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 Beauty Big Bang Stamping Plates and Stamper Kit

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your favorite nail art loving buddy or even for yourself? You will love the selection that this kit from Beauty Big Bang has whether you are new to nail art or a seasoned pro!

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How beautiful is this nail mail?

There are 12 pieces total in this awesome set. You get a stamper, a scraper, and 10 random circular plates with assorted designs. The downside is that you don’t get to select what designs you will receive, but I loved the surprise of opening the package and seeing what arrived.

Each plate comes inside a resealable plastic bag. The front of the bag is clear so that you can see the images on the plate. Storing the plate inside the original packaging is recommended so that the surface does not get scratched from rubbing against other plates or objects.

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Basic instructions are printed on the back of the packaging.

The instructions aren’t very thorough as they don’t cover the first steps of stamping, such as removing the plastic layer from the plate, applying nail polish to the design, and scraping away the excess before transferring the image to the stamper. Seasoned pros won’t need the tutorial, but if you are purchasing this kit for a beginner, the recipient might be very confused as to what to do.

I think it’s very unfortunate that they do not mention the part about removing the plastic layer from the plates first because the plastic is clear and not easily noticed. Also, trying to find a free edge to pull the plastic away is a little tricky, although I find that using an orange stick helps with this.

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You can pick away at the edge of the plate to lift enough of the plastic layer to remove it easily.

As for the plates themselves, I think they are made by Blink, but they are clearly inspired by Konad. The etching is done very well, and the quality is top notch. As mentioned previously, you don’t get to pick which plates you will receive, but I loved the assortment of designs. Here are the 10 plates that were in my package: Continue reading

Review of Born Pretty Clear Silicone Metal Chess Stamper

Hi, everyone! I wanted to share a product with you that has quickly become one of my favorite things for my last few manicures. It’s a clear stamper from Born Pretty Store that works like a dream!

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The Born Pretty clear jelly stamper has a lid and a hefty metal base holder.

When you receive the product in the mail, it looks less than glamorous. It comes in a plastic Ziploc bag along with a few scrapers that are tossed into the package.

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The scrapers are made of thin and flexible plastic. They are akin to credit card sizes, but they are definitely thinner. What makes plastic scrapers awesome is that they do not scratch up stamping plates. Also, at least for these scrapers, I feel like the pliability of the plastic allows them to scrape off the perfect amount of polish. I’ve been using them instead of an old gift card that was my tried and true friend for stamping, and I definitely feel like the Born Pretty scrapers are easier to use, plus they wipe clean with nail polish remover and a cotton pad.

As for the stamper itself, it is pure elegance to look at. The metal is a silver aluminum alloy that is also available in other colors. This gives the stamper a nice weight. It is on the stout side, so you will never have to worry about tipping it over by accident, and it snugly supports a large clear silicone head that allows you to make decals with reverse stamping very easily right on the surface.

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The stamper conveniently comes with a lid that protects the silicone head from attracting dust and dirt when it is not being used. Another nice touch is that the bottom of the stamper is protected by a clear plastic disc that prevents dust and dirt from getting on the inside surface of the stamper. This disc can be popped out if you so choose, but I would recommend that you keep it on.

As for the stamper head itself, the benefits of having a clear stamper are huge! You can see straight through to the other side of the stamper and also whatever is at the other end. This allows for perfect placement of your stamped designs.

This silicone material also does not have to be primed at all. It is usable straight from the package.

 

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This was the first thing that I stamped, no priming required. The image is virtually flawless.

You can also tell that the surface is big enough to cover the widest of nail beds, including toenails. The size of this stamper is also suitable for long nails as the diameter of the head is close to 1 and 3/8 inches.

Regarding cleaning, all you need is a piece of tape to lift off any polish, dust, or oil from the surface. If you need to do so, the head is completely removable and can be washed with soap and water.

Texture wise, there is a bit of squish to the stamping head. Straight lines may be a little bit difficult to stamp, but it is not impossible to do. It has the same kind of feel as other clear stamper heads. I would rate this in the middle of the squishiness scale.

Here are all the manicures that I have done so far that have used this stamper:

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Pattern placement is easy to do on this thermal geometric print.

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Clear stampers make it a breeze to guarantee that the patterns do not line up when you do double stamping for texture such as in this green clover manicure.

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gold veined mirror look is stamped in no time.

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Aligning veins in a stone marble look to be where you want them to be is simple with this stamper.

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Getting the swirling vines to start from the center of your nails is a piece of cake when you have a clear silicone head on the stamper.

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Straight lines are not impossible to do, or even to correct with double stamping, as evidenced by this musical mani.

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You can make consistent decals for equalizer nails with the help of this stamper.

I’m sure the list will only continue to grow more and more over time, but needless to say, you will get a lot of bang for your buck with this stamper! The images transfer flawlessly every time. I’m so in love with this stamper that it will be very hard to get me to use a different one now! Try it out and see the magic for yourself!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamper (retail price is $5.00 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/metal-clear-jelly-nail-stamper-chess-design-silicone-head-with-born-pretty-scraper-p-38605.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

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St. Patrick’s Day Nails

I’m still recovering from St. Patrick’s Day, how about you?  Sorry for the late post, but you’ll have this tutorial ready for the next time you want to show some Irish pride!

It’s been awhile since I tried doing any kind of water marbling, and I felt like maybe I could make a nice cloverleaf pattern by using that technique.  I can’t stand the mess of cleaning up my nails with the tradition dunking method associated with water marbling, so I tried making decals this time around, which worked great.

I chose a nice assortment of green nail polishes for the marbling, and I threw in a glittery gold polish for good luck.

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Finger Paints Nail Color works exceptionally well for water marbling. From left to right: Masked Beauty, Monet Money, Peace, Love & Green, and Grassy Knoll.

To make the decals, I used a small plastic cap to hold the water and dropped in my colors one at a time.  Because my cap has a 1.5 inch diameter, it doesn’t take many rings to get the colors nicely packed.

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I work on a miniature scale. It takes only 12 drops of polish to get this bullseye to form.

I used a toothpick to bring the outside rings of the bullseye to a point in the middle.

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Not my most perfect water marble, but I repeated these steps a few times so I could pick and choose which decals looked the best.

I blew on the surface of the water to help the polish dry a little more before picking up the image with a large stamper.

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You can choose to stamp this directly onto your nails, but I set my stamper aside to allow the polish to dry to turn this into a nail decal.

After waiting a few minutes, the water marbled polish is ready to be peeled off the stamper head.  If it doesn’t lift easily, allow the polish to dry some more.  Having multiple stampers makes this process easy because as one decal is drying, you can make another water marble pattern to be picked up with a different stamper.

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After allowing the polish to dry, you should be able to peel off the layer. In this way, you can pick the best looking part of the pattern to use on your nail without making any mess.

I made several decals, although I only needed four of them in the end.

The process for the application is fairly easy.  I cut out the portion of the decal that I wanted to use and trimmed it to fit my nail.

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I do a rough cut of the decal before I trim it down to fit my nail.

I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI as a base color under the water marble.  I only used one coat of polish, and it doesn’t have to be opaque because the water marble will cover it up.  White helps the colors pop.

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One coat of White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

While the polish is still tacky, apply your decal and set it with clear top coat.

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I put the water marble design on my middle and ring fingers to form the shape of a cloverleaf.

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Extra supplies for part 2: White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black, and Recollections Signature Glitter in Emerald.

I really wanted sparkly green nails, but I don’t own a green glitter polish, so I made my own with the following steps.

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I painted my nail with Monet Money from Finger Paints.

While the polish was still wet, I poured on green glitter.  I used a fan brush to sweep away the excess.

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Emerald glitter made by Recollections.

I then took Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and brushed on about 2-3 coats over the glitter so that it formed a smooth surface.  I wouldn’t have minded having some texture, but I wanted to paint belt buckles on top of the glitter.

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Sparkly emerald green nails!

To form the belt, I used the striping brush from Kiss Nail Art Paint in Black to make two parallel lines and filled in the section.

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My glitter just got black barred.

Using a detail brush and Masked Beauty, I painted a thin gold line above and below the black section and connected them to form the square buckle.

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Add some top coat, and you’re done!

It took awhile to finish this, but I love the results.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!  Happy polishing!

Review of Double Ended Stamper

I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect stamper.  Not only is it fun to have an arsenal of stampers for when I want to make decals, but it’s interesting to see the differences in firmness, stickiness, and the clarity of the images picked up by the heads.

I picked up this double ended stamper from Born Pretty Store.  It immediately caught my attention because there are rather large heads on both sides of the stamper.  The smaller head has a 2.8 cm diameter while the larger end is 3.2 cm wide.  I don’t really need large sized heads because I keep my nails fairly short, but one could easily stamp their big toe with either end and have room to spare.

The packaging is less than glamorous.  The stamper arrives in a clear plastic bag, so it does the job in terms of protecting the heads from collecting dust and dirt while in transit.  The plastic handle is fairly durable, so there really isn’t any need to protect it further.

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The stamper comes shipped in a narrow plastic bag that is resealable should you choose to store it this way.

Speaking of the handle, it has nice oval shaped finger grips imprinted along its sides.  It would otherwise be smooth plastic, which could slip out of your fingers while handling it.

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Finger grips are indented along opposite sides of the handle.

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You can see that the handle is slightly indented at 3 different places along the sides to allow you to grip the stamper better.

The stamper heads are removable, and it’s interesting to note that they are not mounted onto the stamper the same way.

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The holder for the smaller end of the stamper has a flat backed cup design.

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The larger end of the stamper has a ring indentation, but the inside is mostly hollow except for a support post extending from the middle of the stamper which serves to keep the head from being pushed back too deep.

The heads stay in place just fine on both ends and are well supported.  The removable head design is great because you can buy extra stamping heads (provided they are the 2.8 and 3.2 cm size) and use them with this holder.  This is a huge time saver for those who enjoy making colored nail decals from their stamped creations- just swap the heads and keep stamping before coloring in the images. The backs of the heads are flat, so they won’t roll around once they are taken off the handle.

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It looks like these are fried eggs, but these are the two stamper heads. You can tell that both are large, but the 3.2 cm one is on the left while the 2.8 cm one is on the right.

The heads themselves are coated in some kind of oil when you take the stamper out of the package.  You should wash them in soap and water before doing anything with them.

The heads do not work well right away and need to be primed before use.  I primed my heads by rubbing 100% acetone on each head with a cotton pad for about a minute or two before testing it again.

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Testing the 3.2 cm side. Top left: First attempt at stamping, no priming done. Top right: What the head looks like after the 1st priming. Bottom left: Image after 1st priming. Bottom right: Image after 2nd priming. You can tell how much shinier the original head looks compared to the last image.

 

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Testing the 2.8 cm side. Top left: First attempt at stamping, no priming done. Top middle: What the head looks like after the 1st priming. Top right: Image after 1st priming. Bottom left: Image after 2nd priming. Bottom middle: Image after 3rd priming. Bottom right: Image after 4th priming.

It should be noted that the firmness differs between the two sides.  The 2.8 cm head is a lot squishier compared with the 3.2 cm head.  On a squishiness scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being firm and 5 being squishy, I would say that the 2.8 cm head is a 5 while the 3.2 cm head is a 3.  I personally have found squishy (marshmallow) stampers don’t pick up images as well as firmer heads, probably because they are more sensitive to how hard you push them down onto a plate.

I always like to test stampers with an image that contains a large solid color area to check for consistency.

 

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The 3.2 cm side did a pretty good job.

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The 2.8 cm side performed better this time. I tried to use less pressure while picking up the image, and this technique seemed to work well.

While both stamp heads do the job, I still feel like they do not produce images that look as crisp as the ones I get with my Konad stamper.  Where this stamper excels is in its squishiness.  It’s a lot easier to make sure that your images will end up placed on your nail where you want them to be because you can stamp straight down onto your nail- you don’t have to use the standard rolling motion.  The stamper will adapt to the curves of your nail without a problem, although you might end up with a slightly distorted image because of the way the head has to stretch.

Another plus is the fact that you can pick up an image with both ends of the stamper without having to clean the plate in between transfers.  As long as the polish is not allowed to dry too long on the plate from one step to the next, you should be able to get clean images on both ends.

Both heads are fairly sticky, so do be aware that they pick up dust and dirt just as easily as they pick up nail polish.  You can clean them by stamping them onto a lint roller or a piece of tape.  It’s also a good idea to store this stamper inside a resealable sandwich bag when you are finished using it to keep it from picking up unwanted matter in between manicures.

Overall, I feel like this stamper works great and saves you time by giving you two surfaces with which you can work.  You also have the option of buying additional stamp heads, so you can in theory make a full set of 10 nail decals on 10 different heads all at once. The heads do require a little effort to be primed in the beginning, but after that you should be good to go!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this dual ended stamper (retail price is $4.64 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 stamping!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/dual-double-sided-stamping-nail-stamper-professional-round-nail-stamper-p-21427.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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Temix Mini Nail Color #3 Yellow Nail Polish Review

I’ve been doing a lot more stamping lately, so I’ve found myself in the need of more polishes that I can use with my plates.  The best way to test the quality of a brand’s stamping polish is to see how well their light colors perform, so I decided to test drive yellow polish #3 from Temix to see if their line was any good.

The bottle size is only 6 ml (0.2 fl. oz.), hence the “mini nail color” part in the name.  In comparison, most regular bottles of nail polish come in a 15 ml (0.5 fl. oz.) size.  Because yellow isn’t that popular of a stamping color, this is the perfect amount for me.

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Temix Mini Nail Color: small but mighty.

Stamping polishes should be as opaque as possible in order to perform well over different colors.  Although I would never wear a stamping polish for any other purpose other than for stamping, I swatched the polish to check its opacity.

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One coat of Temix, no topcoat.

The brush is a good size and applied the polish easily, but the first coat left some coverage to be desired.  It’s pretty decent for a yellow polish, but this didn’t seem to bode well for stamping.  That still remained to be seen.

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2 coats of Temix with Seche Vite topcoat.

With the second coat, you get full coverage of the nail bed.  The polish is appropriately thick, although not in a bad way.  However, based on how this applies on its own, I probably would not go using this polish for a regular mani.

Now onto the real reason why we’re here: stamping.

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Temix looks great on a Konad stamper.

The polish spread easily onto the plate (I used Jumbo Plate 2 by Cheeky for the pattern), and my stamper picked it up well.  I was surprised by how opaque it turned out to be.

I tested it on top of hot pink, white, and black polishes and found it to perform excellently.  Any flaws you see with the stamping are because of my own user error.  What I found is that the polish dried quickly on the stamper so cleaning up the excess around my nails with Scotch tape would lift portions of the stamped pattern from the base coat of polish as well as from my skin.  The fast drying time is a good thing because it means it won’t get streaky when you apply topcoat over it.

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Temix used on top of (L-R) Keys to My Hybrid, White Hot, and What’s A Tire Jack? all by Sephora by OPI.

What impressed me was that this polish showed up well on top of a white base coat, and it didn’t come out looking faded on top of a black base coat.  If yellow polish looks this good on either extreme, it’s bound to look great on top of any color.

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Temix #3 on top of Blue Collar by Orly.

Overall, I highly recommend Temix Mini Nail Color polishes and think I might purchase the entire set of colors one day.  My poor wallet!  😉

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this nail polish (retail price is $4.00 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 stamping!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/high-quality-nail-template-stamping-polish-varnish-p-21124.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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Review of Ya Qin An Y015 Plate

I’m always looking for good quality stamping plates because they make doing nail art so easy.  What attracted me to this plate was the dragon design (hello, Chinese New Year or Game of Thrones designs!) and the hibiscus flower pattern along with its inverted counterpart.

The packaging is nicer than most.  The plate comes shipped in a cardboard sheath, which provides a little extra protection so that it doesn’t get bent during the shipping process.  I’ve had plates arrive that were slightly warped because of being improperly handled by shipping carriers, so I appreciated the packaging even more.

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The plate comes in a cardboard envelope with a label sealing the open end.

The extra benefit to having a cardboard envelope for the plate is that they have room to write instructions for how to use it.  The instructions are in Chinese, but you can figure out what you’re supposed to do by looking at the illustrations.  However, chances are that if you purchased the plate, you already know how to use it.

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Instructions for use are pictured on the back of the package.

The plate itself is covered in the standard blue film that protects the design.  You must remove the film from the top of the design before using it.

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The plate comes sealed with blue film that needs to be removed before use.

The bottom side of the plate also has the same blue film on it.  I would recommend leaving the film intact for this side because it protects the plate, gives the surface a bit more traction so that it doesn’t slip around when you try to use it, and it minimizes the chance that you will cut yourself against the metal edges of the plate.

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The back of the plate is also covered in the same blue film as the front.

Without the film on the plate, you can see the beauty of the designs, which are well etched into the metal and form a complete continuous picture.  The quality of the etching is much like the kind you find on Konad plates.  It also helps that the lines of the design are fairly thick, so there is more of a channel for your nail polish to settle into.  This also makes cleaning the plate with acetone and a cotton ball a breeze.

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Plate Y015 by Ya Qin An

The only thing that irks me about the design is that on the top right corner of the plate, you can see that the center detail of one of the flowers was not etched.  You can avoid using that part of the plate and still come up with a beautiful manicure, but it’s a slightly annoying design flaw.

The first part of the plate that I tried to use was the inverse flower pattern on the left side of the image.  I used a black polish on the plate and stamped it onto a white background.  With so much empty space for the polish to fill on the plate, it’s hard to get an even consistency in the stamped pattern.  Although having the negative image of the flowers on the same plate is a cool concept, it’s a little pointless.  I could have stamped white polish onto a black background using the right side of the plate and achieved a cleaner looking result.

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A sample of the inverse flower pattern. I stamped black polish over a white base.

Next I tried using the flower pattern etched on the ride side of the plate.  You can see how crisp the lines transfer onto the stamper.  The thickness of the lines of the image also make this perfect to use for reverse stamping.

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The image transfers nicely from the plate to the stamper.

Here’s the finished manicure I did using this plate.

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A lovely colored in floral manicure using the reverse stamping technique.

I didn’t try out the dragon portion yet, but that part of the image is etched similarly to the flower pattern.  I definitely plan on using that part for something in the future, though.

Overall, this plate is beautiful, well etched, and will make you totally satisfied with your purchase.  I highly recommend it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

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 your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/dragon-flower-pattern-nail-stamp-template-image-plate-y015-p-20721.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

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