Swirling Vine Glittery Manicure

Hello there, and Happy Easter!  Sorry for my inactivity lately.  I’ve spent the past week frantically trying to get my taxes done, so I had to put everything on hold.  I did have enough time to make this pretty manicure, inspired by my feeling of being trapped by a deadline.

I started by painting all my nails white.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White provides excellent coverage in just 2 coats.

I used a glitter powder from Born Pretty Store to turn my nails into a sparkly teal color.  I applied Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat over the fully dried white nail polish, cured it for about 15 seconds, then used a sponge applicator to apply the glitter to the tacky surface.

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Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Powder is beautifully shimmery and fully covers up the white base color.

After dusting off the excess powder with a fan brush, I applied another layer of gel top coat to seal in the sparkle.

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I love the color and the holographic shine in this powder.

Because I didn’t have a lot of time to do my nails, I stamped a vine design from the plate below onto my nails with Ya Qin An stamping polish in White.

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Born Pretty Store BPX-L018 plate has lots of leaves. I opted to use the design in the middle row, 3rd from the right.

The finished look is quite elegant, and I love the white and teal color combination.

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Swirling vines in colors perfect for Easter.

I’m hoping to get back on track with the blog soon, so stay tuned for more nail art and reviews!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Elegant Stone Marble Nails

Looking for some subtle nail art for spring?  How about trying a marble design?  I’m not talking about water marble, I’m going for the rock!

I started by painting my nails a pale pinkish-gray color.

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The color is Thrilling from Formula X.

Next, I used the alcohol ink technique to provide a wash of gray ripples throughout my base color.  I colored a part of a plastic bag with my gray permanent ink marker (Sharpies or BiC Mark It pens are perfect for this) and then dipped a small brush into rubbing alcohol and mixed it with the marker ink applied to the plastic bag to make alcohol ink.  I dabbed the mixture over my nails to my liking, creating a smoky effect.

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Rubbing alcohol and a Stone Grey BiC Mark It pen were used to create the wash of grey color on my nails.

I could have easily freehanded the veins in the marble, but I went the stamping route for this one.

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BPX-L020 from Born Pretty Store was my plate of choice for this manicure.

Using the pattern from the bottom row, far right side, I transferred the design to my nails with b.m.c. nail lacquer in iced silver.

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The finished veined marble look.

I love how simple this design is, and it is the perfect color for spring.  I think this also works great for the working professional because the pattern is so subtle, and the neutral color is non-offensive and goes with everything.

Hope you enjoyed this one!  Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Pigment Powder #11

Looking for nails that are great for clubbing, or do you just desire a burst of bright neon color?  The neon pigment powder in today’s review is just the thing that you’re looking for.

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Born Pretty Store’s neon pigment powder in color #11.

The powder is a very fine loose pigment that is stored in a small faceted plastic container with a screw top lid.  Unfortunately, it does not have a seal over the mouth of the jar, so some of the product does leak out into the bag during shipment.  It is, however, only a fine dusting that makes things a little messy.  On the plus side, the powder is inexpensive and Born Pretty manages to fit two grams of it inside the container as opposed to the normal one gram that is inside most of their similarly packaged glitters and powders.

The bag itself has a zip seal running along the top, so you can always store the container inside the bag if you are concerned about it leaking out again.

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Also included in the package is a sponge tipped applicator.

I would suggest that you place a piece of paper or a tissue underneath the container and over your work area before opening it and using it to allow for easy clean up later on.  Wearing a face mask and eye protection is also recommended if you are sensitive to dust.  I’m sure it is cosmetic grade and safe to use, but the powder is very fine and can therefore easily float into the air and be inhaled.

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Bright neon yellow powder.

When I first used this powder, I tried it over black nail polish and soon found that it did not turn out very cute.  I also found out that it does not work well will negative space manicures because the powder smears across everything once another layer of top coat is applied.  Also, being neat is very important when using this product.  Below are the pictures from my first failed attempt, so live and learn by my example!

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Things that I learned from using the product the first time: Neatness counts, negative space manicures aren’t a good idea for this look, and using black polish as a base color will make the powder appear green.

I also discovered that the powder looks AMAZING under the gel curing lamp and under blacklight.  It doesn’t mean that the manicure glows in the dark, but if you’re going to a rave, these nails are definitely going to stand out!

Below is a proper tutorial for how to use this neon powder.

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Paint your nails white or a color that matches the color of the powder. I used b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

If you are using regular nail polish, allow the color to dry completely first.  For either gel or regular polish, apply a gel top coat over the base color being very careful to not let it pool in the sides of your nail bed or your cuticles.  Cure your nails for about 15 seconds so that the formula stays tacky.  This is necessary to get the powder to adhere to your nail.

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Using the sponge applicator that comes with the set, apply the powder over the half cured gel top coat. It does not take much powder to get full color coverage.

Pro tip: For extra easy clean up, use a liquid latex barrier such as Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape around your nails.  You don’t have to do this as the powder will easily wash off your skin after you apply and cure another layer of gel top coat, but it does keep things looking more neat.

Once the powder is applied over the base color to your liking, use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails.  Take special care to clean any powder from your cuticles.

Once you have removed the excess pigment, apply another layer of gel top coat to your nails and cure it fully as directed on the package.  However, despite clean up, do be aware that there will be a chance that your brush or bottle of top coat will get contaminated with the powder.  You can wipe your brush on a clean tissue before dipping it back into the bottle to help prevent this, or pour out a small amount of top coat into a different container for use if you are especially paranoid about contamination.

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The finished look! Bright and shiny neon yellow nails.

The color is extremely vibrant, so the pigment works great.  Its real appeal is what it looks like under blacklight.

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This stunning pigment really pops under a blacklight.

Because the color reminded me of the newer hazard road signs, I decided to make a Santa Sleigh Crossing Sign version with acrylic paint over this neon base.

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While it is messy to use, this neon pigment has serious color payoff.  It is especially eye catching under blacklight, but the color is attention grabbing even in normally lit situations.  Just make sure to use a white base color when using it to get the best effect.  Judging by how much powder gets used for a manicure, this container will last forever, so don’t just save it for special occasions.  Get creative!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this neon powder pigment (retail price is $1.99 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/2gbox-neon-phosphor-powder-nail-gradient-pigment-powder-manicure-nail-decoration-p-36691.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Santa’s Sleigh Xing Sign Nails

We’re in the home stretch to Christmas, so I had to get at least one Christmas themed manicure in before the big day.  Inspired by road signs, I decided to paint a “Sleigh Crossing” version to warn people to look out for Santa and his reindeer.

To start, I painted my nails with 2 coats of white polish.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

To make my road sign noticeable, I used neon yellow powder that glows under blacklight.

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Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Powder in color #11.

To use this powder, you must apply a gel top coat over your nails and cure it for about 15 seconds so that the surface stays tacky, then apply the powder with a sponge applicator.  Being neat is a strong plus here.  You don’t want to get the top coat pooling in your cuticles or sides of your nail bed because things will look really messy, and using a latex barrier on your skin will aid with the clean up process.

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After applying the powder over the gel top coat, my nails have a matte look.

You will want to use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails before applying another layer of gel top coat to seal in the color.  The powder can easily contaminate the brush and bottle of top coat, so if you are truly paranoid, you might consider pouring out a small amount of top coat into a separate container for use with this manicure to keep things neat.

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Once the gel top coat is applied and fully cured, my nails achieve a highlighter yellow color.

The Santa and reindeer silhouettes were painted freehand with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in black.  I really wished that I had a stamping plate that I could have used for this step, but it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve tried to paint.

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Warning: Sleigh Xing!

The reindeer were the hardest elements for me to paint.  I had to redo at least one nail completely because I didn’t like how it was turning out.  The best part about having gel top coat sealing the neon base is that you can wipe away the paint on top without messing up the color underneath.

If you decide to attempt the freehand here, I find that it is easier to start by painting the shape of the body, then add the tail, legs, head, and antlers.  That’s my method, but hey, what do I know about painting animals?  Truth be told, I was cursing the whole time about how I can’t paint reindeer!

So while the design looks the most impressive under a blacklight, sadly they do not glow in the dark.  Seeing as you don’t encounter blacklights in many places, people can’t truly appreciate the full effect of these nails.  They’re still pretty festive, so you might want to attend a rave just for fun with these on.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Review of Born Pretty Holographic Powder and Silicone Brush Set

Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared to be wowed by some holographic goodness in this post.

This set comes from Born Pretty Store, and it includes approximately 1 gram of beautiful, luscious, and stunning holographic powder in a cute diamond-like plastic container, a small sponge tipped applicator, and a double ended silicone brush.  The pigment and the sponge applicator are inside a Ziploc sealed baggie while the silicone brush is in its own plastic sleeve.

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So holographic! Even the baggie is imprinted with holographic foil.

The powder itself is very finely milled.  It is reminiscent of the many chrome pigment powders that are on the market right now.  These tiny particles are much smaller than normal glitter and will adhere to gel top coat to form a mirror reflective surface.  It may look very drab and boring in the container, but just wait until you see it in action.

The brush handle is imprinted with the Born Pretty logo.  If you’re wondering what all that blue stuff is in the handle, they are loose faceted beads.  They add to the cute factor of this set.

There are two different brush tips on the handle, both of which are pliable.  The silicone brush has the same kind of give to it as a Konad stamper.  Makes you wonder if you can use a stamper to apply this powder, although you will not have the same kind of precision using a stamper head that you will have using this brush.

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The two different ends of the Born Pretty silicone brush.

You will notice that one end is tapered and chiseled equally on both sides while the other end has a curved nib.  The former is more flexible than the latter due to the different thicknesses of the tips, but both will apply the holographic pigment just as well.  I found that using the curved end was especially useful because it works with the curve of the nail in covering more surface area at once.  Both tips will give you more precision in getting the powder exactly where you want to apply it.

In any case, you will need to prepare your nails with some gel polish before you can apply the powder.  If you don’t have a colored gel polish, you can paint your nails with a regular nail polish, allow it to dry completely, then apply a gel top coat and cure it fully.  The set does not come with the top coat, but I used one purchased separately from Born Pretty for this review.

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Nails painted with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and Born Pretty Store Soak Off Gel Polish top coat.

I used the silicone brush to buff the powder into the cured top coat, and WOW.  Just a little bit of powder goes a long way.

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Holographic crack! Just a little bit of powder will transport you into this psychedelic world.

I find that the silicone brush and the sponge applicator work equally well with this product.  The brush does have the advantage of never wearing out, whereas the sponge applicator will need to be replaced after a few uses.  Also, the brush has a more professional look, so if you have paying clients, the brush will look like a more legitimate tool.

All that’s left to do is dust off the excess powder, apply another layer of gel top coat to seal the deal, and you’re ready to dazzle the world with your nails!

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Color shifting was never so easy!

The holographic effect is so strong that you won’t have to struggle to photograph the results.  Those of you who have tried to take pictures of holographic polishes will know how difficult it can be to capture the beauty of the effect.  You can see the resulting rainbows in practically any light setting, and the camera catches them perfectly.

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I jazzed up my digits with some zebra stripes. As if the holographic goodness wasn’t good enough!

Some may wonder if the color of the polish underneath affects the results.  The short answer is somewhat.  The powder is so pigmented and covers so well that only a hint of the base color can be seen.  You will definitely end up with a mostly silver colored holo.

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Swatches over b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black, crimson red, and white. I also tested it over only the gel top coat. Please excuse the discoloration of my nail! :O

This holographic powder and brush set is my favorite nail art acquisition to date.  This stuff has a stronger holographic effect than pretty much any other holographic polish that I have tried.  Judging by how little product I had to apply to get full coverage, this little jar will last me quite a long time with the added bonus of me never having to worry about the ingredients expiring.  It is also just plain gorgeous and easy to use, and who wouldn’t like that?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic powder and silicone brush set (retail price is $17.99 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/1gbox-holographic-rainbow-laser-glitter-powders-with-silicone-brush-manicure-nail-decoration-p-34834.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Holographic Zebra Nail Art

OMGOMGOMG I just got the most beautiful holographic power from Born Pretty Store, and just wait until you see it!  It’s the most holographic thing that I have ever put on my nails!  Of course I couldn’t wait to use it in a mani, so here we go!

This powder needs to be applied over a gel polish base.  I don’t think you have to apply a nail color first as the effect will always be mostly silver, but I decided to use regular black polish (b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black) underneath the powder.  I only applied one coat as it is very opaque (it is one of Bundle Monster’s first stamping polishes), let it dry, then applied Born Pretty gel top coat and cured it under a UV LED lamp.

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Shiny black nails done with one coat of b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black followed by Born Pretty gel top coat.

I used a silicone brush to apply the holographic powder from Born Pretty Store to my nails immediately after taking pictures drying the top coat under the lamp.  It was love at first sight!

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So many rainbows result from this holographic powder!

As an aside, anyone who has tried to photograph holographic nail polish knows how hard it is to capture the effect on camera.  This powder required zero effort on my part to get that shot!  The rainbow effect is so dazzling that it is definitely not camera shy!

I would have been totally content to leave my nails alone, but apparently people have come to expect more than just one color from me.  I let the spirit of Lisa Frank guide me into putting zebra stripes over this wonderfully prismatic base.

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BP-L006 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I could have hand painted some stripes, but I was doing my nails late at night and needed to get to bed, so I opted to stamp them on instead using plate BP-L006 from Born Pretty Store.  I used the image in the top row, 4th from the left and turned it horizontally on my nails so that I could vary the pattern across them, making the design look more hand painted.

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Conveniently, I used the same b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black from the base color to do the stamping on top.

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A holographic zebra is my spirit animal.

This was a fun mani to do, and I still can’t get over the holographic sparkle from the powder.  Plus I think it’s cute that I now match all the Lisa Frank stuff that I own.  I’m such a child of the 90s.

Happy polishing!

Holiday Stamping over Magnetic Polish

I’ve been on a gel polish kick lately, mostly because I keep using a peel off base coat underneath it now that I know what a pain it is to remove!  It’s such a shame sometimes because I do love the shine and the finishes of the polishes by Madam Glam, but a girl’s gotta paint.

This week I tried out a magnetic polish from Madam Glam.  I’m not ordinarily a fan of magnetized polish because the magnets don’t always work so well over curved nail beds.  However, the benefit to using a magnetic gel polish is that if you don’t like the effect, you can easily “reset” your color with another swipe of the applicator brush and try it out again.  The downside is that if you wait too long to cure your polish after applying the magnet, your design will fade as the polish starts to spreads out.  I did not want to get stuck curing one nail at a time, so you will notice that the magnetic effect does not look overly strong in my swatch.

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Flying Purple from Madam Glam applied straight from the bottle.

I used a magnet from China Glaze that I purchased separately seeing as the Madam Glam magnetic gels don’t come with one.

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This item from China Glaze has three different patterned magnets for use with your manicures.

Simply brush a layer of magnetic gel over an already cured layer of the color, balance the magnet over your nail for a few seconds, then remove it to see the pattern in the nail polish.  If you don’t like how it looks, brush the gel out and try it again.  It is one of the huge benefits to using a gel polish for this technique as the design won’t set until you cure it under a lamp.

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Flying Purple with the star magnetic effect applied on top.

The polish looks pretty enough on its own, so I didn’t want to do anything too crazy.  I opted to put some light holiday stamping as an accent nail using Jumbo Plate 6 from Cheeky Beauty.

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Cheeky Jumbo Plate 6 is great for your holiday needs.

I used the silver bells on the far right, 2nd row down from the rectangular images.  I only wanted one set of bells, so after stamping the image, I isolated the part I wanted to use by cleaning off the excess polish from the stamper using some Scotch tape.

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The silver bells were stamped with b.m.c. nail lacquer in iced silver.

Of course, within a few hours after doing this, the polish on my ring finger managed to completely peel off thanks to the super effect peel off base coat from Ünt that I used.  I didn’t want to change my nails quite so soon, so I applied a different polish to replace the lost chip instead.

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I opted to use the aptly named Silver Bells color from Finger Paints as an accent nail color.

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This time I stamped on a holiday ornament with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black. The image is on the far right side of the plate in the first row of rectangular designs.

I think all the different manicures here look cute and festive.  Do you have a favorite one out of the pictures here?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy polishing!