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?

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Koi Manicure

Feeling a little fishy? Here’s a manicure featuring koi. Did you know they are a symbol of love and friendship in Japan?

To give my fish somewhere to live, I first painted my nails a turquoise blue shade from Sephora by OPI called Bright as a Feather. This polish has shimmery silver particles in it that give the color more dimension. I applied 2 coats for the swatch below.

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American Flag French Manicure

If you’re in America, there’s no doubt that you knew it was Independence Day recently. Whether you were having a barbecue, watched fireworks either live or on TV, or just saw a lot of red, white, and blue decor everywhere, there’s no way you totally forgot about the holiday. And if you’re a nail blogger, there’s almost no excuse for you to go out without some sort of appropriate manicure!

Seeing as I did a patriotic manicure fairly recently, I wanted to create a more subtle look this time around. The idea was to do a flag French tip design over a nude base. If my nail beds were in better shape (they’re looking super sad right now after a bad reaction to too much UV light and acetone exposure from all the gel polish swatching that I’ve been doing), I would have left my real nails exposed for a “negative space” look, but I needed to use some sort of foundation to cover up the damage. Good thing I have a nice collection of nude pink colors from which to choose! I selected Privacy Please from OPI for this manicure. It’s sheer, but it’s a little streaky (maybe due to age), so I applied 3-4 coats to each nail to even out the color.

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This lovely blush pink shade hides your nail imperfections in 3-4 coats.

While my polish dried, I prepared a stamper with the flag design from the Konad m45 stamping plate. This was one of the first plates I ever bought, and I remember wondering how on earth you could produce a true red, white, and blue flag image with it. Now that I’m more experienced, I know how to do these things!

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Morbid Nail Art

You guys must think that I must be going through something based on the nail art that I’ve been putting out lately! This morbid manicure is the product of a plate I was sent for review and has nothing to do with what’s going on in my personal life, thankfully! But what I find interesting is how many different ways you can interpret the images on my nails, whether positive or negative. Such is the power of art!

I began by painting my nails a shimmery dark blue/purple shade that was a prototype from Elusive Fox Lacquer. This one of a kind polish has a rather long dry time even for just 2 coats of polish, but the formulas put out by this indie brand are gorgeous! Unfortunately, I ran into a lot of problems with my orders from them, so I don’t buy from them anymore, but there’s no denying the beauty of their polishes!

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This prototype from Elusive Fox Lacquer is a one of a kind shade marked with 57 on the bottle.

I used the Artist-L005 plate from Born Pretty for this manicure. The images on this plate look artsy, and there are a lot of depressing options here, but they all stamp really well.

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Neon Rainbow Pride Nails

It’s June, and pretty much the entire month is associated with Pride celebrations. I was playing with drag diva pianist Jacqueline Jonée for her shows, so I wanted to do a set of rainbow nails to complement her “50 Shades of Jonée” theme. I’ve been itching to try out my neon powders with stamping, so keep reading to see how this was achieved!

I started by painting all my nails black with Black Lace, a color from Sephora’s ancient “5 day shine” series of nail lacquers. This polish was part of a set that was gifted to me for my birthday 9 years ago, and it still works great!

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2 coat swatch of Black Lace from the Sephora 5 day shine collection.

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Review of Born Pretty 3D Chameleon Magnetic Aurora Series

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I’m sure you must have seen pictures of my swatches of Born Pretty’s collection of chameleon magnetic polishes. There are 6 colors in this “Magnetic Aurora” series that span the spectrum from magenta pink, coppery bronze, teal, to purple, and they’re all gorgeous!

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Top row (L to R): BP-MA01 Astral Realm, BP-MA02 Lightning, BP-MA03 The Gravity (rebranded The Summit). Bottom row (L to R): BP-MA04 Greenland Night (rebranded Night Imply), BP-MA05 Fairbanks Arts (rebranded An Art), BP-MA06 Aurora Borealis.

Each of these elegant boxes is wrapped in plastic wrap, and a label on the side of the box shows the item number and the name of the color.

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The reverse side lists the ingredients, although this part of the packaging remains the same across all Born Pretty polishes.

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What these polishes are known for are their multi-toned chameleon effect in addition to their reactivity to strong magnets. When magnets are applied over the wet polish, stunning 3D color shifts can be achieved. Please note that regular refrigerator magnets are not meant to be used with this set and will not work with these polishes. There are plenty of nail art magnet styles out there that you can purchase that are compatible with these lacquers, so there are a lot of design possibilities.

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Even in the bottle, you can see there are at least 2 tones to each polish depending on how the light hits the surface.

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Review of Born Pretty Chameleon Pearl Stamping Polish Set

If you’ve ever ordered from Born Pretty, you know how long it can take to receive an order. It’s not unheard of to receive items in the mail that you totally forgot you bought because over a month has passed! But with Born Pretty’s US Warehouse, one can receive their order within a week, which is a pleasant surprise! They tend to have sets of items rather than listing each item individually, but the prices are still reasonable with the shipping still being free. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up loving everything in the set anyway!

This review focuses on their 6 piece chameleon pearl stamping polish set. Each box is wrapped in cellophane (not sure if this is a permanent change across the brand or if this is exclusive to US Warehouse products) so you know the item hasn’t been tampered with. Other than that, the packaging is identical to the polishes from the regular Born Pretty website. The cellophane is a little bit of a pain to remove as it seems to adhere to the box slightly during the sealing process, and there is no pull tab to help with tearing it off. I had to use scissors to make an incision to be able to get a hold of the wrapping. This kind of seal seems wasteful to me, but I guess the US is known for creating a lot of garbage.

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A pretty assortment of colors is offered in this set of chameleon pearl polishes.

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