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More CND Shellac Nail Art...

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By beautopia · April 23, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Here's another batch of CND Shellac manicures I've done over the past few weeks at the salon. Click to see them all and read about what products I used ...

Some Clients' Nail Art Looks with CND Shellac

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By beautopia · April 23, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

I've had a lot of fun over the last few weeks with clients. A lot of them are really embracing more adventurous nails, and while I still do my most obnoxious and involved stuff on myself, I'm slowly seeing a lot of my clients venture towards that end of the spectrum and I'm so excited. Below I'll show you six clients' nails and tell you what I used. 

Click to see the looks...

CND Shellac Nail Art - Mermaid Chic, Two Ways

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By beautopia · April 14, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Recently, CND released five new Shellac shades for Spring, one of which was Limeade. I used it, along with Hotski to Tchotchke, nail foils, additives, and studs to make these two very related Spring Break nail looks.

For the one above, I used Limeade, nail art foil in Lime Glitter and Capri Blue metal studs from dollarnailart.com on the green nails, Hotski to Tchotchke and Pacific Blue foil on the teal nails. 

Below I used the same combinations with the addition of a third type of nail. For the tie-dye effect nails I used CND Shellac Cream Puff plus Blue and Yellow additives.

I was really pleased with both of these, they looked very mermaid-y, and they wore super well. The above ones are actually my nails, and I wore them for nearly two weeks on vacation. The suncreen, sand and salt water would have destroyed my nails and any regular polish, but the Shellac was still shiny when I got home. It was kind of crazy. 


Zoya Ornate Collection

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By beautopia · October 17, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


The Zoya entry into the Winter 2012 arena is basically amazing. I'm pretty much limiting myself to purchasing only polishes that cannot be passed up, since I've been using Shellac so much and all my clients are pretty much doing Shellac at this point. I need to purge at least 50% of my enormous stash as it is, so I really don't need non-essential polishes at this point. Ornate, or at least most of it, qualifies as essential for me. I offer several season-specific shades of China Glaze, OPI and Zoya at the salon, and by far the most used is Zoya which honestly surprised me. I love Zoya and everything, but I assumed people would go for the more recognizable brands, and since Zoya is for the most part only available online and in some salons it's pretty crazy. 

Anyway, I passed up all but one of the new OPI Skyfall polishes, and considering I'm a huge 007 fan, OPI Holiday collection fan, and Adele fan (I may go back and get Skyfall since she sings the theme song), that's a huge deal. I also don't feel as psyched about the promos I've seen for China Glaze's holiday offering, so Zoya was the only must-buy holiday collection for me. Weird. 

On to the swatches and reviews!!!

Julep Sienna

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By beautopia · August 3, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


Julep Sienna - www.julep.com

Julep Sienna has been out for a while, but since the August Maven box's theme is Metallics & Chromes, Sienna was offered in one of the boxes alongside some of the new polishes released this month. It wasn't in the box I chose this month, but I added it on for $4.99 and it shipped seperately. I have all sorts of gold metallics, foils, chromes... You name it, but the photos I've seen of this intrigued me. It seemed almost like a silver/gold hybrid. It's a foil finish, but it's a very fine foil, so it's got great reflective qualities and is a real eye-catcher, so I'm happy I got it. Especially considering I didn't have to pay the $14 I'd have paid at Sephora. Honestly, I probably just wouldn't have bought it at all if I couldn't have gotten it at the price I did. However, for the price it's a great polish. It's got a nice texture and I had perfect coverage at two coats. 

My August Maven box, as I said, shipped seperately, but I will post about it when it arrives. I ordered the American Beauty this time which had a rose gold chrome and a gunmetal chrome with gold shimmer, so we'll see how that goes. 

If you're interested in reading more about the Julep Maven program, you can do that here

If you'd like to join the Maven program and get your intro box for one penny (free shipping included!) Click here and don't forget to use code COLOR2012! (this is a referral link. Referrals help you to earn free months of the Maven service. If you click, thank you! And be sure to share your own referral link with your friends and you'll earn credits too)

Click for more photos...

Tagged with: Julep, foil, gold, metallic, nails

Zoya Carly

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By beautopia · July 28, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


Zoya Carly - $8 - zoya.com

Just a reminder: there is still a sale at Zoya for BOGOFREE Beach & Surf polishes with the code SUMMER7 and will run through tomorrow as well. It's a great time to get some fun, bright polishes to enjoy the last month or so of summer with. 

Carly is one of the Surf polishes, so it's part of the BOGOFREE going on right now. It's berry-magenta with an intense color payoff and a very dense foil finish. It sort of reminds me of China Glaze Steppin Out, which has been discontinued for a looooong time. Wow, that photo is so old, it really takes me back, lol. Carly is a great polish, and if you're taking advantage of the BOGOFREE, I highly recommend adding it to your cart, along with Zuza which also very excellent. 

If you're interested in seeing some other Zoyas (that aren't part of the BOGOFREE) to add to your order, check out some of my Zoya swatches! 

Tagged with: foil, zoya, nails, summer, magenta, pink

Recreating CND for Norman Ambrose St. Tropez Chic

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By beautopia · March 7, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


The nail stylists at CND who do fashion week, yeah they're awesome. They are undoubtedly the masters of interesting nail looks engineered for the runway. And with the big leap forward that nails are taking as concerns being viewed as almost an accessory, the runway looks are becoming much more acceptable on main street in a way that wacky runway makeup never could. Luxury nails, be it luxury art like this or luxury polish such as Chanel or Dior, are a very accessible way to add a designer label to your wardrobe in the form of an almost-accessory. Whether the country in the midst of a recession or not, you may not be able to afford that Chanel bag, but you sure as hell can afford to buy a Chanel polish, or to go out and get a fancy manicure that was worn down a fashion week runway.

Anyway, enough preaching about the godliness of nail art, let's get on with the manicure... I came across this manicure on BellaSugar, and immediately wanted to recreate it. CND stylists used CND Gold Chrome and BlackJack and some gold leaf to create a look that they call ‘Treasured Antiquities’…meets ‘New Rock N’ Roll.’ . I don't have those polishes... yet, but I used what I had and it looks just about the same.

Products used:

  • China Glaze 2030
  • Wet n Wild Black Creme
  • Gold nuggeting foil

 

Click for another photo!

Hard Candy Beetle

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By beautopia · November 7, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Hard Candy Beetle - $5 at Walmart

Last week when I picked up Hard Candy's new version of Sky, I also found this baby. You've probably already seen it, but in this photo-heavy post I'll show it to you in a few different lights and in comparison to Orly Space Cadet. You'll probably be surprised to find that I consider the Hard Candy one to be superior! It's true though. While the Orly is a good deal as far as it's relative size and price, the flecks of metallic multi-chrome shimmer are much more finely-milled and profuse in the Hard Candy one making it a better choice if you'd rather not layer or use eleventy billion coats.

The base is the same on both; some weird anemic teal jelly... Then you've got these metallic, light responsive particles floating around in both. The main difference is, as I said, the size and volume of these particles. On Space Cadet they're larger and there's less of them, so in the Hard Candy version you've got a more smooth and solid color and application. The bottle on the Orly is bigger and costs about double, but you'll use a lot more of the Orly unless you're layering. All in all, it's probably a flush deal, but my pick overall is the Hard Candy. Shock!

Marching on, let's take a look at a few photos...

Bond, James Bond or An Early New Year's Manicure Idea

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By beautopia · October 19, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


I took another page out of Wah-Nails' book and did a tuxedo this week. I have been trying to branch out into freehand nail art since I'm not exactly great at painting miniatures like the likes of The Daily Nail or The Lacquer Files... I've been attempting to practice and hone my skills so that one day I might be, so I've been trying to re-create other designs I've seen done so I at least have a baseline to work off of. Today you're seeing China Glaze Cheers To You from the Holiday 2010 collection on all fingers except ring fingers. The more I wear this silver the more I love it. It's the most metallic silver foil I own, and I own a few. The pieces are so finely milled and the coverage is so perfect. It's almost like a chrome.

On the ring fingers I tried to recreate the tuxedo design from Wah-Nails. I think I did alright for my first try. I used Wet n Wild Black Magic for the base then with Migi Nail Art Pens in black and white I applied the design. It was pretty easy, but it was late and I was tired so it's not the most smooth or steady looking thing ever. I'll have to try again another time. I think this would be absolutely perfect for New Years but on the thumb I would add something champagne related or confetti or perhaps "2011." We'll see what I do, I need to get through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas first, lol.

Click for another photo...

Orly Cosmic FX in Galaxy Girl

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By beautopia · August 22, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Orly Galaxy Girl - ranging from $5 to $10 at transdesign.com, Ulta, Sally Beauty

Galaxy Girl is the second of the Cosmic FX polishes that I've tried. I'm actually pretty into this one. The duochrome isn't as strong on it as Space Cadet, but I like the colors involved a lot more. It's a warmish plum with turquoise flecks that flash a bright violet in some lights. When I first applied it, it reminded me a lot of MAC Blue Brown pigment, but when you get the second and third coats on it gets a little more neutral, and the violet flash cools it down a bit as well, making it really wearable. The texture on this is the same as Space Cadet, a sheer jelly base with loads of sparkly foil. It has a smooth finish, but looks as though there's texture if you catch my meaning. Overall I really liked this polish a lot, though it's not as strong in the duochrome department as I suspected it may be. In a lot of lights it looks like a dull vampy color, then in indirect light you can pick up a bit of the violet sheen. In bright light it's just really sparkly, though it doesn't get as close to metallic as Space Cadet. I likes it.

Click for more photos!

Tagged with: duochrome, foil, orly, nails, nail polish
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