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.
 Julep Maven Subscription - first box free

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

OPI Brazil Brights

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

I love this collection. I am waiting to see if I can find another Spring/Summer  collection this year I love as much.

       Toucan Do It If You Try                 I Just Can’t Cope-Acabana

Where Did Suzi’s Man-go?                        Kiss Me I’m Brazilian

Aside from the bad camera, the acetone dried fingers....Which ones are me??
I like Toucan Do It If You Try, and Where Did Suzi's Man-go?, oddly enough. I don't normally like oranges.

Julep Maven Subscription - first box free

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Angels Dawn by Komali de Silva Book Review
Angels Dawn
          by Komali de Silva
I was given this book to review by the author and Mackable Book Reviews for my honest opinion.

Angels Dawn by Komali da Silva is the first book in a series I can't wait to finish.

What first seems to be a story of young love and suspense quickly becomes a paranormal intrigue I couldn't put down.

Good girl Cheerleader Dawn's life is blown apart by a trauma too scary for a 16yr old girl to have to deal with. She has strong family who loves her. She has the support and love of her boyfriend, Nate she's counted on since they were little kids. But is any of that enough to keep her safe and ignite her passion?

I loved that Dawn is smart real young women, who thinks for herself. She wants to do what's right and protect her loved ones. Da Silva doesn't write her cheerleaders off as silly mean girl characters and I loved it.

Nate, the perfect boyfriend is just what every girl wants and then lets go, because he's too good. Too nice. Too bad it's not that easy for Dawn, because Nate is her best friend and confidant. She can't loose that now when she needs him most.

Swagger and charm are not the only thing that is drawing Dawn to Angelo but something dark complicates her choice to be with him. She knows there is something powerful between them, but does she really know all his secrets?

The author did an amazing job introducing us to these characters, and then turning our picture of them upside down, when violence, desperation, and love morph them into someone or something else.

I highly recommend Angels Dawn. Its not just a romance, not just paranormal. It's a great read and I look forward the next book in the series due to be released this year. I will be on the look out for other work by Komali da Silva in the future.

Happy Valentine's Day Book Lovers,


A personal note: I was supposed to be reading another book for my first review, when I got this one in my email. I was having a hard time getting threw the other and decided to open this one for a rest and I couldn't put it down. I am so glad I got to break the ice with such a great story.Thank you Komali!

*I wanted to link to Amazon, so someone interested could buy it, and I found it is available for $.99 for your kindle. You can't beat that! The  book is also available from Barns and Noble.


Monday, February 10, 2014

My February Julep Box - Spoiler Alert

My February Julep Box Arrived Today!

Julep Maven Subscription - first box free

You know my husband knows me and loves me when he comes in with the mail, shaking my Julep Box, going,"Looky what you got!!!!"

Today I got my February Julep Maven box, and once again I was so thrilled with what I received! I receive the Classic with a Twist box. I was thinking of changing it but, there is no way now!
I just posted about Julep the other day but I wanted to share today's box, but it was especially good.
Besides my normal 2 polishes and a cosmetic or other beauty product they included another polish as Valentines Gift!!
It's called Love!! Sooo, personal note: My middle name is Love so it always thrills me. It's gorgeous, by the way.  Love is the color to the left.
This month my cosmetic is a gorgeous smokey plum Eye Sheen Liquid Eyeshadow, Dusty Taupe Shimmer, I also got this pretty shimmer polish Greta, and blue cream, Octavia. Included was  a 2 for 1 polish coupon code. Interested??
Swatches as promised!

Julep Greta is a loganberry multidimensional micro glitter.
(classic with a twist)

Julep Octavia is a indigo crème
A true and beautiful blue, a good Sporting KC Blue.
(classic with a twist)

Julep Love is a full-coverage gold, pearl & fuchsia micro glitter.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Valentine's Nail Art Challenge

Please join me for In Love and Lacquer's Valentines Nail Art Challenge this week!!

I am pretty excited about this Challenge.  I love doing nail art and I love seeing other peoples work. And I love Valentines Day.

*When customers come in and have a little something on their nails they did at home they always apologize and put their work down. That kills me. Usually it's pretty cute and I love that they are trying it for themselves. Some times it gives me inspiration. I love it. I want to be inspired by you and hopefully inspire you a little too, In Love and Lacquer's Nail Art Challenges.

**For my nail art challenges I will give a theme, and through the week post my interpretations of the theme in nail art designs. The Challenge is for you, my lovely readers, to use the theme yourselves to create your own nail art designs on your hands or a friends, take a quick picture of the nails and message it to me on Facebook or email it to me at I will post all the art on our Facebook page in an Album for our Challenges. I will then pick my 3 favorites and a Facebook follower favorite(chosen my our fans) and feature them in a blog post and on Facebook.
Please email or message me your pictues by Thursday Feb 13th before midnight.

Without further ado, Our Second In Love and Lacquer Nail Art Challenge Theme is............................

To Heart or not to Heart! 

This Week The Challenge is to make two different Valentines Manicures, One with Heart, and One with heart on it at all.
Please send pictures of both manicures at the same time. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Julep Maven Box Subscription Box

Julep Maven Subscription - first box free
I'm going to be honest right off the bat here. I love subscription boxes! Love them! My first experience with Julep was a Julep polish and top coat I got in my October PopSugar box. It was a deep blue, Char and an awesome topcoat, Freedom that dries in 5 minutes in natural light. I was won over.
I decided to take another look at Julep and realized I NEEDED to be a Julep Maven! I love the surprise I get with the boxes. I admit I don't always love everything in all my subscription boxes but I always find a friend to gift them too.
Julep Maven Subscription - first box free
Julep Nail Color is a 4-Free Polish. Free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP (a plasticizer that's used in adhesives and printing inks). The colors are gorgeous, and I love the way the polish goes on. I'm not thrilled with the tall thin bottles but I use a lot of polish everyday. It's a pretty bottle but not very functional.
Here are a few bad swatches of Juleps Zora, Myrtle and a manicure I did with both and some tear drop red rhinestones.

I love the Zora, it is a naked look with a slight shimmer. The Myrtle is a nice true red but a bit too warm for me.  I do like it enough to to give away though ;)  I also got a neat cuticle oil brush pen. That went into my purse the second I opened it and tried it. The pen worked great and it went on well without leaving my fingers too grease. I love that I can pull it out for a quick use with out having an open bottle of oil to balance somewhere.

Here is how Julep works:
Julep Beauty's Maven subscription box is more than just Julep's latest Polish in a surprise box. It's the latest in beauty innovations delivered to your doorstep every month. Take a look at all the beautiful benefits you get when you become a Maven:
  • Get your Maven starter box for FREE (regularly $19.99) with the code FREEBOX
  • Get $40 of our 4-free nail polish and beauty products for just $20 and customized to your style
  • Get 20% off all regular priced items and free shipping
  • Early access to the newest Julep collection on the 20th of each month
  • Exclusive access to the Secret Store and first dibs on Mystery Boxes
So, what are you waiting for? Take the Style Quiz and get your first Maven box for FREE! Don't forget to use FREEBOX at checkout.  (Note: you will have to pay shipping on the intro box but it was only a few dollars.)

I got classic with a twist but I might change that after my February box. I'll let you know what I think.

Julep Maven Subscription - first box free

I'm Obsessed with PopSugar and if you haven't gotten a box or heard of it. Click here to learn more. You can use a $10 off code: VDAY10 until 2/7/14.