Thursday, 24 February 2011

What a week!

This week has been crazy!! I have been practicing as many skills as possible whilst I am off work! I am regretting not keeping my nail trainer - using my own nails instead.  I have had polish, l&p, shellac as well as axxium and minx on my toes!  Should I be worried about over exposure?! I have used so much acetone, I think my nails might become immune or disintegrate!  I am away for the weekend so they will have a rest until Monday!  

In the picture I have Shellac (Tutti Frutti) on Fingers with Purple Glitter - Minx (Silver/Pink Fishnet) and DS Radiance Axxium SOG on Toes.  I do not like to use too much product on myself, as I think it is a waste when clients will pay for it.  I often end up with odd nails, but I have made an effort to be matching today!!

I am very excited as my Nfo.Uh colour and glitter powders came this morning - all 36 of them!  I have been saving up for ages, and spent weeks debating the collections to go for. I really want to start developing ways of incorporating colour into my L&P as there is a big call for it where I am and I really want to create more interesting nails.  I hope that it will also be a better way of doing glitter tips, as I always find using loose glitter gets in my pinks - very irritating!  It has been so difficult not to open them - I am so bored being stuck at home at moment recovering from surgery - but I am trying to control myself!

Next week I am going on the OPI A-Team Axxuim SOG Nail Art and Techniques course, which I am hoping will be helpful and also give me some new ideas to promote it further.  I am loving Shellac as well and hope to use any ideas on both systems.

Anywho - I'm off for the weekend, hope you all have a good one!


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Playing with Glitter

I have been wanting some new glitters for ages and my pack of 24 Martha Stewart fine glitters arrived this morning - they look great, and so shiney!  I just had to have a play!  I removed my L&P and applied Shellac in Tutti Frutti, and used the purple glitter!!  They seem to work well with Gel, but I have not tried them with L&P so I don't know how well it holds up.

I used Shellac as I wanted to try out the colour, but this is very similar to OPI's Pompeii Purple and would work just the same.  I put the glitter on the 2nd coat of gel before curing.

You need to use more that one layer of the top coat/sealer to ensure that the glitter is smooth.  I did not want to waste the sealer on myself - so I used one coat and then floated a layer of Lumos top coat after the final cure.  I will see how it wears over the weekend!

*Addition* I tried today to add some of OPI's Black Shatter topcoat on the opposite corners today as I thought that would look good - it did not work - I do not think Shatter works over gels - I wonder if something like it could ever be developed?!  How cool would that be :)


Monday, 21 February 2011


Got a headache from my lack of ventilation with my monomer (Gels are much less smelly!), so just a short post today sorry! 

I spent today converting to the CND Retention liquid and powder system - had great fun.  I learnt a lot and also realised that I do not do enough pink and white sets, so practised on myself this afternoon.

The system seems easy to get on with, and with no need for a primer after scrubfresh which is great - as I always have a habit of forgetting!  Im looking forward to seeing how well they wear, but may have to break out the nail art stash to brighten these up!

I'm off to sleep of this head ache!  Lesson learnt, alway open a window with L&P!!


Sunday, 20 February 2011

First Shellac Client

Well today, after much playing around yesterday I had my first client/model for Shellac.  My client has previously tried the Axxium Gels but had really weak nails after them (she did remove them herself - so probably picked them).  They are slightly ski sloped, so I really had to ensure that they were capped to prevent pooling at the free edge - a lesson learnt from last time.

I performed a dry manicure, rounding the edges slights, pushing the cuticles with Swiss Guard and my Cuticle Pusher and removing the hang nails - her neglect of her Solar Oil is evident!  I did buff the nails lightly with a 280 grit buffer as the nails are very ridged (I know you don't need too), used my Fluffy and sanitised the nails.

I applied the Shellac as directed - I only have a few colours at the moment - my client liked 'Red Baroness'.  I did notice the the base coat has a very short brush in it - but it did the job, I can see it being slightly problematic when the bottle starts to run out.  The product applied really easily - it really was just like polish, and I had to remind myself that we needed thin layers!  The 2 minute cure time was perfect as it took me just that time to complete the hand, and I cannot believe how quick the applications was after the prep work.

The whole Shellac experience took 40 minutes and I have a great first impression.  The product is very different from the Axxium SOG, so I think that I will taylor the services offered to my clients, and I do feel that Axxium SOG does offer a little more protection to the the nails, with the ability of having the overlay gel underneath.  This is a great option for natural nail clients, and I can really see it taking off - my client left happy - and was pleased I charged her model prices :) 

I do also have to mention the CND Shellac/Brisa lamp - I am so impressed with the usability!  You can programmed the times and has a countdown screen, it is sleek looking, with a carry handle on the back, and a detachable power cable.  This is great for mobile appointments!  The lamp is the best I have seen and this is the third one I have - I always buy the correct lamp for the system.

Anywho - that's enough from me, I will keep you posted with how I get on with the Shellac.  I am doing some more L&P training tomorrow so hope to update you with that soon!


Saturday, 19 February 2011

OPI Axxium Soak Off Gel Lacquer

Before I start off on my Shellac adventure, I thought I would look at my Axxium Soak-off nails!  I really enjoyed my training with OPI and have many of their gel colours - but this is how my clients see them - as gels - no matter how many times I try and explain that they are designed to be long lasting lacquer, and this is why it has put some off - and why I am giving Shellac a try!

Axxium SOG has been great, but I have found it a little bit fiddly and the lamp sometime misses the pinky (no matter how many times I move my client) so they are not as shiny and have to be re-sealed.   I do find them long lasting, more so over an overlay of buff off gel, and quite well over their new overlay gel.  On natural nails, they have lasted on average 2.5 weeks, and most of my clients come every 3.  Many have bought the matching polish, which I must commend for being perfectly matching, and a great way of merchandising.

This image is Axxium SOG in Pompeii Purple, over NCO's clear gel overlay.  She was on holiday for 10 days between coming back and there is no sign of wear other than the growth!
I replaced this service with and infill and re-colour of I'm Not Really A Waitress

I want to try Shellac as I think that it will be a much better service for natural manicure, and also an opportunity to soak off at home - my clients have struggled soaking off the Axxium due to the buffing required to break the seal.

I am looking at offering Shellac into my Bridal services, as Axxium takes longer, although I have to say some of the colours are just perfect for a wedding day!  Princesses Rule with Alpine Snow tips is a winner for all those brides that love sparkly!

The bridal nails above have a thin over lay of the new OPI Soak Off Overlay Gel which fills in ridges - and has offered a great service.

Anyway, this has just been my day of musings, and have been messing around with glitter, Shellac and some nail art all day - I shall feedback tomorrow on that :)


Friday, 18 February 2011

My First Ever Blog!!

I am so excited to be starting this blog so that I can show what I have been working on and share my experiences and experiments!  I love everything nails, makeup and hair - so I am liking that I can have an outlet to my thoughts!

I have trained with OPI and use their Axxium SO Gel as well as their Mani/Pedi products, CND for Shellac and L&P Acrylics, and NCO for Buff Off Gels as they have a great colour range and are local to me!  I also have Minx, but am yet to use it much, i suppose it will take off come the summer!  

I am so psyched as I received my Shellac today which will be my weekends activity, and have already got some friends lined up to be my practice models!  I only have a few colours, but will be experimenting with layering before I have to buy some more!  I already use the OPI Axxium Soak Off Gel Lacquer and am looking forward to being able to make a full comparison on the products.

For the past few weeks I have been obsessed with the OPI Katy Perry range, and the new Black Shatter top coat, which I have worn on every colour!  So many people have noticed it - and this has really boosted people asking questions about nail services!  I have just sen that there is a new Silver Shatter coming out and cannot wait until we get it in the UK!

Anyway, enough of my rambling - I will let you know how the Shellac-ing over the weekend goes!