Review of Born Pretty Store BP-X03 Plate

Up for consideration today is stamping plate BP-X03 from Born Pretty Store.  It comes in the standard 6 cm x 6 cm size and will fit in holders that accommodate square plates.

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The plate is shipped with blue protective film over it that must be removed before using it.

A word of caution when removing the film.  I never understood how people could cut themselves on stamping plates until I used a square shaped style.  I think that because the edges of the plate are straight rather than curved, there is more of a tendency for the edge to act like a knife, so please be careful when handling the plate to peel off the film.  I held onto the sides a little more tightly than I should have, and I ended up cutting my middle and index fingers to the point where one of the cuts was bleeding!  Under normal use, I don’t see this being a problem, but don’t go gripping the sides too hard.  On the plus side, at least the corners are rounded, so you can’t stab or scratch yourself with a point by accident.

The plate comes with a cardboard sleeve which protects it from scratches while in storage once the film is removed.  The back also shows instructions for how to use the plate should this be the first one that you have ever bought.

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I own a few of the square plates from Born Pretty Store, so the front of one sleeve and the back of another are pictured here side by side.

The back of the plate is coated and displays the name of the brand.

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Back side view of the BP-X03

As for the patterns, they are a lovely mix of lace and bows.

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Close up of BP-X03 plate.

The quality of the etching is excellent.  None of the details are too small where they can’t be picked up by a stamper, so the image transfers look beautiful.

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Reverse stamping is easy to accomplish with the bow images.

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I used a combination of the fishnet pattern and the bow pictured above to create this sexy leg garter look.

The assortment of full nail designs and smaller images will provide you with endless inspiration for many manicures.  I know that I’ll be using it again for sure!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $3.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/born-pretty-66cm-square-nail-stamp-template-lace-design-image-plate-p-29976.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Watercolor Butterfly Nails

I’ve wanted to do some watercolor nail art for awhile, and after seeing a video of an artist using alcohol inks that a friend of mine shared on Facebook, I decided that it was finally time to put the technique to use.

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I started by painting all my nails white. This color is Alpine Snow by OPI.

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For the alcohol inks, I used BiC Mark It Permanent Markers. I got a good deal on a set of 37 of them from BJ’s, so I picked some pretty cool tones from the set.

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Rather than draw directly on my nails with the permanent markers, I scribbled a swatch of each shade onto a plastic bag to use as a palette.

For the next step, I poured some 91% isopropyl alcohol into a small container.  Using a fine brush, I dipped the bristles into the alcohol and then mixed it with the color swatch on the bag that I wanted to use.  The more alcohol on your brush, the more diluted the color will be.  You can easily add more color over the area to make the shade more intense.  Be sure to clean off your brush on a clean paper towel when switching between colors.

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The result after applying Fandango Pink with alcohol and a brush.

Continue adding colors until you are satisfied with the result.

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Pretty pastel watercolor shades. I love this look as is!

I used plate BP-X08 from Born Pretty Store to do the stamping.

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I used the butterflies in the bottom right corner of the plate for this manicure.

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I stamped the design at different angles so that the butterflies looked different on each nail. The polish is b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black.

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A nice topcoat adds a beautiful shine to this manicure.

I absolutely adore this watercolor look.  It adds a dreamy touch to the hot weather we’ve been having in NYC.  Hope you are all enjoying your summer!  Happy polishing!

Review of Konad Special Nail Polish #24 (Flash Black)

If you’re into stamping nail art, you have Konad to thank for that.  It’s safe to say that the original innovator of the technique is a trustworthy brand.  I’ve generally had good experiences with their stamping polish in the past, but I wanted to try one of their newest colors to see if there have been any changes made to the formula.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

What I love about this color is that it is a shimmery black, so it has more dimension to it.  Konad does offer a standard black color if this isn’t your thing.

The bottle is the same shape throughout the brand.  There is 11 mL of polish inside, so there is a little bit less than what you would typically get in a regular bottle.

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The brush is a little on the thin side, but you won’t need to use a lot of polish when you’re stamping. Just swipe one line of polish at the top of the design, scrape off the excess, and you’ll be good to go.

The formula looks to be the same as the original one.  It is not extra thick and has a regular nail polish consistency.  With some stamping polishes, it is not practical to use them as a stand alone polish color because they are so viscous, but this one paints like a dream and gives full coverage in one coat.  You could easily give yourself an entirely Flash Black mani, and no one would know that you used stamping polish.

The extra benefit is that because this is a stamping polish, it dries quickly and only requires one coat for full opacity.  As a stand alone color, this is great for people who are on the run.

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Stamping done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and Born Pretty Store BP-L005 plate over the following colors (left to right): White Hot from Sephora by OPI, City-Pretty Rose by Nicole by OPI, Make A Change by Nicole by OPI, and one coat of Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. Top picture is without top coat applied, bottom picture is with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Over each of the base colors, the Konad polish performed exceptionally well.  There is a good contrast between Flash Black over light and dark bases, and you can see more of a shimmer in the color once the top coat is applied.

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The shimmer in the formula compliments glittery holo polish well as seen in this chevron accent nail mani.

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I also used it for the same reason in this half-stamped/half-hand painted chessmen manicure.

Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black is perfect for your stamping needs, and everyone should have a good black stamping polish in their arsenal.  This is definitely it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $12.06 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off any regular priced items in your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/11ml-flash-black-konad-nail-stamping-polish-professional-stamping-polish-p-24402.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Fishnet Stockings and Leg Garter Manicure

I can’t believe I’ve been doing nail art for over four years, and I’ve never done any overtly sexy or suggestive!  To get your mojo flowing, I used fishnet stockings as the inspiration for this manicure.

The whole process is very easy if you have the right tools.  I started off with a nude color polish.

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This color is called Let’s Plié from Sephora by OPI, a pale peachy pink with a touch of shimmer in it.

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I used plate BP-X03 from Born Pretty Store for the patterns in this manicure.

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I stamped the fishnet design on all my nails with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. My index finger does not look as shiny because it does not have top coat on it yet.

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I stamped the bow design from the lower right hand side of the plate and colored it in with Shopping Frenzy from Sephora by OPI using the brush from the bottle. If you need more accuracy, feel free to use a detail brush or a dotting tool.

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Because I colored in the design on the stamper, I simply waited for the polish to dry and then stamped it onto my ring finger.

It’s pretty simple to be sexy!  Happy polishing!

Review of Ya Qin An Qgirl-046 Stamping Plate

The product of the day is this awesome stamping plate from Ya Qin An.  I’ve grown to love and trust products from Ya Qin An, although I wasn’t a fan of the quality of one of their first Qgirl series plates.  Qgirl-046 is a completely different plate, and it does not disappoint!

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Square packaging for a circular plate. The upper left hand corner has a hole punched in it in case you want to attach this to a key ring or binder.

First of all, the packaging has been significantly upgraded.  It is clearly marked as a Ya Qin An product, and the plate is mounted on a piece of cardboard which fits into a cardboard sleeve for extra protection during shipping.

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Notice that there is blue film covering the surface of the plate to protect it from scratches during shipment. You must remove this layer before using it.

The back of the package illustrates how to use the plate.  Everything is written in Chinese, but you probably will know what to do with the plate without even having to look at this.

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To prevent the plate from slipping out from the sleeve, they also secured it with a label that wraps from front to back with a warning that the edges of the plate are sharp and to use caution.  I don’t find the plate to be any sharper than my other circular plates, but it is always good to be careful when handling it just in case.  There is paper on the back of the plate to help cut down on mishaps, and it also helps to keep the plate from slipping too much during use.

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The back of Qgirl-046 is still the same as the other plates from Qgirl.

Fans of geometric patterns will love this plate.  It is covered in lines, checkerboard print, and a few different sized flowers just waiting for some reverse stamping.

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Qgirl-046 plate in detail.

The etching is done much deeper than it was in the past, so you won’t have a problem picking up any of the patterns.

The size of the plate is the same as other circular plates by Konad, Bundle Monster, and Born Pretty Store, so it will fit in any holders you may already have.

What I love the most about this plate are the large sections running along the top and right side.  Not only can the stripes be multi-functional in the sense that you can stamp plain lines horizontally or vertically across your nails, but these areas will accommodate most nail sizes provided that your stamper is big enough.

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Fun with line placement.

As mentioned before, the flowers are great for doing some reverse stamping.  Simply stamp your image and fill in the petals with the color of your choice before stamping the image onto your nail.

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I wanted my flowers to be sparkly, so I colored them in with a glitter top coat and a purple shade prior to stamping.

The results are quite beautiful.

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To see a photo tutorial for these nails, please see my post on this coral and white striped mani.

The checkerboard print was great inspiration for a set of chess themed nails.

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The chess pieces are hand painted, but the checkerboard print comes from Qgirl-046.

I do have to warn you that using squishy stamper heads makes getting a precise pattern hard because of the distortion that can happen when you push down too hard, either when transferring the image from the plate or to your nails.  Try to use the same amount of pressure over each nail, or use a firmer stamper, and you won’t have a problem.

Also when stamping lines, be sure to roll your stamper across your nails consistently from one side of your nail to the other side or else your lines will not transfer correctly.

I encourage you to experiment with this plate because I’ll definitely be coming back to use it more in the future!

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 the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/nail-stamping-template-image-plate-grid-flower-pattern-qgirl-p-23787.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Chessmen Nails

Ever since I painted this design, people have been asking me if I play chess.  The short answer is no, although I vaguely remember the basic rules from when I was taught them a long time ago.  The last time I did any sort of chess game was online with a friend in the late 90s.  My claim to fame was beating my brother, who is nine years older than me, shortly after he taught me how to play the game at the age of 7.  I know he didn’t let me win because he wasn’t too happy about that one!

The inspiration for my chess themed nails comes from the checkerboard pattern on plate Qgirl-046 from Ya Qin An.

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I used the checkerboard print at the top of the plate for this manicure.

In retrospect, I would have painted the checkerboard by hand to get the lines more exact and consistent, but I didn’t have a lot of time to paint that night.  More about that in a bit.

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I started out by painting my nails with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer. Honestly, who doesn’t like a good holographic polish?

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I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black to do the stamping. Of course, I bumped my nail against something and was too lazy to fix it, so I left the damage there. After all, I knew I was going to paint over it anyway.

I want to also point out that it’s super hard to get a checkerboard pattern like this one all even and precise if you use a squishy stamper.  The softer head makes it easy to stamp over curvy nail beds, but it also distorts the pattern as it transfers.  So you can see the difference, I used my Konad stamper on my ring finger, but I didn’t scrape the plate very well so it picked up everything.  It’s funny because I’m so used to other stampers being more forgiving in that sense.

In any case, I know I did a hack job of the stamping, but it’s only the background so…

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I took a small brush and used craft smart acrylic paint in White to paint the basic shapes of the chess pieces. I decided on painting two pawns, a king, a queen, and a knight, which sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

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To make the pieces stand out, I outlined each piece with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. I also used the black paint to fill in any weird spots in the checkerboard print.

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I finished by applying Seche Vite Top Coat.

I was going to use Dazzle Dry Top Coat, but it started smudging my stamping with the first stroke, so I quickly changed plans.  Just remember that not every top coat will work with every manicure!

Hope you enjoyed reading about how to hide a bad stamping job.  😉  Happy polishing!

Review of My Dear Thermal Nail Lacquer 04

When I saw the new products listed on the Born Pretty Store website, this nail polish caught my eye.  It said that not only is it a thermal polish, but it also peels off!  I can get on board with that!

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My Dear Nail Lacquer 04 is a pretty powder blue crelly polish with medium and small silver hexagonal holographic glitter pieces suspended in it.

The bottle is rather small considering the price.  It is a 6 mL size, which is less than half of what you would get in a normal size bottle of polish.

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The manufacturing and expiration dates are labeled on a sticker affixed to the back of the bottle.

No ingredients are listed either on the bottle or on the Born Pretty website, but who reads that stuff, anyway?

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The brush is a good size where you can paint your nails in two strokes.

The formula looks a little on the thick side, but it suspends the glitter pieces well.  You won’t have to worry about all the glitter settling at the bottom of the bottle which is good because there is no mixing ball in this lil cutie.

It doesn’t smell like there are any harsh chemicals in it, but it does kind of smell like glue.  Makes me wonder if that’s really all there is to peel off nail polish.

More importantly, how does it paint?  Because this is a peel off polish, I did not use a base coat.  I also applied hand cream to moisturize my nails prior to application.

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One coat of polish is so sheer that it looks like I only applied a glitter topcoat to my nails.

An interesting thing to note is that you can see particles of what looks like clear glitter in the photo above.  This leads me to believe that they did not use a solvent resistant glitter in this polish.  What that means is that over time, you can expect many of the holographic pieces to fade away into the polish as the silver coating wears off.  It does not bode well that there are so many clear pieces in the formula when this polish is just over 6 months old.  Good thing that the bottle is small so that you’ll use it up quicker!

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Pictured with no top coat, this level of opacity required a whopping four to five coats of polish.

I do love the light blue color.  The glitter distribution is pretty even, and the finish dries to a dull shine.

At this point, I tried to do a thermal color change test under hot and cold water, and what I discovered was that the polish must be water based because it started distorting the finish!  I don’t even have a picture because I was horrified that all my hard work of painting just became undone.  The good thing was that I was able to peel off the manicure easily so I could start again.  More on that in a bit.

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I tried using three coats of polish and a top coat this time around. The color looks a little streaky, but it is quite shiny.

Lesson learned: you must use top coat with this nail polish!

As a color change polish, this did not work as well as I would have liked.  The website pictures show this polish going from light blue to medium blue, but what I found was that the color change is more like clear to light blue.  I nearly burned my hand in hot water and practically froze it to see if it would shift more, but the thermal effect was not very obvious at all.

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Top picture is effect under hot water, bottom picture is effect under cold water. Not much of a difference even under extreme temperature changes.

I feel like maybe if I didn’t have to paint so many layers of polish on, the color change would have been more obvious, especially given that one coat of polish looked like it was clear.  I was still disappointed that the medium blue color depicted in the website’s photos was nowhere to be found.

I kept the polish on for another 24 hours.  Nothing fell off my nails, and people thought the color was pretty.  It did feel like it was starting to lift in a few spots, so I peeled it off that night.

The polish came off pretty easily, as you can see in the video.  The tips of my nails are a little damaged so the polish clings to those spots a bit more.  I’m sure that trying out all this peel off polish is not helping the situation, so I again urge you to moisturize your nails before using any kind of peel off product.

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Not a bad collection of peelies.

As a peel off polish, My Dear works really well.  It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of a thermal polish.  I would maybe try using this as a top coat next time to see what happens, but then it would not have that satisfying peel off removal effect.  Just make sure to use a top coat with this polish and leave out the base coat if you want to peel it off for removal.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦◊◊ (3/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish (retail price is $8.92 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/bottle-color-changing-nail-polish-peel-polish-with-paillette-blue-transparent-p-23801.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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