Egyptian King Tut Nails

Tonight is our first official performance of Verdi’s Aida, the story of which is set in Egypt. I decided to go with an Egyptian theme of gilded gold nails, hieroglyphics, and the head of King Tutankhamun’s (Tut’s) sarcophagus as an accent nail.

I started by painting all my nails a shiny metallic gold. I used Charge It! from Sephora by OPI.

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2 coats of Charge It! from Sephora by OPI turn your nails into opulent gold works of art.

While looking for Halloween manicure ideas in the past few weeks, I came across plate BM-S250 from Bundle Monster, now called Maniology, that had an Egyptian theme. They clearly thought that it would be used for the mummy aspects of it, but you can create a pretty classy looking manicure from some of the other designs.

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King Tut was the highlight of this manicure, so I opted to work on him first before proceeding with the rest of the design.

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Review of Beauty Big Bang Silver Stamping Nail Polish

I love the look of metallic colors with stamping, so today’s review covers a silver nail polish from Beauty Bigbang.

The item comes inside cardboard packaging that lists all the appropriate details for the item such as the ingredients, color, and the SKU number on the Beauty Bigbang website. It also has its birthday and expiration date (always listed as 2 years later, even though you and I both know we own polishes that are way older than that and are still usable) printed on the side of the box.

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The cylindrical bottle design is simple and sturdy with a cap that is easy to hold.

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Inside you will find 9 mL of a highly pigmented metallic silver varnish. What is probably most noteworthy upon opening the bottle is the strong smell of the formula! You will definitely want to use this in an area with good ventilation.

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Review of Born Pretty Store Glow in the Dark Powders

Today’s review is going to focus on some really cool glow in the dark powders that I got from Born Pretty Store. They’re not much to look at in the container, but they pack a punch once they’re applied!

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Born Pretty ships the set of 6 powders in a plastic baggie. The photo on the left shows the undersides of the containers while the photo on the right shows the top view. Each jar is “sealed for your protection” just like a bottle of vitamins. This keeps the powder from leaking out.

These little containers have screw on tops, and they can get messy, so it is advised that you work over a sheet of paper or a paper towel for easy clean up. Also, the powder is very fine, so if you are sensitive to dust, wearing a mask while you work with this product is recommended.

The website claims that there are 2 grams of powder in each container, but from my previous experience, 2 grams usually fills up this size jar completely. Either the powder is very dense, or the website is making up some stats because these jars were just a little over half full, and some colors appeared to have slightly more or less powder inside than other ones. However, if you consider that you are getting 6 colors here for a very affordable price, this is hardly an issue.

There isn’t any branding on the containers, so you have to come up with your own system for how to identify the powder colors for later unless you want to have to turn off the lights first every time you want to use them! As you can see, the powder itself mostly looks like various shades of white with the greenish colors giving off a slightly yellow tint. I chose to label each container with a numbered sticker on the bottom so I can keep track of the colors in my tutorials, but it also so you can see how they swatch.

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These powders don’t look like much of anything in normal light but are surprisingly bright once the lights are turned off! To be honest, 2 is more of a purple color than it appears here in the photograph, but you basically get 4 blue toned shades and two yellow-green shades in this set. 3 is slightly lighter than 1, and 4 is slightly lighter than 5.

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Glow in the Dark Outer Space Nails

Today’s nails were inspired by some glow in the dark powders that I received from Born Pretty Store. Please look for my review on them in the next few days! But what I associate glow in the dark stuff with the most is those stickers you can buy of stars and planets that you can use to decorate your ceiling, so I wanted to make the nail art equivalent of that.

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These glow in the dark powders are mostly white in color and give no hint as to what they will look like once the lights go off!

I used white gel polish base here to give the glow more pop, although to be honest, I’m not sure how much the base color affects the luminosity of the powder. However, because the powders are mostly whitish shades, I figured it would be the best color to apply.

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This polish is called button down from b.m.c. nail lacquer, and it’s fully opaque in 2 coats. Each layer takes 60 seconds to cure.

After fully curing each coat of white gel polish, I applied a layer of Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat and cured it for about 10 seconds to ensure that it was still sticky enough for the powder to adhere to. I then used a small brush to loosely apply the bluish colored powders (numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6 from the swatch photo) to my nails, applying each color in patches to form a type of gradient. After dusting away the excess powder with a fan brush, I finished curing the top coat and powder layer and then applied another layer of top coat over everything to seal in the powder and fully cured that.

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What the color combination of powders looked like was a surprise to me, too! They do aptly resemble the atmosphere here.

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80s Equalizer Nail Art

Today I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and trying a different technique with something I’ve never been great at using: nail foil. Anyone who has experience with it knows that it can be temperamental to use, and even when you get the application right, the wrong top coat can ruin the whole thing and make it look as if it was never there. Yet here I am testing my patience with this material. Off we go!

To start, I painted all my nails black.

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This is stamping polish from b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black. Not sure why it looks textured though- it might be the pigments.

To make the decals, you will need a plastic bag or a silicone mat. I used the Lotus Mat from Bundle Monster for mine. Start by applying swatches of top coat onto your chosen surface. The top coat will serve as the base of your decal. Wait for your top coat to fully dry before you proceed to the next step.

Next, choose a pattern that you want to stamp and transfer it to a swatch of top coat. You must act very quickly to apply a piece of nail foil over the stamped area so that the foil can adhere to the wet polish. Rub over the piece of foil with your finger, then lift the foil quickly, and you should be left with a cool foil embossed pattern.

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For this manicure, I used the pattern in the lower right hand corner of plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty.

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The stamping polish used was the same b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black from my base color. I did this so that it would not look obvious if the foil did not transfer fully.

The foil was purchased in a large lot from an eBay seller, and there is no brand associated with it. You can see that the foil that I chose to use has a natural rainbow gradient effect, so it happens to match the levels that you would see on an equalizer. In case you don’t know what an equalizer looks like, here’s an example:

Very 80s techno chic.

At this point you can gently peel the decals off the mat and cut them to fit your nails. In order to hide some of the transfer imperfections, I also re-cut the levels of the bars. You can apply a cut decal by painting another layer of black polish or some top coat onto your nail and then gently press the decal onto the wet surface.

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You can see where I cut the levels of the bars for the decals, but they more or less stick to the base color. This look reminds me of Tetris.

Disclaimer: Because I didn’t like the finish of the b.m.c. nail lacquer as a base color, I applied the decals using What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI.

It’s easy to say just apply top coat to seal in everything, but here’s where things can get tricky. I’ve heard that a water based top coat works best with foil, but I don’t have any. I also know that pretty much anything that is branded as “fast drying” will cause the foil to shrink and/or break up. If you don’t use a top coat at all, the foil will quickly rub off on its own. I took a chance by using my Ya Qin An top coat, seeing as it never smears nail art, and it worked pretty well. Thumbs up for Ya Qin An!

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Nail foil success! Too bad this took forever to do.

Fun fact: I’m holding a record that I actually played on! It was for a private project, but it’s still cool as a collector’s item.

In any case, I love how I conquered my fear of nail foil. That’s not to say that I don’t curse a lot when things don’t work out the right way, but at least I know that I have another technique that I can use. Maybe practice does make perfect!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Glitter Powder

Today’s review is all about glitter powder. I’m not just talking about your run of the mill craft store glitter. No, this is nothing compared to the highly sparkly semi holographic kind that I’m about to show you today.

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Shining sand: Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Glitter Powder.

This powder is some magical stuff! You can see from the picture that the size of the glitter in the container is very fine. The overall color of it is a pretty teal green/blue mixed with some holographic flecks. It does not have as much of a holographic effect as a true holographic polish, but it is beautifully shiny in the light with subtle rainbow reflections.

When you order the powder, it arrives sealed in a cute clear plastic faceted container, and it comes with a small sponge tipped applicator. The plastic bag for the set has a zip seal, so you can make sure your glitter does not spill all over your other products when you store it.

 

Each container is filled with roughly 1.5-1.8 grams of the sparkly powder. The great news is that you hardly will use any of it when you apply it to your nails, ensuring that you will be able to produce many manicures from this little jar.

 

The best way to apply this powder is to use it over a gel top coat. It needs a sticky surface to which it can adhere. You can attempt to apply it over regular wet nail polish, but your results will not look as nice as the glitter won’t necessarily disperse evenly.

A base color is not required for this powder, but I opted to use a white polish underneath it just to show how fully the glitter covers your nails. If you want to ensure that any empty patches in the glitter application do not show, you may want to choose a shade that complements the teal or holographic components of the glitter instead.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White. Note that this is not a gel polish, so I made sure that the two coats of lacquer that I applied were fully dry before I proceeded to the next step.

Next I applied a gel top coat from Born Pretty and cured it for roughly half the normal time (30 seconds) which is no more than 15 seconds. You might want to err on curing it for less time to ensure that the glitter will stick to the top coat. If you are not using a base color, you can start directly from this step.

As a side note, you will want to be very careful with the gel top coat application as this glitter will stick to any place the top coat is applied. This means that it will get in your cuticles and the sides of your nail beds if you are not careful, so if that sort of thing annoys you, patience and cleanliness are key.

Once the top coat is set, you can use the sponge applicator to pat the glitter on top of your nails. You can rub it in, but I suggest the patting motion because it will stick better. Keep a piece of paper underneath your working area to catch any excess glitter fallout. Once you achieve the coverage that you desire, you can use a fan brush to sweep away any excess powder from your nails.

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Freshly applied sparkles. You can’t even tell that a white base color was used because the glitter coverage is so good.

All that’s left to do is apply another layer of gel top coat over your nails and fully cure it to seal in the glitter. If any glitter was on your skin, you can simply wash your hands after the final layer of top coat is set to finish cleaning up.

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The powder by itself is beautiful enough, but I added some stamping on top of it just for fun.

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Your nails will look even prettier with this swirling vine manicure.

Overall, this powder is easy to use and it has enormous color payout considering how little you have to apply to your nails to get the effect. The price is outstanding when you think about how many manicures you can produce from this little container. If you work with gel polish, why not add some sparkle to your manicures with this powder?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this glitter powder (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/18gbox-holographic-blue-laser-powder-ultra-thin-shining-manicure-nail-glitter-powder-p-38756.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Minnie Mouse Themed French Manicure

Hello, lovelies! I’ve got a Disney themed manicure for you today inspired by Minnie Mouse. This is dedicated to my toddler niece Sarah, who isn’t even old enough to appreciate nail art yet, but she loves Minnie!

This design was also done in part to fulfill the French manicure requirement of a nail collaboration I participated in on Instagram, which required that the design be done freehand. Done and done!

My nails have been slightly discolored from different past manicures, so I first applied a sheer pink polish to my nails to make my nail beds look like they’re naturally healthy.

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This is one coat of Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails in Pink Whisper Creme.

Next, I took a bright red color and painted the tips of my nails for a simple French manicure. Those with unsteady hands can use vinyl guides to keep the lines crisp. After allowing the polish to set a little, I dipped a striping brush into craft smart acrylic paint in black and drew a fine line between the tip with the nail bed. I planned to paint Minnie’s ears with her signature bow on my ring finger, so I outlined the top of her head and added more red polish in a bow tie shape for that nail.

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That gorgeous red is NY139 from Nicka K.

To finish up, I placed white polka dots on the red tips and the bow with b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White and a dotting tool and outlined the bow and added the knot details with more black acrylic paint.

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A very French Minnie Mouse!

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Macro shot of the bow design for the collaboration.

My only grievance with this design is that my nails aren’t wide enough to really show Minnie’s ears. You can only see a hint of them along the sides of my nails, but it’s not very obvious because my nails also have a defined C curve. That’s why I can only call this inspired by Minnie Mouse.

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A look that Minnie would love to rock as well.

On a side note, this is probably the longest length that I have grown my nails, and I know they’re not even that long! I love the way they look, but it’s so uncomfortable for me to do normal activities like write and put in my contact lenses! Does anyone else feel this pain?

I’ll catch you guys again once I trim and file my nails. Happy polishing!