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Nail Art for the Masses!

Zoya Ornate Collection

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!!!

Earth-Tone Abstract Nail Art with CND Shellac

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. 

Minx #1 - At-Home Nail Appliques by Minx

By beautopia · July 23, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Minx #1 in Technical Tribal - Available at Ulta stores (not available online) - $18 for a full mani/pedi set - 

A few weeks ago Minx announced a new at-home applique called Minx #1. Unlike traditional Minx, there is no need for a heat lamp, nor a licensed manicurist to do it for you. As a manicurist, this should probably irk me, but honestly I am not the world's biggest fan of appliques in general and would prefer to do the art myself. Alas, there are just some nail looks that can't be achieved by traditional methods alone, like the quintessential Minx look: chrome. There are chrome polishes galore, but none come close to the mirror-shine of Minx. That said, I really only like these for a short-wear look; a Friday night out and the lazy weekend to follow. The original Minx is no more a long-wear product than their new at-home invention. 

Traditional salon Minx needs intense heat to "shrink-wrap" the nails. This product just needs to be stuck on, smoothed out and the excess filed of. The price is a steal considering that salon Minx will cost you north of $45 to be applied, and in this package you get enough for both a manicure and pedicure. 

The designs are just as cool as salon Minx, but they're all new, and there will be new designs launched quarterly, according to the company. 

Click for more pics and info...

Sunken Treasure - Distressed Metals Nail Art

By beautopia · March 10, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

For this manicure I wanted to get the look of antiqued and distressed metal so I used several metallic polishes and sponged them on to make a sort of textured look. The addition of a holographic teal to the tips was an afterthought, but I thought it made it look better. The whole thing was inspired by CND's recent spate of "acid-washed" colors on pointed almond nails with a really deep smile line for the french. I basically went with that theme, but changed up some colors and added texture, which I think makes it look neat. The holo at the tips is subtle but it makes it a bit more interesting.

Products used:

  • China Glaze Millenium
  • China Glaze 2030
  • Orly Luxe
  • China Glaze Techno Teal
  • Seche Vite Topcoat


Click for more photos...

Beaded Half-Moon Nail Art

By beautopia · February 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Products used:

  • China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat
  • China Glaze Reggae to Riches
  • Sephora by OPI Opening Night
  • China Glaze Millenium
  • Seche Vite Top Coat


I did this right before I changed my nail shape from square to oval. Man, it feels weird to see them so square, lol. Anyway, I'm really into half-moon manicures right now, and I like the added interest of contrasting colors and a little something extra to deliniate the place where the colors meet. I used China Glaze Reggae to Riches for the base, which is a beautiful bright magenta shimmer with a really, really intense blue flash to it. Then for the rest of the nail, I used the incredibly well-pigmented Opening Night by Sephora by OPI which is a rich sapphire shimmer. For the line of "beads," I used a dotting too and China Glaze Millenium. I'm thinking of trying this same manicure out with black, white and grey soon, I think that would be really elegant. Maybe with some 3D pearl action...

Click for more photos!

Granite Swirl Nail Art with China Glaze Tinsel Town and Icicle

By beautopia · November 18, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

It's been forever and a day since I last posted, but in the interim I've graduated from my nail technology course and taken my State Board exams. Glad that's all over! Anyway, I've not been doing as much crazy art lately due to time restrictions, unfortunately, but I did do something with two of the new China Glaze Holiday 2011 polishes I picked up recently.

Tinsel Town is already becoming one of my favorite polishes of all time. It's a gorgeous granite grey with multi-sized silver glitter that makes the finish look so interesting; almost textured, sort of like fresh blacktop. I decided it reminded me of granite all around so I went for that sort of look by first polishing all the nails with a couple thin coats of Icicle, a standard-yet-solid choice for a silver micro-foil polish. Then I painted random curvy sections of each nail with Tinsel Town. I delineated the sections with a black striping polish from Sally Beauty, and finished off with Seche Vite to seal it and make it shine. Not complex, but it was very pretty to look at. Hope you like it!

Click for more pics!!

Color Club - Pretty in Platinum

By beautopia · October 8, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Color Club Pretty in Platinum - $3.50 at transdesign.com (not affiliated)

Here's one of the polishes I bought from the new Color Club Untamed Luxury collection. Pretty in Platinum is a silvery white pearl polish that dries somewhat matte. It's quite stark but the finish makes it sort of soft. It applies a little trickily but in the end it's worth it. It's delicate and edgy at the same time. I prefer it with a topcoat, but it does look pretty neat on it's own though without a topcoat it tends to feel a little chalky. There's really not much to say about it other than it's quite pretty and well worth the $2.50 I paid for it, lol.

Click for more photos...

GOSH Holographic!

By beautopia · October 5, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

GOSH Holographic

So how long have I wanted GOSH Holographic? Hmmm... a looooong time. I can't even remember, it's been so long. Way back when I was still pretty active on the MakeupAlley board I desperately wanted this polish. I've never seen a GOSH product in person, so I never had a chance. I was so incredibly happy with Holographic was hiding in my swap package from Michelle (from The Lacquer Files). Whoooopeeee! I've never tried a more awesome silver holo before. It's everything that I imagined it would be and more, lol. Up till now Nfu-Oh 61 was my favorite silver holo with China Glaze OMG running a close second but Holographic has something no holo silver I've tried has, a beautiful finish when in dim light. In low lighting it isn't super holo, but the wide linear effect does show up a bit, but Nfu Oh 61 for instance looks cakey and a bit streaky when viewed in low light even though it's just BAM in sunlight. I love the soft, even and delicate silver finish in low light and the amazing linear holo in the sun. It's amazing!!!

Click for more photos...

Chrome Leopard Konadicure with China Glaze Jitterbug

By beautopia · September 6, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I bought my first actual Konad Special Stamping Polish last week and I was dying to use it. I already had on China Glaze Jitterbug, so I just grabbed a random plate and got down to business. I used Konad plate m57 with the leopard print on it, and with Konad Special Black stamped it up. Then I used Essence Nail Freestyle Tip Painter in Silver Surfer to dot little bits of chromey silver inside some of the dots. I really liked the way it turned out! I'm all about the monochromatic Konad manicures lately.

Click for more photos!

NUBAR Night Sky - Twilight Nail Polish

By beautopia · August 20, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

NUBAR Twilight Nail Polish (Night Sky Collection) - $7.50 at bynubar.com

I've got a big appreciation for matte polishes with shimmer, also known as suedes by some. OPI, Zoya, and MAC have had a few, and this is my first experience with them from Nubar. I'm pretty impressed so far with the application and colors. I have tried Midnight from this collection as well and will review that for you soon, but today I'm showing you Twilight. This one is a steely grey matte with loads of teensy silver shimmer. It looks really edgy and chic, in my opinion and when you pair that with the easy application, it's a no-brainer for me. The application of these types of polishes varies widely in my experience; the toughest to apply being Zoya, and the easiest a tie between OPI and Nubar's versions. Zoya's dries quickly while you're trying to apply it, and it's a bit thick as well so it's a bit tougher to apply than is strictly comfortable. OPI and Nubar suede polishes glide on smoothly and evenly, and while they dry quickly, there is more than enough time per nail to get good application and coverage. The wear on Zoya's suedes is a lot longer, in my experience, than the OPI, Nubar, et al... so perhaps it's a trade off. Either way, I love this particular polish in it's suede form and with a glossy top coat added.

Click to see more pics...

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