Back to School Chalkboard/Bus/Crayon Nail Art

Who is ready for the upcoming school year?  Not me!  Most NYC schools don’t start until after Labor Day, so I’ve got a little bit more time for myself before the crazy student hustle begins again!

I teamed up with @tamiiinails on Instagram this time to do a collaboration to celebrate the return of the school year, so we both agreed to have some kind of chalkboard element in our designs.  The rest was up to us!

I decided to use the chalkboard as my accent nail and paint the stripes of a yellow school bus across the other nails.

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I used Lighthouse by China Glaze and Johnny by Julep for my base colors. I guess the shimmer makes my school bus look more magical!

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I painted my nails with the corresponding base colors that would go with my concept.

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I used a striping brush and black acrylic paint to make the double stripe pattern across my nails. I later refined the lines with a detail brush to get them filled out and straight. Then I painted the 1+1=2 on the black nail with white acrylic paint and a super fine detail brush and applied matte top coat from Sephora by OPI over the chalkboard design. Regular top coat from Seche Vite was applied to the other nails for shine.

It’s a fairly simple design, although getting the details to look perfect is where a steady hand and some OCD come in handy!  Believe me, I wish I had black striping tape that I could have used instead!  Speaking of which, if you don’t think you are capable of painting straight lines, you can lay 3 pieces of striping tape on top of the yellow polish to form a stencil for the black lines and paint over the empty spaces with black nail polish.  Personally I’m faster at painting them freehand, not to mention that I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to waiting for my polish to dry before applying striping tape!  But this technique may work better for you.

Also, it occurred to me afterward that the lines resemble the ones on crayon wrappers, so you can also opt to change the colors on your nails and purposefully turn them into crayon nails.  Of course, you can also eliminate the chalkboard altogether and do only crayon nail art as well.

As for the collaboration, here it is!  Simple but cute.

Best of luck to everyone in the new school year!  Happy polishing!

Lacey Stained Glass Manicure

I wanted to create a pretty manicure after my 3D nail experiment, so I turned to a classy plate from Harunouta for inspiration.

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Lace for days: Harunouta plate L-009.

My eyes were drawn to the lace strip in the center of the plate, so I decided to do some stamping in black over subtle holographic hues.  Did you know that Urban Outfitters released a line of holographic nail polishes a few years ago?  They are some of the best purchases I ever made.

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Clockwise from top left: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, UO Nail Lacquer in Silver Holo, UO Nail Lacquer in Pink Holo, and UO Nail Lacquer in Green Holo.

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I painted all my nails with Silver Holo.

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I stamped the lace image with black polish and colored in the flowers with Pink Holo and the leaves with Green Holo.

Pro tip: Use several stampers so that you can let the polish dry completely as you fill in the image on the next stamper.  Failure to wait will cause the colors to smear outside of your outlines, and the decal will not transfer properly.

I used the brush from the bottle to fill in the design, but if you need more precision, a dotting tool or detail brush is handy.

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After stamping the design, some clean up, and top coat, your manicure is done!

The most time consuming work is coloring in the sections, but it really an easy manicure to do.  Plus it’s holo- how can you go wrong?

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Hope you enjoyed this design!  Happy polishing!

Review of Harunouta L004 Plate

I’ve got a new favorite stamping plate brand, and it’s called Harunouta!  Based on the characters (and cherry blossoms) on the packaging, I’m guessing that it is a Japanese company.

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The slipcover for the rectangular plate is pretty and has social media links listed on the back.

The plate is the same size as the long plate series from Born Pretty Store and comes mounted on a piece of white plastic so that you can’t cut yourself on the metal edges of the plate.

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Plate L-004 is also covered with a thin blue plastic film that must be peeled off before usage.

The designs are super cute and relate to technology.  Gears, robots, conveyor belts, and circuit board patterns abound on the plate!  The best part is that the etching is perfect.  I had no problems picking up the designs with my stamper, especially because the images don’t use excessively fine details that can’t be engraved deeply.

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This plate is high tech!

What I love about the patterns is how large they are.  Even if you have long nails, you have plenty of areas to choose from so that you don’t ever have to stamp over the same area twice.  Especially with the gears, I was able to stamp from 4-5 different parts of the image before having to clean the plate with acetone, so it saved me time, nail polish remover, and cotton balls!

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A steampunk themed manicure I did quickly and easily with Harunouta plate L-004.

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A circuit board design created with the image from the bottom right corner of the plate.

The robots are cute and on the large side, so you would most likely have to stamp one complete robot across 2-3 nails unless your nails are super long.  The heads alone make for a fun, futuristic mani.

Overall, this plate is a wonderful purchase for anyone and well worth the money.  The quality is top notch for a stamping plate, and it’s a great pick for beginner and professional nail artists alike.  You will definitely enjoy using this product and creating tech savvy manicures!

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

http://www.bornprettystore.com/126cm-rectangle-nail-stamp-template-robot-design-image-plate-harunouta-l004-p-30335.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Steampunk Nail Art and Review of Dimension Nails Notorious Stickers

I had my gears turning trying to come up with some nail art that would go with some 3D stickers that I got from Dimension Nails recently.

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3D nail art stickers from Dimension Nails in Gum Drop, Tsunami, and Notorious.

These stickers are made of foam and have adhesive on the bottom flat edge so that you can apply them to your nails without having to use glue.  They come pre-sliced into thin strips as shown, and you can choose to paint them before or after application.  If you’re feeling creative, you can cut the stickers to make different shapes and glue them to your nails in a manner other than the kind pictured on the box.

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Designs pictured from top to bottom: Tsunami, Gum Drop, and Notorious.

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My shipment also came with instruction cards and a Nail Art Cutter.

The ridges of Notorious spoke to me, so I decided to make some steampunk themed nails with gears.  Stay tuned to see how I turned the stickers into cogs!

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I used a brushed metal color palette for this manicure. From left to right: Iconic from Formula X for Sephora, Torque from Formula X for Sephora, Number One Nemesis from OPI, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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I painted all my nails with Torque, which has a gorgeous flat metallic finish.

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I used Harunouta plate L004 for the gears.

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Stamping was achieved with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, and a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI was applied over it to keep things looking industrial.

The gears were a bit of a pain to make.  I cut the foam at the peak of the design on the left and right sides of a strip and applied nail glue to connect the ends together.  My bottle of fast dry nail glue dried out, so I used Kiss Nail Art Glue and a pinching tool to hold the shape in place until it dried.  After realizing that my first gear would be rather large compared to my nail, I tried making two other smaller sized ones, but I found that the smaller the gear was, the harder it was to glue together because the shape wouldn’t hold.

In any case, I painted the inside ring of each cog with Number One Nemesis and the rest of the gear with Iconic.  It should be noted that I painted directly over the adhesive backing, so don’t worry about trying to get all the sticky stuff off first if you’re not using the product conventionally.

When the polish was dry on the gears, I attached them to my nails with Kiss Nail Art Glue, making sure to align them so that they locked into place.  I decided to not use the smallest gear that I made because I wanted the stamped gears to show through more, and I didn’t think I did a good job gluing it together.

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Almost looks like these gears can turn and do something- how cool is that?

The 3D stickers are also so lightweight, you’ll hardly notice that they’re there.  They stay in place surprisingly well!

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Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

Overall, the stickers from Dimension Nails were fun to use and allowed me to be more creative in trying to come up with a design.  I already have an idea for what I want to do next with them!  What would you create?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!

 

Review of Ya Qin An Stamping Polish #8

After trying out different stamping polishes from Ya Qin An, I decided to test an electric blue color this time.  The color is bright and absolutely stunning!  It’s a true royal blue worthy of the Duchess of York.

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18 mL of goodness: Ya Qin An Stamping Polish #8

Now honestly, I’m not sure what the color is called because other than the brand, all the writing on the packaging and the bottle is in Chinese.  I’m only referring to it as #8 because that’s the number assigned to the color on the Born Pretty Store website (see the end of the post for the item link).  Maybe one of my kind readers would like to translate what everything says in the comments?

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The bottle comes packaged in a box. This shot shows the instructions that are printed on the back. Thank goodness for pictures!

I’m guessing that the label on the bottom lists the ingredients and maybe the exact name of the color.  I also see numbers (2018.7.1) which could be the expiration date.  I’ve had old bottles of polish stay in good usable condition for years, so I wouldn’t take that expiration date too seriously, but according to the label, this bottle will be ok for nearly two years.

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I love the cube shape of the bottle because it provides a sturdy base that can’t be tipped over easily.

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The brush is a normal sized one, and it works fine for stamping because hardly any polish gets used on the plate anyway.  One stroke of polish should be more than enough to cover whatever design you wish to use.

As with any good stamping polish, the color provides excellent coverage in one thin coat and looks just as good on your nails as it does in the bottle.  I used a pattern from plate BP-L006 from Born Pretty Store for the stamping below.

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The top shot is shown without top coat while the bottom shot is pictured with top coat added. Base colors from left to right are White Hot from Sephora by OPI, Torque by Formula X for Sephora, What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI, and one coat of Ya Qin An #8 stamping polish.

You can see that the polish shows up beautifully over both light and dark base colors.  The fact that I could swatch one coat of polish on my pinky and get perfect, even coverage shows that the formula is well made.  Also, unlike other opaque stamping polishes, the polish is not overly thick.  This means that if you want to use Ya Qin An stamping polish as a base color, you can do so easily for a quick dry, one coat manicure.

The only complaint that I have is that over white polish, the blue color develops a little bit of a purple halo effect around the stamped design a few minutes after top coat is applied.  I tried to take a macro shot of it, but it surprisingly did not show up in the photo.

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Several minutes after the top coat was applied, the blue polished developed a purple halo around some of the edges of the stamped design. You can see a tinge of it toward the cuticle area, but it did not photograph well.

It was also interesting to note that when I cleaned my stamping plate, the cotton ball turned the same purplish hue.  I guess that’s how strong the pigments are in this polish.

You can see the purple tone bleed more clearly in the double stamped plaid manicure below.

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If you look at where the blue and white stamping overlap each other, you will notice that there is a third color that appears as a result of the color bleed off the blue polish.

The purple halo effect is very subtle and only seems to happen over white polish, so be warned.  Overall the quality of this product is extremely high and I have no reservations in recommending it to my friends.  The proof is in the stamping!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $8.76 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/bottle-18ml-electric-blue-stamping-polish-nail-varnish-nail-plate-printing-special-polish-p-27003.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Computer Geek Nails

I have to get my fingerprints taken for a job application, so I thought it would be cool to do computer circuit board nails.  I’ve been wanting to do this idea for years but never got around to it until now!

I went with yellow-green for the base color and decided to stamp with gold polish.  I added the last two polishes after literally sleeping on that idea.  More on that in a bit.

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Colors from left to right are Hot Fun In the Summer-Lime by OPI, Ya Qin An polish in Gold, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12, and What’s A Tire Jack from Sephora by OPI.

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I painted all my nails with the light green color first.

For the circuit board, I used the pattern from the bottom right hand side of plate L004 from Harunouta.

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Harunouta L004 plate.

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I stamped the pattern across my nails with gold polish.

I had done my nails super late at 3 am (night owls, can I get a holla?) so after getting some sleep, I decided that I needed an accent nail to break up the design.

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I removed the polish from my ring finger and painted the nail black instead.

Binary code is always appropriate when it comes to computer themed nail art.  I used the same pattern to make Matrix themed nails last year, but I finally have a good quality light green stamping polish to use with it!

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Hey look, another circuit board! Plate BM-415 from Bundle Monster.

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I finished up by stamping the pattern from the top of the plate onto my accent nail.

It was a cute and simple manicure that geeks like me can really adore.  Wish me luck now that I’m entering the system!  Happy polishing!

Review of Ya Qin An Top Coat and Nail Art Problem #6: Streaky Nail Art

A few months ago, I saw a post on Instagram regarding a top coat that doesn’t smudge stamping.  I can’t remember which company released it as I can’t find the picture now, but I was intrigued by how you could brush on coat after coat of the stuff without fear of smearing your nail art!  So lo and behold, not long after that, I found a mysterious product listed as “1 Bottle 18ml Nail Polish Nail Printing Anti-stamp Dedicated Isolation Oil Brush Pure Color” on Born Pretty Store’s website that sounded like it fit the bill.

http://www.bornprettystore.com/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

I took a gamble and got the product despite the lack of information on it, and it turns out that it did exactly what I thought it would do!

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Ya Qin An top coat for stamping and nail art.

The bottle is a generous 18 mL size that will last you quite awhile.  By comparison, Seche Vite comes in a 14 mL bottle, and most standard bottles of nail polish contain 15 mL of fluid.

I love that the bottle shape is basically a big cube.  The width makes it stable and less likely to be knocked over, not like I’ve ever done that

I can’t read Chinese, so I can’t help with the translation of any of the labels below.  Maybe one of you kind readers will be able to lend a hand?

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I’m guessing that this label lists the ingredients.

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The top of the cap has this sticker on top.

The formula is nice and crystal clear.  It is definitely not any kind of oil, as the initial description mentioned!  It has a slightly fruity chemical smell to it.  I wouldn’t say that it’s very offensive or overly strong, but it’s not unscented.

I’ve used it for several stamping manicures so far and liked what I saw.  I was able to brush over the same area multiple times without the stamping polish streaking.

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Also topped off this damask print manicure with Ya Qin An top coat.

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Ya Qin An top coat over school uniform plaid nails.

You can see that there wasn’t any smudging in the above manicures.  By contrast, this is what a nail with Seche Vite top coat looks like.

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Yikes, that blue color streaked, and that was with one brush stroke of Seche Vite!

I do have to say that despite the streaking, Seche Vite dried faster and shinier than the top coat by Ya Qin An.  But what good is that if the nail art underneath streaks and ruins all your hard work?  So for that alone, I think Ya Qin An deserves a 5 diamond rating.  You might have to sit around for another 5 minutes to make sure that everything dries completely, but you’ll have the security of knowing that your stamping efforts paid off.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this top coat (retail price is $11.96 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/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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