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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Review of Born Pretty BP-151 Stamping Plate

I’ve always been a fan of stamping plates, so today’s review covers plate BP-151 from Born Pretty.

This plate is one of the circular ones reminiscent of the original series issued by Konad except this one has better packaging!

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Front and back views of the packaging.

All stamping plates from Born Pretty come inside a cardboard sleeve to protect them from scratches while they are in storage. A sticker with the plate’s ID number seals the open edge to keep the plate from falling out during shipment. I still wish the outside of the package showed a picture or graphic of the plate it contained or perhaps had a clear window to see its contents. I tend to not store my plates in these holders because of this despite the level of protection that they provide.

Looking at the plate straight from the package, a thin layer of blue plastic film covers the surface, again to protect the plate from getting scratched during the production and shipment processes. This film must be removed before using the product.

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Sandy Beach Nails

It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through August already! I have no idea how time has been flying by. To be honest, I did these nails 2 weeks ago but am only just now starting to catch up with my blog.

In any case, I still haven’t been to the beach this summer because I’ve been so busy. The closest I can get to one is through some nail art.

I started by painting my nails with Born Pretty Thermal Gel in color BP-5730. I love thermal polishes for their natural gradient effect and also for their ability to entertain me in different temperature settings! This one looks like a pale periwinkle blue in warm temperatures and a deep royal blue in cold temperatures. It also has the perfect sprinkling of two different sized glitters in the formula which truly makes it look more special.

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I applied and cured this polish for about 1 minute and repeated the process for a second coat.

My next step was to create a sandy beach line along the half moon area of my nails.  Continue reading

Jellyfish Ocean Manicure

Happy summer, everyone! Who is looking forward to going to the beach? I have to live vicariously through my memories of previous summers for now because I’ve been ridiculously busy this month with gigs, so I brought the beach to my nails with this jellyfish design.

I started by painting my nails with Recall from Born Pretty’s Flower in Sunshine Series. It’s a beautiful mermaid turquoise green color with a pearl pink sheen and holographic sparkles.

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To create an ocean effect with some depth, I sponged on dabs of Diva into the Pool from Nicole by OPI.

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For more contrast, I added a few dabs of Queen for a Night from Finger Paints. This was also a good choice for me because it alludes to the Queen of the Night character from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, which I am currently playing!

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Sailboat French Manicure

Seems like I’ve got beaches on the brain a lot lately! I put together a cute little sailboat manicure this week for an unconventional twist on French tips.

I didn’t want to leave my nails totally bare because they’re a little damaged right now, so I used a sheer iridescent glitter polish from Confetti called Ice Ice Baby to give my nails a bit of a twinkle. Like most iridescent things, it is hard to capture the sparkly blue green shift of the glitter under bright light and direct focus, but you can see its true color in the picture of the bottle.

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Only one coat of polish was applied as a base. I wanted an ethereal look rather than strong glitter coverage.

The waves were done using a French tips plate from Born Pretty Store.

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French BP-X20 plate from Born Pretty

I layered the pattern from the lower left hand corner of the plate with different shades of stamping nail polish from Born Pretty.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #7 (royal blue) was applied across the tips of each nail.

I painted a sailboat by hand using Craft Smart Acrylic Paint and a detail brush. Painting it at this stage allows for subsequently stamped waves to overlap the hull of the boat.

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Painting this boat was fairly simple, but it requires patience.

After the boat was done, I stamped the same French tip pattern from before with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polishes in #284 (light blue) and #4 (white), staggering the tips of the waves so that the base color was covered. I repeated the stamping process with the same three colors until the tip was filled in completely.

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Seche Vite top coat was applied on top to complete the look.

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This was a cute design to put together, and I think it was a fairly creative use of the French tips plate. The layered look would work well with many different color combinations, so I’ll probably use this technique again at some point!

Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Store BP-L068 Stamping Plate

Today’s review is going to cover item BP-L068, the fabulous nautical themed stamping plate that I used for my last two manicures. You can purchase this from Born Pretty Store from the link listed at the end of this post, so keep reading to find out more!

When the plate arrives, it comes shipped inside a pretty floral cardboard sleeve. It’s unfortunate that the picture on the package doesn’t match the image from the plate, but it serves its purpose of protecting the plate from scratches once the blue film from the top of the plate is removed.

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The plate, freshly removed from the sleeve, has a layer of thin blue plastic wrap covering the metal portion. This must be removed prior to use, preferably before you start to paint your nails.

As is the case with all the Born Pretty rectangular plates, BP-L068 features rounded corners for safer handling, and the metal part is mounted on a thin plastic slab to prevent you from getting cut from grasping the edges too hard. You wouldn’t want to have to get a tetanus shot just to do your nails, after all!

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The beauty of this plate is fully revealed once the plastic film is removed.

What I love about this plate is the large assortment of images that fit the marine theme. You get everything from ropes and anchors to the ships themselves and the crew members aboard and the creatures in the sea! Plus the layout on the right side of the plate is extremely cute because different patterns are arranged to make up the larger image of a boat. It makes for a pleasing overall look.

While the designs are all well etched into the metal and transfer well, the aforementioned right side of the plate has rectangular images that are just a tad bit too small to comfortably fit on adult nails without distorting the patterns. I tried to make ocean waves with one of the patterns, and the only nail that it fit completely was on my pinky. For the other nails, I was forced to try to stretch my stamper head in an attempt to cover the entire surface with the same pattern, but this distorted the image. Also, despite my attempts, you can still see where the design changes at the tips and sometimes also base of my nails.

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Too bad the rectangular images from the lower right side of the plate aren’t a little bigger.

To give you a better sense of how much surface the rectangle covers, this is what the same design looks like stamped on my thumb nail without trying to stretch the stamper head.

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You can clearly see that if you are trying to isolate one rectangular design, it is nearly impossible to make this happen on top of a larger nail. This is also one of the largest rectangular images on the plate so it only gets worse from here.

I do admit, the image is not unpleasing to look at despite the lack of continuity of the same pattern, but this will not do if you have any sort of OCD. It’s even hard to try to make a larger decal out of the same image because the entire rectangular portion is connected by lines that make it hard to remove excess portions of the design with tape. If there was empty space between the rectangular images, it would have been more easy to isolate and double stamp the same image again on the areas of the nail that were not covered.

I managed to hide the distortions of the wave stamping above by adding some double stamping of single images to create the ocean voyage manicure shown below. For details on how to get the outlined look, please refer to the tutorial link here.

The freestanding images all transfer beautifully, as you can see. They are all well proportioned to my nail size, and even the tiny details of the rope on my ring and pinky fingers come through.

I did try my luck with using the compass rose image from the rectangular section in the manicure below and managed to find an angle that fit on my ring finger, but if you look closely at the upper right and lower left corner of that nail, you can see a little bit of the bordering images.

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Globe trotter nails. For information on the other plate used here, please see the original tutorial.

As much as I love the images on this plate, I have to take one diamond away from the rating because the rectangular sections just aren’t big enough to cover almost any nail fully unless you are ok with having bits of the surrounding images on your nail as well. You can still create tons of different manicures using the other singular designs here without having to worry about whether or not they will fit, making this a great plate for summer beach and boat outings.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

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 the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/born-pretty-stamping-template-voyage-anchor-rectangle-manicure-nail-image-plate-l068-p-39711.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Ocean Voyage Nautical Nails

Still envious of everyone’s stunning vacation photos? Here’s a cruise ship inspired manicure you can try if you have the right tools!

I started out by painting all my nails a medium blue color.

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Sky High-Top from China Glaze serves as a lovely sky or ocean color.

My secret weapon for this manicure was the BP-L068 plate from Born Pretty. With it, you can create a whole ocean themed story on your nails!

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BP-L068 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I first used the wave design from the lower right quadrant of the plate along with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in color #7, which is a royal blue color.

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Because the wave image was a little on the small side, I had issues trying to fit the image on my nails without stamping parts of the neighboring designs as well. I tried to stretch my clear stamper to get the image to cover my nail completely, but this only distorted the final result. Not to worry- I planned to stamp some more designs from the plate on top of this anyway to cover up the awkward spots!

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Review of Born Pretty BPY33 Ocean Life Water Decals

If you find that doing any kind of nail art is an ordeal but don’t want to pay huge amounts of money for nail wraps, these water decals from Born Pretty are what you need.

Born Pretty has a huge selection of designs available on their website, but today I’m reviewing their ocean life themed set, BPY33.

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There is one sheet enclosed in the package with enough decals to make at least two full manicures depending on how you decide to use them. The entire printed surface is basically one large decal, so you will need to cut out the areas you want to use, preferably before you paint your nails. Because you can cut the decals down to the size and shape that you want, you can get really creative with how you integrate these decals into your manicures and get the most bang for your buck from the sheet.

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The two sets of designs can be mixed and matched to create a pretty manicure.

Although the decals are not pre-cut, if you look closely, you can see that there are rectangular sections formed by the change in patterns. The height of each of these sections is 2.5 cm. Upon further inspection, the width of these sections gets smaller by 1 mm from the left to right sides starting at 1.8 cm and decreasing to 1.4 cm, so you will want to plan accordingly, especially if you have wide nail beds. Based on the measurements, it is possible to use these decals on your toenails without cropping the pattern, and you won’t have a problem using these on long nails, either.

The back of the package has instructions for how to use the decals. I would definitely change the order of steps 2 and 3, and I would also start by preparing a cup of water to submerge the decals into so that there is less of a chance that you will smudge your base coat color.

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Instructions for use on the back of the package.

It is also good to know that the decal is printed on a clear surface, so any color you choose to use underneath it will show through in the background. I still prefer to use white as a base color because it makes the decal art pop, but you can use your imagination and get creative.

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Steps for applying the decals. The picture in the top right corner has a holographic top coat applied to the white base. The picture on the bottom left is what the decal looks like floating in water with the paper backing removed.

Placing a decal on your nail is super easy with either your fingers or a pair of tweezers, and as long as the decal is wet, you can slide it around until you are satisfied with how it looks.

You will notice that I did not cut the size of the decal to perfectly fit my nail. After blotting the decals dry with a tissue, I was able to easily remove the excess parts of the decals from my skin with a brush dipped into acetone. The portion that extended above my nail was filed off or trimmed down and then dissolved with a cotton swab dipped into acetone. In either case, cleaning up the edges was an easy job.

Also noteworthy is that I used only one rectangular section to cover the two nails in the picture. Because I opted to do a water marble design on the other fingers, I only needed two rectangular sections from the sheet to do all my nails! It’s a very savvy way to get more use out of what you are given.

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Beachy ocean life manicure using BPY33 water decals and a water marble technique.

This was my first foray into using full nail water decals, and I honestly have to say that I loved using them. These are perfect for nail art enthusiasts who don’t have a lot of time to paint their nails because the designs are beautiful, and they are easy to apply. With top coat applied, the decals will last as long as a normal manicure would, and you can remove them with regular nail polish remover. No fancy tools are needed to use them other than a little water and some scissors to cut the patterns, and you can change the way the design looks simply by applying a different base color. I know I’ll be getting more decals in the future!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing these water decals (retail price is $2.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off the regular priced items your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/patternssheet-born-pretty-ocean-starfish-nail-water-decals-transfer-sticker-bpy33-p-33973.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Beachy Ocean Life Manicure

All the sunny days that we have been having in NYC have made me want to hit the beach. It’s still too cold outside to really enjoy a beach day here, but I can always live vicariously through my nails!

I used some water decals from Born Pretty for this manicure because I’ve been feeling lazy about painting my nails lately. These decals are perfect for when you want something fancy looking but don’t have a lot of time.

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Aquatic themed water decals, item BPY33 from Born Pretty Store.

Before I applied any nail polish, I cut out the portions of the decal sheet that I wanted to use and prepared a glass of water to dip them into later.

Next, I painted all my nails white with Brigitte by Julep, then added a subtle holographic top coat from Pretty & Polished called Halo TC over it so that it would have some shimmer to the tint. I don’t think it photographed very well, but in person, it looks as if someone sprinkled some fairy dust over my nails.

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After allowing my nails to dry for a bit, I put the cut decals I prepared previously into the glass of water, allowed their paper backing to soak through, and then slid them off the paper with my fingers. I used tweezers to pick them up one at a time and applied them to my nails. You can arrange the position of the decals on your nails easily as long as they are still wet. To set them into their final position, just dab them with a paper towel to absorb any extra water. You can clean up any extra decal print around the nail bed with a brush dipped into acetone before you apply a top coat.

I decided that a water marble design would look the best alongside these decals, so I made my bulls eye pattern with a combination of Brigitte (white), Shay (teal), and Penny (copper) from Julep and made zigzag patterns in the water to create the look below.

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Water decals and water marble are a match made in heaven!

I was pleased as punch about how nice the water marble came out. Seems like I’m improving with practice, which is nice to see!

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Hope the weather gets warmer soon so I can actually go to the beach! Happy polishing!

Ocean Themed Manicure

It’s still technically summer, even though in my mind, once school starts, it’s fall.  So how about one last beachy manicure?

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The polish line up from left to right: OPI- He’s My Surfing Instructor, Sephora by OPI- Looks Like Rain, Dear, Konad Special Nail Polish- Black, and b.m.c. nail lacquer- liquid gold.

It’s been awhile since I’ve used glitter polish, but I’m always looking for an excuse to change up my nails a bit more often.  I went ahead and used Elmer’s School Glue as a base coat for easy removal later on, and used He’s My Surfing Instructor from OPI on all my nails to start.

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He’s My Surfing Instructor from OPI is a jelly based glitter polish that looks like a beautiful ocean.

This polish takes quite a few coats before it looks opaque.  I think I did 4-5 coats to get the look in the picture above.  Perhaps next time I’ll use an opaque color as a base and use this color on top to give it the iridescent sheen of the polish.  It’s a really beautiful color, though.

The stamping was done with 2 different plates: BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store and Jumbo Plate 2 by Cheeky.

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BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store. I used the design in the 2nd row, 3 images from the right.

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I used the seashell that is in the top row, 3rd image from the left on Jumbo Plate 2 from Cheeky.

For the seaweed part, I added dimension by stamping the pattern in gold first before I stamped it in black.  It adds just a little bit more shimmer to the polish as well.

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Stamping done with liquid gold by b.m.c. nail lacquer and plate BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store. It looks very faint, but it adds that touch of class and unites the black and gold color theme in this design.

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Black polish by Konad is stamped over the gold part with the same pattern from BPL-026.

The shells were done with the reverse stamping method so I could color them in.

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The image from Cheeky Jumbo Plate 2 is stamped with Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

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Using the brush from the bottle, I colored in the shell with Looks Like Rain, Dear from Sephora by OPI.

Finally I stamped the shells onto my nails with opposing angles to frame the seaweed.

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Under the sea… Ocean themed nail art! Ariel would be jealous.

And that’s all there is to it!  It was easy to do, and I’m pretty satisfied with the result for once.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!  😉  Happy polishing!