The Queens Guide to Long, Strong, Healthy, Beautiful, Natural Nails

The Queens Guide to Long, Strong, Healthy, Beautiful, Natural Nails

Good Morning y’all! I wanted to take a moment to answer a question I get asked all the time.

“How do you grow your nails so long?”

Well the truth of the matter is, I don’t think they are long at all, I actually wish they would grow a little longer, but as long as they are healthy, strong and beautiful, then I’m a happy girl.

When I first started doing my own nails, they were weak and brittle after many,many years of improper acrylic application and removal. Now, I’m not saying that acrylics are bad, I’m just recommending you find a technician that knows what they are doing and not cutting any corners. Anyway, when I finally soaked off the acrylic, my natural nails were in terrible shape and I never thought they would be naturally strong. That was until I found a base coat that worked for me. I began using OPI’s Nail Envy faithfully and it was the base to every mani. Over time I saw a tremendous improvement in the overall health and appearance of my nails.

Recently, I started using Nail Tek 2 and I love what it has done for my nails. They are strong, but flexible, thick but not rittle. The free edge is clear of any translucent areas and there is no peeling or cracking. Of course, I do I get the occasional chip or break but that’s to be expected because…life. But I fret not because I know the secret to growing them long again in no time at all.

So, here are the tips and treats I live by for long, strong, healthy, beautiful, natural nails.

*Take care of your Body from the inside out:

Drink Plenty of Water. Whatever your current intake is now…double it!!

-Take a hair, skin, nail (HSN), Biotin or multivitamin as instructed on product label.

*Routine Maintenance:

-Regular manicures. See my Manicure Must Haves for more details.

-Don’t wear them naked for an extended period of time. For me, the meaning of naked is no mani/polish. Nail polish helps protect your nails from peeling, cracking, splitting, etc. Even in between your mani, always wear a base coat: ridge filler, strengthener, hardener, etc.

-Apply cuticle oil and hand crème regularly. Find products that contain jojoba oil, vitamin E, A, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil or a combination of them. Apply at least 3-5 times a day. More if you was your hands often.

-Don’t use them as tools. Need to open a can or box? Find someone or something else to help. DO NOT USE YOUR NAILS!

-Wear gloves when possible. When washing dishes, the dog, the car, etc., where gloves to protect your nails from the water.

I hopes this helps. What do you do to keep your nails healthy? Let me know in the comments below.

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Swatch & Review: BBP – February Birthstone Duo

Swatch & Review: BBP – February Birthstone Duo
***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Hey y’all, I’m back today with another swatch and review. This maker and her polishes are regulars here in the Queendom as they have been showcased in multiple S&R and I’ve been able to get Up Close & Personal with her recently. Who could I possibly be referring to? Britt and Bad Bitch Polish (BBP) of course!

BBP started releasing birthstone duos last month and they will continue throughout 2017. In January, Garnet was released and I believe still available, but today I have Amethyst, the beautiful birthstone for February.

According to the American Gem Society, “This month {February} is often cold, dark and short for many people around the world, so the amethyst—which is often associated with qualities of peace, courage and stability—is the right gem for individuals who need a little extra warmth and strength this time of year.” So you see, you need this duo to help keep your hands warm and your mind and body peaceful..lol.

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Topped with Love by Love, Angeline (shiny) and Matte Me by Jior Couture (matte). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**

Awesome Amethyst

Awesome Amethyst is a glittery royal purple jelly complete with UCC flakies

Amethyst Andromeda

Amethyst Andromeda is a complex purple holo

Overall Thoughts

Formula: complete and utter perfection.

Application: effortless and easy.

Opaqueness: 2 coats for complete opacity and no VNL

Price: $9.50/each $18/duo

Availability: Tuesday, Jan. 31st 2017

Overall: Like all my other BBP, these lived up to what I come to expect from the brand, amazing colors, quality and finishes. Even if you are not a born in February, how can you not love these purple beauties? A holo and a jelly? Really? Come on, it’s a no brainer.

What do you think of this duo, will you be adding it to your shopping cart? Let me know in the comments. 

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Swatch & Review: Parrot Polish – Welcome to the Jungle

Swatch & Review: Parrot Polish – Welcome to the Jungle
***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Good Morning, my beautiful polish people!!! This has been a crazy busy week here in the Queendom and I appreciate you all partaking in it with me and joining each day for a new post. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am looking for forward to an eaqueally  busy weekend too. Between basketball games and birthday parties, I am not sure when I’m going to sit down, but that’s ok because hubby and I are going to a couples night for fun and food.

But that’s not why we’re here today. Earlier in the week I did a Swatch and Review (S&R) of the newest month exclusive from Parrot Polish, February 2017. If you missed it, be sure to check it out here. Today I have the full Welcome to the Jungle Collection!!! As far as I know, this is the first neon collection to be released this year and let me just say, those other brands have their work cut out for them. This collection is a 6 polish set of bright, bold neon crèmes with a chrome, shimmer finish.

Before we get into the swatches, let me give you a full PSA, please have sunglasses available as I can not be held accountable for the retina searing polishes you are about to see….lol.

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic Nail Polish (shiny). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**

Piranha Pink

 

 Orangutan Orange

Pit Viper Yellow


Gecko Green

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Baboon Blue


Bloom Tarantula Purple


Overall Thoughts

Formula: smooth crèmes with chrome shimmer.

Application: effortless

Opaqueness: shown in 2 easy coats (swatches shown over white to help reduce VNL and add a ‘pop’ to the already bright colors)

Price: $11/individual or $60/set

Availability: NOW!!!

Discount Code: Use parrot10 for 10% off your order.

Overall: one word…NEONS!!! I may be a little bias because I am a neon-holic but these polishes are amazing. The chrome shimmer is subtle but noticeable and beautiful. AND THEY WATERMARBLE!! I ’bout had a heart attach, this set is perfect is pure perfect and a must have!!!

Do you love neons too? Let me know in the comments.

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February Monthly Awareness Polish Box: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness 

February Monthly Awareness Polish Box: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness 
***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

No one or nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a child and it’s the last thing you think of when you find out your expecting a child. The grief and devisation is something I can’t even imagine and my heart goes out to any family that has ever had go through this horrible experience of pregnancy and/or infant loss. Coping is often a lifetime struggle and support is always needed for the hundreds of thousands of families struck by this terrible circumstance.

“In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”” – Remembering Our Babies

Since October has been declared “Awareness Month”, Robyn Bear, founder of www.october15th.com chose a day, in the middle of the month to become, “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day” (PAILRD). On this day, everyone in all times zones, worldwide, join in a candle lighting ceremony at 7pm on October 15th. I will definitely be doing this in remembrance of all the little angels gone too soon.

This month the Monthly Awareness Polish Box (M.A.P.B.) is supporting Infants Remembered in Silence, IRIS, by donating 10% of all sales to this wonderful organization. Preorder starts today, today, January 26th thru February 10th and shipping will begin mid month. Please note, at this time international orders will not be accepted (this may change in the future). The cost is $52/box including all 6 polishes, $40 for your choice of 4 or $11/individually (applicable shipping rates apply).

February’s Makers and Brands features:

  • Hillary Wilson of Lifestyle Lacquer
  • LJ Stanford of All Mixed Up Lacquer
  • Lindsey Johns of Night Owl Lacquer
  • Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful
  • Crystal Churchill of POSHlish
  • Angie Cavaiuolo of Sassy Pants Polish
 **All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic (shiny) and Matte Me by Jior Couture (matte). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.** 

 

Sending My Love to Heaven
Hillary Wilson of Lifestyle Lacquer
An indigo (blurple) shade with a Violet shimmer and pink/blue/gold UCC flakies

Forever Mine
LJ Stanford of All Mixed Up Lacquer
A bright to medium pink with rose metallic glitter, neon pink and blue holographic glitter of different sizes, ucc flakies and rainbow flakies.


Forever In My Heart
Lindsey Johns of Night Owl Lacquer
A turquoise polish with shimmer and taupe & brown flakies 


Love You Always
Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful
A light purple crelly with blue to pink to gold shifting shimmer and a rainbow of different glitters in different shapes and sizes

Unconditional
Crystal Churchill of POSHlish
A purple to pink thermal


Mom of an Angel
Angie Cavaiuolo of Sassy Pants Polish
A vibrant purple polish with hot pink flakies and neon purple micro flakies. 

**Be sure to check out more swatches and reviews**
Jessica Federoff of SloppySwatches – Blog / FB / IG
Courtney Stemple of nails_by_courtney.s – IG
Samantha Hickernell of samhnails – IG

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
M.A.P.B. will be hosting a giveaway of this box. Be sure to check out the IG page for all the details to enter! GOOD LUCK!!

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Monthly Awareness Polish Box 

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Up Close & Personal with Nicole Bivins of It Girl Nail Art

Up Close & Personal with Nicole Bivins of It Girl Nail Art

When I told you that I was taking it up a notch in 2017, I meant it! I am expanding my blog to be more well rounded and setting my sights on more than just indie polish. That’s right, I’m thinking big and bringing you all Up Close and Personal with Nicole Bivins of It Girls Nail Art. I recently had an opportunity to review of Nicole’s products and they are amazing! If you haven’t had an opportunity to read my critique, be sure to do so here.


Nicole Bivins
Tacoma, Washington
May 6th

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
It’s oddly specific, but I cannot stand super scratchy clothing tags. I’ve got a seam-ripper tool in my handbag at all times to get rid of annoying tags!

If you could have dinner with any 5 past or present people, who would they be?
David Bowie, RuPaul, Alton Brown, Michelle Obama, Betsey Johnson

If you had to lose one of your 5 senses, which would it be and why?
I debated this one internally for well over an hour. I’d have to (very sadly) go with taste. If I still had my sense of smell, I could still experience a good majority of “taste” and I wouldn’t jeopardize my ability to release scented cuticle oils!

Favorite/ideal vacation spot and who would you take with you?
I’ve always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand with my husband.

Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to read people’s mind?
Fly, for sure. I’d save so much on travel, and I fear that mind-reading would just make me really sad and angry all the time!

Do you have any hidden talents or traits?
I’m ambidextrous! It’s come in handy (no pun intended) for a few things, including nail polishing/nail art.

Best gift received?
At the time, I was not thrilled about it, but my husband (then boyfriend) gave me Smart Wool socks and long underwear for our first Valentine’s Day together. I thought it was not frivolous enough for Valentine’s, but am still wearing them 8 years later. I reluctantly admit that he was right. He knew I was always cold and wanted to keep me warm. That’s actually pretty romantic.

Best gift given?
I sent one of my dearest friends a box full of goodies that included things that reminded her of her trip to visit me, and it arrived on a day that school and work had her really stressed out. Just knowing that getting this box from me totally turned her day around is the best feeling in the world.

When and why did you decide to start your business? 
Like most indie nail brand owners, I started as a fan. I was living in Montana after my wedding, and without long-distance event planning taking up all of my free time, I needed an indoor hobby for the winter. It was around that time that I started looking at Pinterest, and discovered nail stamping. Like most things, I can’t be a casual fan and became obsessed immediately. But after collecting a huge, heavy binder’s worth of cheap plates, I wasn’t happy with the quality that was available, and was only really interested in maybe a quarter of the designs on each plate–the rest I thought were really uninspired “filler.” By the time I started toying with the idea of making my own plates, I had moved to Tacoma, and regularly visited with a local group of indie polish obsessives like myself. With their encouragement (and my husband’s), I started the long process of research and testing. Finally, after over a year of that, It Girl Nail Art launched with three stamping plates in August of 2015.

What makes your brand different?
Basically all the commercial stamping plates on the market are mass-produced in just a handful of overseas factories by people with no connection to nail polish/stamping in general, or the indie community specifically. I wanted to change that, and offer a product with amazing quality and quality control. Although there’s a higher cost to produce stamping plates in the USA, but I think the quality more than justifies it. When customers choose to buy from It Girl Nail Art, they’re not only supporting my small, american business, but the small, american businesses in my supply chain. That’s a factor that matters to a lot of people in the indie polish community. 

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
I went to film school. It took me a long time to realize that a career in the film industry wouldn’t make me happy, but my education definitely gave me experience with some of the software I use, and it honed my aesthetic eye. And I might be rolling my film and video experience into some educational stamping demo videos in 2017…

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own business? 
Do. The. Work. There are no shortcuts to experience. All businesses start somewhere–many are tempted to ask for the answers to their research and development questions, but you’ll never be sure how “right” those answers are until you experiment for yourself. The results you obtain yourself will be more rewarding, too.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear/use?
I wear a lot of ILNP, KBShimmer, Painted Polish, Ellagee, and Pepper Pot Polish (which is made by a totally fantastic fellow Tacoma lady!)

Describe yourself in 5 words
Obsessed with all things artistic.

What is one of you favorite collections or product you created?
IG111 is a stamping plate inspired by the outdoors right around me. I am lucky to live in the absolutely beautiful Pacific Northwest, and spend a lot of time hiking and camping with my husband and dog. So that plate includes lots of my favorite things; raindrops, fern leaves, wood grain, a topographic map, etc.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of creating and filling orders…lol)
I’m borderline obsessed with drag and musical theatre, so my #1 favorite thing to do is go to shows. I fan-girl like nobody’s business. I’m an avid baker, and make a lot of complex goodies for my friends and my husband’s students. I’m part of a “stitch and bitch” group, and am currently cross stitching a Harry Potter themed sampler for my best friend.

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
The name comes from my background in filmmaking and cinema history–Paramount Studios had a film called “It” a very long time ago, to which they hired the actress Clara Bow. She was one of the most famous fashion icons of her time, and came to be known as the “It Girl.” The term has since been used to describe confident, fashionable role models, and as I feel like nail art is a real extension of fashion and self-expression, it stuck.

Besides your current business/company, what other product you would have liked to create?
In an alternate dimension, I’d be a fashion designer. I’m so obsessed with clothes, but have very little sewing experience. Someday when I have more free time (lol) I may take a sewing class.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
There are a number of molds in my living room that I’m using to cast silicone and plastic to handmake stampers. From the prototype, to the molds, to the formulations, my Chief Spousal Officer/Engineer has helped me bring my dream of a brand new handmade stamper concept to life!

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
Independent, exceptional quality nail stamping tools made in the USA!

How long did you test your product(s) before ‘going live’?
It was well over a year for the stamping plates themselves. For the stamping polishes, the first collection (jewel-tone metallics) took about 8 months, and the cremes about 10 months. I test incessantly and have a lot of good friends in my local area who are willing and ready to test whatever I give them!

Favorite nail art technique?
Well, I think I’d have to go with stamping! 😉
More specifically, I love advanced stamping techniques like decals and leadlighting.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
For me, it’s the number of people for whom I’ve been able to help learn stamping. It’s a technique that takes some time and practice to really perfect, and it helps to have someone available to troubleshoot. I’m always available by email to customers and friends, and have helped several people figure out the little nuances really quickly!

What do you love most about being a business owner?
I love seeing the nail art creations my customers and supporters make with my products. Every once in awhile I see some interpretation of the image that I had not imagined myself, and that makes me smile harder than just about anything!

Chief Spousal Officer/Engineer…lol that’s great! I personally cant wait to see what’s on the plate for It Girl…get it… plate…stamping plate…oh nevermind.

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Swatch & Review: Parrot Polish – February 2017 Exclusive 

Swatch & Review: Parrot Polish – February 2017 Exclusive 
***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Goooooood Morning! Who’s up for a little fun trivia? Did you know that the proper term for a group of parrots is a pandemonium but can also referred to as a company or flock? Fun fact # 2, parrots are social birds who live in large groups of up to 1,000 birds.

These fun facts brings me to todays S&R because before long, I’m soon to have a pandemonium of Parrot Polish, but I’m not complaining. A few months back I brought you a Forget Me Not post of 3 Parrots and today I am back with their February 2017 Exclusive.

David and Sonja have done an amazing job with their brand and the polishes include colors and finishes sure to satisfy any nail addicts deepest desire.

Let’s dive jump right into the fun, shall we?!

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic Nail Polish (shiny). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**

 February 2017

February 2017 is an olive green, bronze, gold multichrome


Overall Thoughts

Formula: smooth and easy

Application: best if applied in long, even strokes to reduce streaks

Opaqueness: shown in 3 easy coats

Price: $12

Availability: current

Discount Code: Use parrot10 for 10% off your order.

Overall: if you love duo/multichromes then this is a must have! Even if you don’t or you haven’t yet experienced the magic and beauty that is duo/multichromes, these are sure to change your mind.

As an added bonus I’ve decided to show you the exclusives from December and January, which as of today are still available. I am so happy I picked this up last month. These exclusives are not to be missed.

December 2016

December 2016 is a dark blue, indigo, red, copper multichrome

January 2017

 January 2017 is a deep purple, blue and red multichrome

Will you be taking any of these Parrots home with you?

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Forget Me Not: Potion Polish

Forget Me Not: Potion Polish
***Nothing To Disclose***

Hello y’all, I’m back today with another installment in the ‘Forget Me Not’ series. This series is dedicated to showcasing my untrieds  in a quick swatch and review. The polishes are all purchased by me but get moved to the back of the line when I am sent press samples. Still they need and deserve a little love, to know they are not forgotten.

Today, I have 3 polishes from Potion Polish. For me in MD this a local brand from VA! Potion Polish is owned, operated and created by Courtney and all Potion Polish uses ingredients that are 5-Free. The life of a nail polish blogger is crazy hectic and I love it so my bad that its taken so long to get these polishes, from Oct/Nov to you.

Shimmering Flats

A pale, pink toned crelly with scattered holo, pink to green shifting chrome flakies and pink holo glitter.

Marvelous Maple

A golden/yellow linear holographic

Pumpkin All Thing

A red-orange linear holographic

Overall Thoughts

Formula/Finish: smooth. No fishing for flakies and the holo flame is much more beautiful in person.

Application: easy to apply

Opaqueness: 2 coat for complete opacity and no VNL

Price: $10-$11

Availability: Current

Overall: Quick shipping and no CS issues to report. I can’t remember the packing, i.e. bubble wrap and/or crinkle paper, but they do come in boxes as shown in cover photo. I thoroughly enjoyed these polishes and will definitely be purchasing more.

What did you think of these polishes? Do you own any Potion Polishes? Let me know in the comments below.

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The Queens Critique: Twinkle T – Glamour Mat

The Queens Critique: Twinkle T – Glamour Mat
***Nothing to Disclose***

Good Morning, I hope all is well. It’s FriYAY, so there’s the silver lining. Today I have a review of a product that I am absolutely in love with. I’m talking about my Glamour Mat from Twinkle T. Previously, I was using a mat from another company and…well… let’s just say it didn’t stand a chance against Dallas, our beagle-hound mix fur baby. He decided to used my mat as a chew toy (insert sad face here), guess he wasn’t happy with it either…lol. But that was all the excuse I needed to shop and shopping is what I do best. This time, I decided to ask around for recommendations and finally decided to invest in the Glamour Mat.

I ordered my mat on Dec. 21st and between then and now, I’ve really put my mat to the test, here are the pros and cons I discovered.

*Pro: The mat is thick and extremely durable.
*Pro: Doesn’t slip and slide.
*Pro: Easy to clean up. Polish and paint remove with acetone.
*Pro: Large work area
*Pro: Made of silicone making for easy storage
*Pro: THE FEATURES!!!

  • Indented Holes: 13 ‘holes’ to hold polish or acrylic paint.
  • Acetone/Water Cup: a collapsible cup to fill with acetone for easy mani cleanup or water for watermarble.
  • Nails & Boxes: to use for creating decals

*Con: Staining is possible. You’ll see in the photo below a small pink stain of polish on the right-hand side 

Overall Thoughts

*Mat Measurements: Approx. 12 in x 16 in
*Price: $21.99
*Availability: Current
*Savings/Discount Code: USE CODE SAVE10 FOR 10% OFF! (this is a store discount!!)
*Overall: worth every penny!! This mat is the perfect nail art station. Where else can you can create, practice, design, watermarble, swatch and more all in the same place? 

That will do it for me today. Do you use a nail mat to create your masterpieces? Let me know in the comments below.

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Up Close & Personal with Victoria Greathouse of Blush Lacquer 

Up Close & Personal with Victoria Greathouse of Blush Lacquer 

Welcome back! It’s Humpday Wednesday AND it’s the 3rd Wednesday of the month so you know what that means….Indie Maker Interview!!!! This is one of the series that is getting a slight change in that I am no longer just calling this series Interview but from the title you can see that we are getting Up Close and Personal. So let’s get this party started with Victoria Greathouse of Blush Lacquer.


Victoria Greathouse
Lyons, Indiana
January 2nd

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I’m a pretty easy going person and not a lot bothers me, so this question is actually kind of difficult to answer! One thing that really annoys me though, is when you’re driving on the highway and there’s some sort of a road block up ahead where traffic has stopped or is backed up and everyone is having to get into one lane. Instead of just getting in line with everyone else, there is always that one person who thinks they can just cut in front of everyone and skip to the front of the line. I cannot stand it when people do that and I never let those people cut in front of me! 

If you could have dinner with any 5 past or present people, who would they be?
Well, I’m going to take “dinner” to mean “date” because I’ve always been the boy crazy type. So, I’d pick Tom Hardy, who is probably a bit of a jerk, but I’d really love to be his arm candy for a night. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I’m sure is a perfect gentleman. Bruno Mars, who I’m positive would be utterly charming (I mean, those eyes, that smile, that voice!). Zac Efron, because, um, why not? And, finally, Garth Brooks. Yes, I know he’s like twice my age, but he was the first concert I ever went to and even to this day, I adore his music (even though I don’t really listen to country anymore). The charisma he has on stage is enchanting (and those blue eyes! lol)

If you had to lose one of your 5 senses, which would it be and why?
I’ve always had a slight fascination with being blind. Not that I would ever really want to be blind, but if I really had to choose, I think that this the one I’d go with. Which is also kind of weird because a lot of the stuff I do on a daily basis (like making nail polish) is really dependent on having sight. Maybe, I just like the idea of the challenge it would bring. lol

Favorite/ideal vacation spot and who would you take with you?
Anywhere with a warm sunny beach and clear sparkling waters. I’d probably take my boyfriend or my mom.

Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to read people’s mind?
Read people’s minds all the way! I am afraid of heights and have only recently gotten over my fear of flying in an airplane. Even if I was in complete control of my flying abilities, I’d probably pass out mid flight! haha Plus, being the introvert that I am, I’d love knowing what people were really thinking.

Do you have any hidden talents or traits?
I was a baton twirler (majorette) for my high school. I could twirl three batons at a time and I also twirled fire! I’m a little rusty because I don’t practice regularly anymore, but I can still do a lot of the moves I used to do! I was also a professional ballroom dancer for 3 years before I started making nail polish. 

Best gift received? Best gift given?
The best gift I ever received was for my ninth birthday. My family never owned horses or even knew anyone who had them, but for some reason I was that crazy child that was just absolutely horse crazy. Like, I talked about horses every single day since I was able to talk. In fact, I distinctly remember going through a phase when I was probably 4 or 5 where I’d ask my parents every night when they tucked me into bed if I could have a horse, or more accurately, why couldn’t I have a horse. lol Eventually they gave in and gave me a month’s worth of riding lessons (one a week) for my ninth birthday. I framed the certificate and everything! They thought that if I finally got on a horse I’d be afraid of horses and shut up about them. But they were wrong! It only fueled the fire and a couple years later I did actually get a horse. 🙂
The best gift I ever gave is probably not as exciting. I like to knit and crochet and a couple of years ago I made these really pretty crocheted shawls for the women in my family (I literally had to start in August!). I gave one to my boyfriend’s mom and she literally squealed when she opened it up and saw it, she was so excited! I’ve never incited that kind of reaction from a gift I’ve given before, so that was probably the best gift I ever gave!

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear/use?
Femme Fatale, Tonic Polish, ILNP, A England

What is one of you favorite collections or product you created?
My favorite collection that I’ve created was my Sea Water Shimmers collection. I was actually trying to make nail polishes that gave a mermaid effect without having to use a separate powder or polish to create it. I did not quite get that effect, but I fell in love with the colors that I did come up with. It took a lot of experimenting to figure out which shimmers would stand out against which colors, but it was well worth it!

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
I started out coming up with a bunch of ideas for my company name. I knew that I wanted something that was feminine, sophisticated, soft and elegant. Something classy, but also girly. I had a whole list of names, but nothing was really what I wanted. They fit the criteria, but I also wanted something that felt personal to me, without being unrelatable to other people. So, I thought about something that I felt defined me – surprisingly it’s something that I don’t really like about myself! I’m one of those people with fair skin and I have a tendency to blush at just about anything – when I’m embarrassed, nervous, panicked, excited, crying, upset, angry and the list goes on. It’s incredibly annoying, but it’s something I’ve dealt with my entire life and that I feel is kind of specific to me, yet happens to other people probably more than I’m giving them credit for. But, a blush can also have it’s upside. I thought about all the good examples of when people blush, like from your first kiss, when you receive a really sweet gift or someone compliments you on your dress. And it’s all of those feelings from those sweet blush’s that I was wanting to invoke in my company brand, and so “BLUSH Lacquers” was decided.

Besides your current business/company, what other product you would have liked to create?
I don’t know if this counts, but I’ve always wanted to be a fiction author and plan on pursuing that at some point in my life as well!

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
For everyone who loved Sea Water Shimmers, their will be a very similar collection coming up in either January or February! I’m still finalizing some things with it though and I’m not sure of the exact release date. I also have plans to add top coats to our line and potentially some non-nail polish, but nail related products for the future.

Favorite nail art technique?
I can’t do it to save my life, but I love the look of watermarbling! 

What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
Reaching 1,000 sales in our Etsy store! I was pretty excited about that!

What do you love most about being a business owner?
Nobody tells me what to do, I make up all the rules! (And, I can sleep in every morning 😉

Happy Belated Birthday Victoria and congratulations on 1000 sales, that’s an amazing accomplishment. We wish you much continued success and look forward to seeing what Blush has in store this year!

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Be Challenged: Born Pretty Store Water Decals

Good Morning Queens and Kings! Let me preface this post by saying that I did this mani on 1/4/2017 and it wasn’t until I was done that I decided to write this post. Therefore, I apologize for the lack of photos from each step. Now that, that is out of the way, I am so freakin’ excited about this post because its taken along time for me to get here. Months ago I had decided to take the plunge and step out of my comfort zone when it came to nail art and try some new techniques outside of stamping, watermarble, dry brush, etc,. I decided I wanted to try water decals. I purchased several different designs and was overwhelmed when I received them because it was something new and I didn’t know where to start. My first attempt ended in pure frustration and me contemplating destashing them. But it’s a new year and a new me…lol so I figured, I’d give them a try one….more…time!!

Let’s delve into the awesomeness that is this mani, the result this time were a complete 180.

Here is what I used

  • Base Coat
  • White by Kleancolor
  • Nail Scissors
  • Cup of room temperature water
  • Tweezers
  • Paper towel
  • Cleanup Brush and Acetone
  • Born Pretty Store Water Decals (item # 21960). I used C247, bottom right corner

bps

Let’s get started

  1. First, I started with 1 coat of my favorite maintenance base, Nail Tek 2 (Strengthener) and applied 2 thin coats of white by Kleancolor. Note – depending on the colors in your decal, you can change to use something more complimentary.
  2. Once that was dry, I removed the plastic film from the decal and trimmed them to fit all 5 nails using my nail scissors. Note – I did one hand at a time.
  3. Then I place all 5 decals in the cup of room temperature water and waited 20-30 seconds. Note – be sure to use discretion and read the product instructions.
  4. When time was up, I removed the first decal using my tweezers, dabbed it on a paper towel to removed excess water and then gently placed it on my nail.
  5. Once I was happy with the placement, I used my cleanup brush and acetone to cleanup the excess decal on my cuticle area and free edge like any other mani 
  6. I repeated steps 2-5 for the other hand
  7. Finally, I applied a glossy, quick drying topcoat.

 The final mani left me speechless. Why? Because I had accomplished what I thought was impossible. Needless to say, I am currently shopping for more water decals. Leave me a comment of brands to try. While I love the designs that BPS offers, I can be very impatient waiting for shipping…lol. Or let me know which, if any, nail art technique makes you a little nervous to try.

Just when I thought I was done with the mani, a few days later I decided to upcycle my mani by adding some black stamping

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