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Konad m85

I love nail art, and stamping is fantastic for those nail designs with super thin lines and shapes that I could never create by hand. If you haven’t tried stamping yet, I highly recommend Konad for some great designs. It took me a few tries to get used to the process of stamping, but it’s a breeze to do once you’ve got it down. Thanks to NailPolishCanada.com (which–clearly–will ship to the US) for sending along one of Konad’s new plates, m85!


These are the tools I use for stamping. I also have a plate holder from Konad, but I honestly don’t like using it. I just rest the plate on my leg.



These are all the designs on plate m85. I used Orly Iron Butterfly as a base and stamped with China Glaze Harmony.

Then, I did a full manicure with one of the designs. I’m not sure if this design is supposed to waves of some sort, flames, or groovy 70s lines, but I went with the latter interpretation and used Love & Beauty Light Green and MAC Blue India. (Love & Beauty by Forever 21 are really bad about reusing names for colors, I actually think I have 2 bottles labeled “Light Green.” Kind of annoying…)

Per FTC regulations I must disclose that product(s) in this post were sent to me by a brand or PR firm for consideration for review on my website. I guarantee honesty above all. For more information, please see my full disclosure policy.

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So, I’m not sure if I announced here that I was going to be attending Aveda Institute Charlotte to begin studying to get my esthetician’s license. I started back at the end of October, and I am actually more than 4/5ths through my program already! Time flies and all that.

Anyway, back in December, my school held try-outs for their first ever Artistic Team, and I knew that I had to try out as the make-up artist. The team has four hair stylists and only one make-up artist, so I was a bit nervous. I knew that I wanted to do a few trial runs because on the day of the try-outs, we only had 1 hour to prepare our model for judging. My friend Katelyn volunteered to be my model, and she did a fantastic job!

This was the picture I was largely inspired by. I thought the blending of the red shadow with the slight gold tones was gorgeous.

Even though I wanted to do make-up that was edgy, I also wanted it to be beautiful and technically well done. I’m not super into crazy/fantasy make-up with loads of swirls and glitter and rhinestones just because I think it’s very easy for it to look messy and… amateur. So, this is what I decided to do!

First make-up trial run:


USEDStudio Fix Fluid
Blushbaby Blush
Blunt Blush
Bare Canvas Paint
Blurburry Shadestick
Blanc Type Eyeshadow
Ruby Red Pigment
Rose Pigment
Reflects Gold Glitter
Rapidblack Penultimate Liner
Stud Eyebrows
Brick Lipliner
Party Line Lipstick
Amorous Dazzleglass Cream

While I was really happy with how the eyes turned out in this one, I knew I had to change my lip combination before the try-out. Even though Party Line is much more plum in real life, the combination of Brick lip liner and the red undertones in the lipstick made it turn REALLY red in pictures. I wanted it to be red, but a deeper, darker red, so I tweaked the combination a little.

Make-up done for try-outs, in a little less than an hour: (I have a picture of her looking straight at the camera, but the color in the picture is verrrry wrong, making everything look more purple than it really is, so I won’t post it.)



USED
Studio Fix Fluid
Blushbaby Blush
Dainty Mineralize Blush
Blunt Blush
Pink Rebel Lustre Drops
Bare Canvas Paint
Blurburry Shadestick
Blanc Type Eyeshadow
Ruby Red Pigment
Rose Pigment
Reflects Gold Glitter
Rapidblack Penultimate Liner
#7 lashes
Stud Eyebrows
NC25/NW30 Chromagraphic Pencil
(can’t remember) Lipstick
Vino Lip Liner
Amorous Dazzleglass Cream

Sooo, long story short, I won the make-up artist’s spot! :) I am currently a member of AIC’s first Artistic Team, and as such, I got to participate in an amazing photoshoot, the results of which are being entered into NAHA, a huge hair-styling competition… the hair industry equivalent of the Oscars. I really hope that the stylist I worked with is nominated in the Student category, because she is suuuper talented, and we all worked really hard to put the photoshoot together from scratch. I got the opportunity to do great make-up on 3 great models, and I will be posting pictures from that after NAHA announces its nominees in May. Until then, here’s one of the models I did a run-through on a few days before the shoot (we didn’t use this make-up, so it’s okay to show!). Liza is so beautiful and super talented!!

USED
Studio Fix Fluid
Stud Eyebrows
Quite Natural Paint Pot
Carbon Eyeshadow
Espresso Eyeshadow
Sable Eyeshadow
Smolder Eye Kohl
X-Rocks Blush
Pure White Chromacake

And a random shot on location at the photoshoot. I look forward to posting pictures of my make-up from the shoot as soon as possible.. and hopefully the images will be nominated for NAHA!!! Keep an eye out! :)

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This post is where you leave a comment to enter a chance to win the Flirt! eyeshadow palette!
Please don’t forget to leave your YouTube username, as you must be a subscriber! Also, please leave a reliable e-mail address.

Yay, I’m so excited for this, guys!! I am hosting a giveaway, provided by Flirt! Cosmetics, to win a 40 eyeshadow limited edition palette!! If you’ve never heard of Flirt!, they are sold exclusively at Kohl’s, and I am seriously impressed by the quality of the shadows.. especially for the price! See more of my review of this product and a look done using the shadows in the video below:

I am not being compensated in any way to host this giveaway by the company or their PR firm. I was provided the palette free of charge prior to the announcement so that I could test it for myself. All the opinions stated here are 100% true and only mine.

I will close comments on this post on December 21st at midnight, and announce the winner later that day!

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Today I’m bringing you some nail art inspired by one of the season’s trends… tartan!! I felt a little bad about bashing MAC’s holiday nail set, so I thought I’d show appreciation where it’s due. Also, I think it’s appropriate that I welcome December with some tartan loveliness! :)

USED:
Layer 1: Gelous Base Coat
Layer 2: Asiatique Nail Lacquer
Layer 3: mixture of Icing Jaded & MAC Blue India
Layer 4: MAC Blue India
Layer 5: China Glaze Lemon Fizz
Layer 6: mixture of China Glaze Lemon Fizz & Confetti White Wedding
Layer 7: Seche Vite

I started by painting my entire nail with one coat of Gelous. I let it dry for a few minutes and followed it with a coat of Asiatique. Next, I painted half of my nail with the layer 3 mixture. Then, I painted a small spot of Blue India over the red half, right on the border of the green half. Next, I painted a line of diagonal stripes horizontally and vertically with Lemon Fizz. Lastly, I painted two vertical lines with the layer 6 mixture around the dot of Blue India. Finished with a coat of Seche Vite! I used a very thin, short-bristled paint brush from an art store for all the steps after Asiatique.

This nail art was clearly inspired by the promo image for MAC’s A Tartan Tale collection.

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From China Glaze’s holiday collection, ‘Tis the Season To Be Naughty & Nice, is Party Hearty, a multi-colored glitter topcoat for the Christmas season. The polish is clear based with small silver and gold glitter, medium green glitter, and big red glitter. You can do several coats of this polish on its own over bare nails, or layered over other polishes. Here are some layering ideas for you!


China Glaze Party Hearty over OPI Who the Shrek Are You?


China Glaze Party Hearty over China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses


China Glaze Party Hearty over MAC Nocturnelle


China Glaze Party Hearty over China Glaze Mrs. Claus


China Glaze Party Hearty over Confetti White Wedding

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The MAC holiday collection is one I look forward to each year. From the unique packaging to the products, I usually find several items I feel I have to have. As a collector, it can be quite draining on my bank account. This year it is A Tartan Tale.

Unfortunately, I have to say that I am simply not as impressed with this year’s holiday collection as I wish I were. Now, a point I would be remiss not to mention: MAC’s holiday collection, this year and every year, represent the only time in the year during which MAC products are discounted. This is a fantastic opportunity for budding enthusiasts and people who otherwise don’t spend much money on make-up to get more bang for their buck. The items all also make great gifts. Another point: there are still a couple items I will probably buy from the collection, which I’ll talk about in another post in the near future.

Since Tartan Tales is such a huge collection, I want to focus the rest of this post solely on the 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer set. This post is intended as more of a review than a beautiful post with pictures and swatches, because I have not and will not be purchasing the set.

Let’s get started already!

Set Includes: 5 mini nail lacquers: Nocturnelle, Beyond Jealous, Vintage Vamp, Asiatique & Vice is Nice
Amount: 2.5 mL / 0.09 fl oz each.
Retail Price: $25.50

To start, the only non-repromoted limited edition lacquer shade is Vice is Nice, a yellow gold frost. Nocturnelle is a black cream from the permanent line. Beyond Jealous is a deep teal cream, repromoted from F/W Nail Trend ’09. Vintage Vamp is a red wine cream from the permanent collection. Asiatique is a classic red cream, repromoted from the Dame Edna collection.

My first gripe here is the lack of new products. Yes, there are always “cult classic” colors that everyone can appreciate, but seeing as there is only one nail set, it seems that the colors would at the very least be new limited edition colors. Vice is Nice, on top of being a never-before-seen color is also a unique addition to MAC’s permanent collection (the last metallic gold nail lacquer was Gilded from Antiquitease in 2007).

On that same note, even if all the colors were repromotes, why these colors? Nocturnelle… a black cream… really? Wasted space in my opinion. Beyond collectors, most people will say a black cream is a black cream, and they can easily get cheaper (not to mention MORE) black creams at Sally’s. Beyond Jealous is one of those colors that looks black in low lighting, and isn’t as punchy as the season’s trending teal color (as seen in the collection’s promo picture).

Next, beyond the colors, is the lack of variety in finishes. Asiatique and Beyond Jealous are mistakenly labeled as frosts, but trust me: they are both creams, which makes 4 of the 5 mini lacquers cream finishes. For a set that represents the opportunity for people to try several colors for the price of (roughly) 2 full-sized lacquers, they definitely should have offered more variety here.

Lastly is the seriously minuscule amount of polish you’re given with the set. Yes, you get 5 different colors for the price of (roughly) 2 full-sized nail lacquers. However, the amount of product itself? 2.5 mL in each mini lacquer bottle, compared to the full-sized nail lacquer’s 10 mL. One full-sized bottle of MAC nail lacquer is $13. It takes just a bit of simple math: 5 nail lacquers x 2.5 mL in each bottle = 12.5 mL of nail polish TOTAL in the set. That is just slightly over the amount of polish in ONE full-sized bottle of MAC nail lacquer! You are better off buying 2 full-sized nail lacquers, and you will get more product for your dollar. There is very little value in the set.

So, with all of those complaints, I guess it’s obvious that I wouldn’t recommend this set to anyone. It’s unfortunate, because it’s been so long since MAC did a nail lacquer set, and I was truly looking forward to it. Hopefully next year they will have some better (and bigger, or cheaper!) options. We’ll have to see.

Below, check out swatches of Nocturnelle and Beyond Jealous side-by-side. Does this set really need both colors? Do you agree with the points I’ve made above, or disagree? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Direct sunlight.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indirect sunlight.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indoors, with flash.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indoors, with flash.

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