Review of Clavuz Gel Top Coat and Base Coat Set

I’ve been working with a lot of gel polish lately because my Cindy hand (dominant hand, short for Cinderella- the one that does all the work and gets none of the recognition) gets abused at work, and I need polish that will stay put and protect my nails. This gel base coat and top coat from Clavuz was a cheap find at Amazon and really worked wonders. Keep reading for the full review!

This base and top coat set comes packaged in a box set, so it makes an awesome gift for your fellow nail art obsessed friend who loves gel polish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on a lot of wish lists!

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The back of the box has instructions for how to use these items to produce a “14 Day Manicure.”

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Continue reading

Sandy Beach Nails

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through August already! I have no idea how time has been flying by. To be honest, I did these nails 2 weeks ago but am only just now starting to catch up with my blog.

In any case, I still haven’t been to the beach this summer because I’ve been so busy. The closest I can get to one is through some nail art.

I started by painting my nails with Born Pretty Thermal Gel in color BP-5730. I love thermal polishes for their natural gradient effect and also for their ability to entertain me in different temperature settings! This one looks like a pale periwinkle blue in warm temperatures and a deep royal blue in cold temperatures. It also has the perfect sprinkling of two different sized glitters in the formula which truly makes it look more special.

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I applied and cured this polish for about 1 minute and repeated the process for a second coat.

My next step was to create a sandy beach line along the half moon area of my nails.  Continue reading

Review of Born Pretty Holographic Powder and Silicone Brush Set

Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared to be wowed by some holographic goodness in this post.

This set comes from Born Pretty Store, and it includes approximately 1 gram of beautiful, luscious, and stunning holographic powder in a cute diamond-like plastic container, a small sponge tipped applicator, and a double ended silicone brush.  The pigment and the sponge applicator are inside a Ziploc sealed baggie while the silicone brush is in its own plastic sleeve.

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So holographic! Even the baggie is imprinted with holographic foil.

The powder itself is very finely milled.  It is reminiscent of the many chrome pigment powders that are on the market right now.  These tiny particles are much smaller than normal glitter and will adhere to gel top coat to form a mirror reflective surface.  It may look very drab and boring in the container, but just wait until you see it in action.

The brush handle is imprinted with the Born Pretty logo.  If you’re wondering what all that blue stuff is in the handle, they are loose faceted beads.  They add to the cute factor of this set.

There are two different brush tips on the handle, both of which are pliable.  The silicone brush has the same kind of give to it as a Konad stamper.  Makes you wonder if you can use a stamper to apply this powder, although you will not have the same kind of precision using a stamper head that you will have using this brush.

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The two different ends of the Born Pretty silicone brush.

You will notice that one end is tapered and chiseled equally on both sides while the other end has a curved nib.  The former is more flexible than the latter due to the different thicknesses of the tips, but both will apply the holographic pigment just as well.  I found that using the curved end was especially useful because it works with the curve of the nail in covering more surface area at once.  Both tips will give you more precision in getting the powder exactly where you want to apply it.

In any case, you will need to prepare your nails with some gel polish before you can apply the powder.  If you don’t have a colored gel polish, you can paint your nails with a regular nail polish, allow it to dry completely, then apply a gel top coat and cure it fully.  The set does not come with the top coat, but I used one purchased separately from Born Pretty for this review.

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Nails painted with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and Born Pretty Store Soak Off Gel Polish top coat.

I used the silicone brush to buff the powder into the cured top coat, and WOW.  Just a little bit of powder goes a long way.

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Holographic crack! Just a little bit of powder will transport you into this psychedelic world.

I find that the silicone brush and the sponge applicator work equally well with this product.  The brush does have the advantage of never wearing out, whereas the sponge applicator will need to be replaced after a few uses.  Also, the brush has a more professional look, so if you have paying clients, the brush will look like a more legitimate tool.

All that’s left to do is dust off the excess powder, apply another layer of gel top coat to seal the deal, and you’re ready to dazzle the world with your nails!

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Color shifting was never so easy!

The holographic effect is so strong that you won’t have to struggle to photograph the results.  Those of you who have tried to take pictures of holographic polishes will know how difficult it can be to capture the beauty of the effect.  You can see the resulting rainbows in practically any light setting, and the camera catches them perfectly.

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I jazzed up my digits with some zebra stripes. As if the holographic goodness wasn’t good enough!

Some may wonder if the color of the polish underneath affects the results.  The short answer is somewhat.  The powder is so pigmented and covers so well that only a hint of the base color can be seen.  You will definitely end up with a mostly silver colored holo.

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Swatches over b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black, crimson red, and white. I also tested it over only the gel top coat. Please excuse the discoloration of my nail! :O

This holographic powder and brush set is my favorite nail art acquisition to date.  This stuff has a stronger holographic effect than pretty much any other holographic polish that I have tried.  Judging by how little product I had to apply to get full coverage, this little jar will last me quite a long time with the added bonus of me never having to worry about the ingredients expiring.  It is also just plain gorgeous and easy to use, and who wouldn’t like that?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic powder and silicone brush set (retail price is $17.99 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-rainbow-laser-glitter-powders-with-silicone-brush-manicure-nail-decoration-p-34834.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Review of Born Pretty Store Iridescent Chrome Powder #585

Have you jumped on the chrome powder bandwagon yet?  It’s so easy to fall in love with these powders, and they’re so affordable, too!

Today’s review is on an iridescent chrome powder from Born Pretty Store in color 585.  In all honesty, I couldn’t remember which color I ordered, so when I saw this beauty in the packaging, I thought it was for white iridescent nails.  More on this in a bit.

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Approximately one gram of Born Pretty Store chrome powder #585 is contained in a cute small plastic faceted jar with a Styrofoam seal covering the opening to prevent leakage. It also comes with a small sponge tip applicator and a holographic Ziploc bag.

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Open the jar and you will find the prettiest iridescent snow powder inside.

This powder consists of super fine glitter particles that change colors in the light.  It basically looks white in color with hints of pink, purple, and green.  It is ultra sparkly and really beautiful.

If you’ve used the classic silver chrome powder before, you’ll know that this powder works best with a gel top coat, so this is what I used to try out the product.

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After applying and curing a gel top coat over white polish, I applied some of the powder to my index finger. The color is iridescent and sparkly and apparently hard to photograph well.

The best part about these powders is that you don’t need to use a lot to get the effect to show.  I rubbed in a tiny bit of the powder with the sponge applicator from the kit, and the effect was instantaneous.

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Pearly white nails.

There is a bit of a mirror effect with this powder, as you can see in the photo below.

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Shot in natural sunlight outdoors, you can see the iridescent color shift more clearly.

My one critique is that some of the glitter particles in the powder don’t totally disappear into the gel top coat, so you do not get a totally smooth and uniform color effect.  I have heard that the best results happen when you apply the powder while your nails are still warm from the lamp light, but I do think that some of the glitter is on the chunky side.  No one will notice this though because your nails will look so chic!

It wasn’t until after I checked the link for the product on the website (listed at the end of this post) that I realized that the effect of the powder was to turn your nails into a chrome green color, which made sense because the other powders suggest that you use them over black polish.  I still maintain that the pearlescent white from my first try is a beautiful way to use the product.

Over black polish and a cured gel top coat, the powder turns a deep hunter green.

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The same #585 powder applied over black nail polish and a cured gel top coat.

The mirror effect is even more pronounced over the black base, and there is more of a gold to dark green color shift.  It’s amazing how the same powder can look completely different!

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I stamped on an accent nail with some gold polish to complement the pigment’s multichrome undertones.

The only other materials you need to get these nails are the powder, a curing lamp, and a gel top coat.  If you already do your own gel nails, you’re on your way to having some stunning nails with not much effort needed.  If you need a lamp, you can buy one from Born Pretty along with the powder.  Shipping from them is always free.  Try it out and see how amazing this product works first hand!  I guarantee that people will notice your nails.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this chrome pigment and top coat set (retail price is $7.99 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-shinning-chameleon-mirror-nail-glitter-powder-gorgeous-nail-chrome-pigment-glitters-p-30738.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

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!