gelish mini

Spring Manicures – 9 & Counting!

I feel like Spring has just begun, but from the number of colorful manicures I’ve already rocked…you’d think the season was long gone.

I’ve been going back and forth from gel polish to regular polish, from dark colors to light colors, from short nails to long nails and I’m loving the variety.

If you follow me on Twitter, or Instagram, you’ve probably seen most of these manicures, but I wanted to do a full recap on the blog.

Get ready for some serious, mani-porn!

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REVLON: Midnight. I went out to dinner with one of my best friends and she was wearing a fabulous navy/green/dark blue polish, I couldn’t stop staring at the color! Once I left dinner, I had to have it. I’m not sure which brand she used, but I went to CVS picked up this dupe. I nabbed this bottle at the end of March, but I WISH I had purchased it during the Fall/Winter. I think it’s way too dark for the Spring time, but I’m glad I was able to sneak one wear in. This polish will definitely be making a return this Fall 🙂
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New York Color (NYC): Manhattan. This is an all time favorite of mine. While it’s clearly more of a Fall/Winter shade, I wear it year round. This was a quick mani – obviously not my best work lol. But a great color, nonetheless. Plus, you can’t beat $1.99 bottles!
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Sally Hansen: Coral Reef. I have a history of adoring basically every Sally Hansen product ever made, and we can just add this polish to the list! Such a great spring color, super girly, super Springtime, super fab. For $3.99, it’s an excellent drug store steal.
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Wet N Wild Megalast: I Need a Refresh-Mint. This polish has some positives and negatives. Good news first – awesome color! When you want pastel, baby blue nails, this is what you have in mind. Thick brush for applicating is always a plus too. Bad news – if you do not wear a base coat… this polish will stain your nails. Seriously, stain. I knew I would just be wearing it briefly, so I didn’t bother with a base coat and now, over a month later, I still have blue remnants on my nails. Definitely not a good look. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved the polish…just be sure to use a base coat! 🙂
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Gelish Mini: Orange Cream Dream (Candyland Collection Spring 2012). I purchased this color last Spring when it came out & had not worn it until recently. I was in the mood for something different and decided to give it a try. It has great coverage and a nice shimmer – it wore very well. While this polish was part of a Spring collection, and I really did like it, I think it’s better suited for Fall.
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Gelish Mini: He Loves Me He Loves Me Not (Love in Bloom Spring 2013 collection). I could go on for hours about how much I love this entire collection! The Love in Bloom line is hands down my absolute favorite of the Gelish Mini polishes. This particular color wore so well – excellent coverage, not streaky at all. Added bonus – the deep purple/pastel shade seemed to match everything I wore!
Gelish Mini: Sweet Morning Dew (Love in Bloom Spring 2013 Collection), and Gelish Mini: June Bride on my ring finger. Ahh, another LIB favorite! I wore this manicure on Easter to compliment my yellow H&M lace dress (see below). When I think of Spring, I think of this color. It was the perfect blend of pastel peach, pink and orange shades. A full coverage polish, super feminine!
Gelish Mini: Sweet Morning Dew (Love in Bloom Spring 2013 Collection), and Gelish Mini: June Bride on my ring finger. Ahh, another LIB favorite! I wore this manicure on Easter to compliment my yellow H&M lace dress (see below). When I think of Spring, I think of this color. It was the perfect blend of pastel peach, pink and orange shades. A full coverage polish, super feminine!
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Sweet Morning Dew for Easter Sunday 🙂
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips: Bling it On. I recently decided to break from gel manicures for a bit, just to give my nails a break, and I opted to try nail stickers! They claim to last for 10 days and come in an assortment of fun designs and patterns. I selected these pink glitter strips and was shocked by how easy they were to apply! Totally fool proof. I left mine on for about a week before I got bored & wanted a change, but they held up very well!
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips: Bling it On. I recently decided to break from gel manicures just to give my nails a break. So in the meantime, I opted for nail stickers! They claim to last for 10 days and come in an assortment of fun designs and patterns. I selected these pink glitter strips and was shocked by how easy they were to apply! Totally fool proof (tip: use a base & top coat). I left mine on for about a week before I got bored & craved a change, but they held up very well – perfect for an event or fun night out!
Nina Ultra Pro: Violet it Ride. My current obsession! I picked this Nina polish up at Sally's Beauty Supply over the weekend and have been literally obsessed with it ever since! (When I say obsessed, I mean you can go through the photos on my iphone and 9/10 of them will be manicure shots). The polish looks like a very vibrant, neon purple in the bottle, but it wears slightly less aggressive - it has little more pink to it. Regardless, it's unlike any polish I've ever worn and I am SO in love with it right now!
Nina Ultra Pro: Violet it Ride. My current obsession! I picked this Nina polish up at Sally’s Beauty Supply over the weekend and have literally been obsessed with it ever since! (When I say obsessed, I mean you can go through the photos on my iphone and 9/10 of them will be manicure shots *See below). The polish looks like a very vibrant, neon purple in the bottle, but it wears slightly less aggressive – it has little more pink to it. Regardless, it’s unlike any polish I’ve ever worn and I am SO in love with it right now!
I love how the color changes with the lighting. I can't help but snap a pic every.single.time!
*Told you…and these are just 6 shots! I love how the color changes with the lighting. I can’t help but snap a pic every.single.time!

So there you have it. In the last two months, I’ve had nine manicures! I’m not sure if that’s normal, but it only really pans out to one per week – c’mon, that’s not terrible!

I love experimenting with new colors and straying from my usual go-to shades, I’ve been picking up a ton of polishes here and there for the Spring & Summer. I can’t wait to share 🙂

What polishes are you loving this season? If you have a new color to recommend, I’d love to hear!

My take on gel manicures (Hint: I’m in favor!)

I have a legitimate obsession with fingernails, nail polish, nail products and creating the perfect manicure. It’s slightly sick. I never get my nails done at a salon because I know I can do them better.

When the Shellac craze hit, I didn’t think much of it. I was still a student, I had plenty of time to keep up with my regular manicures. Once I started working full time I found I was unable to paint my nails the usual 2-3X a week, so I booked a shellac appointment to see what the hype was about. Of course I researched the proper application technique before I went- no oil on your nails, the polish should never touch your cuticles, make sure they cap the edges, etc. So I went in all amped that I would be leaving with super shiny nails that would last for 2 weeks!

Fast forward through my appointment…it was horrible. The woman who did my nails didn’t follow any of the rules, and I honestly wanted to grab the polish out of her hand to do it myself. It was torture forking over $35 dollars for something I hated (including the color!) but I’m not one to complain. So I bit my tongue and vowed that’d be my LAST trip to the salon.

Fast forward to today- I purchased an entire gel system over the summer, UV light included…

…and now do my own gel manicures at home (my Mom, sister and roommate benefit as well ;)).  I don’t know how else to explain it, but gels are so amazing! I will never go back to regular polish. If you learn nothing else from me…remember this GEL MANICURES WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! (That’s kind of dramatic, but I promise it’s true!)

I will do a post on “How-To Do Your Own At Home Gel Mani ” in the near future, but today I just wanted to convince you with pictures. I basically photograph my nails daily, just to document the longevity of each manicure. Below are a few gel manicures I’ve done- see for yourself 🙂

Gelish Mini "Stand Out"
Gelish Mini "Bella's Vampire"
Gelish Mini "Sweet Chocolate"

I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. You can see each manicure generally lasts two weeks- once in a while there is minor peeling in the second week, but the polish never chips, it withstands long showers, dish washing, and normal activity that a regular manicure would never sustain. The polish always remains shiny, and it makes my nails super strong- allowing them to continue growing (normally my nails are really weak). As you can see my cuticles grow out, and that’s when I’m usually ready to remove the polish and pick a new color.

I would highly suggest that if you haven’t tried a gel manicure yet, that you do so. Be sure to find a good salon and book an appointment- you will not be disappointed.

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