Unicorn Mermaid Nails

I’ve been holding off on using gel polishes after a bad skin reaction to the curing lamp a few months ago. I was really scared that my nails might fall off because my nail bed started peeling back, and the skin around the nails was itchy and getting hard before peeling off! Truly a nightmare. I’m a little wary about overdoing it with the lamp now (what, you’re not supposed to do gel manicures more than once in a day?), so I purchased some fake nails and decided to go about my swatches in this manner instead. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up doing sets for people now that I have all these fake nails!

In any case, I was super excited to use some holographic powder to create a fun and whimsical unicorn mermaid manicure, so as per the usual steps, I applied gel base coat from iMethod Beauty, cured that for 60 seconds, then applied and cured 2 coats of black gel polish. The color was 007 Blackpool from Aimeili, and it’s a trustworthy but affordable gel polish that provides the perfect base for chrome and holo powders.

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Disclaimer: this is an old swatch on my actual nails because I was too lazy to take a new photo of a polish that I already swatched.

I then applied a layer of no wipe top coat from iMethod Beauty and cured it for 60 seconds before burnishing in their holographic powder with a sponge applicator. After all the black polish was covered by holo, I swept away the excess powder with a brush and applied another layer of gel top coat.

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With a dazzling effect like this, who can say they don’t like holo?

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Mermaid Nails

Summer is pretty much right around the corner at this point, and the temperatures have definitely been rising in the city! It’s been making me crave a beach day, or at least some mermaid nails!

I started by painting my nails with a black soak off gel polish from Born Pretty. I applied and cured 2 coats of color and followed it up with a layer of Clavuz no wipe gel top coat. Each layer was cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp, and then a blend of teal and green chrome powders from iMethod Beauty was applied with a sponge applicator and sealed in with another layer of gel top coat.

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I applied teal chrome powder to the tips of my nails and green chrome powder to the rest of the area in order to create this gradient effect.

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Shattered Mirror Nails

Not too long ago, I dropped my phone and cracked the screen for the first time ever! It’s limited to only 2 corners, so it doesn’t really get in the way, but for a perfectionist like me, it’s annoying! I’m due for a new phone upgrade anyway, so maybe it’s a sign… In any case, it inspired the creation of this shattered mirror nail art.

I began by painting all my nails with black gel polish. Because I knew I was going to apply chrome powder over my base, I didn’t mind using one of my lower quality gel polishes to do the job. This black gel polish in color 01 from Born Pretty’s Solid Color Series was the very first gel polish I owned and was part of their silver chrome starter kit. My, how far we’ve come since then! Now I know not to wipe off the tacky layer between coats of color and to use a good gel base coat with it! This shade still left much to be desired in terms of coverage as 2 thin coats still wasn’t very opaque, but like I said, I wasn’t picky about it because I knew I was topping it with a chrome powder.

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Each coat cured for 60 seconds in a 48W UV/LED lamp.

I then applied and cured a coat of Clavuz No Wipe Top Coat prior to applying a silver chrome powder from IMethod Beauty over it with a sponge applicator. The results are super shiny and reflective, and you can’t tell that the black polish underneath it had uneven coverage.

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Another layer of Clavuz No Wipe Top Coat was applied over the powder to seal it into place.

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Frozen Olaf Nails

With the recent deep freeze across the US, I decided to paint Olaf from the movie Frozen. What better way to stay happy in the cold?

To start, I applied and cured 2 coats of color TC06 from Aimeili (literally called Glitter Purple to Glitter Blue) along with their gel base and top coat. This gel polish is from their thermal collection, so the color is dark purple in the cold and turns into a medium light blue when it’s warm. The jelly formula also has different sized pieces of silver glitter in it, which remind me of snow.

Here’s a shot of it mid-transition!

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Review of UR SUGAR Base and Top Coat Set

Get ready for Gelpolishpalooza! It’s funny how I never thought that I would do gel manicures, but somehow I’ve ended up as a reviewer for a ton of them now! Expect to see quite a few more gel polish reviews in the near future.

Today’s focus is going to be on the foundation of any good gel manicure: a base and top coat set. This one is from UR Sugar, and it had my doubts because this set is one of the cheapest ones you can find for the amount of formula you get!

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The UR Sugar Base and Top Coat set comes in a 15 mL bottle size. That’s one of the largest bottle sizes you can obtain, especially for gel polish!

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Review of Aimeili Gel Base and Top Coat Set

Lately I’ve been getting into gel polish. It’s rather ironic because I never thought I would, knowing how often I change my nails, but I’ve gotten into the habit of applying gel polish to my right hand (my Cindy hand) to protect my nails from getting beat up from using acetone so much. Between needing to remove polish on my hands and toes on a regular basis, Cindy also touches acetone while cleaning stamping plates and generally gets abused at work and while doing household chores. It made sense for me to apply gel polish, which generally doesn’t get affected by acetone when exposed for short periods of time, at least to that hand so that I didn’t have to worry about my nails becoming increasingly brittle over time.

It has been said that gel polishes work best when you use them with the base and top coat made by the same company, so I used a set by Aimeili along with one of their gel colors (110 Prunus Persica) for this review.

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This gel base and top coat set from Aimeili is packaged in a cute box and comes with an instruction sheet inside.

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Review of Clavuz Gel Top Coat and Base Coat Set

I’ve been working with a lot of gel polish lately because my Cindy hand (dominant hand, short for Cinderella- the one that does all the work and gets none of the recognition) gets abused at work, and I need polish that will stay put and protect my nails. This gel base coat and top coat from Clavuz was a cheap find at Amazon and really worked wonders. Keep reading for the full review!

This base and top coat set comes packaged in a box set, so it makes an awesome gift for your fellow nail art obsessed friend who loves gel polish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on a lot of wish lists!

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The back of the box has instructions for how to use these items to produce a “14 Day Manicure.”

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