Beauty Marks the Spot!

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This design was done with two coats of Gelish Beauty Marks the Spot, from the Royal Temptations Spring 2018 collection, with some stamped nail art using Clear Jelly Stamper polishes and plate CjS-04.

This polish was wonderful! It went on very evenly in just two coats, as you can see. And, though Gelish pinks and corals have had fading issues in the past, this one shows no signs of such issues after almost one week of wear. And I’m just loving the color! I’m not even tired of it yet!  Here I’ve applied it over a layer of Gelish Dip, and have had no adhesion issues after a quick buff with a 100 grit buffer prior to applying the gel polish.

The more I use Clear Jelly Stamper plates and polishes, the more impressed I am with them.  The plates are perfect for the salon because they allow you to quickly layer images to create designs as unique as each client. And they’re easy to use with just a little practice. I recommend using the plates and the polishes together – they’re worth the investment!

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Gelish Make A Splash Swatches

Make a Splash collection beauty shot

The Summer 2018 Make a Splash collection from Gelish is available now. “The summer collection has an emphasis on fun-in-the-sun with its vibrant and eye-catching shades,” says Danny Haile, CEO and Founder of Gelish. “Even if you can’t live on the beach or at the pool all summer, your nails will make you feel that way!”

Here are the beautiful, summer-centric colors… Get your sunblock and lounge chair ready!

  • Cellophane Coat – front and center in the photo above, an iridescent overlay, is one of my favorite “Trends” colors yet. This topper is great by itself, as seen in the bottom of the swatches below, or on top of almost any Gelish color.
  • Feeling Swim-sical – teal creme, a very smooth polish. Use three coats for deeper color. (This is the only color I did three coats of for my swatches below.)
  • Flamingo Float – coral pink with a shimmer. This is one of two polishes in the collection with a shimmer finish that I am loving. It really differentiates the polish from others of a similar shade.
  • Flip-Flops and Tube Tops – fuschia with a shimmer. This polish also has the shimmery finish that draws the eye. These two might be my favorites in the collection! Which is saying a lot because I love the bright greens, like…
  • Limonade In The Shade – neon green creme, so eye-catching! The below swatch shows two coats. Use a white base or three coats to add even more punch to this bold color!
  • One Piece or Two? – deep purple creme, probably the darkest color in the collection, but seems like it will pair well with the teal, orange, or green for some trendy nail art. The below photo shows just two coats! This color has great coverage.
  • You’ve Got Tan-gerine Lines – orange neon creme, and this color looks like summer in a bottle to me.  Again, you could give it some pop by using a coat of white underneath or using three coats. The below photo shows just two coats.Make a Splash

This collection is even better in person, and I’m really excited to get started using it. I think we can get create some really cool nail art with it, too. All the polishes apply smoothly, as we’ve come to expect from Gelish, and have surprisingly good coverage. It’s really hard to get a formula for the neons that provides good coverage in just two coats. Gelish did an excellent job with these… You can tell their R&D department is on its toes!

Note that I personally purchased this collection, and this is not a sponsored post. I just really like the product!

To see these colors in action, please visit again in a few days – We’ll be posting the live swatches for this collection to the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel soon!

 

 

Angling for a Kiss

S&M 3 March 2018

For this design I used colors from the most recent Holiday and Winter Gelish collections. The base color is Angling for a Kiss, a beautiful deep cranberry red polish, and the white lines are My Main Freeze.  Both are from the Thrill of the Chill winter collection. The mixture of tiny and chunky glitters is Silver in My Stocking” from the Little Miss Nutcracker collection.

After painting the lines on one nail, I decided they were too thick and wished I’d used acrylic paint instead. But the lines were cured already so I decided to roll with it.  Overall this is a super simple design to do as long as you have a nice striping brush!

 

Gelish Royal Temptations Collection for Spring 2018

Look at these beautiful swatches of the lovely Gelish Royal Temptations Collection!

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ICYMI this is the spring collection for 2018 for Gelish, released about a week ago. The colors are really pretty, and I’m amped about them all, as usual. I think the green Ruffle Those Feathers and purple All the Queen’s Bling are going to be really popular with clients.  Actually, Ruffle Those Feathers is the first color I used on myself!

(Please ignore the bubbling on the blue My Other Wig is a Tiara swatch… that was my fault. This is what happens when you apply layers of gel polish that are too thick!)

If you prefer to see live swatches, please check out the Smoke and Mirrors YouTube channel for swatches of the entire Royal Temptations collection!

 

 

Gelish Royal Temptations Swatches

 

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Image Courtesy Gelish

For spring 2018, Gelish has introduced the Royal Temptations collection. “Inspired by the lavish life of Marie Antoinette, the collection includes six delicious shades. Opulent pastels of sea foam green, teal, purple, pink and coral help to convey the romantic fantasy we associate with being a queen. For an even sweeter nail look, add on Over-the-Top Pop, a special effect glitter that you can’t help but adore.”

Click below to see the Smoke & Mirrors live swatches of this beautiful collection, including the glitter topper.

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Don’t Toy With My Heart

S&M 27 January 2018 A

For this design I used a technique that’s been around for awhile but I had not yet tried: the “smoosh” manicure.  Here are the colors of Gelish I used:

  • black – Black Shadow
  • red – Don’t Toy With My Heart (also used on full coverage nails)
  • 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 my Morgan Taylor 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 design from the Morgan Taylor Designer Plates Flirty Florals collection.  These are some great stamping plates that would do even better with a better stamping polish. (Next time I’ll try using polish from Clear Jelly Stamper.) Check out the macro shot!

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This ended up being super easy (and quick) to do, but got a lot of notice. I wore this manicure for over two weeks!

Have you tried the smoosh mani? Let me know how it turned out in the comments!

Gelish brings us Royal Temptations for Spring 2018

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Source: Cosmoprof

Gelish debuted their Spring 2018 collection in the February issue of Nails Magazine, and I’m as excited as ever to see the ads. Actually, I probably get more excited when the spring collection is released because I’m ready for some bright cheerful colors after a long winter.  And this year Gelish certainly gives us something to look forward to!

The collection is called Royal Temptations, and the color names call to mind famous royal figures in 18th century France: “Beauty Marks the Spot” reminds us that in the 18th century royal court, beauty marks were all the rage to the point that false ones were applied to certain places on one’s face, depending on the message you wanted to convey to the beholder… remember Madame Du Barry, King Louis XV’s infamous mistress? And what queen’s wig could be more famous than Marie Antoinette’s, who loved all things fashionable and sumptuous? Yep, Gelish nailed it with the names for these polishes!

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Image Source: Makitu

 

 

I think clients are going to love these. The seafoam green/blue color seems to have been really popular the last couple years, and shows no signs of fading popularity, so Ruffle Those Feathers will probably be a hit.  The traditionalists will love Curls & Pearls and Beauty Marks the Spot. And, if you’re like me you’re always looking for a pretty lilac (light purples seem to be a rarity for Gelish thus far)… and All the Queen’s Bling seems like it will fit the bill!

Which color are you looking forward to wearing? Leave a comment below!

Just Tutu much!

S&M 31 December 2017

For this design I used Gelish colors from the holiday and winter 2017 collections:

  • Plum-Thing Magical
  • Just Tutu Much
  • Ice Cold Gold

On the purple nails I stamped a scroll design using Clear Jelly Stamper plate CJS-13, then topped with the Ice Cold Gold glitter.

I’m loving my new Clear Jelly Stamper! I have tried many stampers over the years, and this one is by far the most comfortable and easiest to stamp with.  If you haven’t already heard about this stamper, check out my Clear Jelly Stamper unboxing video on the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel to see some of the items you can purchase.

Sweater nail fail… but a technique win!

S&M 22 December 2017

In preparation for winter solstice I decided it was time to finally try sweater nails. It isn’t too hard, right? Just sprinkle some clear acrylic powder into the uncured gel polish design, then cure…

Nope. This was a fail in my book. I guess you can kinda see the design in the photo, but IRL it just looks like a gray nail.

For this design I used two colors of Gelish: the green sparkly polish is You Crack Me Up from the Little Miss Nutcracker holiday 2017 collection, and the gray creme is Let’s Hit the Bunny Slopes from the winter 2013 The Snow Escape collection.

Before I painted these nails, I trimmed my natural nails and capped them with Gelish Dip in Simple Sheer (not that it matters, because you can’t see it). In the past I’ve had problems with Gelish peeling off of my dipped nails. So this time I did not apply the Dip top coat, but instead just filed to shape and finish buffed. Then I applied Gelish with no Foundation, only Top It Off.

This left the finish a little more rough, and it worked! The Gelish stayed on for about two weeks, no problem. The above photo was taken at about the one week mark.

When I first reviewed Gelish Dip a couple months ago, I got some comments and questions about what to do for this issue and, at the time, I did not know the answer. But now, here it is! I had good results, but please try it and let me know if it works for you, too!

Prepare for the Thrill of the Chill!

S&M 3 December 2017 AFor Winter 2017 Gelish has introduced the Thrill of the Chill collection, with four dark plus one light wintry colors, and a glitter topper.  I’ve purchased the entire collection, and swatched them for you!

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They are, according to Nails Magazine, “Angling for a Kiss, a deep red cream; Let’s Kiss and Warm Up, a plum cream; Don’t Let the Frost Bite, a grape cream; Caviar On Ice, a taupe cream; My Main Freeze, a pale nude cream; and Ice Cold Gold”, the special effect shade.

If you prefer to see live swatches, please go to the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube Channel to see my swatching video and first impressions of this lovely new collection!

S&M 3 December 2017 B

So far I’m most excited about Don’t Let the Frost Bite. But I’m currently wearing My Main Freeze. What about you?