Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my Preview column where we talk about anticipated and inspiring nail products that are about to be released. Today’s post is about a spring 2014 nail polish collection from Catrice. It is called Catrice Ultimate Nails Spring 2014 and is about to hit the drugstore shelves in February 2014. We will have two separate collections.

Crushed Crystals collection
Crushed Crystals is all about nail polish effects. This collection features 6 shades with glossy and sand finish. We should expect textured 3D nails in fashionable colors for the upcoming 2104 spring season. Catrice promise high coverage for Crushed Crystals nail polishes and that would be fantastic if true because usually 3D effects come in too sheer formulas.

Catrice 2014 Crushed Crystals collection

Catrice 2014 Crushed Crystals collection

Catrice 2014 Crushed Crystals collection

Catrice 2014 Crushed Crystals collection

Ultimate Nail Laquer collection
Ultimate Nail Laquer is a permanent collection which will have 13 new colors added for the spring/summer season. Catrice are proud of this collection for having super glossy formula with an innovative reservoir brush. The brush is designed to pick the right amount of nail polish necessary to color one nail and has a rounded shape to make application easier and possible with just one stroke. You know how much I love rounded brushes! They save time, skip the mess and I really apply color in just one motion (OK, 2 for the thumbs). This collection will have a total of 40 shades.

Catrice 2014 Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection

Catrice 2014 Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection

Catrice 2014 Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection

Catrice 2014 Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection

Catrice 2014 Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection

Catrice 2014 Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection

Images are from the chicprofile.com, my favorite source for nail polish collections news.

Thanks for reading!

Hello nail art addicts!

Today I want to share with you my thoughts on Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish collection.

Magnetic nail polishes were a huge trend a few years ago and actually Essie were one of the latest companies to design a magnetic collection and launch it in 2012. However, the 6 shades Essie offer are very classical and can be worn any season and good news is you can now find the Repstyle polishes for a lower price at most online discounter stores.

Essie Repstyle Magnetic nail polish collection

Essie Repstyle Magnetic nail polish collection

Colors of this collection are very stylish and I had a really hard time choosing only two shades. I chose Repstyle and Sssexy for the snake skin color of the first and the absolutely gorgeous red shade of the second. Other colors are grey, beige and green also close to reptile skin colors accompanied with a standout blue color.

I have shown Sssssexy to you in my How to use magnetic nail polish tutorial, I am adding the Repstyle color photos.

Snake skin nails with Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish

Snake skin nails with Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish

Snake skin nails with Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish

Snake skin nails with Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish

Snake skin nails with Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish

Snake skin nails with Essie Repstyle magnetic nail polish

Essie Repstyle magnetic polishes are metallic colors which get perked up by a unique magnet induced pattern. They are easy to apply and dry fast. These nail polishes have a big cap which holds a larger magnet. This makes creating the pattern easier. When I use them the sides of my largest nails do not get the pattern though. Without a top coat they do not last more than 2 days so I strongly suggest to take five minutes more to apply your favorite clear coat on top of your design. A big advantage of Essie Repstyle nail polishes over other brand magnetic colors is that they are very easy to take off.

Generally, I absolutely love the Repstyle polish collection because I have never seen a pattern so similar to snake skin. I love snake skin as a fashion accent and have tries several times to create a nail design with this animal print and all attempts were a complete disaster. So to me the Repstyle collection is my chance to pull off a unique nail design I love.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!.

Hello manicure addicts!

Today’s post is about Galaxy nails. This is a manicure design which is created to mimic the appearance of outer space. I love how space nail art is very unique to the person who creates it. I have seen various designs, color choices and accents but I prefer to make my galaxy nails in a certain way. I just find it is the best way this design looks and will share with you tips to create the perfect outer space manicure.

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Space nails tutorial

Before we start I want to remind you of my Galaxy nail art tutorial. I also want to show this purple space manicure I recently created. You will see that if you follow the correct principle your space nails will turn out beautiful no matter the colors you choose.

TIP 1: Get to know the sponge technique
The sponge technique is the key part of space nails creation process. Basically you need to paint some nail color on a makeup sponge and touch your nails with it before polish has dried. This creates random splashes of color which can be built up or layered with different colors depending on the effect you want to get. Do not mix the sponge technique with the gradient colors technique as they are different! The latter aims to create a gradient application of nail color. What we need is just random color touches :)

TIP 2: Use thick and pigmented formulas
Highly pigmented nail polishes are great for sponging and therefore for space nail art because you will need a single touch to transfer the color to your nail. See through or semi sheer colors seem to soak into the sponge or leave a color which looks more like some kind of stain. They tend to blend with other colors and change them, too. So pick a slightly thicker, highly pigmented color to get the best result.

TIP 3: Use a dark color base
Galaxy nail designs aim for an outer space manicure look, so they should be applied on a dark color base. My favorite galaxy nail art features a black, a dark blue or a deep purple main color. Perhaps you can play with other colors but I suggest to use the darkest shade as your nail art canvas.

TIP 4: Do not overdo glitter
Glitter is a beautiful accent to space nails and contributes to the starry night effect so I suggest you put some after you are happy with your manicure. Be careful not to cover the complete design though. Some glitters have more particles in them. If you apply too much your manicure will lose the starry effect. If I apply too much glitter and do not like how it turns out, I start the nail over.

TIP 5: Add a dot of white
Adding a few white dots here and there seems to transform your nail design from an abstract random color art to a galaxy :) I do not know why that is but a single dot changes everything for the better. White dots look like nearer and larger stars and add some dimension to your space nails. You can use a dotting tool, a toothpick, a cuticle remover tip or pretty much anything you like to add the dots. For my purple outer space nails I applied white directly with the nail polish brush. I just whipped all excess color and carefully touched my nails in random places.

Thanks for reading! I hope these tips will help you create the best Galaxy nail art out there :).

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share with you my favorite DIY manicure products. They are easy to make with ordinary household objects, make great substitutes for their drugstore siblings and are free!

DIY cuticle softener
This DIY cuticle softener has proven to give excellent result with its all natural and chemical free ingredients. Get a q-tip and soak it into virgin olive oil. Rub the oil into your cuticles and let it do its magic :) You will get naturally nourished and softened cuticles in minutes! Tip! If you are going to apply nail color after this procedure, make sure that your nail is clean from olive oil. If there is oil residue, your color will peel off.

DIY hand scrub
I love this DIY hand scrub! It smells divine, polishes hands and leaves the skin toned and clean.

DIY hand scrub

DIY hand scrub

Here is what you will need:
1 tbsp ground coffee
1 tbsp fine brown sugar
olive oil*
a jar*

The recipe is as simple as this: mix the coffee and sugar then add some olive oil until you are happy with mixture consistency. Then apply the scrub onto your wet hands, massage gently and rinse off with water. Tip! You can prepare a larger amount of this gentle scrub and store it in a jar. A baby food jar or and old face cream one will do the trick. This mixture contains natural preservative so it will stay fresh for two weeks. I got this idea and photo from a great Tip Junkie post at tipjunkie.com.

DIY stripping brush
Here is an idea how to recycle some old nail polishes into stripping brushes. All you need to do is get the brush of a nail polish you won’t use anymore and trim it down at its base until it gets thinner enough to serve as a stripping brush. Tip! It is best to use the brush from a top coat bottle as it will be easier to clean from nail polish.

DIY tracing strips
Tracing strips are those sticky pieces of paper which help you achieve clean lines and forms for your nail art. Honestly, they are not much different from ordinary tape. You can cut small pieces of tape, apply them to your nails and use them to trace your color. Tip! Touch your skin with the sticky side a few times before applying tape strips to your nails. This will prevent tapes sticking too hard to nail polish and ruining the design when you take them off.

DIY dotting tool
This is the easiest DIY project ever!

DIY dotting tool

DIY dotting tool

Just stick a pin in the rubber back of a pencil. This dotting tool works as great as the one from the store but you can change it as per your preference. Just stick a pin with larger head and you will get a different size tool for your dots. I got this brilliant idea and the beautiful photos from islaay.com.

These we my ideas for easy and free DIY manicure products, I hope you enjoyed!.

Hello nail art lovers!

Today I am so excited to rave about Gwen Stefani nail color collection for OPI which has already been launched and is available in some stores. You remember my anticipation for this collection and the post I dedicated to it. Let’s see some color swatches and dream about the colors until we are able to get it for ourselves! At least that’s what I’m going to do :)

All swatches are from oflifeandlacquer.com where you will also find some honest opinion on the collection quality. Unfortunately, I do not own any of these bottles yet, so I will not be commenting on anything rather than nail polish color.

This collection was advertised to feature 5 colors in different finishes and also one mysterious color called Push and Shove which is finally revealed. Read on to see what shade it is!

OPI Hey Baby

OPI Hey Baby swatch

OPI Hey Baby swatch

OPI Hey Baby, NL G26 was described this way: When it comes to pinks, you’re the “bright” one for me. I absolutely love this color. It is such a vivid and bright color in a must have nail color shade.

OPI I Sing in Color

OPI I Sing in Color swatch

OPI I Sing in Color swatch

OPI I Sing in Color, NL G27 was described this way: The deep tones of this luscious blackberry hit all the right notes. It is a very rare shade. I love how dark red turns into black and vise versa according to how light hits your nails.

OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby

OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby swatch

OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby swatch

OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby, NL G28 was described this way: This matte gold with satin sheen complements all your passions. I like the idea of a mat gold color. I think it is much more wearable than your common gold which usually comes with glitter.

OPI 4 in the Morning

OPI 4 in the Morning swatch

OPI 4 in the Morning swatch

OPI 4 in the Morning, NL G29 was described this way: This dramatic, satin black is a hit in after parties. I am a huge fan of black color. It makes a great base color, it is perfect for nail art combinations and with the added value of a satin finish, this color is so me :)

OPI In True Stefani Fashion

OPI In True Stefani Fashion swatch

OPI In True Stefani Fashion swatch

OPI In True Stefani Fashion, NL G31 was described this way: Don’t gotta be a hollaback girl to love this hollagraphic silver glitter. I like this formula, seems great for combining with other colors to achieve varied looks.

OPI Push and Shove

OPI Push and Shove swatch

OPI Push and Shove swatch

OPI Push and Shove, NL G30 is a silver metallic. Metallic colors are a total trend for 2014 and also add an unusual accent not only to manicure but to your whole outfit. This particular formula looks a little strange to me because it does not look flattery on nails and somehow tells everything you try to conceal with nail polish.

Over & Over A-Gwen

Over & Over A-Gwen box

Over & Over A-Gwen box image from imabeautygeek.com

Over & Over A-Gwen was no surprise to me. It is Gwen Stefani’s signature color: red. It is a classic red shade which comes in an individual box accompanied with nail art supplies. You will find Swarovski crystals, metallic studs, nail art glue and a guide book with some designs you can recreate using this kit.

If you want to see some more swatches of the collection, colors with and without top coat and with different lighting, I strongly suggest the Polish Aholic presentation for this collection!

Let me know how you feel about Gwen Stefani for OPI color collection, which colors might find a place in your collection?

Thanks for reading!

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Hello everyone!

I am happy to welcome you to my column Drugstore Favorites. It is dedicated to my best product finds from the drugstore shelves. If it helps you find at least one reasonably priced and high quality nail product, its mission will be completed :)
Some of my all time favorite mainstream nail products are Rimmel London nail polishes from the Pro line with Lycra. Almost all of my nails tutorials feature a Rimmel London product and this is because their polishes turned out to be a great fit for my criteria of a good mainstream nail product. Currently I own three shades: Cocktail Passion, Grape Sorbet and Jazz Funk. The latter is from Rimmel London Kate Moss color collection. Also you can check out my 3 best top coats post.

For this post I have not received any products, or payment, or any kind of sponsorship by Rimmel London company. So read on to see my sincere reasons to love these drugstore finds!

I got the images from the African online store Bid or Buy.

♥ reason 1: They save time
The nail polish formula of Rimmel Lomdon Pro line with Lycra is very pigmented. You get vivid colors with only two coats which saves time for color application. Also, less coats on nails means faster so you are good to go within minutes after color has been applied.

♥ reason 2: They are easy to apply
These polishes can be applied literally with one single stroke. They come with a fat rounded brush which fits the nails and allows to cover them with the right amount of polish with only one motion. I really appreciate being able to work so easily, it is a great plus that with such an easy brush your cuticles stay clean most of the times :)

♥ reason 3: They are available and affordable
Rimmel London nail polishes are easy to get. They are in almost every drugstore and mainstream cosmetics store. New lines quickly hit the store shelves and you can just buy them without online orders, waiting, the risk if blind buying, etc. Prices may vary in different locations but are always pocket friendly.

♥ reason 4: Formula does not thicken
I have had my Cocktail passion for more than a year and every time I reach for it, which is often as I now have only a tiny bit left, it feels like new. Formula stays fresh for a long time which makes these polishes great to include into a planned collection as you may rely they will be there and in good condition when you need them.

♥ reason 5: They last
I am amazed how nail polishes from this line wear in time. Color does not fade or chip for days. This is a photo from my Color block zebra manicure tutorial. I could not get my husband, who is also my blog photographer, take the photos for it for 3 days. So these pictures are taken on the fourth day of nail polish application. The vibrant pink is Cocktail Passion. Pretty well, I say :)

Easy zebra color block nail art

Easy zebra color block nail art

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!.

Hello dear nail art addicts!

This post is dedicated to how you can build a low cost nail polish collection. I promise this is absolutely possible and will share with you my secret for reasonable and worthy nail color purchases.

Nail polish collection pic from chicprofile.com

Nail polish collection pic from chicprofile.com

TIP 1: Identify your favorite color… and STOP buying it!
OK, admit it, you love pink (or blue or glitter or whatever). And how many nail polish bottles in that shade do you own… two, five, maybe more? I am sure that if you are being honest to yourself, the answer will be: more than I need. Instead of buying the next same/too similar nail color, invest in some variety and maybe even follow TIP 2 :)

Tulip garden

Tulip garden

TIP 2: Get out of the box
I am not talking to buy a different hue of your all time favorites, I am talking to surprise yourself and get that gorgeous mint color you admire every time you go to the cosmetics store but never buy just because you think it is too bold/strange/posh etc. for you. A standout color in your collection is more likely to be chosen over a zillion of you favorites. Plus, a surprising color will always be there when your mood is right, will give a fun twist to your collection and make it more complete.

TIP 3: Make an educated choice
Emotional purchases are not helping to achieve a completed nail polish collection when you are on a budget. It has happened to all of us. You see something too pretty to be true, immediately fall in love and the next minute you see yourself taking your change not even remembering when you paid for that gem that you now hold :) Instead of risking an emotional purchase, take some time to browse the info for the nail polish or nail color you want to wear. If you have a general idea of the color you want, check for some swatches, inform yourself which brands have that color and then choose your best fit.

If you want to get a polish from a specific brand which is not too pocket friendly, check out TIP 4!

TIP 4: Check the drugstore shelves
There is a high chance you will be pleasantly surprised what drugstore brands have to offer. They are up to date with trends, easy to get, plus their prices vary somewhere between really cheap and very pocket friendly. For the sake of a low cost nail polish collection it is worth it to give a chance to some drugstore finds. Keep following TIP 3 and 4 and maybe high priced brands will have some good competition in the mainstream cosmetic store.

TIP 5: Take part in nail polish swaps
Nail polish swaps are great for building your nail polish collection. If you feel bored with a color, or if you have neglected TIP 1 too many times, it is time to look for a local nail polish community which hosts nail color swaps. Look at it this way: you will make someone happy with a color you no longer want and in return you will get the chance to complete your collection for free or for a minimum posting fee. And maybe even make friends :)

TIP 6: Get a nail polish thinner
Nail polish thinner will help prolong the life of nail colors you already own. It is a polish saving product, it has many benefits and is a must have for any collection.  I have dedicated a post to nail polish thinner, you may check it out.

TIP 7: Follow the nail trends
Following the nail trends will give you a clear vision to what is fashionable and what is not. This info helps to understand the priority of your purchases and plan new season picks more easily. Check what’s in for the season and you may be surprised to find you already own enough bottles to create the looks from the trend you prefer. Also, trends may help break the ties if you are hesitating between too many colors but you have the budget for only a few. Check out my nail trends for 2014 post series!

These are my tricks to plan and grow your nail polish collection without hurting your budget. I hope that was helpful and will work for you.

Thanks for reading!

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