cnd holiday 2015 Aurora collection review

cnd holiday 2015 Aurora collection review 0

Discover the beauty of the Arctic tundra with the New Holiday 2015 Aurora collection from CND. Colors crystallize into shimmering frozen pastels and surreal glacial hues.  

This holiday season, nail trends capture a crystalline essence with icy, glistening finishes," says CND co-founder and style director Jan Arnold.  "Shapes range from elegantly slender almond to naturally subtle square, with shimmer that evokes the glint of sun setting across the snow." according to the official press release.

The four colors that comprise the CND Holiday 2015 Aurora Collection include:

Winter Glow: a pastel soft pink creme. 

Tundra: a metallic strawberry milkshake pink.  Paints on smoothly without any brush strokes.    

Nordic Lights: a semi sheer purple with iridescent glitter particles in it.  I personally was a little disappointed in this shade mainly because it doesn't provide enough coverage.  It's three coats here in the images and it's still transparent.  It is however really pretty, I just don't particularly like sheer shades.  But, could be an excellent color to layer with, or for ombre designs.  

Glacial Mist: an icy light blue packed with sparkle and silver glitter to give it tons of dimension. 

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

For the most part I am super pleased with this latest collection from CND.  Although its difficult for me in 80+ degree Los Angeles to wrap my head around the cool holiday season, this collection certainly helped paint a pretty picture.

I think CND has definitely stepped out of their comfort zone this season and introduced some really gorgeous glitters and dimensions to the line. 

I didn't have any issues with the formulas.  

My personal favorite shades are: Glacial Mist & Tundra

Shellac retails for $15.95 per 7.3 mL (.25 fl oz) bottle.  And Vinylux weekly polish retails for $10.50 per 15 mL (.5 fl oz) bottle.

For more info on CND, check them out online:


CND Vinylux Fall 2015 Contradictions Collection Review

CND Vinylux Fall 2015 Contradictions Collection Review 0

"CND’s new Fall 2015 Contradictions collection, featuring CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color and VINYLUX® Weekly Polish.

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

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

I've previously reviewed the Contradictions Collection in Shellac, which features the same shades except for 2 which are exclusive to Vinylux.  To see my review and swatches of the other Contradictions Collection hues, check out my previous blog post:

The 2 exclusive Vinylux shades for Fall 2015 from the Contradictions Collection are:

Grommet: a metallic pearly dark gunmetal with blue undertones.  I am obsessed with this shade.  I am wearing it on my toes as we speak.  I have already received countless complements on it.  I wish CND made this shade in Shellac!!  Hopefully in the future they will 😉

Couture Covet: a deep navy blue creme.  

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

I really like these new shades.  I wish CND made them in Shellac as well, particularly Grommet.  Both shades painted on smoothly, evenly, and easily, with zero brush strokes.  I also found them to be heavily pigmented, providing complete coverage in two coats. I highly recommend them.  If you are only going to buy one of them I would recommend Grommet.  

FEATURED BENEFITS: VINYLUX® Weekly Polish system includes a self-adhering Color Coat that eliminates the need for Base Coat; Top Coat becomes more durable with exposure to natural light; dries in just 8.5 minutes and provides week-long chip-free wear

PRICE: In-salon VINYLUX® Weekly Polish services range from $20-$35, depending on location; VINYLUX® Weekly Polish and VINYLUX® Weekly Top Coat retail for $10.50 per bottle

AVAILABILITY: Available worldwide Fall 2015; visit the Salon Locator; visit,, ULTA or to purchase

For more info on CND, check them out online-



CND Summer 2015 Garden Muse Collection Review

CND Summer 2015 Garden Muse Collection Review 0


"Summer 2015 embodies a bold, bright garden filled with memories future-past.  Beauty awakes to fragrant notes of nostalgia with the new Garden Muse collection from CND.

This season's trends are all about sculpted, dramatic silhouettes and intense floral hues that invite abandoned reverie, says CND co-founder and style director Jan Arnold.  Nails are seductive and sleek, adorned with a harmony of vintage floral design elements and spellbinding patterns for an alluring effect," according to the press release.

The Summer 2015 Garden Muse Collection is comprised of 6 bright shades, and comes in both Shellac & Vinylux polish.  This collection does not include any Additives.

First up, the Vinylux Polishes.

Beckoning Begonia: a peony pink with purple undertones and a subtle shimmer.

Butterfly Queen: a bright glittering magenta.  I love this color, and it is pretty rare for CND to come out with a glitter, so I highly recommend this shade.

Lost Labyrinth: a metallic teal.

Wisteria Haze: a vivid violet creme.

Reflecting Pool: a bright medium blue creme.  Highly pigmented.  A one coat wonder.

Crushed Rose: a carnation pink creme.  Also highly pigmented.  A one coat wonder.

(all swatches are 2 coats, and are taken outdoors to depict most accurate color.)

Next up, the Shellac Collection.

Hot Pop Pink: a neon magenta pink creme.

Lost Labyrinth: a metallic aqua teal.

**Water Park: a metallic medium blue.  Please note this is a pre-existing so if you already own it, no need to get another bottle, unless of course you are out of it. 

Wisteria Haze: a light lavender creme.

Beckoning Begonia: a rosy pink with shimmer.

Butterfly Queen: a bright magenta glitter.  It is rare for CND to come out with a glitter shade, so I highly recommend you pick up this color.

(all swatches are 2 coats, and photos are taken outdoors in natural sunlight).

 All in all, I am a fan of the Summer Garden Muse collection.  I think it is a very pretty yet unique color palette, that is also perfectly fitting for the season.  I like and appreciate that CND switches things up and keeps it fresh with different finishes.  In this collection there is glitter, creme, metallic, and shimmer.  As far as the quality is concerned, excellent.  I didn't have any issues with any of the colors in either the Shellac or Vinylux.  They were all well pigmented, and applied smoothly, evenly, and easily.  

My personal favorite shades include: Butterfly Queen, Wisteria Haze, & Lost Labyrinth.

The Summer Garden Muse Collection is out and available now.  

For more information on CND, check them out online: 

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.

cnd- flora & fauna collection spring 2015 swatches + review

cnd- flora & fauna collection spring 2015 swatches + review 0

"Retreat to the peaceful harmony of nature with the new Spring 2015 Flora & Fauna collection from CND. Colors and styles are inspired by watercolor impressions of luminous landscapes.

“This season’s trends are all about unplugging from today’s digital world and embracing the simpler things. Sun-bleached tones and dreamy watercolor paintings emerge from the perfection of nature,” says CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold. “Nails are easy and softly squared – as wearable and simple as a barefoot stroll through the grass while finishes play with matte and shiny effects” according to the press release.

There are 8 new shades in Vinylux, six of which are part of the new Flora & Fauna Collection, and two are being released, Thistle Thicket and Blush Teddy, which were both previously released in the Shellac line.  

The Vinylux Flora & Fauna Collection includes:

Dandelion: a pearlized peach/pink shimmer.  Has a pearlized golden sheen running through it.  Slightly on the sheer- streaky side.  Required three coats to even out the brushstrokes.  I wish the formula was a little better because I really love this color.

Salmon Run: a salmon pink creme with peach undertones.  Also on the streaky/patchy side.  Required three coats.

Creekside: a powdery pastel baby blue creme.  I Love this shade.

Field Fox: a neutral creme taupe with mauve undertones.  A gorgeous year round color in my opinion!

 Wild Moss: a medium mossy green with micro silver shimmer specks. The silver specks give this shade an almost texturized look, although it's not a texture polish.

Fragrant Freesia: a pale peony pink with iridescent pink/purple shimmer running through it.

Now the two shades being introduced to the Vinylux line, but not necessarily part of the Flora & Fauna Collection.

Thistle Thicket: a very pale lavender gray.

Blush Teddy: a creamy light pink rose with a slight shimmer.  Reminds me of a strawberry milkshake.

(all swatches shown here are two coats, unless stated otherwise)




The Flora & Fauna Shellac collection includes the same six new shades as mentioned and shown above, with the exception of Thistle Thicket & Blush Teddy, both of which are already available in Shellac.



I really enjoyed this collection as a whole.  I find the colors to be very refreshing and going back to a place of Earthy nature.  I was a little disappointed in the formula on a couple of the Vinylux shades.  I have never had issues in the past with any Vinylux, so I am not sure if it's these particular colors, or if I happened to receive a  poorly mixed batch.   On the other hand, I had zero issues with the Shellac shades, so if you are still interested in those particular shades I had difficulty with in Vinlyux, I would recommend you skip those and get the Shellac version of the color instead.  My personal favorites include: Creekside, Field Fox, and Dandelion.

The CND Flora & Fauna Collection for Spring 2015 is available now for a limited time.

For more information on CND or to purchase, check them out online here:

Get Pantone’s color of the year with CND Vinylux

Get Pantone’s color of the year with CND Vinylux 0

I am so excited Pantone announced the color of the year for 2015- Marsala 18-1438.  To make things even better, for those of you who are like me and don't enjoy waiting, CND is showcasing some already existing colors in their Vinylux line that are tres Marsala.

Pantone calls Marsala "a naturally robust and earthy wine red, [it] enriches our minds, bodies, and souls. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing a captivating pop of color for nails.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors"

 According to CND,  "What better way to experiment with such a rich and full-bodied color than on your nails? CND’s VINYLUX® Weekly Polish collection includes a variety of Marsala-esque shades that are perfect for incorporating 2015’s Color of the Year into your daily look!"

And well all know how much I absolutely Love CND's Vinylux. ("a two-part system consisting of a Color Coat that adheres directly to the nail, eliminating the need for a base coat, and Top Coat with ProLight Technology, that increases in durability with exposure to natural light. The system dries in 8 ½ minutes for a full week of chip-free wear!")

 Some of the Marsala inspired shades include:

Crimson Sash: a deep shimmering cranberry red.  Reminds me of the limited edition CHANEL shade Malice #637.

Bloodline: a dark red creme with blue undertones.  A great everyday sophisticated shade.

Decadence: a true  red creme, with blue undertones.  It is much lighter than "Bloodline" mentioned prior.

Scarlet Letter: a classic bright red creme.  This was the lightest of all the shades mentioned.  This is an everyday year round red as well.  You can't go wrong with. 

Masquerade: a deep shimmering berry.

(all swatches shown here are two coats).

I personally really like Marsala.  I think it is a pleasant neutral shade that suits both men and women well.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the spring and summer months.  Perhaps with a glitter sheen, or a matte finish, playing around with the texture and appearance of the color might breathe new light into it as the weather warms up.

Nonetheless, with the five shades discussed above you have an excellent start to being right on trend.  They all painted on incredibly smoothly, and had excellent coverage in two coats.  My personal favorites include: Crimson Sash, Bloodline, and Decadence.

For professionals wishing to recreate the Marsala inspired nail art shown, click here for step-by-step instructions. 

For more information on CND and their Vinylux line, check out their website:

For more information on Pantone, you can also check them out online here:


Announcing CND Spring 2015- Flora & Fauna collection

Announcing CND Spring 2015- Flora & Fauna collection 0

"Retreat to the peaceful harmony of nature with the new Spring 2015 Flora & Fauna collection from CND. Colors and styles are inspired by watercolor impressions of luminous landscapes.

“This season’s trends are all about unplugging from today’s digital world and embracing the simpler things. Sun-bleached tones and dreamy watercolor paintings emerge from the perfection of nature,” says CND Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold. “Nails are easy and softly squared – as wearable and simple as a barefoot stroll through the grass while finishes play with matte and shiny effects.” via the press release. 

More information along with full swatches and review coming soon...

CND Gilded Dreams Holiday 2014- Shellac + Vinylux Swatches

CND Gilded Dreams Holiday 2014- Shellac + Vinylux Swatches 0

I hope everyone has been having a great week so far.

I am very excited to introduce the latest collection from CND, "Gilded Dreams" for Holiday 2014 in both Shellac and VINYLUX.  

According to the press release, "Holiday 2014 is adorned with sparkle and splendor.  Gilt finishes add shimmering allure to party couture with the new Gilded Dreams collection from CND.  This holiday season, nails are luminous with glittery paillettes on sleek almond shapes, magically iced in rose gold, icy blue, and silvery pastels," says CND"s Jan Arnold.  "Marie Antoinette meets Cinderella with out Limited Edition Gilded Dreams collection, which can be used to create scene- stealing nail designs for a glamorous grand entrance."

CND did things a little differently with regards to this collection.  You aren't able to purchase the three new shades individually, instead they come in a two pack.  Each of the three two packs comes with a .25 fl oz Shellac and a matching .5 fl oz VINYLUX of the same shade. 

The Gilded Creams collection includes:

Grand Gala: a yellow and rose gold hybrid duo chrome.  Depending on the light, the hue changes from yellow to rose gold.  Has more yellow gold in it than it does rose.  My personal favorite in this collection! 

Chiffon Twirl: a shimmering rose gold with silver undertones.  

Dazzling Dance: a sheer icy blue with a pink iridescence running through it, and speckled with tiny holographic glitter particles. For the VINYLUX swatch I used two coats.  This is a sheer shade, so the natural nail line and any imperfections on your nail will show.  For the Shellac swatch I used three coats because it wasn't as highly pigmented as the VINYLUX version of the shade.  I did however use a single coat of the Shellac over both a white and a black gel polish and the results were Gorgeous, especially over the black.   

(all swatches shown here are two coats, unless stated otherwise).

 Overall I am very impressed with this collection.  I really love and enjoy the color palette and direction CND chose.  It is very magical, ethereal, and Holiday appropriate in my mind.  In general, duo chromes and rose golds are very rare to come by in gel polish, and this collection has both of those.  Although the color "Dazzling Dance" didn't do much for me on its own, I did like it a lot as a top coat to other base shades (especially black).  '

As with most CND collection introductions, the "Gilded Dreams" collection is limited edition, so do make sure to go out and pick up yours before it's too late.

For more information on CND, check them out online here:


CND Fall 2014 Modern Folklore Collection- Shellac + Vinylux Swatches & Review

CND Fall 2014 Modern Folklore Collection- Shellac + Vinylux Swatches & Review 0

Introducing the latest collection from CND in both Shellac + Vinylux- Fall 2014 Modern Folklore Collection.

According to CND, "As seen on the runway, Fall 2014 is lush with embellished handmade craftsmanship designed to indulge the senses. Resurrected details inspire rich new traditions with the CND Modern Folklore Collection.  This season, nails are ornate miniature masterpieces richly polished in shades of gold, crimson, and indigo... Our Modern Folklore Collection can be used to create intricate patterns inspired by Faberge and fine tapestry, while old world artisan techniques of embossing, engraving, and embellishing transform nails into treasures to be coveted."

I decided to do things a little differently with regards to this post and combine the swatches for both Shellac and Vinylux, primarily so I can show any difference in the colors, texture, and or finishes; unless noted otherwise, the color is consistent between the two lines.

The six shades in the Modern Folklore Collection include:

Fine Vermilion: a rich metallic vermilion with orange undertones.  

Indigo Frock: a midnight navy blue. The Shellac is a tad lighter and brighter than the Vinylux. 

Plum Paisley: a subtle sparkling dark plum purple. The Vinylux is a bit more of a plum shade, where as the Shellac has more purple in it. 

Rose Brocade: a candy apple red.  Is semi sheer in application, and has a jelly finish quality to it.

Locket Love: a very pale metallic yellow gold.  If you could mix both silver and gold together, that's essentially what this color is. The Vinylux has more of a metallic foil finish to it, whereas the Shellac isn't quite as brilliantly shinny. 

Crimson Sash: a dark shimmering burgundy with red undertones.  

 (all swatches shown are 2 coats with their respective top coat).

Overall I am very pleased with this latest collection from CND.  The formulas were quite excellent on all of the shades, and I didn't experience any issues.  I anticipated that Locket Love was going to give me brushstrokes, based on the nature of the metallic shade, but surprisingly it didn't.  I think the color palette is great for Fall, and is a nice representation of what to anticipate as the weather cools off.

My personal favorite pics are: Locket Love and Crimson Sash.

For more information on CND, or to purchase, check them out online:


Patriotic with CND Vinylux Polish

Patriotic with CND Vinylux Polish 0

I Love CND Vinylux Weekly Polish.  Not only is it an awesome 2 step system, color and top coat, which saves you time and money, but it last a full week!!!

I used these 3 fantastic shades to create these nail art looks inspired buy our nation.

Rouge Red- the perfect true red. 

Cream Puff- pure white cream.

Blue Rapture- a solid primary color blue.

For more information on CND and or Vinylux, check them out here: