The latest...

LVX Winter-Resort Collection Stamping Nail Art

press sample | affiliate link

It’s Friday! I thought today would never come! This is my fourth post in a single week. I’m shocked myself. LOL. I love stamping with metallic polish and when I saw the coppery Eiffel in the LVX Winter-Resort Collection, I was inspired. Like all LVX releases, this one was born directly from the shades of the runway (press release here). I love the soft gray called Mineral. You’ll see that in a future post. In addition to Eiffel, this look uses Denim and Vamp from the collection.

Stamping Nail Art with LVX Denim, Eiffel and Vamp

NCLA Iridescent Dreams and Out of This World Swatches, Review, and Nail Art

press samples

Wow. Three posts up in a single week. I’m on a roll! Today I have two brand new holos from NCLA. Both have a smooth, creamy formula and covered easily in two coats. First I’ll show you the swatches and then some easy nail art. My swatches are two coats of polish and one coat of NCLA Gloss It! all-in-one base and top coat.

Out of This World is a medium purple scattered holo. I love both of the new shades, but this is definitely my fave of the two. The holo effect is strong, even in low light.

NCLA Out of This World

Gelish MINI The Big Chill Collection Swatches and Review

press samples

Hey there! More swatches today. I haven’t featured gel polish on the blog for awhile. I love gel and if I didn’t change my polish so much, I’d definitely wear it more often. The Gelish MINI The Big Chill Collection (press release here) includes five cool shades with shimmery finishes and one warm coppery glitter. I’m obsessed with two of these so let’s get started.

Gelish MINI The Big Chill Collection

Call Me Jill Frost is an intense purple. The shimmery pearl finish gives the color so much depth. It is seriously gorgeous and I’m crazy about it.

Gelish MINI Call Me Jill Frost

Cupcake Polish Queen Collection Swatches and Review

press samples

Hi guys! The blog is back in business! In addition to all of my recent busy-ness (see this post to learn what I’ve been up to), my webhost has been having major issues over the last few weeks that have caused the site to be intermittently inaccessible. If anyone has a recommendation for a good WordPress host, I’d love to hear it! Email me at

Okay, so I’ve got an absolutely gorgeous collection by Cupcake Polish to show you today. The Queen Collection is a five-piece set with a thoughtful inspiration (which I’ll share). All are rich gemstone-colored, linear holos packed with shimmer. They’re available now at Details are at the end of this post.

Cupcake Polish Queen Collection

So let’s get to the swatches. All are two coats of polish and one coat of topcoat. I’ll say this once – the formula was smooth with a strong holo effect, intense color, and great coverage.This is one of those collections where each one is beautiful on it’s own, but all five look amazing together. You’ll want the entire set! :)

Catherine is inspired by Catherine the Great of Russia. She ruled during Russia’s Golden Age and is credited for expanding the Russian Empire and allowing the arts to flourish. Catherine is a beautiful, deep pink…practically a red.

Cupcake Polish Catherine

Victoria (the name of my mom and a dear friend!) is inspired by Queen Victoria of Great Britian and Ireland. She’s considered one of the most influential Queens in history and is credited for bringing both political and social reforms to her kingdom.” Victoria (the polish) is a deep purple with a subtle red shift and pink shimmer. It looks like a manipulated the color and effect in my photo, but I didn’t. This shade is stunning!

Cupcake Polish Victoria

Where in the World is WPP?

Hi guys! So my break between posts has stretched a little longer than I planned. I thought I’d post an update so y’all don’t forget about me! :) My swatch pile is growing and I have lots of cool stuff to share (think Spring!)…and I’ll get to it all. I promise!

So where have I been? Well, 10 hours each weekday is still filled with my day job in the defense business. I have the utmost respect for any blogger who works long hours outside the home and still manages to post often! Then the dreaded flu hit my household. Has anyone out there had it? It’s brutal. We’re also deep into a makeover of my daughter’s bedroom. (Below is a peek of the work-in-progress. I may share pics when it’s totally finished.) And what else?  Well I’m still very fortunate that NAILPRO Magazine has continued to give me writing assignments (a fact that still blows my mind). So between my day job, sickness, redecorating, and feature writing, I haven’t had much time for posting. But I’m on it!


Speaking of my writing assignments, I’ve had a draft blog page in the works for awhile now which lists all of my published articles. I decided I’d include it here (I still may make it a page eventually and keep it updated with my new work). I’m really proud of my article in the current issue (January 2015) about putting together a professional nail tech kit. This article was fun because I got to interview some fellow licensed tech nail bloggers: Hanna at Dalai Lama’s Nails, Emily at Lacquerologist and Katy at Nailed It (there’s a link to the article below). As a non-licensed DIY-er, you might be interested in my first three articles. It’s a series called The Blog Log which outlines everything you need to know to start and maintain a nail blog. I’ve already turned in articles for the upcoming February and March issues. And I’m working on one for the April issue right now. Shew!

You can subscribe to NAILPRO here (There’s just something about having a printed copy show up in your mailbox each month that I love! Plus, having all of the past issues available in The Mani Cave is a great source of inspiration.) But each month NAILPRO is also available as a free digital download on their homepage (see top right corner of the page).

If you’re interested in ready my stuff, there are links to all of my work below. Thanks for sticking with me during this slow blogging time. I miss you guys!



The Right Stuff:
Expert tips for stocking and streamlining your professional kit,
so it’s always up-to-date and organized

January 2015 | read


Brush Breakdown:
Choosing, using and caring for the most important tool in every tech’s kit
November 2014 | read


Take it All Off:
Best practices for fast, effective and safe product removal
August 2014 | read


Hard Gel 101:
Learn the basics of the popular service, plus nine expert tips to tackle application like a pro
July 2014 | read


The Bottom Line:
To maximize your profits, you need to know how to calculate your cost per service. Here’s how!
June 2014 | read


The Blog Log Part 3:
Maintaining and Promoting – Train for a marathon (but be prepared to sprint)
March 2014 | read


The Blog Log Part 2:
The Content – Quality over quantity (but quantity counts too)
February 2014 | read


The Blog Log Part 1:
The Setup – Everything you need to do (before you do anything)
January 2014 | read

ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies Nail Art, Swatches and Review

press samples

Doesn’t it seem like everything that CAN be done with nail polish…HAS been done? That’s why it’s so exciting when something new comes along. And color-shifting flakies popped up everywhere this fall. Today I have ILNP’s take on this new phenomenon. The ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies Collection has just been restocked. Go grab your faves fast because they always sell out!.

ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies Collection

I did something a little different for today’s post. My camera/lighting setup just isn’t the best for capturing color-shifts. Or maybe it’s the way I pose my hand? Anyway, I photographed all 13 polishes on swatch sticks. Then I focused on what I love to do best…nail art. The translucent quality of the flakies reminds me of stained glass, so I went with that theme and used four of my favorites (Success, Supernova, Electric Carnival and Metropolis) to create this nail art.

ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies Stained Glass Nail Art

I started with a plain black base and used striping tape to lay out the sections. I had to move fast because the flakies would pull up along with the tape if they dried too much. I dabbed a pretty generous coat in each section of one nail with a small brush and immediately removed the tape. I finished with two coats of KBShimmer Clearly on Top to smooth everything out.

Zoya Wishes PixieDust Gradient + Classic, Ultra, and Magical PixieDust: What’s the difference and are they discontinued?

press samples

UPDATE: The original post was missing some Pixies! I’ve removed the graphic while I fix it and will re-upload later. Thanks to everyone who pointed out my error!  I had proofed it a million times and I never would have noticed. :)

Happy New Year! I had four solid days off and made so much progress on my house. It felt good to get some work done. I’m not the only one who’s been busy! Zoya has announced not one, but two new upcoming collections. Naturel Satins is a transitional collection of six neutral colors in a low-sheen finish (press release here). And the Zoya Delights Collection includes three cremes and three “flash metallics” in fun, airy shades that are perfect for Spring (press release here).

So today I have a hybrid pretty nail art/informational post. A few readers have asked if I knew the difference between Zoya’s PixieDust releases and honestly, I didn’t…not technically, at least. There are three so far: Classic PixieDust, Ultra PixieDust, and Magical PixieDust. Since I had a simple look using the Zoya Wishes Collection ready to post,  I thought I’d reach out to Zoya for some PixieDust lowdown. First, the nail art. Keep reading for the deets on all things PixieDust.

Zoya Wishes Collection

Zoya Wishes is the 2014 Holiday/Winter Collection. It includes six polishes, three of which are Classic PixieDust. I haven’t seen a PixieDust gradient and wanted to give it a go. It worked! I used Thea, a deep purple, on four fingers and created the gradient using Thea and Nori, a royal blue, as an accent.

Zoya PixieDust Wishes Collection

I started the gradient using a sponge, but it wasn’t laying the jelly base down densely enough (it was just depositing the glitter). So I did the gradient a little differently than normal. I actually used the polish brushes and roughly painted half the nail with each color. After it dried, I then used the sponge to fade the two colors.

Zoya PixieDust Wishes Collection

It was super easy and I love the blue and purple together. As with all PixieDust applications, I skipped the topcoat. Isn’t it fun? I love how it catches the light.

Zoya PixieDust Wishes Collection

The Zoya Wishes Collection is available now. Regular polishes retail for $9.00 each (US) and the PixieDust shades are $10.00 each. They can be purchased at, select stores and spas and in ULTA beauty stores (not online). Zoya offers frequent promotions, so be sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram to get the scoop!

More About Zoya PixieDust

Zoya PixieDust is a special edition polish that creates a matte, textured, glittery finish when applied without topcoat. The classic PixieDust formula was first announced in late 2012 for a January 2013 release. Since then, Zoya has debuted two more varieties as part of other collections and special trios. Zoya’s Creative Director, Rebecca Isa, was kind enough to explain the differences between the three PixieDust formulas:

Zoya Classic PixieDust uses three different micro particles‎ to achieve a fine, yet multi-dimensional finish. Two of the particles are a proprietary blend that we developed and they are also the particles that are responsible for the extra-long wear. The Zoya Magical PixieDust formula uses the classical PixieDust base plus an addition of a small and large holographic particle. Zoya Ultra PixieDust uses the classic PixieDust base plus small and large tone on tone particles to achieve a slightly edgier look.”

To date, 27 30 PixieDusts have been released. All are still available on the Zoya site. (Note: As of this posting, if you do a search by color and choose the PixieDust finish, only 24 of the colors appear. The Magical PixieDusts are on the site, you’ll just have to hunt for them.) The graphic below shows the polishes in order of release date [click to enlarge]. I’m a huge fan of these polishes, especially the later releases. I must say my all time fave is Cosmo. The finish is like diamonds encrusted on your nails! So perfect for a party.

PixieDust Retirement

I heard that the PixieDust polishes were being discontinued, but Zoya reps clarified that they are simply being retired. There was no pigment, formulation, or source issues at all. Rather as special edition polishes, their day has come. However, Zoya hinted that PixieDusts may be re-released at any time and new colors just might pop-up in the future! As much as I like these polishes, I think it’s a great idea to retire them for now and continue the finish in special releases. It makes them extra special!

What do you think? Love them or over them?

Disclosure: Polishes used in this post were provided by Zoya for my consideration. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.