9th December, 2012
Today I have a review for you on CND Shellac. I had the great opportunity to try Shellac thanks to the wonderful Liliana from Phoenix Beauty Lounge. I’m sure most of you know what soak-off gel polish is as it’s been a very popular technique for a few years now.
Shellac is a hybrid polish system. It merges the best of both worlds of regular nail polish and gel nails. It promises a two-week chip free manicure, mirror shine and zero dry time! Awesome right?
Usually you will get soak off nails done at a salon by a professional manicurist. If you are very skilled at painting nails you can consider investing in the system for home use. It’s costly at first but it pays off in the long run. I do recommend to do as much research as possible before taking the plunge, and getting advice from a professional! You need to make sure to understand the science behind it as well, as this is very important.
For the CND Shellac system you will need the UV Base Coat, a Shellac UV Color Coat and the UV Top Coat. You will also need a UV lamp as the soak off gel needs to be cured. The one I am using is this one. If you are concerned about exposing your hands to UV light, simply apply sunscreen before using UV lamps.
The application process goes as follows: you start by painting a very thin layer of the UV Base Coat. Let this cure, then add a thin coat of colour, cure the colour for 2 minutes then add a second coat and cure again. Finally you add a thin layer of UV Top Coat and let this cure for another 2 minutes. The last step is removing the sticky residue that is left from the curing process with a lint-free wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Thin layers are key and capping the free edge is also very important. You need flawless polish application skills for this technique as you want to ensure the polish stays on for the full 2 weeks, which is only possible when they are applied properly. It’s important to not get any of the gel polish on your cuticles as well. If you do, make sure to remove it before curing.
This is what my nails look like after applying CND Shellac! The colour I used is called Cocoa which is a beautiful nude camel shade. As you can see the finish is very glossy. Even more so in person! The soak off gel technique is perfect if you’re looking to grow out your nails. It really strengthens the nails. Removal is very easy too! You simply use the foil removal method. There’s no need for filing, drilling or soaking in pure acetone. It’s a technique that doesn’t damage the nails which I think is great.
You can find the full CND Shellac range at Phoenix Beauty Lounge, they also sell a lot of great polish brands (China Glaze, OPI, A England,..), nail art decoration, Moroccan Oil (review coming soon!) and more. If you order with them make sure to use my amazing 15% off coupon code: EmilyVIP. Huge thanks again to Liliana for allowing me the opportunity to try and review the CND Shellac system!
Have you ever tried soak off gel polish? What was your experience with them? Let me know in the comments! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!
25th August, 2012
Remember the post I wrote about Phoenix Beauty lounge not too long ago? I have another one of their products to show you today! This time I have three nail art wheels that are full of gorgeous stuff! Let’s take a look at each of them individually.
First up this wheel with dried flowers. It comes with 12 vibrant colours and you get two flowers of each shade. I’m always so hesitant to use dried flowers since they are just so darn pretty! The turquoise ones are definitely my favourites.
Next is this stud wheel! These studs are so full of awesome. It comes with squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, hearts, stars and so much more. The choice is unbelievable! They are seriously cool. I haven’t seen studs like these around, I cannot wait to use them!
Lastly is this gold/silver wheel that comes with chains, ball chains, metal rings and a rhinestone chain. If you’re looking to try chains, these are absolutely perfect for nail art! Just the right size and they are super easy to use. If you look at my banner, the turquoise chain nail was done with chains from this nail art wheel!
You can find these nail art wheels at Phoenix Beauty Lounge for $3.99 a wheel. They have plenty more awesome nail art wheels with pearls, rhinestones, fimo slices and even 3D flowers. I definitely recommend you to take a look at their site! If you place an order with them you can use my code EmilyVIP which gets you an amazing 15% off discount! If you have any questions for them don’t hesitate to contact the owner Liliana, who is an absolute sweetheart. You can find them here on Facebook as well!
29th July, 2012
Today I have swatches for you of the Essie Summer 2012 collection. There’s two more shades in this particular collection, I’m showing you the four shades that come in the mini collection set. You can find both the full sizes and mini collection sets at Phoenix Beauty Lounge.
Essie is one of my favourite brands formula-wise, they are very fast drying and long lasting. The creme shades are all very opaque, I needed just two coats for all of these polishes! The minis hold 5ml each which is pretty decent, the full sizes hold 13.5ml.
From left to right: Mojito Madness, Fear Or Desire, Off The Shoulder, Bikini So Teeny.
Mojito Madness – This is a difficult shade to describe, it’s both muted and bright at the same time. It’s a slightly bluish green, very pretty! I really like this colour. This one had the best formula out of the four, glided on like butter! It is slightly darker in person than it is in my picture.
Fear Or Desire – A tangerine orange shade, really bright and summery! I know orange isn’t for everyone but I really love this one. It’s very in-your-face!
Off The Shoulder – I find pinks hard to describe, can’t say much more other than “it’s pink!”. It’s pretty but not very memorable. Very wearable for summer though, it’s an easy shade to pull off. This would probably be very cute for toes!
Bikini So Teeny – This is the real gem of the collection, for me anyway! It’s a pale blue with a hint of silver hidden shimmer. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I must get me a full size version of this, asap! Out of all the polishes I own, the shade I have most of is blue, and honestly I have nothing like this in my collection!
Essie is very expensive where I live (about $13!) so buying online is definitely a lot more interesting! You can find these mini collections for just $15 and individual full size Essies for $7.99 at Phoenix Beauty Lounge as well as other Essie collections. If you order with them, don’t forget to use my awesome 15% off coupon code, “EmilyVIP“.
21st July, 2012
As promised, here’s the nail art I created using products from Phoenix Beauty Lounge. The four polishes I used were staring at me and I felt a sudden burst of inspiration which resulted in this manicure. I really love how it turned out, the teal blue shades really compliment each other. I also really dig the accent nails with the silver rings. The nail art wheels from Phoenix Beauty Lounge are really cool and full of awesome stuff. They contains lots of different items (instead of the usual one size of the same thing), so you can get lots of use and experimenting out of them!
These are the products I used in this manicure:
Don’t forget to check out the Phoenix Beauty Lounge webstore, if you order with them you can use my amazing 15% coupon code EmilyVIP!
20th July, 2012
A few weeks ago I started e-mailing with one of my long time blog readers, Liliana. She had been leaving me some very sweet comments, one of which was so elaborate I decided to reply in an e-mail. We started chatting and pretty much hit it off instantly! After a while I found out that she is the owner of her own beauty supply store. She shared with me how she made her passion into her full-time job, an amazing and inspiring story to hear.
We decided to collaborate! I was immediately up for it after learning more about her store and her vision. Liliana has truly inspired me in the past few weeks, she has amazing drive, creativity and passion. It clearly reflects in her store, and I can’t do anything but support this amazing woman!
You can just imagine the hours you would be able to spend in here right?
Her store is called Phoenix Beauty Lounge and is located in Toronto, Canada. They specialize in the latest make-up and beauty products of many professional brand names, at affordable prices. They also recently branched out and have an online store that ships worldwide!
Instore and online you will find nail polish by brands such as China Glaze, OPI, Essie, CND,… You can also find nail art and nail care accessories, UV nail polish by popular brands such as CND Shellac or OPI GelColor and others, make-up, EcoTools brushes, MoroccanOil hair care and many more fabulous items.
A sneaky preview of the things you’ll see popping up on my blog very soon!
In the next few weeks you’ll see reviews and posts popping up featuring some of the products her store has to offer. Starting tomorrow with a nail art manicure I created using products solely found in her store. I’m super excited and can’t wait to share it with you!
In the meantime, please take a look at the Phoenix Beauty Lounge online store, or pay them a visit if you’re in the Toronto area (I wish I was!). They offer great deals, promotions and affordable international shipping so definitely take a look. Liliana kindly offered me an amazing 15% off coupon code for my readers! Use the code EmilyVIP when checking out, you’ll be able to find this code whenever you need it in my sidebar! Enjoy!