Birthday Gift Nail Art

I keep meaning to do more birthday themed nail art at the insistence of friends, but somehow it always gets pushed aside in favor of other ideas. This week I participated in a birthday collaboration on Instagram with an obvious deadline that wanted us to use mint, white, holo, coral, baby pink, and nude colors along with a birthday theme, so I was able to create something to fit the bill.

I don’t own many green polishes, so it was hard for me to find a color that I could truly classify as mint. I opted to use Fearless from Formula X for Sephora for my base, which is more of a sage color instead. It is truly a beautiful hue, especially for the spring.


2 coats of Fearless by Formula X for Sephora is all you need to get full coverage color.

I went with gift box presents to fulfill the birthday theme for the prompt. Luckily I have a good plate to use to make things easy for me.


The Celebration BPX-L013 plate from Born Pretty Store helps cover major occasions.

I used reverse stamping to color in the boxes. To help speed up the process, I used multiple stampers so I could allow the polish to dry on one stamper as I colored in the next one. For the stamping, I used Ya Qin An polish in White and used the brushes from the bottles to color in the presents.


Reverse stamping with 4 stampers. Polish colors used were Dot from Zoya (pink), Give Peach A Chance from Sephora by OPI (peach), Sweet Daisy from Nicole by OPI (coral), and Ya Qin An stamping nail polish in White.

I applied Ya Qin An top coat over the stamper heads after I was done coloring in each image and allowed each decal to dry before gently lifting it up with a pair of tweezers and setting it onto my nail. After cleaning up the edges, another layer of top coat applied over the decal helped to seal the deal.


Presents fit for a birthday or any special day!

FYI- I had also tried stamping the image directly onto my nail, but because the polish dries onto the stamper, the details do not transfer as well as they do when you make a decal out of the design.

I love the look of all the pastel colors together, even though it wasn’t necessary to use them all at once for this collaboration. Check out the designs from all the participants below!

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Wishing @arshneet_nailedit a super happy birthday with lots of cake and presents! 🎂🎈🎁 Hope your day is wonderful! Collage credit Hosted by @kaveeshaaarts and List of all the lovely participants is: @ssonailicious @nailartmaniaby_tanvi @prettyprincesspolish @nailingitrush @honey_candy_ @finepolish @nails.lovely @miss.flawless_nails @kaveeshaarts @stylethosenails @vannab2010 @nailsby.ahana @itskittynails @budding_nailartist #happybirthdaysweetarsh #happybirthdaynails #happybdaynails #finepolish #manicure #mani #notd #nailart #nails #nailstagram #nailsofinstagram #nailpolish #cutepolish #nailsoftheday #nailspo #unhas #ongles #nailartclub #iheartnailart #nailporn #instanails #prettynails #nailspotting #💅 #nailsonfleek #nailartwow #nailartoohlala #bbloggers

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This was a fun prompt for the week. The wheels are already turning to figure out what I’m going to paint next. What a life as an artist!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty BPY33 Ocean Life Water Decals

If you find that doing any kind of nail art is an ordeal but don’t want to pay huge amounts of money for nail wraps, these water decals from Born Pretty are what you need.

Born Pretty has a huge selection of designs available on their website, but today I’m reviewing their ocean life themed set, BPY33.


There is one sheet enclosed in the package with enough decals to make at least two full manicures depending on how you decide to use them. The entire printed surface is basically one large decal, so you will need to cut out the areas you want to use, preferably before you paint your nails. Because you can cut the decals down to the size and shape that you want, you can get really creative with how you integrate these decals into your manicures and get the most bang for your buck from the sheet.


The two sets of designs can be mixed and matched to create a pretty manicure.

Although the decals are not pre-cut, if you look closely, you can see that there are rectangular sections formed by the change in patterns. The height of each of these sections is 2.5 cm. Upon further inspection, the width of these sections gets smaller by 1 mm from the left to right sides starting at 1.8 cm and decreasing to 1.4 cm, so you will want to plan accordingly, especially if you have wide nail beds. Based on the measurements, it is possible to use these decals on your toenails without cropping the pattern, and you won’t have a problem using these on long nails, either.

The back of the package has instructions for how to use the decals. I would definitely change the order of steps 2 and 3, and I would also start by preparing a cup of water to submerge the decals into so that there is less of a chance that you will smudge your base coat color.


Instructions for use on the back of the package.

It is also good to know that the decal is printed on a clear surface, so any color you choose to use underneath it will show through in the background. I still prefer to use white as a base color because it makes the decal art pop, but you can use your imagination and get creative.


Steps for applying the decals. The picture in the top right corner has a holographic top coat applied to the white base. The picture on the bottom left is what the decal looks like floating in water with the paper backing removed.

Placing a decal on your nail is super easy with either your fingers or a pair of tweezers, and as long as the decal is wet, you can slide it around until you are satisfied with how it looks.

You will notice that I did not cut the size of the decal to perfectly fit my nail. After blotting the decals dry with a tissue, I was able to easily remove the excess parts of the decals from my skin with a brush dipped into acetone. The portion that extended above my nail was filed off or trimmed down and then dissolved with a cotton swab dipped into acetone. In either case, cleaning up the edges was an easy job.

Also noteworthy is that I used only one rectangular section to cover the two nails in the picture. Because I opted to do a water marble design on the other fingers, I only needed two rectangular sections from the sheet to do all my nails! It’s a very savvy way to get more use out of what you are given.


Beachy ocean life manicure using BPY33 water decals and a water marble technique.

This was my first foray into using full nail water decals, and I honestly have to say that I loved using them. These are perfect for nail art enthusiasts who don’t have a lot of time to paint their nails because the designs are beautiful, and they are easy to apply. With top coat applied, the decals will last as long as a normal manicure would, and you can remove them with regular nail polish remover. No fancy tools are needed to use them other than a little water and some scissors to cut the patterns, and you can change the way the design looks simply by applying a different base color. I know I’ll be getting more decals in the future!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing these water decals (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!


Holographic Fireworks Manicure

Here is some easy nail art that I did to celebrate Mother’s Day this year (I know, I’m late with the blog posts).

I used Born Pretty Store’s Celebration BPX-L013 as my cheat inspiration for the week.


BPX-L013 plate from Born Pretty Store covers you for a few different occasions throughout the year.

Because I was going with a firework theme, I painted my nails black as an evening sky.


What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI is my go to black polish right now.

Next, I picked a holographic polish to do the stamping. You can pick any color holo polish that you like because all the shades look more or less the same (all rainbows!) when the lines are as thin as they are in this design. I went with Heart of Gold from Born Pretty for this manicure.


I used the 3rd pattern from the left side, first row of rectangular images on the plate along with the gold holo polish and stamped the pattern onto my nails.


This design looks like a bunch of lasers. Pew pew!

The rainbows in the holographic polish really give the fireworks a multicolored effect


That’s all there is to this intricate looking manicure! Hope you guys liked it!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty BP-L059 Stamping Plate

Being a full time musician, I’m always on the lookout for stamping plates with music notes on them. Don’t get me wrong- my music penmanship is pretty decent, but being able to stamp some staves without having to sweat about making lots of straight lines is a relief! So lo and behold, Born Pretty Store just came out with the perfect plate for me: BP-L059.


Plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty Store has images that cater to music lovers everywhere.

Let me start off by saying that this company got all the musical details correct on this plate. It’s very common for designers to get certain aspects wrong, like having the wrong number of lines on the staves, drawing alternating black and white piano keys instead of using a real keyboard layout, and making music notes with the stems and flags going the wrong way. I can say with certainty that no one will be able to criticize any of these things being wrong on the plate. I do find it ironic that the one thing that the designers messed up is that the word “music” is spelled wrong in the 2nd image from the left on the bottom row. There are plenty of other great image choices on this plate that more than make up for this error.

As usual, when you get this plate, there is a layer of blue film on top that must be removed before you can use it. You can easily peel this away by picking at it from one of the plate’s metal edges and lifting it off, so be sure to remove it before you start painting your nails. The film is there to protect the surface from scratches when it gets shipped from the factory.


The plate is layered in protective plastic on top.

Born Pretty also has their own cardboard slipcover for each plate so you can protect the metal surface while it is in storage. The back is labeled with instructions and social media sharing information.


Other features of the plate include a white plastic backing to prevent the user from cutting herself on the metal edges. It also has rounded corners to keep things gentle on your hands when you are sorting through your collection. The designs on the plate are etched deeply into the metal and allow you to get perfect transfers every time.

It is also noteworthy (ha, see what I did there?) to mention that the rectangular images measure 1.6 x 2.0 cm and will suit most average sized fingernails. The single images can be used on any kind of nail length, obviously, so you can get really creative with this plate.

I made a pretty antique looking music and bird manicure using the fourth image in the top row of the plate.


Birds and music manicure with one of my flutes used as a prop.

I used nail foil in conjunction with the image in the lower right corner to create these cool equalizer nails fit for a DJ.


You can find out how to mix nail foils and stamping in my tutorial for these equalizer nails.

My verdict is that if you are a musician or just love music, you should definitely own this plate. I plan to create many more manicures from this in the future and look forward to using it a lot so I can combine my two passions together!

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!


Beachy Ocean Life Manicure

All the sunny days that we have been having in NYC have made me want to hit the beach. It’s still too cold outside to really enjoy a beach day here, but I can always live vicariously through my nails!

I used some water decals from Born Pretty for this manicure because I’ve been feeling lazy about painting my nails lately. These decals are perfect for when you want something fancy looking but don’t have a lot of time.


Aquatic themed water decals, item BPY33 from Born Pretty Store.

Before I applied any nail polish, I cut out the portions of the decal sheet that I wanted to use and prepared a glass of water to dip them into later.

Next, I painted all my nails white with Brigitte by Julep, then added a subtle holographic top coat from Pretty & Polished called Halo TC over it so that it would have some shimmer to the tint. I don’t think it photographed very well, but in person, it looks as if someone sprinkled some fairy dust over my nails.


After allowing my nails to dry for a bit, I put the cut decals I prepared previously into the glass of water, allowed their paper backing to soak through, and then slid them off the paper with my fingers. I used tweezers to pick them up one at a time and applied them to my nails. You can arrange the position of the decals on your nails easily as long as they are still wet. To set them into their final position, just dab them with a paper towel to absorb any extra water. You can clean up any extra decal print around the nail bed with a brush dipped into acetone before you apply a top coat.

I decided that a water marble design would look the best alongside these decals, so I made my bulls eye pattern with a combination of Brigitte (white), Shay (teal), and Penny (copper) from Julep and made zigzag patterns in the water to create the look below.


Water decals and water marble are a match made in heaven!

I was pleased as punch about how nice the water marble came out. Seems like I’m improving with practice, which is nice to see!


Hope the weather gets warmer soon so I can actually go to the beach! Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Clear Silicone Metal Chess Stamper

Hi, everyone! I wanted to share a product with you that has quickly become one of my favorite things for my last few manicures. It’s a clear stamper from Born Pretty Store that works like a dream!


The Born Pretty clear jelly stamper has a lid and a hefty metal base holder.

When you receive the product in the mail, it looks less than glamorous. It comes in a plastic Ziploc bag along with a few scrapers that are tossed into the package.


The scrapers are made of thin and flexible plastic. They are akin to credit card sizes, but they are definitely thinner. What makes plastic scrapers awesome is that they do not scratch up stamping plates. Also, at least for these scrapers, I feel like the pliability of the plastic allows them to scrape off the perfect amount of polish. I’ve been using them instead of an old gift card that was my tried and true friend for stamping, and I definitely feel like the Born Pretty scrapers are easier to use, plus they wipe clean with nail polish remover and a cotton pad.

As for the stamper itself, it is pure elegance to look at. The metal is a silver aluminum alloy that is also available in other colors. This gives the stamper a nice weight. It is on the stout side, so you will never have to worry about tipping it over by accident, and it snugly supports a large clear silicone head that allows you to make decals with reverse stamping very easily right on the surface.


The stamper conveniently comes with a lid that protects the silicone head from attracting dust and dirt when it is not being used. Another nice touch is that the bottom of the stamper is protected by a clear plastic disc that prevents dust and dirt from getting on the inside surface of the stamper. This disc can be popped out if you so choose, but I would recommend that you keep it on.

As for the stamper head itself, the benefits of having a clear stamper are huge! You can see straight through to the other side of the stamper and also whatever is at the other end. This allows for perfect placement of your stamped designs.

This silicone material also does not have to be primed at all. It is usable straight from the package.



This was the first thing that I stamped, no priming required. The image is virtually flawless.

You can also tell that the surface is big enough to cover the widest of nail beds, including toenails. The size of this stamper is also suitable for long nails as the diameter of the head is close to 1 and 3/8 inches.

Regarding cleaning, all you need is a piece of tape to lift off any polish, dust, or oil from the surface. If you need to do so, the head is completely removable and can be washed with soap and water.

Texture wise, there is a bit of squish to the stamping head. Straight lines may be a little bit difficult to stamp, but it is not impossible to do. It has the same kind of feel as other clear stamper heads. I would rate this in the middle of the squishiness scale.

Here are all the manicures that I have done so far that have used this stamper:


Pattern placement is easy to do on this thermal geometric print.


Clear stampers make it a breeze to guarantee that the patterns do not line up when you do double stamping for texture such as in this green clover manicure.


gold veined mirror look is stamped in no time.


Aligning veins in a stone marble look to be where you want them to be is simple with this stamper.


Getting the swirling vines to start from the center of your nails is a piece of cake when you have a clear silicone head on the stamper.


Straight lines are not impossible to do, or even to correct with double stamping, as evidenced by this musical mani.


You can make consistent decals for equalizer nails with the help of this stamper.

I’m sure the list will only continue to grow more and more over time, but needless to say, you will get a lot of bang for your buck with this stamper! The images transfer flawlessly every time. I’m so in love with this stamper that it will be very hard to get me to use a different one now! Try it out and see the magic for yourself!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamper (retail price is $5.00 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!


80s Equalizer Nail Art

Today I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and trying a different technique with something I’ve never been great at using: nail foil. Anyone who has experience with it knows that it can be temperamental to use, and even when you get the application right, the wrong top coat can ruin the whole thing and make it look as if it was never there. Yet here I am testing my patience with this material. Off we go!

To start, I painted all my nails black.


This is stamping polish from b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black. Not sure why it looks textured though- it might be the pigments.

To make the decals, you will need a plastic bag or a silicone mat. I used the Lotus Mat from Bundle Monster for mine. Start by applying swatches of top coat onto your chosen surface. The top coat will serve as the base of your decal. Wait for your top coat to fully dry before you proceed to the next step.

Next, choose a pattern that you want to stamp and transfer it to a swatch of top coat. You must act very quickly to apply a piece of nail foil over the stamped area so that the foil can adhere to the wet polish. Rub over the piece of foil with your finger, then lift the foil quickly, and you should be left with a cool foil embossed pattern.


For this manicure, I used the pattern in the lower right hand corner of plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty.


The stamping polish used was the same b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black from my base color. I did this so that it would not look obvious if the foil did not transfer fully.

The foil was purchased in a large lot from an eBay seller, and there is no brand associated with it. You can see that the foil that I chose to use has a natural rainbow gradient effect, so it happens to match the levels that you would see on an equalizer. In case you don’t know what an equalizer looks like, here’s an example:

Very 80s techno chic.

At this point you can gently peel the decals off the mat and cut them to fit your nails. In order to hide some of the transfer imperfections, I also re-cut the levels of the bars. You can apply a cut decal by painting another layer of black polish or some top coat onto your nail and then gently press the decal onto the wet surface.


You can see where I cut the levels of the bars for the decals, but they more or less stick to the base color. This look reminds me of Tetris.

Disclaimer: Because I didn’t like the finish of the b.m.c. nail lacquer as a base color, I applied the decals using What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI.

It’s easy to say just apply top coat to seal in everything, but here’s where things can get tricky. I’ve heard that a water based top coat works best with foil, but I don’t have any. I also know that pretty much anything that is branded as “fast drying” will cause the foil to shrink and/or break up. If you don’t use a top coat at all, the foil will quickly rub off on its own. I took a chance by using my Ya Qin An top coat, seeing as it never smears nail art, and it worked pretty well. Thumbs up for Ya Qin An!


Nail foil success! Too bad this took forever to do.

Fun fact: I’m holding a record that I actually played on! It was for a private project, but it’s still cool as a collector’s item.

In any case, I love how I conquered my fear of nail foil. That’s not to say that I don’t curse a lot when things don’t work out the right way, but at least I know that I have another technique that I can use. Maybe practice does make perfect!

Happy polishing!