Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sanitation Nation!

How safe are your nail services?

A lot of people think because we are working on their 'nails', which are hard or solid, that there isn't much risk for infection. Even if they've hear about infections from acrylic nails, they pass it off as because the acrylic caused it or the nail wasn't allowed to 'breathe'.

Wait, what???

Doesn't that mean it's not solid? You see my problems with the logic, right? People just don't think it's an issue or they don't get how delicate their skin and nails can be. A way I like to think about it is, your nails are your weapon, not your shield. You have to be on the offense and actively ensure your services are preformed in a safe manner, with safe products and sanitary implements and tools.

Prevention starts and ends with the client.

You may ask how is it up to you that your nail services are done in a safe and hygienic way. You decide where you get your services. Clients need to be informed and proactive about your hand and nail care. Here is a list of ways to protect yourself and that your nail tech should utilize.

1. You and your Nail tech should sanitized your hands before any part of the service is preformed. Feet should be soaked for 5 minutes in foot bath and techs hands sanitized.
2. Tools and implements should come from sealed packages from a heat sanitizing system, taken from sanitizing liquid, or taken from a dry storage marked clean and you can see where used implements go after they are used and it is clearly different.
3. Files need to come from same sanitized areas as tools and be clearly marked Sanitizable OR be new for each client and given to client or disposed of after use. (We use new file and buffer for each client, send home file and throw away buffer.)
4. Know what products are being used on you. Know that they are, what they are supposed to be. Antiseptic foot bath instead of Windex (Yes, it has happened), Hand Sanitizer or antibacterial lotion instead of plain lotion in bottle.
5. Pay attention to the cleanliness of your salon and nail tech. Notice if they have healthy hands and nail. If they are wearing gloves, make sure they change into new gloves and toss last pair between each and every client. Gloves are awesome for preventing disease, but only work for the nail tech if they are changed for every client.
6. If you have overlays and see discoloration make sure the product is filed away and the nail exposed so it can be determined if it is in fact a fungus or infection or just something like makeup or dirt that was able to get between nail and product because of lifting.

These are all things we as nail techs and manicurist should be doing, but it's up to you to make sure your services are done safely.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ivy Vines, Visions by Judy Serrano Blog Tour Review

Ivy Vine, Visions
                 by Judy Serrano
I was given this book to review by the author and CM Book Tours for my honest opinion.

This book was enthralling. No Joke. As soon as I picked Ivy Vines, Visions up, I couldn't put it down. It was like nothing I've ever read. I love all things paranormal especially those that tinker around in biblical dogma, but Judy Serrano took it to a whole other level. This deserves at least 5 stars.

I love to read but seldom do I find a book that I am so immersed in. Like watching the most captivating movie in my own head. I usually liken books to other books, but Ivy Vines got me where the movie The Order, did. You know, the one with Heath Ledger. And it had Heath Ledger going for it too. So, that is saying something.

While we get glimpses of Ivy Vine's early life, we meet her as she is trying to start a new life away from her home town that has so many bad memories, and trying to start over in Sedona. Ivy believed God had answered her prayer and taken away her gift or curse if you want call it like you see it. She was moving to a safe and comfortable place where her best friend and high school sweetheart had gone away to college. She'd have her best friend back and was getting back together with the beautiful Michael.

Ivy has a new job, a new home with Simone but as soon as she thought she could relax she met Eli, their dark, sexy and no so nice boss Eli. As soon as he touched Ivy she had a vision again. A vision of them. They were together. He could be her Guardian or the Devil himself.

Ivy isn't the only one with a gift. She was wrong about being safe in Sedona, and she was wrong about who she could trust. She hadn't escaped him. He had taken her parents away, and he was going to have her, or kill her. Lucifer wanted her, and it was up to her new caretakers to keep her safe. No matter what that meant.

Judy Serrano grips you from the start, but doesn't stop there. She sends you on a roller coaster of emotion with Ivy as she becomes stronger and grows with her gifts and new knowledge. After a ride like this and high expectations, the ending doesn't let you down. I'm still reeling that I have now more to read. I can't wait to read the book from Judy, and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves suspense of any kind.

You can find more reviews of Ivy Vines, Visions by Judy Serrano on Blog Tour on CM BOOK TOURS, HERE. You can pick up your own Paperback or Kindle copy on Amazon or Paperback or Nook at Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Everlasting ( Night Watchmen, #1) by Candace Knoebel Book Review

          by Candace Knoebel
I was given this book to review by the author and Mackable Book Reviews for my honest opinion.

I really loved this tale and that it is a fresh new niche about witches in paranormal writing. Candace Knoebel is so creative. I can tell you now, you need to get this book but if you need to know more.....

In the world of the Night Watchmen, who unbeknownst to most people, protect us humans from all sorts of paranormal creatures and evil, there is a ceremony everyone in the Primeval Coven must go through when they're 18. The Culling. For Faye Middleton The Culling it isn't going to be the exciting day to look forward too learning her fate to be a witch or a hunter. She knows and fears her mother's vision she would be a Defect and neither, but she shows great ability for being both a Witch and Hunter.

Candace Knoebel pulled me in to Faye's world and lets me feel her fears and strengths . I love that she is a badass girl, who was still a good decent one, wanting what was best and struggling to find out what that was with her was so much fun.

Jaxen who becomes her instructor, protector, friend is the complex character needed to really bring out who Faye really is. Along with Gavin, he teaches Faye to be a Hunter and their companion Witches teacher her to use her magic.

When her parents disappear and the foundations of her belief in her Coven are shaken Faye is truly tested and finds out at least in part, who she is meant to be. And who she can trust, if anyone.

Jaxen's secrets and her truths make this a book you can't put down and hate that it's over. Thank goodness we already know it's a series! I can't wait for book 2 to be published and highly recommend this book.

*Let me know what your reading and if you've had a chance to read Everlasting. It is availible in Paperback and on Kindle from Amazon and for Nook at Barnes and Noble!

Please go check out mine and Cassandra's review of Everlasting on Mackable Book Babes Blog.

Friday, February 28, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Pot O'Gold Giveaway

St. Patricks Day is one of my favorite holidays! So, when I found this jackpot of Sephora by OPI lacquers I knew I would had to get the Golds and do a giveaway. I grabbed two of each. One for me and one you to share the treasure I found. Obviously, I grabbed more then just the golds!:))

There are a couple daily and easy entries in this rafflecopter giveway. Please Follow me on your social media choices for higher prized entries. And SHARE it on Facebook not just for entries! I plan on having a huge giveaway when I reach 1000K Likes. Thank you to all those who follow the blog and Facebook page already. I love you all!

Enter though the Rafflecopter form at bottom of page. It may take a few seconds to load.
3 Prizes for 3 Winners

                                                                      PRIZE #1       

4 Different Sephora by Gold Lacquers

5 Different Sephora by OPI Nude/Neutral Lacquers

3 asst. Sephora by OPI Lacquers (not included in other prizes)
 Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 24, 2014

OPI Brazil Neutrals

This weekend I swatched the OPI Brazil Neutral colors.

These are by far my favorite group of colors for OPI's Brazil Collection this year. I am a little obsessed with neutrals and nudes right now as it is, but these colors are gorgeous.

I can't wait the the Gel Polish in this collection to come in.

Next Stop.....The Bikini Zone

Don't Bossa Nova Me Around
Taupe-less Beach
I San Paulo Over There
Have you worn these or any of the Brazil collection yet? Have you done any art yet with them?

What are you putting on my nails?

Hand and Nail products and uses

When you are getting your nails done, do you ever wonder, "What are you putting on my nails, NOW?". Do you feel like they are just layering products on, one after the other? Or wonder what the actually do for you and if you really need them?

Here is complete list of what I use during natural nail services and why I use them.

 Hand Sanitizer
Swiss Hand Guard - This waterless hand sanitizer eliminates germs and bacteria for safe, sanitary salon services. Use this as any gel hand sanitizer before contact with your hands during a nail service.

This is another quality consistency issue with me. I trust it. And it is a must before I touch you, for my safety and yours. Not all gel hand sanitizers had the same amount of alcohol. I also don't recommend using lotion based sanitizers as they have been linked to resistance in bacterium. The lovely mint scent doesn't hurt, either.

Polish remover
Acetone, Acetone based polish remover or Non-Acetone polish remover used with a cotton ball or lint free pad dissolves and removes polish from the nail plate before the start of a new nail service.

I do this first after sanitation so that I can do a better consultation for your service and make sure the natural nail or extensions are healthy and what services would best serve my client.

Cuticle Remover
CND Cuticle Eraser -An alpha-hydroxy cuticle treatment. Conditioning blend of alpha-hydroxy acids (A.H.A.’s)micro-exfoliates cuticles and moisturizes nail plate and surrounding skin. Allowing for easy remove off excess cuticle from plate and softens and prevents hangnails. Applied around nail plat on cuticle and finger on side of nail.

I love this cuticle remover. It's fast an isn't as irritating like some with AHA. I use the cream on hands and the liquid gel, Cuticle Away, on feet. I feel like the gel is stronger and a bit hard for delicate hands. I will also use the gel on calluses to help exfoliate them, but that is off recommendation use.

Hand Lotion
Hempz Hand and body lotion -  Hand and body moisturizer that provides skin hydration and nourishment to help improve the health and condition of skin.

I use the lotion in manicures and pedicures during the massage.

Water free Cleanser
ScrubFresh - A natural-nail surface cleanser and temporary dehydratorQuickly evaporating solvent that removes oil, moisture and contaminants from the nail surface, This helps remove oils after the use of cremes, and lotions in the manicure. I use this after I have worked on the nails and cuticles and massaged then hand in regular polish manicure, after nail work and cuticle remover in gel polish manicures. Applied to nail plate only

Some nail techs will just use polish remover or straight acetone, but I feel like this does a great job with out ruining the work I did on the cuticles but excess drying.

 pH Balancing Agent
Bondaid - A pH balancing agent that brings your nail back to it's natural ph after cleansing to help with adhesion of polish, tips, acrylic or gel. Applied to nail plate only


I will use this right before basecoat application of both regular and gel
polish. Without this neither polish manicure will last until it's time for your next appt. I will use different basecoats for different clients but they will all get and application of Bondaid. 

Nail Strengthener
 Nail Envy -  Natural Nail Strengthener formulas strengthen with wheat protein and calcium while targeting specific nail needs with additional nourishment and encouragement.Applied to nail plate only before polish if needed.

In the 19 yrs since I attended cosmetology school and ventured into this industry I have never found a nail strengthening product I like more. There are 6 different formulas now, that target specific problems but I honestly stick with the original because it works for all and I don't have room. I will use others if someone has a big issue with a specific problem and send it home with them.

Cuticle oil
CND Solar oil / OPI Avoplex - A Blend of naturally light oils and vitamins, designed to deeply penetrate and protect skin and nails. Creates stronger, healthier nails and more hydrated cuticles. Applied either on cuticle around nail or including nail plate depending on service with either a brush or dropper.

I prefer these to oils to all others but I use Solar Oil more often just because the sweet almond oil base has so much more a pleasant smell for me to use all day then the avocado oil in the OPI product.

I used a lot of brand names and pictures of the products I use in this post. All of the products listed above are made by countless different companies and several price points. I listed the products brand names that I used under the what it was.

I use them in the manufacturers bottles when ever possible because we also sell these products and I don't have to worry about properly labeling them as required by state law if I just leave them in original or refill the original packaging. . Some salon don't have as large a retail side and/or will buy in bulk gallon or liter size packaging so you may see a lot of the same type of flip top or pump liquid containers like this one below. There is nothing wrong with transferring to these types of containers and ofter them make the service a lot easier and kept the product from becoming contaminated if it has to be all the way open to use in it's original packaging. I use them for my acetone, polish remover, and scrubfresh. I just cover the indention with my lint free pad and pump the top for one hand application.

Everyone of these products is needed to provide the best possible service to use. Whether if be to safety and hygiene, beautification, or to insure our services and the look you get lasts I don't put it on your hands and nails unless it I need to. 
If you have question about products, smells, sensations you have while in a salon, please ask! We try to use products that are safe for all but if you have a different experience we need to know to protect and provide better services to you and all of our clients. We prefer our clients to be well informed and we love to talk about nail care. It is what we do, after all!
Have you ever questioned a product used during a service before? What was your experience?

Julep February Birthstone Collection

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

OPI Brazil Bolds

This week I swatched the Bright from OPI's Brazil collection.


I have mixed feelings about these two bold colors from the 2014 Brazil Collection from OPI.  I'm not a usual wearer of dark or bold colors, but I like both of these colors at first glance.

 Red Hot Rio is a pretty middle of the road red. It's not a cool a red as I would wear but not too orange, for me to give it a try. But...I swear I have a bad bottle. It was so runny and we all know the consistency of mass produced polish. It's amazing. That's why I still use it at work. It is a high quality brand and I have never been let down by it's application until now. It was running into my cuticles well after I had moved on to my next nail. If that was it, I could clean it up as I had to do repeatedly to do.. It also had really poor coverage. I am guess from the same mixing problems. I did the teal first and as lazy as I am I didn't do the best job taking it off. After 2 coats of a supposed opaque OPI polish i could still see the dark teal under my nails. I am a big baby and I admit I am holding against this color.

           Red Hot Rio

Amazon…Amazoff is a gorgeous deep blue-green(Teal). Right up my alley! ;) This one did not disappoint. It went on beautifully and I wish I didn't have reflections on each nail making it not look so smooth. This is bold color but really looks good on any complexion. It's not too dark and even though not a conservative color doesn't look out of place even on a professional.

I had real mixed feeling after swatching these today. On more push towards Indie Brands........
Have you ever had a bad bottle of big brand polish? Let me know you experiences in the comments please!
Friday I will do the Brazil favorite of the bunch. And maybe I'll get to post about the gels if they EVER come in.
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