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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. 


Sephora X Chaotic

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By beautopia · January 27, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
Sephora X Chaotic
I recently picked up the new Sephora X Chaotic. This is two thin coats over RGB Minty, and I'm pretty happy with it. It covers well in one coat but two is my favorite. Every time my nails caught my eye, they reminded me of a Jackson Pollock painting. Very cool polish, and I recommend it!

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!!!

"Ruffian" Reverse French with OPI Germany

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By beautopia · September 24, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


I wanted to wear two of my favorite shades from the new OPI Germany collection at the same time, and a Ruffian-style reverse French seemed like a good idea. The blue is a really pretty teal-toned blue with some pearly shimmer, and the green is a dusty chartreuse with some silver ribbon-candy shimmer. Both are gorgeous in the bottle and on the nail. 

Products used:

  • OPI Unfor-Greta-bly Blue
  • OPI Don't Talk Bach to Me
Tagged with: ruffian, nail art, OPI, nails, germany, blue, green, fall

Julep Maven + Trina Turk Fall 2012 September Box - Bombshell

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By beautopia · September 8, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


This month's box from Julep wowed me big time. I was happy to see a designer collaboration this time, and some really good shades. Some in the collection looked dupeable to me, but the ones I got were exceptional, and pretty unique. I went for the Bombshell box this time which included Alma (the greeny yellow) and Annie (the creamy electric blue) as well as a volumizing mascara which is a new product for Julep and which I will review seperately, though I will tell you now it's better than decent, but not anything heart-stopping. I also added on Otte, which is a weird-cool camel color. This month there was the opportunity to buy the whole collection (every box) for $50 as opposed to $20 for just one, which is a really good deal if you were interested in all the colors. I passed on this option as I have shades that look comparable to the rest that were available, but they all did look pretty solid and nice. 

Before I go on to the swatches, so you know, you can join Julep Maven and get a pretty sizable discount off their website/Sephora price by opting for the monthly subscription box. I have been a member for several months now and I like it a lot, myself. You can read my review on the service here, or you can view all my Julep swatches so far here. And if you're interested in joining, you can click this link which is my referral link, and I will get credit towards my subscription if you join (or just click to join at Julep.com if you'd rather.) Don't forget you can get your first box for one penny plus free shipping with the code COLOR 2012 or PENNY. Either one I believe works. 

Click to view the swatches...

Pick Up The Party Line! Nail Art

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By beautopia · August 6, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


It's been a few weeks since I did much nail art on myself, I've just been so pre-occupied. But I decided to use some of the Zoya Beach colors I got during the recent sale, and since Summer is nearing it's close, I wanted something very summery and fun, but not terribly time consuming. So, here's Pick Up The Party Line, a random mishmash of lines; straight, wavy, spattery, and crisscrossy. Those last two are officially words now ;P A quick note on the nail shape, they finally got long enough to start shaping back into almonds. I had a few breaks over the last couple months and had chopped them down and let them re-grow in squares and I just now got them into this vaguely almond shape. Can't wait till they get a bit longer again!

Products used:

  • OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • It's So Easy striper in blue
  • Zoya Shelby, Arizona, Tracie and Lara
  • Seche Vite

 

Click for another photo...

Tagged with: zoya, nail art, nails, summer, orange, green, pink

China Glaze On Safari - Exotic Encounters

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By beautopia · August 4, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


China Glaze Exotic Encounters 

If you care much about fashion forecasts, you should definitely be familiar with Pantone's seasonal Fashion Color Report. There's good news if you're looking for an Ultramarine Green polish because this is dead on. The formula/application is pretty standard China Glaze; two coats for glossy, saturated color. EE is part of the Fall On Safari collection and it's really pretty, I don't have many polishes in the same ballpark, so it's worth a look in my book. It seems like OPI Jade is the New Black may be similar. JITNB seems to have a lot less blue, and more yellow, making it warmer. I'll check later and post a comparison. Not surprisingly, the on-trend China Glaze has a couple other On Safari polishes to match up or complement other shades in the Fall 2012 Pantone report; Olympian Blue is similar to Man Hunt, Honey Gold is like a mix between Desert Sun and Kalahari Kiss or even I Herd That, if you like your Honey Gold glittery. 


Zoya Zuza

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By beautopia · July 27, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


Zoya Zuza - $8 - zoya.com - 

Before I begin, I just want to make you guys aware that Zoya will be having a BOGOFREE on Beach & Surf polishes this weekend, using the code SUMMER7. Gianna posted this info over at NouveauCheap (one of my favorite blogs!) so check that out. 

If you want to add any other polishes to justify the shipping, check out all my Zoya swatches! 

Zuza is from this summer's Surf collection by Zoya. It's a aqua with a weird blend of muted and punchy. With a creamy base and zingy silver and aqua microparticles, it's got a look that's almost textured even when you add a glossy topcoat. It's such a fun color that will be great all the way through the rest of the Summer and into the Fall since it's sort of a washed down version of the Ultramarine Green that Pantone Fashion Color Report says will be big. Incidentally, if you're looking for one, China Glaze Exotic Encounters is the epitome of Ultramarine Green polishes, going by Pantone's swatch. I'll be posting Exotic Encounters next week but google it, there are tons of pics. 

Tomorrow I'll have up Carly, which is also from Surf. I just ordered a few more polishes myself tonight: Kimber, Myrta, Shelby, Wednesday, Lara and Arizona and I'm so excited, though I just got my last Zoya order last week, haha. 

Tagged with: zoya, aqua, nails, green

Julep Maven Subscription Service Review and Swatches

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By beautopia · July 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

You may have heard of Julep Nail Vernis at some point recently, be it on the Sephora site or one of their stores where the polishes are $14 a pop (for a .27oz bottle, whoa). Or you may have seen the name on Twitter, or Facebook, or Pinterest, jeez man that name is everywhere. I watched the Julep Mania for a few months with a jaded eye until I finally gave in. If you haven't heard the name Julep, well, it started with a salon in Seattle, then grew to include a nail polish line, and now there is a monthly subscription box where you can have a selection of these polishes delivered to your door at a much lower price than their retail stickers. 

If you'd like to join, here's a referral link if you click it, thanks in advance, that's awfully nice of you:)  (if you refer people, it counts toward getting a free month, pretty nice) Don't forget to enter your code COLOR2012 to get the intro box for a penny. There are other codes to only pay $5 and $10 but I used the penny one and it worked just fine.

You can get the gist of what's going on here on their site, or on their freakishly busy Facebook page, but here's basically what happens:

  • Take a quiz about your favorite things and Julep will magick up your perfect style profile (you don't have to buy the one they choose for you)
  • You pay $19.99 (or a penny if you use the code COLOR 2012, duh which one would you rather pay?) and they send you your intro box. This box at this point comes with your two colors and a fairly amazing pedi creme, or three polishes and no creme if you choose the It Girl style profile).
  • If you like it, every month afterward you will have a four day period, between the 20th and 24th of each month to decide if you want to skip that month's box, or if you'd like to choose another style profile.
  • If you continue past the intro box, you get billed your $19.99 for your first monthly on the 27th of the month, which is the day the box is sent out. 

Here are some interesting things to add:

  • Each month has a new theme, and there are several new polishes added to the line each month, so there's nearly always something new.
  • Recently they have been doing a thing where you can add on two (sometimes more) items to your box for $4.99 each (which is way cheaper than you pay at Sephora). 
  • You get a 20% discount on anything that's not "new" that month in the Maven Boutique. (In my opinion the price on these items is still pretty steep, though I did purchase Taylor at retail price so who's stupid now, lol).
  • Each month in addition to polish there is another product. Last month it was a lip gloss (which I really liked) and this month it is a tote bag and a polish remover in a pump.
  • They always send little extras which range from files, cuticle oil, creams, to free polish vouchers, to candy, so it's sort of fun to open each month. 
  • Each month tons of "Golden Boxes" get sent out randomly to subscribers and they include the polishes from every style profile box that month which is actually a pretty rad idea. 
  • The customer service is very fast, very nice and very effective. 

Click to read more and see the swatches...

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