Black and Magenta Mandala Manicure

We’ve had a bit of a heat wave in NYC lately! Temperatures have been in the 90s here, and so I’ve been in the mood to do a summer bright manicure even though it’s officially fall.

The color that spoke to me was Beach Cruise-r from China Glaze which is a shimmery hot pink/magenta shade.

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Things heat up quickly with a color this bright!

I figured that black stamping would look awesome over this base shade, so I dug through my plates and found this beauty from Born Pretty Store.

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BP-48 plate from Born Pretty Store.

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Fall Maple Leaves Manicure

I know that everyone thinks that the beginning of September means that it must be fall, but officially the autumnal equinox is September 22. The leaves haven’t started changing colors in NYC yet, but I can’t wait to go hiking upstate once they start to turn! Here’s a manicure that really sets the mood.

I started by painting all my nails a bronze color.

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Firefly from Sally Hansen’s Lustre Shine line is the perfect shade for fall.

Plate BPX-L018 from Born Pretty Store has perfect leaf designs. I went for the maple leaves in the lower right hand corner for this manicure.

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Texas Strong Nail Art

Apologies for the lack of activity lately. The beginning of the new school year is always a tiring and busy time for me, and I haven’t had much time to paint my nails.

A friend from Texas had requested that I do some Texas Strong nails in light of the recent hurricane activity there. The victims of Hurricane Harvey have been pushed aside in the minds of many after Hurricane Irma hit the US not long afterward. Many prayers go out to those who are still recovering from both disasters. I’m grateful that those that I know who are in the affected areas are safe.

In any case, the first thing that came to mind with my Texas Strong design was to paint the state’s flag and a small version of the state on my nails. For those who don’t know what the Texas flag looks like, here it is:

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Public Domain, Link

I started by painting my index finger blue and the rest of my fingers white.

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The blue polish is called Oceanic and the white polish is called White Matter, both from Formula X.

I did the star by hand with a small brush and craft smart acrylic paint in White. To get a more symmetrical look, I placed dots where the 5 points of the stars would be and then connected the dots.

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To ensure that I got straight lines between the white and red sections, I applied a piece of striping tape to use as a painting guide, then I brushed on red polish (Pyrotechnic by Formula X) over the top part of my nail.

The text “Texas Strong” and the state of Texas on my pinky were hand painted with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. A generous amount of Seche Vite top coat finished off the look.

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It’s a simple design that gets the point across. I wish I could have done something big and grand, but I’m still struggling to find the time to do everything these days.

Hope everyone is safe and well out there! Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Store BP-124 Stamping Plate

Are you into travel? Do you want your nails to reflect your passport? Today’s featured review will totally make you fall in love with this plate!

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The BP-124 plate from Born Pretty Store will fulfill all your travel dreams.

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World Tour Nails

Happy September! I’m in the process of putting together my first passport application right now. It’s shameful that I still haven’t been outside of the US yet! I have some potential gigs coming up that will require a passport, so I figured that I better get that application in as soon as possible!

Today’s nail art features a world tour of sorts, containing all sorts of landmarks from different countries.

To start, I painted all my nails a pretty pearly light blue color to represent the sky.

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Faded Blues by Ulta Professional is a lovely sky blue that is opaque in 2 coats.

To give my sky texture, I went with a smooshy technique using 3 colors: light blue (Faded Blues by Ulta Professional), medium blue (What I Like About Blue by China Glaze), and iridescent white (Of Quartz You Can by Finger Paints). I applied dots of each polish onto a stamper and smooshed the colors together with another stamper so that I could apply the mixture of colors to my nails with both stampers. This allowed for a little more control over the smooshed look versus simply dabbing the polish straight from one stamper onto my nails.

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Review of Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #54 Pearl White

I haven’t reviewed a stamping polish in awhile, mostly because I’ve been sticking to some tried and tested favorites a lot lately. I’ve come to love the stamping polishes from Born Pretty Store for their pigmentation and easy transferring ability, so when I saw that they now carry shimmery shades, I wanted to try one immediately!

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #54

This polish is color #54 on their website and is described as pearl white, and that’s exactly what it looks like- white with a gorgeous pearly shimmer to it. The formula is a very thick one that is hard to shake up. There isn’t a mixing ball inside the bottle as far as I can tell, so you will want to add some if you have some available.

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The formula is so thick that it sticks to the inside neck of the bottle.

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Eclipse Inspired Floral Nail Art

I know I’m late for the eclipse related stuff, but then again, this manicure isn’t really depicting the eclipse. NYC only had 70% coverage, so I had to settle for NASA’s video footage of totality to see how truly spectacular a solar eclipse can be. Can’t wait for the next one that’s coming here only seven years from now!

Back to the nail art first. I settled on using a creme black and pearl white color combo to channel those corona vibes.

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I painted my index and pinky fingers with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #54 while the other fingers were painted with Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora.

Stamping was done with Born Pretty’s BP-46 plate. I picked a floral pattern that, in abstraction, could resemble rays of light beaming out from a moon in the center. I sound like such a dreamer, eh?

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The pattern at the top of the BP-46 plate from Born Pretty Store was my shortcut to getting floral nails done in a flash.

I again used Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #54 to transfer the pattern to the nails that were painted black. For the white nails, I applied a chunky glitter top coat from Formula X for Sephora called Meteoric. This top coat contains various sizes of black and white hexagonal glitters as well as holographic flecks and makes for an interesting contrasting “space” texture.

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And that’s literally all it takes to get these nails! Short and sweet, just like the eclipse itself.

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Hope you got to see the magic happen as well! If not, check out some of the videos online of the big moment!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty French BP-X20 Stamping Plate

The one thing I regret about being a musician who does nail art on the side is the fact that I can’t grow my nails super long to have French tips all the time. Whenever I do manage to grow them out, I certainly take advantage of the situation, but sometimes getting that perfect smile line across all my nails can be frustrating. That’s where this ingenious little plate comes in.

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The French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty Store has an assortment of different lines you can use for French manicures or other color block nail art designs.

The plate comes with its own cardboard slipcover for protection from scratches, and as always, you must remove the protective blue film from the surface prior to using it. Do be careful while peeling off the film because the edges are still sharp enough to cut you if you grab them too hard.

18 different patterns adorn this little square. The three across the top are very similar but vary not just in width but also in the intensity of the curve. They can either be used for French tips or at the base of the nail for half moon manicures. Continue reading

Sailboat French Manicure

Seems like I’ve got beaches on the brain a lot lately! I put together a cute little sailboat manicure this week for an unconventional twist on French tips.

I didn’t want to leave my nails totally bare because they’re a little damaged right now, so I used a sheer iridescent glitter polish from Confetti called Ice Ice Baby to give my nails a bit of a twinkle. Like most iridescent things, it is hard to capture the sparkly blue green shift of the glitter under bright light and direct focus, but you can see its true color in the picture of the bottle.

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Only one coat of polish was applied as a base. I wanted an ethereal look rather than strong glitter coverage.

The waves were done using a French tips plate from Born Pretty Store.

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French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty

I layered the pattern from the lower left hand corner of the plate with different shades of stamping nail polish from Born Pretty.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #7 (royal blue) was applied across the tips of each nail.

I painted a sailboat by hand using Craft Smart Acrylic Paint and a detail brush. Painting it at this stage allows for subsequently stamped waves to overlap the hull of the boat.

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Painting this boat was fairly simple, but it requires patience.

After the boat was done, I stamped the same French tip pattern from before with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polishes in #284 (light blue) and #4 (white), staggering the tips of the waves so that the base color was covered. I repeated the stamping process with the same three colors until the tip was filled in completely.

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Seche Vite top coat was applied on top to complete the look.

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This was a cute design to put together, and I think it was a fairly creative use of the French tips plate. The layered look would work well with many different color combinations, so I’ll probably use this technique again at some point!

Happy polishing!

Elegant Wedding French Manicure Nail Art

Today I wanted to bring some pretty and easy nail art to the table. Weddings were my inspiration for the week, so I brought together glitter and pearls to come up with this look.

For my base color, I chose Perky Pink from Sally Hansen. It’s a beautiful pink jelly that has iridescent glitter suspended in the color.

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I wanted some noticeable glitter coverage, so I used 3 coats of Perky Pink to achieve this look.

For the French tips, you can either paint them by hand or use a stamping template to help you out. I recently acquired the French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty Store, so I used the pattern from the upper right hand corner to easily stamp some pearl polish onto my nails.

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French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty Store.

The pearl white stamping polish (Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #54) provided even coverage over the pink base, and thanks to the stamping plate, my smile lines were nice and even.

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To add a little something extra, I applied a simple flower design to my ring finger using Harunouta plate L025 and some black stamping polish from Ya Qin An.

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The pattern for my accent nail comes from the 2nd row of the left side of the plate.

I isolated one group of lines and flowers from the design and stamped it at a slight angle on my nail.

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This look can easily be recreated with a thin striping brush and a dotting tool.

To finish off the manicure, I applied Seche Vite top coat and immediately placed two small silver microbeads from the Recollections Signature brand to the centers of the flowers before the polish set.

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I’m in love with these nails and think they look super pretty and feminine without being over the top. Wear them for a special occasion or everyday. Life is too short to save good things for later!

Happy polishing!