Lauren

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Hi my loves! I know it’s been a while since my last blog post but life has been so crazy lately, between looking with my fiancé to buy our first house, travelling and working on a bunch of new and exciting partnerships I’ve barely had time to post. But I’m glad to say that I’m back and I figured this would be the perfect time to write another post on nail stamping as Halloween is quickly approaching! You may remember I first tried my hand at nail stamping last year around the holidays and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was – not only is it a major time-saver when you’re in a rush but it also guarantees flawless nail art.

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I know that nail stamping can still be somewhat intimidating, especially if you are a beginner so I wanted to share a few tips & tricks that I’ve picked up over time from nail stamping. I know that there are tons of tutorials online on how-to combine different design plates on one nail or how to use different colours within one design so I thought I’d share something a little different… Today I’m going to show you how to create your very own nail stamping decal! This advanced technique is one of my absolute favourites and you don’t have to be a pro to master it. Let’s get right to it starting with my tips & tricks:

TIPS & TRICKS: NAIL STAMPING 101

  • If you find the design too big for your nail, simply pop out your stamper and stretch it before rolling it over your design. This way, when it stretches back into place your design will have shrunk and fit more accordingly to your nail. 🙂
  • USE A CLEAR STAMPER!! This will help SO much in seeing where your design is being placed on your nail (Trade Secrets carries this amazing MoYou Kaleidoscopic one that I’m uber obsessed with).
  • Move quickly – if you wait to long before rolling your stamper over your design the polish will dry out and won’t adhere.
  • Use an opaque polish, thicker polish; these are the easiest for nail stamping. If your polish is too sheer the stamper will not pick up any colour. I love the CND Vinylux range for nail stamping.
  • Always clean your design plate and stamper between use. There’s nothing worse than having bits of leftover polish, dust or cotton being transferred onto your nail and ruining your mani.
  • Wait before applying topcoat – if you do this too quickly or use a too-thin topcoat it will smudge your design.

HOW-TO: CREATE A CUSTOM NAIL STAMPING DECAL, MAJOR NAIL HACK!!

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  1. Apply base colour to all of your nails (I used CND Vinylux Denim Patch from the Craft Culture Fall 2016 Collection)
  2. Apply polish to desired design (I used CND Vinylux in Leather Satchel from the Craft Culture Fall 2016 Collection as polish and MoYou London Steampunk Collection 02 Plate for the design) and roll your stamper across the plate, picking up the design, I find that clear stampers work best for this as you can see what your decal will look like before it’s on your nail
  3. Apply a non-fast drying topcoat over the entire design once it is ON the stamper – I use essie ‘good to go’ topcoat for this
  4. Using a nail art brush choose a different shade (I used CND Vinylux Brass Button from the Craft Culture Fall 2016 Collection) and colour in whichever areas that you want to have a different colour
  5. Apply a tiny bit of topcoat to your nails (dry-brush technique works best) to act as an adhesive and then transfer your brand new stamping decal onto your nails, trimming any excess with nail scissors

So there you have it lovelies, easy-peasy! You can easily layer different design plates as well by quite literally layering them on top of each other on your nail, this is also an easy way to achieve that “advanced” look. Also, don’t be shy to leave any nail stamping tricks of your own in the comments below, I’d love to hear them. 🙂

MoYou London products are currently available at your local Trade Secrets as well as online – MoYou stamping plates retail at $13.95 CAD while starter kits retail at $29.95 CAD. For more information check out @tradesecretsca and Trade Secrets.

♡ Lauren

*Post kindly sponsored by TRADE SECRETS. All opinions are always my own.*

Hi my loves! I am so excited to finally share with you my AMAZING backstage experience with essie during the SS’17 Fashion Week in New York. I am so incredibly thankful (I mean, literally still pinching myself) to have been able to join such an amazing team behind the scenes and hope that you all enjoyed coming along with me on Snapchat – I can’t wait for you to drool over all the gorgeous looks! So. Much. Nail. Inspo.

If you’ve read my previous post or have been following me along on Instagram + Snapchat then you’ll already know that I had the honour of creating my very own essie shade during my trip, experience backstage and attend two shows (Michael Costello and Self-Portrait), attend the Maybelline Fashion Week party AND meet essie’s Global Color Ambassador, Rebecca Minkoff! #LIFEGOALS anyone!?

I’ll start by sharing with you all of the essie looks that walked down the runway during NYFW; Michael Costello, Self-Portrait, Rebecca Minkoff, Band of Outsiders, Alexander Wang, Jenny Packham, Altuzarra, Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone and last but not least Monique L’Huillier.

Let’s get to  it, shall we?

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MICHAEL COSTELLO // Rita Remark

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“Drawing inspiration from a Spring 2017 runway collection influenced by the relationship between the light and dark side of femininity, Michael Costello showed stunning gold and açaí fabrics that were the spotlight of the runway.  Rita Remark, celebrity manicurist and global lead educator for essie was the show lead, creating a gorgeous design that drew on the hybrid of darkness and light.  Taking a cue from the collection colors, Rita chose a deep essie ‘sole mate’ and metallic ‘good as gold’ to luxuriously illustrate this contrast.”essie press release

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgM_nsoe8fc

This is one out of the two shows that I was lucky enough to be backstage at! I know this is going to sound shocking as I live and breathe all things essie but I had never met Rita Remark before this trip! I’m sure you’ve seen me recreate her looks many, many times – she is such an inspiration to me so it was so amazing to be able to finally meet her! The ‘good as gold’ and ‘sole mate’ gradient that she created for Michael Costello was simply breathtaking – the models makeup literally matched these nails perfectly. You can see my recreation below:

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SELF-PORTRAIT // Rita Remark

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“Designer Han Chong launched his self-portrait brand in 2013. Within a year you couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing a celebrity or ‘it girl’ wearing one of his designs.  This season was his debut NYFW show and a first-time sponsorship for essie.  Show lead and global lead educator Rita Remark created an ‘au natural’ nail with ‘matte about you’ top coat to intertwine the collection’s bright pops of color and textured fabrics.  The neutral matte proved the an almost bare look does not have to be boring.”essie press release

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNjTrIU5Ofw

Self-Portrait was the second show that I was backstage at (you may have caught me on essie’s snapchat looking a hot mess for this one) there was no AC backstage and the space super crowded! The actual show was absolutely stunning and so much fun!! Rita used ‘au natural’ and ‘matte about you’ for this chic nude look – ‘au natural’ gives a “strobing” effect to your nails much like the ultra popular “no-makeup makeup” look! You can see my recreation below:

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REBECCA MINKOFF // Michelle Saunders

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“Rebecca Minkoff once again shook up New York Fashion Week this season with a Soho street catwalk and 360 virtual reality showings at her flagship stores in NY, Chicago and Los Angeles.  As essie Global Color Designer, Minkoff chose two essie shades she helped to design from the latest Fall 2016 Collection – ‘maki me happy’ and ‘now and zen.’ Celebrity manicurist for essie, Michelle Saunders created this twist on a French manicure with a reversed accent nail.  The fashion and nail looks walked the runway on a number of models and global influencers like Something Navy’s Ariel Charnas,  Shea Marie and Caroline Vreeland.” essie press release

Side note: essie’s nail art ambassador, Harli, got to work on Michelle’s team for this show (get it girl!!!) and I’m so sad I missed them on this trip – hopefully next time!! Even though I wasn’t backstage for this show I just couldn’t help recreate the look!

BAND OF OUTSIDERS // Rita Remark

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“This season Band of Outsiders returned to New York Fashion Week Saturday with a trio of new designers.  Show lead and global lead educator Rita Remark for essie made sure to find a nail polish shade that flattered every skin tone. Opting for a ‘limo-scene’ with ‘gel.setter’ topcoat manicure that would pop against the California prep-school uniform inspired collection.”essie press release

ALEXANDER WANG // Michelle Saunders

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“In front of a star-studded font row, Designer Alexander Wang was full of surprises this season.  One being the pops of bright neons in his collection. This was the perfect contrast to the essie matte nude nail. Celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders created a layered effect with ‘cocktails & coconuts’ and ‘au natural’ followed by ‘matte about you’ topcoat to give the look a sanded-down effect from days spent sunning at the beach.” essie press release

JENNY PACKHAM // Michelle Saunders

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“Jenny Packham’s Spring 2017 collection was inspired by a 1940’s art exhibition from Peggy Guggenheim that was made up of 31 distinct looks, each of which had a different muse. Michelle Saunders for essie took this unique inspiration, and created a nail look using a neutral colour and soft texture that is both unique, but still wearable with just about anything. Michelle chose ‘tuck it in my tux’ layered with matte about you top coat as it mimicked the smooth, white fabric used in the collection.” essie press release

OSCAR DE LA RENTA // Michelle Saunders

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“The Oscar de la Renta Spring 2017 collection was all about a modern mix of cool and elegance. Michelle Saunders for essie took that inspiration and wanted to keep the nails short, minimal and rounded. She chose the classic ‘mademoiselle’ with a high shine top coat for a fresh, young take. The perfectly neutral, shiny nail complemented the classic, modern looks that walked the runway.”essie press release

ALTUZARRA // Julie Kandalec

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“Joseph Altuzarra aims to elevate the kitsch with his Spring 2017 collection, drawing on inspiration from a classic 90’s film. For the nail look, Julie Kandalec for essie took Altuzarra’s flirty direction and created a manicure with pink undertones for a sensual touch using one of essie’s famous nuances of pink, ‘hi maintenance.’” essie press release

RAG & BONE // Julie Kandalec

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“rag & bone’s Spring 2017 collection was all about a girl with just a bit of an attitude. While the collection had a fresh and “real” feel to it, it also had a slight toughness – leading Julie Kandalac for essie to create a custom red manicure using ‘a-list’ and ‘really red’ to perfectly match the pops of red in the collection. She also interspersed a neutral nail and a black nail to change things up a bit on the runway, opting for ‘sand tropez’ and ‘licorice,’ on eight of the girls.”essie press release

MONIQUE L’HUILLIER // Julie Kandalec

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“Monique Lhuillier’s spring/summer 2017 collection was full of edgy elegance. To complement this, Julie Kandalac for essie paired ‘wicked’ on the fingernails with classic sheer ‘ador-a-ball’ on the toes. “They’re feminine, fluid and timeless shades, and not too sugary sweet – just like the collection.””essie press release

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#MNYFW Rooftop Party

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Jackie Wyers and I at the Maybelline Fashion Week party! SO happy that I met her on this trip she is actually so sweet and it was fun to be able to share this amazing experience with someone! If you don’t already follow her channel you can check it out here! Most images I took at the party came out blurry but I did remember to snap a lot, so chances are you’ve already seen how great it was – we got to meet all the Maybelline girls and preview new products! 🙂

essie Labs Visit

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Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take many pictures at the labs (totally understandable). This was so much fun and something I will surely remember for the rest of my life! I got to chat all things essie, from sneak peeks (peep the winter collection below!), hearing Rita’s backstage tips and of course creating my very own essie shade (you can read my in depth post about ‘lauren’s list’ here). I am truly so overwhelmed by all of your support and kind comments about my very own shade and am over the moon that you all love it as much as me! I really wish I could give every single one of you a bottle (maybe in the future, essie??)! 😉

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essie Winter 2016 left to right: ‘ready to boa’, ‘go with the flowy’, ‘oh behave!’, ‘getting groovy’, ‘party on the platform’ and ‘satin sister’

Rebecca Minkoff

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I also got to meet Rebecca Minkoff and watch her show in virtual reality at her Soho boutique, it was such a cool experience! She is literally stunning and SO sweet!

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I know that you guys have been wanting me to share more about my life and have asked me when/if I am starting a Youtube channel – I agree experiences like these would be amazing to share through video (along with nail tutorials, new collections, etc) so please let me know in the comments below if this is still something you’d like to see in the future and if so what kind of videos. 🙂

Finally, a million hugs, kisses and THANK YOU’s to essie for letting me tag along, meet so many incredible people and live out my dream(s)!! And thank you all so much for following along with me while I was in NYC, I love all the positive feedback and I hope to be able to share many more #essieNYFW‘s with you in the future! I will probably, definitely be posting a lot more about my trip on Instagram but I’d really love to know your favourite look, so please let me know below in the comments!

♡ Lauren

Hi my essie lovers! I am so excited to finally share with you my very own essie shade, ‘lauren’s list’!! It’s an ultra-flattering soft yellow, unlike any other shade in my essie collection and absolutely GORGEOUS. I am forever grateful of being able to visit the essie labs while in New York for Fashion Week and it was literally a dream come true for me to be able to make my own bottle of essie (#lifegoals)! I hope that you all love it as much as I do!

image2 ‘lauren’s list’ a soft yellow opaque crème
Shown above is two thin coats, I worked hard to make sure the formula was perfect! 😉 (and of course one of my nails had broken prior to Fashion Week so I’m sporting shorties but I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys)!! It also looks great with ‘matte about you’ (shown below)!

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Why did I choose yellow?
If you’ve been keeping up with me for a while then you’ll know that I absolutely love a great yellow polish! It’s just so cheerful and unique. I also wanted to make sure that it was unlike any other shade in my current essie collection and something that I could cherish forever. We all know that essie rarely releases yellow shades so I figured I might as well go all out! I first wanted to name this shade ‘yo-lau’ (a play on yellow/yolo/lauren) but went with ‘laurens list’ in the end to keep things simple.

Is it for sale?
I wish that I could share this special shade with ALL of you but unfortunately it’s not for sale. I mean, it would literally be my dream if this shade were to be released but a girl can only wish… 😉

Retired yellow essie shades:
‘barbuda banana’a pastel yellow with subtle shimmer running throughout
This shade would probably be the most similar minus the shimmer and the formula (heard awful things about this formula) and it’s one of the only essie yellows that I do not own (the other is ‘shorty pants’).
‘yellow #3’limited edition yellow released as a Ralph Lauren Collaboration
‘funky limelight’ neon yellow
‘aim to misbehave’ yellow gold released as a limited edition 1000th shade
‘shorty pants’yellow crème
…there’s also ‘chillato’ but that’s a pistachio and leans more green than yellow.

Let me know if you’d like to see swatches of any of these!

I will be updating you all on my essie NYFW experience this week so stay tuned for a detailed post on all the looks and more information on my essie lab visit! Until then I just thought that I’d write a quick post to answer all of your questions regarding my shade ‘lauren’s list’.

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If you’d love to snag your own soft yellow, go comment with a yellow heart on my last Instagram post!! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them below. ☺

♡ Lauren

Hi beauties! So excited to be able to share the CND Craft Culture Fall 2016 Vinylux Collection with you today!

The CND Craft Culture Vinylux Collection consists of 8 rustic shades, while the Shellac Collection consists of 6. I have to say that I am definitely noticing a theme forming this fall; grunge/rustic/vintage, which personally I find perfect – rough yet so chic!

As always, I’ll let you guys read the press release before we get to swatching:

“Embrace the beauty in raw imperfections, earthy colors and weathered textures with the new Craft Culture collection from CND. Hand-crafted artistry inspires a rich, one-of-a-kind palette that reflects authenticity, warmth and ruggedness.

This season, smoky red oranges, deep reds and weathered blues capture the unique character of custom made goods. These rustic tones give the Craft Culture collection a rich depth for timeless style. The nail silhouette is short and tight with industrial finishes, evoking the heritage of artisanal craftsmanship and honoring the enduring quality of artisan’s work.” CND Press Release

The Craft Culture Collection from left to right (below): Oxblood, Leather Satchel, Denim Patch, Brick Knit, Fern Flannel, Patina Buckle, Hand Fired and Brass Button.

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Oxblood

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Denim Patch

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Brick Knit

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Fern Flannel

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Patina Buckle

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Hand Fired

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Brass Button

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Leather Satchel

So what do you guys think? I love the inspiration behind this collection from denim to the patina and copper feel of aged metals. These shades mesh beautifully together and the formulas were amazing as always. Vinylux literally never disappoints me. 🙂

My picks? Patina Buckle and Leather Satchel

My tips? Start with ultra clean, bare nails – I like to use CND ScrubFresh to ensure this.

CND Vinylux nail polishes retail at $12.95 CAD at beauty salons across Canada (Chatters, Trade Secrets and Nail Polish Canada online as well). Be sure to check out CND Canada and @CNDCanada for more information and nail inspiration.

What are your favourites from this collection? Let me know in the comments below!

♡ Lauren

*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*

Hi loves! I have the Color Club Poptastic Neons and NEW Nailmoji Neons to share with you today, they are AH-MAZING and so easy to work with! These collections are perfect for end of summer / back to school especially if you’re not ready for dark, vampy shades yet. I’ve included swatches from both collections and some fun back to school looks that you can try with these collections.

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*Please note that neons are incredibly difficult to capture on camera, so I tried the best that I could. All of these polishes dried to a semi matte finish and were opaque with one coat.*

Color Club Poptastic Neons

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Color Club Nailmoji Neons

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How to: Nailmoji + Poptastic Neons 2 Ways:

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1. Apply 2 coats of black nail polish, I used OPI Black Onyx
2. Using a striping brush apply shades Mrs. Robinson, Yellin’ Yellow,Koo-Koo Cachoo and Jackie Oh! in a horizontal line near your cuticle and fill in, use a different shade for each nail.
3. Using shades Squad, SMH, OMG and JK go over your black base according to the colour you’ve painted near your cuticles
4. Seal in with your favourite topcoat or apply a matte topcoat for a velvet finish
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1. Apply 2 coats of Mrs. Robinson on 4 out of 5 nails, leaving your ring finger bare
2. Using Squad apply two coat to your bare nail to distribute Nailmoji‘s
3. Seal with your favourite topcoat for extra shine

My tips? Use tweezers to place your Nailmoji‘s – this makes it waaay easier! I also like to pair Nailmoji‘s with a black base or on bare nails to make them pop.

 

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with these collections from Color Club – the colours are spot on in terms of shade, formula and application. Best of all, you don’t need to apply a pesky white base! Will you wear neons for back to school? If so, which shade is your favourite?

 

The Color Club Nailmoji and Poptastic Neons retail for $10.95 CAD at Trade Secrets – be sure to check them out at Trade Secrets + @tradesecretsca for more information. Happy shopping! 😉

♡ Lauren

*Post kindly sponsored by TRADE SECRETS. All opinions are always my own.*