Urban Decay Sale at Hautelook!

The Sale is on! Urban Decay Sale at Hautelook!

There's not a ton of selection- but it's on SALE!!! lol There are some eyeshadows, pocket rocket glosses, a few body powders, nail polish set, and a few other things.

Check out the Urban Decay sale at Hautelook!

NAILPRO April 2011 Cover: 3-D Nail Art Butterflies and Flowers

Loved how Nailpro named it the Trinity Butterfly !
Had an amazing time with Gina and Viv doing this cover for Nailpro Magazine in L.A

The crew behind the nail pros

We could do this all day and all night!

Trying hard to stay awake till wee hours in the studio....

Beautiful model and great personality !
The final product

World Championship In Dusseldorf

National champions representing 25 countries compete in Dusseldorf in gel and acrylic categories 

It's an honour to partake in the Internationale Nail Meisterschaft in Dusseldorf (screen) in the Gel Category and made it to top 10 amongst 25 countries
I thank my team for their enormous support and assistance that made this possible especially following the hiccups during competition "o)
Asia has never won this championship yet, the only Asian who won this championship was Trang Nguyen, but he represented the USA.
 It is our dream to see an Asian flag make it to top 3 one day ~
Successors of International Nail Meisterschaft, David Fowler and Stephanie presenting a farewell gift to Tina Werle (outgoing founder & organizer) in an emotional moment
The competition floor in action
My lovely hand model, Amanda
The top 3 winners in the Gel French category : 1st-Latvia, 2nd-Hungary, 3rd-Germany
The top 3 winners in the Acrylic French category : 1st-Hungary, 2nd-Norway, 3rd-Russia
Great times, great company !
(L-R : Regine, me, SongSiEun & Trang Nguyen)
L-R : Amy Becker, me & Carla Collier
Berry Shum (green scarf) - Congrats! She was also in Top 10 in the acrylic category and the first Malaysian to represent her country in Dusseldorf.
These ONS Germany girls Rocks !

ZOYA Summertime Collection Swatches & Review

I just posted swatches and my review of the 6 polishes in theZoya Summertime collection up on the review blog... Check it out!

Jumpin' Through Hoops

Apparently there is some sort of competition going on right now with some college men & women who try to through a ball through a hoop & net. Go figure, it's March again, and what does that mean? March Madness. You got it. :) College basketball competition in full force!! Unfortunately, the teams of my home state of Michigan are already out of the running, so who do I root for? Who knows- but with this manicure I'll be looking 'sporty' doing it! :-D BASKETBALL nails!! They even FEEL like basketballs, it's weird.

I used OPI Ginger Bells as a base, then mixed it with Barielle Coco Bar for the dots, which I applied with a dotting tool. (which, honestly, was a scoring tool from my graphic design stuff since I can't seem to find my dotting tool) For the lines, I used American Apparel Hassid. Topped off the first 2 coats of OPI Ginger Bells only with Seche Vite top coat, because I wanted the dotted texture to show up, like it does on an actual basketball. :)

She shoots, she scores?

Nice Stems! OPI Preview

Summer Pinks in Bloom!

Nice Stems! by OPI Revamps Nails with 
Vibrant Pink Hues for Summer 2011

Stop and see the flowers with summer’s Nice Stems! by OPI, a limited edition collection featuring four new nail lacquers in stunning shades of pink. With whimsical names based on their floral inspirations, these vibrant, flirty colors range from pale, frosty pink to rich fuchsia. Nice Stems! offers fingers and toes a perfectly pink shade for all of summer’s looks.

“These vibrant, feminine hues complement 60’s ladylike fashions, 70’s glam looks, and bold color-blocking, which are the season’s staples,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “The Nice Stems! collection also offers an interesting contrast and feminine accent to the punk and biker looks on the runways.”

Nice Stems! by OPI shades include:

Play the Peonies
We’d put our money on this lovely soft-pink.

Come to Poppy
Surrender to shine with this shimmering coral-pink.

Be a Dahlia Won’t You?
Give the gift of fabulous fuchsia—to yourself!

I Lily Love You
Fall head over heels with this light pink sparkle.

“Using different micas and glitters can give lacquer a 3-dimensional look,” adds Weiss-Fischmann. “I Lily Love You is a glitter coat that can be layered over any of the other three shades to add a bright sparkle; or, it can be worn on its own for a subtle tint of pink with strands of glitter.”

The Nice Stems! Nail Lacquers by OPI contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide™ Brush for the ultimate in application.

This limited edition Nice Stems! collection will be available beginning June 2011 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $8.50 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer.

For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

ZOYA Intimate Collection Swatches and Review

I know that they're on the late side- not having a fully-functioning computer took its toll on the blog for sure, and for that, I apologize. I'll be working on catching up for the next week or so!

First stop- ZOYA Intimate collection is up on the Reviews section of the blog! :)

Zoya Intimate Collection Swatches and Review

NailQueen Workshop - Season 2 (2011 ~ Gel Painting)

NailQueen Workshop - Season II started with my very first class in presenting the latest technique in gel painting and we had the honour of having a guest artist, Trang Nguyen who is also the founder of Odyssey Nail Systems that made this class possible with the launch of the ONE gel.
These are 100% gel painting created by the attendees using the ONE gel
Everyone did an amazing job !

Gel Talk

As a professional nail educator and enthusiast, I can say that I've worked with almost every type of gel there are in the nail industry. People have often asked me what are the difference and they just can't figure out all the craze about gel, soak off gels, hard gels, gel polishes etc etc...it's all getting a little confusing and finally, they figured out that as long as you stick their nails under the UV lamp, it's gel....(even some people get away with acrylic or polish and a gel top coat!) well, that's not "entirely" wrong either!

Traditional Gel
Also known as hard gel was introduced as the earliest form of light cured nail enhancement (artificial nail extensions) commonly available in clear, pink and white. It's UV-light cured and it is non-porous. The only way to remove is by filing off by a trained professional.
Traditional gel is still very important and useful if you want to wear nails long term as it is very strong, durable and doesn't yellow. You can wear the nails really long or short as this gel has a lot of strength. Infill is highly recommended. Traditional gel is still the way to go for designer nails, competition nails and it works wonders in the hand of a trained technician. Today it cures in both UV and LED lamps depending on brand.

Soak Off Gel
Also known as soft gel is more flexible and as it is porous, it can be broken down and removed by soaking off with acetone. Soaking off can take between 15-20 minutes depending on thickness and it is recommended for people who like to remove or change their nail enhancement often. Available in clear, pink, white and also assortment of colors in a pot that is applied with a brush, curing layer by layer. Colors can be custom mixed and they tend to be a tad thicker than regular polish and yet still look natural and shiny and stays on for 4-6 weeks. Soak off gels can be used for short extensions and not recommended for long extensions as they can be too flexible (again depending on the brand). Some brands recommend inserting silkwrap for strength. Infills are not highly recommended as soak off gels do tend to yellow over time because of its porous nature. Soak Off Gel or Soft Gels still requires the skill of the nail technician for a perfect and durable application, and they can give your nails a complete makeover, even for nail biters as it offers bonding, strength and shine. Cures in both UV and LED lamps depending on the brand(s).

New Generation Gel Polish
Also known as a hybrid brush on gel polish that applies like polish and wears like gel for up to 3 weeks and it comes in a polish bottle and can be cured in both UV and LED lamps. The 2 most important feature in this hybrid gel polish is that it incorporate different volatile solvents that allow them to soak off faster (up to 75% faster) than the current soak-off gels in potted jars, and the hybrids have other ingredients to lower the viscosity so that application is more similar to that of a polish that requires little to no prep. In other words, you can almost DIY at home. I don't know if this is good news for us nail professionals but it's definitely the biggest breakthrough since the advent of gel nails and it's taking the industry by storm. Every nail manufacturer in the nail industry is launching their own line of brush on gel polish and it will certainly be exciting to see how each formula stands out.
I found out from a reliable chemist that amongst 2 things that distinguishes the high quality gel polish from others is that :
1) The color stays true and does not separate or settle in the bottle and does not require shaking
2) It is Odour Free
I guess it would be accurate to say that when comparing prices between these hybrid polishes, these 2 features would be of key consideration with regard to quality.

New Generation Gel Paint
THIS is something really new and I'm loving it. It is the highest quality paint in the form of gel and can be cured both in UV or LED lamp. Think "The ONE" :)
I don't need to elaborate more, if you look at my earlier posts, you can see that a picture paints a thousand words !The ONE

Bringing A Touch of South-East Asia To Seoul

Feeling right at home with the "elite" group of rising stars in the Korean nail industry. These girls have been specially selected from a top nail school in Korea to train with international educators from USA, Japan, Korea and Singapore and grooming them to be the future champions and educators.
I was thrilled to spend time with these amazing talents and sharing among others, a touch of South East Asian flavour into their designs  

A Little Cuteness In Our Lives....

Japanese "Kawaii" culture is known to the world where the distinctively Japanese breed of adorable and cute attributes is injected into all aspects of the consumer culture, and this includes nail art too. While I am not a fan of cute nail art, I do have a soft spot for Hello Kitty accessories and I think every girl do have a favourite cute character which they grew up with.

In November 1, 1974 Sanrio company introduced the first picture of Hello Kitty with a red bow in her left ear and blue overalls. In her own make-believe world, Hello Kitty wasn't even Japanese. She lives in the suburbs outside London with her father, George White, mother, Mary White, and twin sister, Mimmy White.  Hello Kitty is a nickname for Kitty White and on her birth certificate states Kitty White.
Much issue has been made of Hello Kitty's mouth, or lack thereof. A handful of feminist scholars say her noncommunicative nature perpetuates the submissive female pre-teen type. While others attribute Hello Kitty's appeal to her blank stare -- onto which fans can project their own emotions.

According to Hello Kitty's official bio on Sanrio's website, "Kitty is a cheerful, warm-hearted little character baking cookies is her forte, but what she enjoys most is eating a slice of her Mama's apple pie!" We also learn that her favorite things include candy, stars, and goldfish, as well as the inevitable "small, cute things." Hello Kitty is in third grade. She weighs the same as three apples and stands five apples tall. Her blood type is A.

So anyway, Ros & I found this adorable Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae in Seoul, Korea recently and we checked it out !

The interior was pink and cosy
Lots of Hello Kitty deco everywhere
They even have an beeper to tell you that your order is ready for collection at the bar. The food and drinks were too cute to eat

The whole building was designed with total Kawaii-ness !
We had good fun exploring this place, a must visit for all Hello Kitty fans :)