Review of Beauty Big Bang Cuticle Nipper

Hello! Sorry for disappearing, but life has been crazy, and it’s hard trying to stay on top of a written blog. Definitely find me @finepolish on InstagramFacebook, Tumblr, or Twitter if you want to keep up with all my latest designs!

Today I want to show you an item that I’ve been meaning to get for the longest time that is a necessity for a good nail care routine: cuticle nippers!

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These cuticle nippers from Beauty Big Bang come in a reusable vinyl pouch.

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There’s information on the back of the card along with a bar code for the item. The tip of the scissors is covered with a protective plastic cover.

Yes, I know, everyone says you shouldn’t ever cut your cuticles and only push them back, but while I wouldn’t recommend doing this every time you do your nails, sometimes you get dry bits of skin around your nails that need to be removed. I usually try to trim these bits with either nail scissors or nail clippers, but neither tool does the job as well or efficiently as this!

These nippers are as easy to hold and use as a pair of pliers. The nippers have a default open position, so you only need to squeeze the handles together to cut your target. The handles have just the right amount of tension so that you don’t need a lot of strength to do the trimming, but they don’t immediately close together in your hand.

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What is extra appealing about the tip is how the cutting edge stays flush with your surface, allowing you to trim closely with precision. Care must be taken that you don’t cut into your living skin because the edges are sharp. As the instructions say, clip away small amounts at a time and do this in moderation. It is possible to get an infection if you clip away too much skin, causing an open wound, so please be careful!

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The nippers should be positioned this way as you trim away dead skin.

It is easy to clean away the clipped debris when the tip is open.

 

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View of the cutting edge.

These nippers are made of durable stainless steel and have a beautiful rainbow chrome finish, and can also be used for cutting decals and striping tape, so they make an excellent addition to your nail art toolkit.

 

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this cuticle nipper SKU: J6517TM (retail price is $8.39 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/1pc-beautybigbang-rainbow-stainless-steel-nail-cuticle-nipper-cutter-plier-clipper-scissor-dead-skin-remover-trimming-manicure-nail-art-tool

Check out their deals for Black Friday and their Christmas sale at the link below!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/pages/snowsale

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Review of Born Pretty No Smudge Top Coat

Have you ever finished a manicure only to find that your top coat smudged all your hard work by making the colors bleed into each other? I’ve had this happen a number of times, and it’s extremely frustrating when it happens! Enter the world of no smudge top coats.

This top coat is from Born Pretty and comes packaged in the brand’s elegant cream and gold box, instantly making the item feel luxurious.

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The ingredients list is the same for every bottle of polish from Born Pretty, so I’m not sure what makes this top coat work so effectively.

The bottle contains 6 mL of crystal clear top coat and features an easy to handle brush. 6 mL isn’t a huge amount, which is a shame because you’ll want to use this top coat for all of your nail art!

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Review of Born Pretty Water Based Base Coat

Today I’m reviewing a water based clear polish from Born Pretty Store. If you’ve ever worked with nail foils, you will know that people swear by water based top coats to finish off their manicure. Foils are known to shrink and crack when virtually any top coat is applied, ruining their beautiful finish, so I jumped at the chance to get this product when I heard the words “water based” in the formula because I was curious to see just how effective it would be.

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Born Pretty Water Based Base Coat comes in a box labeled with the ingredients on the back.

This must be their generic box because the list looks identical to the one they use with their other polishes.

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For comparison, this bottle and box photo comes from my review of their metallic flake top coat.

As for the formula, it’s clear and on the thinner side but not runny. It smells a little bit like a mix of ammonia and some sort of cleaner, although I can’t put my finger which one. It comes in a 9 mL cylindrical bottle with a good sized flexible brush that can easily paint most nails in 1-2 strokes.

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Review of Born Pretty Peel Off Gel Base Coat

As a nail art blogger, I find that it’s hard to commit to wearing the same polish for an extended amount of time. The durability of gel polish is virtually lost on me as I usually end up taking it off within a day or two. And if you like to swatch gel polishes? You’ve got to be kidding me with that removal process!

This handy gel peel off base coat from Born Pretty Store will make you want to use your gels polishes again. Not only does it cure like a regular gel, but it makes removing your polish afterward super easy instead of spending lots of time soaking and scraping!

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On the outside, the bottle looks like a normal soak off gel base coat, but it really does allow you to peel off your polish afterward!

The bottle holds 10 mL as stated on the outside. This is comparable to most gel polish brands, and you only need to apply one coat for it to work its magic.

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The back of the bottle lists the ingredients. Oddly enough, the “instruction paper” from the directions is nowhere to be found.

I used one layer of base coat over clean nails and cured it for 30 seconds with a LED lamp, and this seemed to work. The formula holds up well and isn’t too runny like some other Born Pretty gels, and the brush was easy to manipulate.

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This base coat is crystal clear and applies smoothly.

When I first tried this product, I still had acrylics on with a layer of gel top coat cured over the acrylic, and there were varying degrees of success with the peel off process.

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A layer of the base coat was applied and cured on top of my acrylic nails.

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Review of Ya Qin An Top Coat and Nail Art Problem #6: Streaky Nail Art

A few months ago, I saw a post on Instagram regarding a top coat that doesn’t smudge stamping.  I can’t remember which company released it as I can’t find the picture now, but I was intrigued by how you could brush on coat after coat of the stuff without fear of smearing your nail art!  So lo and behold, not long after that, I found a mysterious product listed as “1 Bottle 18ml Nail Polish Nail Printing Anti-stamp Dedicated Isolation Oil Brush Pure Color” on Born Pretty Store’s website that sounded like it fit the bill.

http://www.bornprettystore.com/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

I took a gamble and got the product despite the lack of information on it, and it turns out that it did exactly what I thought it would do!

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Ya Qin An top coat for stamping and nail art.

The bottle is a generous 18 mL size that will last you quite awhile.  By comparison, Seche Vite comes in a 14 mL bottle, and most standard bottles of nail polish contain 15 mL of fluid.

I love that the bottle shape is basically a big cube.  The width makes it stable and less likely to be knocked over, not like I’ve ever done that

I can’t read Chinese, so I can’t help with the translation of any of the labels below.  Maybe one of you kind readers will be able to lend a hand?

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I’m guessing that this label lists the ingredients.

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The top of the cap has this sticker on top.

The formula is nice and crystal clear.  It is definitely not any kind of oil, as the initial description mentioned!  It has a slightly fruity chemical smell to it.  I wouldn’t say that it’s very offensive or overly strong, but it’s not unscented.

I’ve used it for several stamping manicures so far and liked what I saw.  I was able to brush over the same area multiple times without the stamping polish streaking.

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Also topped off this damask print manicure with Ya Qin An top coat.

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Ya Qin An top coat over school uniform plaid nails.

You can see that there wasn’t any smudging in the above manicures.  By contrast, this is what a nail with Seche Vite top coat looks like.

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Yikes, that blue color streaked, and that was with one brush stroke of Seche Vite!

I do have to say that despite the streaking, Seche Vite dried faster and shinier than the top coat by Ya Qin An.  But what good is that if the nail art underneath streaks and ruins all your hard work?  So for that alone, I think Ya Qin An deserves a 5 diamond rating.  You might have to sit around for another 5 minutes to make sure that everything dries completely, but you’ll have the security of knowing that your stamping efforts paid off.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this top coat (retail price is $11.96 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/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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How To Repair a Broken Nail

Oh, the humanity!  At work, a bunch of things fell off a tall shelf onto me, and in my efforts to protect myself, I broke a nail.  This one was a bad break because it extended into my nail bed, making it pretty much impossible for me to just cut it off.

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Yikes! This was a painful break.

Obviously I couldn’t repair it right away, so I had to protect it with a bandage until I could get home.  If you’re way too lazy to do any of the steps that I’m about to describe below, you can take a larger fake nail and tape it over your own nail so that it keeps objects from pulling the nail off by accident.  You would be surprised at how important nails are at protecting your fingers and how much it hurts when the break catches onto something it shouldn’t have!  So yes, splint your finger until the break grows out long enough to cut it off, or…

YOU CAN REPAIR IT YOURSELF!

All you need are a few items that you probably already have or can easily acquire.

  • Scissors
  • A tea bag
  • Nail glue (or Krazy Glue in a pinch, although I haven’t tried that)
  • A nail buffer (optional)

I forgot to number the photos in the picture below (sorry!), so follow the outer left rim of pictures with the steps listed underneath.

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  1. Start with a bare nail.  Remove the moisture from your nail by either swabbing it with alcohol or acetone.
  2. Use nail glue to seal the crack where the break is.  Let the glue dry completely before proceeding.
  3. Cut a small piece from the tea bag that is big enough to cover the entire area of breakage.  Some people prefer to empty the tea and save the filter just for nail break repairs, but I don’t break my nails often enough to justify keeping that around.  You can discreetly cut along the part of the bag that is folded over at the top near the staple, and you will still be able to use the tea bag for a nice hot beverage later.
  4. Apply the tea bag patch you just cut out in step 3 over the break and glue it into place.  Be sure to cover it completely with the glue.  Let the glue dry completely before adding a second coat of glue over the area.
  5. Use a nail buffer to smooth out any bumps the glue may have left on the surface of your nail.  Don’t over buff or else you will end up removing the patch and will have to start over.

I conditioned my nails with some coconut oil after buffing the surface to bring moisture back.  You can also use olive oil, cuticle oil, or plain lotion, but the idea is to keep the rest of your nail healthy while the break grows out to the point where you can cut it off.  You can definitely paint your nails as normal, and it will look like nothing happened, but do be careful when using acetone to remove the polish as this will also remove some of the glue.

My nail is repaired for now, but the nail bed underneath is still tender.  The nail itself feels hard and strong, though.  Now it’s going to be a waiting game while my nail grows out, but I’m glad I didn’t have to settle for a oddly shaped nail in the meantime!

Happy polishing!

 

Nail Art Problem #4 and Review of Polish Mixing Balls

If you’re like me and have a large nail polish collection, you’ll inevitably have several bottles of polish that you haven’t used in such a long time that the color has separated from the formula.  Some people think that at this point, you have to throw out the bottle, although sometimes you can fix the problem by shaking the bottle for minutes on end.  But what if I told you that there is a product you can buy that will save you the hassle of all that?

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Stainless steel mixing balls to the rescue!

I fondly remember my mom shaking a bottle of nail polish in preparation to do her nails and hearing the metal balls inside the container go clickety-clack against the glass.  Some polishes come with these mixing beads already, but not every bottle has them, and therein lies the problem of getting the formula back to normal again once the polish separates.

These little ball bearings are such a time saver because adding one ball to a bottle will mix the polish to its original consistency within a minute, and they are cheap, too.  You can find the link for the product at the end of this post, but $2.90 will get you 20 of these balls.

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They arrive in a little zip-sealed bag from the merchant.

The balls are fairly small.  The website claims that they are 5 mm, but they are more like 4 mm in diameter.  They do have some weight to them so that they can cut through viscous nail polish easily.  It should be noted that they aren’t perfectly round and have scratches on them and have more of a multi-faceted surface, but they perform the job they need to do just fine.

Glitter polishes tend to settle and separate more than other ones because of the weight of the glitter being heavier than the polish formula, so it wasn’t hard to find a bottle that needed mixing.  I tested the blending capabilities out by putting a ball into Meet Me At the Disco by Sephora by OPI below.

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Left: Separated polish before mixing. I actually shook the bottle a little before taking the photo to listen if there was a ball inside already from the manufacturer (there wasn’t), but you can see that the polish is still pretty separated. Right: After adding one mixing ball to the bottle and shaking it for less than a minute, the polish looks evenly blended.

I also had a bottle of crackle polish from Sally Hansen in Antiqued Gold from when it first became popular years ago.  I thought this bottle would definitely have to be tossed- the pigment would hardly move even when the bottle was inverted, and I had tried to shake it back to normal before without any luck.  But lo and behold, I added just one of the mixing beads to the bottle, shook it for under a minute, and everything returned to normal!

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Behold, the magic of ball bearings! The top photos are what the polish looked like originally, and the bottom photos look like I bought a brand new bottle from the store, but all I did was shake the bottle after the addition of a single bead. If you’re wondering about the difference in the caps, I couldn’t open the bottle because the crackle design was shrink wrapped around the handle so that the plastic overlay would turn instead of opening the bottle, so I cut the film off.

I wasn’t so sure that the formula would be any good even after mixing it, but it still crackles after all these years!  Score!

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Close up view of my nail with the freshly reinvigorated bottle of Antiqued Gold crackle polish by Sally Hansen.

I’m not into creating my own polish colors, but adding a ball to a bottle of clear coat and adding different kinds/concentrations of glitter to it would make for a fun DIY project.

Also, if your polish has become too thick, you can add a few drops of nail polish thinner to it along with a bead and kick the formula back into usable condition again.

It’s safe to say that I highly recommend these little metal balls.  I never thought I would get such joy from such a little purchase!  I would add one or two to all of my bottles of polish, but I would need a few hundred more!  They are definitely worth the price, so why not buy a pack and try them out?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing these stainless steel polish mixing balls (retail price is $2.90 USD for 20), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/20pcs100pcs-nail-polish-mixing-balls-stainless-steel-beads-glitter-polish-p-15225.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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