Blowing Bubbles Nail Art

It’s getting close to the beginning of a new year, so I wanted to try to make a whimsical looking manicure. I don’t know about you, but 2017 was a doozy and not particularly one of the better ones! Here’s to blowing away the bad stuff and wishing for something wonderful for 2018!

I tried to pick a pretty light blue base to act as my sky backdrop. This color is called Siren Melodies from Femme Fatale, an indie brand, and my pictures don’t do it justice. Aside from the beautiful crelly mix that allows the holographic glitter particles to show through, this periwinkle shade also is iridescent and has a pinky-purple sheen at different angles that gives this color a lot of dimension.




I made a silhouette of someone blowing through a bubble wand with a combination of stamping and freehand work. Continue reading

Santa’s Sleigh Xing Sign Nails

We’re in the home stretch to Christmas, so I had to get at least one Christmas themed manicure in before the big day.  Inspired by road signs, I decided to paint a “Sleigh Crossing” version to warn people to look out for Santa and his reindeer.

To start, I painted my nails with 2 coats of white polish.


b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

To make my road sign noticeable, I used neon yellow powder that glows under blacklight.


Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Powder in color #11.

To use this powder, you must apply a gel top coat over your nails and cure it for about 15 seconds so that the surface stays tacky, then apply the powder with a sponge applicator.  Being neat is a strong plus here.  You don’t want to get the top coat pooling in your cuticles or sides of your nail bed because things will look really messy, and using a latex barrier on your skin will aid with the clean up process.


After applying the powder over the gel top coat, my nails have a matte look.

You will want to use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails before applying another layer of gel top coat to seal in the color.  The powder can easily contaminate the brush and bottle of top coat, so if you are truly paranoid, you might consider pouring out a small amount of top coat into a separate container for use with this manicure to keep things neat.


Once the gel top coat is applied and fully cured, my nails achieve a highlighter yellow color.

The Santa and reindeer silhouettes were painted freehand with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in black.  I really wished that I had a stamping plate that I could have used for this step, but it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve tried to paint.


Warning: Sleigh Xing!

The reindeer were the hardest elements for me to paint.  I had to redo at least one nail completely because I didn’t like how it was turning out.  The best part about having gel top coat sealing the neon base is that you can wipe away the paint on top without messing up the color underneath.

If you decide to attempt the freehand here, I find that it is easier to start by painting the shape of the body, then add the tail, legs, head, and antlers.  That’s my method, but hey, what do I know about painting animals?  Truth be told, I was cursing the whole time about how I can’t paint reindeer!

So while the design looks the most impressive under a blacklight, sadly they do not glow in the dark.  Seeing as you don’t encounter blacklights in many places, people can’t truly appreciate the full effect of these nails.  They’re still pretty festive, so you might want to attend a rave just for fun with these on.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate!  Happy polishing!



Review of Born Pretty Store BP-X07 Plate

Being a musician, I was attracted to this new square plate from Born Pretty Store.  After all, music and dance go together hand in hand!


BP-X07 plate from Born Pretty Store is part of the new 6 cm square series plates from the company.

Sadly, the musician in me balked against the improperly drawn stems and flags on the note heads which should have been flipped to be on the opposite sides of the notes.  Technically this could be fixed by reverse stamping this part onto clear nail polish to invert the image, but ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!  I was super bummed that I would not be able to use that part of the plate without getting flamed by my colleagues.

Also, anyone with musical training knows that the treble clef always goes on the left side of the stave.  You can get around this technical error by only using the swirly musical banner without stamping the treble clef sign, but it’s still slightly annoying.

The dancer silhouettes on the other hand look awesome and include a variety of different styles such as ballet, flamenco, and ballroom styles.  I decided to use some in my sparkly pole dancer manicure.  More on that in a bit.

Going over the basics of the plate, it gets shipped with blue film protecting the surface, so be sure to remove this prior to use.


Fresh out of the package. Please remove the blue film before using the product.

A word of caution: Although the metal of the plate is not overly sharp, it can still do some damage, especially because the edges are straight.  I managed to cut my fingers while gripping the sides of the plate while removing the protective layer, so don’t hold it too tightly!  The corners are at least rounded to try to minimize the rest of the damage that this item can do.

The back of the plate is stamped with the name of the company and their website.


Rear view of the stamping plate.

Like all Born Pretty plates, a cardboard sleeve is included so you can store your purchase safely inside it when you aren’t using it.  The packaging is nondescript and fits all 6 cm square plates, so feel free to use it with plates from other companies if you want to.


The front and back views of the cardboard holder. You can refer to the backside for instructions on how to stamp nail art.

The etching is deep, but I did find that little details were hard to pick up.  For instance, in the image below, the poles did not transfer very well, and the outline of the leftmost girl’s bikini top and the heels of her shoes are missing.  Some of the silhouettes have arms and legs that look too stick-like whereas on the plate there are sensuous curves.


Stamping transferred the majority of the design correctly but not precisely.

Honestly, this was the first time I ever had a hard time with a Born Pretty plate, but it was easy to fix the errors with some acrylic paint.


I tidied up this manicure by repainting some of the details with a striping brush, a detail brush, and some acrylic paint.

While this plate is great at giving a basic image that you can tweak and fix, it won’t be exactly the same as what you see etched.  Had the designs not contained so many fine, tiny lines, this would have been a perfect score.  However, if you love dance, you should own this plate because no one is going to sit around nitpicking that the legs or arms don’t look right.  I’m sure you’ll be able to rock the look no matter what!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $3.99 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!


Pole Dancer Nails

After doing the silhouette of the rhythmic gymnast for my Olympics themed nails, I felt the urge to do something else with a silhouette.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to rely on my freehand painting skills for this one because I have a stamping plate that fits the bill perfectly!


Can you get jiggy with it?  Plate BP-X07 from Born Pretty Store.

Seems to me like there were quite a few pole dancers and sexy girls on there, so I went with a holographic polish base to fit the mood.


My holo polish of choice was Things That Make You Go Bloom by KB Shimmer.


I used bmc nail lacquer in noir black to do the stamping, but I wasn’t that thrilled with the opacity.


I ended up going over a lot of the images with craft smart acrylic paint in Black to intensify the silhouettes. The poles were corrected with paint and a striping brush, and I had to draw in the bust outline for the girl on the far left.

Of course, the lesson is to make sure you use good quality stamping polishes in the first place so that you don’t have to paint over your stamping to make it look good!  I suppose it would have looked fine in either case, but certain details didn’t get picked up from the plate so well, and my OCD wouldn’t let me leave things like that.


My “pole” is actually my flute!

It’s still a cute idea, and it reeks of Showgirls.  Don’t you think Nomi Malone would approve?

Happy polishing!