Thursday, 30 April 2015

MAC Brush Cleanser

When it comes to cleaning your make up brushes for home use, let's all be honest and say that we probably don't clean them as often as we should do.  It's often difficult to find the motivation as "it's only you using them" so they can't be that bad.  The reality is that your brushes are touching your skin time and time again, building up all kinds of bacteria over time.  

Thankfully, there is a product like MAC brush Cleanser that is virtually effortless.  You basically put a little on a tissue or kitchen roll and swirl the brushes onto it and you can watch them get cleaner as you go.  It's actually really satisfying to see what comes out of them but also it truly is a super fast process.  Lastly, the price of it is really good value, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

CND LED Lamp

In the nail industry, LED lamps have been around for quite some time however with other brands that I feel raced to bring get out I have watched them either be recalled all put a hold on the sale of them whilst glitches what ironed out.  That is one of the many things that I like in a company like CND, they have the resources to rush products through and get it to market early on but rather than doing that they prefer to hold back and perfect it before it's released for the professional to purchase.  

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp
Today's post is all about the new CND LED lamp.   I have filmed a full demonstration of this lamp, to watch it click here or it shall be linked at the end of this post.

The first thing you need to know is that the LED Lamp will work with all existing Shellac and Brisa products, it was designed specifically for this.

Of course the biggest plus side to having an LED lamp is that it cures products a lot faster.   This is particularly beneficial for nail art where the client may need to cure their hands a few times during the design.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp
Five beams of light come down from the umbrella section of the lamp with a further two on either side of it to cure thumbs evenly.  CND Shellac is cured in five pulses which last ten seconds and the colour coat and top coat times are halved, taking just 60 seconds each.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp


I did make a few notes to tell you from The Event:

  • Clients with longer nails you just need to move their hand back a little further and that it is a pedicure friendly.
  • Bio and optical testing means it's safe for eyes. 
  • Jan Arnold also mentioned to be careful when cleaning the lamp the umbrella where the light comes from with the mirrors.  Do not scratch it or use acetone on it as this will effect the cure.  

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp

Comparing the new LED lamp to the old CND UV lamp you can see a massive difference in size.  It's a lot more compact and overall less bulky.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp


The bulbs should last 10k hours so in theory technology should have evolved before lamp needs to be replaced.  It is 36 watts of energy too.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp
I love that you can see right the way through the lamp to the other side, it's extremely modern.  The colour of the light is also pretty and a bit futuristic.
liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp

I have to say, although you will need to contact your local supplier for prices, I am absolutely blown away with the price of it, considering it's CND branded as well as the technology that it has.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp

I actually can't believe how small it is as well, even down to the power cord being neatly plugged in underneath as opposed to the UV lamp where as it stuck out of the back meaning the space required was even more.

liverpoollashes liverpool lashes CND shellac brisa CND LED Lamp

Lastly is the speed it actually comes on at, its immediate which you will see in the video.  It's also a lot more quieter then the UV Lamp.  I hope you enjoy watching the video!  


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CND Five Point Polish Method (for CND Shellac & Vinylux) - click here
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Want to see more using Lecente glitter? - click here

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Event 4.0

Finally the day has arrived for me to sit down and tell you the lowdown on The Event 4.0 held at the ICC in Birmingham.  For those of you who are not already aware, "The Event" is an extravaganza hosted by Sweet Squared every few years to connect, ignite and celebrate.  


Having not attended the previous one, I must admit I was extremely excited to be invited by Samantha Sweet to attend and spent my time frantically scribbling down notes for those of you who missed it!


After our registration we were given a lanyard to wear and a registration pack filled with competitions such as to have a Lecente glitter named after you.  The Event commenced in such a spectacular way, the doors open to adrenaline pumping music and all of the CND Education Ambassadors were in a line in the entrance dancing to it.  Each table had an allocated CND Education Ambassador so naturally I made a beeline to my friend Susan McGirl's table.       I could feel the buzz in the room as we settled into our seats, it was probably the nail tech equivalent of being a child walking into Disney World.


First to the stage was Samantha and Samuel Sweet to welcome us.  I have to say that having never been in their presence before, I could really see their passion for the industry.  Behind them was a large screen on either side of the room was two other large screens so no matter where you were, you still had a good view.


After the introduction, the fantastic Jan Arnold took to the stage and spoke about how much CND Shellac has evolved in the five years since it was originally launched with the limited shades back in 2010.  


Jan was then joined by the fantastic Kelly Melanitou who is the CND International Education Ambassador from Athens.  They did various demonstrations that really intrigued me.  Kelly used the analogue of a damaged nail by showing us a large piece of bread cut in half.  The holes in the bread were to symbolise the damage itself which she then took butter and spread it over it which of course, filled in the dips.  This is basically what the newly launched product, CND Rescue Rxx does and is proven to help many nail issues.  I thought that this was a fantastic demonstration and a good way to explain it to your clients as well.


At some point also during the morning (it's all a hazy blur - just like a dream!) we were given an amazing CND branded tool set with literally everything you'd ever need, nippers, scissors, tip cutters, the lot in a super sleek zip around case.

Not too long after that we were also given a beautiful CND bracelet with 'I love CND' on.  The idea behind it is that there is a charm for each collection which you attach onto it.


After lunch which was provided (and can I say was actually fantastic quality which we all commented on) we then returned back to the hall for our afternoon session.  Jan announced that we would all be one of the first to own the new CND LED Lamp before the global launch on the 1st of May.  Fireworks were displayed on the large screens and then I swear to you that the whole hall erupted with excitement.  One by one in quick succession, CND Education Ambassadors came flooding out of the double doors with cages and cages of lamps in their boxes, all finished with red CND ribbons.  If you were there you'll know exactly what that moment felt like.  


We were also given a bottle of the new Shellac Express 5 Top Coat each and a cotton tote bag with 13x CND Shellac bottles in, 9x CND Vinylux, a bottle of Rescue Rxx and CND Shellac Offly Fast Kit and a CND branded egg timer to use with removals. 


I am going to quickly talk about the lamp, I will go into more depth very soon so I'll just talk briefly.  The lamp itself is literally ready to plug-in, switch on and go.  I think once you see it for yourself you will be shocked at how small, compact and lightweight that it is.  It's acetone resistant which is fantastic because I do know some people that unfortunately accidentally damaged the finish of the old UV version.  As I say, look out for a more depth review shortly on my facebook page.
 

We were then shown the new CND Five Point Polish Method" by CND Education Ambassador  Nataliya Al-Ta'ai who has been part of the team working on it.  I've made a note of them for you of what was explained to us and I can tell you that it completely makes sense, although it will take a little getting used to but I really liked the meaning behind the new method.
 

After PEP
Step one - Seal edge first.  If you do the surface first, it creates a bulbous area when you then cap the free edge.  Also you can often swipe over the free edge so you then go over the nail again anyway.  It also means it's more thorough as if you apply the colour / base first, you can miss sections of the free edge.
Step 2 - Apply the brush in the middle and pull down towards the free edge.  Then go back to the centre but push up so that the bristles fan out to the cuticle area.  
Step 3 - Rotate the finger to the left, pull down the side wall and swipe down that side.
Step 4 - Repeat on right side.
Step 5 - Cure.

When using the brushes they should be wiped one on side so there is a tiny bead on the other side and that's all you need to work with to cover the entire nail plate, per finger.


A week before The Event every ticket holder received an email to state the dress code and all that details for when they attended it.  This included an instruction to pick their favourite CND Shellac shade and apply it to the index finger on their non-dominant hand.  There were quite a few different theories as to why they had asked us to do this.  It turned out it was so that we could use the new LED lamp with the Shellac Express 5 Top Coat and witness the difference in the application and removal.


The Shellac Express 5 Top Coat is a lot thinner than the standard Shellac Top Coat.  It glides on to the nail easily for a super sleek look.  I must say I believe the combination of the new LED technology meant that my nails were exceptionally shiny, a lot more usual so the Shellac Express 5 Top Coat finished them perfectly.  The removal was fantastic and you could easily see the difference in the timing as well as how the actual product lifted from the nail.  I am extremely excited to get to using this product on my clients.  


Finally it was time to return back to our hotel room and then get dolled up ready for the party.  I'd heard that the Sweets know how to party and this is definitely true.  On our return we were greeted with a red carpet and a photographer who I'm not going to lie, I dodged like the plague. We were given two drinks tickets and the hall had been transformed into an amazing space with the dance floor and lit up tables and chairs, with a huge bar in the centre.  The night was filled with canapĂ©s, awards and laughter.


The second day of The Event 4.0 kicked off with an introduction to Moroccantan with Kay Pennington and the official male model who was hilariously mass flirting with us all which I have to say, must be a talent in itself.  We were also given some Moroccantan goodies to take away with us.


Next on the agenda was the amazing Maria Cientanni from Lecente.  I've been wanting to meet Maria for quite some time and unfortunately I missed her when she was up at Creative Academy+ Manchester back in October as I was on holiday.  She told us that in 1999 she  didn't know what to do as all she liked doing was paint her nails.  She noticed that back then there were no glitter in acrylic powder or gel so the only way to get a glitter nail was to use a glitter polish which annoyed her because every time she would apply it, it never looked as sparkly or as pigmented as it did in the bottle.  In 2010 she then had an ice skating accident, broke her arm couldn't work for 6 months.  Maria remortgaged her house on a whim and launched "Irresistible" after 3 years of cosmetic approved testing.  The name Irresistible was eventually changed to Lecente as Louis Vuitton's parent company Givenchy owned the trade name "irresistible."  The name Lecente came from her Italian background, "luciente" means brilliance however they didn't want people Google it and it would show just the meanings of the word so they amended it to sound a little like their surname, Cientanni.
 

Something Maria point out which I found interesting was that some other brands do not have the ingredients listed on their packaging.  We wouldn't allow an unlabelled product for liquid and powder on a client so why would we let a glitter near one?  All Lecente glitters have the labels displayed on the base.

A random fact that we learnt was that their holographic glitter has a tiny "T" on it of colour and holographic although I have to say my eyesight is not that good!

There were various Lecente demonstrations but the one I noted down for you was how to create the "ultimate rockstar nail" (AKA how to make it look like it does in the pot)  We were shown this with Lecente Irredescent Baby Blue glitter and it truly made it super sparkly.
  • Apply CND Shellac in Beau and cure.
  • Apply a layer of glitter into the sticky layer. 
  • Apply a layer of CND Shellac in Clearly Pink over and cure.
  • Add another layer of glitter, top coat and cure. 
It was Maria's birthday that day and she kept joking that all she wanted was the new LED lamp so half way through Samuel came up onto the stage and presented her with one which we all cheered at.
 
Finally from Lecente we were shown a preview of the new detailing brush that will be available within the next few weeks and told that various other new brushes would be launched in the future which I'm extremely excited about.


After Maria's session, Jan Arnold and Kelly Melanitou the returned to the stage for a nail art challenge which I was really in the mood for after all that talk about glitter.


We were shown the above inspiration board with all the ideas that Jan likes in her style for her clothes and nails.  This was totally like a live version of the programme "Nailed It" and we were given 45 minutes to come up with as many designs as we liked on a colour wheel.


Let me tell you, I've never known pressure like it with industry legends like Gigi Rouse walking around but it was good fun to do something like that and the winning designs were fantastic.







Finally the last portion of The Event 4.0 was from the lovely Irish ladies from Waxperts, Ellen and Trish.  Having met Trish only a few weeks ago and reviewing their brand I was delighted that they were sharing their passion for waxing with us all.  If you missed my review of Waxperts, click here including their story on how they started and what makes this brand special.


Ellen and Trish together did a fantastic presentation including a demonstration of both their hot wax and their strip wax which I could tell by the questions they were asked that they had really impressed many therapists.  At the end they treated us all to a little gift bag which contained their beauty oil that's not yet been released in the UK, an exfoliating glove and some Love Heart sweets.


Unfortunately just like all good things, they have to come to an end.  It truly was a fantastic two days.  If anyone ever wondered whether it was worth the ticket price then the answer, undoubtedly is yes.  The products alone were worth double the ticket price as well as all of the tips, tricks, the competitions, the amazing buffets that they had in the daytime, meeting other members of our industry and having a full experience with them.  I hope that, if you weren't able to attend this time that I gave you as close to a feel of it as you could get.
 
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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Layering Combinations With CND Shellac In Butterfly Queen

I recently saw someone post a photo of CND Shellac in Dark Lava with a layer of Butterfly Queen over it and it blew my mind.  The dark shade with the pink glitter is stunning so with that in mind I thought I would have a go at a few different colours with Butterfly Queen and see what I come up with.  
 

I have already made a 'Focussing On' post on this shade with nail art designs so if you missed it, click here.

 
 
From left to right of the above photo:
 

  • One layer of CND Shellac in Azure Wish, one of Lost Labyrinth and one of Butterfly Queen.
  • Electric Orange with Butterfly Queen over it.
  • Dark Lava with Butterfly Queen over it.
  • Hollywood with Butterfly Queen over it (which I think is a brilliant combination for a client that wants it to look like the Butterfly Queen bottle)
  • Tango Passion with Butterfly Queen over.
I hope you've found this post useful!  Don't forget to make sure you're following my Facebook Page for regular updates!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Making Your Lips Look Fuller

Today's post is more of a beauty trick that I've been doing recently to help my top lip look a little fuller and I really think it's makes such a difference.


I've been loving Benefits Watts Up highlighter on my Cupid's bow and slightly blended in.  The lights catches it so your eye is naturally drawn to it and, without sounding too odd, it definitely makes them look fuller and a little bit more kissable! 

This is something you definitely need to try either with a product like this or a light shade eye shadow that has a pretty sheen to it - I promise you you will be doing it all of the time!


Friday, 24 April 2015

Holographic Make Up Bag

There's something about holographic objects that draws me in.  I think if there's something I like or want, I get fixated on having to have it (which can be a good or bad thing!) A couple of years ago I got obsessed with wanting everything to be green, like Shellac "Lush Tropics" by CND.  In the last two years it's holographic things but I haven't owned anything, until now.


I thought I would show you my bargain clutch bag from ASOS that I will actually be using as a make up.  It's a zip around bag so it's extremely secure for even the smallest objects like eyelash glue and since its reduced from £18 to £9, it's an absolute bargain.  


Just incase you did want another option though, I did order this bag which is still full price but at £18 it's hardly breaking the bank but it does hold a lot less in it.

My friends have reminded me how old I am like I've outgrown holographic things but I simple don't care, I love them so I had to share my bargain new make up bag!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Focusing On: Lecente Multi Glitter in Hot Lips

I saw someone asking about Lecente Multi Glitz Glitter in Hot Lips on one of the Facebook groups that I'm in.   They wanted to know what would be the best colours to team this glitter up with.  I must admit that I myself was a little bit unsure of what colours would be better for it so I have put this post together with a couple of ideas so that you know what it would look like a light, bright and dark shades.


Hot Lips is one of the Lecente's more unusual glitters because it is a combination of red glitter teamed with finer, grey toned holographic glitter.  The pairing of two different sizes makes glitter a little bit different.   One of my favorite color combinations is red and grey and with a hilarious name like Hot Lips, I had to purchase it.


I wanted to show you at over a light shade so I chose CND Shellac in Bicycle Yellow, medium but unexpected colour choices like Beckoning Begona and Cerulean Sea and a dark shade which is Overtly Onyx.

To be honest I don't think that the  photo above does the Colour pops justice but my particular favorite is the one with Beckoning Begona, if you have these two products you need to try it for yourself.  

I hope that this is given you a few cool option ideas for you to explore further.   If you would like to see more 'Focusing On' posts, click here.  Please don't forget to make sure that you are following my Facebook page for open dates on my latest nail designs, tutorials and reviews.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Empties April 2015

As a self confessed beauty junkie, nothing gives me more pleasure than actually getting to the end of products.  This is generally because we have so many things to try that we rarely actually finish anything.  With that thought, I will quickly run through what I have gotten through recently and my thoughts.  


Loreal Elvive Fibrology is a good shampoo to thicken your hair for a special occasion.  Didn't did too much to my hair in all honesty but it's not exactly thin.  My friend with super fine hair found it to be too much though.

Pantene Aqua Light shampoo is one of the best clarifying shampoos I use and I always return back to it, highly recommended.  

Lush American Cream is a funny conditioner really.  You apply it it and doesn't feel like much but it left my hair fairly soft.  I wouldn't say that this was good enough for a deep treatment.


Rituals Fujiyama Foaming Shower Gel was a gorgeous scent. I love foaming shower gels but this one is pretty pricey compared to Imperal Leather's Foamburst so it would definitely only be a treat.

Vaseline Spray & Go is a good concept for the super lazy moisturiser like me.  You do need to rub it in a little but it does the job for skin that's not too severely dry.

Origins Ginger Soufflé is a nice scented body moisturiser but to me it was more about the scent than the moisture.


I'm a bit obsessed with the Dove Go Fresh deodorant in the pomegranate scent.  It's so clean and fresh and I keep repurchasing it in either the roll on or spray.

Find lal to used a copy one of The Body Shop shower gels in Strawberry and Moringa.  The strawberry one is a really false strawberry fragrance, very close to the smell of the sweet, Chewits which I don't mind.  Moringa is more sophisticated but I can't really describe it.  Id probably say it's more of a crowd pleaser!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne

If you have been reading my blog for a long time you will know that I absolutely adore fragrance.  Nothing is more special than having, in particular, Jo Malone perfume.  I bought Nectarine Blossom and Honey on a flight last month in a set with my favourite, Blackberry and Bay.  I suppose you would say I bought blindly because I didn't know what they sent was and I was unable to test it before I purchased it but I am happy to say I really enjoy it.


I particularly like citrus fragrances bought for those that aren't really a fan of super sweet scents you may enjoy this one.  It's hard to explain in words but somehow this scent, although it smells of both nectarine and honey it's somehow has an sophisticated edge to it as opposed to the fragrances that are used to work in my teens that were created by popstars.

I would say that it was a fairly light formula perfect for daytime and pretty much one that I can't imagine people wouldn't like.  Of course, perfume is a personal thing so I always recommend you visiting a Jo Malone counter to try it.