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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Holographic Bubble Nail Art

I’ve still been feeling rather lazy and uninspired, so I again turned to the @clairestelle8challenge to help me through the week.  The prompt for January 21 was Circles, and I could have easily turned to my stamping plate collection, but I decided to challenge myself a little bit and try my hand at painting bubbles.

I started by applying a pearly white base color to all my nails.

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Of Quartz You Can by Finger Paints.

I came up with a rather clever trick to make bubble decals on a silicone mat.  The mat is from Bundle Monster, and I used Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat to form the base of the nail decal.  I brushed an unused pencil eraser lightly with holographic polish and stamped it onto the dried top coat on the mat.  I repeated this technique many times and also with 2-3 different polishes applied to the same circular stamped area in order to get the mix of colors that you would typically see in a soap bubble.

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Rainbow colored holographic bubbles on my silicone mat. The polishes used include Pink Holo, Green Holo, and Purple Holo from UO Nail Lacquer and Tali from Julep.

To use the decals, I carefully peeled the layer of polish from my mat and cut around the bubble(s) that I wished to use.  After painting my nail with a layer of Seche Vite top coat, I immediately placed the decal where I wanted it and allowed it to set.

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Nebulous orb shapes. They already looked like bubbles, but they needed a little more help.

Using a detail brush, I outlined each bubble with craft smart acrylic paint in dark grey.  I also added a little bit of dimension to the bubble by adding a white highlight to the top right and bottom left side of each circle.  The dark grey paint contrasted too much with the design, so I ended up tracing the outlines again with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer to make them blend more with the colors in the bubbles.

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Finishing touches.

After another layer of top coat over everything, my design was done.

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Soap bubble nail art. Just wish I had a thinner detail brush for the outlines.

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To be honest, they didn’t come out exactly as planned.  Holographic polish tends to be pretty opaque with even just a thin layer applied so my bubbles didn’t look as ethereal and transparent as I wanted them to be.  Also, the pencil eraser technique worked great, but it didn’t allow for any variation in size unless I purposefully wanted to carve down an eraser.  It still came out kind of cool, at least in concept.

Hopefully I get my inspiration back soon!  Happy polishing!

 

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!

Lacey Stained Glass Manicure

I wanted to create a pretty manicure after my 3D nail experiment, so I turned to a classy plate from Harunouta for inspiration.

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Lace for days: Harunouta plate L-009.

My eyes were drawn to the lace strip in the center of the plate, so I decided to do some stamping in black over subtle holographic hues.  Did you know that Urban Outfitters released a line of holographic nail polishes a few years ago?  They are some of the best purchases I ever made.

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Clockwise from top left: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black, UO Nail Lacquer in Silver Holo, UO Nail Lacquer in Pink Holo, and UO Nail Lacquer in Green Holo.

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I painted all my nails with Silver Holo.

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I stamped the lace image with black polish and colored in the flowers with Pink Holo and the leaves with Green Holo.

Pro tip: Use several stampers so that you can let the polish dry completely as you fill in the image on the next stamper.  Failure to wait will cause the colors to smear outside of your outlines, and the decal will not transfer properly.

I used the brush from the bottle to fill in the design, but if you need more precision, a dotting tool or detail brush is handy.

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After stamping the design, some clean up, and top coat, your manicure is done!

The most time consuming work is coloring in the sections, but it really an easy manicure to do.  Plus it’s holo- how can you go wrong?

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Hope you enjoyed this design!  Happy polishing!

Chessmen Nails

Ever since I painted this design, people have been asking me if I play chess.  The short answer is no, although I vaguely remember the basic rules from when I was taught them a long time ago.  The last time I did any sort of chess game was online with a friend in the late 90s.  My claim to fame was beating my brother, who is nine years older than me, shortly after he taught me how to play the game at the age of 7.  I know he didn’t let me win because he wasn’t too happy about that one!

The inspiration for my chess themed nails comes from the checkerboard pattern on plate Qgirl-046 from Ya Qin An.

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I used the checkerboard print at the top of the plate for this manicure.

In retrospect, I would have painted the checkerboard by hand to get the lines more exact and consistent, but I didn’t have a lot of time to paint that night.  More about that in a bit.

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I started out by painting my nails with Silver Holo from UO Nail Lacquer. Honestly, who doesn’t like a good holographic polish?

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I used Konad Special Nail Polish in Flash Black to do the stamping. Of course, I bumped my nail against something and was too lazy to fix it, so I left the damage there. After all, I knew I was going to paint over it anyway.

I want to also point out that it’s super hard to get a checkerboard pattern like this one all even and precise if you use a squishy stamper.  The softer head makes it easy to stamp over curvy nail beds, but it also distorts the pattern as it transfers.  So you can see the difference, I used my Konad stamper on my ring finger, but I didn’t scrape the plate very well so it picked up everything.  It’s funny because I’m so used to other stampers being more forgiving in that sense.

In any case, I know I did a hack job of the stamping, but it’s only the background so…

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I took a small brush and used craft smart acrylic paint in White to paint the basic shapes of the chess pieces. I decided on painting two pawns, a king, a queen, and a knight, which sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

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To make the pieces stand out, I outlined each piece with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in Black. I also used the black paint to fill in any weird spots in the checkerboard print.

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I finished by applying Seche Vite Top Coat.

I was going to use Dazzle Dry Top Coat, but it started smudging my stamping with the first stroke, so I quickly changed plans.  Just remember that not every top coat will work with every manicure!

Hope you enjoyed reading about how to hide a bad stamping job.  😉  Happy polishing!

Review of Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #16

I’m a huge fan of the stamping plates from Born Pretty Store, but I did not have the pleasure of trying out their stamping polish until just recently.  They carry a large variety of colors, but I decided to get their pale pink (#16) first because light colors don’t always stamp well.  The results with this color would let me get a good feel for what to expect from this line.

Right off the bat upon arrival, I noticed that the polish formula was already starting to separate.  Shipping took about 2-3 weeks to get this from Singapore to the US, so either the bottle was sitting in the warehouse for an even longer period of time, or the nail polish is prone to separation.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish #16 has some separation anxiety. Note the different colored swirls of pinks near the top of the bottle.

Stamping polish is more viscous than regular nail polish, so it was hard to get the formula to blend into an even consistency.  The website link for the item even directs you to shake the bottle very well prior to using it.  I found that vigorous shaking isn’t very effective because there are no steel beads in the bottle to agitate the formula.  However, Born Pretty Store also happens to sell mixing beads, so adding one or two to the bottle helps a ton to get the nail polish one uniform color again quickly.

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After adding a steel mixing ball to the bottle and shaking it up, this polish is ready to play nice again.

The bottle holds 15 mL of nail polish, which is the same amount you get from brands like OPI and Zoya.  You will be able to get plenty of manicures out of this bad boy!

As mentioned previously, the polish formula is pretty thick.

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Born Pretty Stamping Nail Polish doesn’t drip very easily- that drop was hanging from the end of the brush for quite awhile.

One coat of polish over a nail proves to be very opaque.  This polish wasn’t meant to be used as a base color, but you could use it in a pinch for a one step manicure.

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One coat of #16 gives total coverage. The picture above is shown without a top coat applied.

The ease of use of this nail polish really shines with stamping.

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Stamping done with a Konad stamper and Born Pretty Store plate BPL-024. The base colors are What’s A Tire Jack? from Sephora by OPI, Pretty Edgy by Essie, and White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

The nail polish transfers smoothly from the plate to the stamper and then onto the nail.  You can see that even though it is a light color, the pink shows up beautifully over both light and dark colored backgrounds.  I have used other stamping polishes that will hardly show up over a light background and will look very faint over a dark background, but Born Pretty Store’s version has a consistent solid look to it across the board.

The lines are clean, and the color is even across large areas.

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Holographic rose mani using #16 over Silver Holo by UO Nail Lacquer.

I’m very impressed with the results of this nail polish, and I can’t wait to try out some more colors from this line!  Stamping with this was a pleasure, and I highly recommend it, although I would purchase some mixing balls to put inside the bottle to keep the polish from separating too much while in storage.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish (retail price is $5.42 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy polishing!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/18ml-candy-color-nail-stamping-polish-newly-nail-varnish-stamp-p-21282.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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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!