Review of Born Pretty Holographic Laser Powder #7

It’s powder mania here on the Fine Polish blog!  I’ve been getting a huge kick out of trying out different chrome and holographic powders, so today’s review is for a red holographic glitter powder set from Born Pretty.

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An assuredly brand new set sealed in the package.

At first glance, the product is not much to look at.  There is no indication regarding the color or instructions for use on the packaging.  The baggie is heat sealed at the top across the hang tag area, so you must tear the packaging at the notches on the sides to open the product, but there is also a Ziploc seal closure located at the top of the white section of the bag that makes it reusable for storage purposes.

The actual contents include roughly 1 gram of glitter powder inside a plastic, faceted container.  The opening is sealed in the same manner as bottles of vitamins are so that the powder does not leak out of the container during shipment.

Also included is a small sponge tipped applicator with a plastic handle.  This is very much like an eyeshadow applicator except it has a smaller handle.  The whole length is 1.5 inches.

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Born Pretty Holographic Laser Glitter Powder set in color option #7.

The glitter itself is very fine and unlike anything that you will see in a craft store.  It looks rather drab in the container but really comes alive once a gel top coat is applied.  The particles are bigger than the ones in other chrome pigments and apply very similarly except for a slight twist.

Begin by painting your nails with a color that matches the pigment that you are using.  Because I am using red glitter, I painted my nails red.  This way, any areas that do not get covered fully by the glitter will be less apparent.

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Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.

Note that if you use regular polish like I did, you will need to wait until the color is totally dry before proceeding to the next step.  If you are using gel polish, cure the color as normal.

Next, apply a gel top coat, but do not cure this layer fully, especially if you are using a no-wipe formula.  The aim is to leave the top coat slightly tacky so that the glitter can adhere to the surface.  I tried fully curing the top coat at first, thinking that this worked the same way as other chrome powders from Born Pretty, but I soon found that the pigment would not stick to the top coat.  I used Born Pretty Soak Off Gel top coat which cures in 30 seconds, so I opted to cure it for only 15 seconds before trying to apply the glitter again.  This extra tackiness is exactly what was needed for the glitter to stick to the nail.

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On the left is my failed attempt to get the powder to stick to a fully cured top coat (30 seconds). The coverage was sparse, if at all, and I could still rub the glitter completely off my nail if I wanted to. The right side shows what the pigment looks like when it is used over top coat is cured for only 15 seconds.

The sponge applicator works well for applying the powder, but it does absorb some of the tackiness from the top coat, so it will only last for a few manicures.  The good thing is that you can buy replacements at the drugstore or your local beauty supply shop if the sponge falls apart.

You can use a fan brush to clean off any excess powder from your nails and skin, then apply another layer of gel top coat and cure it fully to seal the glitter into place and bring out the shine.  Or if you are truly lazy like me, apply the top coat, cure the gel, and simply wash your hands to get the excess glitter off your skin.  Your cuticles may not look as nice, and there is a good chance that you will contaminate the brush for your bottle of top coat with glitter, but this works great for a fast clean up process.

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Check out that shining red beauty! This glitter powder truly dazzles.

Born Pretty’s website claims that this is holographic, but it is not the kind of powder that will reflect rainbows.  The glitter does have a multi dimensional look to it and is definitely more sparkly than your average craft store variety.  It is eye catching, and people will definitely notice your nails when you wear this!

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Because it’s December, I added some holiday stamping over this classic red base color.

For those looking to get a full coverage glitter look, this powder is just the item that you need.  It comes in several other different colors, so you are bound to find a shade that you will love.  For shiny nails like this, it is definitely worth it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this holographic laser powder (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!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/1gbox-holographic-laser-powder-manicure-nail-glitter-powder-colors-p-33368.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com

rsspx31

Glittery Snowflake Christmas Manicure

Being a musician, December is a busy time of year.  Seems like every group needs to perform a holiday concert this month, but I’ll never get sick of the music, especially seeing how happy it makes people.

One ensemble had a “Let it Snow!” theme for their concert, so I made nails to match.  I started by painting my nails a Christmas-y red with Tip Your Hat from China Glaze.

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Tip Your Hat is a festive red color from China Glaze.

To really make this mani sparkle, I used a loose holographic glitter powder from Born Pretty Store on top of this.

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Born Pretty Store’s holographic laser glitter powder in color #7.

To use the powder, a gel top coat is applied to the nails but cured for only about 15 seconds so that it is still tacky enough to allow the glitter to stick to it.  I used Born Pretty’s gel top coat over the China Glaze color.  The glitter is applied with the sponge applicator included with the set, and then a final layer of gel top coat is applied to seal in the glitter and bring out the shine.

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The effects of the glitter powder are stunning.

To finish up, I added some stamping using plate BP-01 from Born Pretty Store.

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Christmas themed plate BP-01 from Born Pretty Store.

For this design, I stamped the tree design from the center of the plate onto my ring finger, the full sized snowflake image on the far right side of the plate onto my thumb, and made up my own unique pattern using the two single snowflake images from the top of the plate for the rest of my nails.

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Stamping was done with Born Pretty Stamping Nail Lacquer #4 (white).

This look was definitely eye catching, and I had people asking to see my nails all day at the concert.  It’s definitely a cheer filled design worthy of the holiday season!

Happy polishing!

 

 

Santa and Elves Nail Art

Who is still getting ready for Christmas?  Me, for one!  I could use some elves of my own to finish buying and wrapping gifts.

For my nails, I decided to dedicate this week to Santa and his band of helpers.  Let’s hop to it and see the color palette!

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From left to right: Tip Your Hat from China Glaze, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime by OPI, White Hot by Sephora by OPI, Keep Me on My Mistletoes by Sephora by OPI, and Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora.

I began by painting my nails green and red.  There can only be one Santa nail, so I let him be the accent nail on my ring finger.

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Very basic Christmas mani using Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime by OPI and Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.

The next step was to add the zig zag edges of the elves’ tunics and the white fur trim of Santa’s suit.  To make an easier chevron, you can use pre-cut tape as a guide, but I used the brush from the China Glaze bottle and tried to swipe at a 45 degree angle across the tips of the elf nails.  For the fur, I used a large dotting tool with White Hot to get the fluffiness of the trim down.

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First level of detail done.

For the belt, I purposefully used a mini bottle of polish for the smaller sized brush so I could swipe the color across my nail in one stroke.  Alternatively you can use a striping brush to mark the top and bottom of the belt and fill in the section with a dotting tool.

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Censored Santa and elves? Nah, it’s just the beginning of the belt detail.

Using a sparkly gold polish like Keep Me on My Mistletoes and a detail brush, I painted the outline of a square in the center of each black section and then applied topcoat.

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Santa and his gang like gold belt buckles!

For a little extra detail, I added a gold stud at the base of each elf nail so that it looked like a button on their tunic.

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Finishing touches.  Now everyone can get to work!

I hope you have a great Christmas if you celebrate.  Happy Holidays to all, and as always, happy polishing!

Hannibal Lecter Nail Art

Every once in awhile, I’ll have a friend request that I do specific nail art.  At the beginning of October, I was approached by Sung Jin Hong, the conductor of One World Symphony, with the idea of doing some Hannibal Lecter themed nail art to commemorate the October 25 world premiere of his Hannibal opera.  You can find the details of the upcoming concert here if you are interested in attending.  I kind of love the challenge of coming up with a look to fit the theme as it always gets my creative juices flowing, so I agreed to it even though I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a good looking mani.

The first order of business was to watch Silence of the LambsHannibal, and Red Dragon to see what would inspire me and what I could paint to represent Hannibal Lecter.  The only thing that really made sense to me was to paint his face in the mask, which appears in the first two movies.  I could have painted some of the finer things that he adores, but I felt like nothing would stand out as distinctly Hannibal unless I painted the man himself.  That’s when I knew I was going to be working for a long time on this manicure.

The plan was to paint Hannibal’s face in the mask across both hands because my nails are too short and small to be able to give him enough detail on one hand alone.  I’ve never considered myself a real artist, and I’ve definitely never had to paint a realistic looking face before, so I wanted to give myself some room.  I figured 3 nails would be sufficient for the width, so I put him in the center and planned to do a bloody splatter on the surrounding nails.

But first, I had to pick some colors.  Nothing is worse than digging through your nail polish collection when you haven’t finished a design, so I always try to plan ahead.

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Left to right: White Hot, Give Peach a Chance, and Caught with my Khakis Down by Sephora by OPI, and Janae by Julep.

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Left to right: Sweet Daisy by Nicole by OPI, Tip Your Hat by China Glaze, and Blue-Mmmm by Piggy Polish.

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Clockwise from top left: acrylic paints by craft smart in White, Dark Grey, Black, Bright Red, Golden Brown, and Brown.

With this design involving two hands with differing elements, there are twice the number of photos.  Let the slideshow begin!

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The left hand starts out with White Hot on my thumb and pinky while the other nails get Give Peach a Chance. This will become the top half of Hannibal’s face.

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The right hand gets White Hot on the thumb and pinky again, Caught with my Khakis Down on the middle finger, and Give Peach a Chance on the outside 3/4 of nails. This will be the bottom part of the mask, so the peach color is supposedly the skin of his neck.

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After allowing the peach color to dry for a little bit, I finished off the shape of the bottom of the mask by painting Caught with my Khakis down.

A few notes about the mask.  I realize that in the movie, the mask is more of a flesh color, which is what makes it look that much more terrifying.  I don’t own many polishes in that color family, and I didn’t want to have to paint an entire nail with acrylic paint, so I went with the khaki color.

Also, were I to do this again, I would have made the shape of the mask less chunky.  Anthony Hopkins’ face looks much slimmer through the jawline.  But as I said before, I haven’t had to paint a realistic looking face… on my nails…  with my left hand (I’m right handed, FYI).  So I think I’m allowed a few concessions.  😉

I wanted some time to gather the courage to finish the rest of the face, so I went on to do the blood spatter (or splatter) portion of the design next with Tip Your Hat by China Glaze.  You can read the tutorial on how to create this murder scene look on my previous post.

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Left hand with the splatter added.

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Right hand blood splatter.

With that much done, I decided to try to finish the right hand details.  I always like to paint with my non-dominant hand first whenever I’m not sure if I can pull off a design or not.  The theory is that if I can get my right hand painted, then my left hand will look even better.  🙂

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Start by using a detail brush and Golden Brown acrylic paint. The dots are the ventilation holes in the mask, and the rectangular sections are where the nose and mouth openings are. Sounds creepy already!

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The lower lip is the only one you can see through the mask, so I applied Sweet Daisy with a dotting tool. I wonder if Hannibal would approve of the shade- it’s from the Carrie Underwood collection from Nicole by OPI. 😉 The only reason I didn’t use acrylic paint here is because I don’t own a pre-made pink color and was too lazy to mix one. 😛

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Some nostrils and the opening of his mouth are added with black acrylic paint. I also fixed the shape of the nose holes by adding a dab of Caught with my Khakis Down.

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Hannibal gets some pearly whites with some acrylic paint. I used a dotting motion with a detail brush to give a more realistic look to the teeth without having to outline each one.

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The metal bars are painted over the mouth area and between the nostrils with Dark Grey paint.

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Some contouring of the sides of the face and nose is done with a sponge and Janae by Julep to try to give some depth to the image. I also changed the color of the metal bar between the nostrils to black. In hindsight, I should have also painted the metal bars over his mouth black as well because the grey color blended into the khaki color once topcoat was added.

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The finished right hand! Hey, that wasn’t too hard…

One hand down, one more to go.

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Using a striping brush, I painted the outlines of the mask with Caught with my Khakis Down. For the middle section, I used the brush from the bottle.

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I filled in the outlined area using the brush from the bottle.

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Where did all this detail come from? Almost everything new in this photo is done with acrylic paint and a detail brush except for the blue eyes, which are painted on with a dotting tool and Blue-Mmmm by Piggy Polish. It’s a shimmer polish, so it gives the eyes more dimension.

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The last few steps were to add the hair, ears, and eye detail with acrylic paint.

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A little more contouring done on the mask with Janae and a sponge, and the left hand is done! Yay!

I love how I can use my left hand alone to add some creepiness to everything.

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This photo was taken a week after painting Hannibal, but I had to keep him around for at least the first rehearsal for the opera!

The finished look is just as disturbing.

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Hannibal the Cannibal.

This was an amazing thing to paint, at least for me.  I know it looks cartoony, but considering that I have no experience with portraiture, I’m impressed that I got some of the resemblance down!  It was nice to have the challenge, and now all that’s left is to premiere the opera on Sunday.  Wish me luck!

Happy polishing!  🙂

Halloween Blood Spatter Manicure DIY Tutorial

Looking for some creepy nail art to do for Halloween?  Try this fun blood spatter manicure!  It’s actually really simple to do.

Here’s what you’ll need:

White nail polish
Red nail polish
Straw
Stapler
Scotch tape (optional)

First, paint your nails all white.  I used White Hot by Sephora by OPI.

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All white and so bright: White Hot nail polish by Sephora by OPI.

To keep things neat and to minimize the clean up effort afterward, I applied a piece of Scotch tape over my cuticles.  You can opt to also cover the skin on the sides of your fingernails as well, or you can choose to skip this step completely if you don’t care about cleaning up the excess spatter (great if you want the final look to be extra gory).  But let’s face it- the polish on your skin will rub off in a day or two, anyway.

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Scotch tape is applied to the skin to catch any excess spatter that might happen outside of your nail bed.

The spatter technique is done with a straw.  This part works best if you can get a straw with a very narrow opening.  If you can’t get one, no worries, you can make any straw into the correct size.  Take your straw and using a stapler, attach a staple lengthwise towards the opening that goes through both sides of the straw so that you create two small channels at one end.

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This straw was obviously used before I took the photo, but you can see how I flattened out the straw and positioned the staple in the middle fairly close to the tip.

Now here’s the fun part.

Brush the openings of the straw with your red nail polish so that the holes are filled.  They don’t need to be filled a lot, but you need to block the holes with the nail polish.  If you’re having trouble filling the holes, try making a new straw with a smaller opening and only block the small hole with the nail polish.

Aim the straw so that the polish is close to your nail and blow!  The polish should splatter all over your nail like it does in a good murder scene.  Keep repeating this technique until you’re satisfied with your blood spattering, and then peel the tape off.

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It’s a crime scene! Spatter nail art using Tip Your Hat by China Glaze for a bloody look.

Apply a top coat, and you’re all done!

I wish I had a full manicure of this look, but the blood was just a small part of a bigger picture:

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Hey, isn’t that Hannibal Lecter?

I also apologize if this does not seem like a very thorough tutorial.  The truth is that I wasn’t planning on making this post, but I realized that I would have to break down the steps in my bigger entry about the above design.  I’m still in the process of editing photos for the Hannibal nails, so I figured I could save a step and give you a how-to on the bloody part first.  I think the blood turned out the best, anyway.  😛

Hope you have fun trying this out at home, and have a great Halloween!  Happy polishing!

Shonen Knife Nail Art

Last Tuesday, my fiancé took me to see Shonen Knife perform with CJ Ramone at The Outer Space in Hamden, CT.  I’m still suffering from a lot of back pain and muscle spasms from my recent car accident, so it was no small feat for me to sit in the car for a road trip and then have to stand for 2 sets while trying to rock out to some awesome music, but it was a fun night.  Shonen Knife’s music always puts me into a happy mood!

If you’re not familiar with the band, here is a video of them in action performing “Buttercup,” otherwise known as the Powerpuff Girls theme song.

Equally as catchy as their music are their coordinated tunics, designed by original band member Atsuko Yamano.

Ritsuko, Naoko, and Emi

Ritsuko, Naoko, and Emi

I love her clean and poppy style, and I wanted to use her color block technique in a manicure.  There are 3 band members and 2 letters for the initials of the band, and what better way to showcase each element while giving the sign of the horns? \m/

Materials used:

Zoya- Dot
Nicole by OPI- City-Pretty Rose
China Glaze- Tip Your Hat
Sephora by OPI- What’s a Tire Jack?
Acrylic paint

I began by painting my index finger and pinky with What’s a Tire Jack? and the remaining fingers with Dot.  I anticipated using striping tape to help with the color block pattern, so while I waited for Dot to dry fully, I started trying to paint the S and K of the band’s logo onto my nails with white acrylic paint and a detail brush.  In order to make it easier for me to paint the letters, I needed to rotate the logo graphic.

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By the way, the graphic lists Naoko, Ritsuko, and Etsuko as the band members.  It’s because the graphic is taken from a DVD from 2009.  Naoko, Atsuko, and Emi played for the 2015 North America tour.

In any case, this was the design before the color blocking was added.  I like it a lot in its most simplistic form.  🙂

Shonen Knife rocks!

Shonen Knife rocks!

Just as an aside, I’ve never been good at making bubble letters even with pencil and paper, so I was kind of impressed that I was able to paint this upside down on my nails!  😛

In the meantime, I decided that I was too impatient to use striping tape to outline the color blocked parts, so I decided to add in the different colored sections freehand.

City-Pretty Rose added to start the color block pattern.

City-Pretty Rose added to start the color block pattern.

Starting to add Tip Your Hat and What's a Tire Jack?

Starting to add Tip Your Hat and What’s a Tire Jack?

Finished color blocking and tunic details

Finished color blocking and tunic details

Too bad I didn’t prepare this in advance of the show!  It would have been awesome to grab a pic of my mani with the band, but I’ll see them again soon enough.  🙂

Rock on!  \m/

Rock on! \m/