Friday, January 31, 2014

Serum No. 5 Swatch and Review

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Happy Friday everyone! Has it been a long week for you too? We've been having hard times at Chez Manicurator for a few months now, so I've been looking for the little things to keep me happy. This collection from Serum No. 5 has actually helped keep my mood up. I had never tried any Serums before so when the creator, also a Victoria :D asked if I wanted to swatch for her of course I jumped at the chance. I have 8 from the Holiday '13 collection and 2 from the core line to show you. These are all 3-free, mixed by hand in small batches and the best part? Victoria gives 20% of the profits each month to a charitable donation.

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Let's take a minute to marvel over the packaging. Of course what matters most is the quality of the polish that is inside the bottle, but I do love when an Indie line has put so much thought, time and love into the packaging and presentation of their product. Note that these come in 9ml and 16.7ml.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Zoya Natural Collection Swatch, Review, Nail Art Designs

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Hello lovelies! You must have seen the Zoya Natural Collection swatches already, so I decided to create two different designs using all 6 of the new shades. I'll start off by saying each and every one of these has a phenomenal formula, easy to apply and opaque in two coats. 

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An interesting mix. Started with two flawless coats of Zoya Taylor. Then used striping tape to mark off my rectangles using Odette and Normani. The flowers are freehanded with Odette and Normani as well. Zoya Monica was used for accent on the flowers. Zoya Neely and Hunter used for the leaves. Keep reading to see the second design!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dior Spring 2014 Trianon Collection Bloom 777 Bouquet 457 Perle 187 Porcelaine 204 Blossom 132 Pampille 192 exclusive Swatch and Review

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I'm giddy with excitement to share these with you. I'm a huge fan of the Spring collections...if I had to pick one season that I look forward to the most it would be Spring. Dior Trianon Spring 2014 is one of my favorite collections to date. Those are bold words, I know! But this collection is just..aaah! After the gold infused Holiday collection inspired by the opulence of Versailles, this Spring Dior takes it's feminine inspiration from the private chateau (Petit Trianon) of Marie-Antionette. It includes 4 main shades one of which is an incredible frosted matte top coat, and 2 more exclusive shades. More details in this picture heavy post! 
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 Here are the core shades, I've only seen Perle on dior.com as of yet and I've only seen Bloom on Saks.com, but the others can be found on Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com and on counter. (I received this set for review.)
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                These two seem to be more exclusive, mine were purchased on Nordstrom.com

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Glitter Gal Holiday in Oz Collection - Snowflake Decal, Snowflake Stamping and Fancy French Tip Nail Art

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I showed you the entire Glitter Gal Holiday in Oz collection in my previous post, check it out here for swatch photos, reviews and purchasing info. Now I'd like to show you three nail art designs I created with a few of these shades. 

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First up, I tried my hand at stamping again! Base of Glitter Gal True Blue Aussie, which is amazing! And then I stamped with Konad White stamping polish using Vivid Lacquer 006. Topped off with Glitter Gal Gloss Boss, which I'm happy to report is an excellent super glossy, quick drying top coat that..hold the phone..did not smear my stamping :)

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My stamping isn't perfect...but it's getting better!
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Next up is a guest post mani I created for Leslie from workplaypolish.com for her Blogging for a Cause series. Check out that post here and read about her brilliant fund raiser and see all the other ALL STAR bloggers' creations.
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I used Glitter Gal White Pointer, Big Smoke and True Blue Aussie for the gradient. The snowflakes are home made decals using White Pointer.
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And lastly, a simple french tip...with a twist. I used a craft store punch (shown in last photo) and tape to help me create this using Glitter Gal Bluemerang and True Blue Aussie. This first photo (above) shows the design without top coat and the rest have Gloss Boss top coat.
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I'm really happy with how all of these turned out! But if I had to pick a favorite it would be the snowflake decal mani for both the reason I made it, and how it turned out. Which is your favorite?

All the best!
Victoria

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Glitter Gal Holiday in Oz Collection and Gloss Boss Swatch and Review

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I have the pleasure of showing you one of two debut creme collections from Glitter Gal today. You are probably already familiar with their amazing holographic line and they also make duochromes, transitions and shade shifters! Check out their site for all their shades and here's the list of online stockists. 
Some info from the Glitter Gal press release, then onto the SWATCHES :) 
"Nail Enamel like no other.  Our cremes are high gloss, have a solid coverage, smooth finish, soft touch, no bleeding, no balding and perfect levelling."
NEW CREME POLISH RELEASES 10ml – rrp $9.95
Glitter Gal Australia have created a crème formula that is like no other with superior Glitter Gal ingredients with Australian names.  We have released 2 colour stories consisting of twelve colours.  Collection names -
·         Holiday in Oz
·         Celebrate – Sydney Style
Gloss Boss – 15ml – rrp $14.95 
How many times you have been asked for a top coat that doesn’t take away the holographic effects – well here it is!   A top coat that can be used on crèmes or used to enhance holographic and special effect formulas. It is a high impact gloss top coat with a gel like finish. ABSOLUTELY THE BEST TOP COAT EVER!!!!!
Dorothy’s Revenge – 10ml – rrp $11.95 
A holographic, red based sparkle top coat.  Can be worn alone as well as over crèmes.  IF YOU LOVE RED YOU WILL LOVE THIS!
 
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Glitter Gal Redback (on four fingers) topped with Dorothy's Revenge (also on accent finger on its own).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kiss Products Freehand Mosaic Nail Art for Nail It! Magazine

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So, I decided this New Year's Eve that I wanted something atypical. No glitter (gasp!) and bright! I've also been wanting to give a go at some negative space (letting the unpainted nail show through) nail art. This is what I came up with, a design created for Nail It! Magazine and a mini tutorial (you can view on their site, nailitmag.com) to go along with it. I used polishes from Kiss Products: Kiss Nail Artist Paint and Stencil Kit, Kiss Nail Artist Paints and Tip Guides. Learn all about Kiss products, including nails, on their website and follow them on facebook. Each set comes with three different shades of stripers that worked perfectly for this design. I was actually impressed with how easy they were to work with and how saturated the colors are. The kits also include stencils and tape that I haven't used yet. This design is all freehanded.
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Blue Skies Black Death - A Tribute with Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas, Faraway and Milani Black Swift Spun Sugar Nail Art

A few days ago, my family and I marked off seven years without my brother. Many of you who have followed me for a while know he was killed in a skydiving accident December 30, 2006. Though the years have dulled the pain, I do not miss him any less, and when the anniversary dates come around it's as if the hurt is brand new. I already posted this mani (and a personal photo) I created to honor my brother on my instagram (I'm @victoria_manicurator if anyone wants to find me there) and the outpouring of love and support is so heartwarming. Many of you have shared your losses with me too and for that I thank you and send back love and light to all those suffering. Losing my older brother (he was 40) has taught me compassion on a deep level. You never ever know the struggles of the stranger brushing past you. I can only imagine what people passing me may have thought to themselves when they saw me, throughout my first year of mourning his loss I was a complete and total devastated depressed wreck.

I've always been an optimist and someone who finds the things in life to be happy about instead of being sad about what I don't have. This life event challenged me to continue to do so. Challenged me to my very core. I am still a happy and grateful person. But now there's also a shadow.
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 My brother's favorite color was purple. This exact shade. Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas is a perfect rich purple that is nearly a one coater (I have two coats on here). I used Milani Black Swift for the "spun sugar". The skydiving community has a saying "Blue Skies Black Death". As much as I hated that my brother loved skydiving, he did love it. It was his passion. So for that, I honor him. I used Rescue Beauty Lounge Faraway for the blue sky. Also a stunning shade with a perfect formula. I used Rescue Beauty Lounge base coat and top coat as well, and they are among my very favorite base and top coat that I've ever tried.
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My once a year message to you...please...tell the people you love that you love them. Show them. I am extraordinarily grateful that my brother and I always told each other. When we were lucky enough to get a visit from him we were never shy with our hugs!! And at the end of every phone call, including our last, we told each other I love you.

All the best to you and yours,
Victoria