Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Manicure

We recently had our first snowfall storm in NYC, and wow, did it make a mess out of the city! Nothing takes the magic out of snow away like sitting in traffic on unplowed streets for hours and hours! The weather inspired me to create a gray skied manicure with a lovable icon of Christmas to try to bring the wonder back.

I started by painting my nails gray with Laguna Moon Classic Soak Off Gel Polish in color CL064. Because I was using gel polish, I applied 3 very thin coats cured at one minute each in a UV/LED lamp.

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3 coats of Laguna Moon’s CL064 shade turns your nails into a chic gray with the added reinforcement of a gel polish.

My initial plan was to mostly use stamping techniques for this manicure, although things did not go exactly according to plan for me as you will soon see!

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St. Patrick’s Day Clover Nails

Happy spring, everyone!  Sorry for the bout of inactivity.  My last round of gigs in the city had me completely tied up for a full week, so it has been hard to get enough sleep let alone keep up with my nails!

I had this green manicure done in time for St. Patrick’s Day but haven’t had a chance to update the blog since then.  They are a super easy and fun way to celebrate the holiday.

I started by painting all my nails green.  I used Pretty Edgy by Essie as my base color.

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How often do you get to rock green nail polish? This color is Pretty Edgy from Essie.

Because of time constraints, I resorted to stamping with plate BPX-L018 from Born Pretty Store for some four leaf clover goodness.

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BPX-L018 has the perfect clover pattern in the middle row of images, 3rd from the left.

To make this manicure a bit sparkly, I used Cupcake Polish’s Little Butterfly with the clover pattern to add some holographic goodness to the background.

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It doesn’t look very impressive right now, but the holographic polish adds to the finished design.

To finish up, I stamped the same clover design onto my nails using Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12, making sure that the pattern staggered with the holographic clovers already on my nails.

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Lucky green clover heaven.

I thought it was interesting how much the stamping polish really brightened up the base color.  Pretty Edgy is a nice green, but the lime green clovers on top made my nails stand out to the point where random strangers on the street were noticing them and telling me how much they liked the color!

Hope you had a great St. Patrick’s Day!  Catch you on the next post.  Happy polishing!

 

 

Hot Pink Argyle Print Preppy Nails

Wow, how is it September already?  School is back in session, and when I think of school, I think of all sorts of prints.  That’s why the argyle diamond pattern on a stamping plate from Harunouta spoke to me.

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Fabric patterns galore on Harunouta plate 10.

I chose to do a girly Barbie pink with green for contrast for this manicure.  The colors remind me of styles from movies like CluelessMean Girls, and Legally Blonde.

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Colors from left to right are City-Pretty Rose from Nicole by OPI, Pretty Edgy from Essie, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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On Wednesdays we wear pink!  I painted all my nails with City-Pretty Rose and let them dry.

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The argyle print was transferred from Harunouta plate 10 with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, and using the brush from the bottle, I filled in some of the diamonds with Pretty Edgy by Essie.

To help speed up the process, I used 2 stampers so that while I colored in the details of one stamper, it gave the other colored in stamper time to set.  It’s important that you wait for the polish to dry completely before transferring the pattern or else things will turn into a smooshy mess.

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If all goes well, you should be able to stamp the design directly onto your nail from the stamper.

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I repeated the process enough times so that I could apply the print to all of my nails, and then I applied Ya Qin An anti-smearing top coat to preserve the stamped image.

It does take awhile to color in the diamonds and let them dry, but it certainly makes the argyle pattern more eye catching.

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Hope you enjoyed this one!  Happy polishing!

Springtime Leafy French Manicure

It’s been one heck of a week!  I had some surgery done last Tuesday, which is partially why I disappeared, but I’m doing well now.

One of the random fun facts that I learned at my pre-op appointment was that dark nail polish can interfere with the heart monitor they attach to your finger during surgery.  I definitely did not want to tempt fate knowing that tidbit, so the night before I went to the hospital, I decided to do a nice springtime French manicure.

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Fresh springtime colors for this manicure include (from left to right) Hi Maintenance by Essie, A Color That Can’t Be Tamed by Sephora by OPI, and #37 by Born Pretty.

I started by painting my nails the pretty sheer pink color that is Hi Maintenance by Essie.

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I’m in love with this color, but it took 3 coats of polish to get it to not look streaky.

For the French tips, I wanted to use plate m56 by Konad.

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You can jazz up any French manicure with this stamping plate by Konad. I used the leaf design pictured on the bottom.

I started by painting A Color That Can’t Be Tamed on my tips.

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A different take on a classic French manicure.

After I let the polish dry for a reasonable amount of time, I used a clear stamper to align the pattern from the plate onto the tips of my nails.

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Not my best stamping, but you can still see the leaf detail.

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Lighting was an issue when taking my photos because bright lights washed out the pattern.

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The result is still a fresh look for spring.

Here’s to having warmer days and more sunlight ahead!  Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #16

I’m a huge fan of the stamping plates from Born Pretty Store, but I did not have the pleasure of trying out their stamping polish until just recently.  They carry a large variety of colors, but I decided to get their pale pink (#16) first because light colors don’t always stamp well.  The results with this color would let me get a good feel for what to expect from this line.

Right off the bat upon arrival, I noticed that the polish formula was already starting to separate.  Shipping took about 2-3 weeks to get this from Singapore to the US, so either the bottle was sitting in the warehouse for an even longer period of time, or the nail polish is prone to separation.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #16 has some separation anxiety. Note the different colored swirls of pinks near the top of the bottle.

Stamping polish is more viscous than regular nail polish, so it was hard to get the formula to blend into an even consistency.  The website link for the item even directs you to shake the bottle very well prior to using it.  I found that vigorous shaking isn’t very effective because there are no steel beads in the bottle to agitate the formula.  However, Born Pretty Store also happens to sell mixing beads, so adding one or two to the bottle helps a ton to get the nail polish one uniform color again quickly.

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After adding a steel mixing ball to the bottle and shaking it up, this polish is ready to play nice again.

The bottle holds 15 mL of nail polish, which is the same amount you get from brands like OPI and Zoya.  You will be able to get plenty of manicures out of this bad boy!

As mentioned previously, the polish formula is pretty thick.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish doesn’t drip very easily- that drop was hanging from the end of the brush for quite awhile.

One coat of polish over a nail proves to be very opaque.  This polish wasn’t meant to be used as a base color, but you could use it in a pinch for a one step manicure.

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One coat of #16 gives total coverage. The picture above is shown without a top coat applied.

The ease of use of this nail polish really shines with stamping.

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Stamping done with a Konad stamper and Born Pretty Store plate BPL-024. The base colors are What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI, Pretty Edgy by Essie, and White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

The nail polish transfers smoothly from the plate to the stamper and then onto the nail.  You can see that even though it is a light color, the pink shows up beautifully over both light and dark colored backgrounds.  I have used other stamping polishes that will hardly show up over a light background and will look very faint over a dark background, but Born Pretty Store’s version has a consistent solid look to it across the board.

The lines are clean, and the color is even across large areas.

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Holographic rose mani using #16 over Silver Holo by UO Nail Lacquer.

I’m very impressed with the results of this nail polish, and I can’t wait to try out some more colors from this line!  Stamping with this was a pleasure, and I highly recommend it, although I would purchase some mixing balls to put inside the bottle to keep the polish from separating too much while in storage.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish (retail price is $5.42 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/18ml-candy-color-nail-stamping-polish-newly-nail-varnish-stamp-p-21282.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

rsspx31

Back to School: Crayon Nail Art

It’s almost time for kids and teachers to go back to school (at least in NYC- I know some people are already back), so I wanted to do some fun nail art to celebrate mark the change of season.  School supply shopping was always one of my favorite activities, and trying to convince my parents to get me the biggest box of crayons was high on the list.  I’ll settle for mostly primary colors for this mani, though.  😉

First off, the color selection:

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My mini rainbow, left to right: Sephora by OPI- What’s a Tire Jack?, Nicka K- NY139, Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 Day Shine- Banana split, Essie- Pretty Edgy, Formula X for Sephora- Omni, Formula X for Sephora- Haphazard.

I started off by painting each of my nails a different color.  I went in backwards rainbow order.  Don’t ask why- I think I had a sixth sense about something…

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Taste the rainbow!

The toughest part about this mani was having to do the squiggly line detail.  Trying to paint over black polish with a lighter color would be near impossible, and I hate having to clean nail polish off my nail art brushes.  My approach was to take black acrylic paint and draw around the squiggle so that the original base color showed through.

Step 1- Use a striping brush to paint the outline of the area where the squiggle will appear.

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Painting the outlines of the black section of the crayon wrapper will allow you to space your squiggles out more consistently in the next step.

For the next two steps, please refer to the photo below Step 3.

Step 2 (on green nail): Using a detail brush, paint in hills along one line. If you like more of a uniform look, put the highest peak of the hill in the center of your nail and then finish off the sides with an upward curve.

Step 3 (on yellow nail): repeat the process of painting hills along the other line to coincide with the opposing curve.

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The various stages of painting in the squiggle shape within the black lines.

For an easier mani, you can simply topcoat the result and say that you painted the bottom half of the crayon, but I like to go the distance.  😉

In order to make the wrapper look different from the actual crayon, I used matte top coat over the bottom half of my nails.

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Mattifying the squiggle section of the nail mimics the paper wrapper and gives the look more texture. I used a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI.

To draw the tip, I used a striping brush and black polish to first notch the beginning of the tapered section of the point.

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Adding notches to show the start of the tip of the crayon.

From there I painted in an angled section with the striper so that the tip of the crayon would be tapered.

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Crayon madness!

Add some topcoat to the top half of the nail, and you’re done!  It’s a very cute look and makes people nostalgic for their youth.  Now where did I put that coloring book?  😉

If you were wondering about that sixth sense that I mentioned before…  It’s because the purple color ended up being a lot darker than I thought it would be, so the black detail did not show up very well at all.  😦  I’m glad I didn’t have to photograph my thumb to get a good picture!  If you decide to recreate this, definitely choose lighter colors over darker ones.

Happy polishing!

Hibiscus Nail Art

I love floral manicures for the spring and summer seasons, and it’s so easy to make a pretty looking mani with stamping plates, so let’s do this!

Materials:

Sephora by OPI- White Hot
BMC Nail Lacquer- noir black
Essie- Pretty Edgy
Julep- Nellie
Nicole by OPI- Berry the Hatchet
Julep- Karen
Ya Qin An- Y015 plate

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Clockwise from top left: White Hot, noir black, Pretty Edgy, Berry the Hatchet, Nellie, and Karen.

You’ll notice that Berry the Hatchet and Nellie are very similar colors.  I just wanted to have a little difference in the shades of the flowers.  Much like in nature, not every bloom looks alike, but if you want to recreate this look, you can stick to the same shade for each flower.

I wanted the floral pattern to stand out, so I started out by painting White Hot on all my nails.

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2 coats of White Hot by Sephora by OPI, no topcoat.

For the floral pattern, I used plate Y015 by Ya Qin An.  The brand of the plate wasn’t listed on the packaging, but I saw the name pictured with this plate on the Born Pretty Store website.  A review of the plate will be coming soon.

Plate Y015 by Ya Qin An

Plate Y015 by Ya Qin An

Because I wanted to color in the different elements of the image, I used the reverse stamping technique where you transfer the image onto the stamper and then paint the colors onto the stamper before transferring the image to your nails.  The technique itself is very simple, but it’s a very time consuming process and requires a lot of patience.  I like using dotting tools to color in the sections because dotting tools are easier to clean than brushes, but you can use whatever works best for you.  If you don’t have dotting tools or brushes, I’m sure a toothpick would work just as well.  Just be careful to not touch any of the stamped lines directly or else you will end up lifting part of the original image.

Stamp your image. I used noir black by BMC Nail Lacquer.

Stamp the desired part of the image. I used noir black by BMC Nail Lacquer.

Color in the sections with a dotting tool and your desired colors.

Color in the sections with a dotting tool and your desired colors.

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Transfer the design from the stamper onto your nail.

Repeat this process for each nail, and you’re all set!  The result looks gorgeous, and I’ve been getting so many compliments about this design.  Good luck, and happy stamping!

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