opi axxium

Exclusive Interview with Gelish!

I am very excited about this post, and if you are a Gelish fanatic like me, you will be to! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to connect with the lovely Irene Chao, a seasoned beauty industry expert working in the PR department at Hand & Nail Harmony (ahh-such a dream job)! She was truly the sweetest woman; so friendly, and excited to talk with me.  I asked if she’d be interested in answering some questions for my blog and she was more than willing to participate. Check out the brief interview below!
1) Can you give us a brief introduction about who you are, how long you’ve been working at Gelish, and a little bit about your job? 
  My name is Irene and I’ve been at Gelish for a little over a month now, but my background is in the beauty industry. I previously spent 6 years working in the PR department at another beauty manufacturer in southern California.

2) I know why I love Gelish products, but what do you think sets the line apart from competing gel polish brands (ex: Shellac, OPI Axxium, etc.)?
A lot of people might not know this, but Gelish is the first brush-in bottle gel polish ever invented! The US and International patent-pending formulation proves that fact. Gelish offers up many unique colors including glitters and neons. We currently have 106 Gelish colors in total! This is the most offered by any gel-polish company out there.
So many gorgeous colors! (Credit)

3) What is the most popular Gelish product? What is the most popular Gelish color?
Some of our most popular colors include Gelish Sheek White, which is great on its own; but it’s also perfect for nail art .
I love Gelish’s Sleek White for my french manicures! 🙂
Gelish Good Gossip is also very popular, because really…who can say no to glittery-red gel polish?
Good Gossip
Gelish Gossip Girl is a fun, bright pink that is also very popular. The most popular Gelish product is actually Gelish NOURISH, which is a cuticle oil that rehydrates and restores essential oils in cuticles and skin surrounding the nail. It smells amazing and works like a charm!

4) Is Gelish going to be releasing any new polishes in the near future? Maybe a Fall collection? If so, what can we expect?
Yes…There will be a new collection for Fall, so be on the lookout for that!  There will be 8, brand new fall-inspired colors that will compliment any wardrobe!
Hopefully we see some some darker warm and cool colors (deep browns, purples, blues, reds, greens!) I’m already a huge fan of their Bella’s Vampire!

5) I work in PR, and it would be my dream to work for a major nail polish company one day. What is it like working for Gelish? Do you enjoy daily, desk-side manicures? 😉
Unfortunately there’s not much time for desk-side manicures, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work for such an amazing company. The people here are wonderful and I truly believe in the product. It doesn’t get any better than this!
(Credit)

I learned so much about Gelish from Irene! I didn’t realize that they were the first brush-in-bottle polish, or that they even sold a cuticle oil (you all know how much I love my cuticle oil); Irene offered to send me a bottle and I honestly cannot wait to try it! I’m also dying to see this Fall collection!

It must be so fun working with nail polish behind the scenes-what an amazing job! Sending major thanks to Irene for talking with me- it was a pleasure!

Have you tried any of the Gelish polishes or products? Let me know your favorites! 🙂

A Perfectly Pink Vacation Manicure

The night before we left for the Bahamas, I gave my Mom and myself gel manicures so our nails would be chip free and shiny the entire week we were away.

We both wanted a bright, tropical pink shade, so I got out my OPI Axxium Pinks & Pales starter kit…

They have a really amazing shade called “Strawberry Margarita”…

This particular color painted on pretty sheer, so I ended up using 3 coats…which made my nails super thick. I took a couple of pictures (polish photographs are so odd, you’ll notice it looks like two completely different colors)!
In person this shade was definitely most similar to the second picture.
The mani lasted flawlessly all week, but once we got home, I was slightly impatient (as usual) and wanted a fresh manicure. I decided to give my nails a break from gel for a bit, and went with my all time favorite polish- Sally Hansen’s “Shall We Dance”
When using regular nail polish I refuse to use anything other than a quick dry top coat- so I picked up a new bottle of the best
Seche Vite- this stuff is AMAZING!

Three days in and my nails are holding up! They’re still shiny, and luckily no chips or breaks (keeping my fingers crossed)! Every  2-3 days I’ll continue to add another top coat. 🙂

Do you like to mix up your polish colors for a vacation? Reds and orange’s are some other vaca favorites, what are yours?

How-To: At Home Gel Manicures

I am a devout gel mani enthusiast and regularly do them at home. People are always asking me where I get my nails done and are surprised to learn that I do them myself. It is SO much easier than you’d think. Those contemplating buying a kit for home, I would highly suggest it. I wanted to share just how easy it is with my step by step tutorial:

(Just a heads up- I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. Gel manicures consist of a base coat, nail color, and top coat. Mixing products is not totally taboo)

(My friend Stephanie sent this to me! ^ I died when I saw it, I had to share :))

Okay, so here are my nails at the start. I had experimented with tips the week before so they were looking pretty rough to begin with…

1) Using a buffing cube and nail file- buff and shape your nails until they are smooth on top and have your desired shape/look.

2) There is a clear, liquid solution that is applied to your nails before you begin applying any polish- it helps dry out the nail so the gel will adhere (I apologize, I forgot to photograph it-nothing too exciting lol).

3) Base coat. This is a Gelish Mini Foundation base coat- apply a thin layer to all nails on your first hand without touching the surrounding skin or cuticles.

4) Cure nails in the UV light for about a minute.

*TIP* Don’t touch your nails with anything but the polish brushes throughout the manicure until they are completely done, beacuse they will be tacky each time they come out of the UV light.

5) Paint your first coat of color onto all five nails, again making sure to refrain from touching the edges of your nails or cuticles. I chose to use “Exhale” a Gelish Mini color.

6) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

7) Apply second coat of color.

8) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

9) Apply a thin layer of clear gel top coat. I use the OPI Axxium top coat.

10) Cure for 2 minutes.

11) Spray all 5 nails with the nail cleansing solution to help remove any tacky-sticky residue. I use the NAS-99 nail cleanser that comes with the OPI Axxium starter kit.

12) Rub each nail with a cotton ball to remove the solution and tackiness.

13) Repeat steps 1-12 on your second hand.

And there you have it! Your nails are 100% dry, super shiny, and should last for about 2 weeks!

If you have a steady hand and like to do your own manicures, I would highly suggest investing in your own gel manicure system, it is definitely affordable and worth every penny! 🙂

Does anyone else do their own nails at home?

**UPDATE**

I wrote this post last Friday and waited a week to share so I would have an updated picture. Here are my nails this morning… 8 days later 🙂

They are still flawless, but I’m so tempted to paint them a new color! Decisions, decisions 🙂

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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