Chocolate Bar Nails for National Junk Food Day, July 21

How many of you guys knew that July 21 was National Junk Food Day? It’s funny how everyday we can celebrate all these random things, but looking up the national days is a great way to get some inspiration going for my nail art!

I decided to paint some chocolate bars for my junk food, so I looked for a good brown polish to serve as my base color. I chose Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze for that candy bar look.

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Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze has subtle gold flecks in the polish that make it appear more luxurious… or more like crisped rice in my chocolate bar.

I defined the squares of chocolate in my bar by mixing shades of brown and black craft smart acrylic paint. I used a detail brush to paint the lines, but a striping brush can also do the job.

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I painted in the darkest lines first, outlined them in a slightly lighter shade, then highlighted sections of the lines to define the squares.

I made a French manicure by swiping a layer of Need for Speed by Formula X for Sephora across the tips of my nails to represent the foil wrapper around the chocolate bar, then applied a generous layer of Seche Vite top coat to finish off the look.

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It looks fairly convincing, no?

In terms of freehand nail art, this was relatively simple as the design consists of many different lines, but it always boils down to how much patience you have. The truly lazy will want to go with the route that I took with my right hand, which was to only apply the silver French tip on top of the brown base color. I mean, you can use your imagination to come up with the rest of the details… right?

Hope you enjoyed this sweet manicure. Happy polishing!

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Review of Lylaa Silver Chrome Effect Nail Polish

How many of you are still drooling over the silver chrome look? I never thought that achieving this look would be possible with regular nail polish, so I was a little skeptical when I decided to get this set of Lylaa polishes from Beauty Big Bang. I’m not familiar with the brand, and most chrome polishes still have a brushed metal look rather than the mirror shine of it’s powder and gel combo counterpart, but this one does pleasantly surprise.

The set is a base coat and chrome polish duo. Each bottle contains 6 mL of polish, so the bottles are on the small side. The good thing is that hardly any product is used when you apply the formulas.

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This set of chrome lacquer and base coat comes in a small plastic bag. Beauty Big Bang stickers are applied to the bottoms of the bottles. No ingredients are listed.

The brush in the bottle is flexible and somewhat wide, so it is easy to paint your nails in about 2 strokes.

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Bottle shot of the silver chrome nail lacquer. Notice how you can see every bristle on the brush because the silver formula is so thin.

The base coat worked really nicely. The formula does not have a strong odor, but it does smell faintly fishy. This base coat really smoothed out the ridges on my nails and made them look really healthy. If you had any idea how damaged and dry my natural nails are from constantly doing nail art, you would realize that the way they look with this base coat is nothing short of a miracle!

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One coat of Lylaa base coat was applied to achieve this smooth and healthy gloss to my nails.

In order to successfully achieve the chrome look, you must fully allow the base coat to dry, otherwise the polish will distort with each brush stroke and look chunky once the chrome lacquer is applied.

Speaking of, the chrome varnish is very watery in appearance and smells strongly of paint. With one layer applied, you can see a smoky metallic finish start to appear, but ideally two coats of lacquer should be used to achieve the look below. Each layer of the chrome lacquer dries nearly instantly, which is another huge bonus.

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These nails are impressively shiny and reflective with 2 coats of chrome nail lacquer applied over Lylaa’s base coat.

Honestly, I have never seen a chrome polish really look like chrome. These nails got many compliments because they really stand out compared to your basic colors. It’s so rare to see shiny silver nails without having to use a gel polish and powder. I’m sure this will appeal to the many people who do not want to have to get a curing lamp or go to a salon to get this look!

On the downside, a lot of top coats tend to dull down the reflectiveness of the lacquer. I tried several different ones (Glisten & Glow, Seche Vite, Ya Qin An, and Dazzle Dry), and none seemed to preserve the original luster of the chrome look. The nails were still very attractive, but they achieved more of a brushed metal finish in the end.

You can try to wear the polish without applying any top coat, but the chrome lacquer rubs off throughout the day. Even with a top coat applied, the lacquer does not last very long. Something about the pigments in the chrome varnish make the top coat peel away fairly easily, and you will find it hard to survive a full day without some form of peeling happening. The actual silver color does stick somewhat to your nails so it doesn’t look as obvious as chipped polish does, but the smooth finish is ruined.

The polish can be removed with regular acetone, but the base coat does act a little funny and becomes slightly balled up and rubbery in texture as you try to dissolve it. You may need to use a little more elbow grease than usual, but it is nowhere near as hard to remove as glitter or gel polish!

In the end, if you love the look and don’t want to go through the hassle of a gel polish application or you don’t have a lamp to cure it with, you can go ahead and try this polish out. If you don’t mind the wear and tear that can happen to the finish of the polish throughout the day, then you will absolutely love it. But if you want to go the distance, I suggest you try the original gel polish and powder method of getting the mirror effect.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish set SKU:J2177 (retail price is $6.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code CHRISS will get you 10% off your order, and Beauty Big Bang offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/products/silver-mirror-effect-metal-nail-polish-varnish-top-coat-metallic-nails-art-tips-nail-polish-set

https://www.beautybigbang.com

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Review of Beauty Big Bang Galaxy Holo Flakes, SKU J2425

After seeing a lot of posts regarding loose holographic flake glitter, I decided to try out some for myself. Today’s product comes from Beauty Big Bang, and it shipped to me in less than 3 weeks from the day I ordered it. It’s not exactly instant gratification, but it was insanely fast considering that it comes from China, and shipping was free.

The packaging is fairly simple. The holo flakes are contained in a small plastic jar which is placed inside a zip sealed bag. Also included is a dual tipped sponge applicator that is similar to the kind that you would find in an eyeshadow compact.

 

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The real beauty of the glitter isn’t apparent until you open up the container. This is best done over a piece of paper or a paper towel because loose glitter can get messy quickly. In any case, the flakes are truly holographic and not just silver. They catch the light and have rainbow reflections.

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As indicated by the name of the product, the glitter consists of both fine particles as well various sized flakes. The biggest flakes are no bigger than 2 mm, and all the pieces are attractively irregularly shaped. This variety is perfect for making an easy galaxy manicure and looks great when used either generously or sparingly.

My only complaint is that you only get 0.2 grams of the glitter in the package. A little does go a long way, but the container is definitely not filled to the brim with glitter. This does make it easier to open and use without spilling the product on everything, but just like with a bag of potato chips, you somehow feel a little cheated. That’s what you get when a product is sold by weight and not volume.

You can use the flakes in a few different ways. One is to pour a small amount into a bottle of clear top coat to make your own holographic top coat. Another would be to paint your nails and then sprinkle the flakes onto the polish while it is still wet. I chose to use a gel top coat to apply the flakes, which is the suggested method on the Beauty Big Bang website.

I decided to use regular nail polish as a base as I don’t enjoy removing gel polish from my nails. I went with a basic black color to really make the holo flakes stand out.

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What’s A Tire Jack by Sephora by OPI is one of my go to black polishes.

After the polish was dry, I applied a gel top coat from Born Pretty to my nails and cured it under a lamp for about 10 seconds. 30 seconds is the amount of time that it takes to fully cure the polish, so my aim was to still ensure that the top coat was sticky enough to let the holo flakes adhere to the surface. Generally you will want to cure this layer for no more than half the normal time to guarantee that the glitter will stick to your nails.

I then took the sponge tipped applicator and dipped it into the pot of glitter and patted it onto the sticky top coat. I repeated this process a few times until I was satisfied with the look, then applied another layer of top coat and cured it for the full recommended time. You can use a fan brush to remove any extra glitter from your cuticles or simply wash your hands after your top coat has cured. That’s all there is to using this product!

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Beautiful holographic flakes make a manicure look out of this world.

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Loose glitter is always a welcome addition to a nail artist’s stash because of its versatility. This one is beautiful and easy to use, and it looks very unique. As stated before, a little bit goes a long way, so you can get a few manicures out of this. If you’re a holosexual, you will definitely want to purchase this product right away!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail glitter SKU:J2425 (retail price is $5.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code CHRISS will get you 10% off your order, and Beauty Big Bang offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/products/0-2g-box-galaxy-holo-flakes-laser-nail-powder-chrome-flakes-nail-glitter

https://www.beautybigbang.com

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Review of Beauty Big Bang Thin Round Nail Glitter Sequins, SKU J1329

Today I’m reviewing some fun nail glitter that I got from Beauty Big Bang’s website (all links are listed at the end of this post). Craft stores don’t usually carry circular glitters, so it’s fun to try out a different shape when doing a glitter placement technique.

This glitter comes in a small plastic jar which is placed inside a zip sealed bag to keep everything self contained. It’s not much to look at, but it does the job. The lid of the plastic jar is black with a Beauty Big Bang sticker on it, but the jar itself is clear so that you can see the contents inside.

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The jar of sequins is in a nice zip sealed bag for shipment. You might want to keep your container in this bag for storage if you are worried about the glitter escaping the jar.

This product contains five different colors of circular glitter in three different sizes. The color combination that I chose was for SKU J1329, which is a blend of metallic gold, copper, silver, magenta, and blue sequins. There were a lot more gold and copper sequins in my mix compared to the blue, silver, and magenta ones, but the colors are beautiful and shiny and go well together.

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Closeup of the plastic jar and the glitter inside.

To apply the sequins, I first painted my nails black using Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora. I then applied a layer of Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat by nails inc. over one nail and placed each individual glitter piece using a picking tool and pushing it into the top coat while it was still wet. After my design was set, I applied another layer of top coat over the glitters to seal them into place.

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Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora.

What I like about these sequins is how thin they are. They do not stick up excessively from the top coat, so they are a sleek addition to a basic manicure. Nail art does not get any easier than this!

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Beautiful metallic sequins make a basic black manicure colorful and fun!

This glitter is solvent resistant, meaning that the color will not change once you apply your top coat. This also makes it great to use for a jelly sandwich technique.

I also love the round shape because it reminds me of confetti. The three sizes work together perfectly, and you can also choose to stack them on top of each other to create another different look. There is a lot of glitter in that little jar, so you will be able to use this item for many manicures to come!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail glitter SKU:J1329 (retail price is $3.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code CHRISS will get you 10% off your order, and Beauty Big Bang offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/products/glitter-round-thin-sequins-stickers-decals-nail-art-decoration

https://www.beautybigbang.com

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Game of Thrones House Greyjoy Nails

How many of you watched the Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones on Sunday? I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new episodes, so it was fitting that I do some Game of Thrones nail art to celebrate the day!

Why House Greyjoy, you ask? It’s definitely not the house that I’m rooting for. I’m not a fan of anyone from that family except for maybe Yara/Asha. But I had been approached on Instagram to do a Game of Thrones house sigil collaboration and ended up choosing the kraken because it seemed like it was the most adaptable sigil to fit across my nails, and a few of the other houses had already been taken. Little did I know that everyone in the group decided to bail on the collaboration and didn’t bother to tell me! Oh, well- at least I got some cool nail art out of it.

House Greyjoy’s sigil is described as a gold kraken on a field of black. I went through my black polishes and chose this shimmery version that I had never tried out before. I suppose a basic black would have done the job equally well, but this shade was gorgeous.

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Black Dress Not Optional by OPI is the perfect shade of shimmery black.

The easiest part of the manicure was my thumb. The words of House Greyjoy are “We do not sow.” so I wrote this out with yellow acrylic paint from Craft Smart with a fine detail brush. To aid with the spacing, I wrote “do not” first across the middle and added the “we” and “sow” afterward.

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“We do not sow” is a whole lot easier to write out on one nail compared to “What is dead may never die but rises again harder and stronger.”

The kraken proved to be an interesting conundrum. Pretty much all graphic images of the sigil make the kraken look square and spread out, but it still looks like a cross between a squid and an octopus. I initially sketched out a rough draft with pencil and paper to get a better sense of the spacing across all four nails, and then I took yellow acrylic paint and started by painting the head and worked my way across each nail, attempting to center the design as much as as possible and make sure parts connected to each other. The tentacles were essentially squiggly lines, so it wasn’t the hardest thing to paint, although it was hard to keep the lines looking clean and somewhat symmetrical. I also chose to not be too detailed with the image to keep it looking bold.

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My kraken was painted with yellow acrylic paint first to establish the layout of the image and to provide a more opaque base for the gold polish applied afterward.

I applied a bright gold polish (Charge It! by Sephora by OPI) with a small detail brush over the yellow acrylic paint to smooth out the design and stay true to the Greyjoy colors. This part required patience more than anything.

A nice layer of top coat from Seche Vite smoothed everything out a little more, and with that, a kraken was born!

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House Greyjoy represent!

It was great to see the episode afterward and watch the Greyjoy ships flying their banners. My fiancé recognized the image immediately whereas previously, he probably wouldn’t have known whose ships they were. It’s great that nail art can be so educational in that respect!

I’m looking forward to seeing the next episode, but until then, happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Cake BPX-23 Stamping Plate

Here’s a review about another great item from Born Pretty Store. This covers their small but sweet square Cake BPX-23 stamping plate which features different little cakes, teacups, and other goodies.

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The Cake BPX-23 plate from Born Pretty Store is one sweet square!

The plate comes sealed inside a printed cardboard sleeve. A layer of blue cling film protects the metal surface from scratches, but it must be removed before you can use the plate.

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Instructions for use are printed on the reverse side of the sleeve. The sticker that you see at the top lists the item number from the Born Pretty website and serves to seal the open edge of the slipcover.

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A word of caution while using the square series of plates from Born Pretty: Be careful while handling the edges of the plate because they can still be sharp enough to cut you should you grip the sides too firmly. This is definitely a concern when removing the blue film. My advice is to keep the plate on a flat surface while peeling off the film to protect your fingers.

On the plus side, the etching on the plate is nice and deep so you should have no problem picking up images with your stamper.

Because of the large number of small designs on the plate, you can choose to use them one at a time on your nails or fashion your own custom full size image. I decided to make little doughnut decals from the 2nd image from the right side in the 3rd row.

 

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I applied clear top coat to a silicone mat and stamped the doughnut image multiple times onto each dried swatch of top coat and colored in the details with different shades of polish.

After allowing the decals to dry completely on the mat, I applied them to my nails to make this happy looking manicure in honor of National Doughnut Day.

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The full sized images on the bottom row also make for some pretty designs. They are already large enough to cover most nails and are perfect for reverse stamping.

I used the image in the bottom right hand corner for a sweet treats manicure. I was able to fill in the image on my stamper so I could stamp it directly onto my nail afterward.

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My disclaimer is that any details that did not show up in the stamping above is due to my own user error. In order to speed up the painting process, I chose not to clean the plate with acetone between each transfer, so some of the images are missing dots or don’t have lines that are quite as clean as others. I guarantee that if you make sure that your plate is clean between each transfer, you will be able to see every detail exactly as it is shown on the plate. The fact that I was able to use the plate multiple times without having to clean off the image each time is a testament to how good the etching is.

Overall, this plate is very easy to use, and there are plenty of different looking manicures that you can create with the images on it. If you have a sweet tooth, BPX-23 should definitely be part of your collection!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (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/born-pretty-square-nail-stamp-template-66cm-cake-afternoon-design-image-plate-p-39695.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Asian Dressing Screen Nails

I’ve been totally swamped the past week, and I was resigned to just paint my nails one color so that I could get some sleep for once. But lo and behold, this color was so beautiful that I felt that I needed to add a little something to it, hence this easy nail art for today!

This beautiful base shade is called Shell Me the Truth from Nicole by OPI. It’s a wonderful pearlescent light pink shade with a gold shift to it, and it’s truly gorgeous. I used two coats here and had full coverage.

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Shell Me the Truth by Nicole by OPI.

I felt like adding some stamping would jazz it up a little more, so I dug through my collection of plates and found this Asian inspired one from Harunouta. I figured that a basic black print would look nice over the pink base.

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Harunouta L025 plate has a lot of Asian inspired prints on it. This manicure uses the 2nd design from the bottom right hand corner.

The stamping was done with Ya Qin An polish in Black. I’m not into having identically stamped nails, so I moved the pattern around on each nail to make it look a little more hand painted.

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I used some Ya Qin An top coat over this to preserve the stamping, and I was done in hardly any time!

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The print reminds me of Asian dressing screens, but it’s just a pretty design overall.

I’ve got plenty of posts in the pipeline coming soon, so stay tuned! Happy polishing!