Flaming Manicure

Not too long ago, I played the opera Die Walküre by Richard Wagner, the 2nd of 4 [very long] operas that make up Wagner’s Ring cycle. Everyone was expecting some appropriate nail art from me, so I chose to do a fire design based on the last scene of the opera. It’s the only place where I had to play the piccolo in my part, so it just made sense to me.

Because it’s a fiery scene, I started by painting my nails with a red based black polish called chelsea from nails inc. It’s perfectly opaque in 2 coats, although you can see more of a red tint if you only use one coat.

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Irish Unicorn Nails

If you blog, you’re almost always expected to come up with nails for every holiday. While I never used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all that much, my nails certainly have been on board for the past few years! This year’s inspiration came from a student of mine who dressed up as an Irish unicorn for her lesson. I became obsessed with her headband, so she gave me a homework assignment to create some nail art based on it.

My first step was to paint all my nails green. I used Paper Chasing from China Glaze.

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The perfect kelly green- Paper Chasing from China Glaze. Be warned, though- this stuff will stain your nails a shade that Elphaba would find normal!

For more impact and sparkle, I used Emerald City holographic glitter from Dimension Nails over the polish. To apply it, I painted a coat of Paper Chasing over a nail, dipped it into the pot of glitter while the polish was still wet, then used a fan brush to sweep away the excess. This process was repeated for each nail.

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Welcome to the Emerald Isle!

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Review of Beauty Big Bang Thin Round Nail Glitter Sequins, SKU J1329

Today I’m reviewing some fun nail glitter that I got from Beauty Big Bang’s website (all links are listed at the end of this post). Craft stores don’t usually carry circular glitters, so it’s fun to try out a different shape when doing a glitter placement technique.

This glitter comes in a small plastic jar which is placed inside a zip sealed bag to keep everything self contained. It’s not much to look at, but it does the job. The lid of the plastic jar is black with a Beauty Big Bang sticker on it, but the jar itself is clear so that you can see the contents inside.

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The jar of sequins is in a nice zip sealed bag for shipment. You might want to keep your container in this bag for storage if you are worried about the glitter escaping the jar.

This product contains five different colors of circular glitter in three different sizes. The color combination that I chose was for SKU J1329, which is a blend of metallic gold, copper, silver, magenta, and blue sequins. There were a lot more gold and copper sequins in my mix compared to the blue, silver, and magenta ones, but the colors are beautiful and shiny and go well together.

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Closeup of the plastic jar and the glitter inside.

To apply the sequins, I first painted my nails black using Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora. I then applied a layer of Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat by nails inc. over one nail and placed each individual glitter piece using a picking tool and pushing it into the top coat while it was still wet. After my design was set, I applied another layer of top coat over the glitters to seal them into place.

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Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora.

What I like about these sequins is how thin they are. They do not stick up excessively from the top coat, so they are a sleek addition to a basic manicure. Nail art does not get any easier than this!

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Beautiful metallic sequins make a basic black manicure colorful and fun!

This glitter is solvent resistant, meaning that the color will not change once you apply your top coat. This also makes it great to use for a jelly sandwich technique.

I also love the round shape because it reminds me of confetti. The three sizes work together perfectly, and you can also choose to stack them on top of each other to create another different look. There is a lot of glitter in that little jar, so you will be able to use this item for many manicures to come!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail glitter SKU:J1329 (retail price is $3.99 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/glitter-round-thin-sequins-stickers-decals-nail-art-decoration

https://www.beautybigbang.com

10% off coupon code: CHRISS

Wintery Bridal Nails

Blame it on the exceptionally warm winter weather that we’ve been having, but I’ve been dreaming of a frosty winter wedding theme: silver and white and sparkly.

This manicure only requires two polishes, a stamping plate, and some rhinestones.

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The stamping will be done with plate BPL-028 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the lower right hand corner, but you could use any lace pattern and still get a beautiful result.

I wanted a low contrast look, so I picked a glittery silver stamping polish to go over a pearl white base.

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Konad Special Nail Polish in Silver and mayfair by nails inc.

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Show us your pearly whites: mayfair by nails inc.

I used a squishy stamper and the silver nail polish to transfer the pattern from BPL-028 over to my nails.  I tried to line up the center of the design with the middle of my cuticle so that the circle would be in the same position on each nail.

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This metallic lace pattern could pass for snowflake crystals.

After adding topcoat, I used Kiss Nail Art Glue to secure a rhinestone to the base of each nail.

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All finished! I added a tiara ring for some extra bling.

If you don’t like the bling and would rather have a more subtle look, pearl studs would also work nicely in place of the rhinestones.

Whether you’re getting married or just want a wintry look for the season, this mani will get you in the mood.  Happy polishing!

Porcelain China Inspired Nail Art

Fancy a spot o’ tea?  I’m planning to dress up as Alice in Wonderland for Halloween, so I did my nails already to plan ahead.

This one was a pretty simple one to do despite the complexity of the design.

I started out by painting all my nails with mayfair by nails inc.  The color is a perfect porcelain white with a pearl finish.

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mayfair by nails inc.

I used plate BPL-003 from Born Pretty Store for the two designs.  This plate has a great variety of tile type patterns, so I chose a somewhat busy looking one for the middle two nails and thumb and a more understated one for the other two fingers.

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Plate BPL-003 from Born Pretty Store. The designs I used for this manicure are in the top row, 2nd from the left and the first one on the left in the bottom row.

The stamping was done with royal blue from b.m.c. nail lacquer.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in royal blue and mayfair from nails inc. Doesn’t anyone capitalize their company name anymore?

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The stamped design with Seche Vite topcoat added.

I didn’t do a perfect job with the stamping on my index finger, so I created a distraction by added some pearl studs from Born Pretty Store to the middle of the bottom curve of my index and pinky finger nails.  Tricked you, didn’t I?  😉  Pearls make this manicure more sophisticated and ladylike, so I just went with it.

As an aside, I think I need to prime my stamper a little more.  I used my squishy head stamper for this manicure, and it has never been the best at picking up every detail.  Truth is that I was impatient to wait for the base color to dry, so I figured that using a squishy head would allow me to stamp my nails without having to worry about smudging the polish, so the stamper worked perfectly in that respect.

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Finished tile print nails.

I could have made more literal Alice in Wonderland nails, but maybe I’ll save that for another day.  So many ideas, so little time!

Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!  🙂  Happy polishing!

Review of BPL-029 Stamping Plate by Born Pretty Store.

If you love flowers, you will love plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store.

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BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store is full of floral prints.

Like all the long plates from Born Pretty Store, the metal plate is mounted onto a white plastic backing.  It also comes shipped in a cardboard envelope with blue film covering the image.  The blue film must be removed before you can use the plate.

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Protection of the plate is key, especially during shipment, and a cardboard envelope and some blue film are just what the doctor ordered.

The rectangular images are all 1.5 cm wide, but the 2nd row images are slightly taller than the 1st row measuring at 2.4 cm versus 2 cm for the top row.  Even the individual flowers on the bottom are fairly large, the smallest one being 0.7 cm wide and the longest one being 1.7 cm.  In any case, you should easily be able to find something suitable for your nail size.  The individual flowers are great for making patterns on extra long/wide nails.

The images are etched deeply into the metal and transfer easily to a stamper.  I find that you can use a lot of pressure to scrape the excess polish off the plate to get a clean image.  With plates by other competitors that are etched poorly, I find that I will end up scraping off all the polish if I scrape too hard.  With Born Pretty Plates, you don’t have to worry about the frustration associated with the aforementioned problem.

To illustrate the point, here is a rose print manicure I did that shows the most solid background in the image.

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Beautiful rose print nails done with Awaken by China Glaze and mayfair by nails inc. along with plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store.

The image transferred perfectly with no empty patches of polish.  It should be noted that I stamped the darker polish over the white one, not the other way around.  That is an impressive feat, indeed!

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A closer look at the stamping compared to the image on plate BPL-029.

Plate BPL-029 is full of spring flowers, but I made it fall appropriate using the right blend colors.

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Autumn foliage nails done with reverse stamping of an image from plate BPL-029 over a gradient base.

With a good color scheme, this plate is usable all year long!

Overall, I think this plate is well made and a great buy.  It will keep you coming back for more looks over and over again.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 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 stamping!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/tulip-pattern-nail-stamp-template-rose-image-plate-born-pretty-l029-65cm-p-21815.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

rsspx31

Hurricane Joaquin Inspired Floral Nails

NYC has been all abuzz about whether or not Joaquin was going to make an appearance here, but thankfully all we got was a Nor’easter, and I ended up with an idea for a manicure.

Looking through my plates, I found a floral image that looks a lot like a bunch of hurricane symbols.

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How does your garden grow? Plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store is all about flowers.

The roses in the 2nd row, 3rd image from the right proved to be the starting grounds for my stormy manicure.  Little did I know how tempestuous this design would end up being.

Here is the color palette I used:

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Silvery grays and blues. From left to right: Silver Bells by Finger Paints, Caviar Cocktail by nailtini, Sailor’s Lure by Finger Paints, and I Don’t Give A Rotterdam! by OPI.

I wanted the eye(s) of the storm to be in the center of the manicure, so I painted Silver Bells on my middle and ring fingers and I Don’t Give A Rotterdam! on the other fingers.  I figured that when I did the stamping, the flowers (hurricane symbols) would be glittery, something that is seldom seen because people can’t really stamp successfully with glitter polish.

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Very pretty start to a stormy manicure using I Don’t Give A Rotterdam! by OPI and Silver Bells by Finger Paints.

For the two outer nails, I wanted to do a gradient that darkened toward the two middle nails.  For this, I used a mix of Caviar Cocktail, Sailor’s Lure, and I Don’t Give A Rotterdam! and tilted the sponge at an angle for the index and little fingers while I kept the sponge vertical on the thumb.

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A gradient of blues and grays is applied with the darkest sections facing the glittery parts.

It should be mentioned that I didn’t realize that Sailor’s Lure is a textured polish.  It isn’t marked as such on the bottle, so I was wondering why it looked so clumpy on the brush.  It still suits our stormy purpose, so it was fine.

Here is where the storm truly begins.  I thought I was going to stamp with Sailor’s Lure, but the thought of trying to scrape the polish off the plate with all the texture in it was making my skin crawl.  I couldn’t stamp with Caviar Cocktail because the color is too similar to the silver glitter.  I tried using royal blue by b.m.c. nail lacquer, but the design didn’t show through well.  I tried layering noir black by b.m.c. nail lacquer over the blue color, but it looked like a mess.  Neither one looked good nor fit my color scheme, so I had to wipe those two nails clean and try a new approach.

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Nail fail: bad stamping because my blue polish wasn’t dark enough and the black polish didn’t match my color scheme.

I decided to use a white polish as a base instead of the glitter and decided to stamp with a chrome polish because the royal blue color would seem out of place.

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Enter two new contenders: mayfair by nails inc. and Awaken by China Glaze.

Luckily I used school glue as a base coat, so I scraped the glitter off the two middle nails and applied mayfair first.

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Newly revamped nails with mayfair by nails inc. in the middle.

I did the stamping with Awaken and was fooled again by the polish.  This is what I get for not swatching colors before I start.

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Stamping done with Awaken by China Glaze.

While the polish stamped better than expected, the color was not what I thought it was.  Even when I originally bought the color, I thought that it had more of a dark blue tint to it, at least from the look of it in the bottle.  Instead, it is more dark silver gray with a lavender hue, and now I got to be frustrated all over again that my stamped nails didn’t match the gradient around it.

Ultimately I scraped the gradient off and painted Awaken on those nails instead.  You can see a difference in the color of the stamping compared to the color of the polish in the bottle more clearly below.

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The final result- not exactly what I intended due to being misled by the color of the polish in the bottle versus the color actually being swatched.

So that’s how I weathered this storm.  It took a few unexpected turns, but all ended well.  Hope you all have been staying warm and dry!  It’s a great excuse to stay indoors and do your nails.  😉  Happy polishing!