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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Big Little Lies - An Inspired Mani

Night owl post for you all!  I was so busy today that I completely forgot TODAY was the day to submit my mani inspired by "Big Little Lies," a book I recently read in this wonderful online group called The Polished Bookworms.  Each month, we all vote on a book to read, and at the end of the month, we discuss the book and create a mani inspired by the book!  To be honest, it was *really* hard for me to nail one down, mostly because I really didn't enjoy the book at all :-/

But!  I came up with something!  I based my mani off two things - the cover of the book, and a key part of the book that stood out for me: a string of pearls.  Now I can't really explain the pearls without giving away the book - sorry :P  But here is the cover image:

And here is my mani:

I painted sections of pastel blue, purple, pink, and white and layered a crackle effect topcoat to imitate the broken lollipop.  :)  

I've attached an in-linkz at the bottom of this post so you can see the other amazing and creative designs created by the rest of the talented ladies in this group ^_^  Hope you have a great night!

Friday, January 30, 2015

*Press Sample*: I, A.M. Custom Color February Duo


Taking a quick break from my International Salon and Spa Expo posts to share with you the February Duo by I, A.M. Custom Color!

This duo features two beautiful polishes inspired by the famous ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and the remix of the song "You'll Find a Way."  This month's duo will also include a shimmery red eyeshadow in a 1/3 gram jar.  So let's take a look at the polishes!

First up is Mischa B:

Direct Sunlight


Mischa B. is a beautiful red jelly holographic polish.  It applied very smoothly, dried in under five minutes, and is pretty much opaque after 3 coats, though there is just a hint of VNL at certain angles.  Also, it doesn't stain!  No stains at all, on the nail or the skin around!  I DID use a basecoat, though, so I have no idea if it would stain on a bare nailbed.

The other polish is "You'll Find a Way Remix:"

Direct Sunlight


You'll Find a Way Remix is such a fun grey grelly packed full of various sized blue, teal, and purple glitters.  This polish also dried in under five minutes and is opaque with 2-3 coats, depending on how thick you apply it - I used 3 thin coats in the photos above.

These polishes are so great together!  The intensity of the red of Mischa B. complements the smooth tone of You'll Find a Way Remix.  I also love that Mischa B. is the perfect V-day red!!

You can find the duo Here, and the January Duo that I recently wrote about is also live!

What do you think of this duo?  Do you prefer one polish to the other, or are you fond of them both?


NOTE: These polishes were purchased from I, A.M. Custom Color using a special discount.  This in no way affects my 100% honest opinion.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ISSE: International Nail Manufacturers (Press Sample)


One of the many awesome booths I stopped to check out at the International Salon & Spa Expo was International Nail Manufacturers (or INM).

You may know them best for their amazing quick-dry topcoat Out The Door.  They are a family-run business since 1979, with the goal to "meet the needs of nail technicians worldwide" (Source).  They've got a wide variety of products to offer, but I know them best for their topcoat and their amazing oils!!

I had the honor of meeting the ridiculously talented Lorena Marquez, the Director of Education for INM.  She is an incredible woman who has won many nail art awards (look her up, it's seriously impressive!) and is very sweet in person :)  I'm so happy I had the opportunity to meet her!  Lorena was kind enough to let me pick out five polishes to use for nail art!  I was delighted at the opportunity, and decided to choose colors that would suit a Valentine's Day design - and I came up with five to show you!  Let's get to them!

First up is "Sweet Bouquet:"

Sweet Bouquet is a beautiful soft metallic purple that dried in about 5 minutes to a lovely shine.  The formula was very smooth and easy to work with.  I decided to do a simple accent nail with some freehanded dangling hearts using another one of their polishes, "Bows of Holly."

Next up is "Bubble Gum:"

Bubble gum is exactly the color that its name suggests, but with a beautiful blue/purple shimmer.  The formula is a bit thinner on this one and would take probably about 4 coats to be completely opaque - I'm wearing two in the photos, but without the design, there is visible nail line.  Same dry time and application as Sweet Boquet.  I used Bows of Holly for the red hearts and Creme de Carnivale for the light purple V tips.

Speaking of, here is "Creme de Carnivale" and "Glitz:"

Creme de Carnivale is a gorgeous lilac purple creme polish that also applied like a dream and dried quickly.  It was opaque in two coats, too!  I used Glitz for the heart accents, and one thing I want to point out about it is that yes, while the glitter settles to the bottom, shaking it up makes it all even - but it also means that it is not as THICK as most glitter bombs.  I don't mind having a glitter I merely have to shake before use if it means it won't be super thick in application - and Glitz was nice and thin, and the glitter spread out evenly.  Really great glitter polish!

The final polish to show you is my favorite of the bunch - "Bows of Holly:"

I love Bows of Holly!!!  This read is DIVINE!  Thinner formula, so it is pretty much opaque at 3 coats, though there are still certain angles you can see some nail line.  Application and dry time is the same as the others.  I used nail vinyls for the hearts (I know - I didn't freehand O_o  Whaaaaaaat?!)

For every one of these pictures, I used the INM Premium Cuticle Oil (also provided by Lorena) in the scents Cranberry and Kiwi Hemp.  The biggest plus to this cuticle oil is the fact it doesn't make my skin look oily in pictures - my skin actually absorbed it well.  This is the only cuticle oil I've come across so far that does that for me so quickly.  I also really like the thin, clear brushes in the bottle - makes the application really easy!

Here's one final design, just for funsies, using Bows of Holly, Bubble Gum, and Creme de Carnivale:

THESE hearts ARE freehanded :P

I tell you what, I am so glad I got the opportunity to try their polishes - until now I had only used the topcoats and cuticle oils.  These polishes are really nice!

What do YOU think?  Have you tried INM's polish before?  What's your favorite design of all the ones above?


*Product was provided by INM.  My opinion is in no way swayed, and remains 100% honest.