Review of Born Pretty Store Clear Stamper and Scraper Set

I wanted one of these stampers from the moment I found out they existed.  If you’ve ever needed to place your stamping perfectly on a part of your nail, you can understand the struggle of not being able to see how to line up the design.  This crystal clear stamper solves that issue and really is a pleasure to work with.

This stamper and scraper set is from Born Pretty Store, where the merchandise is cheap and the shipping is free.  It did take over a month to arrive from Singapore, but the wait was worth it!

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This set comes packaged in a plastic resealable bag and is completely unbranded.

I love that the handle and the scraper are translucent plastic to match the clear stamper.

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So clean and clear! What a pair!

The handle has several grooved indentations running along the length of it to provide some grip, and the stamper head is removable.  I’m hoping that extra clear heads will be available for purchase someday so that making decals is super easy.  In any case, the head is held into the base securely and will not fall out on its own.

The head itself is squishy yet firm.  It is not as soft as a marshmallow stamper, but it is not so firm that it is not flexible.  It definitely has enough give where you can simply push the stamper straight down onto your nail bed to transfer the design.

Better than anything is how this stamper does not need any priming!

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Great first impressions, no priming necessary.

The scraper is hard plastic and does what it’s supposed to do.

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The scraper looks like it doesn’t work, but it does a great job.

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Another perfectly transferred image.

Of course, thanks to the hollow handle and the clear stamp head, you can see perfectly through the tube to the surface you will be stamping.  This also means that any color of nail polish that you use will be fully visible.  If you’ve ever tried to use white polish on a white stamper head, you will know how important this is.

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How awesome is that view from the opposite end?

It makes applying a specific part of a design very easy.

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The flower lined up exactly where I wanted it to be on my nail.

Double stamping is also a breeze if you want to add a second color on top of an image, like I did in my Easter lily manicure.

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Imagine the possibilities of adding multiple colors to any one of your favorite stamping plate designs!

You can also make nail decals directly on the stamper head using reverse stamping techniques.

Then you can go back and add even more color to your stamping like I did for my springtime floral mani.

I can’t stress how in love I am with this stamper and scraper set.  I’ve never had such a pleasurable experience with a stamper before.  The fact that it doesn’t need priming instantly makes it deserve a top rating in my book, but the ease with which you can place your designs accurately on your nails really takes the cake.  Anyone who enjoys stamping should own one of these!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamper and scraper set (retail price is $4.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/2pcsset-clear-jelly-nail-stamper-crystal-clear-silicone-nail-stamper-scraper-p-24059.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Springtime Floral Manicure

Ever have one of those days where you drop your nail polish brush and get polish on your pants and your camera and then find out that you smudged your nails in the process of trying to keep the brush from falling?  Yeah, that was me when I was trying to do this manicure.  I think I must be more burned out than I thought I was!

In any case, I love springtime because of all the beautiful flowers everywhere.  It started with seeing daffodils sprout up all over the place, but now the trees are also in full bloom.  It’s great that I have so many plates of floral patterns to match!

I decided to use plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store for this manicure.

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Flowers upon flowers! I used the image in the top row, 3rd from the right.

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Color palette for the day (left to right): Peace, Love & Green by Finger Paints, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12, Cab Fare by Sephora by OPI, Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #10, and b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

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I started out by painting my middle and ring finger nails with Cab Fare and the other three nails with Peace, Love & Green

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After allowing the polish to dry, I applied gold striping tape to the tips of the green nails.

I wanted to get away with stamping the flowers on my nails without having to color in anything, but I wouldn’t have had a nice enough contrast in the design, so I had to make nail decals to color in the petals with white polish.

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I used Born Pretty Stamping Polish #10 to transfer the design to a stamper.

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With a small dotting tool, I colored in the flower petals with white stamping polish (used for its opacity).

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After applying a layer of clear top coat over the whole design and letting it dry, you can peel the nail decal off the stamper.

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After trimming down the decals to fit my nail beds, I applied another coat of clear polish over the yellow polish before placing the decals on top of my nails.

For the final step, I took advantage of my clear stamper to add green stamping polish over the stems and leaves of the pattern.

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I started by stamping the entire image with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #12.

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Using Scotch tape, I removed the flowers from the design. I had to be quick so that the polish wouldn’t stick to the stamper, so I couldn’t be more precise about preserving every detail that I wanted to be green.

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The clear stamper makes it much easier to line up the design over the existing one.

I know it wasn’t a perfect transfer, but it created a bit of a 3D effect as one of my friends pointed out.  Besides, how gorgeous does that look?  The contrasting white and green polish over the orange and yellow really makes the flowers and leaves stand out.

I’m still trying to find time to finish my taxes, but I hope to have more posts up soon!  One day at a time for me for now.

Happy polishing!

St. Patrick’s Day Nails

I’m still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day, how about you?  Sorry for the late post, but you’ll have this tutorial ready for the next time you want to show some Irish pride!

It’s been awhile since I tried doing any kind of water marbling, and I felt like maybe I could make a nice cloverleaf pattern by using that technique.  I can’t stand the mess of cleaning up my nails with the tradition dunking method associated with water marbling, so I tried making decals this time around, which worked great.

I chose a nice assortment of green nail polishes for the marbling, and I threw in a glittery gold polish for good luck.

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Finger Paints Nail Color works exceptionally well for water marbling. From left to right: Masked Beauty, Monet Money, Peace, Love & Green, and Grassy Knoll.

To make the decals, I used a small plastic cap to hold the water and dropped in my colors one at a time.  Because my cap has a 1.5 inch diameter, it doesn’t take many rings to get the colors nicely packed.

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I work on a miniature scale. It takes only 12 drops of polish to get this bullseye to form.

I used a toothpick to bring the outside rings of the bullseye to a point in the middle.

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Not my most perfect water marble, but I repeated these steps a few times so I could pick and choose which decals looked the best.

I blew on the surface of the water to help the polish dry a little more before picking up the image with a large stamper.

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You can choose to stamp this directly onto your nails, but I set my stamper aside to allow the polish to dry to turn this into a nail decal.

After waiting a few minutes, the water marbled polish is ready to be peeled off the stamper head.  If it doesn’t lift easily, allow the polish to dry some more.  Having multiple stampers makes this process easy because as one decal is drying, you can make another water marble pattern to be picked up with a different stamper.

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After allowing the polish to dry, you should be able to peel off the layer. In this way, you can pick the best looking part of the pattern to use on your nail without making any mess.

I made several decals, although I only needed four of them in the end.

The process for the application is fairly easy.  I cut out the portion of the decal that I wanted to use and trimmed it to fit my nail.

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I do a rough cut of the decal before I trim it down to fit my nail.

I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI as a base color under the water marble.  I only used one coat of polish, and it doesn’t have to be opaque because the water marble will cover it up.  White helps the colors pop.

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One coat of White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

While the polish is still tacky, apply your decal and set it with clear top coat.

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I put the water marble design on my middle and ring fingers to form the shape of a cloverleaf.

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Extra supplies for part 2: White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Recollections Signature Glitter in Emerald.

I really wanted sparkly green nails, but I don’t own a green glitter polish, so I made my own with the following steps.

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I painted my nail with Monet Money from Finger Paints.

While the polish was still wet, I poured on green glitter.  I used a fan brush to sweep away the excess.

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Emerald glitter made by Recollections.

I then took Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and brushed on about 2-3 coats over the glitter so that it formed a smooth surface.  I wouldn’t have minded having some texture, but I wanted to paint belt buckles on top of the glitter.

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Sparkly emerald green nails!

To form the belt, I used the striping brush from Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black to make two parallel lines and filled in the section.

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My glitter just got black barred.

Using a detail brush and Masked Beauty, I painted a thin gold line above and below the black section and connected them to form the square buckle.

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Add some top coat, and you’re done!

It took awhile to finish this, but I love the results.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Happy polishing!

Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast At Tiffany’s Inspired Nails

I have been hanging onto these Audrey Hepburn water decals for the longest time now, so I wanted to finally use them in a manicure.

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YE-261 water decals from Born Pretty Store.

This manicure is so simple to do once you have the decals.  I started out by picking out which ones I wanted to use and cut around my selections with a small pair of scissors.

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My left hand and right hand decal choices. The words have some typos (“beauliful” and “Angd an eaeth” should read “beautiful” and “Angel on earth”), but no one really notices that they are misspelled unless they look closely.

I also prepared a small container of water in which I could soak the decals later.

For the polish colors, I wanted white nails for the decals and black nails for contrast.

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Left: Johnny by Julep. Right: Alpine Snow by OPI.

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Does anyone else feel like playing Othello after seeing this?

I worked with the decals one at a time, first soaking the decal in water for about 10 seconds before sliding it off the paper backing, applying it to my nail, and blotting it dry with a napkin.

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Underwater Audrey.

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The decal can float on the surface of the water after you slide it off the paper backing.

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The final decal layout.

I wanted to add some pearl studs to liven up the black nails.  After all, Holly Golightly wears quite an impressive pearl necklace along with her iconic black dress.

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Pearl rhinestone decoration wheel from Born Pretty Store.

I opted to use two different sizes of pearls to mimic the necklace, so I placed a larger sized pearl in the center of my nail and flanked each side with a smaller pearl.  I used Kiss Nail Art Glue to secure the beads.

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The finished look. Of course I made sure that Audrey had her tiara on for her closeup.

I know using water decals is kind of cheating for a nail artist, but I really loved the artwork and couldn’t resist buying these.  I don’t think I’ve used water decals since I was in junior high (trust me, that was quite a long time ago), so it was great to see how much more advanced the artwork has become.

In any case, classy ladies will love this manicure, and if you have any friends who are fans of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, these decals make a great gift.  Using code RSSPX31 will save you 10% off any regular priced items in your order from Born Pretty Store.  Happy polishing!

Stained Glass Suncatcher Manicure

I recently played for a small production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, a lovely yet heartbreaking one act opera whose cast consists mostly of nuns.  Appropriate to the libretto, the performance took place inside a church, so my inspiration for the week were the stained glass windows there.

If I had more time, I would have hand painted the framework for the glass panels, but I was already going to be sleep deprived doing the stamping for this design.  The two plates I used for this manicure were BM-402 from Bundle Monster and BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store.

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BM-402 from Bundle Monster assisted me for one of the stained glass patterns. I used the design at the topmost position for two of my nails.

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BPL-005 from Born Pretty Store has an assortment of patterns, but I chose the one on the bottom row, 2nd from the left to put on my thumbnail.

The Infinite Ombré set from Formula X was perfect to color in the patterns because the gel tints have the ability to be layered over each other to create other colors.  Because I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, I chose to put stained glass patterns on 3 out of 5 nails on each hand and paint the other two nails black.

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Colors for this manicure include the following: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, Platinum Prime by Formula X, Black lace by Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 Day Shine, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Formula X gel tint colors in Boundless Berry, Limitless Lemon, and Timeless Teal.

I planned to turn the design from plate BM-402 into a mirror image so that it would fill two nails, so I allotted space for this on my middle and ring fingers.

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Prepping the canvas with Black lace and Platinum Prime.

The idea was to make the circular part of the pattern from BM-402 look as if it were the sun casting out rays of light, so I stamped one nail with the circular part facing the nail that will picture the inversion of the same design.

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One part stamped, one more to go.

To make the mirror image, I couldn’t just turn the design upside down because there is a slight variance between the top and bottom halves of the pattern.  Instead, I chose to make a nail decal with a form of reverse stamping.  After stamping the image, I brushed clear coat over the design, waited for it to dry, and then I removed the dry polish from the stamper with tweezers and cut the piece down to the approximate size of my nail.

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Do it yourself nail decals are easy to make once you brush top coat over a stamped image. I used Seche Vite top coat for this and then cut the decal down to size.

The mirror image is the side of the decal that the topcoat was placed on, just in case this isn’t apparent.  I slightly confused myself when I was doing this as well.  Note that if you turn the decal over so that the side that was on the stamper is now facing up, you will end up with the same image as if you directly stamped onto your nail, so that would defeat the purpose of making a decal.

To apply the decal, simply apply clear topcoat over the desired nail and smooth the decal over the nail while it is still wet.

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The mirror image is complete.

All that remained was to color in the empty spaces with the Formula X gel tints.  I made things a little easier for myself by applying a little color theory so that I could layer colors with other colors to get different shades.  Yellow and red make orange and yellow and blue make green, so I was able to paint Limitless Lemon over quite a few areas before overlapping the yellow tint with Boundless Berry and Timeless Teal.  I used the brush from the bottle because I wanted to get things done faster, but you can opt to use a detail brush or dotting tool if you want more precision.

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A delightful suncatcher look made with gel tint colors from Formula X.

I still had a thumb to stamp and color.  Unfortunately, the images on BPL-005 are a bit on the small side compared to Born Pretty Store’s other plates, so it was tricky to get the placement right on the first try.  I used a marshmallow stamper so I could push it down completely over my nail, and I put a dot of black polish on the center of my thumb first so I could line up the dot from the center of the pattern with the dot on my thumb.

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A successfully centered stamped thumbnail which was not very easy to accomplish when the design on the plate was almost the same size as my nail. You can see the raised dot of polish I applied to the middle of the nail so I could position the stamper correctly over it.

I’ve griped about how my squishy head stamper doesn’t transfer images as nicely as my Konad stamper, so you can see that the entire design didn’t make it onto my thumbnail near my cuticle.  I fixed this with Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black.

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With a little help from a striping brush and black polish, you can’t tell that the image didn’t fully transfer the first time around.

After coloring in the sections with the same technique as before, the manicure is done!

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A stained glass inspired suncatcher manicure.

I guess this wasn’t the best choice for a quick manicure, but it looked pretty!  Now to finally get some rest…  I’ve still got rehearsals to attend, but I won’t have a performance until the beginning of next month.  In the meantime, happy polishing!

Flaming Nail Art

I just got a water marble comb from Born Pretty Store and wanted to experiment with it, so my tests inspired me to do some flaming nail art.  After all, summertime is hot, and campfires are pretty common this time of year, so why not have some matching nail art?

The look requires only 3 polishes but needs a lot of prep work.

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Left to right: chelsea by nails inc., Mai Tai by nailtini, and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.

So about that prep work…  I decided to make flame decals with a dry water marble technique.  Never made decals before?  It’s a pretty simple concept.  Just paint nail polish onto some plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag, apply topcoat to it, let it dry, and then you can simply peel the decals off from the plastic wrap and cut them into whatever shapes you want to use.  It’s a bit of a time consuming process, but it gives you more control over the final look.

Because the water marble comb was big and I wanted to make sure I had enough decals to fit my nails plus some room to experiment, I stretched a piece of plastic wrap over a binder and taped the loose ends to the other side to create a large canvas for my artwork.

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My binder has one layer of plastic wrap over it. Try to get all the wrinkles out and make the surface as smooth as possible, or simply use a Ziploc bag.

Next, I painted 2 stripes each of Mai Tai and Life Gave Me Lemons so that the edges of the colors touched each other or at least had very little space in between.  It’s important to paint thick coats of polish so that the comb will be able to more easily marble the colors in the next step.

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Stripes of polish waiting to be combed.

I used a water marble comb to create the marbled effect, but you can also use a toothpick or a dotting tool to drag through the colors of polish one line at a time.

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This water marble comb is available for purchase at Born Pretty Store. Use coupon code RSSPX31 to save 10% off your order.

The fun begins when you comb through the stripes.

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Comb through the polish from left to right to create this pattern.

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Comb back through the gaps of the previously combed parts from right to left to get this pattern.

After getting a design that I liked, I applied Seche Vite topcoat to the entire polished section and let it dry overnight.  This will make the coat thicker and easier to peel away from the plastic wrap.  It probably doesn’t take that long to dry, but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have any problems for the next step.

The next day, I peeled my painted sections away from the plastic wrap.  The removal process was very easy.

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Dried nail polish should lift from the plastic wrap as easily as peeling away a Fruit Roll Up.

I had 5 sections from which to choose for my nail decals.  Experimenting is fun!

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A bounty of dried nail polish swatches.

To finish preparing my nail decals, I trimmed down a side and cut away slivers of polish with nail scissors to make the flame design.  This way I could make sure I used the part of the marbled design that I wanted.

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This nail polish is highly flammable!

To complete the decals, I cut my flames into nail sized sections for application.

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A set of fire decals waiting to be applied.

As for application, these decals need to be placed over wet nail polish in order to adhere properly.  I painted an opaque coat or two of plum black chelsea polish from nails, inc. onto one nail first.

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Still wet polish featuring chelsea from nails, inc.

I used tweezers to pick up a decal and set it where I wanted it to go.

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Laying a dried nail decal on top of wet polish.

Because the nail decals have to be thick in order to peel them away from the plastic, they don’t conform to the curve of the nail bed very easily at first.  Applying topcoat on top of the decal will make it more flexible, and then you can smooth it out evenly on the nail with an orange stick.

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Another coat of clear polish on top of the decal will help to melt it down to allow it to flex over your nail’s surface.

Repeat this process for each nail, then trim away any excess polish and clean up around the cuticles with cotton swabs and nail polish remover.  I used top coat one last time to even the polish out.

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The finished look.

In retrospect, I would have cut the decals a little shorter and made the bottom match the shape of my cuticle so that I didn’t have to do so much clean up afterwards.  It takes a lot of time to make this mani happen, but you can prepare the decals way in advance so that you have fire decals waiting at the ready for whenever you want them.  Experiment and have fun!  Happy polishing!