Review of Born Pretty Geometry BPX-L020 Stamping Plate

Today’s review covers the BPX-L020 plate from Born Pretty Store, which is full of geometric designs.

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Geometry BPX-L020 plate from Born Pretty Store.

The plate has the perfect mix of 15 symmetrical and abstract patterns that are well suited for many different kinds of manicures. The full size rectangular images measure 1.6 cm by 1.8-2.1 cm and are large enough to cover your thumbnails without a problem.

When you first receive the plate, you will have to remove the protective blue plastic wrap before you can use it.

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No scratches can hurt this baby during the shipping process!

Speaking of protection, the plate also has rounded edges and is mounted on a piece of white plastic so that you can’t injure yourself with the sides. Trust me, it is totally possible to cut yourself on the edge of a metal stamping plate as I have done it accidentally myself. The plastic backing is thick enough to make this impossible to do, and it prevents you from being able to make direct contact with the metal edges.

This plate, as well as other plates form Born Pretty, comes with a cardboard sleeve to protect it from being scratched while it is in storage. The shape and size of the plate is comparable to others from the rectangular series and is perfectly portable.

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The packaging lists the series the plate belongs to and has social media information for the company on the back along with instructions for usage.

I first used the pattern from the bottom row, 3rd from the left to recreate the gold veined mirror look that was popular in the 1970s.

I also used the image from the bottom right corner of the plate to make stone marble nails.

Because of the geometrical designs, none of the lines are too fine or detailed to prevent your stamper from picking up the nail polish. The plate has fairly deep etching as well, so it is perfect for beginners to use as well as seasoned professionals.

You can create other quirky and fun looks using the other images on the plate. It is super easy to use and is quickly cleaned with acetone and a cotton pad. Why not add some geometry to your collection today?

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-template-stamping-plate-geometry-rectangle-manicure-nail-image-plate-l020-p-38743.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Birds and Music Manicure

As some of you know, I am a professional flutist and do this nail art thing as my hobby. It’s only fitting that today’s manicure pays homage to the job that pays my bills!

I wanted to create an antique parchment look for the background. It was hard to find exactly the right color, but I opted for this neutral tan called Samoan Sand from OPI to do the job.

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Samoan Sand by OPI. It takes a few coats to get it opaque, but it’s a perfect nude shade for your nails.

To stain the “parchment,” I used some alcohol ink made from a BiC Mark It Permanent Marker in Woodsy Brown. To do this technique, color part of a plastic bag with the permanent maker, then take a small brush, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and pick up the marker pigment with the brush. You can then paint with this alcohol ink on your nails.

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My attempt at creating a stained look with alcohol ink.

One thing I didn’t like about the color of the marker that I chose was that the brown had more of a red tint to it than I thought. It definitely changed the color of my base shade more than I would have liked, and I probably would have used a different base color had I known that that would happen. This was only one of many mishaps that occurred while I was painting this manicure.

Because of the 3-4 layers of nail polish that were needed to make Samoan Sand opaque, I had to wait quite awhile to let my nails dry enough before I could proceed to stamping my chosen pattern, shown on the plate below.

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Perfect for musicians: plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty Store.

Being a flutist, I’m always learning music that sounds bird-like so the image from the top row, 4th from the left appealed to me the most. Using black stamping polish from Ya Qin An, I transferred the image to my nails. I used a clear stamper to make sure the lines of the staves were fairly straight and perpendicular to my nails. I also took care to try to stagger the image to make the design look more unique.

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Stamping from a single image from plate BP-L059.

You’ll notice that there’s a suspicious looking burn mark in the middle of one nail. That was not supposed to be there originally. I made a mistake while double stamping the lower part of that nail- the first transfer had thin stave lines, so when I went over the bottom part a second time, I failed to line up part of the image correctly in one place. I tried to lightly rub the area with a cotton swab and acetone, but the black polish started smearing over the nearby areas. I ended up removing a larger section of polish than I had intended to, refilled it with Samoan Sand, and reapplied the alcohol ink, but the remnants of the smudged black polish still formed a ring around the area. I decided that this added to the antique flair and went with it. This just goes to show that sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but you can still roll with the punches.

Speaking of, I had also horribly smudged my pinky nail right before I was going to take the photos for this manicure, so I had to completely redo that nail for these shots as well. Sigh.

In any case, I applied a layer of Ya Qin An top coat to prevent the stamping from getting smudged, then applied a layer of Matte Top Coat from Sephora by OPI to finish up this manicure.

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This one’s for the birds!

Here’s to hoping that the next manicure won’t have so many nail fails involved! Happy polishing!

 

Review of Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Glitter Powder

Today’s review is all about glitter powder. I’m not just talking about your run of the mill craft store glitter. No, this is nothing compared to the highly sparkly semi holographic kind that I’m about to show you today.

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Shining sand: Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Glitter Powder.

This powder is some magical stuff! You can see from the picture that the size of the glitter in the container is very fine. The overall color of it is a pretty teal green/blue mixed with some holographic flecks. It does not have as much of a holographic effect as a true holographic polish, but it is beautifully shiny in the light with subtle rainbow reflections.

When you order the powder, it arrives sealed in a cute clear plastic faceted container, and it comes with a small sponge tipped applicator. The plastic bag for the set has a zip seal, so you can make sure your glitter does not spill all over your other products when you store it.

 

Each container is filled with roughly 1.5-1.8 grams of the sparkly powder. The great news is that you hardly will use any of it when you apply it to your nails, ensuring that you will be able to produce many manicures from this little jar.

 

The best way to apply this powder is to use it over a gel top coat. It needs a sticky surface to which it can adhere. You can attempt to apply it over regular wet nail polish, but your results will not look as nice as the glitter won’t necessarily disperse evenly.

A base color is not required for this powder, but I opted to use a white polish underneath it just to show how fully the glitter covers your nails. If you want to ensure that any empty patches in the glitter application do not show, you may want to choose a shade that complements the teal or holographic components of the glitter instead.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White. Note that this is not a gel polish, so I made sure that the two coats of lacquer that I applied were fully dry before I proceeded to the next step.

Next I applied a gel top coat from Born Pretty and cured it for roughly half the normal time (30 seconds) which is no more than 15 seconds. You might want to err on curing it for less time to ensure that the glitter will stick to the top coat. If you are not using a base color, you can start directly from this step.

As a side note, you will want to be very careful with the gel top coat application as this glitter will stick to any place the top coat is applied. This means that it will get in your cuticles and the sides of your nail beds if you are not careful, so if that sort of thing annoys you, patience and cleanliness are key.

Once the top coat is set, you can use the sponge applicator to pat the glitter on top of your nails. You can rub it in, but I suggest the patting motion because it will stick better. Keep a piece of paper underneath your working area to catch any excess glitter fallout. Once you achieve the coverage that you desire, you can use a fan brush to sweep away any excess powder from your nails.

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Freshly applied sparkles. You can’t even tell that a white base color was used because the glitter coverage is so good.

All that’s left to do is apply another layer of gel top coat over your nails and fully cure it to seal in the glitter. If any glitter was on your skin, you can simply wash your hands after the final layer of top coat is set to finish cleaning up.

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The powder by itself is beautiful enough, but I added some stamping on top of it just for fun.

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Your nails will look even prettier with this swirling vine manicure.

Overall, this powder is easy to use and it has enormous color payout considering how little you have to apply to your nails to get the effect. The price is outstanding when you think about how many manicures you can produce from this little container. If you work with gel polish, why not add some sparkle to your manicures with this powder?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this glitter powder (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/18gbox-holographic-blue-laser-powder-ultra-thin-shining-manicure-nail-glitter-powder-p-38756.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Minnie Mouse Themed French Manicure

Hello, lovelies! I’ve got a Disney themed manicure for you today inspired by Minnie Mouse. This is dedicated to my toddler niece Sarah, who isn’t even old enough to appreciate nail art yet, but she loves Minnie!

This design was also done in part to fulfill the French manicure requirement of a nail collaboration I participated in on Instagram, which required that the design be done freehand. Done and done!

My nails have been slightly discolored from different past manicures, so I first applied a sheer pink polish to my nails to make my nail beds look like they’re naturally healthy.

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This is one coat of Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails in Pink Whisper Creme.

Next, I took a bright red color and painted the tips of my nails for a simple French manicure. Those with unsteady hands can use vinyl guides to keep the lines crisp. After allowing the polish to set a little, I dipped a striping brush into craft smart acrylic paint in black and drew a fine line between the tip with the nail bed. I planned to paint Minnie’s ears with her signature bow on my ring finger, so I outlined the top of her head and added more red polish in a bow tie shape for that nail.

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That gorgeous red is NY139 from Nicka K.

To finish up, I placed white polka dots on the red tips and the bow with b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White and a dotting tool and outlined the bow and added the knot details with more black acrylic paint.

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A very French Minnie Mouse!

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Macro shot of the bow design for the collaboration.

My only grievance with this design is that my nails aren’t wide enough to really show Minnie’s ears. You can only see a hint of them along the sides of my nails, but it’s not very obvious because my nails also have a defined C curve. That’s why I can only call this inspired by Minnie Mouse.

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A look that Minnie would love to rock as well.

On a side note, this is probably the longest length that I have grown my nails, and I know they’re not even that long! I love the way they look, but it’s so uncomfortable for me to do normal activities like write and put in my contact lenses! Does anyone else feel this pain?

I’ll catch you guys again once I trim and file my nails. Happy polishing!

 

Review of Born Pretty BPX-L018 Stamping Plate

Up for consideration today is a pretty plate from Born Pretty Store that caters to the nature lover in you. Let’s go over the basic stats first.

This plate is mounted on a piece of white plastic so that your precious hands are protected from being cut by the metal edges. The corners are also rounded for this reason.

A piece of blue film covers the etching to protect it from scratches during shipment. This must be removed before using it. Simply find an edge and peel it away before you start to paint your nails.

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The plate comes with a cardboard sleeve in which you can store it to prevent it from being scratched by other plates or materials once the film has been removed. It is labeled on the front that it is from the BP-X Series, but there are no other markings on the packaging that will identify which plate is inside. If you own a lot of plates, this can be irritating as you won’t know what the design is unless you take the plate out of the sleeve, but I also think that those with a large collection also use other means of storage, such as albums, which make the designs visible and easily accessible.

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There are two separate sleeves pictured here. You will get one sleeve for each plate that you purchase.

The back of the package lists the social media information of the company along with simple instructions for how to use the plate. You will need a stamper and nail polish in order to transfer these beautiful designs to your nails.

The etching on this plate is excellent, and you should have no trouble picking up the images with your stamper. You get a variety of 24 images to play with, and they can be mixed and matched with different color combinations to suit your needs.

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I wanted this plate especially for the clover pattern in the middle row, 3rd from the left. Paired with green holographic polish and stamping polish, this manicure was perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Holographic polish was stamped first. Notice that the fine lines of the clover stems transfer with ease.

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A more vibrant green stamping polish was used with the same pattern again to really make the design pop on these clover nails.

You don’t have to stick to a natural color palette to create a pretty manicure with this plate. I love the teal and white combo that I used for the manicure below because it looks so fresh and clean.

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Elegance can be yours with a soothing color combination and these swirling vines.

The patterns on this plate are quite versatile, and this plate will stir your creative side when you see it. The quality is good, and the plate will last practically forever with good care. It is definitely a good purchase for your nail art needs!

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-template-stamping-plate-floral-rectangle-manicure-nail-image-plate-l018-p-38741.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Swirling Vine Glittery Manicure

Hello there, and Happy Easter!  Sorry for my inactivity lately.  I’ve spent the past week frantically trying to get my taxes done, so I had to put everything on hold.  I did have enough time to make this pretty manicure, inspired by my feeling of being trapped by a deadline.

I started by painting all my nails white.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White provides excellent coverage in just 2 coats.

I used a glitter powder from Born Pretty Store to turn my nails into a sparkly teal color.  I applied Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat over the fully dried white nail polish, cured it for about 15 seconds, then used a sponge applicator to apply the glitter to the tacky surface.

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Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Powder is beautifully shimmery and fully covers up the white base color.

After dusting off the excess powder with a fan brush, I applied another layer of gel top coat to seal in the sparkle.

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I love the color and the holographic shine in this powder.

Because I didn’t have a lot of time to do my nails, I stamped a vine design from the plate below onto my nails with Ya Qin An stamping polish in White.

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Born Pretty Store BPX-L018 plate has lots of leaves. I opted to use the design in the middle row, 3rd from the right.

The finished look is quite elegant, and I love the white and teal color combination.

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Swirling vines in colors perfect for Easter.

I’m hoping to get back on track with the blog soon, so stay tuned for more nail art and reviews!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Elegant Stone Marble Nails

Looking for some subtle nail art for spring?  How about trying a marble design?  I’m not talking about water marble, I’m going for the rock!

I started by painting my nails a pale pinkish-gray color.

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The color is Thrilling from Formula X.

Next, I used the alcohol ink technique to provide a wash of gray ripples throughout my base color.  I colored a part of a plastic bag with my gray permanent ink marker (Sharpies or BiC Mark It pens are perfect for this) and then dipped a small brush into rubbing alcohol and mixed it with the marker ink applied to the plastic bag to make alcohol ink.  I dabbed the mixture over my nails to my liking, creating a smoky effect.

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Rubbing alcohol and a Stone Grey BiC Mark It pen were used to create the wash of grey color on my nails.

I could have easily freehanded the veins in the marble, but I went the stamping route for this one.

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BPX-L020 from Born Pretty Store was my plate of choice for this manicure.

Using the pattern from the bottom row, far right side, I transferred the design to my nails with b.m.c. nail lacquer in iced silver.

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The finished veined marble look.

I love how simple this design is, and it is the perfect color for spring.  I think this also works great for the working professional because the pattern is so subtle, and the neutral color is non-offensive and goes with everything.

Hope you enjoyed this one!  Happy polishing!