Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pink Gellac Ibiza Summer Collection

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Pink Gellac Ibiza Summer Collection

Hello Loves!  I have the Pink Gellac Ibiza Summer Collection to show you today.  This gorgeous collection consists of 4 shimmers and 1 neon cream that are perfect for transitioning into fall.  These shades are available for purchase in the US via the Chickettes Boutique.  I'm having a really hard time picking a favorite, so let's just jump to the swatches.  :)

First up is Intergalactic Purple.  This one plays tricks on my eyes.  Sometimes it looks blue.  Other times it looks purple.  I'm just going to call it a blurple with microfine red and blue shimmer.  It's absolutely gorgeous and opaque in two coats.
Pink Gellac Intergalactic Purple Swatch
Pink Gellac Intergalactic Purple Swatch

Next is the collection's namesake:  Ibiza Pink.  This neon pink cream is fabulous.  I found it opaque in two coats and application was super smooth.  I'm surprised at how bright this pink really is!  I had to take the photo a little darker just to keep it from blowing out.  Needless to say, I have it on my toes right now.  :)
Pink Gellac Ibiza Pink Swatch
Pink Gellac Ibiza Pink Swatch

Who doesn't love a nice, shimmery red?  Rockstar Red is exactly that.  This blue toned red base is loaded with golden shimmer.  It looks a little silver in my pictures, but the shimmer is definitely gold.  And gorgeous!  I found I needed three thin coats for even shimmer distribution with this one, but it was opaque in two.
Pink Gellac Rockstar Red Swatch
Pink Gellac Rockstar Red Swatch

Clarity Turquoise is another fun color.  This is a slightly green toned blue that is packed with metallic shimmer.  I failed to capture it in my swatches, but the shimmer gives it a little bit of a duochrome effect.  I found it opaque in two coats over my acrylic nails, but it might need three thin coats if you have strong VNL.
Pink Gellac Clarity Turquoise Swatch
Pink Gellac Clarity Turquoise Swatch

Finally, Glamorous Peach is Rockstar Red's Peachy sister.  This peachy pink base is also loaded with golden shimmer.  Honestly, this may be my favorite of the group.  It's so hard to pick just one, but this color really screams at me.  It's soft and feminine but has that golden punch to make it a little edgy.  Application was similar to Rockstar Red - she is opaque in two coats but I needed three thin coats for even shimmer distribution.
Pink Gellac Glamorous Peach Swatch
Pink Gellac Glamorous Peach Swatch

What do you think of these new summer colors?  As I mentioned previously, they are available to purchase in the US via the Chickettes Boutique or via Chickettes on Amazon.  For my international readers, you can also find them on Pink Gellac's website.  Of course, Andrea is happy to ship internationally, but you might be able to get them for less direct depending on shipping costs.


*The Pink Gellac Ibiza Summer Collection gel polishes featured in this post were provided by Chickettes for my honest review.  This post uses Amazon Affiliate Links.  Purchases through these links generate commissions that help fund this site.  All other links are courtesy links and do not benefit 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My First Nail Show - A Recap

Hello Loves!  I've been working on this post for a few weeks now, trying to cut down some of the words and find more pictures.  As you know, I recently attended the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies in Gatlinburg TN.  This was a HUGE first for me - not only was it my first time attending a nail show, but it was my first time working one too.  What can I say?  I go all out.  lol

First things first, I should note that the weekend was a whirlwind of excitement.  I was completely overwhelmed, excited, exhausted, and I forgot to take pictures.  I only took one picture the entire weekend.  Blogger fail!  I know, I know...I've been doing that a lot lately.  In my defense, it was a busy weekend right on the heels of putting in super long days to finish school.  I graduated, packed my bags, and set out for the event the next day.

So, what is the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies?  And how did I end up working it?  Well, the event is a Nails Only event that is held annually in Gatlinburg, TN.  Unlike most shows, it is not a beauty industry thing but a nail industry thing.  That means nothing but nails for 3 straight days (classes on Saturday and Monday, show on Sunday).  Let me tell you...walking into a huge conference hall where every booth is nail related was AWESOME!  So many great brands were there.  I won't even pretend I remember them all, but just to name a few...AII (makers of IBD, Gelaze, Trugel, Progel, etc), OPI, Jessica, Crystal Nails, Akzentz, Light Elegance, LCN, Wildflowers Nail Academy, Tuff Enuff Nails...there were so many!  So how did I end up working the event?  Well, I was chatting with Brenda Anderson from Tuff Enuff Nails one night on facebook about her products.  Out of the blue, she asked me to come to Gatlinburg and do nail art demos with Poly Polish at her booth.  First I squealed.  Then I sat back in disbelief.  Then I said yes!  And that's how this journey started.  lol

Go ahead and grab a coffee...this is going to be a long read.  Go on now.  I'll wait....

My husband and I dropped the kids off with my parents Friday night and set out for Gatlinburg first thing Saturday morning.  We arrived around lunch time and met up with Brenda.  We stayed in a large suite with her and three other lovely ladies - all seasoned nail techs.  One of the other ladies was Simmy Bredal-Bell.  Brenda and Simmy were both part of Team Vicki Peters back in the day.  (If you aren't familiar with Vicki Peters, google her.  She was one of the top global educators in the nail industry before losing her battle with cancer last year.  Not only was she a major competitor on the national circuit, but she was also a pioneer in nail education and a cover artist for some of the top nail magazines.  Seriously, look her short little bio here does not do her legacy justice).  After settling in and running around to get supplies, we made it back to the room in time for a quick bite to eat before heading out to the Nail Talk Radio Meet and Greet.  As we sat there eating fresh corn on the cob and BLTs (corn and tomatoes fresh from New Jersey!), I was awestruck.

The conversation had turned to the "old days" of competing with Vicki.  That was the moment that it really struck me - Vicki Peters was alive in that room, her legacy living on through the ladies there - and I was there to learn from and work beside them.  If you can't learn from the master herself, there is nothing better than learning from two of her students and clearly close personal friends.  I turned and looked at my husband in disbelief.  His response was completely different than mine.  I was awestruck, and he said "this feels like family."  Thing is, he was right.  There I was - a brand new graduate who isn't even licensed yet, sitting in a room filled with amazing talent and history, my first real introduction to the best in the industry - and it DID feel like family.  It was like sitting around my mother's table at home on Thanksgiving.  I couldn't have asked for a better introduction.  Just regular people sitting around chatting about the past.  This was not the industry I had read about.  There was no competition there.  No jealousy.  No attempts to hold others back while pushing yourself forward.  This was supportive.  Loving.  Nurturing.  And that is exactly how the rest of my weekend played out.  I didn't meet a single person who was anything less than encouraging.  I know there's another side of this industry, but I didn't see it in Gatlinburg.  Maybe it was the small nature of the event.  Or maybe it was just that I was clearly talking to the best of the best who no longer need to fight to make it to the top.  I don't know for sure, but I do know without a doubt now that this is the right place for me at this point in my life.  I walked into that hotel room thinking there's no way I can hang with these ladies.  I walked out a few days later knowing in my heart that it isn't about hanging with them.  I am one of them.

Here's a not so flattering photo of me with Brenda and Simmy before the show on Sunday.  Photo complements of Brenda's cell phone.  ;)

Ok, enough about that.  Let's talk about the show.  The first night was the Nail Talk Radio Meet and Greet.  This also happens to be where I took the one photo of the weekend.  lol  The Meet and Greet was interesting.  Chaotic, at first.  Apparently the event space from the year before became unavailable at the last minute so they had to scramble to find a new place.  We had to search for the room and I didn't see any signs until we were leaving.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the guests gave up before they ever found the place.  Once inside, the room was set up with lots of round tables for seating, a stage, and a buffet area.  All of the guests were standing in a huge circle around the room.  We weren't sure where the line for check-in started or where it ended.  lol  As I walked around, I saw some fun things sitting out on the other tables.  Essie polishes.  Glitter.  Tammy Taylor practice sheets.  IBX samples.  It was clear that a lot of sponsors were involved and contributed to the event.  The food looked awesome, but I was still full from the BLTs back in the room so I didn't try any.

Here's that picture I mentioned.  I don't know who any of the people are in the shot, other than Athena Elliot at the front of the room speaking.

I ended up at a table in the back of the room.  Sadly, it didn't have any favors on it, but it did have some amazing people sitting in the chairs.  Of course, I was there with the group of ladies with Tuff Enuff Nails, but we were also sitting with Jill Wright who coordinates the event every year.  And to my left was Michele Baker.  Michele is an educator for AII and is a licensed nail instructor in my state!  She was super friendly and told me I can call her if I have any questions about my upcoming exams.  I'm hoping I'll get a chance to visit her salon some time over the next few weeks and shadow her for a bit.  :)

We left the event early since Keith was back at the room by himself.  Back in our suite, I took the opportunity to pick Brenda's brain and asked her to do my nails.  Holy smokes, y'all.  I learned more in one hour with Brenda than I learned in the past few months at school!  This lady is a natural educator.  I feel so much more comfortable with my e file now (though I need to upgrade it) and she was able to answer many of the questions I had still about acrylic application.  In just one hour!  It was midnight when she finished my nails and I tried to go to bed, but she refused and insisted I add some art to the set she just finished because she wanted to watch.  I whipped out a few gel polishes and went to work.  This is the result of our collaboration.  Brenda's tip with overlay and my rushed and sleepy art.  lol

Late to bed and early to rise - the show was the next day.  We got there early to set up the booth since we didn't get a chance to set up the day before.  I walked in, looked around, and got to work.  Brenda stuck me out on the end doing nail art demos and tucked herself back in the corner.  I tried to protest, but I quickly learned that Brenda not only knows how to set up for a show, but she also knows how to set up a student for success.  Here's a shot of Brenda tucked away in her corner.  lol  (Photo compliments of Jill Wright.)

And here's a shot that shows the booth in the upper left hand corner.  You can see that I was right there in the line of traffic!  Me!  Surrounded by nail techs attending the show.  All of them watching me work.  At first it was rattling, but as soon as the first person sat down in front of me for a demo, I fell into a groove and it just seemed natural to me.  It was crazy how natural it felt to me to do demos and teach people how to use the product.  This just confirmed that I am on the right path.  I am supposed to teach.  Brenda saw it long before I did and positioned me to prove it.  I have no doubts about that.  This photo was taken during one of the few breaks in traffic at the very end of the day.  (Photo compliments of Jill Wright.)

Despite being in the back corner of the room, we stayed busy.  I found that I didn't have much time to wander away from the booth.  As soon as we got a break in traffic and I tried to wander off, I would glance back to see people surrounding the booth again.  I did manage to visit a few of the other companies on the floor.  I talked to the LCN educator and picked up a few of the Recolution gels to show you (coming soon).  I also stopped by the Wildflowers Nail Art booth and picked up the paints I showed you last week.  I popped in on the Akzentz booth and grabbed a bottle of Lights Out (their glow in the dark gel polish).  I talked to the Jessica Rep and ordered their new LED Soak Off Builder.  And I managed to peek at the AII booth.  There were so many other booths I wanted to see, but I just didn't have time.  I really wanted to pop over to the Crystal Nails booth and the Light Elegance booth, but they stayed pretty busy too and I couldn't find an opening.

Here's another photo from the show...a close up of one of my demos (photo compliments of Jill Wright).  For more pictures, check out the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies facebook page.  Jill is adding photos as she works her way through them.  :)

My final thoughts:  The Nail Tech Event of the Smokies is a great show.  It is smaller than some of the others out there, but it was the perfect place for me to start my journey.  The educators for the various companies were all so down to earth and friendly.  Next year promises to be even better with more companies in attendance since the dates don't overlap with Cosmoprof in Las Vegas.  I'll be there again with Brenda and the Tuff Enuff Nails team next year.  My only regret is that I didn't plan ahead and attend any of the classes.  I will next year for certain.  I might even help teach one.  ;)

Stay tuned for reviews of the gels I picked up.  I spent way more money than I should have, but I just couldn't resist!


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Friday, July 24, 2015

Wildflowers Nail Art Paints - Swatches and Review

Wildflowers Art Paints Swatches and Review

Hello Loves!  I have something really fun to show you today.  While I was at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies, a little booth in the back of the room caught my eye.  The booth was for Wildflowers Nail Academy (owned and operated by Lauren Wiseman of Nail'd It Season One fame).  Her booth was loaded with glitter, nail foils, and these adorable little bottles of liquid nail paints.  Yeah, so I started poking around a picked up a few sets of colors to try.  You know me, though...I walk around with a blinking sign above my head that screams "I'm a hoarder! I'll buy anything!"  Lauren must have seen it, because she told me she had put aside a few full sets of the colors that included options I didn't have in my hand and offered me one.  *sigh*  Of course I had to have them all!

Ok, so now that you know how I got my hands on these little bottles of rainbow nectar, let me tell you a little about the Wildflowers Art Paints.  They are liquid nail art paints.  Yep, liquid.  Think the consistency of whole milk.  Maybe a tad thicker, but not as thick as acrylic paint.  They are water based, non-toxic, super pigmented and are made with cosmetic grade pigments.  What's not to love, right?  They also come in these really convenient little dropper bottles.
Wildflowers Art Paint Bottles

Here's a shot of the paint coming out of the bottle that shows consistency a little better.
Wildflowers Art Paint Consistency

I found these paints really easy and fun to work with.  They layer beautifully over lights and darks and dry quickly - but not so quick that you don't have time to work with them.  I'm kind of over the moon with these paints!  Seriously, I don't know that you'll see me fighting with acrylic paint ever again.

Enough talk.  Let's take a look at a few things I threw together using the Wildflowers Art Paints.  First, I played around with a few swatch sticks and some simple geometric designs.  I learned here that you really need to load your brush and allow the paint to flow onto the surface of the nail.  The nail also needs to be a little rough - either remove the shine from the polish with a buffer or use a matte top coat.  Yeah, my lines aren't crisp.  Don't judge.  lol
Quick Geometric designs with Wildflowers Art Paints

After a little playing, I decided to dive in head first.  As I mentioned in Wednesday's post, I'm still loving the sparkly black goodness of BMC So Tragic!  And I must say, it makes a great base for my current look.
Bright Flowers Nail Art with Wildflowers Art Paints

To create this look, I first started with a rough shape of the petals with Wildflowers Powder (white).  I could have gone straight over the black with the colors, but I wanted them to really pop so I white based them.  I then added a layer of Lava over the white and created general leaf shape blobs with Jade.  I came back in with Sherbert to add the highlights to the petals and with Spring to detail the leaves.  Then Pitch (black) for the centers and a few SS6 Crystal AB crystals to make them pop.  The dots on the index and ring fingers are Lava directly over the black base.  Finally, I sealed it all in with a gel polish top coat. 
Bright Flowers Nail Art with Wildflowers Art Paints

I love, love, love how this one turned out.  Seriously, LOVE.  And now I have a super big problem.  I have other stuff to swatch.  Plates to review.  Designs I want to try out.  But I can't bring myself to take these off!  I even did my right hand to match.  Ah, blogger problems.  lol

As I mentioned above, I purchased the complete set of Wildflowers Art Paints.  Since I didn't use them all in the designs above, I decided to swatch them for you.  Ready to see all of the colors?  Of course you are!  There are 21 including black and white, so I popped them into a table to save space.  If you want to see any of them larger, you can click the picture to blow it up.  :)

Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Pitch
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Powder
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Tomato
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Kisses
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Pop
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Lava
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Tangerine
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Starburst
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Sherbert
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Pollen
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Neon
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Glowstick
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Spring
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Jade
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Sky
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Bright Blue
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Kentucky
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Lilac
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Magenta
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Pansy
Wildflowers Nail Art Paint Plum

Now that you've seen them, you can easily see why I'm so smitten. These colors are so bold and beautiful! Plus they allow my limited creativity to really flow.  Of all the colors, I think the neons and the black and white are my favorites.  The black and white are especially perfect!  As an added bonus, Lauren even has the MSDS available for download on her site.  Whoo Hoo for making things easy for the nail techs!  lol   

If freehand art is your thing, you NEED these paints.  Trust me, you'll love them.  You can pick some up for yourself at Wildflowers Nail Academy.  If you want the entire set, click on the Art Paints 10 ml option and scroll down the list to "I WANT THEM ALL".  :)

Oh, and be sure to follow Wildflowers Nail Academy on Facebook to see what Lauren is up to next.  She teaches classes at several events throughout the year.  :)


*The Wildflower Art Paints featured in this post were purchased by me.  All links in this post are courtesy links and do not benefit

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BMC Speed Gel Ain't No Basic B!tch Collection

Press Sample Affiliate Links

BMC Speed Gel Ain't No Basic B!tch Collection Swatches and Review

Hello Loves!  I have a sassy little collection from Bundle Monster to show you today.  These six gorgeous shades in the Ain't No Basic B!tch Collection are the newest releases in the BMC Speed Gel line.  The Speed Gels are one step gel polishes that include the base, color and top in one bottle.  What exactly does that mean?  Two coats and you're done!  No base, no top, no cleanse.  In case you missed my full review with wear and removal results of the first BMC Speed Gel collection, you can check it out here.

You might also notice I'm sporting yet another new shape.  Yep, I took off my long almonds after wearing them for only a week and went with a shorter acrylic set instead.  I couldn't resist after a crash course on acrylic with Brenda Anderson while I was at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies (recap of the event is coming soon, I promise!).  Sure, I had lots of training with acrylic while at school, but Brenda was able to clear up some confusion and help me trouble shoot a few things.  Whoo Hoo!  So I had to give it a go...and this collection was just screaming for a sassy shape to go with it.  ;)  Enough about that.  Ready to take a look?  Of course you are!

First up is a light pink with a pearl shimmer called Pink Wednesdays.  The shimmer is soft so I had no issues with major streaking and coverage was perfect in two coats.
BMC Speed Gel Pink Wednesdays Swatch
BMC Speed Gel Pink Wednesdays Swatch

Next up is Can't Sit Here.  Can't Sit Here is a bold pink with a purple pearlescent flash.  Application was a breeze and two coats are perfect.  I absolutely love this color.  I didn't think to grab a picture of it, but layering it over black really makes the purple flash pop.  ;)
BMC Speed Gel Can't Sit Here Swatch
BMC Speed Gel Can't Sit Here Swatch

For my glitter lovers, check out Drama!  This jelly purple base is loaded with holographic pink glitter.  In the pictures, it looks multi-colored, but I promise the glitter is a dark pink holo.  Application was a little trickier than the others because of the glitter, but I found it applied nicely and the second coat easily filled in any glitter gaps from the first coat.  Just look at her!  She's fabulous!
BMC Speed Gel Drama! Swatch
BMC Speed Gel Drama! Swatch

Cheeky is a shimmery lime green with a golden flash.  I found it to be opaque in two coats over my acrylic nails, but you might need three thin coats if you have strong VNL over a natural nail.  I should also note that I found her very hard to photograph.  My cool skin tone doesn't work very well with this color since it brings out the yellow more and the golden flash amplified the effect.  So here's how it looks on me.
BMC Speed Gel Cheeky Swatch
BMC Speed Gel Cheeky Swatch

And here's a brush shot to show the true color of Cheeky without my skin ton throwing it off.  As you can see, it is much more lime green in the bottle. :)
BMC Speed Gel Cheeky Brush Shot

So Fetch! is Cheeky's Blue sister.  This bright blue base is packed with a greenish golden shimmer.  Application is similar to Cheeky in that it is opaque in two over my acrylic nails but might require three thin coats over a natural nail.
BMC Speed Gel So Fetch! Swatch
BMC Speed Gel So Fetch! Swatch

So Fetch! really messes with my head.  Why?  Well, in the bottle she is blue.  On my nails, she looks more teal.  I can't decide if the color changed when it cured or if the shimmer is throwing me off, so I took a shot with my nails and the brush.  The polish looks much more blue on the brush, I think, but the shimmer is strong and I really can't say for sure if the color changed or if the shimmer just flattened out on my nails and is obscuring the blue base.
BMC Speed Gel So Fetch! Brush Shot

Finally, my absolute favorite color in the collection is called So Tragic!  So Tragic is a black beauty with a fine iridescent shimmer.  My pictures failed to capture the shimmer quite as well as my eyes, but this polish is the black I have been desiring for years!  It is almost unnatural how much I love this black.  How much do I love it?  Well, I wore it when I graduated.  I wore it to the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies.  And I'm still wearing it as a base for nail art (check back Friday to see what I'm wearing).  Yeah, I'm really digging this color.  Oh, and she's opaque in two coats!
BMC Speed Gel So Tragic! Swatch
BMC Speed Gel So Tragic! Swatch

You know, a post about a collection with a name like Ain't No Basic B!tch just isn't complete without a little nail art.  Bundle Monster also sent me the High Maintenance Fashionista 3D Nail Charm set.  I couldn't resist pairing Pink Wednesdays, Can't Sit Here, and So Tragic! with heart shaped tips and a few of the charms.
BMC Speed Gel Ain't No Basic B!tch Nail Art
Bundle Monster High Maintenance Fashionista Charms

Here's a shot of the entire set of charms.  Aren't they precious!?!?!
Bundle Monster High Maintenance Fashionista Charms

So there you have it - a BMC Speed Gel collection for the unique b!tches out there (like me! lol).  I adore this collection...well, except for Cheeky but it's not her fault that my skin tone won't play nice.  The colors are great, the application is perfect, and that black!  Be still my fluttering little heart!

If you need the Ain't No Basic B!tch Collection in your life, or even just a color or two, you can pick them up on Bundle Monster's website here or on Amazon here.


*The polishes and 3D Nail charms featured in this post were provided by Bundle Monster for my honest review.  This post uses Amazon Affiliate links.  Purchases through these links generate commissions that help fund this site.  All other links are courtesy links and do not benefit  

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