Homemade Nail Polish – what a fun read

Homemade Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann

Homemade Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann

I have a fun read for you today. The book Homemade Nail Polish was sent to us and I’ve been having a ball reading it. This is everything you need to know about the world of nail polish in a fast, easy format. If you’ve ever drooled over the colors you see that so many indie polish creators have introduced and wish you could do that, then you absolutely need this book. Even if you are like I am and just dream of the creativity, you’ll want this book.

The author, Allison Rose Spiekermann, is the creator of her own indie nail polish line, Nail Pattern Baldness. She has shared what she’s learned with us for $16.95 ($12.24 at Amazon.com; $9.95 for Kindle). If you follow her directions you’ll be saving more than that and feeling like a million bucks.

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter one

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter one

Chapter One is absolutely vital since the author describes everything you need to know about the ingredients. You’ll find out the basic ingredients and about all the extras like which glitters to use, which inexpensive polishes to use for mixing, and what every term means. It’s short but oh so sweet.

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter Two

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter Two

In Chapter Two you’ll learn what equipment you need to buy to start on this project. The author helps you with the best products to purchase plus she teaches you about some less expensive alternatives when applicable.

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter Three

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter Three

The heart of the book is found in Chapter Three and this is the chapter you’ll love best. For example, Allison shows you how to use eyeshadow to add the interest in a polish you want to create. Have a polish you hate on your eyes? Well you can use that to add to your homemade nail color. Or pick up one of her suggestions about drugstore shadows to make your creation.

Homemade Nail Polish sample page

Homemade Nail Polish sample page

Just like a well written cookbook, she has ingredients and exact directions. Just like a chef you can take that recipe and change the colors you use and make it your own.

Other things you’ll learn in Chapter Three are how to combine polishes, how to use glitters properly, all about special effect additives and how to make matte polish. You can make jellies, holographic polishes, neons and mattes with her recipes. This chapter has the tricks of the trade along with instructions on doing a good manicure.

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter Four

Homemade Nail Polish Chapter Four

Chapter Four is all about the fun techniques that we admire on others – jelly sandwiches, decals, stencils, galaxy nails (I need to try this technique!), dot methods, adding loose glitter and so much more.

Homemade Nail Polish back cover

Homemade Nail Polish back cover

Allison Rose Spiekermann doesn’t miss a trick in Homemade Nail Polish. She teaches us everything from the basics to the secrets to how to create a perfect nail application. The proper ingredients and sources and where to buy them are in the book. I can’t help thinking about what a great gift this would make along with some of the equipment needed to get someone started.

If you love nail polish or know someone who does, what a perfect book this is. Pretty fun, great ideas and creativity at its best. — Marcia

*received for editorial consideration

I’m an Influenster!

Influenster Holiday Vox Box

Influenster Holiday Vox Box

I was very excited when Influenster told me that I would receive their Holiday Vox Box 2012. These are available to bloggers who meet requirements so that we can share impressions with our readers. Companies send items to Influenster and they share to get the word out. Influenster is free to join and great for bloggers and people who love to share their opinions especially on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

I had no idea what to expect in a Holiday Vox Box and to be honest it’s not really very holidayish.  I understand that these products have been in other Influenster boxes but that’s just fine since it contains some items that I think are interesting and are fun to use.

Influenster Holiday Vox Box content card

Influenster Holiday Vox Box content card

It appears that everyone who got a ‘free’ box received the following: Quaker Oats Real Medleys Oatmeal, a single EBOOST packet, Kiss Nail Dress, NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine, Goody QuikStyle Brush, a $25 coupon for Sole Society. Some people, depending on demographics, received a bonus of a Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask.  I’m guessing that the NYC Lipshine and the Kiss Nail Dress are different colors/designs. The Goody QuikStyle Brush could have been either a paddle brush or a half round styler.

Contents of my Influenster Holiday box

Contents of my Influenster Holiday box

Now let’s get to the good part!

Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal is very handy to have at work or home. It’s in a cup that’s ready for you to pour hot water in and eat out of. The delicious one I received is Apple Walnut medley. My husband ate this and really liked it so this is now on our grocery list. He thought the fruit tasted fresh and the walnuts were real. ($1.79 for a single serve cup)

Quaker Real Medleys carton

Quaker Real Medleys carton

EBOOST is a packet that you put into water. I’ve tried these before since they are good to boost mood, focus and immunity. I usually pour it into a bottle of water and shake. It’s doesn’t have caffeine like those energy drinks so you won’t crash. It comes in 4 flavors (orange, pink lemonade, acai pomegranate and super berry). What’s good about these packets is that you can carry them with you and if you need that 4 p.m. wakeup this is a sugar-free way to get it. They are gluten free and soy free. ($28 for a box of 20, $39 for 30)

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine – yea for cosmetics! NYC has created this liquid lipstick in 10 shades. I received it in Nude York City. It’s like they read my mind since I prefer light shades. These have Vitamin E in them and aren’t too sticky. ($2.49)

NYC Cosmetics gloss in Nude York City

NYC Cosmetics gloss in Nude York City

Kiss Dress Nails are nail stickers. To be honest I need lots of practice with nails stickers but I think practice will make perfect. I couldn’t find a name on the package other than KDS15. I’ve seen these in the store and admired them. They are black with gold designs on them. A beautiful touch for a special night out. You can even use them on your toes. These are especially pretty. ($6.99 for a package with 28 nail strips)

Good QuikStyle brush is the item that I’m most excited about. I’ve seen these and thought they were fascinating but I didn’t know anyone who’d used one so I just wasn’t sure whether it was something I needed to try. I received the Half-Round brush which is great for my shoulder length hair. I could not wait to wash my hair the morning after this box arrived. There are absorbent micrfiber bristles in between plastic bristles. After hair is washed and combed through, I used this brush instead of my regular round brush. I loved how it absorbed the water and helped dry my hair faster. So great. Saving time is the best!
If you leave it out in an open ventilated area it dries quickly or you can also turn your hairdryer on to speed that up. Washing it is like any other brush – comb through to get the hair out, wash with warm water and shampoo, rinse and then turn it upside down and tap the back with the palm of your hand to get the microfiber bristles back in shape. I’m loving this brush. ($11.99)

Goody Quikstyle brush

Goody Quikstyle brush

influenster goody brush info

Montagne Jeunesse Fruit Smoothie Cleansing Mask was my bonus. Montagne Jeunesse makes a wide variety of face masks so I’m guessing that other Influensters received different ones. My particular one is Raspberry & Mango Cleansing Mask. They say these are a one time use but I’ve bought them in the past and actually gotten two uses out of a packet. These are nice masks to have at home or to travel with.

I wish that the subscription boxes that I buy had this many nice items in them. Not only are some of these terrific but it was free to me without even an obligation to blog about it. I’d like to share a few other Influenster boxes with you so you can see the variety they have. If you think you are someone who influences others, you may just be eligible too.

Pammy Blogs Beauty – Cosmo Vox Box 2012

Jenn Staz – Summer Beauty Vox Box 2012

What I found interesting when I was looking for reviews to share is that this isn’t just for beauty bloggers. Influenster has pet boxes, natural boxes, latin beauty boxes and mom boxes. I hope you enjoyed learning about Influenster’s Vox Boxes. Have you ever received one? I’d love to know. — Marcia

*received as a promo from Influenster

Sorceress Brew nail tutorial

After my horrible attempt at nail art a blogger friend came to my rescue and offered to do one of her great nail tutorials for Beauty Info Zone. I guess she could see me crying all the way from Florida. Phyrra is one of the most colorful bloggers around. Her tutorials always amaze me so the fact that she did one for us is the greatest gift. Please visit her site when you are done seeing her fun tutorial, you’ll learn so much about artistic applications of products. — Marcia

Hi everyone! My name is Courtney, but I’m better known as the beauty blogger Phyrra from Phyrra.net. Today I’ve got a Halloween manicure tutorial for you, though really, I think you could wear it any time of year! I’ve dubbed it Sorceress Brew and it’s inspired by my favorite Disney Villain, Maleficent. It’s sort of a purple black mélange of colors, like one might see if you looked into an evil sorceress’s bubbling potion.

·        What you’ll need to play along at home:

  •  a base coat
  • a main color
  • a secondary color
  • a tertiary color
  • a top coat
  • saran wrap (I used Glad Press n’ Seal)


1. Start by applying your base coat. I used Cult Nails Get it On Base Coat.
2. Apply two coats of your main color. I used Illamasqua Stance.
3. Take some saran wrap, and dab 2 other colors onto the saran wrap. I used China Glaze Temptest and butter London the Black Knight.
4. With a wadded up piece of saran wrap, dab it into the pool of polish and then onto the nail.
5. Repeat 4 until you have the desired coverage.
6. Apply a top coat to smooth the nail. I used Out the Door (which is a fast drying top coat).

Products Used
Cult Nails Get it On Base Coat
Illamasqua Stance
butter London the Black Knight
China Glaze Temptest
Out the Door Top Coat

Accent Nail (this reminds me of the skin of Maleficent)
Cult Nails Get it On Base Coat
Wet n’ Wild I Need a Refresh-Mint (2 coats)
Mélange Blue Raspberry (2 coats)
Out the Door Top Coat (2 coats)

What do you think of the Sorceress Brew? Have you ever tried to use saran wrap for nail polish?

All products except Wet n’ Wild purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Fun even a klutz can have – Kiss and Broadway Nail Arts

I’m a girly girl when it comes to my nails. I love a beautifully manicured hand and I get a little fussy about how my nails look. In previous reviews you’ve seen some of my favorite colors (mostly red, purple and blue) but every once in a while I like to go off the deep end and try something fun. I usually wait a day or two before my next scheduled manicure before trying things myself because I AM LEFT HANDED.  I am very left handed and I do a horrible job doing my own nails but I can tolerate a day or two of my own work for fun’s sake. That said I’d still like to show you the messy fun I had with KISS Nail Arts products.

The Nail Artist Paint Set ($6.99) has 3 polishes with ultra thin brushes for creating designs or painting the tips of your nails. The brush can be used very precisely for your artistic expression. The set I have comes with toys!! It has two sheets of tip guides, a funky > shape and a classic ) shape. It also comes with a sheet of sweet little rhinestones. I have a few warnings when using the kit:  1) the brush can drip from the top so I’m very careful now to wait until the color drips down the brush, holding it over the bottle rim, before attempting to be artistic. (When you see my pictures you’ll know why I use the word “attempt”.) 2) When removing the tip guides make sure your polish is totally dry first. You certainly get your money’s worth out of these kits. You can use them with other stencils and over the terrific Kiss fake nails we’ve previously reviewed. 

If you are artistic then you’ll want to get your hands on one of the two Nail Artist Fine Art Pen sets ($5.99). There are two shades in each (pink & silver or black & white). The tips are very fine to make sure you can draw with them easily. I found it awkward to draw on my nails but I’m not the least bit artistic that way. Instead I think using plain tips from their Glue On nails would be more my style. Paint a few and attach them and let creativity fly.  

The next product I’ve been playing with is Broadway Nail Dress (sister company of Kiss). These are stick-on wraps in the most interesting designs ($5.49). I have polka dots and a red leopard look, currently there are 5 looks available. These aren’t polish and there’s no dry time so they can be done at the last minute though I do warn you to practice first. Directions say to start with your pinkie and work towards your thumb. Find the right size for your nails (there are 2 sheets with 14 sizes on each sheet) and pull up by the tab. Position it lightly on your nail and then smooth the sides. Since they will be much too long for your fingertips a two sided file comes with it. Fold the excess down over your fingertip and then use the black side of the file in a downward motion to remove the excess. Next use the pink side to smooth the tip. These last for several days on their own but you can add a top coat if you wanted an even longer wear. There’s a great “how to video” to help you see the right technique (I wish I’d watched it before trying it the first time!).

My absolute favorite product from Kiss are their sets of little Nail Artist Flat Stickers. These are something that even a klutz with a capital K can use to dress up and change their nail looks. I have their Abstract set ($2.99 for 120 stickers) and they have 10 sets total (these can have up to 200 stickers). The Abstract set comes with a sheet of gold flowers, a sheet of black floral designs and (my favorite) a sheet of colorful mixed designs of flowers and butterflies with little rhinestones. I like to put just one on my ring finger or pinkie to give a little hint of color and an airbrush quality. If you hold your mouse over one of the packages online you can see the adorable designs in each package. I’ve got my eye on Catwalk especially.

Kiss and Broadway Nails can be found at CVS, Walgreen, Walmart and beautyonlinesupply.com. They are so reasonably priced and provide hours of fun and days of beauty. — Marcia

Fancy Feet for Summer – and another contest!

Every other week, my daughters and I play ‘spa’.  This means I get an amazing foot rub and pedicure, and so do they!  It’s so much fun picking out our colors, then pampering each other.  I always make sure I have the best products on hand for us to treat one another, and what better way to get your feet into shape for summer than with some fabulous foot files and then some bling??

I feel the best files out there are from DiamancelI am so impressed with their products – they are such high quality, and they actually deliver on every single promise.  I think that when it comes to nail files, it really doesn’t pay to skimp – buy cheap files, and you will end up buying lots of them.  Buy high quality ones, and you only need to make that investment one time.  For fabulous summer feet, I recommend these three files:

Diamond File for Foot Calluses ($38.00)I don’t know about you, but I get calluses on my feet – mostly on my toes, which are long so they often rub up against my shoes, creating small calluses that are anything but attractive.  This particular file is like magic for erasing those calluses.  Just a few swipes and the calluses are gone – no pain, no effort.  Seriously.  If you have calluses you HAVE to try this one out.

Genuine Diamond Foot Buffer ($49.00). I have tried so many foot buffers.  Usually I find most buffers work best wet, but not this one.  You use this buffer dry, and it does a fantastic job of getting rid of excess skin and dryness.

Flexible Diamond Nail File ($30.00): Of course, once you get your feet looking amazing, you also need to file those nails.  The Flexible Diamond nail File is the best nail file I have ever come across.  It isn’t a hard metal, it bends, which makes it really terrific for those toe nails.  It files to perfection, no snags or rough edges.  Totally worth the investment.  They have great ones for fingernails, and then a specific one – the #3 – is for toe nails.

And then, how about a little bling to fancy up those toes? Nailene has some super fun and very affordable collections for nails.  My daughters absolutely love the full cover nails, they look very real and are so easy to apply.  They even have full cover toenails, called Perfect Toes ($5.95), which result in an instant French pedicure!

The Perfect Toes set comes complete with 24 toe nails, nail glue, and some super cool nail art – flowers of different sizes and colors, silver, pink, and red.  Too cute!!  I was a little hesitant to try these – my experiences with press on nails have not been positive.  But these went on so easily, and they look totally real.  There are quite a few nail sizes to choose from, I had no problem finding the right size for each of my toe nails.  They stay for days, and if one pops off, it’s super easy to glue it right back on.  They were very comfortable and they look great.

What my daughters REALLY love – and I do too – are the nail art sets called Bedazzle. These are great for finger nails, toe nails, natural nails and fake ones too.

Earth Angel ($1.49) has flowers, butterflies, and letters of the alphabet.

Superstar ($1.49) has flowers, stars, and butterflies.

They are so easy to apply – just peel what you want off the sheet, and stick them to your nails.  I found that with the toenails, it was easiest to apply the stickers first, then glue the nail on to your toe.  To really make the stickers last, just put a quick clear topcoat over them.

I did a VERY quick pedicure on myself – honestly this took me five minutes at the most.  I am totally not artsy-crafty, but they were super easy to apply.  The placement of the stickers is not the best – I was trying to make them easy to see in a photo, so they are too far into the middle of the nail. But you get the idea, and you can be very creative with all the designs they offer.  Can you believe how natural those toenails look?  And honestly they look even better in person.  I went to the dentist today, and both of the women who were working on me commented on how great my pedicure looked – and I had applied the nails about a week ago!

Nailene was great enough to send us some products for a contest.  How about a set of 24 So Natural French Tip Nails, a Skinny French Tip Pen set, and an Ultra Quick Brush-On Gel Kit?  Any of our active subscribers can enter, just leave a comment on this post about what your favorite type of pedicure is for the summer – french nails?  Bright colors?  Au naturale?  Do you have them done professionally or do them yourself? The contest will last for one week, ending Friday June 25th at 11:59 P.M. EST. The winner will be announced on the BIZ on June 26th and will have 4 days to email us with their address to marciaandlisa@gmail.com. – Lisa

Disclosure: Some items in this article were sent for review purposes. Please see the disclosure for more information.