Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year Nails

Hi, everyone!  Chinese New Year is right around the corner as it falls on January 28 this year, so I made a red and gold manicure for the occasion.

I started by painting my nails a beautiful red color.  I chose Suzanne from Julep for its subtle gold shimmer.

img_20170126_021555.jpg

Suzanne from Julep.

I wanted to have a lucky money type print in gold over the red, so I picked a pattern from plate BM-S228 from Bundle Monster to do some stamping.

img_20170126_022940.jpg

Plate BM-S228 from Bundle Monster is all about celebrating Chinese New Year.

I used the image from the upper left hand corner all over my nails.

img_20170126_021942.jpg

Gold coin madness using Born Pretty Store Stamping Nail Polish #1 (Gold).

2017 is the year of the rooster, so he had to represent.  I put him on my ring finger and used two different sized detail brushes and a mix of craft smart acrylic paints to make him come to life.

photogrid_1485414807525.jpg

The colors used on my bird were mixes of brown, orange, bright red, bright yellow, and black. I was pretty pleased by the shading of the feathers.

After adding some glossy top coat over everything, the manicure is done!

img_20170126_022840.jpg

Get ready to crow for the New Year!

img_20170126_022548.jpg

Show me the lucky money!

Hope you have a prosperous lunar new year ahead of you!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Holographic Bubble Nail Art

I’ve still been feeling rather lazy and uninspired, so I again turned to the @clairestelle8challenge to help me through the week.  The prompt for January 21 was Circles, and I could have easily turned to my stamping plate collection, but I decided to challenge myself a little bit and try my hand at painting bubbles.

I started by applying a pearly white base color to all my nails.

img_20170120_212659.jpg

Of Quartz You Can by Finger Paints.

I came up with a rather clever trick to make bubble decals on a silicone mat.  The mat is from Bundle Monster, and I used Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat to form the base of the nail decal.  I brushed an unused pencil eraser lightly with holographic polish and stamped it onto the dried top coat on the mat.  I repeated this technique many times and also with 2-3 different polishes applied to the same circular stamped area in order to get the mix of colors that you would typically see in a soap bubble.

img_20170120_232150.jpg

Rainbow colored holographic bubbles on my silicone mat. The polishes used include Pink Holo, Green Holo, and Purple Holo from UO Nail Lacquer and Tali from Julep.

To use the decals, I carefully peeled the layer of polish from my mat and cut around the bubble(s) that I wished to use.  After painting my nail with a layer of Seche Vite top coat, I immediately placed the decal where I wanted it and allowed it to set.

img_20170120_234202.jpg

Nebulous orb shapes. They already looked like bubbles, but they needed a little more help.

Using a detail brush, I outlined each bubble with craft smart acrylic paint in dark grey.  I also added a little bit of dimension to the bubble by adding a white highlight to the top right and bottom left side of each circle.  The dark grey paint contrasted too much with the design, so I ended up tracing the outlines again with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer to make them blend more with the colors in the bubbles.

img_20170120_233357.jpg

Finishing touches.

After another layer of top coat over everything, my design was done.

img_20170120_235656.jpg

Soap bubble nail art. Just wish I had a thinner detail brush for the outlines.

img_20170120_235359.jpg

To be honest, they didn’t come out exactly as planned.  Holographic polish tends to be pretty opaque with even just a thin layer applied so my bubbles didn’t look as ethereal and transparent as I wanted them to be.  Also, the pencil eraser technique worked great, but it didn’t allow for any variation in size unless I purposefully wanted to carve down an eraser.  It still came out kind of cool, at least in concept.

Hopefully I get my inspiration back soon!  Happy polishing!

 

Photobombing Polar Bear Nail Art

It has been a rough week for me as my LG G4 phone went into an unrecoverable boot loop, meaning that I lost a bunch of pictures, texts, and other such data.  I’m waiting for my replacement phone to arrive while I use a cheap substitute in the meantime, but my whole routine has been upset, and it has caused me to be in a creative slump.

My last manicure was starting to chip, so I forced myself to try to come up with something else.  Because I’ve been so uninspired, I opted to do the @clairestelle8challenge prompt for the 14th: Animal.  I figured that I could do a cute polar bear over a cool toned gradient, and to make it easier to paint, have the bear “photobomb” the scene so that I would only have to paint the upper half of its face.  The photobomb idea also came from the fact that I have small nails that make it hard to paint too much detail, so I was trying to work with my canvas size.

I picked a nice cool toned blue for my base color.

img_20170113_004055.jpg

Maltilda by Julep.

The gradient was a mix of the base color, a shimmery holographic ice blue, and a white shade speckled with silver microglitter.  I applied stripes of each polish onto a nail art mat and used a sponge to dab the mix onto my nails.

img_20170113_005646.jpg

Pictured from left to right: Matilda by Julep, Tali by Julep, and Dandy Lyin’ Around by China Glaze.

img_20170113_005605.jpg

The finished icy gradient looks like snow drifts blowing across an open field.

For the bear, I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paints in blends of White, Dark Grey, and Black.

img_20170113_010729.jpg

I painted the general shape of the bear on top of the gradient with white paint.  Then I blended a little bit of Dark Grey with White to tint the ears.  I also slightly shaded the face around the eyes and snout area with an even lighter version of the mix that I used for the ears.  Finally I added the nose and used a dotting tool to make the eyes with black paint.

After applying some top coat, the bear is done!

img_20170113_011750.jpg

Peekaboo! I see you!

I apologize if the photos don’t look as nice here because I typically use apps on my phone to do the editing, and I got stuck using an old tablet instead this time.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running on the warranty replacement phone this week, but until then, stay warm, and happy polishing!

 

 

Review of BP-L046 Stamping Plate

Hello my fellow stamping addict friend!  Here’s a review of Born Pretty Store’s BP-L046 plate that caters perfectly to flower lovers everywhere.

This plate comes with blue protective film covering the surface during shipment and also includes a cardboard sleeve to protect the plate from getting scratched after the film has been removed.  Note that you cannot channel your grandmother’s penchant for keeping things covered in plastic if you want to use this plate, so you must remove the film before doing anything with it.

img_20161204_004125.jpg

BP-L046 is well protected during shipment.

The only downside about the cardboard sleeve is that it is not printed with the design of the plate on it, so you can’t immediately tell what is inside the package.  If you have an extensive plate collection like me, you will find that you won’t end up using the sleeve at all in the interest of being able to quickly look through all the different patterns you own.  However, because the rectangular plate series from Born Pretty is mounted onto white plastic, the likelihood of the plates getting scratched by other plates is very slim.  The plastic backing also protects yourself from getting cut by the metal edges of the plate.

What really makes BP-L046 stand out is the beauty and intricacy of its designs.  There are many floral patterns and borders from which you can choose to create stunning manicures.

img_20161204_004402.jpg

Plate BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.

You can easily stamp a manicure in no time at all, and the deep etching of the patterns allows for a crisp image transfer.

The negative space in some of the flowers make this a perfect plate for using a reverse stamping technique.  Simply color in empty sections of the design with different shades of nail polish before stamping the whole thing onto your nail, and you can create something unique that will make your manicure more personalized.

img_20170104_223140.jpg

Reverse stamping with plate BP-L046.

What I also love about this plate are the sizes of the images on it.  Because my nails are short, I was able to stamp two different nails with the stamper shown above.  This saved me a lot of time because reverse stamping can be a time consuming process.  As long as your stamper is big enough to handle the size of the image, stamping longer nails or toenails shouldn’t be an issue.

This is by far one of Born Pretty’s prettiest plates, and I’m looking forward to getting a lot of use out of this for some springtime manicures.  However, with the right color combinations, you can use this plate all year round.  With the variety of different kinds of flowers and patterns, you will be able to come up with many different looks.  It is well made, and your manicures will come out looking flawless, so if you have a thing for flowers, this plate is definitely for you!

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/born-pretty-126cm-rectangle-stamping-template-floral-design-manicure-nail-image-plate-l046-p-36304.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Icy Winter Flower Manicure

Good morning, everyone!  It’s a cold winter day here in NYC as we have just had our first major snowfall of the season.  What better way to spend the day than painting nails?

Today’s manicure consists of cool tones to reflect the season.

img_20170104_221912.jpg

From left to right: Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black, Regina by Julep, and Need for Speed by Formula X for Sephora.

img_20170104_222747.jpg

I first painted all my nails silver with Need for Speed.

I wanted to reverse stamp some flowers onto my base color, so I used the plate below from Born Pretty to do the job.

img_20161204_004402.jpg

Plate BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.

After stamping the image (I used the one from the top row, 3rd from the right) with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black, I used a dotting tool to fill in the flower petals with Regina by Julep.

img_20170104_223140.jpg

Reverse stamping.

I waited a little bit for the polish to dry on the stamper before transferring the image to my nails.  I repeated this process until all my nails were stamped.  This particular image was so wide that I was able to stamp two nails at a time without a problem.  Then again, my nails are pretty short right now.

img_20170104_223855.jpg

All done!

img_20170105_131204.jpg

I love how the pink polish shimmers just the right amount.

img_20170104_224850.jpg

Reverse stamping can be a little time consuming, but thanks to the width of the image and my stamper, I completed the manicure in half the normal amount of time.  Yay!

Stay warm, and be safe out there!  Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Pigment Powder #11

Looking for nails that are great for clubbing, or do you just desire a burst of bright neon color?  The neon pigment powder in today’s review is just the thing that you’re looking for.

img_20161204_003615.jpg

Born Pretty Store’s neon pigment powder in color #11.

The powder is a very fine loose pigment that is stored in a small faceted plastic container with a screw top lid.  Unfortunately, it does not have a seal over the mouth of the jar, so some of the product does leak out into the bag during shipment.  It is, however, only a fine dusting that makes things a little messy.  On the plus side, the powder is inexpensive and Born Pretty manages to fit two grams of it inside the container as opposed to the normal one gram that is inside most of their similarly packaged glitters and powders.

The bag itself has a zip seal running along the top, so you can always store the container inside the bag if you are concerned about it leaking out again.

img_20161221_135526.jpg

Also included in the package is a sponge tipped applicator.

I would suggest that you place a piece of paper or a tissue underneath the container and over your work area before opening it and using it to allow for easy clean up later on.  Wearing a face mask and eye protection is also recommended if you are sensitive to dust.  I’m sure it is cosmetic grade and safe to use, but the powder is very fine and can therefore easily float into the air and be inhaled.

img_20161221_135104.jpg

Bright neon yellow powder.

When I first used this powder, I tried it over black nail polish and soon found that it did not turn out very cute.  I also found out that it does not work well will negative space manicures because the powder smears across everything once another layer of top coat is applied.  Also, being neat is very important when using this product.  Below are the pictures from my first failed attempt, so live and learn by my example!

photogrid_1482381847841.jpg

Things that I learned from using the product the first time: Neatness counts, negative space manicures aren’t a good idea for this look, and using black polish as a base color will make the powder appear green.

I also discovered that the powder looks AMAZING under the gel curing lamp and under blacklight.  It doesn’t mean that the manicure glows in the dark, but if you’re going to a rave, these nails are definitely going to stand out!

Below is a proper tutorial for how to use this neon powder.

img_20161221_142003.jpg

Paint your nails white or a color that matches the color of the powder. I used b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

If you are using regular nail polish, allow the color to dry completely first.  For either gel or regular polish, apply a gel top coat over the base color being very careful to not let it pool in the sides of your nail bed or your cuticles.  Cure your nails for about 15 seconds so that the formula stays tacky.  This is necessary to get the powder to adhere to your nail.

img_20161221_141413.jpg

Using the sponge applicator that comes with the set, apply the powder over the half cured gel top coat. It does not take much powder to get full color coverage.

Pro tip: For extra easy clean up, use a liquid latex barrier such as Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape around your nails.  You don’t have to do this as the powder will easily wash off your skin after you apply and cure another layer of gel top coat, but it does keep things looking more neat.

Once the powder is applied over the base color to your liking, use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails.  Take special care to clean any powder from your cuticles.

Once you have removed the excess pigment, apply another layer of gel top coat to your nails and cure it fully as directed on the package.  However, despite clean up, do be aware that there will be a chance that your brush or bottle of top coat will get contaminated with the powder.  You can wipe your brush on a clean tissue before dipping it back into the bottle to help prevent this, or pour out a small amount of top coat into a different container for use if you are especially paranoid about contamination.

img_20161221_140808.jpg

The finished look! Bright and shiny neon yellow nails.

The color is extremely vibrant, so the pigment works great.  Its real appeal is what it looks like under blacklight.

img_20161219_115731.jpg

This stunning pigment really pops under a blacklight.

Because the color reminded me of the newer hazard road signs, I decided to make a Santa Sleigh Crossing Sign version with acrylic paint over this neon base.

photogrid_1482078460409.jpg

While it is messy to use, this neon pigment has serious color payoff.  It is especially eye catching under blacklight, but the color is attention grabbing even in normally lit situations.  Just make sure to use a white base color when using it to get the best effect.  Judging by how much powder gets used for a manicure, this container will last forever, so don’t just save it for special occasions.  Get creative!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this neon powder pigment (retail price is $1.99 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/2gbox-neon-phosphor-powder-nail-gradient-pigment-powder-manicure-nail-decoration-p-36691.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Snowflake Glitter Placement Manicure

Happy New Year, everyone!

With so many things going on at the end of 2016, I hardly had any time to do my nails.  I opted to do a fairly quick and easy glitter placement accent nail with French tips so that I could look somewhat festive for New Year’s Eve.

img_20161231_094335.jpg

I started by painting my nails a shimmery midnight blue. This color is called Lolo from Julep.

img_20170103_190915.jpg

I used Born Pretty holographic diamond shaped glitter for the snowflakes.

img_20161231_124525.jpg

The French tips were done with Metal Medium from Finger Paints.

To apply the glitter, I tried to use a top coat that did not dry too quickly and applied each piece with a damp orange stick.  Another layer of top coat over the glitter helped to seal the deal, although you will find that two layers of top coat work best.

img_20170103_162648.jpg

img_20170103_163558.jpg

The look is reminiscent of snowflakes, the ball at Times Square, and Hannukah all rolled into one, so it’s very appropriate for the season.

Have a great 2017!  Happy polishing!