SensatioNail Color Gel Polish Review + giveaway!

Welp. It’s official. I am definitely on the gel nail train. It took a minute, uh? But honestly – as someone who adores nail polishes, it’s reallllly hard to get me to try a product that means I DON’T have to change my nail polish for a few weeks. It’s practically torture. I thought I’d always have time to polish my nails daily. Or at least every other day.

And then I had a bebe. And as darling as she is, my girl could care less about my desire to polish my nails daily. No new mom (or insanely busy mom) has time for such shenanigans. And that’s when I knew it was the ideal time to try gel nails.

Say hello to the SensatioNail Starter Kit.

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Priced at $50, this kit contains everything you’ll need to do several gel nail manicures at your own crib. I’ve reviewed a gel nail kit before, but after using it on my sister. This time around, I am the guinea pig and having applied, rocked and removed this manicure – I’ve got somethin’ to say…

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Color me impressed! Yes, seriously. After 2 weeks, I had little to no chipping.  But first, let’s talk about the details and application of this stuff.

Starting Kit includes:

Gel Cleanser
Gel Primer
Gel Base & Top Coat
Color Gel Polish (additional nail polishes only $9)
Pro 3060 LED Lamp
Wood Manicure Stick
Lint-free Wipes
Double-sided Nail Buffer

How to apply (information from press release)

  • Prepare: Apply our exclusive Gel Primer to clean, dry nails. Then apply Gel Base & Top Coat – Cure for 30 seconds
  • Laquer Up: Sweep on your  favorite shade of SensatioNail Invincible Gel Polish – Cure for 60 seconds
  • Protect: Seal in color with Gel Base & Top Coat – Cure for 30 seconds — Wipe nails with Gel Cleanser – you’re done!

* SensatioNail Invincible Gel Polish can be removed by soaking in 100% pure acetone

Application is really very easy. Formula-wise the polishes were nice and thin and I didn’t have any issues with bubbling. The key is to use thin coats. I struggled with this because I’ve always been one to apply relatively large coats of polish. The thinner the coat, the better. The good news is, even if you apply thicker coats, it won’t affect the longevity of the polish. Will the tips look a bit heavier? Well, yeah…but no one can really notice that from a distance. Also, be prepared to spend a good hour on the initial application.

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Le wear is very impressive. I didn’t get ANY chips the entire 2 weeks I had the polish on. As with all nail polishes, I’m sure this will vary from person to person. Some of us are harsher  on our nails than others and so the nail polishes wear differently. But overall, I thought the wear was exceptionally better than most gel nail systems.

My nails immediately after application…

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See how thick the gel looks? The gel on my pinky is especially coated on. It ended up chipping soon after and I’m pretty sure it was due to my packing it on. So yah – definitely user error.

Removal  took forever but that was to be expected. Luckily, SensatioNail has a nice removal kit that helps aid in that. I found that regular acetone and a ton of patience did well enough for me. It took a good hour for me to completely remove all traces of the gel nails. I didn’t notice any damage on my natural nails either.

Variety & availabilty: I’ve spotted at the set at both Target and Walmart and many of the polishes are sold there individually too. Score! I was thisclose to picking up Blue Yonder, a fabulous navy blue polish. The price for the kit is around $50 with the polishes between $9-$10. This is a HUGE deal for those who regularly do gel nails at a salon.

Nails 2 weeks after application…

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So yah! I am veryyyy happy that I gave these a whirl. SensatioNail’s gel nail system seems to be one of the more popular ones and I see why.

I’m giving away a set!! The Rafflecopter will take a few seconds to load but when it does, enter for a chance to win a starter kit and 2 additional polishes.

Any gel nail lovers in the house?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OPI Euro Centrale Collection for Spring/Summer 2013 – Part I

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This collection is a ginormous one so I’m splitting it up in 2 parts. The Euro Centrale collection is celebrating the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania. I’m happy to see that it doesn’t include a bunch of boring shades. They aren’t all unique but most of them have some kind of spark to ‘em.

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OPI…Eurso Eurso is a gorgeous cobalt creme. I will never own enough beautiful blues like this. I should have done another coat but if you’re good enough you can get away with 2 coats.

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You’re Such A Budapest is a soft lavender with subtle shimmer. It is super streaky so you’ll definitely want to apply at least 3 good coats for this one. It’s definitely a typical Spring color.

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Can’t Find my Czechbook is an aqua blue but of course my camera has it showing up as something differently. I can never photograph aqua shades well enough.

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My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours is a super bright orange that almost looks like it has a bit coral in it. My camera has gone wonky again but I absolutely love this polish. It is my favorite of bunch.

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Suzi’s Hungary Again is a warm pink with shimmer. It isn’t terribly unique but it’s fun and girly.

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Polka.com is a blue and violet glitter. There are some large hex bits in there. I’ve got it layered over OPI…Eurso Eurso. I dig it but of course you’ll have to work to get those hex pieces to spread evenly across your nails.

 

The Beauty Basics

Price: $9/bottle
Availability: Anywhere OPI polishes are sold – Ulta, JC Penny salons, etc.
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: OPI…Eurso Eurso, My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours
 

Any beauty babes from Hungary, Poland and Romania? How are you feelin’ about this collection? Stay tuned for part 2!

China Glaze Avant Garden Collection for Spring 2013 – part I

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Spring has sprung, darlings! And China Glaze has me all in the spirit with their beautiful Avant Garden collection. China Glaze does Spring collections beautifully so I expected great things from this one. And the good news is – they didn’t disappoint. I received this collection to review so check out part I of the Avant Garden collection.

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Pink-ie Promise is an iridescent baby pink and she’s got a cute name, but there really isn’t anything too spectacular about this pink.

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Keep Calm, Paint On is a sea foam green. I can’t get enough of this shade. China Glaze has given us beautifully sea foam greens before but this one is some kind of special. And the name is awesome too.

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Dandy Lyin’ Around is a shimmery vanilla icing and ZOMG, I love this one. It’s a simple color really but these are the kind of shades I go for when I want a lil’ somethin’ that’s not too over the top. You’ll need a good 3 coats for this one.

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Tart-y for the Party is a lavender creme with a nice and smooth finish. Nothing fancy.

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Life Is Rosy is a blushed mauve and as Grandmotherly as this polish is, I absolutely adore it. Seriously. It’s one of my favorites in this bunch.

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Fade Into Hue is a periwinkle creme that applied beautifully.

 

The Beauty Basics

Price: $7/bottle but you can find them cheaper on e-tailers.
Availability: Ulta, Sally Beauty Supply
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: Keep Calm, Paint On and Life Is Rosy
 

Not a bad Spring collection so far, uh? Stay tuned for part II!

OPI Mariah Carey collection

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Yes y’all! Mimi herself has partnered up with OPI to release her very own nail polish collection. I’m wondering why this is just now happening. She should have had her own collection years ago, uh? I adore Mariah Carey. Moreso the old skool Sweet sweet fantasy baby Mariah than anything else. And don’t even get me started on the albums Music Box and the Emancipation of Mimi. Yasssss. This collection is also where we see the revolutionary Liquid Sand formula polishes. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about them but honey, I’m lovin’ them.

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A Butterfly Moment is a frosty tan nude and it’s not what I would have put in a Mariah Carey collection. It has a bit of a Grandma feel to it. It’s definitely work appropriate and would probably look dynamic when used it nail art but by herself, meh…I’m not feelin’ it too much.

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Pink Yet Lavender is a pink glitter with lavender shimmer. She’s loaded with hex bits and holographic glitter. Nothing too unique but it’s a nice layering glitter. I’m not sure I get the name though. Am I being slow or does it not make much sense?

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Anti-Bleak isn’t terribly unique but I love this deep creamy purple. It has such a nice richness to it and while it takes 2 coats to reach full opacity, it looks stunning nonetheless. And of course I love that it’s a creme.

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The Impossible is a matte fuchsia with star confetti. This is one of the Liquid Sand polishes and whooooa – I love it. It dries to a sandy matte finish. It has a nice textured look and feel to it but the crazy thing is, removal is super easy. It’s as easy to remove as a regular polish – not a glitter. As much as I love The Impossible, I hated that I couldn’t get enough stars on the nails. Womp.

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Get Your Number is a matte blue with sparkles and I think this is my favorite Liquid Sand polish. It looks amaziiiiing. I don’t even want to see how this looks with a top coat. It looks so spectacular by itself.

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 Stay The Night is a matte black with red glints. And don’t even ask me what a glint is because I certainly don’t know. Ha! I couldn’t get this one to look as sandy as the others. I waited a good 5 minutes for it to dry, but it still had a bit of a glossy effect to it. Maybe I got a dud? I’m not sure but I still dig the red sparkles.

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Sprung is a shimmery copper. This is another unexpected shade for me. It just doesn’t scream Mimi. It’s pretty enough but it’s just okay…

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Can’t Let You Go is a matte purple with dazzling sparkle is woooow, this is another one of my favorites. It actually looks a bit more of a blue violet in real life but it is wonderful. And I don’t think I’d love it as much if it weren’t for the Liquid Sand effect.

I used about 2 coats of polish for polish here and I didn’t have any serious application issues. The Liquid Sand polishes apply beautifully and there aren’t you tricks that you need to know prior to applying them. They are so great and I am loving this trend. I’m sure we’ll see more of these from OPI and other brands. And I am definitely okay with that.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $9/bottle
Availability: Ulta, JC Penny Salon and anywhere OPI is sold
Favorites in collection: Anti-Bleak, Get Your Number, Can’t Let You Go

Any Mariah Carey fans in the house? What do you think about this collection?

Zoya Lovely Spring 2013 collection

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This collection has been posted up in the beauty room for many moons now and I am just now getting around to posting swatches. My baaad. The crazy thing is – it still isn’t Spring just yet so if you’re lovin’ these, you can still purchase them. Weee! I’m not a big pastel lover, but these subtle shimmers and cremes are eye-catching and just darling.

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Jacqueline is a full-coverage, perfect magnolia nude cream and I know description words like “nude” can be a bit deceiving. Because nude to you but may be different than nude for me. Anywho, I like this shade. It reminds me of a delicious icing on top of a cake.

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Neely is a spring green in a glossy creme finish and it’s a light pistachio that compliments my hand beautifully.

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Julie is a soft wisteria purple metallic and while I only applied 2 coats, I probably should have done 3 coats to get more of an opaque finish.

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Piaf is a fresh forsythia yellow metallic and I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s a gorgeous and shimmer yellow that applies beautifully but it’s missing brightness that I like in yellow polishes.

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GeiGei is a blushing cherry blossom pink metallic is your standard pretty pink polish. It’s dainty and girly and fits beautifully in this collection.

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Blu is a soft and delicate pale baby blue with a glossy creme finish and I think this is my favorite of the bunch. There’s just something wonderful about a creamy baby blue nail polish. Plus, it’s the kind of shade that looks good on everyone.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $48 for the collection or $8 a bottle
Availability: Online at Zoya.com and select Ulta stores.
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: Neely and Blu

Whatcha think? Lovin’ any of these?

More Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast polishes

Yep! I’m back with more super affordable polishes from Wet ‘n Wild. I’ve done formal reviews of these before (check out this post) so I’m just going to show off these pretty babies. Sound good?

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Coool…let’s go!

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2% Milk has the best name ever because it’s SO dead on with the description of the polish. Not that you could ever get me drink milk. *gags* But nail polish wise, this is such a nice and milky jelly. It would be perfect for American manicures. Not that you could get me to wear one of those. :razz: I actually like how this looks solo.

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Haze of Love could best be described as a plum-y cherry. It’s a burgundy that is nothing spectacular but I seriously think cream finishes make everything better.

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Tropicalia is a coral and I had the most difficult time trying to photograph it. It looks hot pink but in real life it’s a coral that leans more on the orange side.

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Private Viewing is a pale pecan cream and it’s another polish that would probably look good with a French or American manicure of some kind.

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On A Trip is a blurple lavender cream. And she’s quite the stunner.

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Sugar Coat is a pale pink cream and like its similar siblings, it’s nothing particular special. I will definitely be using this polish for some jelly sandwiches though.

I used 2 coats for each polishes and the sheer creams (2% Milk, Private Viewing and Sugar Coat) could probably go for 3 to get more of an opaque finish. It’s hard to get them to apply evenly but if you’ve got the time, you’ll love the final look. Like all Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast polishes, these have the wide brushes that people like me love. And by ‘people like me’, I mean those of us with super wide nail beds.

You can grab these at most drugstores for only $2.99 a pop.

China Glaze Tranzitions nail polish collection

Well noooooow, this is quite the surprise. Good ole’ China Glaze is always on the up and up when it comes to knowing the latest and greatest in the nail polish world. They know that many of us have fallen victim to the nail art addiction and so they’ve released some polishes that can help make nail art…well, easier.

According to China Glaze, it goes like this: “This revolutionary new color-changing nail lacquer reacts when a clear top coat is applied”. Reacts in what way, you ask? With a stroke of clear top coat, the original polish color transforms into another nail polish groovy. Pretty groovy concept, uh? It’s easy to identify what color you’ll start with and what color a top coat will transform that color to because China Glaze have given us little labels on each of the Tranzitions bottles.

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China Glaze isn’t the first to do this but a mainstream brand hasn’t done this in a while so they do get some props in my book. I’ll show off the swatches first and then go into detail about how these polishes work and if they are worth your pennies.

Duplicityy is a mint green that shifts to vibrant teal. I actually really like this color without the top coat. Duplicityy seemed to dry better than most of the other polishes. The teal that arrives after the top coat is gorgeous too and almost has a bit of watercolor effect.

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Duplicityy with a bit of top coat…

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Duplicityy with top coat all over…

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Shape Shifter is a smokey violet that shifts to dark purple. That dark violet is very very subtle and actually looks more like a chrome-y navy blue on the nails. It’s a shade I’d wear solo but I love its transformed color (that vibrant purple) a lot more.

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Shape Shifter with a bit of top coat…

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Shape Shifter with top coat all over…

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Modify Me is a periwinkle blue that shifts to indigo blue. That perwinkle is some kind of awesome and don’t laugh at me, but I got a bit ambitious with my wanna-be nail art when it came to using the top coat. It is insanely tricky but you can use a dotting tool to make the other color pop up. I’m just not that good at it…yet.

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Modify Me with a bit of top coat…

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Modify Me with top coat all over…

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Metallic Metamorphosis is a silvery grey that shifts to bluish-charcoal grey and the truth about this shade is that it doesn’t LOOK all that differently when you apply a top coat over it. I’m not even kidding.

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Metallic Metamorphosis with a bit of top coat…

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Metallic Metamorphosis with top coat all over…

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Split Perso-NAIL-ity is a dusty pink that shifts to fuchsia and it’s a good shade to have in the bunch considering all of the other polishes don’t have any pink/red  variations to them. The cotton candy pink is nice and girly and I dig the fuchsia it turns into – although it does have application problems a la Modify Me.

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Split Perso-NAIL-ity with a bit of top coat…

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Split Perso-NAIL-ity with top coat all over…

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Altered Reality is a teal blue that shifts to turquoise and ohmiiiiigoodness, my camera sucked at trying to capture this color. While it looks gray, it really is more of a chrome-y teal. It’s not my favorite of the bunch though.

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Altered Reality with a bit of top coat…

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Pro’s

-Interesting concept to those who like nail art.
-I managed to get an opaque finish with each polish after only applying 1 coat.
-You really do get 2 polishes in 1 but for the price of 1 polish.
-Fun way to quickly change nail polish colors on a whim.
-All brands of top coat work effectively.

Con’s

-It’s hard to tell when the polish is “ready” for the top coat because even when they feel dry, applying a top coat can result in a streaky finish.
-The nail polish formula, while opaque, has such a weird consistency. It’s streaky and it’s tough to get it to apply evenly.
-Some of the polishes didn’t have much of a noticeable shift in color.

OVERALL:

Are these gimmicky? Well…yes. But nail polish fans may like them for the fun factor alone. Using them will take some trial and error but they aren’t impossible. Plus, I’m all for something “new” in the nail polish world so even though these aren’t perfect, I’m not exactly hating on them.

 

Purchase Information

Cost: 3.99/ea
Availability: Available in January 2013.
Where To Buy: Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta and on e-tailers like TransDesign.com.

Whatcha think, nail polish lovers? Are these the coolest polishes you’ve ever seen or a bit…strange?

Amor de Lacquer: Diosa nail polishes

A few months ago, I was asked to be a be a featured Diosa. What’s a Diosa? She’s a woman in her 20’s or 30’s who inspires her peers and the girls in their lives who are in need of positive role models. The vision comes from Diana, a New York City native who wanted to create a brand of nail polishes that could also tell a story. You can learn more about Diana here. She’s pretty awesome. I wanted to show off some of the pretty Diosa polishes. If you love supporting indie nail polish brands, I think you’ll love this one.

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See what I mean?

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Puff Pastry is a super sheer jelly that would probably work best on an American manicure. I like it by itself though. Because it’s so sheer, it’ll take a good 3 coats to achieve some kind of opaque finish.

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Dawn Over Provence is a pale lavender. It’s got a dusty finish and while it looks great on solo, it’ll really shine with some kind of sparkle or glitter on top.

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Dime Piece is a grey. Can’t go wrong with grey nail polishes!

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Bali Blaze is a super bright red that leans more on the orange side. It’s goooorgeous.

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Somethin’ Extra is a holographic glitter. It’s a stunner!

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Fuchsia Plans photographs funky but this is a gorgeous fuchsia. It dries down to a semi-matte finish. Of course a top coat will make it glossy but I actually really like the semi-matte finish.

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I Sea You is a bright blue that reminds me a lot of Nubar’s Blueberry nail polish. Which happens to be my favorite blue nail polish evahhhh! I Sea You is a close second. And as beautiful as it is, I love that it doesn’t stain the nails. Woot!

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Purple Reign is a dark purple polish that actually LOOKS purple on the nails instead of black. I love when this happens!

Diosa nail polishes apply beautifully. Some of the shades were a bit on the watery side (namely Puff Pastry and Dime Piece) so thin and even coats are the best way to apply these polishes. I’m lovin’ these inaugural shades. Diosa nails officially launched in July 2012 and I think this is a great intro to the nail polish world. You can buy these babies for $8 online.

Oh! And check out my Diosa feature here.