For this design I used a the “smoosh” technique, which is perfect for my Clear Jelly Stamper (CJS).  It makes for a quick but eye-catching design! It’s also a great way to use up some older polishes from your stash… Here are the colors of Gelish I used:

  • black – Black Shadow
  • red – Don’t Toy With My Heart
  • gray – Fashion Week Chic
  •  nude/neutral – Taupe Model

I did one coat of Taupe Model as the base, cured it, then applied small drops of all the colors in various spots on the nails.  Next, I used the clear stamper to smoosh the drops around so they blended a little, but not so much that the colors became “muddy”. Finally, I cured the design for 1 minute.

Once the smooshing was done I thought it was a little boring so I stamped on top using a floral design. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out for some great stamping plates that work well with their stamping polish. If you’d like to place an order with CJS, use my coupon code Smoke&Mirrors for 10% off! Here’s the link to go to the Clear Jelly Stamper site with the discount code for your order!

No Boundaries in Fall 2021

It’s August, which means the fall polish collections are hitting the market! For Fall 2021, Gelish gives us the No Boundaries collection. “This gorgeous color collection features six new seasonally themed crème shades. The No Boundaries color range is rich, sultry, and exactly what is needed to transport you to a world of adventure!”

Fans of fall colors and creme gel polishes – this is the collection for you!

The colors are:

  • Laying Low – Rich Navy Blue Crème
  • Uncharted Territory – Garnet Crème
  • Afternoon Escape – Burnt Orange Crème
  • Catch Me If You Can – Pumpkin Crème
  • Keep ‘Em Guessing – Taupe Crème
  • Totally Trailblazing – Hot Chocolate Crème

Let people know in the comments: Will you be buying any of the colors in this collection? Which ones do you have your eyes on? I’m looking at Keep ‘Em Guessing to be my fav!

Are you feeling the Vibes yet?

Summer is in full swing, and the Gelish summer collection – Fell the Vibes – is available online. Look at these vibrant summer colors!

Image from Gelish

The colors are:

  • All Day, All Night
  • Spin Me Around
  • Into the Lime-light
  • Orange Crush Blush
  • It’s My Moment
  • Keepin’ It Cool

My fav colors would be Into the Lime-light and All Day, All Night. I love anything lime green, and I’m a sucker for glitter polish. What about you?

Did you or will you be buying this collection? Leave a comment below!

Looking for a new way to create nail art?

It’s not new, but it could be new for you! Have you tried nail stamping? I love this technique for creating flawless nail art time and time again.

And there are so many designs to choose from! With all the combinations of colors and stamp plates the possibilities are endless.

Now that spring has arrived, I’m ready for floral nail art! For this design I’ve used Clear Jelly Stamper plate CJS 66, which is one of the CJS small plates. They also have large plates, as well as any other stamping supplies you could possibly want to get started with stamping.

If you’re ready to give nail art stamping at home a try, CJS is the way to go. As a licensed nail tech, I have tried many products for this technique over the years so I could offer art like this to my clients, and they were all a waste of money compared to CJS. This company INVENTED the clear jelly stamper, and other companies stole their intellectual property. It’s really sad that this happens, but it does.

Please be sure you are getting the real deal! If you’d like to place an order with CJS, use my coupon code Smoke&Mirrors for 10% off! Here’s the link to go to the Clear Jelly Stamper site with the discount code for your order.

Out In the Open – the new Gelish Spring 2021 collection!

The new Gelish Spring 2021 collection is now available! Leaning into the start of a fresh new year after a weird 2020, Gelish says the “Gelish Out In The Open collection is all about embracing color in a way that gives us a fresh take as we head into a new year determined to make it a great one!”

The color palette does seem fresh and clean, and the polish names follow this theme. The colors in this collection are:

Image from
  • Be Free – rosy mauve cream
  • Dancin’ in the Sunlight – pearl shimmer
  • In the Clouds – light blue cream
  • Keep it Simple – soft pink cream
  • No Limits – iridescent glitter effect
  • Take Time & Unwind – cinnamon red cream

This collection is available from authorized online retailers. The colors can be purchased as Gelish and Gelish Mini gel polish, Morgan Taylor traditional polish, and Xpress Dip. Unfortunately I have not been able to find the entire mini collection available for purchase (only individual polishes), so I have not swatched this collection yet. I hope to find it soon so I can get my hands on these fantastic colors!

What do you think? Which colors from the Out In the Open collection will you be adding to your stash?

Gelish®Shake Up The Magic Swatches

Image © Smoke & Mirrors Nail Blog

The Gelish Shake Up The Magic! collection is now available and I finally have swatches to share. The swatches from left to right are:

  • Stilettos In The Snow –  bright red creme
  • Fa-La-Love That Color! – charcoal green creme
  • Be My Sugarplum – dark mauve creme
  • Bare & Toasty – nude beige creme
  • Don’t Snow-Flake On Me – pale lilac metallic with chunky glitter
  • Liquid Frost – silver metallic with chunky glitter
Image © Smoke & Mirrors Nail Blog

These polishes were so fun to swatch, and I believe I’ve found my new favorite color for the winter season: Don’t Snowflake On Me! Which one is your favorite?

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the video for the creation of these swatches on the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel!

Watch Me Swatch! Gelish® Shake Up the Magic! Collection

Happy new year! It’s finally 2021, and what better way to kick it off than with some new Gelish polish swatches?!? I had a blast swatching the beautiful and unique colors in the Shake Up The Magic collection, and my video is posted on the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel.

Image © Smoke & Mirrors Nail Blog 2021

Do you have the Shake Up The Magic collection yet? What’s your favorite color in the collection? Let me know in the comments below!

Where to buy Gelish® now

Are you like me, wanting to find some new Gelish colors but not sure where to buy them? Due to a temporary health condition I’m not shopping in brick and mortar beauty store locations, so I’ve had to research where to buy Gelish online. The decision to purchase is your own, I am simply providing information that I hope you will find useful. All these links go to a place where you can buy genuine Gelish… no knockoffs here!

Full size Gelish is available at:

The link to Nail Tech Supply can also be found on the home page, so you know this is a legit place to buy genuine Gelish products.

Mini size Gelish is available at:

This appears to be the official page to buy Mini Gelish, run by Hand & Nail Harmony or an affililate. You can also find minis on, though not as soon after they are released. This was suggested to me by Gelish in response to a question I posted on their Instagram. I have found that the seller “VMExpress” is selling Gelish minis, and have bought several of my collections from them this year.

Happy shopping!

Call My Blush

S&M 31 May 2020

For this design I used Call My Blush from the Gelish Spring 2020 Editor’s Picks collection. The white design is hand-painted with Gelish Arctic Freeze, and topped with Kick Off the New Year from the Gelish Year of the Horse Collection from 2014.

I am loving this color right now, and I’m happy to give you a couple options for long or short nails. Designs like this give the illusion of a french manicure without the same old boring french design.

What about you?  Have you used any colors from the Spring Gelish collection yet?

Using Sally Hansen Pure polishes for a natural nail refresh

Let’s talk natural nail refreshes, or a “break” from nail enchancements.  For some people, this is something that’s happened lately because they can’t go to the salon. For others, this is a normal part of their nail care routine.  Whatever the reason you’ve decided to shun enhancements for a few days or weeks, I’m suggesting you try out the Sally Hansen Pure lineup of polishes.

For a review of the polishes and to see real-time swatching, check out the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel for my video on these polishes.

video thumbnail review SH Pure

You’ll have to watch the video for the full dish, but here’s the summary:


  • work the same as regular nail polishes (RNP)
  • 16-free and vegan certified!
  • easy to find at the pharmacy or department store
  • inexpensive price point


  • stink like RNP even though they’re vegan
  • top coat is thick and takes a while to dry

Now that I’ve got two cute neutrals from this polish line, I’ll continue to use these anytime I do a trim or take a break from enhancements.  The cool thing is that you can use them with the Sally Hansen Nail Hardener, which gets rave reviews, for outstanding results as your nails grow out.