed of starlight! The shades of Starlight- OPI's collection for the holidays and beyond- include rich, jeweled tones, unearthly metals, and spectacular glitters.  OPI reminds you to savor the beauty of life in every precious moment as you watch the stars for a glorious future, and invites you to express your vision in the celestially beautiful colors of Starlight by OPI" according to the press release. 

The Starlight Collection by OPI is comprised of the following colors:

Love is in my Cards: a bright candy apple red creme. [this warm, romantic red is destined for me]

Ro-Man-ce on the Moon: a shimmering crimson red. [rendezvous in the glow of this lustrous, rich red]

Guys & Galaxies: a classic oxblood creme. [this maroon beauty makes my world go 'round]

I'm in the Moon for Love: a shimmering medium plum purple. [simply because I'm wearing this plum]

Cosmo with a Twist: a deep purple with shimmering blue particles in it. The color is so gorgeous in the light! [subtle sparkle adds depth to this purple]

Give Me Space: a medium blue with iridescent and holographic fine glitter particles in it. [night-sky blue with room to sparkle]

Center of the You-niverse: a blackened steel with silver and black glitter specks in it. [endless space black shimmer]

Super Star Status: a fine silver glitter with a chunky round gold glitter particles.  A very textured and multi-dimensional shade. [a spotlight- sterling silver and gold glitter]

I Drive a SuperNova: a platinum metallic silver. [hitch a ride on this lustrous sterling silver]

By the Light of the Moon: a platinum silver, similar to I Drive a SuperNova, however it featured various sized silver glitter particles. [silvery and sparkly... prepare to swoon]

Comet Closer: a light shimmering yellow gold that has a slight texture and depth to it. [may I take this warm, textured gold?]

Is this Star Taken?: a light shimmering yellow gold, similar to Comet Closer, however it also features fine holographic bar glitters. [iridescent icicles fly in this smooth gold]

Infrared-y to Glow: light pink v's & small iridescent glitter particles in a clear base. [strike up the glam with red confetti and glitter]

Let Your Love Shine: a shimmering deep cranberry red. [show it off in shimmery, red splendor!]

Ce-less-tial is More: a mix of light pink and light yellow gold glitter particles in a textured finish. [this pink super glitter shines with heavenly light]

Press * for Silver: a mix between a rose gold and a white gold in a metallic finish. [this warm, rosy silver really calls to me]

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Meteorite:  the same as Infrared-y to Glow, but with the addition of gunmetal diamond shaped glitter pieces. [this rosy, golden confetti is so right-on!]

No More Mr. Night Sky: a gorgeous metallic gunmetal. [an assertive, dark, shimmery gray]

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

What a fun and rather extensive collection!  What I really like about it is a lot of the shades can be layered a top one another to create really unique and spectacular looks.  I really admire how glitter and metallic focused this collection is.  I feel like OPI usually sticks to shimmers and creams, however, this collection definitely mixes things up, which I love, especially around the holiday times as we celebrate and dress festively.

I didn't experience any issues with any of the metallic chromes in this collection.  They all painted on smoothly and evenly, and didn't show any brush strokes whatsoever. 

Also, I found the glitters to be densely packed with glitter.  All of the shades shown here are only two coats.  There was no need for a third coat. 

This does happen to be a rather large collection, but here are some of my favorites and recommendations: Cosmo with a Twist, Give Me Space, Super Star Status, and Ce-less-tial is More.

The Starlight Collection from OPI is out and available now.

For more info on OPI, check them out here: http://opi.com/

And for nail tech professionals: http://pro.opi.com/


Swarovski event featuring O.P.I.

Swarovski event featuring O.P.I. 0

Yesterday I had the honor of attending a fabulous presentation from world renowned crystal Mecca Swarovski.  Their latest Fall Winter 2016 collection, titled "Power to Shine," incorporates French haute couture fashion designer Jean Paul Gautier.  Some of the latest crystal innovations include: crystal embedded fabric, a four-holed crystal button, and a new crystal effect sheen that resembles a scarab beetle and its many colors.    

The afternoon could not be complete without an OPI accent nail art using their latest collection Starlight, coming soon for Holiday 2015, coupled with Swarovski crystals of course.

Check out some of my pics from the event in the gallery. 

OPI Infinite shine summer 2015 review

OPI Infinite shine summer 2015 review 0

"Twelve new Infinite Shine Gel Effect Lacquer System shades inspired by laid- back summer lifestyle.  The all new Infinite Shine Summer 2015 Collection from OPI delivers 10 days of high-definition, gel-like shine that lasts until you take it odd.  As the world's number one salon brand, OPI brings to life the easy pinks, sunny yellows, and breezy blues of a day at the beach, the hot orange and juicy plums of an outdoor sunset, and the metallic gold and silver sparkle-perfect for catching some summer rays while making your own. 

The easy three step Infinite Shine Gel Effects Lacquer System makes it possible to get high-volume, glossy gel effects from a formula that you apply and remove like a lacquer, no light curing or soaking required.  For rich color and brilliant, long lasting shine, simply Prime, to prep nails to uniquely grip color and help prevent staining.  Then Lacquer for bold, high-impact color.  Finally Gloss with the high-sheen top coat.  The top coat's exclusive oligomer formula cures to a high-shine hard film in natural light, and comes off easily with nail lacquer remover.  These summer must-have hues are a unique new addition to the 36 OPI Infinite Shine existing shades" according to the press release. 

the new Infinite Shine shades for Summer 2015 include:

Your're Blushing Again: a soft dusty light rose pink creme. [this bashful pink has chic-y style]

Patience Pays Off: a pale pink creme with light lilac undertones. [I canNot wait to get ahead of this nude pink!]

Silver on Ice: a silver chrome. [chill out with nails shimmering with cool silver]

Follow Your Bliss: a bubble gum pink. [I'm in hot pursuit of this dashing, joyful pink]

Lavendurable: a light lilac creme. [ my love for this sweet lilac will last forever]

Purpletual Emotion: a royal purple creme. [getting in touch with this expressive eggplant]

The Sun Never Sets: a bright cantaloupe melon creme. [the afterglow of a tangerine sunset]

Wild Blue Yonder: a bold marine blue creme. [soar into this untamed sky blue]

To Be Continued: a light periwinkle blue creme. [this perwinkle blue just keeps on shining]

S-ageless Beauty: a pale mint green creme. [you are so wise to choose this light sage]

Bee Mine Forever: a butter yellow creme. [I'm devoted to this sweet as-honey yellow creme]

Enter the Golden Era: a light butterscotch gold metallic. [this pearly gold ushers in the Age of Glam]  

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

I must say OPI is usually on the forefront when it comes to technology, but when it comes to their version of a gel-like nail lacquer I must say I'm slightly disappointed.  🙁

Most other brands already on the market offering a similar product do so without needing a Base Coat.  Also, most other gel-like polishes on the market dry in half of the time of a regular polish manicure, 8 minutes as opposed to 15.  This system makes no claims with regards to a possible faster drying time.  

Instead, the product boasts itself on lasting for 10 days, but I personally don't test polishes for their lasting wearability.  There are so many different factors involved that can cause a polish to chip, so when I write my blog reviews I mainly do so discussing the formula, the color itself, and any issues I might have experienced while using it.   

As for the colors themselves, I think this is a very pretty collection, and is definitely wearable.  These are shades clients would request repeatedly. 

I found the formula to be good across the board.  I didn't experience any issues.  The polishes painted on smoothly and evenly, just like a conventional nail polish does.  

My personal favorite shades from the collection include: S-ageless Beauty, The Sun Never Sets, and Purpletual Emotion.

The OPI Infinite Shine Lacquers retail for $12.50 per .5 fl oz 15 mL bottle.

For more information on OPI, check them out online: http://www.opi.com/

and for professional Nail Techs: http://pro.opi.com/ 

OPI GelColor Venice Collection Fall Winter 2015 Review

OPI GelColor Venice Collection Fall Winter 2015 Review 0

"People watching in the piazza.  Sipping champagne in a gondola.  Enjoying gelato in an outdoor cafe.  These images and more can only be inspired by one of the most romantic cities in the world- Venice, Italy.  Not only celebrated for its over-the-top romance, Venice is also the mecca for pleasure-seekers looking to immerse themselves in the opulent splendor of the Baroque period architecture and lavish artwork that surrounds them.

Inspired by this extraordinary city, OPI presents a modern interpretation of Baroque style in the 15 new shades o the Venice Collection.  Romantic reds, decadent blues, striking corals, dreamy pastels, elegant nudes, dramatic darks, and luxurious metallics proclaim that "less is more" is out and sumptuous indulgence is in. 

OPI invited you to renew your passion with color and bring the romance and opulence of Venice into your heart and onto your fingertips with the Venice Collection by OPI," from the official press release. 

The Fall Winter 2015 Venice Collection from OPI consists of the following shades:

Be There in a Prosecco: a creamy white beige. [I'm living in the moment, and in this opaque creme.]

Tiramisu for Two: a creamy dusty rose pink. [I totally "dessert" this sweet coffee cream.]

A Great Opera-tunity: a creamy salmon shade.  It is significantly darker than Tiramisu for Two. ["Aria" ready to wear this gorgeous melon?]

Gimme a Lido Kiss: a micro fine shimmering bright bold red. [Pucker up for this saucy, red shimmer.]

Amore at the Grand Canal: a luscious deep dark red rose creme. [Let the romance flow in this ravishing red.]

It's a Piazza Cake: a pumpkin spiced orange creme. [Choosing this persimmon creme is as easy as pie.]

Gelato on my Mind: a bright pastel sky blue creme. [Deliciously sweet and icy-cool, pastel blue.]

Purple Palazzo Pants: a lavender creme. [I've searched far and wide for this lovely lilac.]

O Suzi Mio: a deep eggplant purple creme. [This delicious shade of eggplant is all mine!]

Worth a Pretty Penne: a shimmering light copper tone.  Could almost pass for rose gold.  Wasn't streaky in the slightest, as most shades similar can be.  I was very pleased with this one. 🙂  [Flaunt your fashion "cents" in this shimmery copper.]

My Gondola or Yours?: a jet black creme. [Let's cruise the canals in this luscious black.]

I Cannoli Wear OPI: an off white creme, but really its a super pale dove gray. [My heart belongs to this pale, creamy gray.]  

And then the three limited edition shades:

Venice the Party?: a shimmering aqua blue with teal undertones. [This aquamarine would be the life of any party.]

Baroque... But Still Shopping: a pewter fine chunks of matching glitter particles.  The color is a perfect blend of both silver and gold. [It shimmers, it glitters, and it's gold... it's mine!]

St. Mark's the Spot: a shimmering cobalt blue. [Your search for the perfect royal blue pearl is over.]

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

I must admit how overjoyed and overwhelmed I was upon receiving this elaborate package from OPI.  I review a lot of product, and come across most new collections from huge nail companies, but nevertheless, leave it to OPI to blow even me out of the water.

I think the presentation of the entire collection was so beyond creative, fun, and imaginative. Who ever came up with the idea to include a face mask, recipe cards, and even inspired delectable truffles is so so smart. 

As far as the collection and formula are concerned- Love. I think the colors offer a wide variety to satisfy all clients.  I like that there is a little bit of everything, some glitters, some pearly metallics, and amazing cremes.  As for the formulas, I found them all great, painting on smoothly and easily, giving me complete coverage in two coats.  I didn't experience any issues.

My personal favorite shades include: Gelato on my Mind, I Canolli Wear OPI, Worth a Pretty Penne, & St. Mark's the Spot.

Another thing I have to mention is how beyond clever the names are.  I know OPI has always been famous for it's creative names, but this collection hands down hits the ball out of the park.  I died of laughter upon reading some of them, and still do.  Some of my personal favorites include: Baroque... but still Shopping, A Great Opera- tunity, & I Cannoli wear OPI.

The Fall Winter 2015 Venice Collection from OPI is out and available now. 

For more info on OPI, check out:

- Certified Nail Professionals: http://pro.opi.com/

- Everyone Else to find a salon near you, or matching polish shade  ^_^: http://www.opi.com/ 


OPI Coca Cola Collection 2015 Review

OPI Coca Cola Collection 2015 Review 0


WHAT THEY ARE: A limited edition collection of nail lacquers and GelColor in honor of the Coca-Cola bottle’s century anniversary. 

In 1915, The Glass Root Company designed the now classic contoured glass Coca-Cola bottle in Terre Haute, Indiana. One hundred years later, this unique bottle has become one of the most globally revered packages ever created. To celebrate this milestone, OPI created an exclusive Icons of Happiness nail color collection, featuring two new shades and six classic colors that pay homage to the bottle’s bold color and signature style. OPI – the world’s number one nail salon brand – is also no stranger to iconic bottles. Along with the Coca-Cola bottle, the OPI bottle’s matte black handle and distinctive silhouette make it one of the world’s most recognizable nail lacquer bottles. Now, enjoy the essence of one legendary image alongside another, with the new OPI and Coca-Cola Summer Collection.

Two new additions to the Coca-Cola x OP nail color line celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the iconic Coca-Cola glass bottle.

The Summer Collection includes:
Eight on-trend shades to deliver flawless, long-lasting color inspired by the iconic drink. 

Shades include:
• You’re So Vain-illa, a sweet, creamy nude
• Visions of Georgia Green (NEW), a sparkling green inspired by the classic Coca-Cola bottle
• Centennial Silver (NEW), a shimmering pewter
• Coca-Cola Red, the iconic red that’s always in style
• My Signature is “DC,” a glimmering silver
• Sorry I’m Fizzy Today, a smooth and creamy pink
• Get Cherried Away, an over-the-top black cherry
• A Grape Affair, a deep, dark purple.


according to the press release.

The two new shades featured here in both nail lacquer and gel polish are:

Visions of Georgia Green: a light celery green with a pearl iridescence running through it. If using the gel polish version I recommend using 3 coats to ensure opacity.  [Pearly and lightly sparkling, inspired by the classic Coca-Cola bottle.]

Centennial Silver: a stunning silver with an almost iridescent shimmer.  It reminds me of a sparkly white gold its so pretty. [On a scale of 1 to 10, this shimmer pewter hits 100!]

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

I really love these two new shades OPI has added to their Coke Collection.  I think they are both very pretty colors that not only embody the spirit of Coca Cola's beverages, but they're also very celebratory and are shades clients will definitely request.

I found the colors applied very smoothly and easily. There was zero issues whatsoever of the silver being difficult or streaky.  A lot of times silver metallic polishes tend to be on the streaky side. Not here!

I recommend picking up the duos and adding them to your stash.

For more information check out OPI online here: http://www.opi.com/

And for professional nail techs, check them out here: http://pro.opi.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/
OPI ColorPaints Review

OPI ColorPaints Review 0

Hey guys,

I hope your all having a wonderful week.  I am super excited to share with you the latest release from OPI, they're innovative ColorPaints collection, comprised of 8 blendable nail lacquers.  

"ColorPaints' innovative, breakthrough formula allows you to create luminous nail designs in vivid, translucent color.  Try layering, blending, or marbling to create a unique look every time you see it" according to ad.

The ColorPaints are super easy to use and are incredibly fun.  Apply a single thin coat of the Silver Canvas, and then use any of the 8 shades to make endless works of art.  Literally I could play around with this stuff for days on end, which I have, and could continue to do so easily, but unfortunately I have to get back to my clients and testing out other products.  

The eight colors that comprise the ColorPaints collection include-

Silver Canvas: a metallic silver used as a base for your art work.

Primary Yellow: a sheer lemon yellow.

Pen & Pink: a bold sheer watermelon pink.

Magenta Muse: a fun sheer fuchsia.

Purple Perspective: a rich sheer grape purple.

Indigo Motif: a deep sheer navy blue.

Turquoise Aesthetic: a sheer turquoise teal blue.

Landscape Artist: a sheer grassy green.

*Chromatic Orange: please note this shade is not featured in the review!*

(all swatches shown here are two coats of color, painted over Silver Canvas as base).

I found the formula to be really easy to work with.  There was no streaking whatsoever, everything painted on smoothly and evenly.  Even Silver Canvas, used as a base, painted on so smoothly and evenly, which I was quite surprised, expecting it to be like most foily silvers, and be a streaky mess.   

The possibilities of what you can create are absolutely endless, limited by your own creativity and imagination.  

ColorPaints by OPI are available now in stores, and I highly suggest you pick some up and have a go with it yourself.  I promise you'll be thanking me.

For more information on OPI, check them out here: http://www.opi.com/


OPI 2015 Brights Collection Review

OPI 2015 Brights Collection Review 0

"Light up your nail look with the new Brights Collection by OPI.  An electrifying palette of all new, on-trend Brights.

These bold hues are the perfect way to make an impact.  To create an even more dramatic pop of color, layer brights over a solid white base.  Available in NEW shimmering metallic pink Can't Hear Myself Pink, hot pink glitter On Pinks and Needles, iridescent metallic blue I sea You Wear OPI, scorching hot red I STOP for Red, delectable purple The Berry Thought Of You, deep navy blue My Car has Navy-gation," according to the press release. 

The Brights Collection includes-

On Pinks and Needles: a multi-sized neon pink matte glitter in a clear base.  Was surprisingly very easy to remove, which is always a major plus with glitters.

I STOP for Red: a hot neon red jelly creme.  I usually am not a fan of reds, but this shade is remarkable.  From the color, to the formula, I highly recommend this shade to everyone!

I Sea You Wear OPI: a medium blue shimmer.

Can't Hear Myself Pink: a candy pink shimmer.  Has excellent coverage, even with just one coat.

The Berry Thought of You: a magenta creme with slight purple undertones.

My Car has Navy-gation: a navy blue jelly creme.  I really love this shade.  Very cool formula.

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

I am a big big fan of this collection.  I like that OPI didn't take the typical summer route and just introduce a bunch of neons, instead opting for something slightly different.  The colors are each bold and definitely pack a punch.  The formulas were excellent, with some new jelly-creme finishes being introduced to the line.  My personal favorites include: I STOP for Red, My Car has Navy-gation, & The Berry Thought of You.

Discover the collection starting from May 2015 at ULTA, ULTA.com, and select professional salons, and retail for $9.50 each.

For more information on OPI, check them out online: http://www.opi.com/


Soft Shades by OPI 2015 Review

Soft Shades by OPI 2015 Review 0

"The number one salon brand, OPI, is celebrating the lighter side of nail color.  With signature high-fashion colors and iconic shade names, OPI has been a go-to for salon professional for 30 years.  Now, to bring the richly pigmented formulas you love to the season's hottest nude matte nail trend, OPI introduces the new SoftShades Collection.  This of-the-moment collection of blushes, nudes, and matte shades delivers rich, true-to-bottle color with just a few coats, even in the lightest hues.  

 These six pastel hues are the perfect way to lighten up your spring style.  Available in sheer white Chiffon My Mind, pink and white flecked with white daisy decal Petal Soft, pink-toned beige Put it in Neutral, light beige Act Your Beige!, pearlescent silver This Silver's Mine!, and iridescent glitter Make Light of the Situation," according to the press release.

The 2015 Soft Shades by OPI Collection includes:

Put it in Neutral: a semi sheer pale pink creme with beige undertones. [I'm driven to get my hands on this pinkish beige.]

Make Light of the Situation: a multi- iridescent glitter in a sheer opalescent base.  It surprisingly removed very easily.  [Fine, iridescent glitter sparkles with style]

Act Your Beige: a sheer nude pink.  It is more beige toned than Put It In Neutral. Took 3 coats.  [Age is just a number, but this light beige is #1!]

This Silver's Mine!: metallic silver kissed with pink.  The pink sheen is very subtle, and barley noticeable once painted on.  I wanted to LOVE this shade, because at first glance it seemed like a unique silver with the pearly sheen to it.  But once I tried it, I hated it.  A streaky nightmare, I do not recommend this shade.  [I totally dig this pearly silver!]

Chiffon My Mind: a white/pink with iridescent shimmer. Took 3 coats. [I can't stop thinking about this lovely sheer white.]

Petal Soft: Pale pink and white matte glitters in circles, tiny specs, and flower bits.  I applied it over Put It In Neutral.  The flower bits are rather difficult to target.  I put some drops of this shade on a some tinfoil and used an orange wood stick to pick up the flower pieces I wanted.  In general with this shade, to get a higher glitter concentration, I recommend using a dabbing motion. [White daisies softly float with pink and white speckles]

(most shades shown here are two coats, unless stated otherwise.)

Overall I am not a huge fan of this collection, primarily because I dislike sheer polishes in general- they aren't for me.  If you are a sheer polish lover, than this collection is absolutely for you.  I found the sheer shades needed to be build up too much in order to get proper color and to conceal any patchiness.  The Petal Soft shade was annoying to fish out the daisy flower glitter pieces, and This Silver's Mine was terribly streaky.

My most favorite shade in this collection I would recommend is Make Light of the Situation.

For more information on OPI, check them out online: http://www.opi.com/  


OPI Hawaii Collection Spring/Summer 2015 Review

OPI Hawaii Collection Spring/Summer 2015 Review 0

Hawaii Collection by OPI brings the fresh, bright colors of its namesake islands to nails and toes for Spring/Summer 2015.  This new collection features a palette ranging from muted tones of mint, peach, pink and nude to border hues of coral, green, purple and gold to deep tones of mauve, violet, brick red and shimmery blue. 

"After the long months of winter, women are eager to embrace color- from soft pastels to bold accents to gleaming metallics explains Suzi Weiss- Fischmann.  "Caught in a perpetual state of spring, the Hawaii islands were the ideal inspiration for this year's seasonal collection.  OPI looked toward the surf, sand, and sunsets found at Hawaii's beautiful beaches, as well as the islands' lush greenery, tropical flowers, and colorful fish, to create 12 fresh new nail shades" according to the press release.

The Spring/Summer 2015 Hawaii Collection includes:

Suzi Shops & Island Hops: a strawberry milkshake pink creme.  [a light and happy pink that's the perfect traveling companion.]

Lost My Bikini In Molokini:  a grape jellybean creme.  [with this reef-inspired purple, what's one bikini more or less?]

This Color's Making Waves: a metallic aqua blue with reflective green and gold undertones.  [this shimmery, lagoon blue has got heads turning.]

Pineapples Have Peelings Too!: a shimmering yellow gold base with large multi-colored round glitter.  I am not a big fan of this shade personally. [the heart of the matter lies in this gold shimmer with colorful sparkle.] 

Just Lanai-ing Around: a dusty magenta creme. [this dark, creamy mauve says "hang loose!" in style.]

Hello Hawaii Ya?: a dusty violet creme.  [in this gorgeous, dusky purple, I'm doing just fine.]

Is Mai Tai Crooked? an orange creamsicle creme.  [get it straight- this fruity orange creme is fabulous!]

Aloha From OPI: a fiery neon coral red.  One of my favs in the collection! It is so gorgeous and bright in person!  [let's give a warm island hello to this bright creamy coral!]

That's Hula-rious!: a pastel mint green creme. A very pretty shade.   [this pastel mint green makes me dance with joy!]

Do You Take Lei Away?:  a creamy deep nude creme.  [on second thought, I can't wait-  I need this creamy nude now!]

My Gecko Does Tricks:  a metallic grassy green with yellow golden undertones that flash in the light.  I love this shade.  I find it to be super unique, and its on my toes as we speak.  [being bright and pearly green is just one of its talents.] 

Go With The Lava Flow: a golden orange-ish red shimmer.  [you can feel the heat shimmering off this golden red.]

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

Overall I think this is a great collection.  Because it is so large, 12 shades, there is something to literally offer every type of customer and person.  The quality and formula was excellent across the board on all shades, as is typically the case with OPI polishes.  I personally am not a fan of "Pineapples Have Peelings Too", because I find it to be an ugly color.  I could understand the initial concept they might have had when making it, I just think the vision and execution wasn't properly undertaken.  Other than that, the other 11 shades I think are totally great.

My personal favorites include: That's Hula-rious!, My Gecko Does Tricks, & Aloha from OPI.  

OPI's Hawaii Collection is available now & retails for $9.50 each at professional salons, including Beauty Brands, Chatters, Dillard's, Regis, ULTA, and ulta.com

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




Manicurist Mondays x Adela Munoz

Manicurist Mondays x Adela Munoz 0

Name: Adela Munoz

Salon Name: Artistic Nails

Salon Location: Fontana, CA

What inspires your designs?

Fabric, texture, architecture, flowers, nature, animal prints.   

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

Electrical wiring, and clock / watch pieces. 

Describe a favorite manicure you've performed?

I call it the "Reveal".  You layer different colors and than file to show multiple shades underneath, (sort of like a jawbreaker effect).  

What's a favorite trick you've learned?

To bend the brush for a good ombre design with gels.    

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

Twisted corkscrew nails for a bride's wedding, on her two ring fingers.  We had to make sure she could still get the ring on her finger.   

Manicurist Monday: Vu Nguyen

Manicurist Monday: Vu Nguyen 0

Name: Vu Nguyen

Instagram: VuNguyenOPI

What inspires your designs?

Tattoo art.  

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

Pornographic images... different sex positions on each nail.

Describe a favorite manicure you've performed?

Anytime I work on older ladies; they always have interesting stories to tell, but some do go crazy and elaborate with their nail choices. 

What's a favorite trick you've learned?

Using one brush for everything.  It's an acrylic brush from OPI called the "Golden Point".  

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

I had a client once with 6 toes.  She wanted me to build out her thumbnail extra long.  She even said I could charge extra, that it was ok. 

Fifty Shades of Grey by OPI

Fifty Shades of Grey by OPI 0

"The Fifty Shades of Grey book series is one of the greatest publishing sensations of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold to date.  Fans have fallen in love with the characters and are eager to see them translated onscreen," explains Suzi Weiss- Fischmann, OPI Co-founder & brand ambassador.  "The collection captures the mood, feelings and emotions of this film with assorted hues of gray, ranging from glittering and gleaming silvers to cool gray cremes to dark charcoal.  The collection also features a rich red creme to represent passion."

"Color is so much more than something to  admire.  The colors we choose to wear represent our personalities, our moods, our feelings," continues Weiss-Fischmann.  "The collection bottles the film's passion, luxury, and power in six beautiful nail lacquers ideal for expressing sensuality through beauty," according to the press release.

This limited edition OPI collection includes the following shades:

Romantically Involved: a deep burnt red creme.  [I'm in a deep relationship with this luscious creme red]

My Silk Tie: a metallic chrome silver.   I was very pleased with how smoothly this applied.  Also, there were zero brush strokes, which are usually apparent in metallic polish colors of this nature. [This silky, gleaming silver has got me all tied up]

Cement the Deal: a light dove gray. The lightest shade of gray in this collection. [I'd sign anything to get my hands on this stony, cool gray]

Embrace the Gray: a true elephant gray. A medium shade of gray in this collection. [Let this chic, moody gray creme become one with you]

Dark Side of the Mood: a dark graphite gray.  The darkest shades of gray in the collection.  [This brooding, stormy charcoal is dangerously gorgeous]

Shine for Me: a metallic silver with small blue glitter flecks in it. [This shimmering silver with subtle blue sparkle really turns me on!]

(all swatches shown are 2 coats; with photos taken outside in natural light to depict the colors accurately).

I really enjoyed this collection.  Fist of all, I was a fan of the book series when it first came out.  Secondly,  I don't think one can ever have too many shades to gray in their polish arsenal.  I thought I owned a lot of grays, but when I compared them to this collection, they leaned more towards the greige (gray/beige) category.  

Being a fan of the books myself I think OPI did an excellent job of curating a color palette that truly symbolizes the book franchise.  It goes without saying the collection can't be made of only gray colors, so I really like the fact OPI played around with dimension and texture, throwing in a metallic and glitter to the mix.  

The formula on each was great,  providing a smooth and easy application in two coats.  My personal favorites include: Cement the Deal, and Embrace the Gray.

As I mentioned before, this collection is limited edition, and wont be around for long.  Each lacquer retails for $9.50, and  is available now at professional salons, ULTA, and other fine retailers.

For more information on OPI, check out their website: http://www.opi.com/

And for those who can't wait till Valentine's Day for the Fifty Shades film, enjoy the trailer in the meantime:



Merricures visits ISSE- 2015

Merricures visits ISSE- 2015 0

Hey guys.  I hope you all had a great weekend, I know I sure did.

This past weekend was ISSE, the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach California, held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

I started the first of 3 days off with a bang, having a VIP Media meeting with Jan Arnold, co-founder and style director for CND.  I was so honored to find out I was her first appointment of the day!! Go Team Merricures!! I absolutely adore Jan, her passion, knowledge, and charisma I find to be both infectious and inspiring.  She walked me through a wonderful presentation of both Spring and Summer 2015 Shellac and Vinylux collections.   She also told me about a brand new revolutionary product launching next month, that I can’t wait to share with you all (trust me, I wasn’t leaving that meeting without a bottle of it).  Jan was also very eager and proud to mention CND U, an online forum for nail education, had proudly launched.

We gabbed about New York Fashion Week and all of the amazing collaborations CND does with various designers, including: Libertine, Opening Ceremony, The Blonds, etc.  Because we are both so passionate about fashion I had to take a break from nails and quiz Jan on her amazing fashion sense.  I had to know who are her favorite designers.  I was very surprised at how quickly and proudly she responded: 1. Comme Des Garcons (because they are never trendy). 2. Libertine (because of their unique perspective). and 3. Simone Rocha: (her latest obsession from London).


Then it was off to the show.  The show didn’t begin on Saturday until 1 pm, and I unfortunately had to work an event on the other side of town in the early evening, so I was only able to stick around for 2 hours that day.  Needless to say, the adrenalin rush of frantically running around trying to have catch up conversations with friends and colleges was a bit of a challenge.  I did manage however to have a couple demos done at Young Nails and Akzentz.

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While getting a demo, I spotted 3 of the lovely contestants from the hit nail reality show “Nail’d It”, including Ashley Craig, the 1st place winner, who received $100,000!  They are all so great and sweet.

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The next day, Sunday, was much better and more relaxed.  I had a full day to properly catch up with a majority of my friends, and get some really cool demos done, including from Britney Tokyo and Natalie Minerva (of Nail Swag) at the Nail Labo booth.

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I must admit I’m not the only one who was excited to get a demo done by these ladies.  People were aggressively lining up and causing a stir at the Nail Labo booth because everyone was so excited and needed to purchase the exact products the girls were using to create their remarkable designs.


But when you see the kind of art these incredibly talented ladies do you understand why there was such a commotion/line.  In addition to promoting Nail Labo products, which are of the highest quality, all made and imported from Japan, the girls were promoting their latest endeavor, a 6 piece line of highly pigmented gels specifically made for doing nail art, called Tokyo Swag.  I’ve got some to review for you all, but more on that a little later.


I also had the honor of meeting the top 3 finalists of NAILS Magazine’s Next Top Nail Artist Contest Lexi Martone, Lavette Cephus, and Danielle Costantino.  The girls were all so lovely and humble despite their immense creative talent.  I was lucky enough to have a demo performed by Lavette Cephus (who was later announced that evening as the winner).

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I couldn’t get over how cool Lexi Martone’s Nails were.


This is Lavette working her magic on me-


Nonetheless, the girls are each so remarkably talented.

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Sunday I also died when I met one of my idols, celebrity nail tech Kimmie Kyees.  She was such a delight and a wonderful person, more so than I ever could have imagined.  She even gave me a few pieces of advice on tips she has learned over the years.

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I also got to spend some quality time with my favorite buddies over at INM.  They filled me in on all the new awesome products they have added to their line, including 4 new multi-use pens, quick dry spray, and an expanded lacquer line.

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Sunday evening, after the show ended,  NAILS Magazine and CND hosted a wonderful cocktail party/awards ceremony at nearby Cafe Sevilla where the winner of the Next Top Nail Artist competition was announced.  There were tons of nail industry guests in attendance, including Sam Biddle, Katie Cazorla,  and Doug Schoon to name a few.  The awards themselves were MC’d by Hannah Lee and Jan Arnold.

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As you probably know by now, my girl Lavette Cephus won! She cried and was physically shaking.  Once she calmed herself down she delivered a beautiful acceptance speech.

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Monday was the last day of the show.  A lot of people in the industry call this “Students Day;” lots of individuals training in beauty school, hair, or nails come.  By this day, Akzentz was highly picked over, virtually sold out of most products; having to take down many orders to be filled later on.  I honestly think they did the best out of all the nail companies exhibiting at the show as far as selling product is concerned.

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New to the convention this year was an awesome multi-competition winning line from Hungary, Crystal Nails.  They have been highly successful throughout Europe for the last ten years, and are making a splash Stateside, offering an incredible insane amount of colors.  They make over 500 shades of each hard gel, gel polish, and acrylic.  Some of the colors I saw were incredibly unique and oh so beautiful, and glitters for days in every shade of the rainbow and beyond.

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All sorts of technological innovation including: color changing, chrome finish, magnets, and light refraction were being demonstrated by award winning and famous nail techs, including Classic Mully, who also appeared on Oxygen’s hit show Nail’d It.  I was fortunate enough to have a demo with her, which she shared her incredible art technique with me using their ChroMe & Tiger Eye Crystalac gel polishes, painting the underside of my nail primarily.

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Also new this year to the convention was The Nail Spot, a designated area for all things specifically nails related: hands-on and complimentary nail classes, creative nail demonstrations, and competitions.

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Absent this year from the show were a few major brands, including Essie, Cuccio, and hair care giant Moroccanoil.  I also noticed some companies downsized their booth, and in some cases significantly,  as much as half.  I do not know why, but I am sure they all have their reasons.

Overall the show was great.  I had an incredible time, and highly recommend everyone experience the ISSE show at some point. It’s an experience not to be forgotten.

Check out the rest of my photos in the gallery below.