Durilaq Gel Polish Review!

There are many brands of gel polish on the market today, so many brands, that it can get confusing which to chose.  As a licensed manicurist I try to be open to any and all the brands being sold from the high end to the drug store brands.  The newest products, from some well known brands, require no LED light curing.  These are extremely convenient especially for the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t want to go to the salon every week or two to have their polish changed.

I recently received a bottle of Durilaq, (from the makers of Duri Polish) a non-LED light curing gel polish in O Sole Mia (a beautiful red) to test.  I was sent one polish and one top coat. No base coat is required just two coats of Durilaq color and one coat of Durilaq Top Coat and you’re ready to go. The instructions recommends that you wait two minutes in between polish coats to allow it to dry.

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Product Review: Mini Mani Moo’s Mess No More

As many of my long-time readers know, I am a licensed manicurist. I don’t work in a salon anymore, but I do try to keep up my skills on friends and family as well as keeping up with the latest nail trends via trade magazines. I had seen an ad for this product and was so curious to give it a try. For the non-professionals with not-so-steady hands, this product could be the difference between a beautiful manicure and a complete mess.

Don’t you just love the company name? Mini Mani Moo – so cute!

Mess no more! is a product that you paint around your cuticles which dries to a skin-like consistency. Give it a few minutes to dry and then paint your nails. Don’t worry about making a mess of your cuticles or getting polish on your skin. Once you’re finished painting, just peel off the Mess no more! product and the mess is gone.

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Duri Nail Polish Review: Revel In Luxury Collection


As many of you know I am a licensed manicurist and I am blessed to receive samples for review from some nail polish companies.  Over the years it has gotten more difficult to get them unless you are a “nail blogger” which I am not so my friends at Duri are one of the few companies that continue to send me their new nail polish collections. However you all know that I do nail type articles on my blog from time to time as well as product reviews for amazing products I like to recommend.  Duri is one of these companies that I endorse as I love their innovative polish colors with every new collection.

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Did you know your lips need exfoliation too?


I never knew that I needed to exfoliate my lips just like my skin but think about it – lips have skin too.

A few months ago I started noticing that my lipstick was making this skumy (for lack of a better word) gross film on my lips each time I would wear it.  I thought “Something must be wrong with the lipstick” and tossed it out.  I contacted my skin care girl and she said “exfoliate your lips” to which I said “excuse me!”  She explained that with the symptoms I was experiencing the “skumy” stuff sounded to her like dead skin and I needed to exfoliate my lips.  Now you can run out and buy a high-priced lip exfoliate or you can make your own.  I found this one on line and I am going to give it a try.

Mix a tablespoon of brown sugar with just enough honey (or olive oil) to get it to stick together. Once a week (twice at the very max) rub the scrub onto your lips, vigorously enough to loosen the dead skin. Let it sit for 1 minute, and then wipe off with a damp washcloth. Apply lip balm after use.


Sanitation in the Salon: How to get a safe manicure or pedicure!


There has been much written in newspapers, magazines and on the nightly news recently about the dangers one can face while getting a manicure or pedicure in the salon today. Unsanitary conditions can cause serious health complications including infections and fungus, but educated consumers can safeguard themselves from these dangers.
Sanitation is the most important thing to consider when making the choice on which salon or spa to choose for your manicure or pedicure service. Of course you want to choose a salon and service provider that will give you a wonderful service but more importantly you want to choose a salon that will provide a safe and clean environment. Choose a salon that has a good reputation in your community. You can always ask friends and family members for a recommendation or call a local cosmetology school for a recommendation. Remember a cheap service is not always your best choice. The reason some salons are able to charge such inexpensive prices on their services is because they are reusing disposable implements numerous times which puts you at risk.
You can participate in the safe sanitation process by bringing your own implements and disposable products. You will not insult your service provider by bringing your own tools. You can invest in a cuticle nipper, nail clipper, disposable orangewood sticks, disposable block buffers and disposable nail files. The cost of bringing your own disposables is minimal and worth the expense for peace of mind.
There are two types of block buffers, nail files and foot files. Some are one-time use supplies and others can be used several times only after they have been properly sanitized. Most reputable salons and spas use sanitizible foot files. These files are scrubbed with a hospital grade disinfectant or placed in a machine called an Autoclave which sanitizes with heat after each use.
Unfortunately for the lay person it would be difficult to know which are one-time use products and which are sanitizible so it is best to use this general rule.
Sanitized tools are (metal pusher, cuticle nippers, nail clippers some foot files.)
Disposable products are (orange wood stick, nail file and block buffer.) Disposable block buffers, nail files and orange wood stick should never be used more than one time on a customer. They are a breeding ground for bacteria and infection.
If your salon is reusing these disposable implements it should be a RED FLAG for you as the consumer. It is not recommended that these items be reused ever. A properly sanitized reusable block buffer, foot file or nail file will be clean and look as thought it has never been used. If your salon uses disposable supplies they should provide you with a new nail file, block buffer and foot file at each service. These should either be disposed of after your service or given to the customer to take home. Reusing these one-time disposable supplies will put you at risk for infection.
Never allow anyone to use a callus planer on your feet. This is the product that has a razor blade attached to it with a handle. These are against the law in the state of NJ. They are very dangerous and can easily cause serious harm and infection. At this point in time no salon in the state of New Jersey should be using a callus planer; if they are you may want to rethink your decision to continue using their services.
Tub sanitation is as important as tool sanitation. Your salon and service provider should be sanitizing the pedicure tub after each service with a hospital grade disinfecting solution. If they are not sanitizing and disinfecting after each service you are at risk of serious harm.
How can you tell if your service provider or salon is adhering to your state regulations regarding sanitation and disinfecting – by asking the service provider or the salon owner. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the salon owner or service provider.
You should see the service provider clean the pedicure tub after the last patron leaves and before your service begins. If not, you have every right to demand that it is cleaned and sanitized property. At the end of the day the salon owner or service provider should be thoroughly sanitizing the pedicure tub with a process we call “backwashing.” The pedicure tub is filled with a hospital grade disinfecting solution and the hottest water and run for at least 15 minutes (or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.) Once the backwash is complete they should rinse the tub with clean water and dry the tub with a clean towel. If your salon is using household bleach as a disinfecting solution you are not safe from containments. Household bleach is not an effective agent for disinfecting and sanitizing any implements or salon equipment. It will not kill the live bacteria that are present in most pedicure tubs or spas.
I hope that these suggestions will help you make an informed decision when you are choosing to have your next nail service.

If you are local to South Jersey I only recommend Virtu Spa (owned and operated by Virtua Hospital) and any of the Rizzieri locations. If you are not local to South Jersey find a cosmetology school and ask them for a recommendation. Most cosmetology schools have a clinic where students can give you a manicure or pedicure. This is perfectly safe as they are not permitted by law to work on the public until the book a certain amount of hours.  You are much safer getting a service at a cosmetology school than at some of these strip mall nail salons.  



Product Review: Duri Polish 12 Shades of Desire Collection

As many of my long-time readers know, I am a licensed manicurist in New Jersey.  Although I am not actively working at this time in a salon I do keep up with the latest trends and products through professional publications I receive on a monthly basis.  I also give free manicures to my friends and family to keep up my skills.

So when the folks at Duri asked me to review their “12 Shades of Desire” collection inspired by the movie “50 Shades of Grey” slated for release this February, I was thrilled.

The company describes this collection as “12 distinct color hues, including intimate soft neutrals, bold take charge brights, dark sultry hues, sensual shimmers and a few shades of green with envy.” Here are the colors in the collection:

  • Amoretto
  • Pie In The Sky Green
  • My Darling
  • Parisien Tango
  • Tatiana
  • Playboy Bunny
  • Ice and Desire
  • Sensual Delight
  • Hot Ice
  • Runaway Bride
  • Undisclosed Desires
  • Grey Area

Although the photo at the top of this post does not do these colors justice, each is unique and beautiful in its own way, you will love them all.  I had a very hard time deciding which one to choose to use  for the image in this post.

(And yes I chopped off all my nails. Stop crying, they will grow back in no time flat!)

This is ‘Undisclosed Desires’, don’t you just love it?  This polish goes on like-a-dream smooth and coats evenly (a manicurist’s worst nightmare is polish that streaks and is very hard to blend).

Duri nail polish sells for $6.00 per bottle.  You can purchase all 12 shades in this collection at Duri’s website or at a retailer in your area that carries Duri nail products.

Disclosure: I received a sample (as described above) to conduct my review for this blog post.  All opinions stated in this post are truthful and mine alone.  Receiving sample(s) of this product in no way influenced my opinion in this review.

Product Review: Zoya Naturel Collection

Meet Zoya’s Naturel Collection!

Here is “Odette” – it reminds me of a light chocolate mousse!

Say hello to (top to bottom, left to right) Brigitte, Odette, Normani, Chantal, Taylor and Rue! Once again Zoya has managed to create the most delicious palette of natural shades good enough to eat!!!!

As my regular readers know, I am obsessed with everything this innovative company comes out with, especially Zoya’s Pixie Dust collection available at Zoya.com along with all their other polish lines.

As a professional, I can get any nail polish on the market today but my first choice is always Zoya. I love this polish and this company. They care about their customer unlike any other nail polish company on the market today.

Check out the “Naturel” collection at Zoya.com  – buy one or all six in the collection!