Unicorn Mermaid Nails

I’ve been holding off on using gel polishes after a bad skin reaction to the curing lamp a few months ago. I was really scared that my nails might fall off because my nail bed started peeling back, and the skin around the nails was itchy and getting hard before peeling off! Truly a nightmare. I’m a little wary about overdoing it with the lamp now (what, you’re not supposed to do gel manicures more than once in a day?), so I purchased some fake nails and decided to go about my swatches in this manner instead. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up doing sets for people now that I have all these fake nails!

In any case, I was super excited to use some holographic powder to create a fun and whimsical unicorn mermaid manicure, so as per the usual steps, I applied gel base coat from iMethod Beauty, cured that for 60 seconds, then applied and cured 2 coats of black gel polish. The color was 007 Blackpool from Aimeili, and it’s a trustworthy but affordable gel polish that provides the perfect base for chrome and holo powders.

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Disclaimer: this is an old swatch on my actual nails because I was too lazy to take a new photo of a polish that I already swatched.

I then applied a layer of no wipe top coat from iMethod Beauty and cured it for 60 seconds before burnishing in their holographic powder with a sponge applicator. After all the black polish was covered by holo, I swept away the excess powder with a brush and applied another layer of gel top coat.

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With a dazzling effect like this, who can say they don’t like holo?

Continue reading

Sandy Beach Nails

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through August already! I have no idea how time has been flying by. To be honest, I did these nails 2 weeks ago but am only just now starting to catch up with my blog.

In any case, I still haven’t been to the beach this summer because I’ve been so busy. The closest I can get to one is through some nail art.

I started by painting my nails with Born Pretty Thermal Gel in color BP-5730. I love thermal polishes for their natural gradient effect and also for their ability to entertain me in different temperature settings! This one looks like a pale periwinkle blue in warm temperatures and a deep royal blue in cold temperatures. It also has the perfect sprinkling of two different sized glitters in the formula which truly makes it look more special.

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I applied and cured this polish for about 1 minute and repeated the process for a second coat.

My next step was to create a sandy beach line along the half moon area of my nails.  Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/patternssheet-born-pretty-ocean-starfish-nail-water-decals-transfer-sticker-bpy33-p-33973.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

Mermaid Inspired Nails

I know it’s a little early to be thinking of the beach, but I know a few people who recently went on vacation to Florida and Barbados, and I couldn’t help but be jealous.  The closest I’m getting to any sand these days is on my fingertips!

I also wanted to take advantage of these beautiful holographic vinyl stickers I got from Born Pretty Store.  They have a fish scale design, so I instantly thought of doing a mermaid themed design.

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These sticker templates are pretty even on their own. They are pattern JV203 by Tiebeauty.

As for the color palette, I tried to use glittery gold to represent sand and shimmery teal green and blue for the scales.

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From left to right: Glitz by Formula X, Cuckoo for this Color by OPI, Keep Me On My Mistletoes by Sephora by OPI, and Shay by Julep

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I started out by painting my middle two fingers with Cuckoo for this Color and my other nails with Glitz.

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To help aid with clean up of the gradient, I applied some liquid tape from Born Pretty to the skin around the teal nails.

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After making sure the polish was completely dry, I applied one of the vinyl stickers to my nail.

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For the gradient, I dabbed Keep Me On My Mistletoes and Shay onto a plastic bag and applied the combination onto my nail with a sponge.

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Keep sponging the mixture from the bag onto the nail until a nice gradient effect is achieved.

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After removing the sticker, you can see some parts are not perfect. I cleaned up excess polish by tracing the scale outline with an orange stick and filling in any gaps with the appropriate color.

I repeated the process with my ring finger.  To finish off the design, I added a few pearl studs, securing them with Kiss Nail Art Glue.

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She sells sea shells by the seashore.

Hope you’re enjoying the wonderful weather we’ve been having lately!  In no time, it will be summer.  Happy polishing!

Ocean Themed Manicure

It’s still technically summer, even though in my mind, once school starts, it’s fall.  So how about one last beachy manicure?

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The polish line up from left to right: OPI- He’s My Surfing Instructor, Sephora by OPI- Looks Like Rain, Dear, Konad Special Nail Polish- Black, and b.m.c. nail lacquer- liquid gold.

It’s been awhile since I’ve used glitter polish, but I’m always looking for an excuse to change up my nails a bit more often.  I went ahead and used Elmer’s School Glue as a base coat for easy removal later on, and used He’s My Surfing Instructor from OPI on all my nails to start.

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He’s My Surfing Instructor from OPI is a jelly based glitter polish that looks like a beautiful ocean.

This polish takes quite a few coats before it looks opaque.  I think I did 4-5 coats to get the look in the picture above.  Perhaps next time I’ll use an opaque color as a base and use this color on top to give it the iridescent sheen of the polish.  It’s a really beautiful color, though.

The stamping was done with 2 different plates: BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store and Jumbo Plate 2 by Cheeky.

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BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 3 images from the right.

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I used the seashell that is in the top row, 3rd image from the left on Jumbo Plate 2 from Cheeky.

For the seaweed part, I added dimension by stamping the pattern in gold first before I stamped it in black.  It adds just a little bit more shimmer to the polish as well.

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Stamping done with liquid gold by b.m.c. nail lacquer and plate BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store. It looks very faint, but it adds that touch of class and unites the black and gold color theme in this design.

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Black polish by Konad is stamped over the gold part with the same pattern from BPL-026.

The shells were done with the reverse stamping method so I could color them in.

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The image from Cheeky Jumbo Plate 2 is stamped with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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Using the brush from the bottle, I colored in the shell with Looks Like Rain, Dear from Sephora by OPI.

Finally I stamped the shells onto my nails with opposing angles to frame the seaweed.

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Under the sea… Ocean themed nail art! Ariel would be jealous.

And that’s all there is to it!  It was easy to do, and I’m pretty satisfied with the result for once.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!  😉  Happy polishing!