Thursday, November 29, 2012

CVS Announces New Nail HQ

   Please enjoy the following press release from CVS announcing their new Nail HQ stations:

CVS/pharmacy Highlights Nail Offering with First-Ever Nail HQ™
New Nail Kiosks Showcase Newest Nail Trends and Product Innovation

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – November 8, 2012 – CVS/pharmacy, the nation’s leading retail pharmacy, today announced the launch of the new Nail HQ™, special in-store kiosks that showcase the hottest nail trends and product innovation. Available in more than 2,000 CVS/pharmacy locations starting this month, the Nail HQ™ is the latest advancement for beauty shoppers, providing easy access to nail innovations, including drugstore firsts like at-home gel kits and on-trend shades from former salon-exclusive essie.

With nail care sales increasing by 40 percent since 2011 and growing by double-digits each year since 2008,
CVS/pharmacy continues to support demand for the latest innovations in the nail category by making even
more room in-store to offer all of the options customers want.

“With nail care sales booming, it’s clear that customers are looking to CVS/pharmacy to find the latest innovation that the category has to offer,” said Cheryl Mahoney, Vice President of Beauty for CVS/pharmacy.  “With the launch of the CVS/pharmacy Nail HQ™, we are able to feature a wide variety of the best new nail trends and technologies that she can experience in our stores and then apply for herself at home—all with the added convenience of shopping at her local CVS/pharmacy.”

Nail HQ™ will debut a former salon-exclusive – gel nail technology – with new products from SensatioNail and Sally Hansen. Nail HQ™ will also feature an array of new shade options and allow shoppers to view polish shades outside of the bottles through nail color strip displays. The popular Nuance Salma Hayek line, a CVS/pharmacy exclusive brand developed in partnership with actress Salma Hayek, will be introducing the 32-sku Nail Lacquer collection.

Leading nail brand, essie will also launch their newest collections at the Nail HQ™ every month. “We are
thrilled to partner with CVS/pharmacy on this amazing collaboration,” says Essie Weingarten, Founder and
Global Director, essie. “It’s very exciting to see the nail category take its well-deserved center stage across the country.”

In addition to Nail HQ™, CVS/pharmacy will continue to stock its shelves with trend-setting nail launches and will be providing exclusive nail content on Facebook and Twitter including inspirational nail art all month-long.

Nail HQ™ is the latest innovation from CVS/pharmacy to improve the beauty shopping experience at the
drugstore. Other recent advancements include the introduction of the ExtraCare® Beauty Club loyalty
program, which rewards members with $5 ExtraBucks® Rewards for every $50 cumulatively spent on
qualifying beauty products.

About CVS/pharmacy
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail
pharmacy with more than 7,400 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized
expertise, both in its stores and online at General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS
Caremark is available at

   Have any of you seen the new Nail HQ in your local CVS yet?  I haven't, but I'm on the look out.  I really want to check out the new polish collection from Nuance.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zoya Evvie VS Essie School of Hard Rocks

   When I first saw Evvie from the Zoya Designer Collection it reminded me of School of Hard Rocks from Essie's 2011 Winter Cocktail Bling collection.  So of course I had to do a comparison for you guys.

   I didn't notice any significant differences in formula and application between the two polishes.  I used 2 coats of each polish, but the Essie could possibly be a one coat polish if you're careful with your application.  Evvie is on my thumb, middle finger, and pinkie while School of Hard Rocks is on my ring and index fingers.

Direct Sun

Indoor Natural Light

Indoor with Flash

   School of Hard Rocks is lighter than Evvie.  So not dupes, but cousins.  They have the same dusty green base, just a few shades apart.  If you like this color family, the two polishes are definitely different enough to justify owning both.

Disclaimer: Some of the product(s) in this post were sent to me by the company for consideration.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Zoya Designer Series Part 2

   Who took advantage of all the great sales this weekend?  I might have ordered one or two things.... At least one thing I bought was actually for a gift so it wasn't all bad right?  Today I'm bringing you the second half of the Zoya Designer collection for Fall 2012.  For the photos below I used 2 coats of each polish over Finger Paints base coat and no top coat.  The formula and application was good on all three polishes.


   Natty is a dusty medium-dark blue creme.  It has a crelly- creme/jelly hybrid- feel to it.  Dry Natty is a nice navy shade.

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Indoor with Flash

Monday, November 19, 2012

China Glaze & Ardell Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Collections

   Show of hands, how many of you knew there was a Cirque du Soleil movie coming out in December before you started hearing about the China Glaze tie-in collection?  I certainly didn't.  Though now that I do know about the movie, it's currently tied with The Hobbit for my Christmas Day movie outing.  Please enjoy the following press release from China Glaze and Ardell:

China Glaze® and Ardell® Introduce Exclusive Collections Inspired by
Paramount Pictures’ new 3D Film, “Cirque du Soleil™: Worlds Away”

LOS ANGELES (November 15, 2012) – China Glaze® and Ardell® announced today their partnership with Paramount Pictures to offer exclusive collections of nail polishes and eyelashes inspired by the upcoming 3D film, “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” in theaters December 21st.

From the big top to the big screen, visionary filmmaker James Cameron and writer/director Andrew Adamson invite you on an all new 3D adventure: “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.”  A young couple who is separated must journey through the astonishing and dreamlike worlds of Cirque du Soleil® to find each other as audiences experience the immersive 3D technology that will allow them to leap, soar, swim and dance with the performers.

The new China Glaze® and Ardell® “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” inspired nail polish and eyelash collections will bring to life the wonderfully exotic artistry that is presented throughout the film. The China Glaze® nail polish collection combines rich crèmes, soft shimmers and bold glitters to create 12 limited
edition shades including:

Whirled Away – Black and white collage glitter

It’s a Trap-eze – White cream base with multi glitter

Escaping Reality – Neon raspberry pink

Surreal Appeal – Rich coral crème

Def Defying – Lime green crème

Running in Circles – Cilantro green shimmer

Hanging in the Balance – Cerulean blue crème

Water You Waiting For – Shimmering blue green purple

Creative Fantasy – Grape neon

Bend Over Backwards – Pepper red shimmer

Igniting Love – Hot tamale red crème

Get Carried Away – Multi-sized black and red collage glitter with black crème

The “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” inspired collection from Ardell® consists of six attention-grabbing lash styles ranging from more natural styles to feathers and jewel embellished lash strips:







Both collections will be supported by a consumer and beauty trade marketing campaign which includes a billboard in Times Square, print ads, retail displays, a sweepstakes offer and social media efforts.

To coincide with the 3D release of “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” in theatres December 21, 2012, the China Glaze® and Ardell® film-inspired collections will be available the first week of December 2012 at salons and specialty beauty retailers nationwide, including Sally Beauty Supply and ULTA stores. Individual nail polish shades will retail for $7; eyelash styles will retail for $6.

China Glaze® and Ardell® are divisions of American International Industries.

About American International Industries
For 42 years, AII has been the leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of innovative, quality beauty and skin care products for men and women.  Our product lines include Andrea, Ardell, Body Drench, Bye Bye Blemish, Checi, China Glaze, Clean + Easy, Clubman/Pinaud, Duo, European Secrets, EzFlow, Fright Night, Gena, GiGi, Gypsy Lash, IBD, It’s So Easy, Jeris-Lustray, LASH BeLONG, Nail Tek, No Tweeze/Micro Tweeze, 'N Rage, Poshe, Prolinc, RAW, Seche, SuperNail, Surgi-Care, Waterworks, Winning Nails, Woltra, Woody’s, and Youthair. For more information, visit our website:

About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount
Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

   I've personally never tried fake lashes, but a couple of these are tempting me for the holidays.  Which polishes and lashes are grabbing your attention?  Or which have you already picked up if you've found them in stores?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zoya Designer Series Part 1

   The Zoya Designer series for Fall 2012 consists of 6 creme polishes.  For part 1 I'm showing you Rekha, Toni, and Monica.  For all three of these I used 2 coats of polish over Finger Paints base coat and no top coat.  Formula and application were good except for one exception that I'll talk about later.


   Rekha is a deep but bold red creme.  It was originally released as an LE shade in the Bibhu Mohapatra Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion Week box set back in February.  Rekha is a good red, but it's not unique or a must have in my opinion.

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Indoor Natural Light

Indoor with Flash


   Toni is a deep plum with a slight grey tinge for a dusty feel.  Toni dries darker than bottle color, but doesn't look black or close to black.  I needed slightly thicker coats for smoother application, but a few drops of thinner would probably fix that issue.

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Indoor Natural Light

Indoor with Flash


   Monica is a dusty deep purple.  This one could almost be a 1 coat polish if you're careful.  It also dries darker than bottle color.  In dim/low light Monica can look black or almost black.

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Indoor Natural Light

Indoor with Flash

   What do you think of part 1 of the Designer collection?  Toni is my surprise favorite of these three.  I expected it to be Monica, which is a close second, but there's something about Toni that I love.  I really didn't want to take it off when I was doing these swatches.

Disclaimer: The product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for consideration.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jessica Platinum Wishes

   I have to admit I'm freaking out a little bit right now.  How is Thanksgiving already next week again?  I don't understand where the time has gone.  I really need to start thinking about my Holiday shopping.  In the spirit of the Holidays, today I'm bringing you Platinum Wishes from the Jessica Festive & Fabulous! collection for Holiday 2012.  

   Platinum Wishes has a smokey blue tinted base filled with small iridescent multicolored glitter.  The colors I can see are green, gold, orange, and blue.  There could be other colors as well, those are just the ones I can pick out easily.  The base is tinted, but very lightly so if you're layering over a darker base color, it shouldn't distort the base with just 1 or 2 coats.  For these photos I used 1 coat of Platinum Wishes over 2 coats of Zoya Natty.  My base coat was Finger Paints base and I did not use a top coat.  I didn't experience any issues with application, and the formula was what I expect from this type of glitter polish.  It wasn't overly thick and gave even coverage.

Direct Sun

Indoor Natural Light

Indoor with Flash

   My camera did not want to pick up the glitter very well, trust me this is much prettier and more sparkly in person.  Jessica is a new brand for me.  I've seen it occasionally at TJ Maxx and Marshall's, but the colors there never really interested me.  But the local beauty supply store I frequent now carries Jessica, so I decided to check it out.  Based on Platinum Wishes I will probably be buying more polishes from this line.  If you haven't seen Jessica in your area, definitely look into any local beauty supply stores.  You can also purchase these from Amazon or Ebay.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Whole Body Salon from Whole Foods

   Last month I had the opportunity to check out a new nail salon in the South Bay area.  The Whole Foods store in Campbell, CA has opened a new store called Whole Body next to the main store.  Whole Body focuses on skin/body care, vitamins, cosmetics, et c.  Basically the non-food items you would find at Whole Foods.  Because this is a Whole Foods brand store, you will find natural, vegan, or organic products.  

   This is the first Whole Body in Northern California.  Other locations are mostly located on the east coast.  The Campbell location is also either the first or one of the first Whole Body stores to offer a nail salon.  The salon is a small area on the side of the store sectioned off with window frames and screens to give a bit of privacy but still allow you to see the rest of the store.  Instead of typical mani/pedi stations they have two couches to sit on and relax.  

   If you look in the mirrors above the couch you can see the screens sectioning off the salon area.  
   Manicures are done with one hand in your lap or on the arm of the couch resting while your manicurist holds the other.  I found it to be comfortable most of the time, but a bit awkward during parts of my pedicure.  To keep sanitation levels high, Whole Body uses individual soaking bowls, which I sadly was not able to take a picture of, filled with water and flowers.  Lifting my legs into and out of the bowl while having my hands worked on was a bit difficult for me, but it might not be for others.  I highly enjoyed the pampering from the salt scrubs, massages, and hot towels on my arms and legs.  The massage portions were much more thorough than I've had at other salons.  I believe there may have been some reflexology involved, I'm not familiar enough with the process to be sure, but I do know it is one of the extras offered.  
   The polish brands available to chose from are all more natural brands and one that is water based.  Zoya is one of the brands available, but I chose to try new brands.  These brands are also available for sale in the store.  For my toes I chose Mineral Fusion in Amethyst. 

   On my fingers I went with the water based brand Scotch Naturals.  This is just a random bottle I grabbed in the salon to show you the bottle, not the color I picked for my fingers.

   Because Scotch Naturals polish is water based, you do have to take care with application to prevent major streaking.  I went with a periwinkle shade, but didn't remember to write the name down.

   Here is a bit more information about the Salon and the services they offer.  Remember prices and services are subject to change.

Products & Services:

-              Natural nail care and manicures and pedicures
-              All of the nail polish in our Whole Body Salon is:
o   formaldehyde-free
o   phthalate-free
o   toluene-free
o   low odor
o   safe for nail technicians
-              Expanded selection of vitamins and body care
-              Huge collection of hip eco-wear, including Threads for Thoughts, TOMS Shoes and Yellow 108
-              Exclusive scents of Hugo Naturals vegan and cruelty-free body care
-              Visia skin analysis machine
-              Licensed cosmetologists
-              Special section just for moms and kids

Health and Safety:
·         Whole Foods Market will go above and beyond the California sanitation requirements and will use steam sterilizing in autoclave after the required wet sterilization.
·         We will be using individual pedicure bowls with no plumbing; they are lined and sterilized after each use. No whirlpool tubs!

Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. // Sat - Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Customer Booking and More Info:

Complete Whole Body Salon Menu:

Manicure $19.00 • Pedicure $26.00 • Mani/Pedi Combo $40.00
Our ‘cures offer all of the pampering and style you’d want to refresh your nails. We just leave out the funky smelling chemicals that turn them brittle and yellow.

Hot Stones - $5.00 – There’ll be no tension left in your hands after our stones warm it away.
French Tips - $5.00 per hand – One of the most enduring and elegant touches you can add to your nails.
Reflexology - $5.00 per 10 minutes – Relieve stress and promote wellness with a soft, healing touch.
Premium Soak - $5.00 – Soak up nourishing moisture and help repair your hands and feet.
Nail Art - $5.00 basic/$10.00 premium, per hand – Stand out from the crowd with something that pops.
Callous Treatment - $5.00- The stresses of the modern world leave their mark. We scrub it away!

Get Naked Before you Arrive.
Our salon is acetone free for your health and the health of our Team Members. In order to fully enjoy our treatments you will need to have your conventional polish, tops and base coats removed prior to your appointment.
Popular acrylics are difficult to undo with our natural cleaners, but once you start on the path to healthy nails, you’ll never have to worry about it again!

Like a cleanse for your hand.
Most people don’t know the dirty secret of nail salons: the chemicals they use are essentially unregulated by the government and many are known carcinogens. The same compounds that make those nasty smells will sit on your fingers, soaking into your nail beds for weeks. We believe your nails will be healthiest when you use natural, toxin free products. Just like the rest of your body.

   I normally do my own manicures just because I change polish so often, but I love going to get pedicures done.  Next time I splurge on one I will probably go back to Whole Body for it.

   Now I'm going to show you some of the products you can find at Whole Body and Whole Foods.  Because I went opening weekend there were lots of vendors answering questions and giving samples.  I haven't tried all of these items yet, but I am highly looking forward to trying them all.  

   The Hugo & Debra lotion and scrub are an exclusive scent for Whole Foods and are what were used in my mani/pedi.  I LOVE the way they smell and feel, though I do have a weakness for anything lemon scented.  Here's a closer look at those:

   I was able to talk to the rep from Beautiful Curls hair care and pick up a few samples from her.  I have extremely curly hair and am constantly looking for the perfect products and shampoos to keep my hair soft but frizz free and after talking to this lady, I am planning to try out Beautiful Curls next time I need shampoo.  Beautiful Curls is made by people with curly hair who truly understand the issues around curl care.  If you have curly hair and are still looking for the right products, you might want to look for these.

   If you live in the Bay Area, especially the South Bay, and have been looking for a more natural based nail salon, or are concerned with sanitation at most salons, I would definitely recommend The Salon at Whole Body.  I enjoyed my visit and will probably be going back.

Disclaimer:  The product(s) and services in this post were provided to me by the company for review, but the opinions are completely my own.
polished & frosted title image brushes by Obsidian Dawn