Sunday, 23 August 2015

Stamper Comparison & Konad White Review

Last week I received a surprise package from the Born Pretty Store to review! It was a new stamper, and some Konad White stamping polish.

As you can see, I have a few stampers now.  On the left is the new one which I was sent for review. You can buy see that one here on the Born Pretty website.  In the middle is a MoYou London one which I bought earlier this year. On the right is my go-to stamper which I use all the time. 

The new Born Pretty stamper is a double ended one with a nice comfy hand hold. It's the really squishy, sticky type, which I believe is called a 'mushroom' stamper. 

The bigger end is really large, and easily has space for a full nail design. 

I really wanted to like this stamper, but I'm afraid I just really struggled to get it to work. When it arrived, the rubber head was really sticky and oily. I washed it well in hot soapy water, and cleaned it with acetone. It was still very sticky though, and I just found it very difficult to get it to pick up and transfer an image.  It did work sometimes, but not at all in a reliable way. 

Here it is with Konad Black - it has mostly picked up the design, but there are some patchy bits. 

Here it is with Models Own Bubblegum - again, patchy in the way it's picked up the design.

Here I've tried a metallic polish, Models Own Gold Chrome, and as you can see, it's hardly picked up any of the design at all. 

I found this stamper really comfortable to hold, but it just didn't work reliably enough to use with different polishes. Maybe there is a knack to it that I can't work out, because I know that some people really LOVE these types of stampers. If you know what the trick is, please do tell me!  This stamper costs $2.99 on the BPS website, and comes in lots of different colours. 

Contrast this with my usual stamper, which picks up the design perfectly, whatever the polish.  This stamper is firmer and not sticky. I believe that I bought this stamper from the Born Pretty Store a couple of years ago - you can see it here.  I did buy some replacement heads so that I had a contrasting colour - this grey one came from MoYou London.  I love this stamper, and use it all the time, and I have no plans to replace it any time soon.

The square stamper is from MoYou London. It is also squishy and a bit stickier than my regular stamper, although nowhere near as much as the new stamper. It works well, and I tend to mostly use it when my nails are very long, so that I can fit a full design on.  I always go back to my regular stamper though!

On to the Konad polish!  I already have a Konad white and black, and they really are the best polishes I've found for stamping. If you see me stamping with white, then it's this polish.  Here are some of the designs I've made using Konad White. 

As you can see, it stamps cleanly and crisply over all sorts of colours. It's pigmented enough to be clear and visible over dark colours and pastels, and with bold designs or in fiddly delicate ones. My only issue with the Konad polishes is if you add topcoat too quickly, in which case it can bleed. But patience and proper drying avoid any problems.

You can get Konad polishes on the Born Pretty Store website here in a variety of colours (I've got my eye on the pale pink!) for $7.59 each. 

As always, you can get 10% off everything at BPS using my discount code.

I received these products for review purposes, but words and opinions are entirely my own. I do not receive anything if you use my discount code, although when it's been used ten times, BPS will let me host a giveaway for my readers! See my Disclosure page for more details.



Friday, 21 August 2015

Pink and Gold Tape Mani

Just a quick one today as I've had a massively busy week at work and I'm exhausted! I've also hardly done my nails, although I have worn nail varnish!

My nails are getting really long now! I'm amazed that they haven't broken yet. I've been dashing around at work so much recently that I was sure I'd have ripped a nail off by now! This week I wore Barry M Pink Punch on its own for a couple of days, with Barry M's Christmas limited edition 2012 gold foil as a louboutin on the backs of the nails. 

This is the bright pink Gelly, and I love it! After a couple of days I used striping tape to make an accent nail using the same gold. 

It's simple, but I think it's quite cute.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Pink and Blue Holo with Metal Studs

Recently I was sent this set of beatiful studs from the Born Pretty Store to review.  Aren't they gorgeous?

This is a set of very shiny metallic studs in circles and oval shapes, in a variety of bright colours. See here for the details on the store website, where they cost $2.32 for this pack.  

I decided to wear these with some of my favourite holographic polish. I used Jade Deja Vu and Jade Mystic Gold, and then stuck on the studs using topcoat.  

The studs themselves are light, and have a flat back. Because they are quite large, I bent the oval ones slightly by bending them round a pen, so that they lie flush on my nails. This was really easy to do, and makes them lie on the nail much more easily. 

I think these studs are pretty fantastic, and they're even better paired with a sparkly holo polish. They looked amazing in the sunshine!

If you fancy trying out these, you can get an extra 10% off using my discount code. 

I received this product for review purposes, but words and opinions are entirely my own. I do not receive anything if you use my discount code, although when it's been used ten times, BPS will let me host a giveaway for my readers! See my Disclosure page for more details.



Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Inspired by my Bathroom Window!

For months now, every time I have a bath I've looked at my bathroom window and tried to work out how I could get that on my nails. The flowery pattern against a pale sky is so pretty!

Today's nails aren't really anywhere close to it, but they were inspired by it, so they count!

I did a gradient using Barry M Huckleberry, Essie Maximillian Strasse Her (I still don't understand that name!) and Barry M Grey.

I then stamped over it using Konad White and the MoYou London ProXL 14 plate.

What do you think? Success, or not?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Across the Universe Louboutin - Blue Glitter with Reverse Painting

I got a sudden urge to wear one of my first Deborah Lippmann polishes, Across the Universe. I haven't worn this is AGES - maybe two years!  

This is two coats of Across the Universe, with added topcoat for shine.

I love this polish. It's a deep blue jelly, filled with blue and silver glitter, which ends up giving a lovely jelly sandwich effect. I always think it looks mermaidy and sea-like. 

I decided to up this one by painting the backs of my nails too. I haven't done this in a while, but my nails are getting really long, so it seemed a good idea. I used the Barry M limited edition blue foil from Christmas 2012. 

It's really hard to take a photo of the back of my nails!

I've been wearing these nails for three days now, and I still don't want to take them off!


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Purple Patterned Stamping

Just a quick post today to show you what I've been wearing the last couple of days.

I started with a base of Models Own Pear Purple, from the Diamond Dust collection. I then stamped using the Temix purple polish from this review post here, and MoYou London Festive plate . The plate is actually an Easter Egg design, but I think it looks abstract enough to be fine for non-Easter too!

I'm really happy with the end result. 

My nails are getting really long recently too! Having said that, I'll probably break them all now...

Monday, 3 August 2015

Born Pretty Store - Nail Art Clean-Up Barrier

You may have seen my previous post about using liquid latex to help with nail art clean-up. I used a generic, cheap cosmetic latex.  However, you may well have seen things like Liquid Palisade, which is a similar thing designed purely for nail art, and which sells for over $20.  In today's post, I'm trying out Born Pretty Store's own version of this, which is a fraction of the price!

This is called Kasako Docai and is described as a "peel off liquid tape and base coat" on the Born Pretty website. It sells for $3.99 for a 15ml bottle, and is available here

The first thing I noticed about this is the fragrance. Unlike my basic liquid latex, it has a pretty floral smell, which is much nicer than the gluey chemical smell of pure liquid latex. The brush is nice, and makes the liquid easy to apply.

I've used this in several manis over the last couple off weeks, to give this a pretty thorough testing. 

I used it with this purple polish (I think it was Rimmel Ultra Violet) before doing some stamping. You can  see the freshly applied liquid on my thumb is still white, but on my little finger, which has had time to dry, it's turned clear. 

This is what it looked like after stamping. The liquid peeled right off, and left me with the finished design! You can see the full post here

Next up was my orange criss cross gradient nails - read the full post here.  I took some step by step photos here, so you can see the whole process. 

 1. Paint on - liquid is white, so you can see where you've painted it.
 2. Wait to dry (liquid goes clear) and do your nail art. I used a mesh of striping tape. 

3. I then sponged a gradient over the tape. You can see the strong orange polish all over my fingertips, as well as the glitter  particles.

4. Peel off! The tape and the latex together made this come off all in one piece, leaving perfectly clean skin underneath!

Ta daa!

Edit: I also used this with this weekend's louboutin reverse painted nails (see full post here) where I painted behind my nails. I managed to get a better photo showing the latex peeling off - it's not easy to take a photo of this! I need an extra hand!

As you can see, this peels off really easily (I use a cocktail stick) and leaves the skin underneath perfectly clean, with no additional clean up needed.  

I tried this out with watermarbling too, but found that it didn't work quite as well. It worked, but it doesn't seem to like water much, and the texture went a bit strange. It worked fine, but was a bit fiddly to peel off. 

Overall, I really like this. It works well - it's easy to apply, smells nice and peels off easily. Almost every mani I've posted over the last month has featured this - certainly every stamping and gradient design. One thing I really like about this is that it doesn't stick to itself, which is really handy!  With my bargain liquid latex I posted about previously, you have to be very careful not to touch your fingers together, as it pulls all the latex off! This one doesn't have that problem. 

I certainly wouldn't want to do gradient or stamping manis without this product now: it's a totally invaluable part of the process, which makes everything much easier and less messy. 

You can always get 10% off anything at the Born Pretty Store using my discount code. 

I received this product for review purposes, but words and opinions are entirely my own. I do not receive anything if you use my discount code, although when it's been used ten times, BPS will let me host a giveaway for my readers! See my Disclosure page for more details.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Orange Criss-Cross Glitter Gradient

Today's nails are a bit of an all-in kitchen sink mani! I started with no overall plan in mind, I just added bits and made it up as I went along!

I started with two coats of Barry M Full Throttle. This is a really pretty peachy orange colour, but it's a streaky, awkward formula, which I always forget. Still, it's a good colour. 

I then taped off a couple of nails with a grid of striping tape, and sponged a gradient of Full Throttle and Barry M Satsuma.  I decided to add some glitter for good measure, and used China Glaze Electrify, which is packed full of gold and red glitter. I sponged this over the tips, with the odd dab further down the nail.

I loved how the quilted nails looked, but it took a while to do, and was quite fiddly, so I did something different with the other two, and used striping tape, Satsuma and Electrify to add some blocks of colour. The Satsuma looked quite overpowering on its own, so I then added the tiny studs. 

I'm so pleased with how these look! And they were a total happy accident, which makes them even better.


Friday, 24 July 2015

Dance Legend Thermo Trio with Stamping

These are the nails I've worn for the last couple of days - more thermal polish with stamping, which is one of my favourite things to do.

This is Dance Legend Thermo Trio, which shifts from a pretty pale lilac when warm, through pink to dark purple when hot.  I then stamped over this with Barry M Silver Foil and Born Pretty Store stamping plate BP-48.

I love how this came out, although it was really hard to capture the cold colour, as it's been so warm recently. I'm always really hot at the moment!

The Born Pretty 48 plate is fast becoming one of my favourites. The pattern is so pretty. I especially like the swirly bit on my ring finger.

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