Swirling Vine Glittery Manicure

Hello there, and Happy Easter!  Sorry for my inactivity lately.  I’ve spent the past week frantically trying to get my taxes done, so I had to put everything on hold.  I did have enough time to make this pretty manicure, inspired by my feeling of being trapped by a deadline.

I started by painting all my nails white.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in Angelic White provides excellent coverage in just 2 coats.

I used a glitter powder from Born Pretty Store to turn my nails into a sparkly teal color.  I applied Born Pretty Soak Off Gel Top Coat over the fully dried white nail polish, cured it for about 15 seconds, then used a sponge applicator to apply the glitter to the tacky surface.

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Born Pretty Holographic Blue Laser Powder is beautifully shimmery and fully covers up the white base color.

After dusting off the excess powder with a fan brush, I applied another layer of gel top coat to seal in the sparkle.

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I love the color and the holographic shine in this powder.

Because I didn’t have a lot of time to do my nails, I stamped a vine design from the plate below onto my nails with Ya Qin An stamping polish in White.

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Born Pretty Store BPX-L018 plate has lots of leaves. I opted to use the design in the middle row, 3rd from the right.

The finished look is quite elegant, and I love the white and teal color combination.

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Swirling vines in colors perfect for Easter.

I’m hoping to get back on track with the blog soon, so stay tuned for more nail art and reviews!  Happy polishing!

 

 

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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Review of Ya Qin An Top Coat and Nail Art Problem #6: Streaky Nail Art

A few months ago, I saw a post on Instagram regarding a top coat that doesn’t smudge stamping.  I can’t remember which company released it as I can’t find the picture now, but I was intrigued by how you could brush on coat after coat of the stuff without fear of smearing your nail art!  So lo and behold, not long after that, I found a mysterious product listed as “1 Bottle 18ml Nail Polish Nail Printing Anti-stamp Dedicated Isolation Oil Brush Pure Color” on Born Pretty Store’s website that sounded like it fit the bill.

http://www.bornprettystore.com/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

I took a gamble and got the product despite the lack of information on it, and it turns out that it did exactly what I thought it would do!

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Ya Qin An top coat for stamping and nail art.

The bottle is a generous 18 mL size that will last you quite awhile.  By comparison, Seche Vite comes in a 14 mL bottle, and most standard bottles of nail polish contain 15 mL of fluid.

I love that the bottle shape is basically a big cube.  The width makes it stable and less likely to be knocked over, not like I’ve ever done that

I can’t read Chinese, so I can’t help with the translation of any of the labels below.  Maybe one of you kind readers will be able to lend a hand?

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I’m guessing that this label lists the ingredients.

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The top of the cap has this sticker on top.

The formula is nice and crystal clear.  It is definitely not any kind of oil, as the initial description mentioned!  It has a slightly fruity chemical smell to it.  I wouldn’t say that it’s very offensive or overly strong, but it’s not unscented.

I’ve used it for several stamping manicures so far and liked what I saw.  I was able to brush over the same area multiple times without the stamping polish streaking.

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Also topped off this damask print manicure with Ya Qin An top coat.

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Ya Qin An top coat over school uniform plaid nails.

You can see that there wasn’t any smudging in the above manicures.  By contrast, this is what a nail with Seche Vite top coat looks like.

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Yikes, that blue color streaked, and that was with one brush stroke of Seche Vite!

I do have to say that despite the streaking, Seche Vite dried faster and shinier than the top coat by Ya Qin An.  But what good is that if the nail art underneath streaks and ruins all your hard work?  So for that alone, I think Ya Qin An deserves a 5 diamond rating.  You might have to sit around for another 5 minutes to make sure that everything dries completely, but you’ll have the security of knowing that your stamping efforts paid off.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this top coat (retail price is $11.96 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/bottle-18ml-nail-polish-nail-printing-anti-stamp-dedicated-isolation-brush-pure-color-p-27001.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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Chevron Holographic Mani

Ever since I finished my last manicure, I’ve been eyeing my bottle of Meet Me at the Disco from Sephora by OPI.  Technically the bottle says it’s a top coat, but I wanted to slather it all over my nails because of its beautiful holo glitter.

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Silvery holographic goodness from Meet Me At the Disco by Sephora by OPI.

Because Meet Me At the Disco is supposed to be a top coat, the density of glitter in the polish is a little on the thin side in order to let a base color show through.  In order to not have 10 layers of polish on my nails, I applied it with a makeup sponge so that the excess fluid would get absorbed by the sponge.  Pretty crafty, eh?  Glitter can get chunky in places with that kind of application, so I did end up brushing on an extra two coats of polish straight from the bottle to even out the texture.

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Obligatory out of focus picture to photograph the holographic effect. It’s hard to take pictures of holo polish!

For an accent nail, I stamped a chevron pattern onto my ring finger with Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black and plate BM-423 from Bundle Monster.

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Easy chevron nail art accomplished!

Hope you’re having a great summer so far!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Poolside Inspired Nail Art

After such intensive work on the Minions last week, I wanted to keep it simple.  Brainstorming summery things, I decided a pool would be good inspiration, so I dug through my nail foils and found this beauty:

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Nail foil purchased on eBay.  Doesn’t this remind you of how inviting a pool looks on a hot summer day?

I wanted to contrast it with a silvery gray color, but apparently I’m a bit color blind at night, the time when I usually paint my nails.  Using Racy from Formula X for Sephora, I painted all my nails with 1-2 coats and realized that the color was actually a metallic purple-gray color.  And me being too lazy to take it off and start again, I just went with it anyway.  Hey, I said poolside inspired, which is the catch phrase for not having to literally paint what I said I was going to do!  😉

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Racy by Formula X for Sephora.

Using an old nail polish brush and a solution made of 1/2 water and 1/2 ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever (highly recommended by Robin Moses on her blog), I painted half my nail on the diagonal with glue and let it dry clear before applying the foil.

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So shiny! Freshly applied foil.

To hide slight imperfections on the diagonal border of the foil, I added a stripe of Silver Glitter by Kiss Nail Art Paint.

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Nail art featuring Kiss Nail Art Paint in Silver Glitter.

For a finishing touch and no good reason other than the fact that I wanted to use them, I added a rhinestone to the center of each silver glitter stripe.  I didn’t use glue to adhere these because they are small (2 mm diameter) and because adding a topcoat over the rhinestones would help seal them in place.

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Pre-topcoat application. So shiny!

The final dilemma was figuring out if my topcoat would disintegrate the foil.  If you’ve used nail art foil before, you’ll know this problem quite well.  Seche Vite, which I swear by as the topcoat for practically all of my manicures, breaks up the foil and dulls its appearance.  This time I tried out Miracle Gel Topcoat by Sally Hansen, and it did a pretty good job of not destroying the foil.  If any of you have recommendations for good topcoats, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Happy painting!

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With topcoat, the foil doesn’t look as lustrous, but at least I know it won’t rub off by the end of the day!