Review of Born Pretty BP-L059 Stamping Plate

Being a full time musician, I’m always on the lookout for stamping plates with music notes on them. Don’t get me wrong- my music penmanship is pretty decent, but being able to stamp some staves without having to sweat about making lots of straight lines is a relief! So lo and behold, Born Pretty Store just came out with the perfect plate for me: BP-L059.

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Plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty Store has images that cater to music lovers everywhere.

Let me start off by saying that this company got all the musical details correct on this plate. It’s very common for designers to get certain aspects wrong, like having the wrong number of lines on the staves, drawing alternating black and white piano keys instead of using a real keyboard layout, and making music notes with the stems and flags going the wrong way. I can say with certainty that no one will be able to criticize any of these things being wrong on the plate. I do find it ironic that the one thing that the designers messed up is that the word “music” is spelled wrong in the 2nd image from the left on the bottom row. There are plenty of other great image choices on this plate that more than make up for this error.

As usual, when you get this plate, there is a layer of blue film on top that must be removed before you can use it. You can easily peel this away by picking at it from one of the plate’s metal edges and lifting it off, so be sure to remove it before you start painting your nails. The film is there to protect the surface from scratches when it gets shipped from the factory.

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The plate is layered in protective plastic on top.

Born Pretty also has their own cardboard slipcover for each plate so you can protect the metal surface while it is in storage. The back is labeled with instructions and social media sharing information.

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Other features of the plate include a white plastic backing to prevent the user from cutting herself on the metal edges. It also has rounded corners to keep things gentle on your hands when you are sorting through your collection. The designs on the plate are etched deeply into the metal and allow you to get perfect transfers every time.

It is also noteworthy (ha, see what I did there?) to mention that the rectangular images measure 1.6 x 2.0 cm and will suit most average sized fingernails. The single images can be used on any kind of nail length, obviously, so you can get really creative with this plate.

I made a pretty antique looking music and bird manicure using the fourth image in the top row of the plate.

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Birds and music manicure with one of my flutes used as a prop.

I used nail foil in conjunction with the image in the lower right corner to create these cool equalizer nails fit for a DJ.

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You can find out how to mix nail foils and stamping in my tutorial for these equalizer nails.

My verdict is that if you are a musician or just love music, you should definitely own this plate. I plan to create many more manicures from this in the future and look forward to using it a lot so I can combine my two passions together!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 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/born-pretty-template-stamping-plate-music-design-rectangle-manicure-nail-image-plate-p-39482.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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80s Equalizer Nail Art

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

To start, I painted all my nails black.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very 80s techno chic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy polishing!

Birds and Music Manicure

As some of you know, I am a professional flutist and do this nail art thing as my hobby. It’s only fitting that today’s manicure pays homage to the job that pays my bills!

I wanted to create an antique parchment look for the background. It was hard to find exactly the right color, but I opted for this neutral tan called Samoan Sand from OPI to do the job.

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Samoan Sand by OPI. It takes a few coats to get it opaque, but it’s a perfect nude shade for your nails.

To stain the “parchment,” I used some alcohol ink made from a BiC Mark It Permanent Marker in Woodsy Brown. To do this technique, color part of a plastic bag with the permanent maker, then take a small brush, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and pick up the marker pigment with the brush. You can then paint with this alcohol ink on your nails.

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My attempt at creating a stained look with alcohol ink.

One thing I didn’t like about the color of the marker that I chose was that the brown had more of a red tint to it than I thought. It definitely changed the color of my base shade more than I would have liked, and I probably would have used a different base color had I known that that would happen. This was only one of many mishaps that occurred while I was painting this manicure.

Because of the 3-4 layers of nail polish that were needed to make Samoan Sand opaque, I had to wait quite awhile to let my nails dry enough before I could proceed to stamping my chosen pattern, shown on the plate below.

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Perfect for musicians: plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty Store.

Being a flutist, I’m always learning music that sounds bird-like so the image from the top row, 4th from the left appealed to me the most. Using black stamping polish from Ya Qin An, I transferred the image to my nails. I used a clear stamper to make sure the lines of the staves were fairly straight and perpendicular to my nails. I also took care to try to stagger the image to make the design look more unique.

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Stamping from a single image from plate BP-L059.

You’ll notice that there’s a suspicious looking burn mark in the middle of one nail. That was not supposed to be there originally. I made a mistake while double stamping the lower part of that nail- the first transfer had thin stave lines, so when I went over the bottom part a second time, I failed to line up part of the image correctly in one place. I tried to lightly rub the area with a cotton swab and acetone, but the black polish started smearing over the nearby areas. I ended up removing a larger section of polish than I had intended to, refilled it with Samoan Sand, and reapplied the alcohol ink, but the remnants of the smudged black polish still formed a ring around the area. I decided that this added to the antique flair and went with it. This just goes to show that sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but you can still roll with the punches.

Speaking of, I had also horribly smudged my pinky nail right before I was going to take the photos for this manicure, so I had to completely redo that nail for these shots as well. Sigh.

In any case, I applied a layer of Ya Qin An top coat to prevent the stamping from getting smudged, then applied a layer of Matte Top Coat from Sephora by OPI to finish up this manicure.

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This one’s for the birds!

Here’s to hoping that the next manicure won’t have so many nail fails involved! Happy polishing!