Sephora by OPI Gel Nail System Review

I have two pet peeves – unpolished and cracked polished nails. Normal nail polish cannot withstand my busy week schedules of typing, writing, driving, packing, stressing, etc. Therefore, I used to leave my nails unpolished most of the time until I discovered the Sephora by OPI gelshine System.

Sephora by OPI gelshine Kit

This kit comes with a portable LED Light, gelshine Base and Top Coat, Nail Pads, Removal Nail Wraps, Nail Cleanser, Buffing Block, Nail and Gel Color Remover, Brush-On Cuticle Oil, Gloves, and a Cuticle Pusher – an excellent set for a little over 100 dollars. The price has decreased dramatically since I purchased mine. I hope this is NOT a sign of discontinuation… so get yours quick! A wide range of Gel Colors are also available. I prefer not to use this formula. Instead, I use normal polish from my collection.

Follow these steps to achieve a long-lasting mani with gelshine using ordinary nail polish:

  1. Cuticles – Apply a bit of the Brush-On Cuticle Oil onto nails to add moisture then pull back your cuticles with the Cuticle Pusher.
  2. Buff – Use the Buffing Block to eliminate all nail impurities, to soften, and to shine.
  3. Prep – Once the nails are primed, use the Nail Cleanser to clean nails and prepare them for the gelshine Base Coat.
  4. Base Coat – Make sure the LED Light is plugged in before you apply your first coat. Brush on the Base Coat, making sure all parts of the nail are covered – especially the top and sides. Put nails under the LED Light for a minute (I believe this is two rounds of light).
  5. Color – Apply any desired nail polish formula next. Make sure coats are smooth. It is not necessary to cure the polish under the LED Light, but I like to anyways just to make sure the color is drying as quick as possible. The number of coats applied also depends on the polish used.
  6. Top Coat – This is the trickiest part since you have to make sure the gelshine Top Coat does not disrupt the polish underneath it and does not stray off the nail. I like to use the Cuticle Pusher to clean up the coat before placing my nails under the LED Light. I like to cure my nails a bit longer for this step … probably two minutes each (four rounds of light).
  7. Shine – There will be a sticky layer over the Top Coat once finished. Use the Nail Pads with a bit of the Nail Cleanser to take off. But BEWARE, if you do this step too early, the polish will smudge and likely pull right off. I usually give my nails a five minute breather before cleaning them up.

Surprisingly, I have no problem taking this polish off since it normally starts to peel after two weeks. After most of it falls off, buff out the left over polish then remove with the Gel Polish Remover.

Have you tried this Gel Nail System? What do you think of it?!

Must Haves Summer Lacquer + Nail Art Favorites

Summer calls for bright, glittery, and colorful manis and pedis. I have especially been adoring three special shades:


FACE Stockholm has over 100 nail polish shades. That is a TON for a company that does not specializes in polish. My summer favorites from FACE Stockholm are #47 and #98. They both scream SUMMER! #98 (left) is a beautiful orange shimmer- I believe the base coat is orange and the shimmer is gold. #47 (right) is a gorgeous, mouth watering, deep watermelon pink! It almost looks red once applied.


There is no need to explain the importance of Essie nail lacquer in the polish world. Essie comes out with beautiful, innovative colors each season that highlights trends. A huge trend this summer is cobalt blue polish! Yes – the dark, rich, creamy, deep blue. I absolutely adore this light cobalt called strut your stuff. It is the perfect showstopper without being to unusual.

And as promised, here are my favorite nail art and nail shades from various social media accounts:

P.S. – I have discovered a NEW nail love on Instagram – @nailjob. Her work is beyond fabulous. I love the glitter looks and clear polish designs.

Pride: Satisfaction for an Achievement

Happy Fourth of July! Unfortunately, it is pouring rain in New York… the whole shabam – thunder, dark skies, rain, puddles, wind. While stuck inside, I am thinking about the pride we have for our country, our relationships, and our selves. It seems to be contagious and of course, social media proves it!

Pride Week: Holy rainbows – every organization that supports human rights celebrated Pride Week in someway. Many created store fronts decked out in color. Many created new products to showcase pride. Many created images just for social media and sharing. I saw quite a bit on my news feeds from my favorite companies – Baked by Melissa, Julep, LUSH Cosmetics, Teen Vogue.

Baked by Melissa flag #lilly5x5

4th of July: There have been many, many, many Fourth of July posts – from newscasters to the usual #lilly5x5. Here are two of my favorites that scream independence, USA, and patriotic shades. I adore how companies take their brand or product and turn it into something universally recognizable. The USA radiates pride on this day! A whole bunch of PRIDE!


Here is my recent go USA face showcasing my country pride as I stand right near the edge of Niagara Falls. What a thrilling experience! I would love to see y’all’s PRIDE faces!

Nail Trend Summer Favorites

Nail polish is a beautiful thing. I love all the colors, glitter, designs, shapes… there is just endless possibility! It makes it easy to show off your personality without being too overwhelming.

Below is an array of nail art I have been adoring all month on Instagram from various sources that range from flowers, nail wraps, glitter, and even fruit! What do you think of them?

Monet’s Garden Inspiration – Julep Personal Color

I have been asked to create a post for Julep that showcases my personal color. The email entered my inbox as I was touring Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France. His gardens are a magical place filled with every flower imaginable radiating inspiration. When I look back on that precious experience, I believe my personal color was hidden among the flowers, soil, water, trees, and every other particle of nature.

Before going to Giverny, I went to the Musee D’Orsay in Paris, which is home to many Monet paintings. Here is some of his most prominent work I saw:

Having the opportunity to experience the Parisian culture, the French country side, and especially Monet’s home helped me realize what my personal color consists of:

Soft but vibrant –  I adore Monet’s pastel paintings such as the water Lillies, but I also adore bright roses and lilacs.

Meaning – I am sure many of you know that red is for love, green is for positivity, orange is for optimism, and so on. My color would accomplishment, acceptance, and adventure. Or as I like to think of it, the triple a’s!

Shimmer – Sparkles, glitter, shimmer, holographic… you name it and I love it! Shimmer reflects light in a billion different ways. The outcome or final look is never really the same. This idea also fits with people. Not one person is the same as another person.

Now is the moment you have all been waiting for… what is my personal color?

A medium purple with hints of very, very light green shimmer. Almost to the point where you cannot tell it is green. Think of the Julep color Elisa, but a bit darker splashed with light sea green shimmer. My color would be called GivAndy (Giverny + Andy).

What would your personal color be? Interested in Julep? Check out their new nail color page here!

Butter London: The Black Night

I realized today that I have not posted anything recently about nail polish! So today, I want to showcase one of my favorite dark nail polishes from Butter London, The Black Night. I got this polish from an Ulta in Houston, TX.



This is a pretty unique polish from Butter London! Normally, I picture Butter London lacquers being pretty straight forward with only solid colors and metallics. I was shocked to find a color this unique. It is a black base with mainly turquoise and pink glitter in it. The polish is creamy and does not have a sand like texture once it is applied. I mixed this polish with a OPI black one. I really like the combination!

I also wanted to show y’all some of my recent nail art designs from the @nailitmag Instagram account! I love the flowers, polka dots, metal studs, and various geometric designs. Here are a few of them:






Square Hue 02.14 Collection

I LOVED my Square Hue polishes this month. They were unique and very innovative. The inspiration behind the February 2014 collection was Tokyo. This is also a part of The Passport Collection. If you do not know what Square Hue is, you can find more information here on their website. Basically, it is a monthly nail polish service for $15! It is a great deal for three, sturdy polishes. Here are pictures of my 02.14 Collection:



  • Roppongi – this is the name of the green glitter polish! I was so excited to see this color… it is awesome! Not a lot of nail polish collectors probably have such a light green in their collection that is infused with glitter. This is the first polish I wore from the three and really liked it!
  • Shibuya – this is the magenta micro glitter polish. I have not yet worn this one yet but it is so BEAUTIFUL! I love how vibrant the purple is. It just makes me want to smile! I think the micro glitter means that the glitter pieces are microscope compared to the glitter in Roppongi.
  • Ginza – lastly, this is the name of the blue shimmer polish! I have worn this one. It is very pretty and very smooth and creamy. I love the light shimmer aspect you get in the blue! I was also surprised by how long the polishes lasted without chipping!

What do you think of the Tokyo collection?

Face Stockholm Nail Lacquer Collection

This post is for my nail polish followers! I did another post about Face sharing my holographic polishes from them. This post goes along with that one to show all my normal polishes from them! So lets get started! I have 9 polishes from them:



So I will just explain each Face polish from left to right (by the way… face just numbers their polishes and does not give them specific names):

  • #83 garnet – this is a beautiful deep red polish. I use this a lot in the winter time. It is a great cranberry color for any skin type! This polish is also super glossy.
  • #124 classic red – this is truly a classic red! I just had this polish on my toes and loved it! Very vintage and very red!
  • #67 hot mango – I got this one over the summer of course! It really is a hot color! Very bright and lovely.
  • #132 sparkle bronze pink – I LOVE this color. I wear this one a lot… I would say it definitely is one of my most popular polishes in my collection. It is the perfect simple bronze shade.
  • #144 shimmer pink – I love how light this polish is… it is the perfect color to wear if you hate to see chips!
  • #101 cotton candy – this is a perfect light pink color. I use this one a lot on my nails! It is really cotton candy like!
  • #107 creamy hyacinth – this is a very beautiful light purple. I like how it is not to dark nor light. It is a great medium shade!
  • #35 orchid taupe – this is a lovely gray shade with a hint of purple. Just a hint though! Love wearing this all year round.
  • #70 baby blue – I love this blue! This is the perfect, perfect PERFECT light blue color!

So overall I love Face Stockholm polishes! I found this english brand because they have a few stores near me (Rhinebeck and Hudson, New York). I love the simple look of the polishes. The brushes are also lone and thin (perfect for smaller nail shapes). The only problem is that the colors do settle easily – you can probably tell in the pictures!

Have you ever tried Face Stockholm polishes?

Valentine’s Social Media – Nail Art

So this blog post is more for my nail polish followers. With the upcoming and passing of Valentine’s day, Instagram accounts have been filled with Valentine nail art pictures and colors! Pink and red and all the other colors surrounding Valentine’s Day make for beautiful polishes. Here are three of my favorite nail art love trends:

Post #1: This is an Instagram post from @shopncla. ncLA is an awesome nail polish company based out of Los Angeles, California. There polishes last a while and make for a great manicure! This particular post was a repost from @faustgil who is wearing ncLA’s limited edition Valentine’s nail lacquer, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not! This polish is a beautiful cherry red with various glitter colors in it.



Post #2: Unlike the first post, this one is from @nailitmag. Na!l It Magazine is a great read for any nail polish or nail art lover! They have wonderful articles about new polish trends and polishes. This is a lovely Valentine’s manicure! I love the nail that is nude with the colorful dots on the edges. Also really like the mini white hearts! Great nail art design! This is a repost from @twentysicnails! They say these are #birthdaynails in the caption but I also think these are a great take on Valentine Day nails!


Post #3: This is another great nail design repost from @nailitmag. I love the silver background with the colorful candy hearts! They even have different sayings on them like love, be mine, u r hot. If I was talented enough, I would try to attempt this nail art design!



Have you attempted any crazy nail art for Valentine’s Day?! Please share below 🙂

Ohh and just for kicks… Are there any Tory Burch fans out there? This is a great social media post of their valentine’s fabric design, Straight from the Heart:


Formula X for Sephora Review

For all my nail polish followers, here is a post just for you! Recently, at least over the past six months, Sephora has come out with their new nail polish line called Formula X. This collection is composed of many different mini collections. They have translucents, top coats, sparklers, superwatts, classics, shifters, brilliants, neutrals and so much more! Both of my polishes are from the Lusters collection:


  • Super Charged – this is the gray color. It is a black base with many many silver glitter specks in it. I really like this color. It is dark but light at the same time. I also am a huge glitter fan so this is perfect!
  • Mr. Positivity – this is the emerald green shade . It looks turquoise in the pictures but it is more of a dark green than electric blue! The polish is a dark green with many emerald glitter specks in it. Just like Super Charged. It is an awesome unique color that you probably do not have in your collection.

Overall, I am a fan of the Formula X. They have so many different shades with various effects. The packaging is pretty unique. It reminds me a lot of Butter London because it has the black top you take off to the brush. Have you tried Formula X yet?!