Review of Konad Special Nail Polish #24 (Flash Black)

If you’re into stamping nail art, you have Konad to thank for that.  It’s safe to say that the original innovator of the technique is a trustworthy brand.  I’ve generally had good experiences with their stamping polish in the past, but I wanted to try one of their newest colors to see if there have been any changes made to the formula.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

What I love about this color is that it is a shimmery black, so it has more dimension to it.  Konad does offer a standard black color if this isn’t your thing.

The bottle is the same shape throughout the brand.  There is 11 mL of polish inside, so there is a little bit less than what you would typically get in a regular bottle.

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The brush is a little on the thin side, but you won’t need to use a lot of polish when you’re stamping. Just swipe one line of polish at the top of the design, scrape off the excess, and you’ll be good to go.

The formula looks to be the same as the original one.  It is not extra thick and has a regular nail polish consistency.  With some stamping polishes, it is not practical to use them as a stand alone polish color because they are so viscous, but this one paints like a dream and gives full coverage in one coat.  You could easily give yourself an entirely Flash Black mani, and no one would know that you used stamping polish.

The extra benefit is that because this is a stamping polish, it dries quickly and only requires one coat for full opacity.  As a stand alone color, this is great for people who are on the run.

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Stamping done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and Born Pretty Store BP-L005 plate over the following colors (left to right): White Hot from Sephora by OPI, City-Pretty Rose by Nicole by OPI, Make A Change by Nicole by OPI, and one coat of Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. Top picture is without top coat applied, bottom picture is with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Over each of the base colors, the Konad polish performed exceptionally well.  There is a good contrast between Flash Black over light and dark bases, and you can see more of a shimmer in the color once the top coat is applied.

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The shimmer in the formula compliments glittery holo polish well as seen in this chevron accent nail mani.

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I also used it for the same reason in this half-stamped/half-hand painted chessmen manicure.

Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black is perfect for your stamping needs, and everyone should have a good black stamping polish in their arsenal.  This is definitely it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $12.06 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off any regular priced items in your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/11ml-flash-black-konad-nail-stamping-polish-professional-stamping-polish-p-24402.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Review of Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #4 (White)

One thing that I’ve realized about doing stamping is that even though you may generally love a brand’s stamping polish, not all their colors as work as effectively as others.  I’ve experienced this with white stamping polish in particular.

This lacquer from Born Pretty Store had some good reviews, so I was eager to try out this product, especially because I have been disappointed by white stamping polishes distributed by two other companies.

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Bare bones packaging- a single sticker names the brand of the polish but does not list anything else.

This polish came shipped in bubble wrap, so there was no danger of it being broken in transit from Singapore.  There is no box for it, and it is labeled simply with the name of the company on the bottle.  No ingredients are listed, and my bottle also did not have a color name or number marked on it, but it is pretty obvious that it is white.  I know from the website that this is #4 in their collection.

I have other Born Pretty products that come in the same type of bottle, and they all say they contain 15 mL of fluid.  This is a good size amount and is more than what you get in a bottle of Konad Special Nail Polish (11 mL) or b.m.c. nail lacquer (13 mL).

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The brush in the bottle is a standard size.

The formula is very thick, which is great for stamping.  A downside is that there is no mixing ball in the bottle, so it is a little hard to shake up the contents if they start to separate.  I haven’t had this happen with this bottle yet because I’ve been using it so often, but I have seen polish separation occur in other colors of Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish.  You can remedy this situation by purchasing mixing balls yourself and adding one or two to the bottle.

I had no problems transferring designs with this polish, and it performs beautifully under all circumstances as you can see below.

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Top picture is without top coat, bottom picture is with top coat using plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty. Base coat colors from left to right: Pale is the New Tan from Sephora by OPI, Diva Into the Pool by Nicole by OPI, What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI, and Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #4. The pinky is swatched with only one coat of polish, and it has near perfect coverage.

This white color is remarkable because not only is it visible on top of light colored polish, but it contrasts over black polish perfectly.  I’m in love!  Gone are the days of having to paint your nails white and limit yourself to stamping with dark colors.  This polish goes above and beyond when it comes to stamping.

As a regular nail color, the formula is decent and can be used as a one step nail polish.  The texture is a little uneven due to the viscosity of the polish, but it works if you are in a hurry.  The polish dries quickly no matter how you use it.

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I used this polish for a purple and white mani with excellent results.

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It also performed beautifully to makes stripes for this coral and white mani.

As a stamping polish, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish blows the other competition away.  I was really impressed with the quality of this product, and the swatches speak for themselves.  You won’t be disappointed, so grab a bottle for your next stamping adventure!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $10.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/15ml-born-pretty-nail-stamping-polish-white-nail-polish-p-22323.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Green and Gold Nails

I’ve been swamped with work lately, which is a fortunate thing for a musician, but it has left me with little time to paint my nails.  Whenever I have a busy week and little inspiration because I’m too tired to think, I turn to my trusty collection of stamping plates.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I decided to go with a green base color first.

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Are you green with envy? This is Emerald Expressionism by Finger Paints.

I used plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.  What I love about it is that a lot of the patterns look like they are water marble inspired, so it’s easy to get a marbled look without the mess.

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Plate BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 2nd image from the right.

I used gold polish from Konad to do the stamping.  I was hoping that it would be opaque, but the color does not pop very well and is even harder to photograph.  The design is most visible only when the light hits it at a certain angle.  While I swear by the Konad black and white polishes, their metallic shades leave something to be desired.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold provides a subtle, shimmery look.

To get a varied look, I made sure to rotate the image when stamping it onto my nails.

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The swirls looks like they flow naturally from nail to nail rather than looking like they are stamped from the same image.

The effect reminds me of those mirrors with the gold marble overlay finish that were popular in the 80s.  I also think of the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.  In terms of a St. Patty’s Day manicure, I think I’ll be looking for my pot of gold elsewhere!

While this wasn’t a showstopping creation, I do love the elegance of the swirls.  Too bad they didn’t show up as well as I would have liked.  Guess I’ll need to purchase a better gold stamping polish.

Happy polishing!

Stained Glass Suncatcher Manicure

I recently played for a small production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, a lovely yet heartbreaking one act opera whose cast consists mostly of nuns.  Appropriate to the libretto, the performance took place inside a church, so my inspiration for the week were the stained glass windows there.

If I had more time, I would have hand painted the framework for the glass panels, but I was already going to be sleep deprived doing the stamping for this design.  The two plates I used for this manicure were BM-402 from Bundle Monster and BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store.

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BM-402 from Bundle Monster assisted me for one of the stained glass patterns. I used the design at the topmost position for two of my nails.

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BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store has an assortment of patterns, but I chose the one on the bottom row, 2nd from the left to put on my thumbnail.

The Infinite Ombré set from Formula X was perfect to color in the patterns because the gel tints have the ability to be layered over each other to create other colors.  Because I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, I chose to put stained glass patterns on 3 out of 5 nails on each hand and paint the other two nails black.

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Colors for this manicure include the following: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, Platinum Prime by Formula X, Black lace by Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 Day Shine, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Formula X gel tint colors in Boundless Berry, Limitless Lemon, and Timeless Teal.

I planned to turn the design from plate BM-402 into a mirror image so that it would fill two nails, so I allotted space for this on my middle and ring fingers.

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Prepping the canvas with Black lace and Platinum Prime.

The idea was to make the circular part of the pattern from BM-402 look as if it were the sun casting out rays of light, so I stamped one nail with the circular part facing the nail that will picture the inversion of the same design.

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One part stamped, one more to go.

To make the mirror image, I couldn’t just turn the design upside down because there is a slight variance between the top and bottom halves of the pattern.  Instead, I chose to make a nail decal with a form of reverse stamping.  After stamping the image, I brushed clear coat over the design, waited for it to dry, and then I removed the dry polish from the stamper with tweezers and cut the piece down to the approximate size of my nail.

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Do it yourself nail decals are easy to make once you brush top coat over a stamped image. I used Seche Vite top coat for this and then cut the decal down to size.

The mirror image is the side of the decal that the topcoat was placed on, just in case this isn’t apparent.  I slightly confused myself when I was doing this as well.  Note that if you turn the decal over so that the side that was on the stamper is now facing up, you will end up with the same image as if you directly stamped onto your nail, so that would defeat the purpose of making a decal.

To apply the decal, simply apply clear topcoat over the desired nail and smooth the decal over the nail while it is still wet.

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The mirror image is complete.

All that remained was to color in the empty spaces with the Formula X gel tints.  I made things a little easier for myself by applying a little color theory so that I could layer colors with other colors to get different shades.  Yellow and red make orange and yellow and blue make green, so I was able to paint Limitless Lemon over quite a few areas before overlapping the yellow tint with Boundless Berry and Timeless Teal.  I used the brush from the bottle because I wanted to get things done faster, but you can opt to use a detail brush or dotting tool if you want more precision.

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A delightful suncatcher look made with gel tint colors from Formula X.

I still had a thumb to stamp and color.  Unfortunately, the images on BPL-005 are a bit on the small side compared to Born Pretty Store’s other plates, so it was tricky to get the placement right on the first try.  I used a marshmallow stamper so I could push it down completely over my nail, and I put a dot of black polish on the center of my thumb first so I could line up the dot from the center of the pattern with the dot on my thumb.

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A successfully centered stamped thumbnail which was not very easy to accomplish when the design on the plate was almost the same size as my nail. You can see the raised dot of polish I applied to the middle of the nail so I could position the stamper correctly over it.

I’ve griped about how my squishy head stamper doesn’t transfer images as nicely as my Konad stamper, so you can see that the entire design didn’t make it onto my thumbnail near my cuticle.  I fixed this with Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black.

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With a little help from a striping brush and black polish, you can’t tell that the image didn’t fully transfer the first time around.

After coloring in the sections with the same technique as before, the manicure is done!

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A stained glass inspired suncatcher manicure.

I guess this wasn’t the best choice for a quick manicure, but it looked pretty!  Now to finally get some rest…  I’ve still got rehearsals to attend, but I won’t have a performance until the beginning of next month.  In the meantime, happy polishing!