Review of Beauty Big Bang Cuticle Nipper

Hello! Sorry for disappearing, but life has been crazy, and it’s hard trying to stay on top of a written blog. Definitely find me @finepolish on InstagramFacebook, Tumblr, or Twitter if you want to keep up with all my latest designs!

Today I want to show you an item that I’ve been meaning to get for the longest time that is a necessity for a good nail care routine: cuticle nippers!

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These cuticle nippers from Beauty Big Bang come in a reusable vinyl pouch.

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There’s information on the back of the card along with a bar code for the item. The tip of the scissors is covered with a protective plastic cover.

Yes, I know, everyone says you shouldn’t ever cut your cuticles and only push them back, but while I wouldn’t recommend doing this every time you do your nails, sometimes you get dry bits of skin around your nails that need to be removed. I usually try to trim these bits with either nail scissors or nail clippers, but neither tool does the job as well or efficiently as this!

These nippers are as easy to hold and use as a pair of pliers. The nippers have a default open position, so you only need to squeeze the handles together to cut your target. The handles have just the right amount of tension so that you don’t need a lot of strength to do the trimming, but they don’t immediately close together in your hand.

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What is extra appealing about the tip is how the cutting edge stays flush with your surface, allowing you to trim closely with precision. Care must be taken that you don’t cut into your living skin because the edges are sharp. As the instructions say, clip away small amounts at a time and do this in moderation. It is possible to get an infection if you clip away too much skin, causing an open wound, so please be careful!

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The nippers should be positioned this way as you trim away dead skin.

It is easy to clean away the clipped debris when the tip is open.

 

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View of the cutting edge.

These nippers are made of durable stainless steel and have a beautiful rainbow chrome finish, and can also be used for cutting decals and striping tape, so they make an excellent addition to your nail art toolkit.

 

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this cuticle nipper SKU: J6517TM (retail price is $8.39 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code CHRISS will get you 10% off your order, and Beauty Big Bang offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/products/1pc-beautybigbang-rainbow-stainless-steel-nail-cuticle-nipper-cutter-plier-clipper-scissor-dead-skin-remover-trimming-manicure-nail-art-tool

Check out their deals for Black Friday and their Christmas sale at the link below!

https://www.beautybigbang.com/pages/snowsale

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Review of Born Pretty Water Based Base Coat

Today I’m reviewing a water based clear polish from Born Pretty Store. If you’ve ever worked with nail foils, you will know that people swear by water based top coats to finish off their manicure. Foils are known to shrink and crack when virtually any top coat is applied, ruining their beautiful finish, so I jumped at the chance to get this product when I heard the words “water based” in the formula because I was curious to see just how effective it would be.

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Born Pretty Water Based Base Coat comes in a box labeled with the ingredients on the back.

This must be their generic box because the list looks identical to the one they use with their other polishes.

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For comparison, this bottle and box photo comes from my review of their metallic flake top coat.

As for the formula, it’s clear and on the thinner side but not runny. It smells a little bit like a mix of ammonia and some sort of cleaner, although I can’t put my finger which one. It comes in a 9 mL cylindrical bottle with a good sized flexible brush that can easily paint most nails in 1-2 strokes.

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Continue reading

Review of Born Pretty Peel Off Gel Base Coat

As a nail art blogger, I find that it’s hard to commit to wearing the same polish for an extended amount of time. The durability of gel polish is virtually lost on me as I usually end up taking it off within a day or two. And if you like to swatch gel polishes? You’ve got to be kidding me with that removal process!

This handy gel peel off base coat from Born Pretty Store will make you want to use your gels polishes again. Not only does it cure like a regular gel, but it makes removing your polish afterward super easy instead of spending lots of time soaking and scraping!

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On the outside, the bottle looks like a normal soak off gel base coat, but it really does allow you to peel off your polish afterward!

The bottle holds 10 mL as stated on the outside. This is comparable to most gel polish brands, and you only need to apply one coat for it to work its magic.

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The back of the bottle lists the ingredients. Oddly enough, the “instruction paper” from the directions is nowhere to be found.

I used one layer of base coat over clean nails and cured it for 30 seconds with a LED lamp, and this seemed to work. The formula holds up well and isn’t too runny like some other Born Pretty gels, and the brush was easy to manipulate.

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This base coat is crystal clear and applies smoothly.

When I first tried this product, I still had acrylics on with a layer of gel top coat cured over the acrylic, and there were varying degrees of success with the peel off process.

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A layer of the base coat was applied and cured on top of my acrylic nails.

Continue reading

How To Repair a Broken Nail

Oh, the humanity!  At work, a bunch of things fell off a tall shelf onto me, and in my efforts to protect myself, I broke a nail.  This one was a bad break because it extended into my nail bed, making it pretty much impossible for me to just cut it off.

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Yikes! This was a painful break.

Obviously I couldn’t repair it right away, so I had to protect it with a bandage until I could get home.  If you’re way too lazy to do any of the steps that I’m about to describe below, you can take a larger fake nail and tape it over your own nail so that it keeps objects from pulling the nail off by accident.  You would be surprised at how important nails are at protecting your fingers and how much it hurts when the break catches onto something it shouldn’t have!  So yes, splint your finger until the break grows out long enough to cut it off, or…

YOU CAN REPAIR IT YOURSELF!

All you need are a few items that you probably already have or can easily acquire.

  • Scissors
  • A tea bag
  • Nail glue (or Krazy Glue in a pinch, although I haven’t tried that)
  • A nail buffer (optional)

I forgot to number the photos in the picture below (sorry!), so follow the outer left rim of pictures with the steps listed underneath.

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  1. Start with a bare nail.  Remove the moisture from your nail by either swabbing it with alcohol or acetone.
  2. Use nail glue to seal the crack where the break is.  Let the glue dry completely before proceeding.
  3. Cut a small piece from the tea bag that is big enough to cover the entire area of breakage.  Some people prefer to empty the tea and save the filter just for nail break repairs, but I don’t break my nails often enough to justify keeping that around.  You can discreetly cut along the part of the bag that is folded over at the top near the staple, and you will still be able to use the tea bag for a nice hot beverage later.
  4. Apply the tea bag patch you just cut out in step 3 over the break and glue it into place.  Be sure to cover it completely with the glue.  Let the glue dry completely before adding a second coat of glue over the area.
  5. Use a nail buffer to smooth out any bumps the glue may have left on the surface of your nail.  Don’t over buff or else you will end up removing the patch and will have to start over.

I conditioned my nails with some coconut oil after buffing the surface to bring moisture back.  You can also use olive oil, cuticle oil, or plain lotion, but the idea is to keep the rest of your nail healthy while the break grows out to the point where you can cut it off.  You can definitely paint your nails as normal, and it will look like nothing happened, but do be careful when using acetone to remove the polish as this will also remove some of the glue.

My nail is repaired for now, but the nail bed underneath is still tender.  The nail itself feels hard and strong, though.  Now it’s going to be a waiting game while my nail grows out, but I’m glad I didn’t have to settle for a oddly shaped nail in the meantime!

Happy polishing!

 

FAQ- Secrets Behind A Long Lasting Manicure

Do you complain about any of the following?

My nail polish keeps chipping.
My nail polish peels off.
I can’t get my manicures to last more than a day.

Have I got a post for you!

One of the top concerns that my friends have about DIY manicures is how to make the polish last.  Not everyone has the money to drop at a salon to get their nails done (*cough* especially me), but people claim that their polish comes off way faster when they do their nails at home.  Stop the madness!  This does not have to be the case!  Here are some tips and product endorsements that may make your life easier.  I’m not getting paid to represent any of the companies or products listed in this post, although hey, I’m open to that happening!  😉  But this is what works for me.

  1. Start with clean, dry nails.
    I can’t emphasize this step enough.  Your nails can’t have any oil or residue on them if you want that mani to last.  If you’ve ever had acrylics done, the technician starts by filing down your nail.  Do you know why?  Because filing will take away that top shiny layer that has your skin’s natural oils all over it and will help the acrylic stay put for a longer time.  Same thing goes if you look at a lot of those gel polish pre-wipes.  Most contain 90% isopropyl alcohol which again serves to dry the nail out and strip away any oil on the surface.  Everyone knows that gel polish lasts a long time.  So…
    What should you do at home?  Wipe your nails down with a cotton ball soaked with either pure acetone or 90% isopropyl alcohol.  Forget those special blends of polish remover that have moisturizers or are non-acetone.  If you want the polish to stay, you want to dry out your nails as much as possible first so that your base coat will adhere to your nail bed better.
  2. Use a base coat that dries to a rubbery finish.
    And yes, I would highly recommend using a base coat!  Seeing how porous your nails are going to be with all the natural oils stripped off, you’re going to want a protective layer between your nail and the polish unless you like having stained nails.  I’m not saying that every polish will stain your nails, but if you happen to get one that does, you’re going to be seeing the remnants of that color for a long time if you don’t keep painting your nails.As for what has a rubbery finish, I tend to use Bonder by Orly a lot when I want something to last.  I’ve also had another nail art enthusiast friend recommend Stickey by CND Colour, although I don’t have first hand experience with it.  Both of them have a slightly rubbery, sticky finish, and this is what is going to anchor your polish to your nail bed.
  3. Paint no more than 3 coats of nail polish color onto your nails.
    Thick nail polish is not your friend.  Unless you’re using it for stamping, I would either toss the bottle or add some nail polish thinner to it prior to painting your nails.  Thick nail polish will trap air bubbles in the formula from when you shake it up to mix it, and those bubbles will surface when you paint your nails and won’t look cute at all.Also, the thicker the coat of polish on your nails, the more likely it will crack and chip off.  You want to use as few coats as possible so that the polish will remain somewhat flexible on your nails.  If you can even get away with one coat, more power to you.  2 coats is pretty standard.  3 is pushing the limits.  4 is hot mess territory.
  4. Run a coat of polish along the edge of your nail after you paint it to help prevent chips.
    Chips will almost always start at the tip of your nail, so it helps to seal in the layer of polish by wrapping the color around the edge.  No need to actually paint it on- just swipe your nail against the side of the brush.
  5. Seal in your polish with a good top coat.
    Don’t try to skip this step!  Not only will your polish look nice and glossy, but it will often help to dry your polish faster and keep the color from wearing off too quickly.  My personal fave is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  I use it on practically all of my manicures and pedicures.  It helps bond all the layers of base coat, color, and top coat together, smooths out any weird imperfections (like brush strokes and clumps), and sets quickly.  I tend to do a lot of my manicures at night right before bed, and I have never woken up with a smudged manicure.  This stuff is magical!  Just make sure you also coat the edge of your nail the same way you did in step 4.

And that’s it!  My pedicures last a month without any chips and no reapplication of top coat with that method.  The polish might be able to stay on longer than that, but I don’t know because I usually have to cut my nails at that point.  😉

My manicures could probably last just as long, but I’ve never tested it out because I’m always trying to find an excuse to paint my nails again.  But here’s an example of a manicure I did last summer following the steps above.

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Floral manicure featuring Suzi’s Hungary Again! by OPI and acrylic paint.

Because I thought this mani looked pretty, I decided to keep it for awhile.  After a week, I brushed on another coat of top coat to revive the shine, but I tried out Freedom Polymer Top Coat by Julep (get your first box of polishes free through the link) for the first time that day.  Julep says that you can also cure this top coat with a regular light to add additional protection, so I did that, and 13 days later…

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13 days of looking beautiful and chip free!

You can see the nail growth by my cuticles to show that I wasn’t faking the number of days that this manicure lasted.  There was a little bit of wear at the tips just from everyday living, but everything stayed intact.  I would have kept going, but my fans wanted to see a new manicure.  😉

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The tried and true top coats and base coats mentioned above.

Let it also be said that if you really want your manicure to last, don’t abuse your hands.  Try not to pick at things with your nails or use your nails as tools.  You can also wear gloves when you do the dishes if you’re really concerned about keeping your polish looking pretty.  For the record, I do none of those things.  😉

I hope this helps solve your manicure and pedicure problems!  Let me know what works (or didn’t work) for you in the comments below.  Happy polishing!