Amor de Lacquer: Konad Nail Art 101

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas to

Lemme tell ya, kids….konading is one thing. Taking pictures of konading AND doing a video on konading is a whole ‘nother chore. But I had to do it after receiving so many requests from my YouTube fam.

If you follow me on Twitter you know that on most weekends I tweet what I call my “Weekend manicures”. These looks are usually outrageous, not safe for work and all around fun.

Last week I tweeted this…

This was my first REAL deal Konad. I’ve had the system for months but it wasn’t until last weekend when I really went crazy with it.

What is Konad?
Simply put—a nail art system. I remember seeing these things in the mall when I was in middle/high school and thought they were super lame. I always thought they were for little girls who wanted to play “Let’s go to the nail salon”. Don’t know what I was thinking. Konading is a heap of fun. But is it easy to do?

Not for newbies….i.e. me. It’s a process really.

First you have to get the kit. This includes some nail art plates, a stamper and scraper. I purchased mine at a kiosk in an outlet but you can also get them from websites like this one and this one.

Then you polish your nails. With any polish. I chose Diamond Cosmetics’ mattes. OMG, these are incredible–review coming soon.

Let the nails dry and apply a polish over a nail design on one of the Konad plates. Like so….

Use the scrapper to remove polish from the outside perimeter of the plate.

Take your stamper and stamp! The design transfers from the plate to the stamper.

This is the tricky part. The part that I ALWAYS screw up on…….transferring the design to the nail. My nail beds are wide and long. These designs never really cover my entire nail. Not even my pinky!

A few minutes later and I’ve done the entire hand….

Konading is still a challenge for me. Stamping my middle fingers is a nightmare. I end up having to stamp twice and then the designs overlap and it’s not as fancy and neat as the other nails. In my experience, Konad works well with all of the nail polishes I have used. The white polish is a “Konad Special polish” but I have also used a China Glaze, Essie and Zoya with no problem.

I did a video too! OMG, it took me forever, y’all…..LOL!

What do you think? Into Konading? Wanna try?

Your fellow nail polish junkie,

FOTD Friday: Purples Lips, part III

Yesss, purples again. I know, I know…they are the source of my beauty inspiration these days. Last week I did purples on the eyes and this time I took it back to the lips. Now I’m no stranger to lavender lips. Y’all have seen me in them here and here. To say I’m a fan of purple lips is an understatement. I flippin’ love them!

MAC Violetta is not a newbie to MAC Pro. It’s been awhile for a minute and every time I stop by the store it is staring me in the face and calling my name. I’m not kidding. This color is fierce.


Violetta is all kinds of dopeness. I knew it would create a bangin’ purple lip. MAC defining it as a bright clean violet purple is so right on.

I even decided to add another lip liner to the 4 or so I have. I love my Nightmoth but it can be a little too dark. Even with a light hand, it can dramatically change the look of your lipstick.

Vino is a lot more forgiving.

Vino is the bottom line. HUGE difference, right? So..I went ahead and got to work.

And here’s what I ended up with…

Eh. I mean, I like it but I needed some thing else. Something that would really kick the purple up a notch.

And I found it.

Ta dahhhh!!

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Make Up For Ever’s Glossy Full Couleur is perfect for topping off a purple look. By itself it isn’t too pigmented but when layering…oh wowsers!

And I should mention that this gloss is pretty minty and uh…tasty.

Purple-y glossy goodness!

Purple lips make me so happy!

I so don’t need any more purple lipsticks. I’m done.

I think.

Have an awesome weekend!!!

Stay beautiful,

Amor de Lacquer: MAC Nail Trend FW09 by Jin Soon

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas to

Hey peeps! So I did an impromptu poll of nail polishes collections I should review next. And guess who won?

Mickity mickity MAC!

I’m so lame….lol.

But really…it’s been awhile since I’ve played around with MAC Cosmetics. It’s not that I don’t love them anymore. I just enjoy exploring other brands. Namely the cheaper *cough* brands. Jin Soon for MAC had me swooning when I first saw the swatches at All Lacquered Up (hey Michelle!). She gave the collection some serious justice. But I felt compelled to only snag three polishes. For Fun, Dance All Around and Dark, Rich, Delicious seemed to be pretty dupe-able.

Check out my trio!

Cool Reserve is described as a dirty grey lavender. It is quite reminiscent of Zoya’s Malia. Malia is a little darker though. I have a weak spot for purples…especially lilacs.

Beyond Jealous is described as a blackened blue green. Ohhh weee, it does my heart content. I wish it was more green than black though. In the bottle in daylight it looks dark green.

And even on the nails it looks green-y.

But without a flash….

Black! It’s fiyah nonethless.

Dry Martini is described as a khaki olive green. I knew right off the bat that I wasn’t really going to like it on my nails. But I wanted to get it anyway. I love funky colors like this–even if I don’t think they compliment my nails well. Dry Martini kinda looks like mud on my nails but somehow…I like it.

But then the weekend hit and I had to top it off with yellow polka dots.

I only have two other MAC nail polishes. And I don’t remember them being this impeccable. They dry REALLY quickly. I applied two coats with each and by the time I was done with each hand, the other was already dry. One time for MAC!

Buy these and more for $12/bottle at

Diggin’ em? Passin’ em on by? Whatcha think?

Your fellow nail polish junkie,

Acne Sucks, Part II: The Stages

Welcome back to another Acne Sucks post! Since the inaugural post I have gotten SO many emails regarding acne in general. Many of you shared your stories with me and I must say….it’s quite comforting knowing that I’m not the only one frustrated by adult acne.

In the midst of wallowing in my acne woes, I got to thinking how dealing with acne is such a chore. It’s more than just popping a pimple. I feel like I should put my pimples on payroll because I am CONSTANTLY working with them.

I came up with the four stages that I find myself dealing with.
Stage Uno (Spanish)

Prevention-In this stage I am doing all I can to stop acne before it even becomes a problem. This includes drinking water, keeping a balanced diet, making sure I’m not touching my face with dirty hands, etc. I drink a gallon of water a day and make sure that I am getting in fresh greens and fruits daily. Can’t forget my vitamins either! Of course I don’t do this solely to prevent acne but I know it doesn’t hurt.

Stage Deux (French)

Tackling-This is toughest stage because one wrong move can make the next two stages a nightmare. The tackling approach, as dramatic as it sounds, determines if your pimple will disappear like a thief in the night (robbing you of self-confidence) or if remnants of it will hang around for the next year or two or ten. I am currently using Differin, an acne gel that my dermatologist has prescribed me. Is it working? The inflammation in my skin is definitely down but I’m still tackling brand new pimples every morn. Boo.

Stage Drei (German)

Repairing-This is stage that can be the most frustrating. So you’re drinking more water and taking vitamins. You even manage to keep some of the pimples at bay. But what about those old battle wounds? You know….the pimples that left dark and red spots all over your face. They are like unwanted tattoos. And getting rid of them can seem impossible. I swear by cocoa butter. I have been using it for years and it has always been great at fading those dark spots. Lately, however, I’ve been dabbling around with skin tone correctors. I am still testing Origins but I LOVE Clinique’s. It is amazing. It works. It’s pricey but it really does work.

And lastly,

Stage apat (Tagalog)

Concealing-Ahhh yesss, where would I be without my trusty concealer? Concealing is a must for me. I choose not to wear foundation simply because of fear from breaking out all over but dapping a bit of my MAC Studio Finish concealer in NW45 works. I usually only apply it on my cheeks to cover those spots that are struggling to get through the previous stage.

I go through these stages each and every day. And sometimes more than once a day. It’s a mess, y’all….a hot mess.

But what choice do I have? Must.Have.Clear.Skin.

What stages do you go through? And even if you have crystal clear skin, feel free to chime in!

Until next time….

Beauty Review: Harajuku Lovers Baby perfume

Hi my darlings!

I REALLY enjoyed Labor Day. It is amazing what an extra day in a weekend can do. I feel super renewed and ready to tackle the week! Woo-saahhh!!

Lately I have been playing around with fragrances. In the next few weeks, you will see a good 2-3 perfume reviews. What can I say? A sista likes to smell good, yo.

Check out what greeted me when I took a stroll to Ulta one fine weekend…..

Awww, how darling. Yes….I am a girly girl. I grew up with baby dolls and Barbies and pretty little trinkets. The packaging is right up my alley. Harajuku Lovers Baby looks like a pretty paper weight from far away, right? Nooooot…

What says about Harajuku Lovers,
“Harajuku Lovers Baby by Gwen Stefani is a powdery musk combined with freesia, bergamot, rose, jasmine, musk, heliotrope, vanilla and violet. Adorable, collectable figurine bottle tops represent Gwen and her backup singers.”

This is a different kind of scent for me but I love it. I am usually drawn to slightly muskier smells but Baby is sweet and I find it perfect for before bed.

Yes, I wear perfume to bed. Don’t laugh at me.

.3 oz for $30 isn’t that much of a stretch for me considering I never hit the bottom of my fragrances. Aaaand…at the time, Ulta had an amazing “Spend $30 on any fragrance and get a travel bag for free” deal. Y’all know me….always catchin’ some deal. Loves it!

I have a new fragrance and my Hello Kitty Easter egg has a new playmate.

And all is well with the world.

Have you tried any of the Harajuku Lovers fragrances?

What about Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B.? I totally love that one!

Amor de Lacquer: Zoya’s Truth Collection

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas to

Your resident Zoya girl has returned with another review. This time I’m reviewing the Truth from the Truth and Dare Fall 2009 collection. It’s a 2 part collection 12 polishes….and I’m tellin’ you…there is somethin’ for everyone.


Ohhhh, how pretty are these babies? I must warn you…my pictures do not do them any justice. I tried photographing them in the light. And I tried photographing them with my camera’s flash. They still come out pretty funky. In fact the most accurate the colors are in the photos above.

Ready? Let’s go!

Penny is described as a golden metallic shimmer. This is one color I didn’t think I would like when I first saw it. I’ve never been a fan of gold nail polishes on warmer skin tones. But Penny works well for me. In fact, I REALLY like her.

Kalmia is described as a red and gold shimmer. Not bad! Quite an interesting color.

Anaka is described as a shimmery hot pink. Of course I love it. This color is awesome!!! She is pretty dupe-able so I don’t consider her a must have but the nail polish addict in me can never have too many colors like this.

Isla is described as blackened red shimmer have always. I LOVE this color. Isla will definitely be one of my Holiday ’09 colors. Simply stunning.

I am missing Drew and Salma. Would you believe these chicks could not be located in time for the personal photoshoots? They were ready to go for the group picture but disappeared soon after. *sigh*

I like this collection. It isn’t my FAVORITE from Zoya but it’s one of those collections that will appeal to everyone. I think Isla is a total must have. Anaka too. Her hot pink shimmer is fabulous!

I used two coats for each and didn’t have any application problems. I mean….do I ever with Zoya? I used Zoya’s Anchor base coat but I did not use any top coats.

Buy these and more for $6/bottle at

What do you think? Own any of these? Want ’em or not so much?

Your fellow nail polish junkie,

Dude, what happened to your hair?

A year ago I looked like this:

And now my hair looks like this:

Talk about a transformation, right?

Has your hair gone through any transformations? Cut it all off? Dyed it purple?

Tell me!

I am sharing this post with my sister site To see the official post in which I talked about chopping off all of my hair, click here.

Stay beautiful, my sisters (and brothers out there because I know y’all are reading. LOL!)

EcoTools has more than brushes now?

Ya’ll know how much of an EcoTools nut I am. I have just about ALL of their brushes. Every time I get an email about brushes for newbies, I recommend EcoTools. It is SO hard to find brushes that are not only that is not only affordable but are great in quality as well. Aaaand….they are green! That is something we can all love.

Well well well…my EcoTools fam is expanding and bringing us body products. I got my hands on the body splash and lotion. Are they up to par? Or should EcoTools just stick to brushes?

Blooming Planet Body Mist

Price: 4 out of 5 ($7, not bad, not bad.)
Packaging: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

What it claims:
“This Body Mist instantly transports you to a blooming botanical garden with a bright and fresh floral scent. Refresh your natural wellness with this captivating blend of elegant floral blooms. Smells great and feel great, inside your world and out.”

The truth:
Not bad…not bad at all!!

What I loved about it: It lasts for quite some time for a body mist.

What I didn’t like:
It’s a tad bit strong so a good spritz or two just do you good.

Overall: I like body mists. But I haven’t purchased one in quite some time. I am more of perfume and body oil kind of gal but I think body mists are wonderful for traveling or right before bed when you want a nice light scent.

I don’t know what it is about me and why I feel like I need to spritz a mist a dozen times. LOL….it’s like I feel incomplete if I don’t spray it a good 5 times or so. So dramatic, I know but this mist really does go a long way. A good pump or two should do you good.

I’m serious. More than that and people will smell you comin’ a mile away. And true to their claim, EcoTools keeps it simple on the ingredient list.

I totally recommend this mist if you are desirous of nice and clean scent.

Sustainable Softness Body Lotion

Price: 4 out of 5 ($7.99)
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What it claims:
“For those seeking intense moisture, look no further than this body lotion that is 98% from nature. Sustainable Softness features nourishing shea butter, which easily absorbs into skin and leaves it feeling silky and smooth. Skin will instantly feel hydrated and sustain your softness.”

The truth:
Hmmm, I can dig it!

What I loved about it: Of course I love the smell. It is very light but has a nice shea butter-y scent that I like.

What I didn’t like: The bottle is a little wonky. It is a little hard to squeeze but I would imagine it will really become difficult when I get low on product. Not the biggest problem. Just something I noticed.

Overall: Way to go EcoTools. I am so proud of you and this lotion. It’s not bad at all! I can be quite the Ash Queen when I want to be. I’m talkin’ elbows so white that it looks like I was playing in flour.

I’m being dramatic again but I like that EcoTool’s lotion can tackle my dry skin. And it is a rich lotion that does on nice and thick.

What’s in this baby, you say?

I hope that in the near future we see butters from EcoTools. They would be perfect for winter! For right now, though, I’ll continue being BFFs with the lotion.
Yay to go EcoTools!! I am glad to see them branch out from just brushes to bring us the fabulousness that is body care products. Who knows…..maybe in the near future you will bring us lipglosses and eyeliners–all green and affordable. The thought alone excites me!
What do you think? Impressed at EcoTool’s newest venture? Interested in trying?
My other EcoTools posts:
You can find these products, including a hand cream and body wash at Walgreens nationwide!