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Posted by on Dec 30, 2012 in Beauty |

Work of art – Nail Polish Aquarium

Asian belief is that placing water – like an aquarium – at the front door of a business absorbs bad luck. This mesmerizing piece does double duty as a drying station (watch for the UV lamps) and nail polish color candies. Gorgeous work!

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Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Beauty, Nails |

Top 5 Treats for Nail Techs

Quick!  Nail that last minute gift for the nail tech in your life with these internet order-able items:

1. A gift subscription to trade magazines

Of course we want People magazine in the salon, but in our spare time, nail techs just wanna have fun looking at other nails. It’s also a swapping of stories of business, community, technique and style.  You can get a hardcopy delivery(most people like a page turner) and/or digital gratification.  Here are 3 top publications:

Nails Magazine


Nail Pro




2. Give them a Nailgasm

This documentary on nail art and what it means to our civilization is available as a rental or inexpensive purchase.  Techs everywhere will recognize many in this film, making it more up close and personal.


3. Techs like tools of the trade:

LaVaque Collection – FNF Combo

Like all nerds, techs sweat gadgets too.  I saw this cute, useful and affordable little ring palette a while back, but LaVaque paired up with Holly Schippers (aka Fingernail Fixer) and made this into a sweet set.  For $32 you can get the ring, a full sized spatula with spoon and a mini spatula with spoon.  Guys, I know I said ring, but this doesn’t exactly cross into jewelry territory.  Still, it’s a gem of gift for the nail artist.


4. Art Supplies

Nails techs can never have enough glitter or paint.  A deluxe box of acrylic paint will send fingers flying into a frenzy, as well as $25 worth of foil:


5. Professional Help

Is the beauty industry a bona fide career for your nail tech?  Then she/he will take it seriously and focus on professional training along the way.  Continued education in nail skills, that’s a given.  Focusing on business development?  That’s going to give them the edge.

From personal products to pampering spas, Susan Cox has spent the majority of her consulting career working with  major beauty companies like Joico, WeCare and CND at events worldwide.  If the world’s largest nail company finds her training so valuable it is practically mandatory for all staff and freelancers, it’s worth a peek into it for your tech.

Susan has audio DVD’s for personal pace learning.  If you are in powerhouse mode, Remote one-on-one training is available at an hourly rate.  Contact her directly for more information or to order at susan(dot)coxceo (@)


What else would you add to the list?



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Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Beauty, Nails |

Top 5 Nail finds for your Nailphile

When she talks double digits, she means five on the left hand, five on the right, and possibly an additional set at her feet. She couldn’t make gift giving any easier for you. Here are top five selections to keep her happy these holidays:

1. Tom Ford Nail Lacquers – 16 piece set $480
This Neiman Marcus exclusive will slay the fingertip fashionista. A beautiful range of colors from pale to pow (including my favorites, Indian Pink and violet Noir), there is just no nail set comparison. Utter opulence. This set might polish off what’s in your wallet, but you can opt instead for the equally sexy four piece ($120) or custom mix at $30 per individual bottle.

2. Julep Maven $20-$200+
A series of nail parlours in the pacific northwest, Julep has taken nail polish sampling to new level. Surprise with a premix set (shown in GEM), or purchase 3, 6, or 12 months of Maven boxes for a surprise every 30 days. A foot scrub, lippy, hand mask or some other surprise beauty item is always tucked in with the polish. I just completed a year of gratis Maven service with Julep and found the testing to find personal style fun, and eagerly looked forward to the unique black packages each month. Plus, I’m fantasizing the new copper color called Hilary in the Bombshell collection (my style) was named after me!

3. Zoya Dream Boxes $24
A staple at fashion week, Zoya churns out an enormously creative number of colors all year long. They’ve introduced Dream Boxes, a way you can select three of your favorite colors to create a custom box of colors. These black beauties are the same high quality, custom foam fit boxes Zoya houses their Fashion Week designer color collections. Another bonus? All Dream boxes ship free.

4. Essie + Bauble Bar $50
Pick a color, any color. It comes with a matching bracelet! Now pick another bracelet of your choice. And another. Now, put your polish and three bracelets into the tote Essie gives you. Voila – one classy Christmas. Sign up now and get an additional $10 off.

5. CND Shellac Gift Certificate $35-$60
Let’s get real – some woman have neither the time nor talent to polish their talons. Those ladies might be pining for the authentic two-week, no chip Shellac service that can only be found in salons. Hit up a nail technician and add a paraffin dip to the tab for an especially pampering service. Search for the salon nearest you.

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Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Beauty |

STOCKING STUFFERS: Top 5 moisturizing moments from head to toe

Things that make you go mmmmmmm

It’s the little things that count, and if you fill those stockings with power-packed formulations that help combat winter dryness, you’ll be on the good list for good.  Check out these five hydration helpers:


Joico Reconstructing K-Pac

Everyone loves a good hair find, and if your giftees need some love for their locks, I have a powerhouse for you: Joico K-Pak Reconstruct.  The shampoo/conditioner set works wonders on damaged hair, but it is the Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor that gets sucked in through straw-like hair as if it was nectar from the gods.   A professional grade product, use this once a week or so to repair dried and fried ends suffering from coloring and styling.



Oil Cleansers

Winter is harsh on skin.  So is makeup. Partake in rituals of a kinder, gentler kind by gifting an oil cleanser.  An Asian ritual forEVER, the proper oils breakdown product on the skin and leave it dewy soft, not clogged.  Top notch formulations from Shu Uemura and Shisedo are elegant workhorses, and will please the veteran and novice oil user alike.



PROTECT Yu-Be Lip Therapy

Cult classic Yu-Be debuted their Lip Therapy this year, and, Rosebud Salve who?  I can’t live without the stuff.  From an earlier review, my views haven’t changed: This is the ultimate therapy balm.  Instantly sinks in, doesn’t dry out and contains no artificial ingredients.  My lips even enjoyed the camphor, which seemed soothing to their dry, cracked existence.


Hands/Feet & Nails

Winter weather can cause nails to become dry, brittle.  If you wear polish of any kind, that means it will pull back from product.  Keep your nails flexible with an oil that is natural and blended to penetrate your skin.  Many products just float on the surface, but CND’s Solar Oil acts therapeutic.  This Special Edition version is scented Vanilla & Amber and packs an olfactory WOW.


Overall body

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Why wash with soap when you can use a moisturizing body wash?  Get a jump start by keeping your skin supple instead of drying it out during cleansing.  Dove’s new Deep Moisture combines mild cleansers with a rich blend of nutrients for a nourishing body wash.  This drugstore beauty find has a super creamy lather, and that oh-so-pretty trademark Dove scent that pleases the senses.




Disclosure: Product was provided in some instances for review consideration.  I liked it so much I included it in my retail roundup recommendations.  


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