Spring Floral Thermal Manicure

I love spring’s soft pastel colors and seeing trees blossoming everywhere. While everyone else is doing cute Easter manicures, I’m reveling in some sophisticated floral patterns.

I started by painting my nails with 2 coats of Born Pretty’s BP-GT02 Cloud of Purple Sky thermal polish. It looks like a breath of fresh air with its shimmery lilac and platinum tones and forms the perfect gradient for flower petals for this manicure.

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Cloud of Purple Sky from Born Pretty is lilac purple when cold and platinum silver when warm.

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Icy Winter Flower Manicure

Good morning, everyone!  It’s a cold winter day here in NYC as we have just had our first major snowfall of the season.  What better way to spend the day than painting nails?

Today’s manicure consists of cool tones to reflect the season.

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From left to right: Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black, Regina by Julep, and Need for Speed by Formula X for Sephora.

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I first painted all my nails silver with Need for Speed.

I wanted to reverse stamp some flowers onto my base color, so I used the plate below from Born Pretty to do the job.

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Plate BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.

After stamping the image (I used the one from the top row, 3rd from the right) with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black, I used a dotting tool to fill in the flower petals with Regina by Julep.

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Reverse stamping.

I waited a little bit for the polish to dry on the stamper before transferring the image to my nails.  I repeated this process until all my nails were stamped.  This particular image was so wide that I was able to stamp two nails at a time without a problem.  Then again, my nails are pretty short right now.

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All done!

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I love how the pink polish shimmers just the right amount.

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Reverse stamping can be a little time consuming, but thanks to the width of the image and my stamper, I completed the manicure in half the normal amount of time.  Yay!

Stay warm, and be safe out there!  Happy polishing!

Classy White Pearl Iridescent Gel Nails

Due to my very hands on side job, my nails have been a wreck lately.  Peeling, breaking, dry- just name it and it probably describes in what kind of condition my nails are.  I heard that gel polish can really help protect natural nails while they grow out, and although I never thought that I would take that plunge, I decided to do it anyway…  at least in part.

The big dilemma is that being a nail art blogger, it’s hard to commit to just one shade of polish for a long period of time.  When gel polish is applied correctly, the manicure can last for weeks, and that just doesn’t cut it in the nail art world!  As much as I would like to take a bit of a break, I feel compelled to try to produce something at least once a week.  So what’s a girl to do?

I thought that a white base would serve my purposes the best.  It intensifies whatever color you paint on top of it, so it was a pretty good trade off.  Plus I could try out one of my new chrome pigment powders on top of it to give it a pearly look.

With a good gel application, thorough preparation is key.  I began by lightly removing the shine from my natural nails by filing the surface with the coarse side of a buffing block.  After brushing away the dust, I put on a coat of Nail Tek Step One primer.  It is essentially alcohol with some additives, so you can also simply wipe your nails down with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad.  Once the alcohol evaporated, I applied a thin coat of Structure base coat from Red Carpet Manicure and cured it under a light.

I made a jelly sandwich by using regular nail polish over the gel base and sealing it in with a gel top coat.  I own one gel polish color right now, but I have hundreds of bottles of regular nail polish, so it would be a shame not to use part of my extensive collection!  My white base this time was wild white ways by essence.

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This white polish was opaque in just two coats, and contrary to the name, you do not need a light to cure the polish.

Because I was using regular nail polish, I had to wait for a bit to make sure the polish dried fully before I applied gel top coat.  I used Born Pretty Store Soak-off Gel Polish top coat for this manicure.

After curing the top coat, I applied my magical shimmery fairy dust, otherwise known as Born Pretty Store Chrome Pigment #585, with a sponge applicator.

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Pretty iridescent magic in a jar!

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Whoever came up with the saying that you can’t wear white after Labor Day obviously never meant the iridescent kind!

I applied another layer of gel top coat over this and cured it.  This means that beautiful pearly white gets sealed in until I officially remove my gel polish!

These nails already look fit for a bride, but I jazzed it up with an accent nail by stamping a floral design from Harunouta plate L009 onto my ring finger.

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Any one of these patterns would look lovely over a white base, but I chose a bunch of flowers from the right side of the plate for this manicure.

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The stamping polish used is Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

To allow myself the ability to be able to change up my nails, I applied Seche Vite top coat over the stamped nail.  The next time I want to paint my nails, I can easily remove only the stamped portion without affecting the base color.  This is also a great hack for those who like to stamp because you can erase any bad transfer jobs by using regular nail polish remover with a cotton pad, and you won’t have to start over from scratch.

Photographing how beautiful these nails are was quite difficult as the color changes in different light settings, so I’m humoring you with a few different shots.

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Hope you enjoyed this look!  Happy polishing!

Review of Konad Special Nail Polish #24 (Flash Black)

If you’re into stamping nail art, you have Konad to thank for that.  It’s safe to say that the original innovator of the technique is a trustworthy brand.  I’ve generally had good experiences with their stamping polish in the past, but I wanted to try one of their newest colors to see if there have been any changes made to the formula.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black.

What I love about this color is that it is a shimmery black, so it has more dimension to it.  Konad does offer a standard black color if this isn’t your thing.

The bottle is the same shape throughout the brand.  There is 11 mL of polish inside, so there is a little bit less than what you would typically get in a regular bottle.

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The brush is a little on the thin side, but you won’t need to use a lot of polish when you’re stamping. Just swipe one line of polish at the top of the design, scrape off the excess, and you’ll be good to go.

The formula looks to be the same as the original one.  It is not extra thick and has a regular nail polish consistency.  With some stamping polishes, it is not practical to use them as a stand alone polish color because they are so viscous, but this one paints like a dream and gives full coverage in one coat.  You could easily give yourself an entirely Flash Black mani, and no one would know that you used stamping polish.

The extra benefit is that because this is a stamping polish, it dries quickly and only requires one coat for full opacity.  As a stand alone color, this is great for people who are on the run.

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Stamping done with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and Born Pretty Store BP-L005 plate over the following colors (left to right): White Hot from Sephora by OPI, City-Pretty Rose by Nicole by OPI, Make A Change by Nicole by OPI, and one coat of Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. Top picture is without top coat applied, bottom picture is with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Over each of the base colors, the Konad polish performed exceptionally well.  There is a good contrast between Flash Black over light and dark bases, and you can see more of a shimmer in the color once the top coat is applied.

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The shimmer in the formula compliments glittery holo polish well as seen in this chevron accent nail mani.

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I also used it for the same reason in this half-stamped/half-hand painted chessmen manicure.

Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black is perfect for your stamping needs, and everyone should have a good black stamping polish in their arsenal.  This is definitely it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping polish (retail price is $12.06 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off any regular priced items in your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/11ml-flash-black-konad-nail-stamping-polish-professional-stamping-polish-p-24402.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Fishnet Stockings and Leg Garter Manicure

I can’t believe I’ve been doing nail art for over four years, and I’ve never done any overtly sexy or suggestive!  To get your mojo flowing, I used fishnet stockings as the inspiration for this manicure.

The whole process is very easy if you have the right tools.  I started off with a nude color polish.

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This color is called Let’s Plié from Sephora by OPI, a pale peachy pink with a touch of shimmer in it.

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I used plate BP-X03 from Born Pretty Store for the patterns in this manicure.

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I stamped the fishnet design on all my nails with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black. My index finger does not look as shiny because it does not have top coat on it yet.

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I stamped the bow design from the lower right hand side of the plate and colored it in with Shopping Frenzy from Sephora by OPI using the brush from the bottle. If you need more accuracy, feel free to use a detail brush or a dotting tool.

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Because I colored in the design on the stamper, I simply waited for the polish to dry and then stamped it onto my ring finger.

It’s pretty simple to be sexy!  Happy polishing!

Chessmen Nails

Ever since I painted this design, people have been asking me if I play chess.  The short answer is no, although I vaguely remember the basic rules from when I was taught them a long time ago.  The last time I did any sort of chess game was online with a friend in the late 90s.  My claim to fame was beating my brother, who is nine years older than me, shortly after he taught me how to play the game at the age of 7.  I know he didn’t let me win because he wasn’t too happy about that one!

The inspiration for my chess themed nails comes from the checkerboard pattern on plate Qgirl-046 from Ya Qin An.

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I used the checkerboard print at the top of the plate for this manicure.

In retrospect, I would have painted the checkerboard by hand to get the lines more exact and consistent, but I didn’t have a lot of time to paint that night.  More about that in a bit.

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I started out by painting my nails with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer. Honestly, who doesn’t like a good holographic polish?

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I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black to do the stamping. Of course, I bumped my nail against something and was too lazy to fix it, so I left the damage there. After all, I knew I was going to paint over it anyway.

I want to also point out that it’s super hard to get a checkerboard pattern like this one all even and precise if you use a squishy stamper.  The softer head makes it easy to stamp over curvy nail beds, but it also distorts the pattern as it transfers.  So you can see the difference, I used my Konad stamper on my ring finger, but I didn’t scrape the plate very well so it picked up everything.  It’s funny because I’m so used to other stampers being more forgiving in that sense.

In any case, I know I did a hack job of the stamping, but it’s only the background so…

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I took a small brush and used craft smart acrylic paint in White to paint the basic shapes of the chess pieces. I decided on painting two pawns, a king, a queen, and a knight, which sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

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To make the pieces stand out, I outlined each piece with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. I also used the black paint to fill in any weird spots in the checkerboard print.

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I finished by applying Seche Vite Top Coat.

I was going to use Dazzle Dry Top Coat, but it started smudging my stamping with the first stroke, so I quickly changed plans.  Just remember that not every top coat will work with every manicure!

Hope you enjoyed reading about how to hide a bad stamping job.  😉  Happy polishing!

Chevron Holographic Mani

Ever since I finished my last manicure, I’ve been eyeing my bottle of Meet Me at the Disco from Sephora by OPI.  Technically the bottle says it’s a top coat, but I wanted to slather it all over my nails because of its beautiful holo glitter.

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Silvery holographic goodness from Meet Me At the Disco by Sephora by OPI.

Because Meet Me At the Disco is supposed to be a top coat, the density of glitter in the polish is a little on the thin side in order to let a base color show through.  In order to not have 10 layers of polish on my nails, I applied it with a makeup sponge so that the excess fluid would get absorbed by the sponge.  Pretty crafty, eh?  Glitter can get chunky in places with that kind of application, so I did end up brushing on an extra two coats of polish straight from the bottle to even out the texture.

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Obligatory out of focus picture to photograph the holographic effect. It’s hard to take pictures of holo polish!

For an accent nail, I stamped a chevron pattern onto my ring finger with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and plate BM-423 from Bundle Monster.

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Easy chevron nail art accomplished!

Hope you’re having a great summer so far!  Happy polishing!