Category Archives: Review

Holiday Gift Ideas with Quo by ORLY

Good Morning! Today I have a fun post to share with you featuring some fun gift ideas for the nail polish addict in your life (even if that happens to be yourself!)

I don’t know if you’ve visited your local Shoppers Drug Mart, but they currently have some amazing holiday nail products available. Every year they come out with packs of items & I always love checking them out to see what they have! This year, these holiday packs are all about keeping your nails healthy!

Each one of these items would make a great gift for that nail addict in your life, or a great last minute stocking stuffer!

*PR SAMPLE* Some of these items were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

Holo Accent Nails using NailStuff.ca Holo Pigment! 

Happy Wednesday everyone! The week is already speeding by, which is crazy—halfway to the weekend. To get us over this mid week slump, today I’ve got another item I was so kindly sent to try out by NailStuff.ca: holo pigment flakies. 

This is my first time ever using any kind of pigment for the nails (I know, I’m so behind on the times) so I was super excited to give it a whirl & also totally unsure of how to go about it. I know these pigments work really well over gel nails, but I change my nails too often for that so I decided to create these holo nails using just nail polish! So after watch a bunch of YouTube & Instagram videos, I felt pretty confident I could do this! 

For this manicure, the polishes I used were:

  • Base Coat: Essie Grow Stronger
  • Top Coat: Seche Vive
  • L’Oréal Pino Purple
  • NailStuff.ca Holo Pigment Flakies
  • Fingerpaints Peel Off Base Coat
  • Edge Perfection Cuticle Barrier  

To accomplish this look: 

  • I painted all my nails with L’Oréal Pino Purple (including my ring finger.) 
  • I applied top coat to all my fingers except my ring finger & on that nail I applied Fingerpaints Peel Off Base Coat. (I originally tried used just wet nail polish but found the flakies didn’t stick as well for me.)
  • Next I applied my Edge Perfection Cuticle Barrier around my ring finger & let it dry completely. 
  • I then took the small eyeshadow applicator that comes with the flakies, & patted them down onto the nail & tried to rub them in some. It took about 2 applications to completely cover my base. (You can see at the edge of my nails where I missed a few spots.)
  • Seal in flakies with top coat (I used Seche Vive for that shine.) 

Super simple & only slightly messy. I did end up getting holo flakies in my bed (where I do my nails pretty much always) which in turn ended up sticking to my son for a couple of days but nothing wrong with a little holo glitter! 

I will say, my second attempt using a sticky base coat over my polish worked much better (as opposed to using just my base of polish). The first time I tried half the flakies came off with my top coat, but it could be my polish had dried too much for the flakies to really stick. 

Have you used holo flakies before? Any tips  for application that you’ve discovered? Leave all your thoughts below! 

*PR SAMPLE* Some of these items were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mermaid Inspired Glitter Gradient using NailStuff.ca Flakies

Guess what! I have anothe review of one of the items sent to me from Nailstuff.ca. This time I’m sharing these beautiful irredentist flakies. 

Now I know I said I would share more Halloween looks & these aren’t spooky, but I thought this would be an awesome look for anyone going with a unicorn or mermaid look for Halloween! I know I can’t be the only one whose costume (or outfit in general) isn’t complete until her nails are done!

Okay, I’ll be honest—I’ve never used loose flakies before so I was going into this as a newbie. I knew I wanted to create a glitter gradient with them, so I glanced around at a few posts on Pinterest & Instagram until I felt confident enough I could achieve the look I wanted.

  1.  I started off by painting my nails with a base of Essence Out of Space Stories Intergalactic Adventure & let it dry. I chose this shade because I thought it would compliment the shift in these gorgeous flakies. 
  2. Apply liquid latex around cuticles. I used Edge Perfection to keep the flakies from spreading to my skin during application. 
  3. After about 10ish minutes, I took a little bit of clear polish & applied it at the base of my nails so they would be a bit “sticky”. Like I said I’ve never used these before so I wasn’t sure if this was a necessary step. 
  4. Next I opened up my little pot of flakies & using the little eyeshadow sponge provided, pressed the flakies down at the base of my nail. I also brushed lightly up the nail to create the gradient effect.
  5. Peel off your liquid latex & seal in your whole nail with top coat—I used Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat. I think using Matte top coat would also look beautiful! 
  6. Time to get distracted by your pretty shifty mermaid-esque nails. 

These flakies were a lot easier to apply than I thought they would be! You can see I got the hang of things are I went along with my pinky being my first nail & working towards my thumb. I think using a light touch really makes a huge difference on how they turn out. Also, I’m definitely going to try not applying the clear polish this time to see how well they go on. I feel like it made an extra step that wasn’t necessarily needed, so I’ll keep you updated!


Check out that shift! 😍 Had to include a shot of these nails in action because you really see how gorgeous they are in motion. & this mani totally matches my Starbucks multichrome “nail blogger” cup from a couple of years ago. Which is obviously the perfect excuse to fill up on iced lattes! 

If you’re curious about checking out these flakies for yourself, you can order these (& many more) straight from the NailStuff.ca website! Don’t forget that all Canadian orders over $29 have free shipping, & all US & International orders over $49 are free shipping. 

*PR SAMPLE* Some of these items were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own

Edge Perfection Easy Peel Polish Barrier Review

So recently I mentioned that I seriously needed to invest in some new liquid latex because I’ve been out for a while & like magic the nail art gods listened! Or, at least, the lovely folks at Edge Perfection did as they sent me their peel off polish barrier to try! 

From their website:

Edge Perfection is…

5 Free, Thiuram Free, Ammonia Free, Cruelty Free, Vegan, Prop 65 Compliant, Canadian Cosmetics and EU Cosmetics Compliant too! 

Edge Perfection is a low oder polish barrier designed to make clean-up around the nails easier than ever. When using our product you’ll be happy knowing you’re using the highest most pure liquid latex on the market.

Pretty awesome claims & definitely had me curious! I’ll be honest… my previous experience with cuticle barriers only includes glue based peel off base coats (didn’t really work for me) & a Born Pretty Store liquid latex which did work but smelled weirdly fishy. So I was definitely excited to try out something new. 

My first experiment? Well a gradient of course!

So you can use this as a barrier while applying your base coat of colour (perfect for those whole have trouble painting with their non dominant hand!). I don’t have much trouble staying “within the lines” so I applied it around my cuticles after my base was already painted. It goes on a pale green-ish shade (above) with no smell that I could notice. When applying I suggest using a light hand to get the best application. The tub has a wand with brush inside. I like the fact the brush is shorter—makes for a more precise application. 

Apply to all nails. I always stick to one hand at a time as I find trying to sponge with latex on my fingers just leads to my fingers sticking together. Dry time is pretty speedy—as you can see above I started with my pinky & moved to my thumb & pinky was already dry by the time I grabbed my phone to snap a picture. It dries down almost clear but with a hint of the mint so it’s easy to find to pull off. 

Now it’s time for nail art! I sponged on my gradient using three shades (Color Club Silver Lake, Revlon Elusive, & Essie Under the Twilight) until they were well blended. Always a messy process. 

Using tweezers, pull off your latex barrier. Above is right after I peeled off Edge Perfection (before I applied top coat). As you can see, it really did keep things quite clean! There are a few little bits of polish left on the nail but that is just an issue of not getting the product close enough to the edge (middle finger) or not far enough down the finger (pinky) & can easily be fixed with a clean up brush & a little acetone. 

& after I cleaned up the little scraggly bits of polish left over & applied top coat. Pretty gradient nails! 

As you can see, Edge Perfection seriously minimizes the mess usually associated with gradients & other messy nail art. There is nothing worse than trying to do a cool but messy nail art look & spending half an hour cleaning up around the nail. I really, really like the brush applicator with it because it’s so easy to apply & get in as close to the nail as you need to be. I also really love the fact that there is no overwhelming weird smell. 

If you’re interested in purchasing Edge Perfection for yourself & giving it a try, you can purchase it directly from the Edge Perfection website as well as CVS & What’s Up Nails. Personally, I think it’s a great product & I was really impressed with results! I can’t wait to use it for more (messy) nail designs! Except to see a lot of gradients in my future. 

*PR SAMPLE* Some of these items were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Nail Art Goodies from NailStuff.ca & my first experience with Water Decals. 

I’m back from my vacation, & while I enjoyed being away I definitely missed home! I was also excited to arrive home because I knew I had some nail mail waiting for me! My hubby was sweet enough to open my packages for me on a video Facechat, which added to my excitement. I couldn’t wait to get home & play with these goodies.

One of the parcels I received was from the new nail art site in town: nailstuff.ca! I’d recently seen items from them popping up on my Instagram feed, & when they offered to send me a few items to try out I couldn’t say no! I received a sheet of nail water decals, a sheet of nail stickers,  a wheel of nail art studs, & three little tubs of glitter (silver, holo pigment & flakies.)

First up, I had to try out the Halloween themed water decals!

This was my first expirence using water decals. I’ve bought them before, but never actually used them. Thankfully these decals came with very clear instructions to make applying them easy. Here’s what I did to apply the water decals (as a first time user):

  1. I started off by painting my base shade (China Glaze Swanky Silk topped with Revlon Holographic Pearls) & letting dry.
  2. While my polish was drying I grabbed a cup of room temperature water & scissors.
  3. Once my Base was dry, I cut out my desired designs & dunked them in the water for 10-20 seconds. I recommend doing this with tweezers.
  4. Pull out your design & using a dry finger pick up the design carefully. Make sure your finger is dry, or else your decal will crinkle up.
  5. Immediately press the decal down on your base. You only get one try with this, so make sure you’re putting it down where you want it.
  6. The instructions recommend using a blow dryer to dry your decal, but I found if you wanted a minute or two it also worked.
  7. Seal in your decal with top coat. I used Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat.

These decals were surprisingly easy to use even though I had no prior experience with them. They sit so flawlessly on the nail, you don’t have to worry about them sticking up or peeling off (after you seal them in with top coat). They are a quick & easy way to spruce up a basic colour & would look even more awesome over a gradient! There are also a whole variety of different design options in a variety of shapes & sizes for whatever look you’re craving.

Nailstuff.ca is based out of Canada, so shipping is a lot faster some than those other nail art companies, & it’s free shipping for Canadian orders over $29 & US & international orders over $45.

Even better, they’re currently having a promo that if you use coupon code SCARYNAILS you’ll save 15% off all scary nail items for all your Halloween nail needs. So if you haven’t checked out them yet, I definitely recommend giving their site a look & stocking up!

Stay tuned because I have lots more goodies to review!

*PR SAMPLE* Some of these items were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own

Tagged , , , ,

Easy Geode Marble nails using Born Pretty Store Clear Jelly Silicone Stamper item #38611

Happy Wednesday! Today I have a two in one for you–a review of this clear silicone jellly stamper (item # 38611) sent to me for review & a new technique for creating quick & easy geode nails using it! 

I used this stamping head for a few stamped manicures (including this design) but I found it was a bit too squishy for my likes for capturing the image & I prefer this Born Pretty stamper. I still wanted to see what I could do with it because it is a great product, so I decided to play around with it using a silicone mat & discovered it was great for creating these geode style nails. The size of this stamping head is especially perfect for achieveing this look. The size of means you can stamp down in one go (which is very important for getting your design to look like this). 

For this manicure, this polishes I used are:

  • Base Coat: Cutex Brittle Nail Fix
  • Top Coat: Quick Dry Top Coat 
  • Essie Bikini So Teeny
  • Essie Mint Candy Apple
  • Essie Pool Side Service
  • Essie Peach Side Babe 
  • Essie Leggy Legend 
  • Born Pretty Store 3.9cm Clear Jelly Silicone Stamper
  • Silicone craft mat (or another nail art mat… Born Pretty Store also makes a great affordable one! )
  • Small dotting tool or water marble tool. 
  • Small nail art brush. 

I tried to make a video of how to do this, but I’m still working on figuring out the best angle/set up but this video was farther away than I would have liked. Hopefully I’ll figure how to film a video where you can really see what I’m doing. But here is a rough example of how I created this design using a stamper. 

  1. Paint your nails your base shade of choice (I used Bikini So Teeny for mine)
  2. Gather all your shades around your silicone mat & make sure to pre open the bottles. I forgot to do this, & it slows down the process some. 
  3. Going colour by colour, drop the polish down on your silicone mat. Try and overlap the shades together. There is no amount of polish to put down but try & make sure you can see a little bit of each other. 
  4. Using a dotting tool, drag you polish through each other. 
  5. Using your stamper, press down on the polish. Next press down again your prepainted nail. The clear stamper is great for this because you can see through & decide which part of the pattern you want to apply. 
  6. Using a small nail art brush, go in & apply small lines of metallic shade (I used Leggy Legend). This is a great way to hide any mistakes. 
  7. Finish off with top coat to seal in design. 


You definitely want to move quickly & carefully when applying it to your nails. When pressing down, don’t move your nail because it will smudge the design which will ruin the geode look of the design. 

This Born Pretty stamper is so perfect for achieving this look. I tried it using a small stamper & it didn’t work well at all. You need that large squishy space for the polish to spread out. I do have a warning–be careful while cleaning this stamper. I used pure acetone to try & clean mine up (I was not thinking) & it caused some clouding of the plastic. So be very careful! 

If you’re looking for a versatile stamper, I would definitely recommend this stamper. Like I said, I had some difficulties using it for actually stamping but that could have something to do with my personal learning curve. However I will always gush about clear stampers because I feel like the options for nail art are endless! & this stamper in particular with its pink shell is just so pretty. 

If you’re interested in ordering this stamper (or something else) from Born Pretty Store feel free to use my discount code COFFK31 to save 10% off any regular price items! I’ve been ordering from them for years, & I love the wide variety of products you can find for all your nail polish addict needs! 

SWATCH SUNDAY: Madam Glam One Step Soak Off Gel Polish 

Happy Sunday everyone! Kicking off this Swatch Sunday with my first expirence with soak of gel polish! Madam Glam was kind enough to send me these one step soak of gel polishes to try out & review & I’m excited to show off these swatches & share my expirence. 

As someone who has never really used soak off gel polish, I wasn’t quite sure to expect. I decided that the one step gel polishes would be perfect for me to try out as they don’t require a base or top coat–all you need to apply is the colour which makes it quicker. & as you know, with a teething almost 6 month old I’m all about the quicker the better when it comes to my nails. Even better, these one step gels are similar in formula to real nail polish. Most of the shades took 3 coats to reach opacity & you cure each coat with your LED Lamp. 

Lime Mint


Lime Mint is a neon mint shade that took three coats with a little bit of streakiness (you can see it a bit on my ring finger). That could be attributed to my total lack of gel polish expirence. The colour though is awesome & as vibrant on the nails as you see here. This would definitely be a great shade to slap on your nails for Summer vacation! 


Anytime

Anytime is a shimmery pink leaning purple shade that also took 3 coats for the swatches you see. I’ll be honest–this is the shade I thought I was going to love the most, but it was also the shade I had the most trouble applying. It was definitely a bit more watery compared to the other two shades (maybe because it was a shimmer as opposed to a creme like the other two?) & took a bit more care for application. The shade though is gorgeous. I love purple & this purple is perfect even if it takes a bit more work to get it right. 

Confidence 

Confidence is a light lilac purple & of the three shades I revived it’s definitely my favourite. I managed to get it opaque & levelled in two even-ish coats. This is a great shade for those who want a fun gel colour, but still need something that can be worn everyday to work. It’s not boring like nude, but also isn’t crazy bright like a green. It also would make a great base to add nail art over top! 

As far as lasting, I wore Confidence for almost two weeks while on vacation. I had good growth at my nail beds but the polish had held up pretty good with a little dulling to the shine. Removal was pretty easy–all you do is buff off the shine with a nail file & let it soak in foil wrapped nail polish pads for 10 minutes or so to loosen up the colour enough to peel/rub off. I personally didn’t have any trouble with removing the gel using these remover pads that I received along with the polishes. 
All in all, I think these are great colours for those looking to try out soak off gels, but are a little nervous. Because there is no base coat or top coat required, it’s great for a newbie. An even application takes a minute figure out, but once you do the end result not only looks great, but lasts much longer than your typical non gel polish. Check out Madam Glam’s crazy range of polish options yourself! They have even colour you could possibly dream of to chose from. 

*PR SAMPLE* Some of these items were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own. 

Born Pretty Store Review — BORN PRETTY Stamping Polish Plate Set Flower Leaf Tree Image Template item #39933. 


Hey lovelies! I know… I disappeared a bit. A lot has been going on since getting home from vacation. But that’s okay! Because today I have another review of one of the items I received for review from Born Pretty Store–the flower leaf image stamping plate set item #39933. 

As I’ve said with all my reviews, I still consider myself a stamping newbie but I definitely feel like I’ve gotten better with all this practice. For today’s nails I played around with the BORN PRETTY Stamping Polish Plate Set Flower Leaf Tree Image Template item #39933 which comes with two stamping plates (a large square plate, & a smaller round floral plate) plus two stamping polishes. 

For this design I used:

As I’ve written before, I find their is a learning curve that comes along with stamping. Or maybe just natural talent. Either way I think this is a great set for beginners because it has so many image options & comes with stamping polishes. Now personally I’m not a fan of the stamping polishes, not because they don’t stamp (they do!) but I just haven’t found a way to use them that doesn’t make a huge mess! If anyone has any tips, please please share because I love the end result. But if you’re just trying out stamping I think this set would be a good introduction for you. 

Personally I liked the larger square stamping plate over the smaller round plate. I tried reverse stamping a rose, but it didn’t turn out exactly how I hoped. That plate took a few more tries to get things right, but I did eventually accomplish my goal (even if it wasn’t the prettiest). The smaller plate definitely worked better for me when I was just stamping the image straight onto my nails, & not taking time to be fancy. 


All in all, I would definitely recommend this set to anyone itching to try out stamping, but would warn practice does make perfect. Don’t be frustrated if it takes a bit of time to get things looking perfect because the end result is worth it. 

If you’re interested in ordering this stamping set (or something else) from Born Pretty Store feel free to use my discount code COFFK31 to save 10% off any regular price items! I’ve been ordering from them for years, & I love the wide variety of products you can find for all your nail polish addict needs! 

Born Pretty Store Review — UR Sugar Adhesive Nail Vinyls Heart Pattern Nail Art item # 39723 


Good morning & happy Friday! Today I’m sharing another review of a fun item from Born Pretty Store. This time I’m reviewing some sugar adhesive heart pattern nail vinyls (item #39723). These vinyls comes with two different styles — the swirly hearts & the multiple hearts. Let’s consider this part one as I’m just reviewing the swirly hearts. 

For this manicure, I used:

  • Base Coat: L’Oréal All in One
  • Top Coat: Essie Speed Setter
  • Quo by ORLY Color Amp’d Paparazzi 
  • Layla Cosmetics Hologram Effect Mercury Twilight
  • UR Sugar Adhesive Nail Vinyls Heart Pattern item # 39723 

I’ve used a lot of nail vinyls over the last little while & I have to say these are definitely high up on the list. They are easy to peel off their backing & stick to the nail–easily adjustable but not so flimsy that they just stick together & crumple. Also they stick really, really well. I had zero issues with colour bleeding underneath. Also, you get two stencils in one with the heart swirls, which means you can do 20 nails total! I also really like that they have the useful little tab for pulling up your vinyl. 

All in all, I really like these vinyls. They’re easy to peel off & apply, they don’t bleed & they just work really well. Using nail vinyls can be difficult sometimes, but these make it easy! I also like the fact you get 2 different designs per sheet which can be used separately or combined together. I can definitely see myself using these again & would say anyone who is curious about trying out nail vinyls should give them a shot! 

& for fun—a shot of this holo manicure in action. 


If you’re interested in ordering these nail vinyls (or something else) from Born Pretty Store feel free to use my discount code COFFK31 to save 10% off any regular price items! I’ve been ordering from them for years, & I love the wide variety of products you can find for all your nail polish addict needs! 

Polka Dots! Featuring Essie’s New Speed Setter Top Coat

You know, I don’t think there is anything that I enjoy more (aside from my daily caffeine) than discovering a new quick dry top coat to make my life easier. While some people are top coat loyalists, I am always on the look out for what’s new! & if you go back through the archives I’ve been varied in my top coat love, but one brand I’ve always seem to return to is Essie. So when I saw they had a brand new quick dry top coat coming out–touting 60 second dry times!–I knew that I was going to need to give it a try. 

A few weeks back I found it hiding on the shelves at my local pharmacy, & I quickly snatched it up so I could see if it was worth all the hype. Now that I’ve used it on quite a few manicures, I felt safe giving it an honest review!

For this manicure, I used:

  • Base Coat: L’Oréal All In One
  • Top Coat: Essie Speed Setter
  • Essie Peach Daiquiri
  • Essie Butler Please
  • Small dotting tool from Bundle Monster 

I have to say the Speed Setter dries impressively fast. You won’t be applying nail vinyls after 60 seconds, but there is definitely a serious increase in dry time as opposed to Essie’s Gel Setter or Good To Go. Within 15-20 minutes my nails were dry enough to apply nail vinyls without having to worry about ruining my base colour. & when you have limited time to get your nails dry, that comes in handy! It also adds a good amount of shine to your manicure. As far as lasting time, I rarely leave on a manicure for more than 2-3 days but it held up with minimal tip wear.  

After a few weeks of using this top coat, I’m impressed enough to buy a second bottle. Unlike a lot of quick dry top coats, I haven’t noticed it thickening up towards the end of the bottle which is a plus. Nothing worse then trying to scrap those last few sticky drops of top coat out of the bottom of the bottle. But my only complaint with Essie’s new Speed Setter is the fact it smears nail art if you don’t apply it carefully (or, sometimes, even if you do.) But with all the pluses, I’m willing to overlook the smearing issue. Having to wait an extra couple minutes to apply my top coat still doesn’t take as long over all as some other to coats I’ve used in the past. As long as it keeps impressing me, I will definitely keep using it as my #1 top coat of choice. 

Have you tried Essie’s new Speed Setter top coat yet? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! & if you haven’t given it a try yet, let me know which top coat is your holy grail top coat of choice.