Adrianna Papell Black and Blue Striped Dress Nails

I played in a small recital tonight, so naturally I wanted my manicure to match my dress.  I just bought a gorgeous black and blue striped gown from Adrianna Papell, and the graphic print looked so nice that I decided to put it on my nails.


The fabric print of the dress… and no, it’s not white and gold!

The colors are obviously blue and black, so I tried to use a similar blue that wasn’t too dark and could show the black stripe contrast against it.  Because I wanted to hand paint the lines, I knew I was going to use black acrylic paint for the most part, and I used a sparkly black polish for accent stripes.


The materials from left to right: craft smart acrylic paint in black, Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Blue It, and Ulta Professional Nail Lacquer in Rhinestone Rocker.

After applying a base coat, I painted Blue It on all my nails.


Blue It by Sally Hansen. It’s also great for a September birthstone (sapphire) manicure.

I used a striping brush along with black acrylic paint to form stripes of varying thicknesses.  I made the thumbnail a chevron pattern and made a giant chevron out of the other four nails.  I tried to make everything as symmetrical as possible, so my index and middle finger nails are mirror images of my ring and pinky finger nails.


Stripes painted with acrylic paint. It looks like I made blueberry candy cane nail art.

Some of the stripes on the dress have a glittery hue on one side, so I painted Rhinestone Rocker on a few of the sections with a striping brush.


A hint of shimmer gets added to a few stripes with Rhinestone Rocker by Ulta Professional.

After adding a topcoat, everything looks shiny, and the contrast between the black stripes and the glittery ones is less noticeable although still pretty.


All done! Black and blue striped goodness.

It should be mentioned that I didn’t try to exactly copy the striped pattern of the dress.  I just painted the different thicknesses and spaced the lines out in a way that I thought might look nice.


Side by side comparison of the Adrianna Papell dress to my nails. I guess I put the shimmery stripe on the wrong side of the line, but I didn’t try to exactly copy the pattern.

The manicure was a small touch that I’m sure the audience didn’t notice, but it was a nice concert regardless.  Happy polishing!

Review of BPL-030 Stamping Plate from Born Pretty Store

Are you a fan of lace?  Then you’re going to love plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store!


Plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store comes in a cardboard envelope for protection and is sealed with blue film that must be removed prior to use.

As is standard with the large plates from Born Pretty Store, BPL-030 comes mounted on white plastic, so you won’t have to worry about injuring yourself on the metal edges of the plate.

At first glance, it looks like each of the 3 rows of images is a single continuous lace pattern, but there are 7 different designs if you look closely.


The different pattern sections of plate BPL-030. The red lines were drawn in by me for clarity.

Regardless, these images are HUGE.  The middle row has the tallest images at 2 cm, probably to make up for the fact that there are 3 different patterns in that row.  The top row is only slightly less tall at 1.8 cm, and the bottom row is the shortest at 1.5 cm.  Even so, 1.5 cm should fit the width of most fingernails.  I have seen “full image” plates from competitors that are only 1.2 cm x 1.5 cm so don’t be fooled into thinking that the last row is unusable.  Don’t forget that the width of these images is insanely long.  The top row images are both 5.5 cm long, the middle row images are 3.7 cm, 3.9 cm, and 3.9 cm long, and the bottom row images are both 5.7 cm long.

The greatest advantage to having the big images is that they will easily accommodate long fingernails, particularly acrylics.  It is also safe to say that if these images are good for acrylics, then they would also be great for toenails.  The only issue is that you would need to get a stamper that is big enough to handle the size of the nail that you are trying to stamp.

What I also like about the oversize images is that you have the option of using the same image for each nail or varying the pattern across the manicure.  This makes the plate versatile.


A sample of using the same image on each nail.


A sample of varying the pattern across the manicure.

The etching is done so well that you really have to scrape the polish off to get a clean image, so this is the perfect plate for beginner stampers, although experienced stampers will love the ease of use, too!


A Gothic inspired lace manicure using b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and Missy by Julep.


Gold lace manicure using Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold and Cassandra by Julep.

I really consider this item a best buy in terms of design, versatility, and ease of use.  If you only own one stamping plate, this should be the one!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Fall Gold Lace and Burgundy Manicure

Originally I was planning to do this manicure in time to go to the Renaissance Faire so that I could match my burgundy and gold dress, but I ended up doing the day after I went instead because of time constraints.  It’s still the perfect manicure for fall with these rich colors!

I started off by painting all my nails with Cassandra by Julep, a polish that was in my maven box for September.


Rich burgundy red: Cassandra by Julep.

Next, I used a pattern on plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store for the lace design.  I opted to pick up images across the entire top right section of the plate so that the pattern was not the same for each nail.


Is lace your thing? Pick up plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store.

I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold (shown in the top image) for the stamping, and it contrasted beautifully against the deep red base color.


Stamping done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold and plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store.

And really, that was all there was to that manicure!  It was super easy to get an elegant looking design in a jiffy.  Now back to the hustle and bustle of life!

Happy fall, and happy polishing!  🙂

Gothic Inspired Lace Manicure

I guess all the advertising for Halloween has been getting to me, and it’s not even October!  Funny how the goth look is considered a costume and not just a style, but it was a good excuse to break out my lace pattern plate from Born Pretty Store.


BPL-030 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I wanted to do a metal and lace juxtaposition, so I started by painting my nails with Missy by Julep.


Shimmery silver goodness: Missy by Julep.

I used b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black with the pattern from the 2nd row, right side of plate BPL-030 to stamp the flower part of the design on the top left section of each nail.


Stamping with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store.

The fact that the lace looks almost like a spiderweb makes the mani Halloween appropriate.

All that was left to do was apply topcoat.  For extra bling, I placed a rhinestone in the center of each flower, adhering each jewel with Kiss Nail Art Glue.


The finished Gothic lace look.

And that’s all you need to do in order to get a quick chic manicure!  Happy polishing!

Review of BPL-026 Stamping Nail Art Plate by Born Pretty Store

I found the perfect plate for autumn nails from Born Pretty Store- BPL-026!


Do you like leaves? This plate is for you!

As is the case with all Born Pretty Store stamping plates, it comes shipped in a cardboard envelope with blue film covering the image.  The blue film must be removed before you can use the plate.


Freshly ordered from Born Pretty Store: BPL-026

The plate is also mounted onto white plastic with curved edges.  For the injury prone, this means that you will not have to worry about cutting yourself on the metal edges of the plate.  Yay for no tetanus shots!

The images on this plate are HUGE.  Each rectangle measures 5/8 of an inch by 7/8 of an inch so if you have wide nail beds or are into toenail art, this is definitely for you.

The etching is done very well, and you should have no issues transferring your images onto stampers.  I sampled the image with the most solid color stamped area below so you have an idea of how good this plate works.


It would have been a perfect transfer and not warped on one side if I didn’t squish my stamper a little too hard while picking up the polish. Oops. Stamping was done with “crimson red” by B.M.C. nail lacquer.

As you can see, the polish is distributed evenly across the image, and there are no empty spots.  I don’t even consider my squishy stamper to be my most foolproof transfer device, and it had no problem picking up the entire area.

Here’s a dandelion seed manicure that I did using the image on the top right hand corner of the plate:


Manicure done with plate BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store.


The stamping was done with Silver Holo by UO Nail Lacquer, so the polish photographed clearer (although not as holographic) before the top coat was added.

I also interpreted the image in the 2nd row, 3rd from the right as seaweed:


The seaweed was stamped with BPL-026. For more details, please refer to the link above this picture.

What I also love about this plate is that you can use the single leaves on the bottom most row to make up your own pattern if you want to mix things up or just use them individually for an accent nail.

The only thing I regret is that I don’t have green or brown stamping polish to use with this plate!  I’ll have to put that on my shopping list for next time.  😉

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Ocean Themed Manicure

It’s still technically summer, even though in my mind, once school starts, it’s fall.  So how about one last beachy manicure?


The polish line up from left to right: OPI- He’s My Surfing Instructor, Sephora by OPI- Looks Like Rain, Dear, Konad Special Nail Polish- Black, and b.m.c. nail lacquer- liquid gold.

It’s been awhile since I’ve used glitter polish, but I’m always looking for an excuse to change up my nails a bit more often.  I went ahead and used Elmer’s School Glue as a base coat for easy removal later on, and used He’s My Surfing Instructor from OPI on all my nails to start.


He’s My Surfing Instructor from OPI is a jelly based glitter polish that looks like a beautiful ocean.

This polish takes quite a few coats before it looks opaque.  I think I did 4-5 coats to get the look in the picture above.  Perhaps next time I’ll use an opaque color as a base and use this color on top to give it the iridescent sheen of the polish.  It’s a really beautiful color, though.

The stamping was done with 2 different plates: BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store and Jumbo Plate 2 by Cheeky.


BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 3 images from the right.


I used the seashell that is in the top row, 3rd image from the left on Jumbo Plate 2 from Cheeky.

For the seaweed part, I added dimension by stamping the pattern in gold first before I stamped it in black.  It adds just a little bit more shimmer to the polish as well.


Stamping done with liquid gold by b.m.c. nail lacquer and plate BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store. It looks very faint, but it adds that touch of class and unites the black and gold color theme in this design.


Black polish by Konad is stamped over the gold part with the same pattern from BPL-026.

The shells were done with the reverse stamping method so I could color them in.


The image from Cheeky Jumbo Plate 2 is stamped with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.


Using the brush from the bottle, I colored in the shell with Looks Like Rain, Dear from Sephora by OPI.

Finally I stamped the shells onto my nails with opposing angles to frame the seaweed.


Under the sea… Ocean themed nail art! Ariel would be jealous.

And that’s all there is to it!  It was easy to do, and I’m pretty satisfied with the result for once.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!  😉  Happy polishing!

Magical Dandelion Seed Nail Art

Ah, September.  The seasons are changing, so I wanted to do some nail art that would capture the magic in the air.  The lightness of fluffy dandelion seeds seemed perfect for the prompt!

I knew I was going to use a plate from Born Pretty Store, so I decided to stamp silver holographic polish onto a shimmery dark blue background.


The look starts with Soho Skinny from Ulta Professional, a beautiful pearly dark blue.


BPL-026 plate from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the top right hand corner for all my nails.


Stamping done with UO Nail Lacquer in Silver Holo.

For that touch of magic, I brushed Sugar Coat by Kleancolor on just the top half of my nails to create a simple glitter gradient look.


Sugar Coat by Kleancolor. I love the iridescent glitter in this polish!

And that’s it!  Super easy, sophisticated looking nails that capture the magic of the changing seasons.  Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day!  Happy polishing!


Holographic dandelion seeds. Winning.