American Flag French Manicure

If you’re in America, there’s no doubt that you knew it was Independence Day recently. Whether you were having a barbecue, watched fireworks either live or on TV, or just saw a lot of red, white, and blue decor everywhere, there’s no way you totally forgot about the holiday. And if you’re a nail blogger, there’s almost no excuse for you to go out without some sort of appropriate manicure!

Seeing as I did a patriotic manicure fairly recently, I wanted to create a more subtle look this time around. The idea was to do a flag French tip design over a nude base. If my nail beds were in better shape (they’re looking super sad right now after a bad reaction to too much UV light and acetone exposure from all the gel polish swatching that I’ve been doing), I would have left my real nails exposed for a “negative space” look, but I needed to use some sort of foundation to cover up the damage. Good thing I have a nice collection of nude pink colors from which to choose! I selected Privacy Please from OPI for this manicure. It’s sheer, but it’s a little streaky (maybe due to age), so I applied 3-4 coats to each nail to even out the color.

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This lovely blush pink shade hides your nail imperfections in 3-4 coats.

While my polish dried, I prepared a stamper with the flag design from the Konad m45 stamping plate. This was one of the first plates I ever bought, and I remember wondering how on earth you could produce a true red, white, and blue flag image with it. Now that I’m more experienced, I know how to do these things!

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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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“Ugly” Winter Sweater Nail Art

Here’s a somewhat simple winter mani you can try. I’m filing this one under “medium” difficulty only because stamping straight lines is a little bit of a nightmare, so we’re going to cheat and use gel polish as a base.

I started out by using Aimeili Gel Polish in #110 Prunus Persica. This is a somewhat lavender toned dusky rose color, and it’s a little on the sheer side. I applied 3 layers, each cured for one minute in a UV/LED lamp.

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Review of Beauty Big Bang Silver Stamping Nail Polish

I love the look of metallic colors with stamping, so today’s review covers a silver nail polish from Beauty Bigbang.

The item comes inside cardboard packaging that lists all the appropriate details for the item such as the ingredients, color, and the SKU number on the Beauty Bigbang website. It also has its birthday and expiration date (always listed as 2 years later, even though you and I both know we own polishes that are way older than that and are still usable) printed on the side of the box.

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The cylindrical bottle design is simple and sturdy with a cap that is easy to hold.

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Inside you will find 9 mL of a highly pigmented metallic silver varnish. What is probably most noteworthy upon opening the bottle is the strong smell of the formula! You will definitely want to use this in an area with good ventilation.

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Review of Beauty Big Bang Stamping Plates and Stamper Kit

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your favorite nail art loving buddy or even for yourself? You will love the selection that this kit from Beauty Big Bang has whether you are new to nail art or a seasoned pro!

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How beautiful is this nail mail?

There are 12 pieces total in this awesome set. You get a stamper, a scraper, and 10 random circular plates with assorted designs. The downside is that you don’t get to select what designs you will receive, but I loved the surprise of opening the package and seeing what arrived.

Each plate comes inside a resealable plastic bag. The front of the bag is clear so that you can see the images on the plate. Storing the plate inside the original packaging is recommended so that the surface does not get scratched from rubbing against other plates or objects.

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Basic instructions are printed on the back of the packaging.

The instructions aren’t very thorough as they don’t cover the first steps of stamping, such as removing the plastic layer from the plate, applying nail polish to the design, and scraping away the excess before transferring the image to the stamper. Seasoned pros won’t need the tutorial, but if you are purchasing this kit for a beginner, the recipient might be very confused as to what to do.

I think it’s very unfortunate that they do not mention the part about removing the plastic layer from the plates first because the plastic is clear and not easily noticed. Also, trying to find a free edge to pull the plastic away is a little tricky, although I find that using an orange stick helps with this.

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You can pick away at the edge of the plate to lift enough of the plastic layer to remove it easily.

As for the plates themselves, I think they are made by Blink, but they are clearly inspired by Konad. The etching is done very well, and the quality is top notch. As mentioned previously, you don’t get to pick which plates you will receive, but I loved the assortment of designs. Here are the 10 plates that were in my package: Continue reading

Green and Gold Oriental Dressing Screen Manicure

With all the holiday activities going on lately, I have hardly had any time to do my nails.  In the interest of getting things done quickly, I resorted to stamping to get me through this busy period.

People most commonly think of doing red manicures around this time, so I decided to buck the trend and do green and gold for something different.  There are some gorgeous emerald green shades out there that don’t get enough of a shout out, and Emer from Julep is a fine example of one.

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I began by painting Emer from Julep on all my nails except for my ring finger, on which I used Masked Beauty from Finger Paints.

For the stamping, I used plated BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.  It’s more of a springtime plate, but I wanted to do a dressing screen type of theme, so this suited my purpose perfectly.

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BP-L046 from Born Pretty Store.

The stamping was done with Konad Special Nail Polishes in Black and Gold.  The patterns that I used are from the bottom left hand corner of the plate.

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It’s easy to see the Oriental influence with the pattern and color scheme here.

While understated, it still feels festive for the season but classy.

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Hope you enjoyed this simple look.  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!