Review of Beauty Big Bang BBBXL-033 Stamping Plate

I’ve been reviewing a lot of Beauty Big Bang stamping plates lately because I received a set of five Christmas plates from them. The BBBXL-033 plate is the last one out of the bundle for me to show you, so let’s take a look!

The plate comes with its own exclusive cardboard envelope where it lists the name of the item and has a unique bar code on the back. The illustration on the front is there to indicate that the designs included pertain to the holidays, but they are not actually depicted on the plate. As you may already know, it is a pet peeve of mine that companies don’t show the plate designs on the packaging because if you use the envelope to store the plate to protect it from getting scratched, you will have to remove it in order to see what images are on it. It’s not really a big deal, but it will slow you down if you’re looking for a pattern to inspire you.

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Review of Beauty Big Bang BBBXL-030 Stamping Plate

Thanksgiving has passed as has Black Friday, which can only mean one thing: it’s safe to decorate for Christmas! Some may not appreciate the jump start into the holiday season, but it has been proven that decorating for the holidays can put you into a happier mood. Even if you’re not planning to do full on lights and a tree, you can get your nails ready with this plate from Beauty Big Bang!

The Beauty Big Bang XL-030 plate comes in a beautifully printed cardboard envelope. It lists the plate name on the front and has its own personalized UPC code on the back along with a photo tutorial for how to use the product. Unfortunately the holder is not designed to allow you to see the actual images contained on the plate, but at least if you are looking for your Christmas themed plates, this will stand out in your collection.

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Lucky Dog St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

This post is getting published a little late, but I wanted to show you the nails that I did for St. Patrick’s Day. I came up with a cute idea that took some of the main themes of the holiday (green, luck, rainbows, pots of gold, and 4 leaf clovers) and created something that wasn’t necessarily so clichéd with some freehand nail art.

It all started with this lovely shimmery bright kelly green shade from China Glaze called Paper Chasing.

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I applied 3 coats for maximum coverage and allowed them to dry before proceeding.

My idea was centered around a fictional dog named Lucky who has a cloverleaf marking around his eye. My breed of choice for this was some sort of terrier with floppy ears. I painted him mostly white with brown details and a pink tongue just for fun. I decided to place him on my middle finger so he would be the center of attention.

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This doggy is very happy to be so lucky!

On my index finger, I chose to write his name in script. My penmanship with acrylic paint has apparently gotten much better over time!

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I combined the rainbow and pot of gold elements together in the sense that I made a rainbow dog food bowl and filled it with golden dog kibble. While I used craft smart acrylic paints for pretty much all of the freehand work, I used a gold glitter polish from Nicole by OPI called Carried Away for the golden kibble. Continue reading

Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog Nails

Gung Hay Fat Choy! It’s the Year of the Dog! I’m not very Chinese by Asian standards, having been born in America, but it gives me an excuse to paint my nails and wear red!

For this manicure, I used a red creme shade that had a pretty gold shimmer undertone to it.

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Suzanne from Julep is a gorgeous color! I also happened to use this polish for the last Chinese New Year manicure that I did!

I gave my nails a lucky money envelope kind of look with some stamping using a plate from Bundle Monster and some gold stamping polish from Ya Qin An.

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I used the design in the upper left hand corner of plate BM-S229 from Bundle Monster.

Because there are so many lines in this pattern, one has to use a gentle touch when picking up the polish from the plate and applying it to the nails with the stamper, particularly if the stamper is squishy. If the same amount of pressure is not applied during both of these steps, the lines will warp and the design will not be straight.

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I tried to be as meticulous as possible with the stamping, but I still managed to slightly warp the design on my ring finger. Not to worry, though- I’m about to cover it up with a dog!

Because 2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese zodiac, I wanted to add a cute little friend to this manicure as an accent nail. Continue reading

Agatha the Shihtzu Puppy Nails

October 1, 2016 marked the day that Tracy, a good friend from work, moved to New Hampshire.  If you met her, you would know that she’s one of the nicest people ever to grace this planet, and I was so sad to see her leave New York.  Knowing how interested she was in my nail art every week, I thought it only fitting that I do a manicure in her honor to send her off with some good vibes!  I made sure to paint this during the week of her departure so that she could see the nails in person.

Tracy has a shihtzu puppy named Agatha who is as cute as can be, so it seemed an obvious choice to do a dog theme.  After all, Tracy herself doesn’t have an Instagram account- only Agatha does!  The plan was to do pink nails with paw prints covering them because Agatha once had a bed with a similar pattern and then paint Agatha herself on one nail.  I find that I’ve been getting more confident about my painting skills lately, so I was ready to take on the task of trying to do something close to photo realistic resemblance.

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I started by painting my nails with Eureka by Formula X for Sephora.

I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paints from here on out.

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To make the paw prints, I used a small brush to paint a heart shape and then added four oblong dots around the sides. Accuracy is not so important here.

Alternatively, you can use black polish and a dotting tool to get the job done.  I wanted to try that approach, but my dotting tools have mysteriously disappeared!

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To start painting the shihtzu, I laid a foundation of light brown acrylic paint in her general shape.

For reference, I used this photo:

And after about 1.5 hours, this was my result:

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I still have no idea how I managed this.

Basically, I blended custom shades of white, tan, brown, and black to do the shading for the fur.  Plus I used a very tiny brush.  What impressed me the most was the scale of this little portrait.  My nail photos always make my designs look large, but my nails are pretty small.

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Agatha measured no more than one centimeter when all was said and done! Her personality remains larger than life.

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Here’s the completed manicure with topcoat applied.

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Agatha inspecting my work. I think she approves!

The best part?  I planned ahead to save the design, so I used a peel off base coat underneath it all.  Before Tracy left, I made sure to gift her my little painting.  Parting is such sweet sorrow!  But I love that I will always associate this manicure with all the good times we had together particularly in the last week before the big move.  I wish her the best of luck with everything and hope we will see each other still!

Happy fall, and happy polishing!