Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘Born Pretty’

Pink Swoop Gradient

I was sent to pink polishes to review from the Warm Tea Series from Born Pretty. These are very small bottles of quite potent stamping polish. I do wish I had been given two different color families, but theses ones gradiented together well! I wanted to test them over a dark base to prove that they, especially the lighter pink, would work. Voila!

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Of course, in retrospect, it might have been a better test of their ability to not put them over something quite so glittery, but I have to admit the effect in the sun was dazzling! This has also convinced me that at some point I really do need to go out and buy some more dedicated stamping polishes. My regular cremes would never be able to do this!

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Colors:
~ Purple holo: Emily de Molly – State of Mind
~ Light pink: Born Pretty – Warm Tea, Cherry Blossoms
~ Dark pink: Born Pretty – Warm Tea, Crimson Cheeks
~ Stamp: EdM – 21

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Hope you enjoyed! If you want to pick up either the lighter pink or the darker pink stamping polish you can find them here for $1.99 each. That said, keep in mind that these are very small polish bottles, only 6ml!

Abstract Minimalism

You guys, I don’t know what this is. Born Pretty Store sent me an un-asked for plate to review…and it is a mix of weird abstract flowers/animals, funky cats, and nude people?! I can’t wear naked people on my nails to work! Artistic it might be but appropriate it is NOT. So, I grabbed the only three images on the plate that I could even imagine what to do with, and googled “minimalist rose”. The very first hit is the rose on my middle finger – I think Born Pretty did the same thing and just turned it into a stamp! Anyway. All the google images were white-on-black so I just decided to reverse that idea and leave it alone. This plate was, at least, very well stamped. Even the tiny dots transferred perfectly onto my pointer finger!

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Of course, I can’t make a mix-and-match with only three images. So I used two of the scribble images from a different plate (my ring finger and thumb) in an attempt to tie this all together. All in all I do not love this manicure. My style tends towards the orange and colorful. However, it gave me a chance to use this black glitter…I don’t think I have touched this polish in 3 years! And it still works perfectly. Score one for Sinful Colors 🙂

Colors:
~ Black glitter: Sinful Colors – Secret Admirer
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Born Pretty – Artist L004, Lina – Make Your Mark 02

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If you want to see what you can do with some artistic minimalism/naked people, Artist L004 is available at the Born Pretty Store for $3.99. Good luck?

Shimmer Lace with Subtle Multichrome Accents

That is one hell of a title. But I couldn’t think of a better one! We have a pastel nude shimmery base (which is quite pretty), some lace, and then some awesome accents in a pastel multichrome and silver holo glitter. I honestly kind of love this manicure!

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The base is two coats of Anthos by Sayuri, one of the monthly offerings (I cannot remember if this is from PPU or one of the other monthly polish groups). Anthos is a pastel pink that leans mauve, which is just filled with scattered holo, some tiny red glitters, and lots of translucent orange/pink flakie shards. The fact that it covers in just two coats is icing on the cake. This is a beautiful subtle sparkly polish, perfect for work! (Adding a bunch of glitter is less work-appropriate, but no one has complained in months).

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Colors:
~ Nude shimmer holo: Sayuri – Anthos
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Pink pastel multichrome: POP Polish – Watermellon Bubbleslick
~ Silver holo: FUN Lacquer – 24 Karat Diamond
~ Stamp: BP – L084

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For whatever reason, I just wanted to use one of the pastel slicks from POP Polish. It worked surprisingly well! Of course, Emily de Molly has made a surprisingly similar polish at this point so now I need to buy that and compare the two. I am getting off track, but so be it! Regardless, I hope you enjoyed it :-p

Medusa

This manicure was inspired by a stamping plate. I was sent plate Artist L005 to review from the Born Pretty store, and it is a weird plate! Typically Born Pretty lets me chose my own items to review, but this round they sent plates unprompted. And what they sent me was NOT my typical style! This plate has a lot of odd semi-people (bodies with plants as heads, tears, barbed wire…) honestly, very little that I would chose to wear and almost nothing that I think would be appropriate to wear to the hospital! And then I found Medusa.

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I have been wanting to do a Medusa-inspired manicure for years. I adore Greek mythology, but faces are incredibly difficult! This face works beautifully. The plate is perfectly etched and every detail picked up nicely (I do wish I liked the patterns more!), making it quite easy to make an advanced stamping decal. The other snake patterns came from other plates, and honestly don’t pick up as well! Go figure.

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Colors:
~ Green shimmer: Great Lakes – O R’lyeh?
~ Gold glitter: ILNP – Sparks May Fly
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Red: OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)
~ Nude: CND – Cashmere Wrap
~ Stamps: Born Pretty – Artist L005, Whats Up Nails – B025, Moyra – 32 Nature

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I spent longer than I strictly needed to picking what base to use as the background for Medusa’s face. The green was an easy pick, I adore R’lyeh! If you want to challenge yourself to figure out what on earth to do with this stamping plate, you can find it for $3.99 here. Enjoy!

Bright Teal and Dark Roses

This was fun, and almost-but-not-quite perfect! Regardless of the imprecations (entirely my fault with color selection) I enjoyed wearing this! I also don’t know why I don’t actually have more floral manicures to post. What have I been painting if not flower?!

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The design was inspired by @ponkle. In retrospect I wish I had used a brighter pink for the base of the roses! This ended up looking almost neon-with-goth because of the dark roses. I love it anyway. Of course, I also cheated. The dots are freehand and everything else is stamping 🙂

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Colors:
~ Teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Light pink: Zoya – Jordan
~ Pink: Love & Beauty – Pink
~ Dark pink: Zoya – Ciara
~ Light green: Zoya – Josie
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Stamps: BP – L020, MoYou London – Frenchy 14

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Short and sweet today, but with pretty pictures of course! Hope you enjoyed!

Rainbow Fronds

I have no idea what I was going for here! The Overprint stamping series by Born Pretty has lots of awesome layered stamps, and I wanted to use the one that looked like a frond. It has a version where you can cover either the middle part of the tips of the leaves, and I wanted to fiddle with it!

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I ended up using a bunch of neon polishes (don’t ask me which, I don’t remember) and layering them over each other in sets of pink, orange, yellow, and purple. I decided, somehow, that the end result wasn’t exciting enough, so I added more fronds to the rims of my nails. The end result is interesting? But super weird!

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The base color is Reminisce by ILNP, although with how much I have covered it up,  you can hardly see the shift! The stamping plate is Overprint L002 from the Born Pretty Store.

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I really don’t know you guys. This is a weird one, even for me! Also, sorry. I have completely lost track of days and obviously meant to post this yesterday!

Shifting Purple Swirls

I loved wearing this manicure. Purple, swirls, and gradients? Yes please! It helped that making this was straightforward but it was eye-catching and looked quite complicated!

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Really, this is a gradient stamp on an already existing gradient. I started with a purple gradient (lightest at the cuticle, darkest at the free edge) and then stamped a more subtle gradient (darkest at the cuticle, lightest at the free edge) over it. So many gradients! I honestly don’t know why I haven’t tried this idea again the past few months, it looks so cool 🙂

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Colors:
~ Light pink: ULTA – Baby Doll
~ Light purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Light periwinkle: Nails Inc – Regents Place
~ Purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Periwinkle: Zoya – Danielle
~ Stamp: Born Pretty (not in English) – L005

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That’s all for today! Some more fun weird stamping combinations coming on Wednesday, and one of my favorite new polishes on Friday! Also, my posts are finally going to get longer now that the “hard” part of my year is over, the next 4 weeks are pretty darn straight-forward. Hope you enjoyed!

Cracked Garnet

I couldn’t decide if this mani reminded me more of golden tree branches (which was the intention) or a broken gemstone (which is equally cool), so I went with gemstone! Either way, these nails ended up beautifully sparkly.

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I seldom reach for my pure flakie top coats. Honestly, I feel like they overwhelm the color under them (which I suppose is the point) but I feel bad covering up my base color! In this case I used a purple I don’t like much, which made me feel overall better for the focus being on the flakies :-p

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Colors:
~ Dark purple: Station – Happy Wine-y People
~ Orange glitter: Born Pretty – Raging Fire
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: BM – XL472

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Happy Friday, and I hope you enjoyed! Its >90 degrees in St Louis right now, and absolutely miserable with humidity. I don’t understand this weather, it was in the 40s less than a week ago!

Sunset Wheat

I’m back! I never really left…but I did move! The new house is utterly incredible and farrr larger than we need (there are 5 bedrooms, 5!! And 8 fireplaces. Who needs 8 fireplaces?). Anyway, I only finally unpacked the nail polish two days ago, so I have been stuck working with 8 polishes for almost a month! You will see a lot of rainbow cremes coming up. This one is from the vault, I just didn’t get around to editing it before the move! This will be a theme. Regardless, sorry for disappearing on everyone for a month!

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This mani was fun! A gradient, a stamp, and some fireflies! Its a weird sideways take on that famous bit of nail art by Chalkboardnails…although honestly they look very little alike. Of course, I ended up ripping the back of my middle finger open, so you guys also get the beautiful view of a bandaid :-p

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Colors:
~ Pink: Essie – Sunday Funday
~ Yellow: Stamping polish
~ Shimmer: ILNP – The Magician
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Purple jelly: Zoya – Katherine
~ Purple: Zoya – Margo
~ Stamp: BPX – L018

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Hope you enjoyed! And I will do my darndest to keep this blog updated. I have a whole lot of unshared manicures, but my time is getting tight! Although if anyone knows where to get decent (and cheap) antique furniture in St Louis I would be thrilled!

Golden Sheaves

This is another old one, I painted these back in the fall too! They were supposed to be wheat sheaves or something, but the look mostly floral-y and very sparkly. Honestly, I keep forgetting that I own this base polish and it is so darn stunning!

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I have an intense love/hate relationship with glitters. On the one hand, they are beautiful, and most of them have this jelly depth that leaves me staring at my nails whenever I wear them. On the other hand, they are a pain to apply (since, lets be honest, you have to place a lot of the glitters, especially larger ones) and the are REALLY a pain to remove!

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Eleven at least isn’t that hard to get on the nail, the glitters are well-dispersed, uniform in size, and smallish. But it costs so much time to take off!!

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Colors:
~ Burgundy glitter: Illyrian – Eleven
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: Floral BP – X43

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I think that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed 😀

Rose Golden Vines

I love this manicure. It is incredibly simple (its just a stamp) but the COLORS. Also, the base is seriously one of my favorite polishes. I almost never reach for it, but whenever I wear it I have to question my sanity about wearing anything else!

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There isn’t much to say about this. I actually wore it back in late Fall (hence the darker colors) but I don’t care. It is stunning. I want a dress that looks like Marrow Sea. To be fair, I remain obsessed with shimmery polishes, and this one has it in spades!

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Unfortunately, I still haven’t replaced my gold stamping polish, so all of my more recent manicures that involve metallic stamps have featured the same rose gold that you can see here. I really need to buy a new gold! I suppose it makes sense, but the only colors I ever run out of are my basic stamping polishes (black, white, gold, silver) and nude cremes. I want to buy more crazy glitters, but I never use them up! Too bad 🙂

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Colors:
~ Teal multichrome: Illyrian Polish – Narrow Sea
~ Rose gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Stamp: BP – 19

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That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed 😀

Love for Purple

In case you can’t tell, the theme this year was “slightly unusual Valentine’s day art”, so I ended up with a lot of “love” and a lot of purple :-p. The fun thing here is the purple-on-purple background stamp (you can see it best on my ring finger) and THEN the purple to white gradient stamping. Basically lots of stamps!

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The base color here is Lael by Zoya, a very dark blue-leaning purple cream. As with most Zoya creams, Lael is opaque in two thin coats, and is predictably a dream to work with. I should at some point do a comparison of all my dark purple Zoya cremes (I think I own 3 very similar ones at this point) but this is the darkest in my collection! My other darkest purple Zoya Monica, looks greyed-out in comparison to the intense dark purple of Lael.

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Colors:
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Lael
~ Purple: Zoya – Landon
~ Light purple: Zoya – Malia
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Moyra – 32 Nature, Lina – Make Your Mark 02, BP – L002

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There is one more Valentines manicure in the wings for Monday (which only makes sense since my husband and I are celebrating on Sunday…at the moment I am on a day shift and he is on a nights shift so we hardly see each other!). Hope you enjoyed!

Swirls on Blue Stone

I got a new polish! Well, new to me at least. This polish has been out for years but it wasn’t cheap enough to be worth it to me until black friday. Anyway, Have some shiny silver flowery swirls over blue!

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The new polish is Dream by Zoya. Now, I own a LOT of dark blue holo polishes. Probably 5 or so. If I am being honest, this polish is not all that unique in my collection of other dark teal-leaning blue holos…EXCEPT that it paints like a dream! I actually compared it to Downpour by ILNP (which I wore concurrently on my other hand) and the Zoya was much easier and more opaque (it did lack that deep metallic luster of the ILNP, but still). This is a nice jewel-toned teal-leaning dark blue holo. The holo is in shards, and unlike Blaze (the wine-red of similar finish) Dream still appears holographic with top coat. I love it!

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I have been meaning to combine the weird stone patterns from Make Your Mark 02 with something swirly. Its a quite fun mix! Also, these were painted before it got quite so cold out (as I write this it is 13 degrees fahrenheit) so currently my nails are tiny nibs. My nails always break so much in the winter!

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Colors:
~ Blue holo: Zoya – Dream
~ Light blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur (Renaissance)
~ Stamps: Lina – Make Your Mark 02, BP – X43

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That’s it for today! New polish, long nails, and some sparkles. Today is also (hopefully) the last day of my boarding exam, and assuming I passed, one of the last major exams I have to take before I am fully licensed!

Top 10 Polishes of 2018

Time for a top 10 post! Every year I do two of them: my favorite 10 new polishes of that year (some of which will be new to me but have existed for a while, and this year about half of which are from the Polish Pickup Pack because that is where I keep getting new polish), and a second post that is my top 10 favorite nail art from this blog in 2018! I always look forward to other bloggers top 10s as well, so I know which polishes to buy! Here we go:

10. Zoya – Isadora
I think this is the only Zoya polish on the list, but it was close between this and Kelsey (a bright pink that I have used a bunch in nail art but only once by itself) but really I felt that I wanted to reward Zoya for making more beautiful metallics. I own a lot of purple metallics, and Isadora is just so pretty!
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9. Polished for Days – From the Land of Oz
I have worn this polish probably 4 times since I got it from the Polish Pickup Pack, which given just how many polishes I own is really impressive! It is purple, blue, teal, and made of flakies, just how I like it! The colors and finish comes together nicely, and Polished for Days appears to make the best flakie suspension polishes. I think off all the new brands I discovered this year, PfD might be my favorite! I keep stalking their website waiting for a sale :-p
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8. Ever After – Playing with Fire
This is another find from Polish Pickup, and it is a beauty. I wish I wasn’t stuck in residency so that I could wear this more frequently! I had been searching for a black-with-rainbows and had been disappointed in holo (because it never looks as rainbow as I’d like in a black base), glitter (too darn hard to remove), and settled on flakies…and this is just perfect. Technically the base is a very dark blue but I just cannot get over the combination of flakies. It is a perfect rainbow in a bottle.
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7. Painted Polish – Just One Look
Is this prettier than #8 and #9 on my list? No. But is it cool looking AND can I wear it to the hospital? Yes. So this pale periwinkle with medium and small holo glitters takes 7th place. This is yet another Polish Pickup shade (are you guys sensing a theme here?) but I know other brands make similar colors and finishes. I happen to like it because it is a stunning color, work appropriate, and glittery to boot!
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6. ILNP – Downpour
This polish. I got 4 new dark blue/teal holographic polishes this year and this one takes the cake. I have been wearing this on my toes since I got it and I regret nothing. Downpour has it all: dark blue, holo shards and glitters, and a metallic finish that makes it glow. That inner glow is really what sets it apart from the other of my new blue holos. I was on the fence when I first received it, but it has quickly grown to be the blue I reach for! The only caveat is that it takes 3 coats rather than 2.
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5. ILNP – Fired Up
The next on the list is also an ILNP polish, this time Fired Up. Last year, Rosewater made my top 10, and Fired Up is the orange sister to Rosewaters pink. I love them both! This polish is just so darn glittery and shimmery, but somehow still wearable. It just makes me happy.
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4. CbL – Frohe Feiertage!
If we are being honest Frohe Feiertage! and Fired Up are very similar. The difference is Frohe Feiertage! has a gold base and is a tad more subtle (aka more wearable in the hospital). I have worn this polish 3-4 times as well. It was my first (and thus far only) CbL but I can see why everyone loves the finish on these polishes! It was also a Polish Pickup buy.
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3. Born Pretty – Astral Realm
I think this is the first time a Born Pretty polish has made my top 10 list? And in the top 3 at that! This is a polish I was sent to review and I fell completely in love. I have ok luck with magnetic polishes, and had been lusting after a magnetic multichrome when I got this. And it just. Works. Its amazing. Even my old many-straight-parallel-lines magnet, which usually looks like a blurry mess, worked like a charm. Yes, this polish requires a black base. Yes it is in a small bottle. No I don’t care, if all magnetics were all this pretty I would never buy anything else!
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2. Emily de Molly – Traverse the Skies
I meant to put this polish on the top 10 LAST year but forgot that I hadn’t posted the nail art it went with! Regardless, this polish is absolutely stunning and has become my platonic ideal of what a shimmer with flakie shards should look like. I love it. If you don’t own this polish and like blue, purple, silver, or just pretty looking nails in general, go buy it. You won’t regret it.
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1. Polished for Days – Grey Opal
This polish made #1 by dint of being stunning, elegant, work-appropriate, and easy to remove despite its flakie burden. Kudos to Polished for Days! Unfortunately this beauty was another Polish Pickup special, but PfD makes a lot of similarly finished and colored polishes on their website. This polish was opaque in two coats, had perfect control on the brush, and was just overall wonderful to work with and wear.
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Thats my top 10 for the year! Moral: Polished for Days is amazing, join the Polish Pickup Pack if you haven’t already, and I am really into nude shimmers and blurples this year! What were your favorite polishes this year that I should invest in?

Candystripped

You guys, I am terrible! I am sorry it has been a week since my last post…I just didn’t have time to put together any of this since then! I was at my in-laws for Christmas and then my sister (and her adorable puppy) came to visit me, and there wasn’t time for photo editing! I am wearing the same design on my nails that I placed a week ago. A WEEK. And it is chipped and awful. Sorry nails!

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Anyway, this design was supposed to be candy canes, and was intended to go up last Wednesday just after Christmas. I failed. But I am going to post it anyway!

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The base color here is three thin coats of Aphrodite by Zoya, which is a pretty orange-leaning bright red with glitter, but unfortunately is not QUITE opaque. I will likely end up using this as a jelly rather than a glitter crelly due to the three coat problem! But I love how bright it is. I bought Aphrodite (and like 15 other polishes) during black friday/cyber monday deals.

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Colors:
~ Red glitter: Zoya – Aphrodite
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: Born Pretty – Halloween L004

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Sorry for the late post, and I hope you enjoyed anyway! Happy new years!!! (I swear I also had a real new years post but of course it isn’t edited yet. C’est la vie!)

Swirling Flakes

Snowflakes! More snowflakes! Snowflakes on a windy background! I decided I wanted more color so on top of Downpour (the dark blue) I dry marbled some Party Favor (teal), then stamped with Yummy (lighter blue) before stamping with silver.

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Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, for some reason most of the photos came out blurry. So today there are only a few photos (although 3 does tend to be normal for me now) and I did my best to pick in-focus ones!

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Colors:
~ Dark blue holo: ILNP – Downpour
~ Dark teal holo: ILNP – Party Favor
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur (Renaissance)
~ Stamps: BM – XL213, 323, BP – 185

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Maybe I should have posted something a bit more Christmas-y today, but all my manis got pushed back a day, so my official christmas mani will go up on Wednesday and holiday nails will continue through Friday. Oops! Enjoy anyway :-p

Swirling Flakes on Grey

I just keep wearing this polish! Grey Opal might be my favorite buy from Polish Pickup Pack (its from probably a year ago at this point), because it is amazingly shimmery and flakie-y, but it still just subtle enough to totally get away with in the hospital!

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I also finally used up my bottle of the original Excalibur (my go-to silver polish for just about anything), and about a year ago bought a replacement (this is the best stamping silver ever), but now it is “Renaissance” because they replaced Excalibur with some weird gold/silver flake combo which, while pretty, does not at ALL serve the purpose of the original bottle. That said, this formula is still fantastic 😀

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Colors:
~ Grey flakie: Polished for Days – Grey Opal
~ Silver: A England – Excalibur Renaissance
~ Stamps: BP (asian) – L008, BP – 185, BM – 319, BM – 232

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Super simple, but quite pretty! And work-appropriate as long as no one notices all the colors hidden in the flakies. Win for everyone! Hope you enjoyed and happy Friday 🙂

Orchid over Purple

More blurple! I don’t know…I haven’t had a chance to transfer a lot of my newer designs onto my computer yet and I am running out of options. These are from early fall. And, of course, feature a darker periwinkle.

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I wanted to play with floral stamps because, in general, I either want to be playing with stamps that are flowers, swirls, or purely geometric. I have a LOT of similarly themed stamping plates!

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Colors:
~ Purple glitter: Polished for Days – From the Land of Oz
~ Purple: Nails Inc – Regents Place
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: BP – L067, BM – XL472

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This was fun just because the base is so SPARKLY and how often do you get to color in orchids? Not often! Anyway, hope you enjoyed, and hopefully I will get my life together enough that I can post something more winter-themed come Wednesday!

Flowers on the Diagonal

More flowers! And yes, these were supposed to go up on Friday after Thanksgiving, and instead I was distracted by buying too much polish. And too many stamping plates (who am I kidding, no such thing!). Regardless, this makes me feel better about not posting black nails for black friday :-p

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More places that I love ended up having sales than I expected, but I wasn’t too terrible? I think I ended up with 9 new polishes and 7 stamping plates. Oh well!

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Colors:
~ Purple glitter: Polished for Days – From the Land of Oz
~ Purple: Nails Inc – Regents Place
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: BP – L002, BM – 616

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Hope you enjoyed these glowing blurple flowers and lines, and had fun picking up deals!

Flowering in Gold

So this mani came out better than expected! I wanted a copperish-green and I almost missed entirely! I started of with a coat of Dragon, which is of course totally opaque in a single coat…and then decided it was too dark! So I topped it with a thin coat of a different green and then STAMPED with Dragon (and some gold). Voila!

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I did have to scour a bunch of plates for actual designs though! And with the combo of green and reddish-gold I think it totally works for a quasi-thanksgiving manicure 😀

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Colors:
~ Dark green holo: A England – Dragon
~ Lighter green with copper: Blush Lacquers – Nerida Singer
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: Whats Up Nails – B005, BPX – L018, BP – L067, BM – XL472

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Luckily, I have part of tomorrow off, so I can at least join my husband and some of our residency friends for dinner, although I am on and overnight call on Friday into Saturday, so I have to hope that whatever awesome nail polish sales happen Friday will be ongoing until Sunday! I also need to apologize for some of the atrocious spelling and grammar at the end of Monday’s post, I should not write blog posts while exhausted. Oops! Hope you enjoyed!

a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]

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