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Nail Art for the Masses!

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!!!

Granite Nail Art with CND Shellac

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By beautopia · October 13, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


At the salon, I've been playing around with some Shellac designs that will appeal to clients. Some people would like to try something a little more jazzy than plain Shellac, but are hesitant to jump right into crazy nail art, so I wanted to find some Autumn looks that would appeal to a wider range of people. So I started messing around with various mineral eye shadows and MAC Pigments I had lying around and came up with a few stone, granite, and marble looks that are really cool looking and also with the glossy finish of Shellac, look like actual stones. The photo above is supposed to resemble granite, and I used CND Shellac in Black Pool as the base, then created the design with silver, olive and burgundy pigments and some alcohol. The final result was pretty neat, and my client was super happy with it. I'm kind of considering doing this on my own nails this week!

Click to see more photos...

Rock 'n' Roll Nail Art with CND Shellac

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By beautopia · October 10, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


This is a week old Shellac manicure, so forgive me that it's a little grown out, but it has lasted beautifully except for the fact that I did lose one little metal stud, which you might not even notice. I've been pretty much wearing CND Shellac exclusively as opposed to regular polish for work, so I've been trying to experiment more and more with art using Shellac so I can keep it crazy yet still have it last. For this manicure I went for a Rock motif, using Union Jacks, edgy darker shades and weird eyeballs. The concept wasn't very sharp, but what it lacks in cohesiveness, I think it makes up for in coolness and color. I used several Shellac shades along with CND Additives (pure color pigments), plus some metal studs. 

Products used: 

  • CND Shellac in Cream Puff, Black Pool, Wildfire, Purple Purple, Hotski to Tchotchke
  • CND Additives in Cerulean Blue and Haute Pink
  • Metal studs from Born Pretty Store

Earth-Tone Abstract Nail Art with CND Shellac

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By beautopia · September 30, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


Last week I had the outrageous honor of giving a first-time manicure to a friend and co-worker of mine, Theresa. Since she's a hair stylist, we definitely wanted to use Shellac so it lasted more than a few hours on her. I used Cityscape (light dove grey) and Silver Chrome to colorblock the nails randomly, then after curing, I added Rubble (stone taupe) in places and before curing, I engraved and dotted a little to make the above design. I finished it up with a nice coat of Shellac top coat and this is the end result. Very cool for the beginning of Autumn. 

"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

CND Shellac in Cityscape with Wildfire Hearts

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By beautopia · September 18, 2012 · 0 Comments ·
CND Shellac in Cityscape with Wildfire Hearts
Today at the salon Jenny got Shellac'd with the beautiful pale dove grey Cityscape with some red hearts on a thumb on one hand and her middle finger on the other. It looked adorable and when she gives someone the finger now, they won't know if she loves them or hates them ;P. -Karrie
Tagged with: Shellac, CND, nail art, Hearts, grey, red, nails

Call of the Wild Nail Art with China Glaze On Safari

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By beautopia · September 11, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


I'm not sure how I neglected to post these up when I did them about a month ago, but here they are. I did an animal print mix using only polishes from the China Glaze On Safari collection. I did a mixture of leopard, giraffe and some colorblocking for this look. 

Products used: 

  • China Glaze Desert Sun (caramel)
  • China Glaze Exotic Encounters (marine green)
  • China Glaze I Herd That (bronze glitter)
  • China Glaze I'm Not Lion (blonde holo glitter)
  • China Glaze Kalahari Kiss (khaki)

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...

Nail Art inspired by The Night Circus

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By beautopia · September 5, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


If you haven't heard of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, you should check it out. It's an amazing book that almost defies description. It's a complex story basically about a conflict between two magicians, and as hokey as that description may sound, it's worth reading. The imagery in this book is so spellbinding, and since I read the book a few months ago, I've been wanting to do some nails inspired by it. One of the defining things in the book is that the circus and all it's patrons and performers are decorated or clad in only black, white, and red. So of course the nails are in the same colors. In my head, I wanted this manicure to be grand and romantic and sort of magical, and though it fell short of those far-reaching expectations, no manicure was ever going to be as grand and magical, not to mention as romantic, as the book was. 

For this manicure I used only CND Shellac (Hollywood, Cream Puff and Black Pool, plus some loose glitter), which was a pain in the arse, to be honest. It was easy, but it was time-consuming, what with all the layers and curing between details. But in the end, it will be worth it because I only wear Shellac when I work on clients so I don't ruin my nails, and I wanted this design to last. All the designs are abstract interpretations of portions of or ideas in the book. The juxtaposition of dark and light, and romance play large parts. 

Click for more photos...

Julep Maven August Box - American Beauty

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By beautopia · August 23, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


For August's box, I went with American Beauty. Mainly this is because I was really curious about the "Rose Gold Metallic Chrome." I already have tried and loved a few other coppery/rose gold metallics like Essie Penny Talk, CND Copper Chrome and even (more on the copper side) SH Haute Chocolate, but why not try them all! *evil laugh* The truth is that there aren't many of that type of shade, so it was worth a try. Also, in this month's box was a really pretty gunmetal with some golden shards, and an acetone-free remover pump which actually turned out to be pretty awesome, and a reusable tote. If you're interested in trying Julep Maven, you can read about it here. If you want to join, you can do so on the Julep website. You can also use my referral link which will give me credit toward future purchases, and it would  make my day as I love these boxes. If you order, please don't forget to use the code COLOR2012 and you can get your first box for a PENNY, $.01, with free shipping.

Click to read more and see the swatches!



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