Review of Born Pretty Odorless Fast Dry Top Coat

Today’s review is on Born Pretty’s Odorless Fast Dry Top Coat. Typically when a company says that their polish is odorless, it tends to be water based. I’m still not sure how a water based top coat doesn’t wash off, but it’s one of those mysteries that I’m not going to question.

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This top coat is strangely not clear and looks a little milky in the bottle. If you paint it on too thick, you will notice that the color of your polish will don a slightly foggy appearance. However, this polish is true to its word where it has no harsh odor. The formula is on the thinner side which I like because it dries faster that way.

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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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Neon Metallic Floral Print Nails

Happy Mother’s Day! I’m bringing some bright neon floral nails for Mom with this manicure so let’s get started!

I’ve been using a lot of foil lately, so I wanted to try my hand at combining foils with stamping, something that I’ve only done one other time. I picked this pretty shimmery magenta one from a batch I bought from eBay a long time ago, and then I picked colors for my manicure to go along with it.

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This foil comes in a long piece that is placed in a small canister for storage. We’re definitely not using this much for the manicure!

For the stamping, I chose the rose design from the top row, 2nd from the right from the Valentine’s Day BP-L001 plate from Born Pretty Store.

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To make the decals, I applied some HK Girl Top Coat from Glisten & Glow in rectangular sections on top of the silicone Lotus Mat from Bundle Monster and allowed it to dry completely. I then used Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in Purple to transfer the image from the plate to the patch of dried top coat and quickly rubbed the foil over the stamped area. If you are not quick enough, the foil will not stick to the image, and you will have to try it again. This is definitely not an easy process, and you can see that my bottom two tries were more successful than the top two tries. Practice makes perfect!

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When the foil transfers perfectly, the image really shines!

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Review of Born Pretty Nail Foils, Item 41600

Interested in using nail foils? Today’s review covers a set of 12 designs offered from Born Pretty Store. Let’s take a look at the product!

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Set of Born Pretty foils, item 41600.

At first glance, these foils don’t look like anything special. The designs are folded lengthwise in half and placed inside a resealable cellophane bag so you don’t really know what you’re looking at. However, once you display each sheet of foil separately, their beauty becomes apparent.

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12 designs, ranging from lace and flowers to animal prints and some Christmas themed patterns, are included in this package.

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Holographic Animal Print Nails

I’ve got another quick manicure for you today courtesy of some holographic nail foil!

I started by painting my nails a basic black.

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2 coats of What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI create the perfect base color for this manicure.

The foil comes from an assortment from Born Pretty Store. The design I chose for this manicure is shown on the lower left hand side of the picture below.

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Set of 12 holographic foil designs, item 41600 from Born Pretty Store.

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Holographic Foil Spring Concert Nail Art

I have finally returned after a hectic month of taxes and concerts! I’m still quite busy, but I managed to put together some quick nail art in the meantime using nail foils.

I wanted to try out some gel polish from Born Pretty with the expectation that I was going to keep this manicure on for awhile. I used Born Pretty gel base coat, 2 coats of their black Color Coat polish, and a layer of their gel top coat, curing each layer for 1-2 minutes.

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Born Pretty Color Coat gel polish in Black is deliciously shiny and inky.

I can’t get away with wearing solid colors anymore because people expect me to have some sort of nail art on my fingertips. Nail foils are a great way to have a dazzling effect without having to try too hard.

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These foils are just a few of the 12 different designs included in Born Pretty’s item 41600. They are awesomely holographic when they catch the light the right way!

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Review of Beauty Big Bang Nail Foil Glue

How many of you work with nail foils? There are several different ways you can use them- some prefer to stick small pieces of it to their nails with regular glue or nail polish, or you can apply them over slightly wet nail polish and hope that the whole thing doesn’t get ruined when you try to rip a piece of foil off, but the best application process for a full nail design requires a special nail foil glue, something that I’ve never owned until recently.

This glue comes in an unlabeled 10 mL glass bottle and is from Beauty Big Bang.

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The bottle looks like the same kind that is used for striping polishes, but the brush is a normal sized one instead of being long and skinny. It is super convenient to have the glue in a nail polish type bottle because you can apply the glue the same way you would apply a regular coat of nail polish, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning the brush afterward!

The formula applies well, but it does have a bit of a strong chemical smell to it that is unlike any other glue that I have used before. It takes about a minute or two to dry, leaving behind a sticky surface to which the foil can adhere.

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To use it, brush it on over bare nails or over nail polish that matches the color of the foil that you will be using. When no white spots are left, the glue is dry and the foil is ready to be applied.

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Holographic Snowflake Nails

We just had a crazy snowstorm in NYC thanks to a second Nor’easter that came through the area. While the snowfall in the city wasn’t too bad, the driving conditions were absolutely miserable! I got caught in the middle of it in Long Island at a time when the snowfall was at its heaviest, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been so scared to drive in my life. The heavy snowfall and unplowed roads caused my anxiety level to skyrocket, especially after seeing other drivers lose control of their cars.

In any case, you’re here to see nail art, and snow can be really pretty and inspiring in other situations, so here’s a classy look to reflect that.

I started by painting my nails black with Johnny from Julep.

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2 coats of black polish serve as a base for this manicure.

The snowflakes are from a nail foil design from Born Pretty Store, item 22930 on their website. It’s so pretty that I would wallpaper my apartment with it if I could! Use code RSSPX31 to save 10% off the regular priced items in your order there, and get free shipping as well!

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The snowflakes are holographic, and even the black background has a hint of sparkle to it.

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80s Equalizer Nail Art

Today I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and trying a different technique with something I’ve never been great at using: nail foil. Anyone who has experience with it knows that it can be temperamental to use, and even when you get the application right, the wrong top coat can ruin the whole thing and make it look as if it was never there. Yet here I am testing my patience with this material. Off we go!

To start, I painted all my nails black.

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This is stamping polish from b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black. Not sure why it looks textured though- it might be the pigments.

To make the decals, you will need a plastic bag or a silicone mat. I used the Lotus Mat from Bundle Monster for mine. Start by applying swatches of top coat onto your chosen surface. The top coat will serve as the base of your decal. Wait for your top coat to fully dry before you proceed to the next step.

Next, choose a pattern that you want to stamp and transfer it to a swatch of top coat. You must act very quickly to apply a piece of nail foil over the stamped area so that the foil can adhere to the wet polish. Rub over the piece of foil with your finger, then lift the foil quickly, and you should be left with a cool foil embossed pattern.

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For this manicure, I used the pattern in the lower right hand corner of plate BP-L059 from Born Pretty.

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The stamping polish used was the same b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black from my base color. I did this so that it would not look obvious if the foil did not transfer fully.

The foil was purchased in a large lot from an eBay seller, and there is no brand associated with it. You can see that the foil that I chose to use has a natural rainbow gradient effect, so it happens to match the levels that you would see on an equalizer. In case you don’t know what an equalizer looks like, here’s an example:

Very 80s techno chic.

At this point you can gently peel the decals off the mat and cut them to fit your nails. In order to hide some of the transfer imperfections, I also re-cut the levels of the bars. You can apply a cut decal by painting another layer of black polish or some top coat onto your nail and then gently press the decal onto the wet surface.

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You can see where I cut the levels of the bars for the decals, but they more or less stick to the base color. This look reminds me of Tetris.

Disclaimer: Because I didn’t like the finish of the b.m.c. nail lacquer as a base color, I applied the decals using What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI.

It’s easy to say just apply top coat to seal in everything, but here’s where things can get tricky. I’ve heard that a water based top coat works best with foil, but I don’t have any. I also know that pretty much anything that is branded as “fast drying” will cause the foil to shrink and/or break up. If you don’t use a top coat at all, the foil will quickly rub off on its own. I took a chance by using my Ya Qin An top coat, seeing as it never smears nail art, and it worked pretty well. Thumbs up for Ya Qin An!

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Nail foil success! Too bad this took forever to do.

Fun fact: I’m holding a record that I actually played on! It was for a private project, but it’s still cool as a collector’s item.

In any case, I love how I conquered my fear of nail foil. That’s not to say that I don’t curse a lot when things don’t work out the right way, but at least I know that I have another technique that I can use. Maybe practice does make perfect!

Happy polishing!

“The Matrix” Nail Art

When I need inspiration, I like looking through my stamping plate collection to see what catches my eye.  This time, a plate from Bundle Monster stood out.

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Plate BM-415 by Bundle Monster

The binary code totally reminded me of the The Matrix, so I decided to do a black base with green on top.

Step 1- Paint your nails black.  I used What’s a Tire Jack from Sephora by OPI

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I love a chic black mani! This one features What’s a Tire Jack from Sephora by OPI.

For the stamping, I ran into a bit of a dilemma.  I don’t own a green stamping polish, so I decided to experiment and create a Frankenpolish of my own using the bottles of polish pictured below.

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The candidates for my experiment, from left to right: OPI- Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri- Lickety Split Lime, Sephora by OPI- Gleek Out, BMC Nail Lacquer- white, BMC Nail Lacquer- liquid gold.

In my head, I imagined that I would be able to mix enough polish to do all the stamping with one batch of Frankenpolish.  I did my mixing on a plastic bag because it’s easy to clean up.  Once the polish dries, you can peel off the patch, and the bag can be reused as a palette again.  Waste not, want not!

What I did was put drops of Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime, Gleek Out (for shimmer), white, and liquid gold on the plastic sheet and mixed it together with an old nail polish treatment brush.  To be honest, I forgot that I owned Lickety Split Lime or else I might have had less mixing to do.  😉

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It’s alive! Frankenpolish time!

I tried stamping this concoction on my middle finger, and it came out pretty good.  By the time I tried to use my Frankenpolish a second time, the polish thickened up too much, and I was unable to use it.  I didn’t want to have to mix another batch again just for one nail, so this was when I remembered that I owned Lickety Split Lime.  I decided to try swiping that on the plate along with liquid gold to avoid having to mix the polishes separately.

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There’s a stripe of liquid gold underneath the stripe of Lickety Split Lime. The gold adds shimmer to the polish and darkens the color.

I stamped that onto my ring finger, but I wasn’t as pleased by the results.

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Frankenpolish mixed separately on plastic for the nail on the left and 2 stripes of polish blended by scraping them together directly on the plate for the nail on the right.

I’m thinking that maybe I should bottle that sparkly green Frankenpolish combo I made the first time.  😛

In any case, for the other nails, I wanted to use holographic green nail foil I bought from eBay to make stripes.

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Beautiful holographic nail foil! The pattern consists of tiny squares and looks like holographic green static.

With a striping brush, I painted lines of ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever at full strength onto my nails.  After letting the glue dry clear, I applied the nail foil.

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Binary code with stripes of nail foil.

I have to say, the nail foil looked better on the roll than it did on my nails.  😛  To jazz it up, I applied Garden Galaxy by Piggy Polish over the stripes.

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The finished look. Time to dodge some bullets.

Am I in love with it?  No.  This totally did not come out looking the way I thought it would.  I need to wipe the slate clean!  But there’s always room for a sequel, and this time the sequel will be better.  To be continued…