Clownfish Finding Nemo Nails

The other week, I painted clown inspired nail art, so naturally the next thing I thought to paint was clownfish!  Finding Dory is coming out soon, so I couldn’t help but put Nemo on my nails.

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Colors used include from left to right: Radiant by Formula X, Zing by Formula X for Sephora, and White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

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I also used craft smart Acrylic Paint in Black, White, and Dark Grey for some of the details.

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I started by painting most of my nails with Radiant.

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For the clownfish stripes, I used white acrylic paint to form the basic shape, layered it with white polish to give it a more even texture and shine, and then I outlined the white sections with a striping brush dipped in black acrylic paint.

You might be wondering why I applied white acrylic paint first rather than painting white polish directly onto my nails.  In my experience, layering polishes over each other causes the colors to bleed, even if the base color is dry.  The thicker the coat, the more the bottom color melts into the top one.  Acrylic paint does not have that effect because it simply dries as a separate layer on top of the nail polish.  Had I only used white nail polish, there would have been a good chance of it turning slightly orange or getting slightly streaked with the other color.

Also, white polish is not a one coat color.  You need to apply it at least twice over an area to get decent opacity, so it was easier to use acrylic paint to get the opacity right off the bat without making a total mess.

The clownfish stripe design is also awesome for beginner nail artists because the lines don’t have to be so precise.  It just looks like a mod pattern from afar.  Also, the black lines on a clownfish aren’t exactly the same width, so it’s easy to forgive any variances in thickness in the painting.

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I didn’t try to exactly copy the pattern of the fish in this photo, but you get the idea.

I only painted Nemo on my thumb because I wasn’t going to do a full set of characters from the movie.

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I started by painting my thumb with Zing, then I painted a rough outline of where Nemo would go with white acrylic paint. I used Radiant to color in the section orange, outlined the entire shape with black acrylic paint, added the stripe and eye details with white acrylic paint, and finished by painting in the rest of the face and fin details with a dotting tool and a small brush.

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A good clear top coat seals all the layers together and smooths out everything to a fine polished finish.

Nemo is just the cutest!  And yes, I own a plushie of him.  🙂

Just keep swimming, lovelies!  Happy polishing!

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Review of M&X Solingen Tweezers/Pinching Tool

If you have ever worked with rhinestones, you know how tedious it can be to pick them up from a container.  For that reason alone, I wanted to get a decent pair of tweezers to use for nail art purposes.

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Enter M&X Solingen tweezers, shown brand new in the packaging.

M&X Solingen tweezers work extremely well.  What I love about the design that they stay naturally closed and need to be pushed in the middle to open the tines.  It is truly a clip style.  They hold your item securely in their grip making it easy to switch between dominant and non dominant hands for placement of the bead exactly where you want it.

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View from above. You can see that the tweezers are in a naturally pinched position. Press the widest point to open the tines at the top.

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View from the side. The angled tip comes in handy for picking up small rhinestones.

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The back of the package shows basic instructions and suggestions for usage.

It does not take much pressure to open the tweezers, especially considering that most nail art items are small.  I think it’s safe to say that the less you have to use your hands when your nail polish is still wet, the less chance you will have of smudging your nails and the happier you will be.

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Picking up small rhinestones is a breeze.

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Holding the tweezers in a hockey stick position, it’s easy to line up a small stud close to your nail due to its flat angled head.

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The tweezers can pick up thin nail decals with ease.

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Place nail vinyls with accuracy and avoid smudging your nails by holding the sticker with tweezers instead of your fingers.

You can also use these tweezers to help peel off liquid tape and/or hold sponges while applying gradient effects to keep excess polish off your fingers.  Never risk prematurely injuring your manicure again!  You can easily clean the tweezers with acetone and a cotton ball as needed once your nails are fully dry.

The package also suggests that you can use the tweezers as a pinching tool to help curve acrylic nails into a more elegant and slim shape.  The tweezers have a very firm grip, so clamping it onto your finger might be uncomfortable, but as they say, no pain, no gain!

These tweezers are made of durable metal and should last a lifetime.  Every nail artist should have a pair because of how convenient they are to use.  They serve as an excellent substitute for your fingers while your polish is drying and make precision application of rhinestones and charms a breeze.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing these tweezers (retail price is $3.85 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 polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/multifunctional-acrylic-picking-tool-nail-rhinestones-gems-eyelash-nippers-tweezers-p-19097.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Review of Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape

Peel off tape has been all the rage ever since it first started appearing in nail art videos.  Naturally, I wanted to get my hands on a bottle of to see what the fuss was about.

I tried out Born Pretty Store’s liquid palisade and was impressed with how easy it was to use.  I haven’t sampled any other brand’s liquid latex, so unfortunately I don’t have anything to compare it to, but this bottle worked like a charm.

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Liquid Peel Off Tape from Born Pretty Store.

The liquid tape comes in the same kind of bottle as Born Pretty’s stamping polish.  Its rectangular shape stores next to other similarly shaped bottles nicely.  The applicator for the palisade is a regular nail polish bottle brush, so the formula goes on easily.

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Applying this liquid tape is as easy as putting on nail polish.

The formula itself smells fruity and is the perfect consistency where it isn’t too runny or thick, so it’s a pleasure to use.

To aid with peeling the tape off, I recommend applying cuticle oil to the skin around your nails before applying the tape.  I also would suggest that you paint a generous layer of the latex so that it peels off in one piece.  It dries pretty quickly, so having a thick coat of palisade won’t keep you waiting.  Instead you will end up saving a lot of time by doing this step properly compared to if you had to scrub away at excess nail polish with acetone and cotton swabs, and you will protect your skin in the process.

You can see how I used it to clean up my nails easily while doing some funky paisley nails.

 

I also used the peel off tape in conjunction with nail vinyls to make a gradient effect for a mermaid scale manicure.

 

As for how easily it peels off, check out how it stuck to the nail vinyl when I removed it.

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The liquid tape came off in one complete piece with hardly any additional clean up on my finger necessary.

Any other residue can be scraped off with an orange stick, but as long as your skin is moisturized prior to using the palisade, you shouldn’t have a problem removing the tape.

My final verdict is that if you like doing gradients or water marbling, you need to have this product because it is worth every penny to not have to worry about cleaning up your skin afterward.  It’s also convenient to use with stamping or if you’re overall just sloppy when you paint your nails.  😉  You get 15 mL of liquid latex in a bottle, so it will last you for quite a few manicures.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing a bottle of liquid peel off tape (retail price is $4.59 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 polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/15ml-white-peel-liquid-tape-peel-base-coat-nail-liquid-palisade-nail-latex-p-22612.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Clown Nail Art

Let me start out by saying that I hate clowns, and I would never normally want to paint this subject, but I was playing in the orchestra for a production of Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo recently and was briefly obsessed with clowns because of the all the rehearsals and performances.  How could I resist the opportunity to face my fear?

I wanted to use primary colors for this design because they remind me of the circus.

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From left to right: craft smart Acrylic Paint in Black, Brigitte by Julep, and Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 day shine in Pole dance, Banana split, and Happy hour!

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I started with a white base color.

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Using different sized dotting tools, I applied dots of red, yellow, and blue nail polish which made my nails look like the packaging for Wonder Bread. I left the middle finger nail for the clown, and yes, that was for a reason. The nose was done with a large dotting tool, and I managed to use the brush from the bottle to swipe on a large red mouth for him.

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I painted eyes, eyebrows, and a mouth with a detail brush and black acrylic paint to finish off the look.

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My clown and my piccolo at rehearsal. The smiling face doesn’t really fit the opera if you know what the story is about, but I wasn’t about to paint him looking sad because clowns are already creepy to me.

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I think he goes best with a handful of confetti.

I could have painted more detail, but to be honest, I didn’t want to spend more time looking at him than I had to!  I had every intention of changing my polish soon after the opera, but things have been busier than anticipated, so my little friend has been tagging along for a week longer than originally planned.  Better tell him that the circus is moving out now!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Store BP-35 Plate

I’m always confident about the quality of the stamping plates from Born Pretty Store, and this latest acquisition is no exception.

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BP-35 comes with a thin blue plastic film covering the plate to protect it from getting scratched during shipment. This layer must be removed prior to use.

It does take awhile for the products from Born Pretty to ship to the US.  I waited about 5 weeks after getting the notification that the item was shipped before I could enjoy using this plate.

The size is the standard circular one that you see from brands like Konad and Bundle Monster, so it will fit in any plate organizer that you might already have.  In case you don’t organize your plates like that, Born Pretty provides a protective cardboard sleeve for each plate so that it doesn’t get scratched.  I do wish that the pattern of the plate was printed on the sleeve, but you can stamp the images onto a sticker and make your own label if you are inclined to do so.

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The front and back of the packaging. Just for clarification, I photographed two sleeves next to each other, but BP-35 only comes with one.

As always, the etching on the plates is nice and deep so using them is a piece of cake.  You can get nice, crisp images every time if you have a good stamper.

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BP-35 from Born Pretty Store

The quarter panel of the paisley print is wonderful if you don’t like having the same pattern across all your nails.  The large design is also great for if you have long nails.

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The paisley print is an intricate pattern and stamps well. You can find the tutorial here.

The border patterns are also great for elevating a simple manicure into something more elegant.

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Stamping two nails (or even only one) is all it takes to give a single color manicure a wow factor.

Of course, the animals are cute, too.  It would have been nice to have a plate with images that complement each other, but it’s also cool that you can get several completely different manicures from one plate.  Try it out, and you’ll love it as much as I do!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $2.99 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 polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/lovely-animals-pattern-nail-stamp-template-image-plate-born-pretty-bp35-p-17918.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Elegant Blue Manicure

People always associate spring with pastel colors, but this beautiful blue really appealed to me, especially because it has been raining quite a bit over the last few days.  I drew my inspiration from my color palette for this manicure.

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Mood in blue. From left to right: Fathom by Formula X for Sephora, #19 from Ya Qin An, and Evolve by Divergent.

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I started by painting all my nails with Fathom.

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I added an iridescent sheen to the base color with a coat of Evolve.

I stamped on a pretty filigree border vertically on my index and ring fingers using a design from plate BP-35 from Born Pretty Store.

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I used the topmost design in the lower left hand quadrant of this plate.

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A very easy and simple manicure by itself, and yes, I intentionally did not stamp the border in the same place on both nails.

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I finished by gluing a few pearl rhinestones haphazardly to my other fingers with Kiss Nail Art Glue.

I think the look is very pretty and understated for the season.  I do hope we start getting warmer temperatures again soon, though!

Happy polishing!