Spring Nail Edit & Functional Storage

For someone who’s pretty safe with her nail choices, I seem to have amassed an astonishingly large collection of nail polishes in the last few years. While it’s easy to be overwhelmed whenever I open my storage box, I found that picking out a curated selection of colours every few months (or season) has made paint day much more functional. This wooden box with glass panels was an excellent Dollarama find and is the perfect size to house, organize and display each seasons pretty bottles. I’ve left it as is but you can certainly paint it to match your room theme. It keeps the acetone fumes contained, looks neatly decorative and makes sure I cycle through all my colours.
Spring Nail Polish Edit
Faves: L-R | CND* “Palm Deco” | Sally Hansen* “Dream Boat” | Essie “Stroke of Brilliance”

My recently spring edit included soft greens, baby blues and purples in additional to my faithful stash of everyday nudes. Always in the box are Guerlain La Base basecoat*, Seche Vite and Essie Quick Dry* plus any extra matching topcoats for polishes I am using. This season, I’ve been more conscious of matching my polish options to my (new and growing) spring wardrobe so stay tuned for more of that in an upcoming video…
Happy Sunday,

CND | #NewWave Spring’17 Polish Collection

I don’t know about you but I am so ready to kick these winter blues with all the extra snow this season in Vancouver and CND’s 2017 New Wave collection featuring 80s inspired brights tinged with a futuristic vibe. Skipping spring pastels altogether, these punchy colours can be worn with classic pairings or mixed into your nail art repertoire. As always, CND provides the option between their weekly wear Vinylu formula (reviewed and love) or their ever popular Shellac soak off gels.
MY NAILS | Shellac #NewWave in “Pink Leggings” with glitter tips

I had my nails done for the holidays courtesy of CND’s ONYX nail salon and opted for Shellac to last me through holiday gatherings. My nail artist recommended the glitter to jazz up the basic coat and it quickly turned into an 80s disco party on my nails. 
FULL #NEWWAVE COLLECTION | Left to write in photo below
  • Blue Eyeshadow* | mid-tone royal blue
  • Video Violet* | pure purple with a tinge of violet
  • Ecstasy* | semi sheer magenta with violet duo-chrome metallic
  • Pink Leggings* | bright 80s hot pink
  • Jelly Bracelet* | warm orange with pale golden duo-chrome metallic
  • Banana Clips* | cheery cool mid-tone yellow
Available: Starting January 2017 at Trade Secrets and select Shoppers Drug Mart locations coming soon! Priced at $12.50 MSRP.
CND NewWave Vinylux

Since I was lucky enough to get the collection early, I’ve already dabbled in most of the shades but my straight away faves would have to be that fun Banana Clip yellow, Pink Leggings and that duo-chrome Ecstasy. Now if only I could do nail art like the promo video….
Shine on,

Elegant Holiday Nails | My fave easy combination

AVON: Gel polish – Envy* | REVLON: Transforming topcoat – Cosmic Flakes*

While I’ve always enjoyed celebrating occasions, I’m usually not one to wear it as body decoration but as my social media feed is looking so festive lately I thought I’d take a little inspiration too. This gemstone manicure is earthy, elegant and reminds me of a gorgeously polished aventurine pendant. The simple combination of jewel toned base paired with flecks of shine isn’t anything new but this Revlon topcoat looks just a little more interesting than simple glitter and the irregular shapes creates a authentic organic feel. Try pairing it with deep sienna, dark navy or even a rich cranberry base and let your nails join the party too.

Chat soon,

CND Manicure at home | Vinylux 7 Day Polish

CND Vinyl Lux Polish

Perfectly manicured nails is one of those little beauty details that I’ve always admired in put-together people but something that I’ve never adopted. Sure, I’ll fall madly for a colour and attempt to snazz up my look but the combination of work plus the easy chip factor often made me feel defeated. In perfect timing, the team at CND recently released their 7 Day Wear Vinylux collection and put together a little manicure package for me to try out. So, let’s go!
CND Vinyl Lux Polish
After a quick shaping of my nails, I started with a dot of the CND Cuticle Eraser* which feels like a light moisturizing lotion but it contains micro-AHAs to help exfoliate dry skin around the nail. Next came CND Scrub Fresh* which is a prep step to help remove any oily residue and make sure the nail plate is nice and dry for the best adhesion of the polish. Now this seems common to most nail prep products and sure enough the ingredients is a simple blend of acetone, alcohol and colourant so it’s certainly replaceable by any regular acetone remover you may have on hand.

CND Vinyl Lux Polish
TIP: To make sure you’re not removing the previous product, I recommend using a q-tip around the edges of the nail plate or using small piece of cotton wool. 



CND Vinyl Lux Polish

Debating between four equally lovely shades (I mean really, they’re all very wearable), I ended up opening #216 Lavender Lace*. This satin finish colour contains a fine silvery shimmer that plays on the metallic trend while still remaining perfectly demure – I was actually pleasantly surprised at how nice this looks with my skin tone and have been fondly examining my nails since putting this on. One thing that immediately impressed me with the Vinylux formulation is the foolproof, super smooth texture and the two coat coverage which means even the nail novice can be successful.

Note: The collection does come in sheer, semi-sheer and opaque finishes. Lavender Lace is opaque.

CND Vinyl Lux Polish
To seal in the one week deal is the CND Vinylux Weekly Topcoat*. With my past experience using high shine, long wearing finishers, I was completely expecting something thick or even gel-like which is a super popular nail trend right now anyway. Unexpectedly, this topcoat had great flow, a light consistency and is self-leveling for a smooth finish with minimal work. And while I didn’t find it enhanced the shine of my finished nails, it was very fast drying and CND claims its formulated to strengthen overtime with exposure to natural light.
CND Vinyl Lux Polish
Now the countdown begins. I’ll be coming back and adding my one week thoughts to this post but so far I’ve been very pleased with how easy the polishes were to work with, the quick drying time and the perfect coverage. Admittedly I’m not a very coordinated self-manicurist but looking at this now, it has to be one of the best results I’ve done in a very long time. With 114 shades to choose from, it could be a major wardrobe-matching staple!

UPDATE: Feb 2017 |  After many frequent wears, I can say this is still my favourite long wearing polish to date. Despite being very harsh on my nails from frequent washing, crafting and general housework, Vinylux just pushes through to Friday before it becomes completely unbearable. If you are a generally lighter on your hands/nails, I think a 7 day wear is certainly doable. The combination of easy to use, smooth formula and beautiful colours make this my current go-to day to day polish.

Shine on,

Review: ImPRESS Ultra Shine Accent Nails | Kiss Nails

A little snazzy nail art on your hand is now just about as common as putting on a beautiful shade of lipstick but for those who still can’t get themselves sorted around a brush, false nails with beautifully designed accents might be just what you need. I, for one, am still working on getting my two hands to match up and am far away from any legitimate art on my nails. And with the great success of the Gel Fantasy press on manicure that I adored, I was so excited to try these spring editions from the Broadway Nails imPRESS collection.

THE BASICS
Brand: Broadway Nails
Product: imPress Ultra Shine Gel Nails* (Waterproof)
Style: 4 Styles
Price: $10.99 CAD
Availability: Drugstores Nationwide (Walmart, London Drugs on Westcoast)
Would I (re)purchase: Probably not.
Website: www.impressmanicure.com

Meant to help you get trendy in a snap, each package comes with 30 various sized high shine nails in a rounded square tipped finish plus 6 individual accent nails to create a coordinated or unique look depending on how you want to wear them. There are options for a more sophisticated colour palette or a glitter neon manicure if you’re feeling the mood. 

In addition to the nail pieces, a miniature one time use file as well as an alcohol prep pad are included to help you along. Now these claim to be a revolutionary technology which allows for a very secure waterproof hold with a gap free seal. The glue is already applied to the bottom of the nail piece in the form of a thick sticker. Choose the right size for each finger, layer them out, prep your natural nails, peel and stick on your new trendy ones.
As far as the application itself, this was incredibly simple. The glue was very secure and had enough thickness to really contour around your natural nail bed for a pretty comfortable fit without any nails accidentally popping off. The nails themselves were thin (compared to the Gel Fantasy) and flexible so in function they felt very natural! The perimeter of the nail which fits over the cuticle is actually tapered and thinned out for a seamless fit. 
Note that because of the manufacturing process of the nail pieces, some may have a small tab of plastic at the end which ideally should be filed off and smoothed after application. For those with super sharp eyes, there is a number on the bottom of each nail denoting it’s size. I found this a little distracting because you can not get rid of it but if most of what everyone sees are the tops of your hands, it shouldn’t be too distracting from the over all look. It’s not what I would have preferred but it’s certainly not a deal breaker.
The design and colours from each set were so perfectly matched, from the glitter accents to the bohemian patterns, it was sharp, bright and detailed. I have not trimmed the nails at all (in these photos) and I have rather small hands so I would call these a practical short to medium length.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16687112843/player/

Now my major gripes with these press on nails are not about the quality of the nail themselves but the application and sizing. For one, since these nails come with the sticker already applied I could not trim the excess sticker (again, small hands equals small nail beds) and instead had sticker residue under my faux nails which tended to attract everything from dust to bits of gosh knows what. The glue also did not come up to the cuticle edge of the nail piece and so there tended to be small gap between my natural nails and these faux ones. Secondly, the nail sizes jump quite a bit from one number to another so it was hard to find a perfectly fitting nail for a few fingers. As you can see (below), some of the edge just didn’t quite meet together.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Undoubtedly fun and on trend, the imPRESS Ultra Shine Accent Nails are a quick and fun way to dress up your look. The application is practically fool proof that I can do this with my eyes closed. The quality of the nail itself and the glue were great for a comfortable yet strong hold. However, these are still not my top choice for wearing more than a quick night out. Small details such as the pre-glued tabs and some sizing issues really take away from the long term likableness of these nails in my personal life. I wouldn’t hesitate reaching for these in a rush but for a similar price the Gel Fantasy version are still my favourite.

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Review: KISS | Gel Fantasy Press-On Nails

If there’s one beauty thing I’ve always wished I could get away with, it’s long pretty girly nails. In reality mine are less than impressive and are prone to peeling and breaking. Having dabbled in fake nails during my teenage years I had previously come to the conclusion that I was just too clumsy to make it work with glue (never mind the tedious soaking removal process) but then along came a box during the holidays that answered my girly dreams.
THE BASICS
Brand: KISS Nails
Product: Gel Fantasy Nails*
Variations: 10 Styles (via KISS Website)
Price (msrp): $10.99CAD
Availability: Drugstores nationwide (especially Pharmasave, Jean Coutu, Lawtons)
Would I (re)purchase: Yes!
Website: www.kissusa.com

As one of the leading brands for false nails, I’m sure you’re no stranger to the KISS brand and neither was I but they have recently updated with a new range of gel style nails. These Gel Fantasy sets come with 24 various sized nails, a cuticle stick, mini nail file, mega adhesive tabs and a small vial of nail glue for your choosing.

As far as I could find, there seems to be around 10 designs available ranging from single colour finishes to fun glitter sets but all have a glossy gel shine finish. If you’ve been keep up with me on Instagram, you would have seen me flaunt these (holiday limited edition) oval french glitter tips in Rock Candy. It’s the perfect mix of elegance and glam while the shape lengthens my fingers to make them look slender and more feminine. Frankly, I couldn’t stop gushing about them and waving my hands around obnoxiously at everyone (ha!).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16442779269/player/

Now since nail glue and I haven’t made up, I decided to use the included glue tabs to put them on and was thoroughly surprised with their strong and comfortable hold. Each box comes with various sized thick jelly like stickers (which do need to be trimmed for best fit) that correspond to the number size imprinted on the under side of each nail. Because the sticker shapes are standardized, it will not be a perfect complete fit but I was able to get a strong hold that covered 90-95% of my natural nails. There was no extra time spent waiting for the nails to stick, I simply trimmed the tabs, pressed it on and they were good to go!
I particularly liked the thicker glue tabs as they seem to ease any bubbling (when air bubbles get under the nail) and provide a comfortable fit. Putting these through house hold chores, dish washing, showers and other daily activities they held on strong and I didn’t notice any lifting at the edges even after 4 days of wear at which point I took them off as I needed to get back to regular life which did not sit well with precious long nails. Removing them was a simple peeling process but I highly recommend you take your time and have the cuticle stick on hand to help you wedge the edges a little at a time as the sticker tabs are still mighty strong after a few days. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16441390408/player/

The only downside of these nails, as with most standardized things is the slightly off fit at the cuticle. As you can see in the close up photos, not all of the nails fit the curve of my cuticle perfectly and it doesn’t make it any easier that a few of my fingers have difference cuticle curvatures than others. Personally I doubt I can really fool anyone into thinking these are my real nails but I would certainly recommend these for a fun date, party or even a weekend getaway and know that these will stay on and look beautiful.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16442750429/player/

THE FINAL VERDICT
If you are a part-time princess or someone who has a hard time growing out their nails, these KISS Gel Fantasy Nails are absolutely something worth considering for a quick glam transformation. The designs and finish on these are truly beautiful and I was impressed with strong hold and long lasting wear of the nail stickers. And while I only wore mine for 4 days, I have no doubt the stickers could have gotten me through a week and if you’re careful when peeling them off you may even be able to save the nails for another glue on session. Low commitment and high on style, you’ll definitely be seeing these on me again!

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16441383648/player/

Review: Maybelline | Color Show Nail Polish & Swatches

It absolutely bewilders me how I’m attracted to nail polish like a bird to shiny things despite not wearing polish on a regular basis. But over the past few years I’ve somehow managed to amass quite a decent selection of Maybelline Color Show polishes. With their attention grabbing ads in magazines, to their constant flow of limited edition colours, this little beauty bird just keeps picking them up.


THE BASICS
Brand: Maybelline New York
Product: Colour Show Nail Polish/Nail Lacquer
Colours: 48 shades (not including limited edition)
Details: 3-Free, no formaldahyde, DBP or toulene
Size: 7ml
Price: $3 – 4 CAD (often on sale)
Availability: Drugstores nationwide
Would I repurchase: Possibly.
Website: www.maybelline.ca

Maybelline has been making nail polishes on and off for decades but these new fashion forward Colour Show polishes were launched in mid 2012 and seems to be part of a bigger brand strategy to overhaul its overall appeal.

Fully coordinated in shiny black caps, a base range of colours were put out and is supplemented with seasonal limited edition options during the year ranging from new colours to textures and finishes. The cylindrical glass bottles certainly have a more modern stylized feel to them and the small bottles actually contain 7ml of product rather than the traditional 15ml of most brands. A rather smart move in my opinion as I’m one to like options in my collection but rarely find myself finishing up an entire large bottle of polish.

Although been dubbed the “easy flow” brush, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly new in this department. It doesn’t hold a very large amount of product so if you have a larger nail bed, you’re going to need a few dips to finish your each nail.

The consistency of the product seems to vary depending on the finish, the creams can be slightly streaky but the metallics and sparkle finishes go on great. Most colours I own require 2-3 coats for complete coverage.

Rose Bling (LE) | Gold’s Night Out (LE) | Sea-Quins (LE) | Clearly Spotted
The sequins and polka dot collection are some of my favourites as they make for a fun accent nail or top coat. All of these seem to have a high ratio of giltter/specks to clear polish so not I’m sitting around layering 5 coats to get some action. Do note that the sequins can dry out a little but a little top off with a clear polish should take care of the issue.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14700391431/player/
Midnight Swim (LE) | Styled Out | Navy Narcissist

The Colour Show collection makes some of the best blues around and with an interesting mix of finishes and textures. The “denim” series is unique formulation that contains a subtle glitter mixed into a base colour which minics the natural sheen and irregularity of real denim.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14516908508/player/
Metal Icon (LE) | Impeccable Greys | Purple Icon | Iced Queen | Poolside (LE)

I like the idea that Maybelline doesn’t make too many “repeat” shades and the focus is very much on trendy brights, neons, pastels or textures instead of merely safe girly neutrals. Paired up with it’s limited edition offerings and you can very quickly build up quite a substantial colour palette. Drying time is rather quick but the shine factor varies with the finish you choose.
My major issue with these polishes, especially the cream shades is the extremely poor wear time when worn solo. Granted, I put my hands through a lot during a normal day but these have been known to chip with in the day for me and that’s not way for a polish to behave. A base coat and high shine topcoat is an absolute must if you plan on wearing these for more than just a quick wardrobe change.

All the swatches below are done using two coats of polish.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14516907018/player/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14516904868/player/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14723435863/player/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14723432983/player/

THE FINAL VERDICT
With so many good things going for it, the Maybelline Colour Show Nail Lacquers are easy, colourful, fun and very inexpensive. The formulation needs a bit of work as it has a hard time staying on my nails and thus I normal reserve these for date outfit matching, when I only need it to stay pristine for a few hours. This is not going to be a favourite, reliable product for me but I’m rather certain I’ll continue to get lured in by the great shades that Maybelline puts out.

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Wearing | Poolside & Clearly Spotted

Ingredients: (May vary slightly depending on colour)
Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Nitrocellulose, Triphenyl Phosphate, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Ethyl Tosylamide, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Benzophenone-1, Alumina, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Citric Acid, Silica, Tin Oxide, Dimethicone. May Contain: CI 7789
1/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77120/Barium Sulfate, CI 19140/Yellow 5 Lake, CI 15850/Red 6 Lake, Mica, CI 77491, CI 77499/Iron Oxides, CI 77510/Ferric Ferrocyanide, CI 15850/Red 7 Lake, CI 77266/Black 2, CI 15880/Red 34 Lake, CI 77000/Aluminum Powder, CI 42090/Blue 1 Lake, CI 73360/Red 30.