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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Blue-Green Fall Multi-Chrome Mani

After I did my iridescent nails, a few things occurred to me.

  1. I can’t commit to gel nails.  I got sick of having the same manicure for so long without having an excuse to change up my polish.  On the other hand, it was nice having a chip-free week!
  2. Gel polish removal sucks.
  3. The iridescent powder that I used was actually a chrome pigment that was meant to be used over black polish!  I still loved the pearl finish.

In any case, I had to see what the powder looked like over a black base, so that was my inspiration for this week.  I used a peel off base coat this time so I wouldn’t have to deal with that horrible gel removal process though!

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I started out by painting all my nails with Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora. I only needed one coat for full coverage.

After applying a gel top coat and curing it (I used Born Pretty Store Soak-off Gel), I rubbed in the chrome pigment with a sponge applicator.

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Still looks like an iridescent powder to me, but just wait until you see it over the black polish!

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A totally different look! This pigment has a mirror finish and shifts from dark green to gold to teal blue in the light.

I applied another layer of gel top coat to seal in the pigment and cured it.

Because of the gold tinge in the chrome finish, I decided to use gold polish from Ya Qin An to do some stamping with Harunouta Plate 10.

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Patterns upon patterns on Harunouta Plate 10.

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Originally I went with the plaid pattern, but I felt like it covered up too much of the lovely chrome finish, so I ended up taking it off right away. A huge benefit to using gel is that you don’t have to redo your base color if you didn’t like what you stamped.

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I switched it to the design from the center of the plate and made it a single accent nail instead.

Notice that you can see my blond hair reflected in the finish of the polish.  It has the same mirror effect as the silver and gold chrome mirror pigments but with a teal hue instead.  It’s definitely eye catching, and several people have told me that they loved the polish, so that makes it all worthwhile, right?

Happy fall and happy polishing!

Classy White Pearl Iridescent Gel Nails

Due to my very hands on side job, my nails have been a wreck lately.  Peeling, breaking, dry- just name it and it probably describes in what kind of condition my nails are.  I heard that gel polish can really help protect natural nails while they grow out, and although I never thought that I would take that plunge, I decided to do it anyway…  at least in part.

The big dilemma is that being a nail art blogger, it’s hard to commit to just one shade of polish for a long period of time.  When gel polish is applied correctly, the manicure can last for weeks, and that just doesn’t cut it in the nail art world!  As much as I would like to take a bit of a break, I feel compelled to try to produce something at least once a week.  So what’s a girl to do?

I thought that a white base would serve my purposes the best.  It intensifies whatever color you paint on top of it, so it was a pretty good trade off.  Plus I could try out one of my new chrome pigment powders on top of it to give it a pearly look.

With a good gel application, thorough preparation is key.  I began by lightly removing the shine from my natural nails by filing the surface with the coarse side of a buffing block.  After brushing away the dust, I put on a coat of Nail Tek Step One primer.  It is essentially alcohol with some additives, so you can also simply wipe your nails down with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad.  Once the alcohol evaporated, I applied a thin coat of Structure base coat from Red Carpet Manicure and cured it under a light.

I made a jelly sandwich by using regular nail polish over the gel base and sealing it in with a gel top coat.  I own one gel polish color right now, but I have hundreds of bottles of regular nail polish, so it would be a shame not to use part of my extensive collection!  My white base this time was wild white ways by essence.

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This white polish was opaque in just two coats, and contrary to the name, you do not need a light to cure the polish.

Because I was using regular nail polish, I had to wait for a bit to make sure the polish dried fully before I applied gel top coat.  I used Born Pretty Store Soak-off Gel Polish top coat for this manicure.

After curing the top coat, I applied my magical shimmery fairy dust, otherwise known as Born Pretty Store Chrome Pigment #585, with a sponge applicator.

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Pretty iridescent magic in a jar!

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Whoever came up with the saying that you can’t wear white after Labor Day obviously never meant the iridescent kind!

I applied another layer of gel top coat over this and cured it.  This means that beautiful pearly white gets sealed in until I officially remove my gel polish!

These nails already look fit for a bride, but I jazzed it up with an accent nail by stamping a floral design from Harunouta plate L009 onto my ring finger.

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Any one of these patterns would look lovely over a white base, but I chose a bunch of flowers from the right side of the plate for this manicure.

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The stamping polish used is Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

To allow myself the ability to be able to change up my nails, I applied Seche Vite top coat over the stamped nail.  The next time I want to paint my nails, I can easily remove only the stamped portion without affecting the base color.  This is also a great hack for those who like to stamp because you can erase any bad transfer jobs by using regular nail polish remover with a cotton pad, and you won’t have to start over from scratch.

Photographing how beautiful these nails are was quite difficult as the color changes in different light settings, so I’m humoring you with a few different shots.

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Hope you enjoyed this look!  Happy polishing!

Art Deco Gold Chrome Nails

I have to admit that once September hits, I tend to be swamped, so I really apologize for being lazy with my blog.  I’m trying to keep up with everything as much as I can!

For this manicure, I tried out some of that cool gold chrome powder that has been all the rage.

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Gold chrome mirror powder from Born Pretty Store.

It works best over gel polish, but because I hardly own any gel polishes, I opted to use a gel top coat from Born Pretty Store over regular nail polish.

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The bottle says that this is a primer, but you can use Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish as a top coat as well.

I also used Ünt Ready for Takeoff peel off base coat with this one because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of taking off gel nails.  The stuff works wonders for easy polish removal!

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I started by painting all my nails black. Pictured here is Johnny by Julep.

I applied a layer of Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish top coat over this and cured it under a LED lamp for a minute just to be safe.

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Using the sponge applicator that was provided in the set, I rubbed the gold pigment onto my nails. They instantly looked shiny and awesome!

After cleaning up the excess powder, I applied another layer of gel top coat and cured it for a minute to seal the chrome look in.  I made a jelly sandwich!

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C3PO can’t beat these nails!

I jazzed up the chrome effect by picking a design off of Harunouta plate L009.

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I stayed retro cool by stamping the design on the far right side of the plate onto my nails.

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I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Black and a clear stamper to place the center of the scalloped fan design onto the half moon portion of each of my nails.

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After applying Seche Vite top coat, I’m all done!

The chrome brings some serious glamour into your life.  And do you know what’s awesome about stamping over gel topcoat?  If you mess up, you can wipe your nail clean with acetone and a cotton ball, and you don’t have to re-paint your base color!

Stay tuned for more of the pigment craze!  Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Store Silver Mirror Powder, Gel Polish, and UV LED Lamp Set

If you follow any sort of nail art trends online, you must have heard about mirror chrome nails by now.  Everyone has been gushing over this magic glitter powder for months since its release, but in order to use it, gel polish and some sort of UV lamp setup are required.  I thought I was just going to have to sit this one out until I saw this awesome set on the Born Pretty Store website.

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Solve all of your mirror powder woes with this all inclusive set from Born Pretty Store.

Pretty much all of the materials that you need in order to create the silver (also available in gold) chrome look are here, and it’s pretty affordable, too!

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One gram of silver glitter pigment comes in a cute little plastic container along with a sponge tip applicator and a beautiful holographic Ziploc bag for storage.

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The website says that the set comes with top coat, but I received a 5 mL bottle of black gel polish instead. Because gel polish is cured in light, the bottle cannot be transparent, and you can’t see the color inside until you open it.

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The lamp comes with a USB cable and a power adapter so it can be plugged into a computer for its power source or into a standard outlet. I believe Born Pretty will give you the correct adapter based on your country, but the USB plug is handy if they don’t send the correct one.

As you can see in the picture, the lamp has three LED lights, each with a power of 3 watts, so the lamp has a total power of 9 watts.  This is relatively low wattage as a lot of UV lamps have 36 watts of power or more.  This will affect curing times, as I later found out the hard way.

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The underside of the lamp. The black circles are the rubberized feet that help to hold the lamp in place when it is set on a flat surface.

The cable that comes with the lamp is roughly 22-1/2 inches, or less than 2 feet long, so it is rather on the short side.  You may substitute another adapter of your own to use with this unit provided that it is 100-240v AC 50-60 Hz.  These specifications are printed on the adapter plug and on the side of the box.

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Close up of the adapter plug. The USB cable fits into the other side.

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The sides of the box are printed with information on power, voltage, size, and color.

The lamp is available in several different colors, but I was sent the red one.  It is a beautiful metallic apple red, and the size is relatively small with a shape similar to a telephone handset.  The power switch is located on the top of the unit.  If you push it once, the light will turn on for 30 seconds and then shut off automatically, or you can push the button again to turn it off mid cycle.

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Power is yours with the single push of a button.

Disclaimer #1: This was my first time doing gel nails.  I’ve always been a girl who changes her polish frequently, so I’ve never really worked with gels, but I’m a quick learner!  If you see my noob mistakes, don’t laugh too hard at me!

I painted a thin coat of black Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish onto my thumb.  Because the lamp size is too small to fit all your nails underneath the light at once, I cured my thumb separately.  I pushed the button on the lamp once, meaning that I cured the gel for 30 seconds.

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That blue glow is the UV LED light at work.

After the light went off, it seemed like the polish wasn’t cured fully because it felt tacky to the touch.  I’ve heard of needing to wipe off the sticky layer after curing gel nails, so I didn’t think too much of it at this point.

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My thumb after 30 seconds under the lamp. You can kind of see my fingerprint in the polish from where I touched it to see if it was dry or not. Obviously it wasn’t.

I decided to try applying the mirror powder to this nail anyway without wiping off the tacky layer to see what would happen.

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The chrome pigment is a silvery powder with inconsistent glitter pieces scattered throughout it. The jar has a protective seal covering the opening in addition to the lid to keep the product from leaking out during shipment.

As per instructions on the Born Pretty website, I used the sponge applicator that came with the set to apply the powder to my nail.  Just like magic, my nail went from a streaky looking black color to silver.

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Macro shot of the powder applied to my thumb.

You will notice that the look does not have an even chrome finish and that it looks like densely packed glitter.  Applying the powder over a tacky base was not the answer!

For my other nails, I decided to wipe off the tacky layer after the 30 second curing process was done.  What I found was that I could not cure all four nails at the same time with the lamp in this kit.  Also, not only did the gel polish have that sticky feel after the light went off, but when I went to wipe the nails with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad, the gel almost completely rubbed off my nail!  I don’t have a photo of this because I was freaking out about getting gel all over the place.

I learned later that darker colors of gel polish require longer curing times, so 30 seconds with this lamp will definitely not cut it for black polish.

Also, I had issues with the application of the polish because the gel kept running into my cuticles even though I was painting on thin layers.  Apparently this is a thing with gel polish, so I tried to act as quickly as possible.

I tried curing 3 nails together (index, middle, and ring) in the lamp so that the light could reach them better, and I used 2 light cycles (60 seconds) to set the gel.  The results were better, and I was able to wipe my nails down with the rubbing alcohol without removing all the polish.  After applying the chrome powder, the results were much better this time around.

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The chrome powder formed a reflective satin finish over wiped down nails. My ring finger shows the black gel polish with the tacky layer removed.

Disclaimer #2: You probably noticed the rippling on my index finger.  This happened when I was trying to wipe down my nail with alcohol.  I should note that I also used UNT Ready for Takeoff peel off base coat with the gel polish.  Even though Simply Nailogical got this to work, my gel expert friend Bev later told me that gel polish with a peel off base is a no no because it can shrink during the curing process.  Lesson learned!

Because I hadn’t painted my pinky yet and noticed that the mirror powder seemed to make a nice effect over my liquid palisade, I tried painting my pinky with Born Pretty Liquid Peel Off Tape to see if it would work or not.

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End result is that it didn’t look as cool on my nail as it did when it was protecting my skin!

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It still looked respectably shiny, and I could peel this manicure off afterward!

However, I wasn’t convinced that this was what chrome nails were supposed to look like.  What would happen if I used regular polish with a gel clear coat?

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I applied Johnny by Julep to my right hand.

I hardly have any gel polishes so I painted a thin layer of Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish base/top coat (sold separately from this kit) and cured it under the lamp for 60 seconds.  I found that holding the lamp in my hand and moving it steadily back and forth over my nails helped to get the light to reach all the nails on my hand in one go.

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Born Pretty Soak-off Gel Polish primer/top coat.

I opted to use the powder on top of the clear gel coat without wiping it down, and the results were a ton better than they were with the black gel polish alone.

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Smooth, even, and shiny mirror chrome nails.

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Macro shot of my thumb. You can see how the pigment is not a consistently ground find powder but rather varying sized specks. It has a reflective finish in any case.

It took several tries, but I got my mirror nails in the end!  Don’t forget to add another layer of gel top coat once the powder is applied to your liking.

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Disclaimer #3: After watching several YouTube videos on how to achieve this look, I noted that people who used only gel polish applied a base coat of clear gel, 2 coats of colored gel, and a layer of top coat prior to applying the powder with an additional layer of top coat applied at the end over the powder, curing each layer of gel along the way.  Perhaps this is where I went wrong with the black gel polish, but then again, the original kit did not come with a top coat, even though it said that it did on the website.

Overall Impressions

The lamp in the kit is super affordable, but its small size makes curing your nails a little harder to do.  Also the wattage is on the low side, so expect to need to cure colored gel polish with a minimum of 60 seconds.  It’s definitely a beginner UV LED lamp, so it’s a great item for those who are just starting to get into gel polish or those who only are interested in gels in order to get the mirror nail effect.

The gel polish would have been awesome if it had been the clear top coat as was listed in the description of the product.  Black gel polish may not be a good choice for those who are new to gels.  You will need to apply a gel top coat over the powder to preserve the finish, which means that you will have to buy another product that is not included in this kit, defeating the point of having a pre-made set.

The powder itself is amazing, but the finish does change depending on the texture of the surface you rub it on.  I had random men complimenting my nails when I went out later that day, so it creates an eye catching look, especially when it is applied over gel top coat.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this chrome pigment, gel polish, and UV LED lamp set (retail price is $25.99 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-powder-lamp-coat-nail-chrome-pigment-magic-glitter-p-30909.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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