Wednesday, August 8, 2012

OPI Germany Collection Swatches!

This is the first big collection that's come out since I became a nail tech and you can better believe I took advantage of my professional status to get my hands on all 12 colors this morning!

I'm usually not a fan of all of the colors in a collection, but I really do love everything in this one, some more than others. It helps I got a nice deal on the full set + display and sample card through Salon Centric. :)

Even the display is pretty nifty looking:

I have this display set up behind my station. :)

The set came with the sample placard, which I have up at the front to spark interest in it. 
This is the first time I've bought a professional display like this so I had no idea I had to paint it myself, lol!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I know it's been a little while since I last posted and for that I apologize. I've been very busy with school ending soon, life around the house with my six month old daughter and my job search.

But the good news is that after only two interviews I have a job at my dream place!!!!

My first interview was at a salon very close to my house - great location, but the place itself was very new and they were asking me to break laws by not only working on clients without my license but also waxing, which isn't part of my license at ALL. (Florida is split into two categories with nails/skin - Manicuring/Pedicuring/Nail Extensions & Facials, cosmetologists can do manicuring, pedicuring & facials (including waxing) and Nail Technicians can do M&P and extensions only). She even called me a few days after I interviewed her and without giving me a decision on whether or not I was hired asking me to come give a mani/pedi to a client. This, I actually can DO, but she wouldn't be allowed to collect any money for the service and I wouldn't be able to be paid for it. My teacher and I agreed that she definitely would have done it on the illegal end.

One of my other schoolmates, though, got a job with a wonderful natural nails spa in Tampa and dropped my name for it, too. Her and I get along great at school/working together in the salon so we know that it'll be great. We also both have similar ideas when it comes to nail care & nail art and it fits in better with this type of salon.

She started last week, and I had an interview this morning. She offered me the job within fifteen minutes, without even really looking at my resume OR my portfolio. The world of mouth that Ana gave me was enough for her! I just... I can't believe it. The spa is GORGEOUS, they use not only Shellac, but Gelish & OPI Gel Color for gel manicures and then OPI, Essie & Zoya for regular polish. It's such a relaxed atmosphere and so relaxing! I really, really, really can't wait to start!

Ana and I will be working there on a part-time basis helping out with polish removal, tool cleaning, setting up, etc until we're licensed in three weeks. I'm so stoked you guys have no idea!!!!!

Before I go - the shellac mani I did before I went, trying out some nail art using only Shellac, something I hadn't done before.

The next time I post will either be after my first day there or once I'm a licensed nail technician!!!! :Db

Monday, May 21, 2012

NOTW: Neon French Twist!

Anyone who gets the colors (and why they're in that particular order) and why they are this week's NOTW gets fifty internet cookies. :)

Colors used (thumb to pinky) - Aciiied, Purple Passion, Bubblegum, Top Turquoise, & Pink Punch (All Model's Own)

I was thinking about adding some art but honestly I like the simplicity of just the french. I sealed it with gel so if I want to I can add art later without ruining the french! (And this way, I have to keep them for a week before I fill! HA!)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Model's Own Update

Finally caught up with Model's Own's customer service (had to forward my email to them because of their moving offices) and they've taken care of the issue and will be sending me the three polishes that are missing from the Beetlejuice set.

While it's been a pain in the ass having to wait nearly 2 months for all of the polish I originally ordered, their customer service IS good about things (they could have just brushed me off and told me there was no proof, etc, etc, instead of sending the missing polishes and not asking back the ones that were sent by mistake.)

I will definitely be doing business with them and look forward to being probably the only nail tech in my area (hell maybe even all of Florida) that uses Model's Own.

Heck, maybe in the long run when I'm working at a salon that allows it or running one of my own, I'll even see about being a distributor. I really do love their polish a ton.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Glitter Acrylics with 3D Art

Had a client today who wanted something funky so we went with glitter acrylics and a bit of 3D art!

Tips & 3D are Tammy Taylor Prizma Colorz (meh but it's what we had, I need to get some of my own). I topped it off with a Spectraflair topcoat and a gel sealer. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

NOTW: Hot Pink & White Acrylics

My teacher got a super-hot-pink acrylic powder the other day and I wanted to darken the pink on my current pink & white acrylics anyway so...

This was the result. :Db

I'm adoring neons and how on-trend they are right now, so it was a perfect choice and something that will last through manis and pedis at school (since I don't like sealing my manis with gel topcoat because I change up so much, but I DO seal my base acrylics with gel topcoat to make nail art easier. :D)

SO, these are off-brand hot pink acrylic and OPI competition opaque white sealed with IBD gel topcoat. Two coats of a spectraflair topcoat and then the black stripes.

Have I mentioned how much I love the spectraflair topcoat? No? WELL IT'S FREAKING AWESOME, OKAY? *__*

SEEEE? *pets it* This picture doesn't even really do it justice. T___T

SO these are my NOTW, I'm going to be good and try not to change up too much - :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Timing, baby!

Just a quick post to say: I did a full set of pink & whites on myself last night with gel topcoat in under an hour and a half. I'm like.... crazy happy my timing is getting perfect. Also timed myself on a pedi tonight and I was right at an hour and 5 minutes. :Db

Tomorrow I'll be volunteering at the Relay For Life booth my school is setting up doing polish. I also just got my May Julep Maven box in the mail and will be posting swatches of Kylie (magnetic) & Ellie (opalescent sheer) hopefully sometime tomorrow.

EDIT: And NOW I remember what I was actually going to post about. One of my biggest nail enhancement pet-peeves? French manicures that don't completely cover the natural smile line. It looks SLOPPY to have one or two bits of natural free edge peeking out from under your tip/acrylic/gel, etc. :/ Saw it under the nail art tag on tumblr and just shuddered.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Model's Own It! Or Not?

Back in Mid-March, I decided to splurge a bit for my birthday and bought three sets of Model's Own polish. Not the cheapest purchase ever, given the exchange rate, but seeing as it was quite a few polishes and in colors I did not yet have, I figured it was worth it.

I got an e-mail almost immediately after letting me know one of the polishes wasn't available from the neon collection and they gave me two other options. I picked the cream one instead of the shimmer. Cool, waited about two weeks and finally my order came!

Except it was ONLY the neons, even though the packing slip showed the other two collections, AND the cream name written down. I got the shimmer instead of the cream. I checked my email just to make sure I'd said the right name, which I had. Okay, shoot off another email to see if perhaps they shipped separately or what.

No, apparently they had never been shipped. They sent them out immediately, apologizing and stating that they would be filled according to what was advertised at the time of my order. Cool beans!

I got the pastels and the Beetlejuice collection finally today (over a month from original order date, mind you). Pastels were great - Beetlejuice? Not what I ordered. The set I ordered is what is currently listed on the site now - I remember this specifically because they had Indian Ocean and Copper Pot in the collection, which was DEFINITELY not in what I got. I only got 3 out of 6 right - Aqua Violet, Pinky Brown & the Top Coat.

Another e-mail has been sent as of tonight (when I got home from school and realized that the colors weren't right), so here's hoping the rectify this. I hate to be such a pain about it and they've been pretty good with their customer service so far but...two shipping mistakes in a row kind of make me wonder.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Polish Swatch - Essie Who Is The Boss

My first trip into SalonCentric, I picked up this polish from the Essie Wedding Collection. The rest of the polishes were ones that I had similar colors too, but not quite anything like this.

I hadn't had a chance to swatch it yet (I'd gotten my Models Own neon collection in that day as well and we've been playing with other things in school). Since I need a backfill done tomorrow (I get to be the demonstration - yay!) I filed off my Miracle Manicure gel top coat in prep and decided to cover the pink & white with this!

Essie for me has been very hit or miss with its formulas. There creams are gorgeous, but sometimes getting coverage with them can be a real trial & error type of thing. My first ever Essie, Fiji, is such a pretty pink but I can't use it due to it's streaky-tendencies. This one though? Pretty darn flawless on the application front!

I used Orly Bonder for my base coat, then two coats of the polish and topped it off with Seche Vite. My Seche is quite thick right now so I need to get the thinner for it. I tried going back to China Glaze Fast Forward for a while but I'm back to Seche - it sets quicker and I can use it thicker.

Pardon the strange shape of my nails - I was trying out almond shape and I went a little overboard, then needed the length down so I just flattened them. XD

End Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 out of 5!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Not a way to win business...

Third Saturday in the salon (my full-day) and despite some icky weather I actually got a very pleasant pedicure client today! I was hoping to get a pedi done on myself but alas, it did not happen. XD I'll have to bribe someone to do it Tuesday or Wednesday night. :3

Today was sort of short seeing as we needed to be fairly cleaned up by 2ish, even though we close at 5. Our Tammy Taylor rep was coming in to do a demonstration and I was looking forward to asking her about why our kits were not standard and why there were obvious things missing (in my case, Sanitize spray and A+ Monomer - I got the Odor-less which is about the shittiest thing that has ever shitted).

Now, don't get me wrong - there are a few of the Tammy Taylor products that I do like. Some of the Prizmas are very pretty, I like their Pink & White (the P3 is very pretty), the A+ Monomer is fairly low odor (especially compared to the OPI competition liquid and CND Retention +), Miracle Manicure is a GREAT gel sealer, the soak-off gel system has a nice consistency, and the primer (while stinky as hell) works quite well. BUT, the attitude of the rep makes me want to not continue to use any of their products on a regular basis.

First off, her original meeting with us was supposed to be the weekend of Easter - now I understand that it  was a holiday weekend but had she met with us then she would have had the opportunity for three demos with us instead of just two (going by the six-week demo schedule). She didn't even bother to inform us of the fact that she wasn't coming until my teacher questioned it so that was a bit on the unprofessional side. Oh well.

Today though, she was originally supposed to meet with us at 2:30. This is a bit inconvenient as we had quite a few of the massage clients that were wanting pedicures (and one who wanted acrylics) that we had to either refer to the cosmo students or turn down due to timing. Our teacher warned us that the rep was very long-winded so we had to be cleaned up by 2 or we'd be rushed to be out of there by 5.

She apparently tried to stop by at noon, while we were at lunch (much needed seeing as I hadn't eaten breakfast and was fading fast!) seeing as there was supposed to be a weather system moving in that would make her drive home a bit more tedious. Understandable, but we are not at your whim, lady!

ANYWAY, the demonstration started and my first impression? "I'm better than all of you our products are amazing but I'm not actually going to sell you on them I'm going to assume you believe this and take my word as gospel."

Yeah, I know we are provided your products in school to use and therefore we have to use them unless we wish to shell out our own money for  product (I use OPI competition on my own nails, though), but you're not selling me on KEEPING using your product once I graduate.

She also had several moments of utter condescending and I seriously just had to smile and nod. When I brought up the contents of my kit, she almost made it seem like it was our teacher's fault (which it totally isn't) and simply told us to call Tammy Taylor CS about it - if I was a sales rep I'd be the one making the call myself to make sure it was taken care of properly.

I mean, in the end I got some good sculpture techniques and ball-consistency techniques out of it - but it's something I'll be applying to OTHER products. :/

Coming up next week: backfills! I get to be demo'ed on since the teacher is taking pitty on my poor smile-lines (plus I have the quickest growth).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Perhaps I should work on this anxiety thing....

I'm a perfectionist.

Tonight, I did my first full set of pink & whites on myself. I tried a technique where you start with the pink and shape the smile line that way - great for extreme smile lines, which are definitely my style. I played with it a bit on a nail prior and found I actually liked it so thought, hey, I can do this.

My teacher encouraged me to start on my dominant hand. I really wish I hadn't.

Some of them turned out great! Others, not so much. I have such an urge to soak them off already but the state of my nails underneath is just... it's not a good idea. I need to suck it up and fix them tomorrow in class. I'm more than likely going to have to put a layer of clear to build up some bulk on them since there was a lot of filing to be done to get them even.

I know I shouldn't feel bad, because to be completely honest for my first full set of P&W and for the fact that I did them on myself, they're fairly awesome, but... I'm too much of a perfectionist when it comes to things like this and I can't help but see every little flaw. I need to just remind myself that it was a learning experience and I can always throw polish on them to hide the smile-line flaws until I do a backfill next week to fix them (weekly fills will be necessary given my current nail growth holy crap).

I'm still so happy we have such a fantastic teacher. She's really been great, even if she tries to challenge me more given my background with working with this kind of thing on my own before. She's like me, though, and so she understood my frustration tonight and helped me out quite a bit.

The sad thing is though, I know that if I get a client tomorrow that wants p&w, I'd be able to handle it no problem. Somehow it's so much EASIER on someone else than it is me. Probably because my hands were trying to give out after so long of being in strange positions to file, fill, etc.

I need to just sit back, take a deep breath and not dwell on it. I'm only in the third week of class and I will have plenty of time to perfect it.

And perfect it I will, dammit!


Last night we got our student ID cards, so what did I do today? I REGISTERED AT COSMOPROF! To be honest, SalonCentric kind of has a better selection (and they carry Tammy Taylor, which I can get cheaper on their site, but either way...) BUT CosmoProf has a better selection of OPI axxium and stuff like that. I didn't splurge on axxium yet (I'm actually waiting for Premier Orlando because I know I can get it dirt cheap comparatively there) but I DID pick up the Creative Retention + Trial pink and white set to try out tonight in school. My teacher is a die-hard Creative fan and while I picked OPI clear, warm pink and white the other day, I DO want to try Creative's line.

I also managed to snag two OPI colors I hadn't seen previously: DS Radiance & DS Reserve. Radiance is a silver metallic while Reserve is a pretty pink one. Both don't streak bad at all, which can sometimes be an issue with metallics. :) It's so much nicer to buy OPI now that I'm not paying $8 a pop for it, lol.

I'll update with how I like the Creative tomorrow sometime. :) Going to use it to put a full set of pink & whites on tonight. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nail School Recap - Week 2!

Starting a little late here, as I've been in school for two weeks now. Oh well.

School started off with a bang - first night we were doing manicures on each other. Then pedicures, then wraps & shellac, and now we're already working with acrylics. The teacher is very into pushing us right into things and challenging us. She's great and is super talented. :)

Our schedule is fairly straight forward - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights we're in the salon or in theory and working on practicing things, be it on forms or each other and taking clients sporadically. Saturdays are our BIG client days and we're in the salon from open to close. Most of our clients come in for manis, pedis and shellac, but we do get quite a few acrylic/gel clients as well.

The first Saturday I did an acrylic soak off, pedi and then a shellac manicure. The morning had been slow so she was my only client, but it was still about a 3 hour process given everything that needed to be done. She was great and it was really nice. I had another client later in the week who was a shellac soak off and regular polish and oh man it was a wonder I was able to save her nails at all. People who overbuff nails make me a very sad person indeed. ;o;

This past Saturday I didn't have a client at all, even though we were fairly busy. This was due to the fact that I was being a dummy for one of the other students to try out acrylics on (and subsequently a good two hours of filing to get them to a manageable thickness - thank god I'd gotten my drill by then!). The receptionist asked us if we could do a full set of gels on a client who was getting her hair colored - the teacher and I were the only ones who could do gel so we said yes, but to have her hair colored first so I could practice with our product first.

I have only ever tried two forms of gels - the IBD hard gel system and then the Nail Bliss soak-off. Both are fairly straight forward and I knew the basics of how to work with it. BUT, every system works differently so I wanted to play before putting the Tammy Taylor gels on her.

So far, I've been fairly hit and miss with the Tammy Taylor products. I love the Prisma Colors and the regular white & clear pink acrylics, but the P3 pink is way too sticky no matter what. I really like the xtreme adhesion monomer but the no odor one that came in our kit is SHIT. Polish & top coat are fairly meh but the miracle manicure is awesome (gel top coat). Her gels? NIIIICE. Easy to work with and didn't bubble easy. Also fairly easy to clean up!

Sadly...client left without getting her gels done, which sucked because no gel set for me or tip, but I did get credit for a service for the fact that I was playing with it for a good long while and did several tips as well as a layer of the pink glitter gel over my own acrylics as a sealant.

I did get to play with the prisma colors as well and sat in the back of the salon sculpting. I haven't done 3D nail art in a while but seeing as I want to compete at the Premier Show in Orlando in June, I need to practice. In the end I managed a cute bow and a niiiice rose before we were out of time. I need to dig up my sculpting brushes to use though - the Tammy Taylor small acrylic brush was far too big for my nails with 3D art.

Next week we'll be doing a lot of theory, but we're also talking about taking a field trip to one of the nail supply stores that is only ever open during the week. XD Exciting!


I'm Andii! I'm 27 and currently a nail student at Sunstate Academy in Clearwater, FL. I've been using tumblr for a while now to blog my nail art, but seeing as most people prefer tumblr to be 'photo only' (which I totally understand and agree with), I've decided to create a separate blog with the same name to TALK about my nail school experience as well as my life as a nail tech once I graduate. :)

Quick intro: I'm a new mommy and I've been interested in nail art & nail enhancements since I was 16 years old. After years of playing with stuff on my own, I decided to go ahead and pursue a career in nails. Unfortunately (though fortunately) right when I decided to go to school was when I found out I was pregnant. So I put it off a year and here I am!

If you'd like to check out some of my nail art, head on over to Andii's Candiis tumblr! Please follow if you like and would like to see more.