Green and Gold Oriental Dressing Screen Manicure

With all the holiday activities going on lately, I have hardly had any time to do my nails.  In the interest of getting things done quickly, I resorted to stamping to get me through this busy period.

People most commonly think of doing red manicures around this time, so I decided to buck the trend and do green and gold for something different.  There are some gorgeous emerald green shades out there that don’t get enough of a shout out, and Emer from Julep is a fine example of one.

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I began by painting Emer from Julep on all my nails except for my ring finger, on which I used Masked Beauty from Finger Paints.

For the stamping, I used plated BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.  It’s more of a springtime plate, but I wanted to do a dressing screen type of theme, so this suited my purpose perfectly.

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BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.

The stamping was done with Konad Special Nail Polishes in Black and Gold.  The patterns that I used are from the bottom left hand corner of the plate.

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It’s easy to see the Oriental influence with the pattern and color scheme here.

While understated, it still feels festive for the season but classy.

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Hope you enjoyed this simple look.  Happy polishing!

 

Santa’s Sleigh Xing Sign Nails

We’re in the home stretch to Christmas, so I had to get at least one Christmas themed manicure in before the big day.  Inspired by road signs, I decided to paint a “Sleigh Crossing” version to warn people to look out for Santa and his reindeer.

To start, I painted my nails with 2 coats of white polish.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

To make my road sign noticeable, I used neon yellow powder that glows under blacklight.

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Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Powder in color #11.

To use this powder, you must apply a gel top coat over your nails and cure it for about 15 seconds so that the surface stays tacky, then apply the powder with a sponge applicator.  Being neat is a strong plus here.  You don’t want to get the top coat pooling in your cuticles or sides of your nail bed because things will look really messy, and using a latex barrier on your skin will aid with the clean up process.

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After applying the powder over the gel top coat, my nails have a matte look.

You will want to use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails before applying another layer of gel top coat to seal in the color.  The powder can easily contaminate the brush and bottle of top coat, so if you are truly paranoid, you might consider pouring out a small amount of top coat into a separate container for use with this manicure to keep things neat.

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Once the gel top coat is applied and fully cured, my nails achieve a highlighter yellow color.

The Santa and reindeer silhouettes were painted freehand with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in black.  I really wished that I had a stamping plate that I could have used for this step, but it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve tried to paint.

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Warning: Sleigh Xing!

The reindeer were the hardest elements for me to paint.  I had to redo at least one nail completely because I didn’t like how it was turning out.  The best part about having gel top coat sealing the neon base is that you can wipe away the paint on top without messing up the color underneath.

If you decide to attempt the freehand here, I find that it is easier to start by painting the shape of the body, then add the tail, legs, head, and antlers.  That’s my method, but hey, what do I know about painting animals?  Truth be told, I was cursing the whole time about how I can’t paint reindeer!

So while the design looks the most impressive under a blacklight, sadly they do not glow in the dark.  Seeing as you don’t encounter blacklights in many places, people can’t truly appreciate the full effect of these nails.  They’re still pretty festive, so you might want to attend a rave just for fun with these on.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Review of Born Pretty Holographic Laser Powder #7

It’s powder mania here on the Fine Polish blog!  I’ve been getting a huge kick out of trying out different chrome and holographic powders, so today’s review is for a red holographic glitter powder set from Born Pretty.

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An assuredly brand new set sealed in the package.

At first glance, the product is not much to look at.  There is no indication regarding the color or instructions for use on the packaging.  The baggie is heat sealed at the top across the hang tag area, so you must tear the packaging at the notches on the sides to open the product, but there is also a Ziploc seal closure located at the top of the white section of the bag that makes it reusable for storage purposes.

The actual contents include roughly 1 gram of glitter powder inside a plastic, faceted container.  The opening is sealed in the same manner as bottles of vitamins are so that the powder does not leak out of the container during shipment.

Also included is a small sponge tipped applicator with a plastic handle.  This is very much like an eyeshadow applicator except it has a smaller handle.  The whole length is 1.5 inches.

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Born Pretty Holographic Laser Glitter Powder set in color option #7.

The glitter itself is very fine and unlike anything that you will see in a craft store.  It looks rather drab in the container but really comes alive once a gel top coat is applied.  The particles are bigger than the ones in other chrome pigments and apply very similarly except for a slight twist.

Begin by painting your nails with a color that matches the pigment that you are using.  Because I am using red glitter, I painted my nails red.  This way, any areas that do not get covered fully by the glitter will be less apparent.

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Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.

Note that if you use regular polish like I did, you will need to wait until the color is totally dry before proceeding to the next step.  If you are using gel polish, cure the color as normal.

Next, apply a gel top coat, but do not cure this layer fully, especially if you are using a no-wipe formula.  The aim is to leave the top coat slightly tacky so that the glitter can adhere to the surface.  I tried fully curing the top coat at first, thinking that this worked the same way as other chrome powders from Born Pretty, but I soon found that the pigment would not stick to the top coat.  I used Born Pretty Soak Off Gel top coat which cures in 30 seconds, so I opted to cure it for only 15 seconds before trying to apply the glitter again.  This extra tackiness is exactly what was needed for the glitter to stick to the nail.

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On the left is my failed attempt to get the powder to stick to a fully cured top coat (30 seconds). The coverage was sparse, if at all, and I could still rub the glitter completely off my nail if I wanted to. The right side shows what the pigment looks like when it is used over top coat is cured for only 15 seconds.

The sponge applicator works well for applying the powder, but it does absorb some of the tackiness from the top coat, so it will only last for a few manicures.  The good thing is that you can buy replacements at the drugstore or your local beauty supply shop if the sponge falls apart.

You can use a fan brush to clean off any excess powder from your nails and skin, then apply another layer of gel top coat and cure it fully to seal the glitter into place and bring out the shine.  Or if you are truly lazy like me, apply the top coat, cure the gel, and simply wash your hands to get the excess glitter off your skin.  Your cuticles may not look as nice, and there is a good chance that you will contaminate the brush for your bottle of top coat with glitter, but this works great for a fast clean up process.

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Check out that shining red beauty! This glitter powder truly dazzles.

Born Pretty’s website claims that this is holographic, but it is not the kind of powder that will reflect rainbows.  The glitter does have a multi dimensional look to it and is definitely more sparkly than your average craft store variety.  It is eye catching, and people will definitely notice your nails when you wear this!

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Because it’s December, I added some holiday stamping over this classic red base color.

For those looking to get a full coverage glitter look, this powder is just the item that you need.  It comes in several other different colors, so you are bound to find a shade that you will love.  For shiny nails like this, it is definitely worth it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic laser powder (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/1gbox-holographic-laser-powder-manicure-nail-glitter-powder-colors-p-33368.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Review of Born Pretty Holographic Powder and Silicone Brush Set

Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared to be wowed by some holographic goodness in this post.

This set comes from Born Pretty Store, and it includes approximately 1 gram of beautiful, luscious, and stunning holographic powder in a cute diamond-like plastic container, a small sponge tipped applicator, and a double ended silicone brush.  The pigment and the sponge applicator are inside a Ziploc sealed baggie while the silicone brush is in its own plastic sleeve.

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So holographic! Even the baggie is imprinted with holographic foil.

The powder itself is very finely milled.  It is reminiscent of the many chrome pigment powders that are on the market right now.  These tiny particles are much smaller than normal glitter and will adhere to gel top coat to form a mirror reflective surface.  It may look very drab and boring in the container, but just wait until you see it in action.

The brush handle is imprinted with the Born Pretty logo.  If you’re wondering what all that blue stuff is in the handle, they are loose faceted beads.  They add to the cute factor of this set.

There are two different brush tips on the handle, both of which are pliable.  The silicone brush has the same kind of give to it as a Konad stamper.  Makes you wonder if you can use a stamper to apply this powder, although you will not have the same kind of precision using a stamper head that you will have using this brush.

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The two different ends of the Born Pretty silicone brush.

You will notice that one end is tapered and chiseled equally on both sides while the other end has a curved nib.  The former is more flexible than the latter due to the different thicknesses of the tips, but both will apply the holographic pigment just as well.  I found that using the curved end was especially useful because it works with the curve of the nail in covering more surface area at once.  Both tips will give you more precision in getting the powder exactly where you want to apply it.

In any case, you will need to prepare your nails with some gel polish before you can apply the powder.  If you don’t have a colored gel polish, you can paint your nails with a regular nail polish, allow it to dry completely, then apply a gel top coat and cure it fully.  The set does not come with the top coat, but I used one purchased separately from Born Pretty for this review.

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Nails painted with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and Born Pretty Store Soak Off Gel Polish top coat.

I used the silicone brush to buff the powder into the cured top coat, and WOW.  Just a little bit of powder goes a long way.

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Holographic crack! Just a little bit of powder will transport you into this psychedelic world.

I find that the silicone brush and the sponge applicator work equally well with this product.  The brush does have the advantage of never wearing out, whereas the sponge applicator will need to be replaced after a few uses.  Also, the brush has a more professional look, so if you have paying clients, the brush will look like a more legitimate tool.

All that’s left to do is dust off the excess powder, apply another layer of gel top coat to seal the deal, and you’re ready to dazzle the world with your nails!

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Color shifting was never so easy!

The holographic effect is so strong that you won’t have to struggle to photograph the results.  Those of you who have tried to take pictures of holographic polishes will know how difficult it can be to capture the beauty of the effect.  You can see the resulting rainbows in practically any light setting, and the camera catches them perfectly.

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I jazzed up my digits with some zebra stripes. As if the holographic goodness wasn’t good enough!

Some may wonder if the color of the polish underneath affects the results.  The short answer is somewhat.  The powder is so pigmented and covers so well that only a hint of the base color can be seen.  You will definitely end up with a mostly silver colored holo.

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Swatches over b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black, crimson red, and white. I also tested it over only the gel top coat. Please excuse the discoloration of my nail! :O

This holographic powder and brush set is my favorite nail art acquisition to date.  This stuff has a stronger holographic effect than pretty much any other holographic polish that I have tried.  Judging by how little product I had to apply to get full coverage, this little jar will last me quite a long time with the added bonus of me never having to worry about the ingredients expiring.  It is also just plain gorgeous and easy to use, and who wouldn’t like that?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic powder and silicone brush set (retail price is $17.99 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/1gbox-holographic-rainbow-laser-glitter-powders-with-silicone-brush-manicure-nail-decoration-p-34834.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Glittery Snowflake Christmas Manicure

Being a musician, December is a busy time of year.  Seems like every group needs to perform a holiday concert this month, but I’ll never get sick of the music, especially seeing how happy it makes people.

One ensemble had a “Let it Snow!” theme for their concert, so I made nails to match.  I started by painting my nails a Christmas-y red with Tip Your Hat from China Glaze.

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Tip Your Hat is a festive red color from China Glaze.

To really make this mani sparkle, I used a loose holographic glitter powder from Born Pretty Store on top of this.

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Born Pretty Store’s holographic laser glitter powder in color #7.

To use the powder, a gel top coat is applied to the nails but cured for only about 15 seconds so that it is still tacky enough to allow the glitter to stick to it.  I used Born Pretty’s gel top coat over the China Glaze color.  The glitter is applied with the sponge applicator included with the set, and then a final layer of gel top coat is applied to seal in the glitter and bring out the shine.

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The effects of the glitter powder are stunning.

To finish up, I added some stamping using plate BP-01 from Born Pretty Store.

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Christmas themed plate BP-01 from Born Pretty Store.

For this design, I stamped the tree design from the center of the plate onto my ring finger, the full sized snowflake image on the far right side of the plate onto my thumb, and made up my own unique pattern using the two single snowflake images from the top of the plate for the rest of my nails.

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Stamping was done with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Lacquer #4 (white).

This look was definitely eye catching, and I had people asking to see my nails all day at the concert.  It’s definitely a cheer filled design worthy of the holiday season!

Happy polishing!

 

 

Holographic Zebra Nail Art

OMGOMGOMG I just got the most beautiful holographic power from Born Pretty Store, and just wait until you see it!  It’s the most holographic thing that I have ever put on my nails!  Of course I couldn’t wait to use it in a mani, so here we go!

This powder needs to be applied over a gel polish base.  I don’t think you have to apply a nail color first as the effect will always be mostly silver, but I decided to use regular black polish (b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black) underneath the powder.  I only applied one coat as it is very opaque (it is one of Bundle Monster’s first stamping polishes), let it dry, then applied Born Pretty gel top coat and cured it under a UV LED lamp.

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Shiny black nails done with one coat of b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black followed by Born Pretty gel top coat.

I used a silicone brush to apply the holographic powder from Born Pretty Store to my nails immediately after taking pictures drying the top coat under the lamp.  It was love at first sight!

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So many rainbows result from this holographic powder!

As an aside, anyone who has tried to photograph holographic nail polish knows how hard it is to capture the effect on camera.  This powder required zero effort on my part to get that shot!  The rainbow effect is so dazzling that it is definitely not camera shy!

I would have been totally content to leave my nails alone, but apparently people have come to expect more than just one color from me.  I let the spirit of Lisa Frank guide me into putting zebra stripes over this wonderfully prismatic base.

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BP-L006 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I could have hand painted some stripes, but I was doing my nails late at night and needed to get to bed, so I opted to stamp them on instead using plate BP-L006 from Born Pretty Store.  I used the image in the top row, 4th from the left and turned it horizontally on my nails so that I could vary the pattern across them, making the design look more hand painted.

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Conveniently, I used the same b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black from the base color to do the stamping on top.

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A holographic zebra is my spirit animal.

This was a fun mani to do, and I still can’t get over the holographic sparkle from the powder.  Plus I think it’s cute that I now match all the Lisa Frank stuff that I own.  I’m such a child of the 90s.

Happy polishing!

Holiday Stamping over Magnetic Polish

I’ve been on a gel polish kick lately, mostly because I keep using a peel off base coat underneath it now that I know what a pain it is to remove!  It’s such a shame sometimes because I do love the shine and the finishes of the polishes by Madam Glam, but a girl’s gotta paint.

This week I tried out a magnetic polish from Madam Glam.  I’m not ordinarily a fan of magnetized polish because the magnets don’t always work so well over curved nail beds.  However, the benefit to using a magnetic gel polish is that if you don’t like the effect, you can easily “reset” your color with another swipe of the applicator brush and try it out again.  The downside is that if you wait too long to cure your polish after applying the magnet, your design will fade as the polish starts to spreads out.  I did not want to get stuck curing one nail at a time, so you will notice that the magnetic effect does not look overly strong in my swatch.

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Flying Purple from Madam Glam applied straight from the bottle.

I used a magnet from China Glaze that I purchased separately seeing as the Madam Glam magnetic gels don’t come with one.

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This item from China Glaze has three different patterned magnets for use with your manicures.

Simply brush a layer of magnetic gel over an already cured layer of the color, balance the magnet over your nail for a few seconds, then remove it to see the pattern in the nail polish.  If you don’t like how it looks, brush the gel out and try it again.  It is one of the huge benefits to using a gel polish for this technique as the design won’t set until you cure it under a lamp.

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Flying Purple with the star magnetic effect applied on top.

The polish looks pretty enough on its own, so I didn’t want to do anything too crazy.  I opted to put some light holiday stamping as an accent nail using Jumbo Plate 6 from Cheeky Beauty.

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Cheeky Jumbo Plate 6 is great for your holiday needs.

I used the silver bells on the far right, 2nd row down from the rectangular images.  I only wanted one set of bells, so after stamping the image, I isolated the part I wanted to use by cleaning off the excess polish from the stamper using some Scotch tape.

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The silver bells were stamped with b.m.c. nail lacquer in iced silver.

Of course, within a few hours after doing this, the polish on my ring finger managed to completely peel off thanks to the super effect peel off base coat from Ünt that I used.  I didn’t want to change my nails quite so soon, so I applied a different polish to replace the lost chip instead.

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I opted to use the aptly named Silver Bells color from Finger Paints as an accent nail color.

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This time I stamped on a holiday ornament with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black. The image is on the far right side of the plate in the first row of rectangular designs.

I think all the different manicures here look cute and festive.  Do you have a favorite one out of the pictures here?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!