Review of Born Pretty Valentine’s Day BP-L001 Stamping Plate

Today I’m reviewing Born Pretty’s Valentine’s Day BP-L001 stamping plate. Born Pretty seems to be releasing collections of plates based on holidays lately, but this sweet plate is full of pretty designs that you’ll be using all year round.

The plate comes shipped in an elegant looking cardboard sleeve.

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The backside has basic instructions for how to use it, but I’m sure that most of you reading this post are veterans of stamping.

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The plate itself is mounted on a piece of white plastic so that you can’t cut yourself on the metal edges. A thin blue layer of plastic film (the “protection sticker” mentioned in the instructions) covers the surface to protect it from being scratched. You must remove this before using the plate.

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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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Bee Mine Valentine’s Day Nails

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m bringing you some punny nail art today that not only features a classic Valentine phrase but also pays homage to my dear honey whom I nicknamed my “Bumblus” bee. I think he definitely deserves a shout out on my nails!

I chose a classic pale pink as my base color. This one is called Luella from Julep, and it’s a nice opaque creme.

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Luella was Julep’s Color of the Year for 2016.

Bees go together with flowers, so I chose to add some light roses using the BM-H16 plate from Bundle Monster.

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This manicure uses the pattern on the far right.

I went with a pink holographic stamping polish from Born Pretty (color #2 on their website) for the roses. The shade is only a little bit darker than the one already on my nails, so there isn’t a lot of contrast between the colors. The holographic shimmer helps make this polish stand out, but I really wanted something subtle for this design.

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You could easily stop at this point for an easy Valentine’s Day manicure, but why stop there? Here comes the fun part!

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Victorian Love Letter Manicure

February 15 was a vintage love letter theme for the @glamnailschallenge prompt.  I have to say, using peel off base coat is making it a lot easier to get myself to paint more because I keep losing nail polish off my fingers by accident, making it necessary to change my manicure!  Good thing that these prompts are so fun to fulfill.

The first step was to choose a nice base color.  I toyed with the idea of staining some tan polish with alcohol ink to create that old paper look, but I didn’t have that much time to paint my nails.  I found this beautiful crelly from Pretty & Polished in my collection that reminded me of pretty speckled stationery, so I went with it.

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This color from Pretty & Polished is appropriately named Antique.

I envisioned script overlaid with roses, but after digging through my extensive stamping plate collection, I couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted.  I made the gut wrenching decision to attempt painting the words myself.  Mind you, I have never felt comfortable with writing words on my nails because painting with a brush really doesn’t work the same way that a pen does.  I probably could have used a fine tipped Sharpie to do this, but I opted for the harder route and used acrylic paint with a fine brush and winged it.  A challenge for the challenge!

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In retrospect, a little planning would have gone a long way.  My first mistake was that I didn’t give myself enough time to do this manicure before having to leave for an appointment.  I actually had to apply topcoat after I took the upper right hand corner picture so that I could leave and come back to the details of the flowers later!  I took the most time with my index finger, which is why the text looks so much better and clearer than it does on the other fingers.  But unfortunately, acrylic paint dries quickly, and my mix of black and brown paint got thicker and thicker as I moved from nail to nail.  I guess I might need to get one of those fancy palettes that keep the paint moist.

I also felt like my text was too unevenly spaced, although perhaps that adds a more realistic charm to the look.  Ever try writing on an unlined piece of paper before?  I guess that makes my handwriting look more authentic.

My saving grace was being able to place the roses over the bits where I thought the penmanship looked too sloppy.  This was easily done with a few kinds of nail polish and some dotting tools.  The leaves are Monet Money from Finger Paints, and the different shades of pink are all colors from Nicole by OPI: (from darkest to lightest color) Berry the Hatchet, City-Pretty Rose, and Carnival Cotton Candy.

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The letter that I’m holding is a facsimile of one written by Eugene O’Neill to Beatrice Ashe on November 1, 1914.

The result turned out very pretty, and I’m sure that people will assume that I stamped the script when really I cursed a lot over the cursive writing!  While it’s not my best freehand work, I’m still satisfied with it.  I’ll just keep practicing my brushwork and see if I can do better the next time.

Happy polishing!

 

Gold and Burgundy Roses

Despite some of the warm weather that we’ve been having in New York lately, it’s still officially fall.  One look at all the leaves turning gorgeous colors outside show you what the real season is.

My inspiration for this one comes from the classic fall shades burgundy and gold.  I needed to do a simple and quick manicure that would get me out the door in time, so I turned to my collection of holo polishes first to see which shade spoke to me.

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The winner was Blood Hound by Cupcake Polish! Its dark and vampy color yells October.

I picked a nice plate from Born Pretty Store for the stamping.

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BP-73 is the name. Roses are its game.

The gold polish I used for the stamping was made by Ya Qin An.  I have used this in a few other recent manicures.  It has the best pigmentation!

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I used the pattern from the top of the plate to stamp this manicure.

I added a nice anti-smudging top coat also made by Ya Qin An and was able to get my photo and arrive at work in time without a hitch!  Can’t complain about that.

Happy polishing!

 

 

Holographic Rose Nail Art

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!  Hope you’re all having a great day, even if that means that you’re sitting at home with a pint of ice cream and surfing the web for nail art.

I wasn’t in a kitschy mood today because my significant other is out of town for work right now, so I decided to put some nice pink and silver roses on my nails instead.

To help me out, I used plate BPL-024 from Born Pretty Store.

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Flowers upon flowers. I used the pattern in the bottom row, 3rd from the left for this manicure.

I wanted the look to be fresh, so I opted for pink stamping polish and a silver holographic polish for some interest rather than using a glitter polish.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish in #16 and UO Nail Lacquer in Silver Holo.

I started by painting my nails with Silver Holo.

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What I love about this holo polish is that it only takes one coat to get an opaque look.

I followed up with stamping the pattern from BPL-024 at differing angles across my nails for contrast.

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Pretty roses. If I could change anything about the pattern on this plate, it would be to get rid of the large amounts of background color and replace it with some more roses. However, I do love the fact that two different colors of roses appear on the same nail.

Add some top coat, and you’re ready to hit the town with your valentine!

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Holographic roses! Now that was easy.

Have fun tonight, and happy polishing!

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!