Ocean Voyage Nautical Nails

Still envious of everyone’s stunning vacation photos? Here’s a cruise ship inspired manicure you can try if you have the right tools!

I started out by painting all my nails a medium blue color.

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Sky High-Top from China Glaze serves as a lovely sky or ocean color.

My secret weapon for this manicure was the BP-L068 plate from Born Pretty. With it, you can create a whole ocean themed story on your nails!

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BP-L068 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I first used the wave design from the lower right quadrant of the plate along with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #7, which is a royal blue color.

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Because the wave image was a little on the small side, I had issues trying to fit the image on my nails without stamping parts of the neighboring designs as well. I tried to stretch my clear stamper to get the image to cover my nail completely, but this only distorted the final result. Not to worry- I planned to stamp some more designs from the plate on top of this anyway to cover up the awkward spots!

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Chocolate Bar Nails for National Junk Food Day, July 21

How many of you guys knew that July 21 was National Junk Food Day? It’s funny how everyday we can celebrate all these random things, but looking up the national days is a great way to get some inspiration going for my nail art!

I decided to paint some chocolate bars for my junk food, so I looked for a good brown polish to serve as my base color. I chose Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze for that candy bar look.

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Lug Your Designer Baggage from China Glaze has subtle gold flecks in the polish that make it appear more luxurious… or more like crisped rice in my chocolate bar.

I defined the squares of chocolate in my bar by mixing shades of brown and black craft smart acrylic paint. I used a detail brush to paint the lines, but a striping brush can also do the job.

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I painted in the darkest lines first, outlined them in a slightly lighter shade, then highlighted sections of the lines to define the squares.

I made a French manicure by swiping a layer of Need for Speed by Formula X for Sephora across the tips of my nails to represent the foil wrapper around the chocolate bar, then applied a generous layer of Seche Vite top coat to finish off the look.

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It looks fairly convincing, no?

In terms of freehand nail art, this was relatively simple as the design consists of many different lines, but it always boils down to how much patience you have. The truly lazy will want to go with the route that I took with my right hand, which was to only apply the silver French tip on top of the brown base color. I mean, you can use your imagination to come up with the rest of the details… right?

Hope you enjoyed this sweet manicure. Happy polishing!

Sweet Treats Manicure

It has been another insanely busy week for me. I just can’t seem to catch my breath, and it’s already the second week of July! Where has the time gone?

In any case, today’s nail art centers around sweet things: cookies, cupcakes, and saltwater taffy. This design was partially stamped and partially done with water marble but overall fairly simple to do if you are familiar with these techniques.

To start, I painted my nails with white and yellow colors. The white nails are simply to make my water marble more vivid while the yellow nails provide a happy background color for the design I will be stamping on top of them.

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The white base color is White Hot by Sephora by OPI. I did not go for full opacity as I knew that a water marble design would be applied over these nails later. The yellow color is called Metro Pollen-tin from China Glaze.

For the stamping, I used the design from the lower right hand corner of the Cake BPX-23 plate from Born Pretty Store.

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Sweets abound on plate BPX-23 from Born Pretty Store.

I stamped the design with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #15 (brown) and colored in the details directly on the stamper. To save time, prepare multiple stampers with the same design so that you can do all your coloring and transferring simultaneously.

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Colors used on this design are Vera by Julep for the cookies, Lollipop by Orly for the cupcake wrapper, White Hot by Sephora by OPI for the squiggle detail of the cupcake, and Cherry Red by Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear for the cherries.

After allowing the polish to dry completely, I stamped my colored in creation directly onto a nail and applied top coat to protect the design.

Next, I taped up my thumb, index, and pinky fingers and did a water marble technique using the lavender (Lollipop by Orly) and yellow (Metro Pollen-tin by China Glaze) colors that were previously mentioned in this manicure. After forming a bullseye in a small container of water, I swirled around the polish with a water marbling pen and dipped a finger into the part of the pattern that I thought would resemble saltwater taffy. With care, I was able to dip two fingers into the same bullseye pattern in order to save time and nail polish.

After removing the tape and cleaning up my cuticles, a layer of top coat was applied to the water marbled nails, and the manicure was finished!

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Sweets for the sweet!

It’s a little labor intensive to do reverse stamping, but the final look is super cute and detailed.

Hope you enjoyed this manicure, and I’ll see you again soon! Happy polishing!

National Doughnut Day Nails

National Doughnut Day was on June 2 this year, and I totally missed it! I love a good doughnut and wanted to show my appreciation, so I came up with these delectable nails to celebrate in my own way.

I cheated by using a stamping plate to make the doughnuts, although in retrospect this would have been a lot faster doing the design by hand! So do be warned, if you try this at home, it will take a few hours to complete all the steps for all 10 nails.

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The Cake BPX-23 from Born Pretty Store has lots of yummy looking images on it.

Because the plate did not have a full size doughnut image, I decided to make my own out of the image in the 3rd row, 2nd from the right. I used the Lotus Mat from Bundle Monster to make the decals, but you can use a plastic sandwich bag or something similar in lieu of a silicone mat instead.

Start by applying thick swatches of top coat to your mat that are big enough to cover each of your nails and allow them to dry completely. I used HK Girl top coat from Glisten & Glow for this step.

Next, take a dark brown polish (Olivia from Julep) and stamp the doughnut image multiple times onto each dried swatch of top coat. Stamp as many or as little times as you like, but try to think of how you want the placement of the design to look on your nail.

Now the fun part: adult coloring time! Pick a color you would like your doughnut base to be (a light brown like Vera from Julep works well) and a color for your frosting on top. Because it was taking forever to make these decals, I stuck with a strawberry pink for all my donuts (Carnival Cotton Candy from Nicole by OPI), but you can come up with whatever flavors you like- vanilla, chocolate, blueberry, grape… you get the picture. Try to stay within the lines, although your patience might get the better of you. Using a dotting tool or a small brush can help fill in all the details.

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Time to make the doughnuts! Decals are just as time consuming to make.

Allow the decals to dry completely, but in the meantime you can apply a base color to your nails. I chose a nice blue for my background that contrasted nicely with the pink frosting on the doughnuts.

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For Audrey from China Glaze channels the iconic blue Tiffany’s box.

Allow your base color to dry before you attempt to apply your decals. Gently peel a decal from the mat, trim it to the approximate size of your nail, apply top coat to the back of the decal to allow it to become pliable again, then place it onto your nail in the position that you would like it to go. Do this to all your nails, trimming away any excess, and finish by cleaning up around your nails with a brush or cotton swab dipped into acetone. Apply an additional layer of top coat to bring back the shine and further seal the decal into place.

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The finished doughnut nails!

These nails channel one of my favorite moments from The Simpsons during a Treehouse of Horror episode where Homer finds himself in an alternate reality. D’oh!

Hope you had the chance to enjoy a nice doughnut to celebrate the holiday! Happy polishing!

 

Photobombing Polar Bear Nail Art

It has been a rough week for me as my LG G4 phone went into an unrecoverable boot loop, meaning that I lost a bunch of pictures, texts, and other such data.  I’m waiting for my replacement phone to arrive while I use a cheap substitute in the meantime, but my whole routine has been upset, and it has caused me to be in a creative slump.

My last manicure was starting to chip, so I forced myself to try to come up with something else.  Because I’ve been so uninspired, I opted to do the @clairestelle8challenge prompt for the 14th: Animal.  I figured that I could do a cute polar bear over a cool toned gradient, and to make it easier to paint, have the bear “photobomb” the scene so that I would only have to paint the upper half of its face.  The photobomb idea also came from the fact that I have small nails that make it hard to paint too much detail, so I was trying to work with my canvas size.

I picked a nice cool toned blue for my base color.

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Maltilda by Julep.

The gradient was a mix of the base color, a shimmery holographic ice blue, and a white shade speckled with silver microglitter.  I applied stripes of each polish onto a nail art mat and used a sponge to dab the mix onto my nails.

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Pictured from left to right: Matilda by Julep, Tali by Julep, and Dandy Lyin’ Around by China Glaze.

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The finished icy gradient looks like snow drifts blowing across an open field.

For the bear, I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paints in blends of White, Dark Grey, and Black.

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I painted the general shape of the bear on top of the gradient with white paint.  Then I blended a little bit of Dark Grey with White to tint the ears.  I also slightly shaded the face around the eyes and snout area with an even lighter version of the mix that I used for the ears.  Finally I added the nose and used a dotting tool to make the eyes with black paint.

After applying some top coat, the bear is done!

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Peekaboo! I see you!

I apologize if the photos don’t look as nice here because I typically use apps on my phone to do the editing, and I got stuck using an old tablet instead this time.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running on the warranty replacement phone this week, but until then, stay warm, and 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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Glittery Snowflake Christmas Manicure

Being a musician, December is a busy time of year.  Seems like every group needs to perform a holiday concert this month, but I’ll never get sick of the music, especially seeing how happy it makes people.

One ensemble had a “Let it Snow!” theme for their concert, so I made nails to match.  I started by painting my nails a Christmas-y red with Tip Your Hat from China Glaze.

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Tip Your Hat is a festive red color from China Glaze.

To really make this mani sparkle, I used a loose holographic glitter powder from Born Pretty Store on top of this.

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Born Pretty Store’s holographic laser glitter powder in color #7.

To use the powder, a gel top coat is applied to the nails but cured for only about 15 seconds so that it is still tacky enough to allow the glitter to stick to it.  I used Born Pretty’s gel top coat over the China Glaze color.  The glitter is applied with the sponge applicator included with the set, and then a final layer of gel top coat is applied to seal in the glitter and bring out the shine.

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The effects of the glitter powder are stunning.

To finish up, I added some stamping using plate BP-01 from Born Pretty Store.

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Christmas themed plate BP-01 from Born Pretty Store.

For this design, I stamped the tree design from the center of the plate onto my ring finger, the full sized snowflake image on the far right side of the plate onto my thumb, and made up my own unique pattern using the two single snowflake images from the top of the plate for the rest of my nails.

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Stamping was done with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Lacquer #4 (white).

This look was definitely eye catching, and I had people asking to see my nails all day at the concert.  It’s definitely a cheer filled design worthy of the holiday season!

Happy polishing!