reviews

Nail Swag Palm Sprung Kit Review

Nail Swag Palm Sprung Kit Review 0

"Natalie Minerva, award-winning celebrity nail artist and creator of the Nail Swag brand, is bringing home a unique nail experience with The Nail Swag Kit, her exclusive collection of nail gel and art supplies. The kit is comprised of seasonal gel colors, nail art innovations, and everything else needed to get a beautiful salon-quality manicure at home…and Natalie is including an LED Lamp for free!

The limited-edition kit is exclusively available at http://www.NailSwag.com.

Natalie’s fans know that Nail Swag brings the fun wherever it goes. That’s why Nail Swag’s first release is called Palm Sprung. Inspired by the aesthetic and culture of Palm Springs, it features a wide variety of colors and nail art supplies that capture the vibe of a desert staycation. Palm Sprung is the first of many themed kit releases by Nail Swag.

The Nail Swag Kit exclusively introduces Kotta Gel, a highly pigmented, odor-free formula with a buttery smooth feel. The brush and pot method of nail painting, one of Natalie’s biggest discoveries, is now being introduced to her fans all over the country with Nail Swag’s Kotta Gel. This method allows for better control and easier application.

“My clients come into Nail Swag every day with great ideas, and my job is to help their nail dreams come true,” says Natalie. “I think everybody needs to have a creative outlet, and for me nail art is one of the most fun ways to express yourself.”

Diving into the world of nail art can be overwhelming, and the magic effects trending in social media seem impossible to figure out. Until now, going to the salon has been a pricy indulgence. Natalie’s changing the game with Nail Swag. With her instructional videos and helpful pro tips, Natalie reveals the secrets behind nail art trends.

Nail Swag’s Palm Sprung kit includes enough product for at least twelve unique manicures or pedicures and features the following products:

Kotta Color Gels (Palm Sprung Release): 

  • Sunset – the perfect summer red
  • Prickly Pear – a hotline bling pink
  • Saguaro – a teal from Hollywood’s golden age
  • Aloe – a refreshing mint green
  • Cloud 9 – crisp, clean, and softer than clouds
  • Mod Squad – black is the new black

Nail Art Innovations (Palm Sprung Release): 

  • Stardust – A lustrous flake that makes nails look like jewelry
  • Mineral Foil – A silver metallic foil for chrome and cracked metal effects
  • Stickers – Black, white, and gold straight line stickers that create buildable geometric designs

Nail Art Supplies: 

  • 9W LED Lamp (totally free)
  • Kotta Gel Base Gel
  • Kotta Gel Top Gel
  • Kotta Gel Brush
  • Kotta Gel Cleanup Brush
  • 100% Pure Acetone
  • 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Nail File
  • Buffer
  • Birchwood Stick
  • 100 Lint-Free Wipes
  • Three Placemats
  • Post Card from Natalie
  • Information Booklet
  • Collectible Gift Box and Sleeve

The Nail Swag Kit, Palm Sprung, is available for a limited time for $89.95 exclusively at http://www.NailSwag.com.

Follow Nail Swag on https://www.instagram.com/nail_swag/ and https://www.facebook.com/NailSwag for the latest news and nail designs.

About Nail Swag Products Inc:

Our mission with Nail Swag is to help you unlock your creativity with fun, modern nails you design yourself.

The Nail Swag kit delivers unlimited nail design options by combining more color choices and nail art than anything available in stores today. Each kit is designed by award-winning celebrity nail artist Natalie Minerva, who chooses the themes and contents based on things that inspire her in everyday life, as well as fashion and art.

From a day at the office to a night out with friends, Nail Swag is out to help you create manicures and pedicures that complement your personal style. The colors and design look books are created to match a full range of skin undertones and nail shapes. The nail art supplies included in the kit are beginner-friendly and expert-endorsed. Nail Swag is headquartered in Venice, CA, with its flagship Design Lab studio located in the heart of Downtown LA.

About Natalie Minerva and the Nail Swag Design Lab:

Natalie Minerva is a California native living in Los Angeles. Nail art started out as a hobby for Natalie. She loved trying to master the tedious, but intricate details of nail designs. Out of her hobby, Nail Swag was born.

In 2016, Natalie opened the Nail Swag Design Lab, a nail art studio in Downtown Los Angeles that specializes in free-hand nail designs and nail art innovation. Natalie along with her group of amazing artists were voted “Best Nail Art Salon in Los Angeles” by LA Weekly’s 2016 “Best of” Awards. Nail Swag artists specialize in creating fashion-forward nail designs and love using unusual or unexpected materials to create effortlessly cool looks. Over the years, Natalie has had the opportunity to work on editorials and music videos for celebrities from all over the world." according to the official press release. 

I must say overall I am very impressed with this kit.  I'll be honest, when I was saw previews of it on Instagram I was a little trepidatious.  I wasn't sure how well the kit would work, or who its demographic is for, etc.  Upon receiving and playing with the kit, my view changed entirely and became crystal clear.  

First and foremost, people have to understand this is a Japanese style at home gel kit. What does that mean? That means its a traditional soak off semi hard potted gel that has to be painted on with a brush.  Most technicians and customers are entirely used to a gel polish.  It comes in a bottle,  looks just like nail polish, and is applied in a similar fashion to nail polish.  This however is not that.  When you go to Japan and get your nails done by trained masters, they would never use a bottled gel polish.  They only use potted gels and brushes, like whats included in this kit.

When I learned to do nails, and gels in particular, I trained for two years with the best Japanese instructors, and i was specifically trained in this traditional potted gel and brush technique; my teachers heavily frowned upon bottled gel polish calling it "lazy" and "not proper".  So when this kit came out, I was fully ready to get going and play with it.  If you are a beginner, or have never worked with a potted gel before, like everything in life there will be a slight learning curve.  

Depending on how you learn. there is included a highly comprehensive and detailed instruction booklet, which I found really helpful.  If that doesn't do the trick, and you learn by watching others, Natalie stars in many short videos demonstrating how to properly work with the kit's contents.  I found the videos incredibly helpful and useful.  Some are linked below.

The kit literally includes Everything you will need to perform proper manicures; They even give you place mats to work on, cotton pads, alcohol, you name it.  

The gel pot colors should be stirred before use, because the colored pigments in them tend to settle towards the bottom after some time.  This is totally normal.  I found the gels to be highly pigmented, they had zero odor, they self leveled nicely, and were very easy to work with and paint with.  Some of the colors are so well pigmented they almost were completely opaque in just one coat, like Saguaro for instance.  Keep in mind the colored pots are pretty small, coming in at 2 grams, where traditional gel pots are typically 4 grams.  

The LED lamp I will say is not my favorite.  I found it a little small, I coudln't cure 5 fingers all together at once, and I wish it had a countdown timer on it so I knew how much time was left.  That being said, it totally works, and gets the job done.  I'm just a snob and am used to my trusty lamp.  But especially if you are a newbie or just starting out, the included lamp will be great.

The art supplies were really fun and easy to work with.  I found the mineral foil transferred really will with the potted gels.  The line stickers laid flat, which is really important, for it makes working with them really easy and fun.    

The sky is the limit regarding the endless possibilities of what designs you can create with this kit.  I show you 10 fun design ideas hear, and in the kit's instruction booklet there over 17 design ideas.   

The overall value of the kit is pretty incredible.  If you are someone who is interested in Japanese style gel nails, this is the perfect one stop shop system.  I highly recommend it.

 

Deborah Lippmann Summer 2017 Collection Review

Deborah Lippmann Summer 2017 Collection Review 0

"Inspired by the modern jetsetter's wanderlust and the pulsating energy found at exotic locations around the globe, deborah lippmann's Cool For The Summer collection features five psychedelic and vivid new shades.  Available in the innovative dual-patented 7-free Gel Lab Pro formula, 10 active ingredients help to deliver health, wear and shine, providing the high gloss and cushiony plumped look similar to a traditional gel manicure, without nail damage.

  • Health: 7-free formula with evening primrose, keratin, biotin, green tea extract, aucoumea, rice protein
  • Wear: bamboo, nonychosine F
  • Shine: nylon, caranauba wax

Accompanied by a new advanced contour brush, its rounded tip follows the curve of the cuticles and 320 bristles spread polish evenly for an effortless, streak-free application.

Embody the exotic cultures of the globe with these lively new shades: Hot Child in the City, a full coverage bright orange creme, Shut up and Dance, a full coverage poppy pink creme, I'm too Sexy, a full coverage sandy nude creme, Stargasm, a full coverage gold shimmer, and Stupid Boy, a full coverage royal cobalt creme." according to the official press release.  Please be advised, Stupid Boy, not featured here, is a Sephora exclusive shade. 

The Summer collection is comprised of the following shades-

Stargasm: a shimmering rose gold. [full coverage rose gold]

Hot Child in the City: a bright almost neon coraly orange cream. [full coverage bright orange]

I'm too Sexy: a full coverage light nude cream. [full coverage sandy nude]

Shut up and Dance: a bright shimmering pink, that reflects light. [full coverage poppy pink]

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

I absolutely Love this collection.  I think its very fun, and completely wearable.  The nude, I'm too Sexy,  is so gorgeous and virtually perfect, will completement so many different skin tones well becuase it has just the right amount of rosey undertones.  The orange, Hot Child in the City,  is so vibrant and will look so gorgeous on toes, as will Shut up and Dance. Rose gold, Stargasm,  is a tricky color to produce and many brands don't get it quite right. I think Deborah has finally made a great one.  The formula is just right, and the color is spot on!

I found the formula on all of the shades awesome and super easy to work with.  The bottle's brush is my absolute favorite, it hugs the cuticles just right and makes for an easy paint job.

This collection is out and available now, retailing for $20 a bottle (.5 fl oz / 15 mL)

For more info on Deborah Lippmann or to purchase online: http://www.deborahlippmann.com/

 

 

Cuccio Pro Powder Polish Starter Kit Review

Cuccio Pro Powder Polish Starter Kit Review 0

"Cuccio Pro Powder Polish Nail Colour Dip System is the new way to give salon and spa clients up to 14 days of professional nail colour with the wearability of a gel and the durability of an acrylic! This odour-free system utilizes specially formulated resins, state-of-the-art activator and finely milled, highly pigmented powders to create a super vibrant set of nail colour with an unbeatable high-gloss shine! 

Powder Polish is designed for easy application and is priced to help increase profitability for the nail professional in today's highly competitive nail colour category.

In addition to solid colour application, the Powder Polish Dip System is perfect for creating flawless French nail styles, performing simple fills and building a perfect Apex nail formation. "

The Cuccio Difference:

102 trendsetting colours!

No light required! Zero cure time!

Flawless finish with no damage to natural nails!

Thinner, lighter and stronger results!

No sculpting necessary!

No odour!

Create Perfect Smile Lines!" according to the official ad. 

The Kit retails for $49.95 and contains the following goods-

1/2 oz Passionate Pink (a bright magenta pink)

1/2 French Pink (a light ballet pink with fine shimmer in it)

1/2 Clear (pretty straight forward)

1/2 White (a pure opaque white)

1/2 Silver w/ silver mica (a shimmering fine glittery silver)

3 Dipping trays

Step 1 Nail Primer (1/2 oz): fast acting pre-wash thoroughly cleanses the nail plate of oils and debris creating a superior bond for the powder polish.

Steps 2+4 Nail Base & Top Coat (1/2 oz): ultra thick, 2-in-1 creates the ultimate smooth surfaced foundation and protective top coat layer all in the same formula. [the bottle's neck has a guard on it that helps remove excess product off the brush, so you have an ideal amount each time.] 

Step 3 Layering Gel Dip (1/2 oz): thin viscosity gel layers the powder polish to create a perfect structured nail. [this bottle's neck also has a guard on it that helps remove excess product off the brush.] 

Step 5 Gel Activator (1/2 oz): fast reactive activator initiates the curing process without the use of a LED/UV light. [what's most amazing and fascinating to me about this product is after you apply it the nail is legit cured and hardened.] 

Step 6 Brush Cleaner (1/2 oz): use to clean application brushes of any residue powder colour left after application. [Initially I didn't know what to do with this product or why I would need it, but after experimenting a few minutes with the system I clearly saw why this product is added to the kit.  Especially useful after using strong colours like Passionate Pink].

Step 7 Milk & Honey Cuticle Oil (1/2 oz): hydrating cuticle and nail treatment provides a revitalizing complex that contains milk proteins, honey and vitamins to nourish, moisturize and protect the cuticle and nails. [I love the way this product feels, and the scent isn't too overwhelming or over powering]  

Complete Instructions enclosed as well.

Some FAQ's include:

Cost Per Usage: approximately $1.25- $1.60

How long does it take to apply?: approximately 20-25 minutes of a full set.

How many full sets can I create from a 2 oz jar?: approximately 20-25 sets. 

Okay, so first things first, what is dipping nails.  Dip nails is a popular salon service that's been around for years (since the 80's actually) and has become very popular again recently. It is essentially a resin glue and acrylic powder, and you either dip the nail or sprinkle the powder onto the nail.  Apply an activator to harden/cure the product, buff, top coat and your done.  

Why is this good and why would you need it? There's a few beneficial reasons to use a dip system such as this one featured here. It's relatively easy to apply, there's no strong odors, no UV/LED lamps to scare or intimidate clients.  Also there's no need to sculpt extensions with forms, using a dip system you'd use nail tips.  Also, when all is said and done, if applied well and properly, there is very little finish filing required. 

I will admit the French nail design takes some practice.  I tried it about 3 times, and wasn't super thrilled with the results.  Nonetheless, I personally dislike French manicures, and shrug whenever clients request them and suggest they try a different nail look. 

I am a huge gel fan, so personally I am not going to switch my clients over to a dip system.  However, if you are interested in trying a dip system I highly suggest and recommend you give this kit a try.  It is highly affordable and contains everything you need to get started. 

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

 

Essie Wild Nudes collection review

Essie Wild Nudes collection review 0

"Skin is in this season, so strip down and take the plunge with essie's new wild nudes collection.  Untamed, fierce and sexy, these disarming shades will totally charm the pants off one and all.  It's time to disrobe and show the world your true colors.

Nude can be nice.  From a light tan with a wash of white to a shadowy blue, these shades are meant to be exposed.  Strip down and bare it all in the wildest of nudes.

Take a walk on the wild side and embrace your inner nudist as we dance in the moonlight and become one with nature.  Beyond this point, it's clothing optional, so let's get cozy without a stitch and play a game of truth or bare.  Choose bare and get ready to be exposed because it might be time to skinny dip and go on a cheeky winning streak with all nine wild nude shades." according to the official press release.

The essie wild nudes collection includes:

Skinny Dip: a semi sheer pink nude cream. [light peach pink with a slight hint of black]

Bare with me: a vintage dusty rose pink cream. [apricot tone with gray cast]

Wild Nude: a creamy taupe. [light tan with a wash of white]

Without a Stitch: an elephant gray cream with lavender undertones. [clean light gray]

Mooning: a moody blue gray cream.  Very unique and gorgeous shade. [light shadowy blue with an undertone of black]

Exposed: a dark army green cream with dark grey undertones. [mossy green with a slight white overcast] 

Truth or Bare: a mocha chocolate brown cream. [light cinnamon brown with a hint of red] 

Clothing Optional: a cinnamon brown cream. [natural sienna brown]

Winning Streak: a dark raisin purple cream with charcoal undertones. [dark purple with a grayish tone] 

(all swatches shown here are 2 coats, and are taken outdoors in natural light).

I honestly must say that this is probably my most favorite essie collection ever! The colors are beyond gorgeous and so wearable, including on all skin tones, there is something for everyone. They're all creamy and gorgeous, and could realistically be worn year round on both fingers and toes.  

I was very impressed with the formula; each color painted on smoothly, evenly, and easily.

I couldn't recommend this collection more.

The essie wild nudes collection is out and available now and retails for $9 per 0.46 fl oz/13.5 ml bottle. 

For more info on essie, check them out online: http://www.essie.com/

 

 

LeChat Metallux Collection Review

LeChat Metallux Collection Review 0

I am so excited to introduce to you all the latest collection of Perfect Match from LeChat- Metallux, a color shift effect. 6 gorgeous and highly unique jewel toned metallic shades that change and shift color depending on how the light hits them- duo chromes.

The Metallux Collection consists of the following shades-

Mystique: blue to purple shift.

Mesmerize: cranberry to green/gold shift.  Reminds me of a beetle.  So gorgeous.

Infinity: Gold to green shift.  Reminds me of my most favorite discontinued Chanel shade Peridot.  Excellent shade to do the cut-away nail art designs with.

Paradox: a royal purple to gold shift.

Hypnotic: a green to purple shift.

Eternal: a bronze to gold shift.

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

I absolutely Love this collection.  It is very unique and different from what is out on the market.  I have never seen duo chromes in gel polish before.

The quality was great.  Very easy to work with, and all painted on smoothly, evenly, and very easily.   

And I love that with the Perfect Match kits, you have both gel polish and nail lacquer, so clients can match their hands to their toes, or if they prefer one system over another they have options. 

The possibilities of what you can do nail art wise with these shades is endless. Do be sure to check out some of the designs I and LeChat educator Anastasiia Morozova (instagram @anastasiia_nails_lechat) created using the Metallux Collection

I definitely recommend you pick up some of the Metallux Collection out now.

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

LeChat Retro Remix Summer 2017 Collection Review

LeChat Retro Remix Summer 2017 Collection Review 0

I am excited to present to you all the Perfect Match Retro Remix Collection for Summer 2017 from LeChat Nails.  These 6 gorgeous bright and bold cream shades that come in both gel polish and regular nail lacquer.

The colors comprising the Retro Remix Collection include-

Peach Blast: a bright peach cream.

High-Voltage: a shocking purple cream.

Flashback: a bold grass green cream. Almost a one coat wonder.

Heartthrob: a deep rich magenta cream.

Blazin' Sun: it's like a yellow nacho-cheese cream.  I know that sounds bizarre, but it's really cool.  

Dive In: a rich aqua blue cream. Almost a one coat wonder.

(all photos shown here are 2 coats and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight). 

I really like this collection.  I think the colors are fun, bright and bold, yet remain very tasteful and wearable.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover you don't need a white base coat in order to make these colors pop; they are beautiful all on their own!  This is a major plus and huge time saver for the tech and the client.

Previously I have never worked with LeChat's polishes or gels, I mainly have experience with their powders and chrome pigments.  I must admit I was very impressed, the quality was fantastic.  The colors were very richly saturated and highly pigmented.  Smooth ez painting, and the gel polish self- leveled nicely.  What I like about the Dare to Wear lacquers is the squared off bristles on the application brush, and the bottle's lid- the grooves added both comfort and good grip.   

I also greatly appreciate that both the Dare to Ware Lacquer and Perfect Match Gel Polish are bundled together.  Some client don't necessarily want to commit to gel, and to have options on hand is always a great thing. No muss no fuss. And some brands make these even more difficult and confusing by naming the gel polishes differently from the nail lacquers.  Here there is no guessing to do.

I highly recommend you give some of these Perfect Match sets a try.

For more info on LeChat, check them out online here: www.LeChatNails.com

Morgan Taylor + Gelish MINI Selfie Summer 2017 Collection Review

Morgan Taylor + Gelish MINI Selfie Summer 2017 Collection Review 0

"Now there's another reason to smile big in those summer selfies; Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor introduce Selfie Summer 2017 Collection.  Snapping and sharing those summer moments just got more vibrant.  This collection is filled with neon corals, pinks and purples; you'll need sunglasses to stare!

"Summer is all about fun in the sun and capturing every moment with your phone," says Danny Haile, CEO and founder of Gelish.  "We'll help you nail that manicure so you can nail the ultimate shot!"

Grab your friends, a selfie stick and pick up the collection for a summer to remember! Colors so hot you won't be able to resist taking photos." according to the official press release.

The Selfie Summer Collection is comprised of the following colors-

Me, Myself-ie and I: a neon coral pink with fine gold shimmer running in it. [coral neon shimmer]

Best Face Forward: a deep purple with fine blue shimmer running in it. [purple neon]

Woke up this way: a deep magenta cream. [electric fuchsia neon]

All about the pout: a fun beige peach cream with light pink undertones. [light coral creme]

No Filter needed: a bold aqua blue cream. [blue neon]

Pretty as a Pink-ture: a hot pink cream. [pink neon]

(all swatches are two coats of color, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

This collection is young and fun and definitely reminds me of summer.  I think the colors are gorgeous saturated hues, very well pigmented, and would look particularly beautiful on toes poolside or in the summer sand of the beach.

My personal favs are: Me, Myself-ie and I, Best Face Forward, and No Filter needed.

The Selfie 2017 Collection from Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor will be available for a limited time beginning June 2017.  Gelish MINI will be available for $12.99 at www.SallyBeauty.com and Morgan Taylor will be available for $9 at www.MorganTaylorLacquer.com For more information, please visit www.gelish.com or www.morgantaylorlacquer.com

 

 

LeChat’s Gelee 3in1 Glow Powders Review

LeChat’s Gelee 3in1 Glow Powders Review 0

"Turn heads when the lights go out with nails that are as eye-catching in the dark as they are in the light! Introducing the versatile Gelee 3in1 Glow Color Powder that radiates and glows in the dark.

This unique color powder is available in 12 light-activated, cream shades that remain brilliantly vibrant even in pitch darkness.

Use the Gelee 3in1 Glow Color Powder with powder gel, dipping or acrylic systems for strong, durable and flawless nails.  The Gelee Powder Gel Nail System is the product that started it all for LeChat and has since expanded to include almost 100 3in1 color powders, a basic starter kits, a cleanser, remover and more," according to the official press release.

The Gelee 3in1 Glow Powder comes in the following shades shown here-

Banger: a baby blue, that glows green.

Raver Girl: an electric pink, that glows and orangy red.

Glowstix: a neon yellow, that glows a green/yellow.

Electra: a bold purple, that glows a teal/blue.

Ignite: a neon orange, that glows orange.

Laser Beam: a neon green, that glows green.

I am so beyond impressed with this product.  I have been wearing it on my own nails for the last few weeks and have already received countless complements.

There a few things that set this product apart from other "glow in the dark" products on the market.  First off, this is a 3in1 product, meaning you can use it as acrylic mixed with monomer liquid, as a dipping system (which is very popular at the moment), or as a pigment sprinkled over wet gel (like I did here).  Most other glow-in-the-dark products on the market are only one thing: an acrylic, a pure pigment, or a gel polish; none of them are all three in one, None.

What also makes this product unique and completely different from all others is they're very pretty to look at during the day in the sunlight, or indoors, which is where you spend most of your time anyways.  Other than going to sleep at night, most of us don't spend a ton of time sitting in the dark (unless we're at the movies).  Most glow products from other companies look terrible in the light, usually an off-yellow, grainy green colored pigment.  These colors from LeChat however, are beautiful any way you look at them. When people see my nails during the day all they see is gorgeous bright and bold beautiful ombre, people can't believe when I tell them "they also glow in the dark ;)".

A nice tip worth mentioning, I painted a white gel base to truly make the colors bold, bright, and pop even more.

This product is light activated, meaning ANY form of light will make the nails glow in the dark, not just a UV/LED lamp; outside light, indoor light, even the flashlight from your cell phone will make the colors glow in the dark.  Just hold your nails to the light for a couple of seconds to charge them and you are good to go, or shall I say "good to glow".

A fun artistic thing to do with the powders is ombre designs, like I did on my own nails shown here.  I achieved the look by simply using the spoon end of a cuticle pusher to sprinkle the powders onto wet gel.  I sprinkled a few different colors on each nail and they seamlessly blended together beautifully and easily all on their own.  

Also worth mentioning is these powder will give natural nails tremendous strength and durability. 

I highly recommend you give these glow powders a try.  You won't regret it.

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

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes and Bridal Collection Review

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes and Bridal Collection Review 0

"Fashion loves the ballet.  The beauty, the wonder and of course, the style.  Tutus, tights and ballet looks have long inspired designers, fashionistas and creatives to envision some of their most iconic creations.  At last, the ballet's romantic femininity and uncompromising detail graces audiences with the debut of essie gel couture ballet nudes.  Replicating the ballet's unparalleled excellence, these six new shades work flawlessly with the gel couture top coat to provide the highest standard in performance. 

Take center stage with ballerina finesse in these six magnificently neutral, longwear shades. From misty rose pink to soft shimmer gray, gel couture ballet nudes deliver lust-worthy color, high quality performance and impeccable gel-like shine.  Essie gel couture ballet nudes embody the effortless strength of a graceful ballerina.  Her choreographed twirls mimic the beautiful bottle design, while the patent-pending brush allows for precise application." according to the official press release.

The ballet nudes collection include-

Satin Slipper: a semi sheer nude beige cream. [silky champagne ivory]

Lace Me Up: a very light pink based nude cream. [misty rose pink]

Hold the Position: a rose pink cream. [coral peach pink]

At the Barre: a light brown cream. [soft cinnamon nude]

Perfect Posture: a soft periwinkle cream with soft gray undertones. [periwinkle powder blue]

Closing Night: a slightly shimmering medium gray. [soft shimmer gray]

Also featured here is the new Bridal Collection.

"Save the date- essie and acclaimed bridal designer Monique Lhuillier are set to wed in the dreamiest of collaborations, introducing the limited edition essie gel couture bridal collection by Monique Lhuillier.  Every proper bride-to-be knows that first comes the engagement ring, then comes the manicure; hands become the centerpiece of countless photos, conversations and special moments. The picture-perfect fit for your fingertips- essie gel couture bridal collection by Monique Lhuillier gives women a wedding day manicure like never before.

A vision of romantic femininity, the limited-edition essie gel couture bridal collection by Monique Lhuillier marries the designer's famed and luxurious attention to detail with essie's renowned color authority.  "I was so happy to partner with essie for the gel couture bridal collection," says Monique Lhuillier.  "I created shades fit for every bride, a perfect complement to unique bridal couture and natural beauty." according to the official press release. 

The bridal collection consists of the following shades-

Lace to the altar: a pearly shimmering white. [elegant ivory accented with iridescent pearls]

Dress is more: a semi sheer white cream. [creamy sheer white dusted with pink]

Blush-worthy: a pale rose pink with shimmering flecks in it. [feminine peony pink speckled with gold shimmer]

Sage you Love me: a dove gray cream with green sage undertones. [soft dusty gray with a kiss of green undertones creme]

To have & to gold: a pretty rose gold. [chic vintage rose gold metallic]

Berry in Love: a raspberry burgundy cream. [deep, dazzling plum red]

(all swatches shown in this post are 2 coats, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight.)

I am so happy and pleased with these two collections.  This is what I have been waiting for.  As we already know I am obsessed with the gel couture line.  The brush is incredible and so easy to work with.  My clients are always intrigued and impressed with the bottle's shape.  And now that the line is offering these gorgeous new shades I couldn't be happier.

I didn't experience any issues whatsoever with the formulas.  I found they all painted on smoothly, easily, and evenly.  

Both collections are out and available now, and retail for $11.50 per shade. 

Give them a try, you won't regret it!

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

 

Nail Pro Pasadena 2017

Nail Pro Pasadena 2017 0

I had an Awesome time at this years Nail Pro Pasadena show the other weekend.  There were some new brands being featured, including Lauren Wireman’s Wildflower Nails, Kokoist from Japan, among many others.  Check out the photo gallery below for a look at some of the show’s highlights.

LeChat Chrome Pigments Review

LeChat Chrome Pigments Review 0

"This is eternal bliss at your fingertips.  Presenting the Mirano Multi-Effx Metallic Pigment that shifts with the light and showcases a unique, mirror-like, chrome effect on your nails.

This edgy nail art pigment is available in 12 shades that transcend beyond this world with shades like Immortal, a shiny, oil spill effect; Imperial, a true metallic gold and Chroma, a futuristic, reflective silver.

There are two kinds of Mirano kits with six different color pigments in each. Both kits include a Mirano Silicone brush, Mirano Gel Top sealer and Black Onyx gel color." according to the official press release. 

Kit 1 includes the following pigments-

Dreamstate: a medium blue shade that shifts purple.

Euphoria: a soft gunmetal shade that shifts purple.

Magnetic: a medium green shade that shifts purple.

Imperial: a rich regal yellow gold that shifts green.

Destiny: a regal purple that shifts magenta.

Immortal: a magenta pink that shifts green.

Kit 2 includes these pigments-

Chroma: a metallic mirror like silver.

Ecstasy: an emerald green that shifts purple.

Nirvana: a coppery bronze that shifts yellow gold.

Mirage: a deep royal blue that shifts purple.

Galactic: a medium purple that shifts pink.

Atomic: a purple gunmetal.

(all pigments shown here were applied over one coat of Black Onyx as base, and are taken outdoors in natural sunlight.)

I am so beyond obsessed with these metallic pigments you have no idea.  I have tried so many different ones on the market from various brands but none of them hold up to these beauties. The color shifting is truly magical.  

And don't get me started on the endless nail art possibilities that can be achieved.  Back in the beginning of the year, I had the opportunity to learn from one of Le Chat's lead educators, Anastasiia Morozova, who gave me lots of tips and tricks with regards to chrome pigments.

Some of those tricks include:

  • the non-wipe top coat that you rub the pigments into, cure for 1 full minute in an LED light.  
  • If you just want solid chrome, without nail art, applying just one base layer of black gel polish is enough.
  • To keep chrome lasting long on Natural Nails, like a couple of weeks or longer, you need to add strength to the natural nail somehow.  I prefer using the Le Chat powder gelee system to add strength.  You could also use a builder gel, or do a hard gel overlay.  Either way, the natural nail needs strength, because the non-wipe top coats used are very stiff and non-flexible.  As time goes on, the natural nail is very flexible and will bend and flex, and as it does that, the nail plate will separate from the non-wipe top coat, causing the chrome to chip.

I highly recommend you pick up at least one of those pigment kits.  Your clients will be obsessed.

Each kit includes:

  • 6 (2gm) Mirano Color Pigments
  • 1 (.5 oz) Mirano Black Onyx Gel Polish
  • 1 (.5 oz) Mirano Gel top sealer gloss
  • 1 Application Brush

Be sure to check out the pics below of some of the art designs I did, as well as the You Tube videos demonstrating how to achieve these looks.

For more info on Le Chat, check them out online here: http://www.lechatnails.com/

Essie Spring 2017 Review

Essie Spring 2017 Review 0

"Don't think. Just get in the car and drive.  Go with your most colorful instincts and take a spur of the moment trip down the coast.  Inspired by sun-filled beach days and spectacular sunsets of Baja, California, the essie spring 2017 collection features warm inviting hues that create the perfect mood for a springtime filled with fashionable adventures.

With Baja in mind, essie Global Color Designer Rebecca Minkoff helped inspire the landscape of colors of the spring 2017 collection- the sapphire waves, the sandy shores and the brilliant, creamy pink sunsets over the cactus-filled desert.  These stunning, vivid colors provide the perfect palette for spring and are the idyllic backdrop for a road trip with your best friends.  So grab your girls and hit your favorite route- this colorful essie road trip is calling your name. 

Sparked by a fuchsia b'aha moment and fueled by the perfect plum playlist a la the designated dj, the ride of your life just won't stop- except maybe for a cutie in the car next to you, excuse me, sur.  The vibrant green avocado of on the roadie drives 'em wild, every time.  Backseat besties can't help but laugh out loud when they get punchy in guava pink.  Azure sapphire is all the wave, making a splash in an oceanic hue of blue that's the perfect way to  express yourself in signature essie chic." according to the official press release. 

The Essie Spring 2017 collection includes the following shades-

Designated DJ: a deep purple plum creme.

Escuse me, Sur: a fun flamingo pink creme.

On the Roadie: a grass green creme.

Backseat Besties: a carnation pink creme.

All the Wave: a rich deep blue cream. A 1 coat wonder!

B'aha Moment: a raspberry pink cream. A 1 coat wonder!

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

This collection is comprised of 6 fun creme shades.  I found them to be highly pigmented, slightly more so than usual, with a couple of them being one coat wonders.  I think the shades are very fun and wearable, with some of the bolder colors people might reserve for their pedicures.

I didn't experience any issues what so ever with the formula.  They all painted on smoothly and beautifully with ease.

  The collection is out now and retails for $9 each.

For more info on Essie, check them out online here- http://www.essie.com/

New from Kokoist 2017!

New from Kokoist 2017! 0

Hi All.

I had a chance to meet with Kokoist (one of the top gel brands from Japan) at this years ISSE Trade Show in Long Beach, California, and they filled me in on some of their latest products, of which I am going to share with you all here.

The 3 latest products from Kokoist include:

E-148 Blackest Black: this is a potted gel, of jet black.  If you are looking for one coat coverage look no further, you have found the Holy Grail! I however absolutely Love this product for nail art.  It doesn't smear, smudge, or bleed.  It is incredibly well pigmented, and I don't even have to stir it prior to using it.  There is no need to go over anything you've painted.  Also worth mentioning this product is great to use with transfer foil on the cured tacky layer. It retails for $16.80. 

Thin Liner Brush: a super fine brush for doing highly detailed and intricate nail art.  The brush is very light weight and feels great in my hand.  There is a nice finish to the brush, which provides for a great grip.  I also Love and appreciate that the brush comes with a cap.  I hate brushes that don't come with caps. It retails for $17.80.    

MD-P Mermaid Dust: a sparkly iridescent fine glitter that has a beautiful magical effect.  Depending on the base color you apply this glitter to, the outcome will be totally different.  Here I show you the Mermaid Dust over both a black base, which creates a gorgeous color shifting effect of red/copped/green/gold that alters with the light's reflection, or for a more subtle shimmery effect, you can see the Mermaid Dust used over a light blue base.  Either way the pot is very generous and only a tiny amount of glitter is required, so this jar will last a long time.  All I did was brushed a small amount of it onto the cured base color, and did two coats of top coat to seal it in.  It retails for $12  

I highly recommend you give these and other products from Kokoist a try.  The quality is truly exceptional.  There is a reason why this is hailed as one of the best brands from Japan.

For more info on Kokoist, or to purchase online, check them out here: http://www.kokoistusa.com/

Le Chat Gelee Powder Gel Nail System Review

Le Chat Gelee Powder Gel Nail System Review 0

Hi guys.  I am really excited to share the Le Chat Gelle powder gel system with you.  I first learned about it at the ISSE trade show from one of the top Le Chat educators.  The system is meant to add strength to the natural nail in a very easy way and I am personally obsessed with it.

I saw videos on Instagram from Europe of technicians sprinkling a fine powder on to wet nails and I had no idea what it was or why they were doing it.  Now I know, the secret is out of the bag. 

The Gelee Professional Kit comes with everything you need to get started.  Included in the kit is primer (.5 oz), base coat (.5 oz), top coat (.5 oz), cleanser (.5 oz), remover (.5 oz), and clear gel powder (2oz). 

"The newly designed Gelée Powder Gel® Nail System now reformulated with soak-off & LED/UV curable technology.

Effortlessly create beautiful nails that last for weeks, are strong, durable, and natural looking. With added benefits of quick & easy removal and faster curing times, what’s not to love about the NEW Gelée Powder Gel® Nail System.

• Easy Brush On Application
• LED/UV Cured Soak Off System
• Maximum Glossy Finish
• Odorless
• Strength and Durability
• Natural Elegant Look" according to the website. 

The system is remarkably easy to use and is my new favorite trick to add strength to my clients nails.  Forget the hassle of doing a hard gel overlay or even an acrylic overlay.  This takes all the grunt work out of having to do that. 

I have been testing out and wearing the system on my own nails now for over a month, and my nails are stronger and better than ever.  If I am a busy nail technician handling tons of chemicals on a daily basis, and my nails are amazing from using this system, imagine how incredible clients nails will be.   

Please be sure to check out the video below for step-by-step instructions and to see how truly easy the system is to use.

I highly recommend you give it a try. Your clients will be thanking you.

For more info on Le Chat, check them out online here: http://www.lechatnails.com/ 

 

Morgan Taylor Beauty & the Beast Collection Spring 2017 Review

Morgan Taylor Beauty & the Beast Collection Spring 2017 Review 0

"This spring is the season your dreams come true; Gelish MINI and Morgan Taylor introduce the Beauty and The Beast 2017 collection.  In correlation with Walt Disney Pictures' release of the live-action film, Beauty and the Beast, the collection is filled with dreamy shades in red pearls and pink and baby blue cremes.  This whimsical collection will make the wearer feel like the Belle at any ball!

"It's extremely wonderful to collaborate with Disney again and create this collection for the Beauty and the Beast live-action movie," says Danny Haile. "We wanted to be honorable guests of this beloved and classic story by developing colors that reflect the beauty that comes from within." according to the official press release.   

The collection consists of the following colors-

Gaston and On and On: a baby blue creme.

Plumette with Excitement: a pale dusty pink creme.

Potts of Tea: a milky off white with blue undertones and shimmer running through it. My personal favorite in the collection. [alabaster]

The Last Petal: a shimmering raspberry. [red pearl]

Be Our Guest: a bold magenta pink creme. [pink creme]

Days in the Sun: a light buttery yellow with iridescence running through it. [yellow]

Enchanted Patina: an antique bronze.  Relatively sheer on its own, best to be used on top of another color. [specialty Patina overlay coat. *Morgan Taylor only] (not available in Gelish)

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

I think this collection beautifully represents the film.  The colors are fun, fanciful, but also practical and highly wearable.  Potts of Tea is my personal favorite, its just so unique and different from all other shades on the market.

I am a big fan of the Enchanted Patina.  I think its a very cool concept and easily allows you to transform virtually any color you already own.  With regards to this collection, however, I say it looks best over Gaston and On and On, and Plumette with Excitement.

Also worth mentioning is the new and improved brush.  I am obsessed with this new wider and cuticle hugging brush.  There are significantly more bristles, and the end of the bristles have a slight curve to them, so they really fit in perfectly up to the cuticle line, allowing for perfect and easy painting application. 

The movie comes out nationwide March 17, 2017. Make sure to check out the trailer below.

The Beauty and the Beast collection from Morgan Taylor and Gelish will be available for a limited time beginning February 2017, and will retail for $9 each.

For more info, check out Morgan Taylor online here: https://www.morgantaylorlacquer.com/