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3.02.2015

Arabesque Nails

I received this product of my choosing, free of charge for my honest, non-bias review from the Born Pretty Store.

I needed something that would match my outfit, but still be interesting enough to talk about. Just in case anyone were to take a glance at my nails.
After all, it was a classical concert, and there would be wine and chatter.



I had just received some stamping plates from Born Pretty Store, and I had been eyeing BP L002 for a while. This would be the perfect opportunity.

Since I would be wearing a cream coloured dress, I decided to stay on the neutral side of my nail polish collection. After carefully considering every shade, I chose W7 - Buff as my base colour.

BP-L002 from BornPrettyStore
This is the part of the plate that I decided to use. There was something about those neat lines, that was dragging me towards it. Almost like a tentacle, almost like a sweet lace pattern. I did spend quite some time with this plate in order to find "the perfect" section for my manicure. I have a notebook where I sometimes do test stamps in, and I filled a full page. Crazy right?

BP-L002 from BornPrettyStore, filled in and on the stamping heads

For the stamping I used Barry M - Coconut and Barry M - Vanilla. I thought those two shades would be perfect together with W7 - Buff for this look. It is not often I wear shades like this, so why not wear them all together.  The dots are done using Barry M - Coconut.

After they had dried enough, I could proceed to getting them on my nails. Making it look something like this.

BP-L002 from BornPrettyStore decal ready to go on the nail
I wanted the design to mirror the other finger, I find this a lot easier when using the decal method, and it worked very well for this look. I finished it all with two rhinestones in a soft purple, on the index and little finger. 

BP-L002 from BornPrettyStore with rhinestones 

BP-L002 from BornPrettyStore with rhinestones 
I really like how this look came together, specially with the rhinestones and the mirror-image stamping in the middle.


If you want to get hold of this plate, it is sold for 5.99 USD, BornPrettyStore offers free shipping worldwide, and if you use my code (RAMG10) you get 10% off your order.


The plate was easy to work with, and the etching was very good, and I had no problems picking up the images with my Konad or my Moyou London stamper.
As you can see from the image, it comes with a backing piece, so no dangers of cuts here. It also comes with the protective blue film, which you are expecting to find on plates now a days.


I received this product of my choosing, free of charge for my honest, non-bias review from the Born Pretty Store.

2.28.2015

Easter Flowers over textured nails

I received this product of my choosing, free of charge for my honest, non-bias review from the Born Pretty Store.


I was in the mood for something bright, and as I had just been planning my Easter Holiday, I was in the mood for something yellow. I had just received some stamping plates from Born Pretty Store, and was eager to try them out.
Before I left Spain this summer I snatched up a couple of the polishes in the Cupcake line from KIKO, when I was looking through my yellow polishes, I just had to use this one.

The texture did not distribute evenly with this polish, and it was a little bit tricky to work with, luckily it still looks very pretty.

KIKO - Cupcake - 648


When it came to choose a design and plate, this one just jumped to me, and I instantly had an idea of what I wanted to do with it.
I stamped using NYC - Flat Iron Green, a polish I have never worn as a mani, but used every now and then for stamping and nail art. In the bottle it looks pretty much black, but when you use it for stamping you can see that it is more like a dark mossy green. A blackened green polish.

I used the Y 003 plate, and picked the design to the top left. I really like this plate, and I have been wanting a plate with some lace patterns and these are really sweet. I was playing around on a sheet of paper to see how well it was stamping and to test out ideas on what to do with my nails.

Do you ever have moments when your head is swirling with so many ideas that you just can't seem to stick with one? That was me.



NYC - Flat Iron Green stamped with Y003 from Bornprettystore over KIKO - 648



NYC - Flat Iron Green stamped with Y003 from Bornprettystore over KIKO - 648

If you click on the pictures it will enlarge them, and you can see more closely how the stamping look over the textured polish underneath. I have to day, I really like the look.

I couldn't stop there, I needed to fill in the flower. I decided to use Barry M - Crush, and W7 - Pink Suede for that. It kinda reminded me of a two toned 5 petal flower I had seen on Pinterest a while ago.
NYC - Flat Iron Green stamped with Y003 from Bornprettystore, flowers filled with Barry M - Crush and W7 - Pink Suede, over KIKO - 648 
If I where to correct on anything with this mani, it would be to have more of Barry M - Crush show in the flower, I did not quite get the look I was trying to achieve, but I still like the end result.

So there you have it. A bit early for an Easter Manicure?


If you wanted to get hold of this plate, sadly, at this writing moment Y003 is sold out, but I am sure you can find plenty of other great stamping plates at Born Pretty Store.

Y003 came in a very sleek and minimalistic designed white cardboard sleeve. It had the blue film over it, which you are expecting to find on plates now a days.
I tested the edges of the plate, and they seemed very rounded, so there are no dangers of cuts.

The plate was easy to work with, and the etching was very good, and I had no problems picking up the images with my Konad or my Moyou London stamper.


If you will be placing an order, feel free to use my 10 % off coupon: RAMG10
There are plenty of products to choose from at their site, not just nail related items, and the prices are very affordable and they have free worldwide shipping.
Click the image below and you will be taken to their site. 




I received this product of my choosing, free of charge for my honest, non-bias review from the Born Pretty Store.


2.23.2015

That one time ... Watermarvel

I think it is important to report the "not so successful" attempts every now and then.
Specially when you can identify what went wrong in the process.

So this attempt started the same way as all the other:
Polish goes in water, spreads, drag needle over, dry over night.
Yet, it turned out quite different.

IsaDora - 179 - Winter Rose
W7 - 140 - Buff
ESSIE - Little Brown Dress


close up few minutes after it was made

15 h later, it looks like this

I could still make a nice manicure out of it, so it wasn't completely ruined, but it baffled me that it turned out so differently. As I hadn't had any failed attempts at all using this technique I wanted to find out what went wrong.
I asked the girls at Polish-aholics Anonymous on Facebook, and the suggestions ranged from water contamination, to temperature drops, and even air contamination. One suggested it might simply be the polishes I choose.

So I went to the scientific method, and worked on eliminating one and one of these theories.
By using the same polishes in the same order with new water, and with a lid, the problem still occurred. So it could not be air- or water contamination. Though, this was a very good bet.
As I had used the same water all week, there was a possibility that water contamination could be a factor. I would lift the decal out of the water, and make a new one right away, so the water was never changed. However this had not, and continued not to be the problem, so it had to be something else.

I then decided to use the same polishes but to swap out one of them. As I am not the biggest fan of IsaDora - Winter Rose, that was the polish I decided to swap out. This attempt had no errors and can be found following this link:

Vintage Wood - A watermarble adventure

I was twisting and turning on the decal. It wasn't much to work with, and it had gaps here and there. Some of it simply crumbled away when I took it out of the water.



 It's not my best work, hehe, but I made it, kinda, work.



Vintage Wood - A watermarble adventure

I think this post does not come as a surprise to any of you. Specially as it is another water-marble manicure. I have been practicing and practicing all week.
I was trying to identify a problem that occurred with one of my water-marbles, when I came upon this combo. I did a similar one, but was using IsaDora / Winter Rose for that one, and something strange happen to it, so when I experimenting to see if it was the polishes/water/temperature/air that was causing the problem, I used my new Barry M - Vintage Violet.

Instead of alternating every third, like I have done for a while, today I only added ONE drop of the Barry M - Vintage Violet. The rest of the water-marble was done using W7 - Buff, and ESSIE - Little Brown Dress. It really reminds me of woodwork, and I just can't say how pleased I am with this attempt. I have come so far with my watermarbeling decals this month.

The added dusky violet in this manicure lifts it up just that little.


Vintage Wood worked nails - water marbling

I will be uploading my failed attempt as well. So you can see what can go wrong when water marbling, and how I managed to make a mani out of it after all. 

2.18.2015

Watermarble in Green

I loved playing around with the water marble, so when I sat there putting it on my nails, I wanted to keep practicing and make another manicure using the decal method for water marble. I am trying to use different techniques when dragging my needle over the design. I have seen some alternating on dragging up and down, so I tried doing that here. My design bled out a little creating an interesting look. I am much more pleased with this try, as it is more solid, with no large empty spaces like the previous one.

I was sticking to green for this design too, but I swapped out some of the colours.

The Green Watermarble - Just out of the glass, and patted dry


ESSIE - Mojito Madness
ESSIE - Navigate Her
Barry M - Lime Green

I had a little mistake on some of the tips, when adjusting the decals, and cutting them, and when I grabbed a polish to paint over, to make it blend in seamlessly... I grabbed the wrong polish. so the errors was corrected using ESSIE - School of Hard Rocks. Oops. Did not mean to do that.

Green Watermarble

Green Watermarble


I still think it all turned out well. To make it less obvious I grabbed ESSIE - School of Hard Rocks, and a dotting tool, and "went to town", by adding some dots here and there. I think it worked well.
You know, sometimes the coolest manicures starts with a mistake of some kind.

I wasn't quite happy with just the dots and the water marble, and was advised by some lovely ladies on Polish-aholics Anonymous Facebook group, to add Out The Door - Northern Light. So, I did just that, This is actually the second time I use the topcoat(!!) I have had it for a long long time, just never ended up using it. I think I overloaded it a little bit on the middle finger, but it all turned out very nice. I think I am falling in love with water marbling this way.

Northern Lights over a green watermarble

Northern Lights over a green watermarble


This is not the last time you will see watermarbeling on this blog. I got some cool ones coming up, so I hope you are all not too tired of my marble adventure.

2.17.2015

An Essie watermarble

I wanted to experiment with water marbles, specially since I have been seeing so many of them in my feed recently. I wanted to go with green shades since I live in Northern Ireland, and it's all about green.

Essie Watermable starting point, still in the cup

As I wanted to have more control of each nail, I used the decal method. Which means that I did the marble as normal in the water, but instead of dipping my fingers in the water, I allowed it to dry completely over night, before sticking it to my nails.
This also allowed me to make more than one design, and rather spread it out when I was wearing them.

Essie Watermarble - Allowed to sit over night, picture taken before patted dry


I used a handful of polishes for this design, and they where all ESSIE polishes.

ESSIE - Navigate Her
ESSIE - Mojito Madness
ESSIE -  School of Hard Rocks
ESSIE - Turquoise & Caicos

Essie watermarble manicure - cut to fit, and after clean-up


As one of the nails didn't turn out the way I had planned due to bad positioning of the decal, I made a flower using NYC - Flat Iron Green. First I stamped using MASH 46, but it didn't turn out quite the way I wanted, so I traced it with a brush, and made the flower a bit bigger, using an angled brush to make the petals the way i wanted.

Essie Watermarble manicure - with an accent, and added topcoat

I am quite pleased with the end result. A lot of work went into this manicure, even though it kinda look effortless...

Barry M - Vintage Violet - Swatch

I am so happy to be able to see more sun now a days. It's been so dark and gloomy for long now, and finally there are some sun coming through here and there. That mean that I could get some pictures taken in the sunlight. My daylight lamp needed some TLC, so it has been quiet on the blog front lately. I recently picked up a couple of nail polishes from Barry M, they where on a 3 for 2 sale, so when I was standing there with two I wanted, I had to take three, but I found another two I wanted, and that's how I ended up with 9 polishes. Only to find out that two of them wheren't on sale after all, and well.. By then I had convinced myself I really needed them all, so.. you know how it is.

I picked up Barry M - Vintage Violet among others, and here are some swatches for you. 





I am so happy I convinced myself to buy this polish. I love it.


This polish will be starring later on, in a water marble. I am sure you are excited to see what I learned from a week of water marbling testing. I will try to compile all the knowledge I gathered and post it here.
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