Koi Manicure

Feeling a little fishy? Here’s a manicure featuring koi. Did you know they are a symbol of love and friendship in Japan?

To give my fish somewhere to live, I first painted my nails a turquoise blue shade from Sephora by OPI called Bright as a Feather. This polish has shimmery silver particles in it that give the color more dimension. I applied 2 coats for the swatch below.

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Review of Born Pretty BP-151 Stamping Plate

I’ve always been a fan of stamping plates, so today’s review covers plate BP-151 from Born Pretty.

This plate is one of the circular ones reminiscent of the original series issued by Konad except this one has better packaging!

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Front and back views of the packaging.

All stamping plates from Born Pretty come inside a cardboard sleeve to protect them from scratches while they are in storage. A sticker with the plate’s ID number seals the open edge to keep the plate from falling out during shipment. I still wish the outside of the package showed a picture or graphic of the plate it contained or perhaps had a clear window to see its contents. I tend to not store my plates in these holders because of this despite the level of protection that they provide.

Looking at the plate straight from the package, a thin layer of blue plastic film covers the surface, again to protect the plate from getting scratched during the production and shipment processes. This film must be removed before using the product.

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Review of Born Pretty BPY33 Ocean Life Water Decals

If you find that doing any kind of nail art is an ordeal but don’t want to pay huge amounts of money for nail wraps, these water decals from Born Pretty are what you need.

Born Pretty has a huge selection of designs available on their website, but today I’m reviewing their ocean life themed set, BPY33.

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There is one sheet enclosed in the package with enough decals to make at least two full manicures depending on how you decide to use them. The entire printed surface is basically one large decal, so you will need to cut out the areas you want to use, preferably before you paint your nails. Because you can cut the decals down to the size and shape that you want, you can get really creative with how you integrate these decals into your manicures and get the most bang for your buck from the sheet.

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The two sets of designs can be mixed and matched to create a pretty manicure.

Although the decals are not pre-cut, if you look closely, you can see that there are rectangular sections formed by the change in patterns. The height of each of these sections is 2.5 cm. Upon further inspection, the width of these sections gets smaller by 1 mm from the left to right sides starting at 1.8 cm and decreasing to 1.4 cm, so you will want to plan accordingly, especially if you have wide nail beds. Based on the measurements, it is possible to use these decals on your toenails without cropping the pattern, and you won’t have a problem using these on long nails, either.

The back of the package has instructions for how to use the decals. I would definitely change the order of steps 2 and 3, and I would also start by preparing a cup of water to submerge the decals into so that there is less of a chance that you will smudge your base coat color.

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Instructions for use on the back of the package.

It is also good to know that the decal is printed on a clear surface, so any color you choose to use underneath it will show through in the background. I still prefer to use white as a base color because it makes the decal art pop, but you can use your imagination and get creative.

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Steps for applying the decals. The picture in the top right corner has a holographic top coat applied to the white base. The picture on the bottom left is what the decal looks like floating in water with the paper backing removed.

Placing a decal on your nail is super easy with either your fingers or a pair of tweezers, and as long as the decal is wet, you can slide it around until you are satisfied with how it looks.

You will notice that I did not cut the size of the decal to perfectly fit my nail. After blotting the decals dry with a tissue, I was able to easily remove the excess parts of the decals from my skin with a brush dipped into acetone. The portion that extended above my nail was filed off or trimmed down and then dissolved with a cotton swab dipped into acetone. In either case, cleaning up the edges was an easy job.

Also noteworthy is that I used only one rectangular section to cover the two nails in the picture. Because I opted to do a water marble design on the other fingers, I only needed two rectangular sections from the sheet to do all my nails! It’s a very savvy way to get more use out of what you are given.

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Beachy ocean life manicure using BPY33 water decals and a water marble technique.

This was my first foray into using full nail water decals, and I honestly have to say that I loved using them. These are perfect for nail art enthusiasts who don’t have a lot of time to paint their nails because the designs are beautiful, and they are easy to apply. With top coat applied, the decals will last as long as a normal manicure would, and you can remove them with regular nail polish remover. No fancy tools are needed to use them other than a little water and some scissors to cut the patterns, and you can change the way the design looks simply by applying a different base color. I know I’ll be getting more decals in the future!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing these water decals (retail price is $2.99 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/patternssheet-born-pretty-ocean-starfish-nail-water-decals-transfer-sticker-bpy33-p-33973.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Clownfish Finding Nemo Nails

The other week, I painted clown inspired nail art, so naturally the next thing I thought to paint was clownfish!  Finding Dory is coming out soon, so I couldn’t help but put Nemo on my nails.

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Colors used include from left to right: Radiant by Formula X, Zing by Formula X for Sephora, and White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

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I also used craft smart Acrylic Paint in Black, White, and Dark Grey for some of the details.

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I started by painting most of my nails with Radiant.

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For the clownfish stripes, I used white acrylic paint to form the basic shape, layered it with white polish to give it a more even texture and shine, and then I outlined the white sections with a striping brush dipped in black acrylic paint.

You might be wondering why I applied white acrylic paint first rather than painting white polish directly onto my nails.  In my experience, layering polishes over each other causes the colors to bleed, even if the base color is dry.  The thicker the coat, the more the bottom color melts into the top one.  Acrylic paint does not have that effect because it simply dries as a separate layer on top of the nail polish.  Had I only used white nail polish, there would have been a good chance of it turning slightly orange or getting slightly streaked with the other color.

Also, white polish is not a one coat color.  You need to apply it at least twice over an area to get decent opacity, so it was easier to use acrylic paint to get the opacity right off the bat without making a total mess.

The clownfish stripe design is also awesome for beginner nail artists because the lines don’t have to be so precise.  It just looks like a mod pattern from afar.  Also, the black lines on a clownfish aren’t exactly the same width, so it’s easy to forgive any variances in thickness in the painting.

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I didn’t try to exactly copy the pattern of the fish in this photo, but you get the idea.

I only painted Nemo on my thumb because I wasn’t going to do a full set of characters from the movie.

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I started by painting my thumb with Zing, then I painted a rough outline of where Nemo would go with white acrylic paint. I used Radiant to color in the section orange, outlined the entire shape with black acrylic paint, added the stripe and eye details with white acrylic paint, and finished by painting in the rest of the face and fin details with a dotting tool and a small brush.

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A good clear top coat seals all the layers together and smooths out everything to a fine polished finish.

Nemo is just the cutest!  And yes, I own a plushie of him.  🙂

Just keep swimming, lovelies!  Happy polishing!