Neon Rainbow Pride Nails

It’s June, and pretty much the entire month is associated with Pride celebrations. I was playing with drag diva pianist Jacqueline Jonée for her shows, so I wanted to do a set of rainbow nails to complement her “50 Shades of Jonée” theme. I’ve been itching to try out my neon powders with stamping, so keep reading to see how this was achieved!

I started by painting all my nails black with Black Lace, a color from Sephora’s ancient “5 day shine” series of nail lacquers. This polish was part of a set that was gifted to me for my birthday 9 years ago, and it still works great!

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2 coat swatch of Black Lace from the Sephora 5 day shine collection.

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Review of Born Pretty Rainbow Titanium Clear Stamper

Born Pretty just released a new stamper, and it’s as pretty as it is functional!

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The new rainbow titanium stamper comes in two varieties: one with a clear stamper head, and one with a clear head speckled with holographic glitter. I was sent the clear version for review, which is nice, although I was super curious to see the one with the sparkles!

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Review of Clavuz Neon Bling 12 Color Gel Polish Set

Shopping for gel polish online can be scary business. Not every brand is trustworthy, and things get especially questionable when the price seems too good to be true. However, I had such good results with a gel base and top coat set from Clavuz that I didn’t hesitate to try out this 12 color gel polish box set from the same company.

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The “neon bling” 12 color gel polish set from Clavuz comes packaged in a box ready to be wrapped for gift giving.

The outside packaging really doesn’t entice the buyer into purchasing the set. They don’t specify which colors are included, nor do they have pictures of the polishes included, but they do list all the boring stuff.

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The instructions are printed on the back of the box along with low resolution images of random fingers painted with colors that you don’t get in this set.

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One side lists the ingredients and warnings while the other side displays generic graphic outlines of 12 bottles of polish, not scaled to size.

The contents of the box are more exciting. The bottles, which are an 8 mL size and therefore a little small, are held in place in a plastic tray, and more detailed instructions along with a swatching wheel are included.

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Review of Beauty Big Bang 5 Piece Mirror Metallic Lacquer Set

Today we’re going to look at set of chrome polishes from Beauty Big Bang. It’s always fun to try different brands, so let’s take a look!

The polishes from Beauty Big Bang don’t have clever names. They are placed into separate categories according to the polish type (e.g., holographic, thermal, stamping, etc.) and then numbered. The type is designated on the box but not on the bottle itself, so you can see that these polishes belong to the “Metallic Polish” series.

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Cute feature: heart shaped cutout windows on the front of the boxes so you can see the color of the polish inside.

The boxes all have the ingredients listed on the back and the creation and expiration dates on the side which are roughly 2 years apart from each other. However, I’m sure the polishes are still usable past the expiration dates as I have plenty of bottles that are way more than 2 years old and are still ok.

The colors in this set make up something close to a metallic rainbow. You get 9 mL of polish in each bottle which is a little less than what you would find in a typical drugstore brand, but it is still a lot of lacquer. You only have to ask yourself when the last time was when you completely finished a bottle to know how much use you will get out of this size!

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Colors from left to right: Metallic Polishes 05, 02, 03, 04, and 01.

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Rainbow Streamers Manicure

Three cheers for surviving the first week back at school! I’ve created rainbow streamers on my nails to celebrate.

The first step is to paint all your nails white. I used a shimmery version from Julep called Steph.

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Steph has a slightly pinkish tint to this shimmery white polish, but you only need 2 coats to get full coverage.

For the streamers, I used the image from the top left of the BeautyBigBang017 stamping plate.

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To create a rainbow gradient across my nails, I used two colors at a time on the image, scraped the polish twice with a card to blend them slightly, and then stamped it at a diagonal. The polishes come from the Beauty Big Bang Metallic Polish series where 001 is purple, 002 is chartreuse, 003 is kelly green, 004 is turquoise, and 005 is red.

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Lucky Dog St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

This post is getting published a little late, but I wanted to show you the nails that I did for St. Patrick’s Day. I came up with a cute idea that took some of the main themes of the holiday (green, luck, rainbows, pots of gold, and 4 leaf clovers) and created something that wasn’t necessarily so clichéd with some freehand nail art.

It all started with this lovely shimmery bright kelly green shade from China Glaze called Paper Chasing.

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I applied 3 coats for maximum coverage and allowed them to dry before proceeding.

My idea was centered around a fictional dog named Lucky who has a cloverleaf marking around his eye. My breed of choice for this was some sort of terrier with floppy ears. I painted him mostly white with brown details and a pink tongue just for fun. I decided to place him on my middle finger so he would be the center of attention.

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This doggy is very happy to be so lucky!

On my index finger, I chose to write his name in script. My penmanship with acrylic paint has apparently gotten much better over time!

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I combined the rainbow and pot of gold elements together in the sense that I made a rainbow dog food bowl and filled it with golden dog kibble. While I used craft smart acrylic paints for pretty much all of the freehand work, I used a gold glitter polish from Nicole by OPI called Carried Away for the golden kibble. Continue reading

Unicorn Nail Art

Happy March, everyone! I’ve been meaning to do some unicorn nail art for awhile just for fun, so let’s get on with this magical manicure!

My base color was an indigo wonder from Beauty Bigbang, 009 in their Holo Polish series.

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Beauty Bigbang Holo Polish 009 is full of magical rainbows that are perfect for a unicorn theme!

I’ve been feeling lazy about doing freehand stuff lately, so I opted to use plate L045 from Harunouta to assist me with this manicure.

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I chose to use the unicorn from the top row, 2nd image from the left, and the shooting star 2 images to the right of that for this manicure.

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Review of Born Pretty Holographic Powder and Silicone Brush Set

Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared to be wowed by some holographic goodness in this post.

This set comes from Born Pretty Store, and it includes approximately 1 gram of beautiful, luscious, and stunning holographic powder in a cute diamond-like plastic container, a small sponge tipped applicator, and a double ended silicone brush.  The pigment and the sponge applicator are inside a Ziploc sealed baggie while the silicone brush is in its own plastic sleeve.

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So holographic! Even the baggie is imprinted with holographic foil.

The powder itself is very finely milled.  It is reminiscent of the many chrome pigment powders that are on the market right now.  These tiny particles are much smaller than normal glitter and will adhere to gel top coat to form a mirror reflective surface.  It may look very drab and boring in the container, but just wait until you see it in action.

The brush handle is imprinted with the Born Pretty logo.  If you’re wondering what all that blue stuff is in the handle, they are loose faceted beads.  They add to the cute factor of this set.

There are two different brush tips on the handle, both of which are pliable.  The silicone brush has the same kind of give to it as a Konad stamper.  Makes you wonder if you can use a stamper to apply this powder, although you will not have the same kind of precision using a stamper head that you will have using this brush.

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The two different ends of the Born Pretty silicone brush.

You will notice that one end is tapered and chiseled equally on both sides while the other end has a curved nib.  The former is more flexible than the latter due to the different thicknesses of the tips, but both will apply the holographic pigment just as well.  I found that using the curved end was especially useful because it works with the curve of the nail in covering more surface area at once.  Both tips will give you more precision in getting the powder exactly where you want to apply it.

In any case, you will need to prepare your nails with some gel polish before you can apply the powder.  If you don’t have a colored gel polish, you can paint your nails with a regular nail polish, allow it to dry completely, then apply a gel top coat and cure it fully.  The set does not come with the top coat, but I used one purchased separately from Born Pretty for this review.

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Nails painted with b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and Born Pretty Store Soak Off Gel Polish top coat.

I used the silicone brush to buff the powder into the cured top coat, and WOW.  Just a little bit of powder goes a long way.

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Holographic crack! Just a little bit of powder will transport you into this psychedelic world.

I find that the silicone brush and the sponge applicator work equally well with this product.  The brush does have the advantage of never wearing out, whereas the sponge applicator will need to be replaced after a few uses.  Also, the brush has a more professional look, so if you have paying clients, the brush will look like a more legitimate tool.

All that’s left to do is dust off the excess powder, apply another layer of gel top coat to seal the deal, and you’re ready to dazzle the world with your nails!

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Color shifting was never so easy!

The holographic effect is so strong that you won’t have to struggle to photograph the results.  Those of you who have tried to take pictures of holographic polishes will know how difficult it can be to capture the beauty of the effect.  You can see the resulting rainbows in practically any light setting, and the camera catches them perfectly.

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I jazzed up my digits with some zebra stripes. As if the holographic goodness wasn’t good enough!

Some may wonder if the color of the polish underneath affects the results.  The short answer is somewhat.  The powder is so pigmented and covers so well that only a hint of the base color can be seen.  You will definitely end up with a mostly silver colored holo.

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Swatches over b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black, crimson red, and white. I also tested it over only the gel top coat. Please excuse the discoloration of my nail! :O

This holographic powder and brush set is my favorite nail art acquisition to date.  This stuff has a stronger holographic effect than pretty much any other holographic polish that I have tried.  Judging by how little product I had to apply to get full coverage, this little jar will last me quite a long time with the added bonus of me never having to worry about the ingredients expiring.  It is also just plain gorgeous and easy to use, and who wouldn’t like that?

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic powder and silicone brush set (retail price is $17.99 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/1gbox-holographic-rainbow-laser-glitter-powders-with-silicone-brush-manicure-nail-decoration-p-34834.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Holographic Zebra Nail Art

OMGOMGOMG I just got the most beautiful holographic power from Born Pretty Store, and just wait until you see it!  It’s the most holographic thing that I have ever put on my nails!  Of course I couldn’t wait to use it in a mani, so here we go!

This powder needs to be applied over a gel polish base.  I don’t think you have to apply a nail color first as the effect will always be mostly silver, but I decided to use regular black polish (b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black) underneath the powder.  I only applied one coat as it is very opaque (it is one of Bundle Monster’s first stamping polishes), let it dry, then applied Born Pretty gel top coat and cured it under a UV LED lamp.

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Shiny black nails done with one coat of b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black followed by Born Pretty gel top coat.

I used a silicone brush to apply the holographic powder from Born Pretty Store to my nails immediately after taking pictures drying the top coat under the lamp.  It was love at first sight!

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So many rainbows result from this holographic powder!

As an aside, anyone who has tried to photograph holographic nail polish knows how hard it is to capture the effect on camera.  This powder required zero effort on my part to get that shot!  The rainbow effect is so dazzling that it is definitely not camera shy!

I would have been totally content to leave my nails alone, but apparently people have come to expect more than just one color from me.  I let the spirit of Lisa Frank guide me into putting zebra stripes over this wonderfully prismatic base.

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BP-L006 plate from Born Pretty Store.

I could have hand painted some stripes, but I was doing my nails late at night and needed to get to bed, so I opted to stamp them on instead using plate BP-L006 from Born Pretty Store.  I used the image in the top row, 4th from the left and turned it horizontally on my nails so that I could vary the pattern across them, making the design look more hand painted.

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Conveniently, I used the same b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black from the base color to do the stamping on top.

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A holographic zebra is my spirit animal.

This was a fun mani to do, and I still can’t get over the holographic sparkle from the powder.  Plus I think it’s cute that I now match all the Lisa Frank stuff that I own.  I’m such a child of the 90s.

Happy polishing!

Back to School: Crayon Nail Art

It’s almost time for kids and teachers to go back to school (at least in NYC- I know some people are already back), so I wanted to do some fun nail art to celebrate mark the change of season.  School supply shopping was always one of my favorite activities, and trying to convince my parents to get me the biggest box of crayons was high on the list.  I’ll settle for mostly primary colors for this mani, though.  😉

First off, the color selection:

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My mini rainbow, left to right: Sephora by OPI- What’s a Tire Jack?, Nicka K- NY139, Sephora Nail Lacquer 5 Day Shine- Banana split, Essie- Pretty Edgy, Formula X for Sephora- Omni, Formula X for Sephora- Haphazard.

I started off by painting each of my nails a different color.  I went in backwards rainbow order.  Don’t ask why- I think I had a sixth sense about something…

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Taste the rainbow!

The toughest part about this mani was having to do the squiggly line detail.  Trying to paint over black polish with a lighter color would be near impossible, and I hate having to clean nail polish off my nail art brushes.  My approach was to take black acrylic paint and draw around the squiggle so that the original base color showed through.

Step 1- Use a striping brush to paint the outline of the area where the squiggle will appear.

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Painting the outlines of the black section of the crayon wrapper will allow you to space your squiggles out more consistently in the next step.

For the next two steps, please refer to the photo below Step 3.

Step 2 (on green nail): Using a detail brush, paint in hills along one line. If you like more of a uniform look, put the highest peak of the hill in the center of your nail and then finish off the sides with an upward curve.

Step 3 (on yellow nail): repeat the process of painting hills along the other line to coincide with the opposing curve.

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The various stages of painting in the squiggle shape within the black lines.

For an easier mani, you can simply topcoat the result and say that you painted the bottom half of the crayon, but I like to go the distance.  😉

In order to make the wrapper look different from the actual crayon, I used matte top coat over the bottom half of my nails.

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Mattifying the squiggle section of the nail mimics the paper wrapper and gives the look more texture. I used a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI.

To draw the tip, I used a striping brush and black polish to first notch the beginning of the tapered section of the point.

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Adding notches to show the start of the tip of the crayon.

From there I painted in an angled section with the striper so that the tip of the crayon would be tapered.

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Crayon madness!

Add some topcoat to the top half of the nail, and you’re done!  It’s a very cute look and makes people nostalgic for their youth.  Now where did I put that coloring book?  😉

If you were wondering about that sixth sense that I mentioned before…  It’s because the purple color ended up being a lot darker than I thought it would be, so the black detail did not show up very well at all.  😦  I’m glad I didn’t have to photograph my thumb to get a good picture!  If you decide to recreate this, definitely choose lighter colors over darker ones.

Happy polishing!