Thursday, March 28, 2013

LED Facts

I've always had a scientific brain, and had a general understanding of the science behind my lamp & my products, but over the last year, I've done a lot more research. There is a ton of misinformation out there, so I want to share with you:

1. LED is still a form of UV. Don't be fooled by a salon tech who tells you "Oh, we don't use UV; we use LED". That is either an uneducated tech or a complete lie -- and that is not a place you should continue to go. If she doesn't know this simple fact (or worse, is lying to you about it), what else could (s)he not know or be lying to you about?!?

2. One LED lamp may not cure all LED-curable gel/gel polish. In very simple terms, LED is a finely-calibrated wavelength within the UV spectrum. While one UV lamp will cure multiple brands due to the wider wavelengths & some bleed-over, LED won't work that way.

3. You can find more information directly from a leading industry scientist -- Doug Schoon. One article, in particular, can be found here. Doug's website, as well as his FB page, are chock full of information. If you wish to be educated, please "friend" him, and sign up for his eblasts.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In Other OPI News...

... after two+ years of using my CND UV lamp for all my gels & UV polishes, I finally decided to get OPI's LED lamp. Reason? Simple: money. My CND UV lamp was $150 when I first got it, plus the bulbs (which are $40-ish), which have to be replaced every 80-100 hours (which is about every 3months for me). My CND UV lamp cures all brands of gel polish I own (CND Shellac, OPI GelColor, OPI Axxium SOG, Gelish, and ibd Just Gel). When OPI contacted me to test their new Glitter Gels, I wondered if it would be an issue that I used CND's lamp instead... Then, I got an email titled "HOW TO REGISTER YOUR OPI LED LAMP". Once registered, I will be on their Find A Salon list (to accompany the listing I already have on CND's page).

I decided to look into the differences between a couple of the brands I already use. I then talked to the manager at one of my local beauty supply stores, Gabbi. She said she could get the Gelish 18G lamp for me for cost. However, I started to hear some complaints about it... and when compared to the OPI LED lamp, it rated way low (cheesy feeling, lamp won't come on, timer not working, etc). I was going to ask her what price she could get the OPI for me when I happened to stop in Ed Wyse.

There, I was told the price had just come down from $400 to $300. They had one in stock. I was going to buy it, but then (as is her normal, above-and-beyond customer service) Kara tells me that there is a 20% off coupon, but it's not good 'til "next week". So, not only did they holding the last one they had (I can only assume they had more on order) until yesterday (when I went to pick it up -- $239.96, actually), but they also are holding stuff I need but not quite yet, until April 1st (which also happens to be my 9 year wedding anniversary, btw), when they have a 10% OFF everything SALE DAY!

Monday, March 25, 2013


I love them. Seriously... they are great. I hope OPI comes out with more of these. Just as in the chunky-glitter polishes, you can move the pieces to make designs... or just leave them as they lay. A friend of mine used the bigger gold pieces in "When Monkeys Fly" as the gold in a Pot Of Gold, St Patrick's Day, design. I used the big white squares in "Lights of Emerald City" in a line on one of my co-workers; had I used more pieces all over her nail, it would have been *argyle*. The rainbow flash from "Which Is Witch?" is awesome over just about everything! And, remember, it came with a creamy pick shade -- "I Theodora You" (there are two other cremes in the collection -- "Don't Burst My Bubble" and "Glints of Glinda" -- that were not included in my pack... one is slightly peach, and one is slightly yellow; great for your darker skin tones) which can be used alone, or layered for some "Candy Mani" or "Cake Batter Mani" looks!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Testing... Testing...

About a month ago, I was contacted by a friend of mine, CR, who is an OPI-lover to the MAX!!! She doesn't work for them, but over the years as a cosmetologist, has gotten to know some of the people who do. The email message from her to me (& another nail tech friend of ours, HBG), read, "How much do girls love me???? OPI contacted me about doing some in-salon testing on not-yet-released GelColor products and asked if I had some close, trusted nailtech friends that I could provide them with.... and I sent them your two names! So we all get to try out new stuff!!! Here's the official letter from OPI, along with an online form we all have to fill out. DO YOU LOVE ME NOW??!!?!? I have to copy and paste, so this will be in two messages. xoxo" then "Hello! Thank you for your interest in our new GelColor product. We are so excited to have you and/or your salon on board to help introduce the latest addition to our GelColor line to the world! To confirm that you are willing to take part in this initiative, please follow the link below and provide us with information about your salon (so that we can have it on file officially). GelColor Salon Outreach Form: *deleted this link for privacy* Once you submit the completed form, we will contact you via the email address you provided with further information about the products you'll be receiving, a rough timeline for when you can expect them to arrive, and a consent form you will need to complete. If for any reason you need to get in touch with us, please email *********** at ************. Thank you again for being a champion of the OPI brand. All the best, The OPI Team, OPI GelColor Salon Outreach."

About a week later, I had a confirmation email with information regarding all the details. Wednesday afternoon, I received a small box. In it was the OPI OZ Collection GelColors in "I Theodora You", "When Monkeys Fly", "Lights of Emerald City", and "Which Is Witch?" with additional notes, info cards, removal instructions, etc. Now, what's interesting here is that most of us were under the impression that OPI wasn't going to release any chunky glitters in GelColor (keeping them only in their Axxium Soak Off Gel line) due to suspension base issues... if that were true, that means (hopefully) that they've figured out the problem and corrected it; and that we can (hopefully) expect more chunky glitters in GelColor in the future. Regardless, my instructions are to play with these, layer them with each other & other OPI products, and post pics all over social media.

Follow me on this journey by "Like"ing my FB page (CLICK HERE), and watching for photos posted to the album titled "OPI "OZ" GelColor Collection -- Testing, Testing...".