Mermaid Nails

Summer is pretty much right around the corner at this point, and the temperatures have definitely been rising in the city! It’s been making me crave a beach day, or at least some mermaid nails!

I started by painting my nails with a black soak off gel polish from Born Pretty. I applied and cured 2 coats of color and followed it up with a layer of Clavuz no wipe gel top coat. Each layer was cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp, and then a blend of teal and green chrome powders from iMethod Beauty was applied with a sponge applicator and sealed in with another layer of gel top coat.

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I applied teal chrome powder to the tips of my nails and green chrome powder to the rest of the area in order to create this gradient effect.

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Review of Born Pretty Store Thermal Color Change Pigment Powder #13

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been mesmerized by things that change color.  It all started with mood lipsticks and rings, then progressed to Hypercolor T-shirts, and now it’s all about thermal nail polish.

While thermal nail polish has been around for awhile, the products are still not readily available in local stores.  You usually have to order them online at specialty shops.  Born Pretty Store happens to carry a wide selection of them, and now they are offering the powder pigment version at a very affordable cost.

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Born Pretty Thermal Color Change Powder Pigment in color #13.

It does take awhile to receive the products from Born Pretty, but they offer free worldwide shipping and have great product selection and prices.  I waited close to six weeks for the pigment to arrive in the US, but it is worth the wait.

The packaging for this item is very cute.  There is one gram of powder inside a small plastic container, and it comes with a sponge tipped applicator.  The set is presented in a holographic zip sealed bag.

To use this powder, you should first paint your nails white and then apply a gel top coat over this base but only cure the top coat for about 10-15 seconds so that it stays tacky.  This gives the powder something to adhere to when you apply it.  The white nail polish can be a regular nail polish so long as you let this layer dry completely before adding the gel top coat.

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wild white ways from essence serves as the base color here.

I used Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat (not included in the set) over the white base, cured it for 15 seconds, then used the sponge applicator to rub the thermal powder over this sticky layer.  It is helpful to be extra neat when applying the top coat so that the powder does not settle into your cuticles, and keep a piece of paper or a paper towel over your working surface to catch any falling loose powder.  You can use a fan brush to sweep away any excess pigment from your nails and skin.  Please do keep in mind that this powder is very fine, similar to baby powder, and it will get kicked up into the air during the application process.  If you are sensitive to dust or will be using this with many clients in a row, it is advised that you wear a mask so that you don’t breathe it in.

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The thermal powder applied over the white base. Note that the color already is changing with my body heat.

Once your nails are coated with an even layer of powder, apply another layer of gel top coat and fully cure it to seal it in.  Just like that, you will have an amazing color changing manicure!

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The pigment is more white in hot temperatures and changes to dark gray in cold environments.

I find that the pigment is very sensitive to any kind of temperature change, and it was hard to photograph my nails as one solid color.  The instant that I tried to dry my nails off with anything, the color would start to shift.  You can see how rapidly the pigment responds to hot and cold water in the video below.

I felt that the smoky color lent itself well to a geometric pattern, so I added some stamping over the thermal pigment.

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Hipster-ish smoky geometric nails shot at room temperature. It’s a little hot in my apartment.

I had slightly more success in photographic the color extremes with the extra nail art applied.  I kept my nails underwater for one shot and tried to take another picture as soon as possible after taking my hand out of the glass.

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Cold swatches are on the left, hot swatches are on the right.

The darker color is a little splotchy.  This is due to the fact that the base color contrasts so much with the cold shade of the pigment, but I find that the smoky gradient is not a bad thing.  It looks like it was an intentional design.

 

Another alternative use for the powder is to mix some into a bottle of clear polish to make a thermal nail polish.  You might be able to get a more even distribution of pigment in this way because you can apply several layers of polish to your nails, but keep in mind that you will still need to have a white base color underneath it all.

While this pigment can be a little messy to use, it provides a great way to have easy, long lasting nail art.  Over longer nails, you will see a natural gradient as the extensions will be naturally colder than your body temperature, and at the very least you will be constantly entertained by the way your nails can change color in different environments.  Washing your hands has never been so fun!

I hardly used any powder to do this manicure, so you know this little jar will last you a long time.  Add this to the fact that the product already is affordable, and you know you will have found an excellent bargain.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this thermal color change powder pigment (retail price is $3.69 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/born-pretty-thermal-pigment-temperature-color-change-manicure-nail-gradient-powder-p-39158.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Thermal Geometric Manicure

Welcome to March!  In the past few days, we’ve had quite a swing in temperature in NYC where on one day, it was near 60 degrees and beautiful outside to another day where it was 17 degrees with snow covering the ground.  The crazy weather influenced me to do something with thermal nail polish after being in a creative slump this week.

I started by painting all my nails white.

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This color is called wild white ways from essence cosmetics and is fully opaque in two coats.

I recently acquired some thermal color change powder from Born Pretty Store.  It is best used with a gel top coat, so I applied a layer of Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat to my white base and cured it for about 15 seconds (half the normal cure time) before applying the pigment.

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Born Pretty Thermal Pigment in color #13.

I used the sponge applicator to apply the powder to the half cured top coat, then I dusted off the excess pigment from my cuticles with a fan brush.

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The thermal pigment is already changing colors as the dark gray shade is its cold state.

I applied another layer of gel top coat over this and fully cured it before proceeding to the stamping portion of the design.

Because of the dark gray and white colors in the thermal pigment, I decided that a geometric look would suit this manicure the best.  I used the diamond pattern in the second row, far right side of the plate below in a variety of ways to create a modern look.

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Plate BP-L006 from Born Pretty Store.

For some nails, I stamped the image as is, but for other nails, after stamping the image, I removed some of the other diamonds from the pattern on the stamper with some Scotch tape.

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Tweaking the design. The stamping was done with Ya Qin An stamping nail polish in Black.

I opted to do a single diamond in the center of one nail and half a diamond as a half moon design on my pinky.  I finished it all off with a layer of Ya Qin An top coat.

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The completed design.

The thermal powder is a little splotchy because it’s hard to apply an even layer of pigment, especially because the dark gray color contrasts so much with the white base.  The color change effect is also very sensitive, and even the act of trying to dry off my nails prevented me from getting an evenly pigmented picture of each individual color.

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The left side pictures are cold color temperatures while the right side pictures are hot water temperatures. The hot temperature version is definitely not splotchy while my fingers are still in the water.

It’s always fun to have interactive nails!  And even though the pigment is seldom one solid color, the smoky effect still looks cool underneath the crisp lines of the diamonds.

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We’re expecting more snow here in a few days, so be safe out there!  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 Laser Powder #7

It’s powder mania here on the Fine Polish blog!  I’ve been getting a huge kick out of trying out different chrome and holographic powders, so today’s review is for a red holographic glitter powder set from Born Pretty.

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An assuredly brand new set sealed in the package.

At first glance, the product is not much to look at.  There is no indication regarding the color or instructions for use on the packaging.  The baggie is heat sealed at the top across the hang tag area, so you must tear the packaging at the notches on the sides to open the product, but there is also a Ziploc seal closure located at the top of the white section of the bag that makes it reusable for storage purposes.

The actual contents include roughly 1 gram of glitter powder inside a plastic, faceted container.  The opening is sealed in the same manner as bottles of vitamins are so that the powder does not leak out of the container during shipment.

Also included is a small sponge tipped applicator with a plastic handle.  This is very much like an eyeshadow applicator except it has a smaller handle.  The whole length is 1.5 inches.

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Born Pretty Holographic Laser Glitter Powder set in color option #7.

The glitter itself is very fine and unlike anything that you will see in a craft store.  It looks rather drab in the container but really comes alive once a gel top coat is applied.  The particles are bigger than the ones in other chrome pigments and apply very similarly except for a slight twist.

Begin by painting your nails with a color that matches the pigment that you are using.  Because I am using red glitter, I painted my nails red.  This way, any areas that do not get covered fully by the glitter will be less apparent.

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Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.

Note that if you use regular polish like I did, you will need to wait until the color is totally dry before proceeding to the next step.  If you are using gel polish, cure the color as normal.

Next, apply a gel top coat, but do not cure this layer fully, especially if you are using a no-wipe formula.  The aim is to leave the top coat slightly tacky so that the glitter can adhere to the surface.  I tried fully curing the top coat at first, thinking that this worked the same way as other chrome powders from Born Pretty, but I soon found that the pigment would not stick to the top coat.  I used Born Pretty Soak Off Gel top coat which cures in 30 seconds, so I opted to cure it for only 15 seconds before trying to apply the glitter again.  This extra tackiness is exactly what was needed for the glitter to stick to the nail.

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On the left is my failed attempt to get the powder to stick to a fully cured top coat (30 seconds). The coverage was sparse, if at all, and I could still rub the glitter completely off my nail if I wanted to. The right side shows what the pigment looks like when it is used over top coat is cured for only 15 seconds.

The sponge applicator works well for applying the powder, but it does absorb some of the tackiness from the top coat, so it will only last for a few manicures.  The good thing is that you can buy replacements at the drugstore or your local beauty supply shop if the sponge falls apart.

You can use a fan brush to clean off any excess powder from your nails and skin, then apply another layer of gel top coat and cure it fully to seal the glitter into place and bring out the shine.  Or if you are truly lazy like me, apply the top coat, cure the gel, and simply wash your hands to get the excess glitter off your skin.  Your cuticles may not look as nice, and there is a good chance that you will contaminate the brush for your bottle of top coat with glitter, but this works great for a fast clean up process.

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Check out that shining red beauty! This glitter powder truly dazzles.

Born Pretty’s website claims that this is holographic, but it is not the kind of powder that will reflect rainbows.  The glitter does have a multi dimensional look to it and is definitely more sparkly than your average craft store variety.  It is eye catching, and people will definitely notice your nails when you wear this!

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Because it’s December, I added some holiday stamping over this classic red base color.

For those looking to get a full coverage glitter look, this powder is just the item that you need.  It comes in several other different colors, so you are bound to find a shade that you will love.  For shiny nails like this, it is definitely worth it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic laser powder (retail price is $3.99 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-laser-powder-manicure-nail-glitter-powder-colors-p-33368.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Review of Born Pretty Store Gold Mirror Pigment and Top Coat Set

Having silver chrome nails wasn’t enough- I wanted to get a gold chrome powder set from Born Pretty Store as well!

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This set comes with a 10 mL bottle of Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish top coat, 1 gram of gold chrome powder and a double ended sponge applicator.

What I love about this set is that the top coat coat is really all that is necessary in order to create the chrome mirror look.  You can use this clear gel over any polish you already own provided that you let the regular polish fully dry first and that you already own a UV LED lamp.

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Even though the bottle says that this is a primer, you can use it as a top coat as well. It can also make your natural nails look super shiny and healthy if you use it by itself.

The top coat is a good consistency where the gel is not so thin where it can run into pools on the sides of your nail, and it’s not so thick as to be unmanageable.  Two strokes of top coat is all you need to fully cover your nail, and once it is cured, you don’t even need to wipe it down with alcohol.

There are no instructions on the bottle as to cure times, but I find that one minute seems to work the best for me.  Then again, my lamp is not very powerful and far from professional grade, but you can adjust the time to whatever suits your equipment the best.

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The gold pigment comes in a cute clear plastic faceted container with a screw on lid. There is a Styrofoam seal on top of the opening underneath the lid (shown removed upside down in the background of the picture) that prevents the powder from leaking out of the jar during shipment.

To get those wonderful chrome nails, just follow the steps below.

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Paint your nails with a black polish, and let them dry completely. Then apply Born Pretty Soak-off Gel top coat, and cure your nails under a UV LED lamp for one minute. Pictured here is Johnny by Julep.

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Using the sponge applicator, buff the gold powder onto your nails. They should quickly change from black to gold just like magic!

Note that the pigment is ultra fine, so you can’t see any individual specks of glitter.  This powder practically melts into the top coat with hardly any work, and you don’t need to use much of it to do all of your nails.  Imagine how long a gram of powder will last you!

Some people are curious to know whether or not you need to remove the tacky layer from the gel polish before buffing in the powder.  I find that even after using an alcohol pad over this top coat, there is no difference in texture or appearance.  I can’t say that this will be the case for every gel top coat, but Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish top coat appears to be a no-wipe formula.

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Apply another layer of top coat over the pigment, cure your nails for one minute in your lamp, and afterward you can simply wash your hands to get rid of the excess powder on your skin.

Seriously, these nails look amazing in person, and they would make C3PO jealous for sure!

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A tip for easy removal is to use a peel off base coat underneath your regular polish.  It saves so much time when removing gel that it’s insane!  Otherwise to remove the gel, you have a future of filing, aluminum foil, and cotton balls soaked in acetone to look forward to.

No matter if you plan to keep your shiny new gold nails on for a long or short period of time, you will absolutely adore this powder and top coat set.  I just can’t get enough, and based on how much product I used to create these nails, I will be able to keep the chrome magic coming for many years in the future!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this chrome pigment and top coat set (retail price is $14.99 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-mirror-nail-powder-10ml-coat-nail-chrome-pigment-glitters-p-30899.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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