Born Pretty Mirror Polish Review

I meant to post a review of Born Pretty’s Mirror Nail Polish months ago, but I kept putting it off. I wasn’t happy with the first set  of photos I took, and then things kept coming up. But I finally sat down and got it done! As a disclaimer, I bought this with my own money, and these are all my honest opinions from my personal experience. Anyway, it’s pretty long and has a lot of photos, so click to read more! Continue reading

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Julep #Coveted Swatches + Review

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I bought Julep #Coveted Best of 2016 Nail Color Collection on Ulta for $28 on Cyber Monday. It’s not available there anymore, but it’s still on Julep’s official website, here. I didn’t previously own any Julep polishes, so I was really anticipating trying out this collection of their best ones. Continue reading

Ciaté Mini Mani Month 2016 Swatches + Review

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This Cyber Monday I did a lot of shopping for Christmas gifts, and of course I couldn’t resist picking up a few nail polish items along the way, including Ciaté’s Mini Mani Month 2016Continue reading

2 Sticker Manis: Cats, Chevrons, & Gingerbread Men

Normally I’m not a fan of stickers or decals because I find they don’t stick well, and end up peeling off the nail. But lately I’ve been seeing so many cute designs that I bought a few and decided to give them a try.

stickernails

For the above design, I used Scratch & Sniff Nail Wraps (Watermelon) that I bought from my local pharmacy. These come with 12 nail wraps of varying sizes and designs. I was able to do both my hands, but had to adjust some of the wraps with scissors. They were easy to apply, though as you can see, they’re not perfect. In pressing them down I got some tears I tried to fix with nail polish. When I first applied them I noticed a light floral scent (not really like watermelon, but still nice), but that went away once I top coated them. The instructions don’t say to top coat, but I like to anyway to avoid chipping and wrinkling. For the $2 I paid for these I’d say they’re pretty good!

catstickernails

I did these about two weeks ago, but couldn’t upload them sooner because I had misplaced my camera cable. Sorry for the bad lighting, but I didn’t take any more because I removed them right away! I bought the cat stickers at Five Below (they’re just called Crazy Cats Nail Stickers – I’m pretty sure they’re from the same brand as the nail wraps above) and I love them. But they just weren’t properly sticking to my nails. I used Sparitual Magnify as a base color, and waited until it was nearly dry before applying them. At first they would stick, but then in a few seconds the edges would pull up. I really hate how that looks especially since they catch on everything. It was kind of a bummer since they’re super cute. I still have a lot left (comes with 1 sheet), so maybe I’ll try again at some point. Here’s a link for them, though mine have slightly different packaging.

EDIT – I just noticed on their website that they advise sticking them over wet polish, but the instructions that came with the one I bought say to apply over dry polish, and then to top coat. I’ll have to try them on wet polish to see if they stick better.

Have any of you used stickers like these before? How did you get them to stick to the nails properly?

Swatches and Review: Ciaté Caviar Mini Bar Vol. 2

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Although I’m not a huge fan of caviar nail art, I found the Ciaté Caviar Mini Bar Volume 2 kit on sale, and decided to give it a try. As you can see from the photo above, the kit comes with four mini polishes: Snow Virgin (white), Fun Fair (pink), Ferris Wheel (blue), and Mistress (red); and four mini bottles of caviar mixes: Front Row, Fatal Attraction, Stick or Twist, and Wild Fire. The kit also comes with a funnel so after application you can put the extra beads back into the bottles. As a side note, I would suggest doing this over a piece of paper or something with less static. The instructions suggest doing it over the plastic, but I found that the beads stuck to the plastic too much, and it was difficult to get them into the funnel.

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These are the colors before I sprinkled the beads over them. I applied two coats for this photo, and as you can see, the pink and blue are still a bit streaky. With only one coat, the red, while not as streaky, is sheer. Although all the colors are pretty standard, I really like the vibrancy of the red and white – I think that’s the brightest white polish I have, which is nice.

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I applied the caviar bead combinations over the complementary polishes. What I like about these is that they don’t just have different color beads, but also glitter and sequins. Front Row, the one on my index finger, has black and silver beads, as well as clear iridescent sequins. But, while I think it looks great in the bottle, I’m not sure if I like it on my nails. Some of the sequins were sticking out and that was a bit uncomfortable.

Wild Fire, on my middle finger, is my favorite of the four. I felt that it went the most smoothly on and evenly covered my nail. It’s only made up of caviar beads, red and clear. Although the texture is somewhat different from other caviar beads I’ve tried, more jelly-like, if that makes sense.

On my ring finger I have Stick or Twist, a combination of teal and clear beads with the same clear sequins that are in Front Row. I like the colors better, but again, maybe it’s the sequins, but I wasn’t as big a fan of this one. I feel like I have too many “bald spots” on my nails where the sequins are.

The last one on my pinky nail is Fatal Attraction. It’s made up of light and dark pink beads and pink glitter. This is my second favorite; it covered my nail really well. I love the glitter in this one because it fills in any of the random spots between the beads.

I like this kit, though I’m not sure if I would get a lot of use out of the polishes (except Snow Virgin) unless it’s to pair them up with the bead mixes. The caviar mixes are unique, though I’m not totally sold on the sequins. So, if you can find the individual mixes full size and want to try them, I would suggest Wild Fire and Fatal Attraction.

Swatches and Review: Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Wave – Pink

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This is another of the nail polish sets I bought recently. This Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Wave ombre set comes with six mini polishes from the Wild Shine line in pink shades. Neither the box nor the polishes have names, so I’m not sure if they’re available in full size. I have a few from this line, but none of these colors.

wetnwildswatches

I used two coats for all of the polishes, and while some of them were a bit streaky with the first coat, they reached full coverage with the second. The only polish I didn’t use in this photo (above) is the glitter, since I used it to top coat all the nails later. I like the gradient, although I think there could have been more of a difference between the magenta and red polishes since from far away they look too similar.

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These are the polishes with the glitter top coat. While the nail polish base is pink, the glitter has more of a golden hue, so the color of the polishes doesn’t change too much. The only exception is the palest pink on my thumb, which definitely looked more pink after I applied the glitter top coat.

It’s nice to have a kit with polishes that are already in ombre order, especially for someone who may not have many shades of one color. I love Wet ‘n’ Wild polishes since they’re good quality and pretty cheap. This makes me want to pull out all of my similar polishes and group them for ombre!

Swatches and Review: ELF 4pc Nail Polish Set

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I recently got this ELF set from a friend. It was a nice surprise, because I don’t have any ELF nail polish, though I have a ton of their makeup products. For the swatches I used 1-2 coats (no top coat) and found they were pigmented and easy to apply. I don’t have the packaging anymore, so I don’t know the exact name, but I think they are one of ELF’s holiday sets. The colors definitely remind me of the holiday season!

(click below for swatches)

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Swatches & Review: Ciaté’s Haute House

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The Ciaté Haute House is one of the nail polish sets I bought on sale recently. I was excited to see it because I love dark, saturated colors. On the packaging it says the polishes have a “rich ink formula” and are “high pigment one stroke color.” I usually always do at least two coats, but these were good with just one (except For the Frill of It and Sass Pot). The polishes are also fast drying without using a top coat. I would still put a top coat on them for longer wear and shine, since without it they’re not super shiny.

(Click below for photos and to read more)

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Violet Flowers Nail Art Water Decals

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I love these! I wanted to try water decals for a long time, and a couple of weeks ago I finally ordered three different floral designs off of ebay. This is the seller for anyone who’s interested – I received them fairly quickly, by the way.

Application was a bit tricky at first. For the base color, I used Ciaté Poppet, a matte pastel purple that comes in their Doll House collection (it’s showing up a bit too bluish in the photo). The accent nail is Orly Pixie Powder over 2 coats of Milani 3D Hi-Res.

The decals come in a tiny envelope, and consist of one sheet for all 10 nails. If buying more than one from the seller, I would recommend  ordering them together to save on shipping. To get the decal on my nails, I used a cup of warm water and a pair of tweezers (I also watched several YouTube videos to get ready). I cut the decal to the size of my nail, then peeled off the plastic that’s attached. Using the tweezers, I dipped the decal under water for about 15-25 seconds. After pulling it out, I used the tweezers to separate the transparent decal from the backing paper, and placed it on my nail. Finally, I top coated, and cleaned up the extra around my cuticle with acetone.

Some things I learned while doing this:

  • Cold water won’t work (at least it didn’t for me). It has to be warm.
  • The decals come in between 2 sheets. The top one is the transparent plastic that you need to take off before placing it in the water. I forgot to do this on my second nail, and couldn’t get it to work after it had been in the water. There is also a white backing paper that you need to separate the decal from after it has been in the water.
  • I had some trouble getting one of the decals to stick onto my nail, so I pressed it down as best as I could, then top coated it quickly. The top coat helped to melt it onto the nail.

Once you practice applying these a few times, it becomes pretty quick and easy to do. I think these are great for when you don’t have time to make an elaborate design, or just don’t feel like it.

My First Time Applying Acrylics Using Nailene Sculpture Kit

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My friend’s finished nails.

Hi, everyone! A couple of weeks ago my friend brought me the Nailene Acrylic Sculpture Kit so that I could do her nails. I was a little hesitant, since I had never applied acrylics before (though I’d watched plenty of YouTube videos on the subject). I asked her to give me some time to practice, and a few days ago we finally went through with it. It was a very long 3-hour (crazy!) process, from choosing which tips fit her nails, to applying the acrylic, to painting the final design, which I’m super happy with. Unfortunately, her nails didn’t last more than a few days, which bummed me out more than it did her, but I think I know the reason why.

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