Gelish African Safari live swatches!

Prefer to see swatches “live”? My Gelish Fall 2018 African Safari collection swatches, done in real-time, are available for viewing on the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel!S&M African Safari collection swatches

Please check out the swatch video and leave me a comment!

Throwback design time!

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This exciting neon green color is from the Gelish Make a Splash summer 2018 collection, and it’s called Límonade in the Shade, and I love it! This week’s design is a throwback to summer 1998, when I went to my first Hanson concert. I painted my nails for the event, of course, and went with a bright green probably slightly darker than this one…  And I did a simple stripe design similar to this one.

For this version of the design I left the lunula exposed, which I later regretted because the dark line at the base of the nails gives them (and fingers) a shorter, harsher look.  The original design was better because I painted the entire nail and the feathery lines originated from the side of the nail rather than the corner. Here’s a macro shot:

S&M 14 June 2018

The glitter topper I used is called Kick Off the New Year from the Gelish Year of the Horse collection. I like this one because it has two glitter shapes and is subtle if you want it to be, or you can use two or three coats to really add some excitement to the design.

The acrylic paint I used is craft paint from Apple Barrel, and I’ve had it forever. Soon I’ll be testing another brand, so stay tuned for that review.

Do you ever re-create a design you’ve done in the past? How did it turn out? Leave a comment below!

High Voltage!

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This week I continued testing the new Gelish Structure Gel in Cover Pink, this time with two coats under Gelish gel polish. I shortened my nails a little, and the two coats of Structure seems to be keeping them strong at this length. Here I’ve used the Cover Pink Structure Gel as a base for High Voltage and Cellophane Coat from the Make a Splash collection for summer 2018.

While I really like the security Structure provides while keeping a natural feel to the nail, it doesn’t provide shape the way enhancement products would.  It actually makes the nails look a bit rounder and accentuates any odd curvature of the nails. If you prefer to have longer nails with the clean lines and perfect shapes you can achieve when filing acrylic and hard gel, you may prefer Prohesion, Gelish Hard Builder Gel, or Polygel®.

On the nails with High Voltage I stamped using Clear Jelly Stamper (CJS) stamping polish and plate CJS LC-03, as well as a white China Glaze polish (which I wasn’t really happy with).  Here’s a macro shot of one of the nails:

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Though I was happy with how this set turned out, I’m wishing I had a CJS white stamping polish. I’ve tried lots of different stamping products over the last decade, and CJS is the superior product.  Their plates and polishes work nicely together, and they work consistently well.

Using OPI Chome Effects over Gelish

Wondering how to apply OPI Chrome Effects using Gelish gel polish and Top It Off?

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The trick is to leave the inhibition layer intact. Check out a quick video demo of how to apply Chrome Effects successfully over Gelish on the Smoke & Mirrors YouTube channel!

Summer Purples and Holo Success!

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Using Gelish One Piece or Two? (from the new Make a Splash collection) and Tahiti Hottie (from the summer 2014 Colors of Paradise collection), this is my take on trendy mis-match nails. The beautiful holo nail is OPI Chrome Effects in Mixed Metals. Here’s a macro shot of the holo nail:

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As you can see, the Chrome Effects powder worked really well. I had no trouble using it with Gelish Top It Off (rather than the suggested OPI top coat). In sunlight or interior light, these nails look great!

I was so happy to find the Chrome Effects line because the other products I’d tried have not performed very well for me – either I had application issues or they didn’t wear well. And, unfortunately, Gelish does not make a product like this.  Have you tried Chrome Effects? What did you think of it?

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!

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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