review

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/

Introducing Kur + Lakur by Londontown

Introducing Kur + Lakur by Londontown 0

I am very excited to introduce my readers to Kur + Lakur by Londontown, a healthy natural nail oriented company.  I always love trying out new brands to see what they offer differently from their competitors.  

According to the company-  "Londontown is a luxurious and healthy nail treatment and color line that was created by Natasha Dillon after she noticed the negative effects the chemicals in UV gels had on her nails.  Natasha created kur, an innovative treatment system that strengthens and hydrates damaged nails and lakur, an enhanced formula nail colour line. Both kur and lakur are free of harsh chemicals and mysterious synthetics and both are infused with Londontown's innovative remedy of natural extracts and oils, including rapeseed flower oil, evening primrose and biotin. 

 In addition to being "5-free", lakur has been stripped of all other harmful toxic chemicals that deplete the nails of their natural nutrients causing them to weaken and dry and has been infused Londontown's uniquely formulated family remedy that adds nourishment and hydration to nails while wearing polish.  We have also done away with wheat and animal protein but preserved strength by enhancing lakur with vegetable protein, keeping Londontown vegan, gluten free and cruelty free."

The colours swatched here include:

Teatime: a creamy beige nude.

Foglifter: a dusty army green with brown undertones. I would say this definitely falls into the "greige" color  category.

Water in my Wellies: a grayed out teal with green undertones. 

Beau of the City: a royal blue jelly.  My personal favorite shade in this lineup.

To the Queen with Love: a dark smokey plum purple.

Pence by the Pound: a rich deep chocolate brown. 

(all swatches shown here are 2 coats) 

I found both of the Kur products (Nail Hardener & Protective Top Coat) complement the Lakur colour polish well.  According to Londontown you are supposed to use all of the products in conjunction with one another, to ensure a healthful manicure.  I wore Beau of the City on my nails for a week, along with the Nail Hardener as a base, and the Protective Top Coat, and I received countless complements.  

As a whole I really enjoyed trying out the products from Londontown.  I found the polishes painted on very smoothly, without encountering any problems.  I can't yet say whether or not my nails feel any stronger per say, however, there was zero visible damage done to my natural nails upon removing the product.  I would definitely advise you pick up some Londontown for yourselves and give it a try.

For more information on Londontown, or to purchase, check them out on their website here: http://www.londontownusa.com/home.php

 

Deborah Lippmann: “80’s Rewind” Summer 2014 Swatches

Deborah Lippmann: “80’s Rewind” Summer 2014 Swatches 0

For summer 2014, Deborah Lippmann has introduced six fabulous brightly colored retro shades that are inspired by the 80's.  I'm a product of the 80's, born in '85, so I have a personal connection to this glam collection. And as per usual, each shade takes it's name from a hit pop/rock song from the era.  

The collection includes:

Walking on Sunshine: a bright sunny yellow creme. This is an Excellent yellow! Usually yellow polishes are very streaky, and need to be applied in 3 thin coats.  Not this one! 🙂

Whip It: a strong rich pink.

Don't Stop Believin': a perfect cross between red and orange.

Video Killed the Radio Star: a vivid true blue.

She Drives Me Crazy: a teal with green undertones.

Maniac: a popping purple. 

All swatches shown here are 2 coats with a top coat.

I found the formula of all the colors in the collection to be great.  They all painted very smoothly and easily.  I love creme polishes, and can never get enough of them.  My personal favorites include: She Drives Me Crazy, Whip It, & Video Killed the Radio Star. 

The 80's Rewind Collection is out now for a limited time, and can be purchased online at: http://www.deborahlippmann.com/

CND Vinylux- “Open Road Collection” Spring 2014

CND Vinylux- “Open Road Collection” Spring 2014 0

Introducing CND’s latest collection of week long wearing Vinylux polishes for Spring 2014 called the “Open Road Collection”.  The collection is comprised of 6 earthy and beautiful shades that are the perfect pedicure complement to the Shellac collection of the same shades, or for the customer who prefers polish as opposed to a gel manicure.

I love this collection and found the formula incredible.  All shades covered completely to full opacity in two coats, and there was zero streaking.

The collection includes:

Sage Scarf: a rich sage green.

Desert Poppy: a shimmering fiery orange coral.

Sun Bleached: a pale buttery yellow

Clay Canyon: an earth toned dark dusty rose.

Powder My Nose: a very clean milky nude.

Mint Convertible: a mint green colored apple.

(All swatches shown here are 2 coats, and are sealed with a top coat).

For more information on CND and their Vinylux line of polishes, check them out here: http://www.cnd.com/

AnGel Artist Gel Pots- Series 2

AnGel Artist Gel Pots- Series 2 0

I recently had the privilege of playing with the Series 2 of Artist Gel Pots from AnGel by Ikonna. .

Series 2 comes in a convenient case, perfect for traveling, and features 12 awesome new shades. Say goodbye to using traditional acrylic paint when doing nail art! These potted gels do not set or dry out, like acrylic paint, until you cure them in the light. The gels have an amazing viscosity, which makes them ideal and perfect to work with, allowing ease of control. The kit retail for $119, and will last many a manicure. I can not recommend it enough! Every manicurist that performs any type of Nail Art NEEDS this kit in there arsenal!!

The colors included in Series 2 are:

Lemonade Parade: a bright creamy yellow

Blank Pages: a pure bright white

She’s Got Envy: a great and creamy grass green

Pinch Me Pink: a flamingo pink

Frostbite: a cement gray

Fresh Face: a peach apricot

In the Buff: a caramel camel

Ice Cold Stares: robin’s egg blue

Lavishly Lavender: a deep grape purple

Peri”wink”le: a cornflower blurple (blue/purple hybrid)

Sparkle My Interest: a glistening dark gunmetal metallic

Silver Stars Shine: a metallic silver

For more information, or to purchase AnGel products, check them out here: http://ikonna.com/

Essie- Resort Fling, Resort 2014 Collection Swatches!

Essie- Resort Fling, Resort 2014 Collection Swatches! 0

Essie recently came out with a 4 piece collection for Resort 2014.  Every year Essie’s resort collection tends to be a personal favorite of mine; the colors are usually so gorgeous.  This year was no exception 🙂

Find me an Oasis: a super light blue. My personal favorite in this collection!

Resort Fling: a creamy coral peach.

Cocktails & Coconuts: a khaki beige with very fine micro subtle shimmer.

Under the Twilight: a deep dark midnight purple, almost black. What I like to call a “1 coat Wonder,” meaning you can get full coverage and opacity with a single coat of this shade.

All swatches shown here are 2 coats.

For more information on Essie, or to purchase, check them out here: http://www.essie.com/

Empower Nail Art

Empower Nail Art 0

Introducing this awesome new technology that will Wow your clients and nail art lovers alike!  I had the pleasure of meeting the creator of Empower Nail Art at the ISSE convention recently.  Not only did he explain to me all about his awesome creation, but he commissioned celebrity Nail Artist Kandi Banks, aka KandiYamz, to perform demonstrations.

The product is an adhesive film, NOT a foil or a transfer.  It is significantly thinner and more flexible than traditional nail decals/polish strips presently on the market.  Also, unlike Minx, this does not require any heat or special light fixture to set it, the product is ready to go as is!

The nail films are specifically designed to be used either on their own over the natural nail, or to accompany Any conventional acrylic, polish, or gel that you wish.

The Intro Kit, featured above, has everything you need to get started, and retails for under $50:

– 1 Nail Template: can be used to create full finger wraps in 11 different sizes, and in 4 cuticle shapes.

– 1 Crystal File: to file off and remove excessive product at the free edge.

– 1 X-Acto Knife: for precise cutting.

– 1 pair of Squeezers: a small scissor-like apparatus to aid in post application trimming or detailing.

– 4 Half Size Nail Film sheets: so you can play around and get familiar with the product.

Full sized sheets, also pictured above, can be purchased separately and come in a variety of prints and styles.  I particularly am drawn to the holographic ones.  The sheets measure 3”x 7” & feature 150 different design shapes printed on the back of each film, so you can cut them out easily and perfectly in no time at all.  The films retail for under $10 each.

For more information or to purchase, check out Empower Nail Art here: http://www.empowernailart.com/ 

Gel II Reaction Color Changing Gels!

Gel II Reaction Color Changing Gels! 0

I can never get enough of Gel II Reaction color changing gels.  They are my most favorite, and people just go nuts when they see the colors change in front of their very eyes.

Also, the fact that NO base coat or primer is required, saves you so much time when servicing clients!!

The shades I’ve swatched here include:

After Dark: black when cold, changes to a light gray when warm.  A thin coat of this can be used over any gel art design, and will still show through.

Champagne Fizz: a bright fuchsia when cold that changes to white when warm.

Shark Bite: a deep purple when cool that changes to a bright aqua blue. My personal favorite and most dramatic color changing in the collection!!

Jamaican Winter: a deep mysterious teal when cool that changes to a bright neon tropical green.

Hawaiian Hurricane: a dark primary blue when cool that changes to an ocean cerulean blue when warm.

(Each swatch shown here is 2 coats, cured each for 30 seconds in an LED lamp.)

For more information on Gel II & their fabulous innovative products, check them out at: http://www.geltwo.com/

VETRO!

VETRO! 0

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

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

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

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

076-Oro: a shiny sparkling bright yellow gold.

006-Seta Lip: a pearlized soft baby pink.

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

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

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

CND Shellac Intimates Collection Swatches!!

CND Shellac Intimates Collection Swatches!! 0

I recently got to review one of the latest Shellac collections from the folks over at CND– the Intimates collection.  This collection is comprised of 4 shades natural pink/ blush shades that are very feminine and flattering.  These shades are perfect for conservative clients, or those who work in corporate 9-5 type jobs.

The collection includes:

Bare Chemise: A pale peach nude pink with a very subtle shimmer in it. The lightest of the 4 shades.

Nude Knickers: a light peachy pink nude shade.

Blush Teddy: a light bubble gum pink. features a very fine and subtle blue shimmer that runs through it.

Satin Pajamas: a dusty rose pink, with a bit of mauve mixed in it.

(For each swatch shown here I did 2 coats.)

For more information on CND or to find out where to purchase, please check them out at: https://www.cnd.com/