Cosmoprof North America 2017

Nothing To Disclose

Cosmoprof North America was a BLAST! On top of seeing some of my favorite bloggers, I also got to meet with some of my favorite brands, as well as meet some new ones! It's always a pleasure to head out to Las Vegas for a few days to see all things beauty.

This year was bigger than ever. In all, 36,787 attendees,(up 9 % from 2016) engaged with a record breaking 1,278 exhibitors (up 9% from  2016), representing 45 countries.  The show floor space covered 293,306 sqf (27,249 sqm) of space with an increase of of 4% compared to the previous year. 

In addition to the now standard DISCOVER BEAUTY and DISCOVER BEAUTY SPOTLIGHTS, there was also a nice showing from TONES OF BEAUTY (multi-cultural beauty brands) and a much larger DISCOVER GREEN (organic beauty) and the popular DISCOVER SCENT (perfume brands). Brand new to this year's show was DISCOVER GREEN LEAF where organic brands met with key specialty retailers and chain spas and DISCOVER BEAUTY PRO where select companies met with key national distributors like ULTA and SalonCentric.

Also expanded this year was the Boutique area where attendees could create their own beauty box (which I did) and they were able to raise over $18,426 for the PBA Foundation (up 30% from 2016!). Also the Glamour Me section allowed attendees to try products first hand, although I didn't try one this year. In 2016, I had a manicure done with ORLY Breathable, if you remember.

Here's a few more highlights of things I saw and definitely be on the look out as I slowly make my way through reviewing everything!
The European market for ORLY has been increasingly asking for smaller sized "mini" bottles of polish due to the limited space that some salons, spas, and even consumers have available to them. ORLY seized the opportunity to cater to that market with their new mini bottles.

China Glaze had a sneak peek for bloggers including the Halloween 2017 collection called "Happily NEVER After". I'm eternally cackling at names like "Do You, Boo!" and "Sin-derella".

Color Club had tons of new items that I was just drooling over. I can't find them in stores but was told to just buy off their website. It may be worth it with the In The Mood pastel collection. It's a body heat activated color changing lacquer that's also available in gel and HELLO look at those bottles!

Oddly, I've been following Color Clutch since 2014 when they did a giveaway with NCLA, but this year I got to actually meet the creator, Katharine and I was there when she was awarded a Trendsetter Award! More to come on this brand, including a review soon!

I met Daily Concepts at Cosmoprof years ago and after trying their exfoliating gloves, I fell in love with the line. As a beauty blogger, I get bombarded with TONS of products but I was absolutely OBSESSED with this green line of products and have bought them over and over not just for me but my husband is obsessed with the back scrubber! The line of baby sponges just launched (the fish at the bottom) and I got one for the youngest member of our family to play with soon.

Le Chat is back with an all new look for their Date to Wear line. The new packaging is much more visual and this line of mood polish is again, up my alley! What is it about mood polish that makes me happy? What's old is new again!

The other major thing at Cosmoprof this year were dip powder systems. Did you know that LeChat Nails started with gelee - a powder gel nail system? You can use this product as a powder gel, a dipping powder or mix with acrylic! And these glow powders are SO bright. It's only available for professionals BUT LeChat just launched a brand new e-commerce site for professionals AND consumers!

I also got to meet with Morgan and Taylor of Gelish & Morgan Taylor. Sadly, the bulk of the items are embargoed until a later date but I did get to take a photo of their massive dip powder system which is great for retail or just you know... my bedroom...

One of my last stand outs was ella + mila who were in Discover Beauty. I have always been attracted to the clean lines of this brand but now they have released lip colors as well! Some matte, some glossy - but all pigmented. More to come on that soon.

This was just a handful of the brands I got to sit down with and chat about their lines. I literally have a bag here at my desk with more information, products and samples to try. Be sure to stay tuned for #MakeupMonday where I'll be featuring some unique finds from the show!

#MakeupMonday: Feather & Bone Face Gems

Press Sample

This year at Cosmoprof North America, the Discover Green section expanded quite a bit. Last year, I didn't even venture that way, but this year it was unavoidable just because of size and location. However, there were some amazing brands in there including today's #MakeupMonday feature! 

Feather & Bone is a holistic wellness company that looks to provide unique beauty care solution both through products and education. This isn't some fly-by-night company, CEO and Founder Shubhangini Prakash was only 12 years old when she had skin issues to store bought face products. Along with her mom, she started mixing all natural ingredients to find the perfect mix for an every day face wash.

Face Gems contains just three Ayurveda ingredients: Sandalwood (to protect), Fuller's Earth (a mud/clay to remove dirt & impurities) and Starch (to polish your skin). It does not contain animal products of any kind and there aren't any adverse effects to the environment. One tablet equals one face wash, and while there aren't any preservatives, as long as the packaging remains intact, the product won't spoil.

Face Gems claims to provide you with a full skin care routine: cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize. While it's good for all skin types, if you feel you need an extra moisturizer afterwards, go ahead!

The Face Gems orange packaging that I received is cute and the concept is simple: Pop, Drop, Wash, Rinse. 

Again, I received an individual tablet but when purchased online, the tablets come individually wrapped in tear off plastic sleeves. This is perfect for traveling because I don't have to mess with liquids or bringing too much of an item. I can even throw one in my purse for after the gym! So start by "pop"ing open the packet and placing the tablet in the palm of your hand. As you can see, it's not that big - larger than an aspirin but smaller than a Mentos mint.

Next, add 5-10 drops of water using your other hand to the tablet. I don't recommend just putting the tablet under the faucet to get it wet. Then apply pressure on the tablet to dissolve it and form a paste. I was surprised that only 10 drops of water made it super smoosh-able.

Then apply the paste to your face and massage it on.

So let's be honest - it's a learning curve for me. As you can see, I didn't even get the product to my five forehead. I'm not sure if maybe I needed more water or just to be more stingy with the product. As it dries, it does turn white, but I rinsed right after these photos.

Finally, rinse the paste from your face and feel refreshed.

Did I? Well I opted to use a washcloth to help get all the paste off instead of just my hands only for sake of neatness. I hate splashing water everywhere. I was very impressed that the paste stayed on my face - it wasn't runny. There wasn't much of a smell and my face felt clean afterwards. You're not going to have tingly tightness but I did feel clean and after the triple digit heat today, I wanted to feel clean.

Bonus round, I have another tablet here so I'm interested in seeing if I can make that reach all the way to my forehead. I really do like the concept, especially for travel, and the fact that it's all natural is totally a plus. I'm getting old and I don't need to see pimples forming because I'm using products that are full of chemicals.

Price: Currently, Feather & Bone Face Gems is only available in a waterproof tub of 60 tablets for $19.97 USD but ships worldwide (shipping not included). You can choose from a one time delivery or monthly subscription. If you're only washing your face once a day, that's less than 33 cents a day which is super reasonable for me.

Feather & Bone Face Gems may be purchased on their website. Join the social conversation on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#MakeupMonday: An Experiment

Starting this week, I'm going to run a weekly feature called #MakeupMonday. I started my blog in December 2009 and in the past seven years, I've dabbled here and there with makeup. Sometimes I bought because a fellow blogger got it and reviewed it, sometimes it arrived in a press sample from a company, but it's always just kind of sat around in my house, waiting to be used, enjoyed or even tossed. So moving forward, I'm going to test out #MakeupMonday and see if you, the reader, cares for it. Maybe you'll find a hidden gem to enjoy as well.

Cosmoprof North America 2017

It's that time again! Later today, I'm leaving for Las Vegas to attend Cosmoprof North America. The show actually starts today, and I'm trying to grab an earlier flight but as it stands right now, I'll be in on Monday and meeting with Morgan Taylor, Le Chat, China Glaze and others. Plus I'll see some of my favorite bloggers again during the conference along with some new faces!

Be sure to check my Instagram for the latest and greatest but I'll be back with all the things I'm allowed to share soon!

Indie Expo Canada

Nothing To Disclose

June was a whirlwind! I hadn't been out of the States in over 10 years, but I was happy to go to Toronto, Canada for the inaugural Indie Expo Canada, hosted by Girly Bits Cosmetics. 

In case you missed it, I was able to report all the awesomeness from the Nail It! Instagram Story as well as some things I shared on my own IG. I was also a panel speaker for the afternoon, talking about all things indie along side YouTuber Zenorah, Colors by Llarowe creator Leah Ann Larowe and Claudia Murillo, owner of Lovacado.

I also got to have a write up on Nail It mag - definitely check it out here.

So I was enjoying avocado toast (seriously) and totally spaced on the time and didn't get to the hotel in time for my press preview. I tried to get as many photos as I could and chat with both indies I know and love, as well as some amazing new ones!

Did you know Alter Ego makes Dog Shampoo? I don't have a dog but I would be all over this product!

Beyond The Nail is a new brand to me - they had a great showing of polishes and nail vinyls! 

Canvas is also a new brand to me. They had some amazing cuticle oils as well and I bought Spring Forward to go home with.

Colors by Llarowe is definitely a fan favorite. I picked up a couple including one for my dear friend Cassie who was there in spirit.

Ever After was there with her holo shirts and gorgeous dragon eggs. They also had some amazing new collections and collaborations that I snatched several up!

Fair Maiden was there in spirit! Although the ladies couldn't be there in person, they had a showing including a gorgeous limited edition.

Fiendish Fancies is a new to me brand - she does a lot of horror conventions and most of her polishes are based in the horror/fandom realm. She's also super sweet and very creative!

Girly Bits was front and center of the show - some of her new Sequins and Satin Pants may have come home with me...

Great Lakes Lacquer had this great set up every time I see her. And the polishes? To die for.

Hit The Bottle had stamping polishes and plates for miles. I got a clear jelly stamper to try and I'm smitten.

Her skirt was so awesome - I loved it!

Lovacado is a Canadian brand that really caught my eye. I bought one of the oils and have been mixing it with my moisturizer and I absolutely love it. I thought the oils might be too harsh for my skin but not at all!

Native War Paints was on hand - I'm swooning over the light up letters and have a huge desire to get some for my house!

Pahlish wasn't able to attend but sent polishes as well!

This was the IKEA Helmer storage unit that was filed with indie polishes for the Paint It Forward silent auction. Over $1200 USD was raised with 100% of the money going to Mount Sinai Marvelle Koffler Breast Cancer Center in Toronto.

SoGa was a soap and bath bomb booth that I loved smelling. I ended up buying a bunch of the maroon bath bombs that smelled like Merlot wine.

Superficially Colorful sent her line of polishes and some bath bombs along for the ride to Canada! The bottles are too cute!

Tonic Nail Polish had a snafu with customs and so she was only able to carry around 200 bottles in her luggage. I was super happy to see her again and grabbed Come Wander which I hope to have reviewed soon because it's AMAZING.

Unfortunately, I did miss a few tables - Cuter Cuticles (but I bought her Barrier Butter in Lilac), Moo Moo's Signatures (which had a great 24K cuticle oil!), and Clionadh Cosmetics which had some sweet looking highlighters and shadows.

There were also tutorial tables that with some very happy ladies and gentlemen who learned new techniques and nail art designs over the day.

Overall it was a great first show and I look forward to the next one!

Check out other bloggers' posts!

Kiss My Lash: Lash Extensions

Press Sample

Recently, a local photographer put out a request for someone to do a fun shoot with her and I volunteered. More on that later, but one of the things that I wanted to try was getting lash extensions. I rarely wear makeup but I do love the way I look with mascara or when I have on strip lashes.

Lash extensions hadn't really been on my radar until recently. I have two friends, both licensed cosmetologists who apply lash extensions but I didn't really understand the process or the cost behind it. Then Krys from Kiss My Lash contacted me about her new location and special for first time lashes.

Kiss My Lash is located in Kingsville, Texas inside the Legends Cuts Barber Shop. She takes appointments through Acuity Scheduling which is great for someone who's busy like me AND you can even pay in advance which is awesome. The promotion at press time is $100 for your first set of lashes, which is about a 2 hour process.

The Process

Here is my before. As you can see, I have pretty decent lashes - nothing super good or bad about them. They are normal length, pretty decently spaced, and a decent color. When you get lash extensions, you have to arrive with zero makeup on so here I am in all my glory. You also have to make sure you take out any contact lenses you're wearing so be prepared for that. Krys thankfully had a clean case with solution available for me. She additionally puts on this lip mask - it was refreshing and didn't have any kind of taste or tingling.

So I've seen people in this set up before and it has always scared me to death. Like - how are your eyes covered? Where does that pad under your eyes go? What's up with the tape on the eyebrows? OMG. Trust me, it just looks scary. So the first set up pads that Krys used was a bit too slippery on my skin so we switched to this set. The pads don't touch your eyes, and you don't feel them on your lower lashes - it's really awesome. The medical tape on top holds the lids up, which is great for those with hooded lids. It's a very gentle tape that didn't hurt at all.

The process did take the full two hours (and a little more). So first, your lashes are gently cleaned, and then Krys gets to work. She mentioned "Don't be surprised if you fall asleep." Well, I fell asleep. A few times. It really is relaxing. Each individual lash is separated and a lash extension is lined up and glued on top of the existing lash. You do have to have patience, as you are there for a couple of hours without being able to look at your phone or move around. Krys did offer for me to take a break several times, but I'm stubborn and just wanted to keep going. After the last lash is in place, Krys uses a special mister that allows the glue to dry and fully bond to the lash.

The After

Look at that length!

Can you see the difference? I was shocked at how natural it looked - like I was just wearing mascara. Krys also give you an after care bag that has a wand, cleansing solution, and a couple of doe foot applicators to help remove eye makeup if you choose to wear it. You have to avoid oily eye make up remover so you don't loosen up the adhesive bond.

Overall, I really enjoy the way they look. The first shower was a little difficult because I didn't realize how much I normally rub my eyes in the shower. You have to be careful not to tug, rub, or mess with your eyes to keep the lashes intact. It's best to sleep on a silk pillowcase and not sleep on your stomach to keep your lashes as long as possible. We normally shed our lashes every 2-3 weeks but you don't realize it because they just come off and aren't long and bold. The first morning I noticed I lost a couple of lashes but it's been several days now and I haven't noticed much shedding.

Upkeep and removal
It's recommended that you go in every 2 to 3 weeks for an eyelash fill which can take about an hour. Kiss My Lash charges $70 for a fill and you can book in advance to make sure you're able to get in on a time that works for you. If for some reason, lashes aren't your gig, you can either let them fall out on their own or Krys offers a lash removal appointment which uses a special gel to remove the remaining extensions.

I originally didn't tell people that I got lash extensions to see what the reactions would be. Since I rarely wear makeup to the office, I figured everyone would be on it immediately. It took a couple of days for most people to notice and they just thought I was wearing mascara which is exactly the result I wanted. I didn't want someone to automatically look at me and say "Oh, she's wearing fake lashes." Overall, I'm very happy with how they are and how they are wearing.

Follow Kiss My Lash on Instagram or Facebook and you can schedule at your convenience.

Have you ever had lash extensions before? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company at a discount for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

PolishGalore at Indie Expo Canada!

Well it seems (feels) like I just got back from PolishCon NYC, but this weekend I'm taking the show on the "international" road and heading up to Indie Expo Canada in Toronto! The show, hosted by Girly Bits Cosmetics, is Canada's premier event for small businesses in the beauty industry. 

In addition to attending (oh yes, I got a VIP bag early!) I also am proud to announce that I am one of the Official Press members for the event!

Make sure you check out my Instagram and IG Stories the day of the event. As of right now, I am only blogging on my personal social media but if that changes, you'll be the first to know. :)

Are you heading to IEC this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

The Polish Convention NYC Spring 2017

Nothing To Disclose

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been so quiet on my end. I had been focusing more of my attention to social media, especially Instagram because last month, I went to NYC for PolishCon! While there, I got to watch over 34 brands do their hustle to sell beautiful multichrome, holo, creme, and glittery polishes to over 650 people who walked through the doors of the Grand Prospect Hall.

Not only was I able to be listed as an Official Blogger for the convention, but I also got to run an IG Story takeover for Nail It! magazine!

Sadly, I "broke" IG Story by posting TOO much and wasn't able to save a video of everything but if you checked it out, I had my picks from every vendor, some crowd shots, and my favorite, photos of people's nails both standing in line outside and inside the venue. There were some super awesome people there! I met a 12 year old who does her own nails, a couple of millenials with hundreds of thousands of IG followers, a Simply Nailogical super fan, and several bloggers whom I've only see online - including Becky from Naked Without Polish who promptly gave me a hug. By the way, I love hugs. They are pretty much the best way to say hi.

If you'd like to read my write up on Nail It Magazine's online site, it's available here.

Because I road in early with a brand, I got to watch PolishCon from the set up. As with any event, there were behind the scenes hiccups with tables, electricity and the big one was the lighting. While this venue was great for weddings or maybe even prom, the lighting scene for nail polish wasn't ideal. Most brands brought their own OTT lamps or other lights to be able to illuminate their polishes but some were literally left in the dark. The organizers tried to be as accommodating as possible and people figured it out.

Before VIP was let in the door at noon, I was able to get shots of nearly every table. While I focused on the polish, I really do need to commend the brands for their overall set ups. Packaging, display racks and even banners were just really an awesome added touch that I really enjoyed. Despite my careful planning, I did miss a few brand photos and I apologize in advance for that.

Anchor and Heart

Bluebird Lacquer

Bohemian Polish

Colors by Llarowe

Contrary Polish

Cupcake Polish

Different Dimension

Fair Maiden

Fleur de Lis

Flirtin Cosmetics

Girly Bits

Glisten & Glow

Great Lakes Lacquer

JulieG by Jesse's Girl Cosmetics


Lavish Polish

LE Polish

Leesha's Lacquer

Native War Paints

Nine Zero

Noodles Nail Polish

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer


Painted Polish

Polish My Life

Pretty and Polished

The Subway Series featuring Polish my Life & Dollish Polish

Turtle Tootsie Polish
I think the only ones I missed were Ever After (and how on earth did I miss them! They were in the front!), The Don Deeva, Sassy Pants, Drip Drop Polish, Blush, and Anonymous Lacquer. Again, I do apologize but I did get everyone on the Nail It IG Story!

I did buy a VIP ticket for this convention which is always worth it. The items in the bag is well worth the cost of the bag, and the convenience of buying early is helpful. I didn't take advantage of my time as well as I should, and did miss out on a few polishes that I had my eye on.

However, overall, I only purchased 29 additional polishes and one coffee mug which shows great constraint compared to PolishCon Chicago where I came home with... well, a lot more than that (I think nearly double). Also at PolishCon NYC, I didn't mule (buy on behalf of someone else), but I did get a couple of gifts which I'm excited about.

Overall, I feel the event really was a success. People were polish-happy and new friendships were made. Before the event was over, it was announced that PolishCon Chicago was going to be held at the Festival Hall at the Navy Pier on September 23rd so start booking your tickets! I already have my flight - just need to get my hotel now.

ALSO the rumor is that there will be another "Road to PolishCon" series. This was new to NYC, where each week, the participating brands would release a NEW limited edition polish that was only available for one week on the Polish Convention website. If overpours were available, they were sold the day of the convention. It was a sweet twist on the convention house for those who aren't able to travel.

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