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Neutral Nail Art with the Zoya Naturel Deux (2) Collection

press samples

Ahhh…it’s Thursday. Just one more day to go in the work week. I’m such a rebel today! I did these nails last night and I didn’t take them off before coming into my ultra-conservative office this morning. But it’s not too blatant. I used polishes from the Zoya 2014 Summer/Fall transitional release, Naturel Deux (2) Collection (see original press release here), to make some sneaky and subtle nail art.

Zoya Naturel Deux (2) Collection Nail Art

I love, love, love the first Zoya Naturel Collection. I wear those polishes often to work. (Brigitte has emerged as my fave.) So when I got a sneak peek of the sequel at Cosmoprof North America…I was excited! These six polishes are a bit deeper than the first batch, but are all still beige-y brown and mauve tones.

NCLA Duchess of LA Collection Skittles and Review

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Hi all! This post was supposed to go up Monday, but I’ve been out of commission. All is well now. I hope you had a great weekend! I’m getting ready for a manicure party at my house next weekend. Friday night I practiced chocolate polish bottle-shaped garnishes for cupcakes. I’m the world’s worst cook ever…but I’m all about the crafty snacks! Stay tuned. I’ll have a big post about the party next week and a giveaway too!

So today I have some simple, but beautiful, skittles. I’ve been a huge fan of NCLA’s playful and considerate four-polish collections for awhile now. The Duchess of LA Collection has been patiently waiting it’s turn in my untried pile.  Each polish is a soft creme filled with just the right amount of small hex glitters and microglitters. I love how the glitters in three of them complement the creme base of the others – and so this mani was born. I’m holding Lavish Spender in the pic below. It includes fuchsia, white and green glitters that are suspended in a soft, minty base. This one is a surprising fave for me!

NCLA Lavish Spender from the Duchess of LA Collection

A Touch of Class is a a touch darker than what I would classify as pastel. The blue creme base is filled with glitters in fuchsia, gold, silver and blue. The formula on all of these was good, but this one was surprisingly extra-smooth to apply.

Glitter Jelly Gradient with KBShimmer Summer Polishes (plus KBShimmer Fall News!)

press sample

It’s Friday! I thought this day would never come. It’s been a long week. I’m excited to finally share news of the KBShimmer 2014 Fall Collection! Get all the details at the end of this post. Seeing as I had KBShimmer on the brain, I created this glitter jelly gradient using polishes from the 2014 Summer Collections. I’m a bit obsessed with how this turned out. It looks so rich and gooey…like thick and glittery cough syrup.

KBShimmer Jelly Gradient

I started with one coat of Radiant Orchid from the KBShimmer 2014 Summer Collection. It’s a pretty, orchid creme with a great formula. Next I used two coats of Look High and Holo, also from the 2014 Summer Collection. Gah! This has all of my favorite things in one polish: berry pink color, glitter and holo!

KBShimmer Jelly Gradient

Color Club Poptastic and Poptastic Remix Color Blocking

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Hello all! I’m back with some nail art! You were probably starting to wonder if that was ever going to happen again! Now that my overall CPNA coverage is complete, I can get back to basics. Today I have a simple color-blocked look using the Color Club 2014 Poptastic and Poptastic Remix CollectionsPoptastic includes six neons with a cool, slight shimmer. The Poptastic Remix includes six minis. Each is a mix of neon and white glitters in a clear base.  The blue, Bell Bottom Babe, is the least neon…but you can really see the violet shimmer here.Very pretty.

Color Club Bell Bottom Babe

For some reason I found myself painting my nails up on the platform I use to take my photos. With all of the polishes gathered around, it reminded me of an old-school, cheesy, family portrait. Do any of you remember Olan Mills portrait studios? I’m probably showing my age here. In any event, I did some slight rearranging and took the photo op.  Here’s the whole Poptastic “family”.

Color Club Poptastic and Poptastic Remix Collections

Tieks Ballet Flats…Yes! They’re Worth It!

nothing to disclose

Hi guys. I hope you had a great weekend. My posting was slim last week. We made a last minute trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. My daughter is a huge Potter-head (and I’ll admit, seeing Diagon Alley in real life was pretty amazing) – but it was soooooo hot. How do you Floridians survive the summer?!

So I have one more thing I’d like to blog about concerning my time at Cosmoprof North America (CPNA)…and it’s not polish-related (or even beauty-related). It’s not even a press sample. But I’m such a convert that I thought it was worth posting my experience, especially since I did lots of googling myself before I caved and made the large investment. I figure my review might help someone else down the line. It’s about shoes, comfortable shoes…Tieks by Gavrieli. They’re simple, leather ballet flats.

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So why is this such a big deal? Well last year at CPNA, I bought “comfort” heels…but by the middle of the second day, I was miserable. I literally called my husband (he and my daughter came with me to Vegas last year) and insisted that they leave their luxury spots by the pool and make the one mile round trip (no joke) to the conference center to bring me my flip flops. I ended up walking back to the room barefoot…through a casino (ack! the insanity!) at the end of the day and buying some atrocious looking silver “purse flats” to wear from that point forward. So this year I was determined to pack a comfortable option. I’d heard of Tieks, but at $175 a pop, I was skeptical. That is a LOT of money for a pair of shoes. But let me tell you…they are worth every penny! I’m like a Tieks evangelist…telling everyone I meet about these shoes.

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A Diary of Cosmoprof North America 2014 – What is CPNA and can I go too?

Okay. I don’t do many non-polish posts. But I thought it would be fun to do something part informative and part ridiculous to start off your week. I’ve covered Cosmoprof North America (CPNA) in several posts, but nowhere have I explained who can go and how it all goes down during the event. So here you can get the chronological backstory of my four full days in Las Vegas from start to finish…beginning with how I got a press pass to packing up on the last day. I’m warning you – this post gets goofy. If you’re interested, keep reading…if you want more of the hard hitting polish coverage – see my previous posts on polish, gel and extended wear systems and indie makers.

CPNA 2014

Warning! This is not my typical post. :P [Photo from 2014 CPNA Campaign]

CPNA is held every July at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. This is not a cash-and-carry beauty show - meaning there’s nothing available for purchase in the booths. Instead, it’s a strictly business-to-business event (the largest in North America, in fact). To attend, you must be an exhibitor, manufacturer, distributor, licensed professional or a member of the press.

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Entering the CPNA show floor from the registration entrance.

If you’re a blogger and you’re interested in covering the event, then you must complete a media application that usually becomes available a month or so before the show. Once your credentials are confirmed, you’re given a badge that gives you access to the exhibition and many associated events. I believe qualifying for a press pass entails consistent, quality posting of relevant subject matter and a solid readership base, but the specific criteria aren’t listed. It’s my understanding that not everyone who applies gets one, however I don’t know anyone first-hand who has been denied. I imagine that as the event continues to gain traction among bloggers, the criteria for getting a press pass may be more discriminatory in the future (after all, last I read, there were over 30,000 nail blogs!)  Time will tell. Since I’m a licensed nail tech, I have the option of going as a regular attendee, as well. If you’re an indie brand, then you simply register as a manufacturer. Here’s my badge (and my mani from the first night!)

My press badge and first mani of the show

My nails match my shirt…this becomes important later. :)

This year I roomed with Krystal of Polish Galore and Judy of Beauty Judy. These gals are CPNA veterans (and some of my fave people ever). I was super excited to finally meet Sarah of Chalkboard Nails, especially since we’ve been doing The Lacquer Legion together. She came up to our room while she was waiting for her room to be ready and she and I yelled like ridiculous school girls (well, I did anyway). It truly is a blogger mega-reunion! [NOTE: I know the photo below looks totally legit, but it's actually a very high quality digital re-enactment of the moment Sarah and I met.]

High quality digital re-enactment of the moment Chalkboard Nails and I met.

Sarah dared me to make this.

Autumn Nail Art (Already!) with the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Unknown Pleasures Collection

press samples

It’s Friday! Woot! I love seeing all the new collections of my standby favorites, but it’s also fun to try out a brand that’s new to WPP. With that said, this is the first time that Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) nail lacquer has made an appearance on the blog. What’s the occasion? Their Fall release, the Unknown Pleasures Collection (see original press release here), will be available online next week (5 August). And for the first time ever, OCC Nail Lacquers will be carried in select Sephora stores starting 19 September (details and links at the end of this post). So in honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve created some Fall-toned nail art using the six polishes in the Collection.

OCC Unknown Pleasure Fall Collection Nail Art

This collection was inspired by shades that made their debut on the Fall/Winter runways.  The range is edgy, but still unmistakably Fall.  The gradient fingers from cuticle to tip are Pagan, a deep purple creme, Poison, a shimmery/metallic, forest green, and Covet, a warm tan. The dots are Technopagan, an awesome, almost electric, bright, metallic purple. I started the striped nails with the gray creme, Dangerous. The color at the very tip is Distortion, a metallic navy blue/green. Visit Vampy Varnish’s post here to see  individual swatches.