Spring is here: Chunky glitters on my toes!

Spring is here so even if the gray clouds and rain tell us how bad this season is, I want to remind myself that after this, summer is here! So even if the weather seems to bring us down, I want to add a vibrant splash of color on my nails. I thought that by doing this, it will help me get over the weird and crazy spring weather and just look forward to this year’s summer.
I don’t regularly apply and remove nail polish on my toes so I thought that I want to be a little bit playful and add chunky glitters on my toes I bought from the Born Pretty Store! I realized that it is not fun to use chunky loose glitters on my fingernails especially since I remove it after 4-6 days.

OPI Where did Suzi's Man Go
two coats and waiting for the glitters…

To start, I applied a layer of clear base coat to all toenails. Then I decided to use this bright orange OPI nail polish. I don’t think there is any other color out there that can liven up the mood apart from orange anyway!
I applied two coats of the OPI nail polish to even it out. It is really good that the nail polish is thin and really easy to apply. I painted all my toenails and waited for my toes to dry for about 5 minutes. I actually tried to apply the glitter on my still-wet orange polish but realized that I just messed it up a lot more! So I reapply the nail polish on my big toe. I didn’t bother putting on glitter on my other toenails since they are really small, LOL!

OPI Where did Suzi's Man Go
all lined up!

After letting the nail polish dry, I applied one coat of clear nail polish to serve as glue to the glitter. I picked each loose glitter and carefully placed it to form a vertical line on my big toe. I decided to use the heart and star-shaped glitter to give a contrasting look.

OPI Where did Suzi's Man Go
sealed with a clear nail polish and quick dry top coat

As soon as I am done, I applied a thick clear nail polish to seal it. I am hoping that it will not get peeled off so I made sure to paint a generous amount of it on top of the glitters. After it the clear nail polish dried, I applied another generous amount of quick dry top coat – just to make sure no loose glitter will fall off!

Kasako Docai Peel Off Liquid review

Kasako Docai peel off
Kasako Docai

Even before I started with my nail art stuff, I have been watching lots and lots of videos showing nail art tutorials and this peel off liquid is always included in every video I watched. Well, it actually makes sense since some nail art techniques make a lot of mess on the skin around the nails so it seems like a good idea to have something “handy” to remove it easily.
There are actually a couple of brands of peel-off liquid on the market but decided to buy this when I was shopping for nail art supplies online in the Born Pretty Store. (Use the code SHASX31 to get 10% off when shopping at the Born Pretty Store!). It also helped that the price is cheaper in comparison to other brands I saw on Amazon so I gave it a go.
Similar to other bottled items I bought from Born Pretty; it arrived well-packaged and wrapped in lots of foam to ensure the bottle won’t break.
I opened the bottle and noticed that the consistency almost resembles glue but not as smelly. It actually made me wonder whether it is the same material, LOL!
I tried to apply a thin layer but some parts ended up with thicker blobs. It actually took some time before it completely dried up, about 5-10 minutes so I had to wait before I can go on to the next step.

Kasako Docai peel off
waiting to dry up

Even so, I actually liked the idea of having a protective layer to catch the excess nail polish that landed on my skin as I stamp my nails. So I am quite happy with that.

Kasako Docai peel off
after stamping..what a mess!

When I was done stamping my nails, the moment of truth arrived – peeling the tape off. I worked on my left hand first and used tweezers to help me peel it off. Since the material is now completely dried, it is almost transparent against my skin. I’d be honest and say that I had some difficulty completely removing it even when I was using my right hand. I think I took more time than I was expecting to peel it off.

Kasako Docai peel off
managed to peel off the little finger..now with the rest…

It was even harder removing the peel-off tape from my right hand. I eventually stopped and just washed my hand with water. Then I realized that it is actually faster to remove it that way!
Overall, I think it works perfectly protecting my skin against stray nail polish when doing nail art but it is fussy to remove – or could be that I just need to get used to it!

OPI You Don’t Know Jacques review

Here is another nail polish review simply because I was a bit lazy to do some nail art (or attempt to make nail art) the past weeks. We also had a guest come over last week and I was too shy to let her see my nail art fails in person, LOL! On the other hand, the good thing about it was I used one of my “can’t wait to try” nail polish bottles: OPI You Don’t Know Jacques! I have been eyeing this nail polish bottle but can’t find the inspiration to use it for nail art. I guess it was also good timing since my friend saw my nails painted with this and she asked me to paint her nails using the same polish, too!

OPI You Don’t Know Jacques
OPI You Don’t Know Jacques

I bought this nail polish bottle last year during the Christmas sale from an Amazon store and can say that I have been keeping a close eye on this. From the bottle, you can see that it is a rich grey-brown color and somehow, it reminded me of a dollop of foie gras waiting for me to tuck in and spread with jam!

OPI You Don’t Know Jacques
look at that rich color!

For my nails, I used two coats and finished with a layer of top coat. I was applying my nail polish during the evening and I was in a hurry I didn’t notice that some of my fingernails have some “polish gaps”. The next time I apply the nail polish, I might apply three coats to even it out better.

OPI You Don’t Know Jacques
two coats plus a quick dry top coat!

Similar to other OPI nail polishes I have tried, this is very pigmented and easy to apply. I love the rich grey-brown shade and it lasted four days before it started to chip from the edges. I guess with somebody using her hands too much for chores, four days is an acceptable timeline for nail polish application, right?
OPI You Don’t Know Jacques is now one of my favorite nail polish shades! It is going to be my go-to color when I don’t want to be too emo for wearing black polish but not in the mood for the happy and cheerful shades!

Two shades of blue nails

Gradient nails are something I have been eyeing for quite a while but I just can’t find myself feeling motivated to do it. I just feel it is a total waste of nail polish since the traditional approach involves using a sponge. Similar to applying makeup, the sponge is not the preferred tool to use because the product will get absorbed by it easily and that will end up using more product than required. So when doing gradient nail art, you have to use a lot of nail polish to come up with the look. I mean, I know my nails will look pretty but I can’t imagine having to deal with so much waste!
So I was dealing with the “to do gradient nails or not to do gradient nails” when I realized I have to cut my nails short. I am not fond of keeping my nails too long since I don’t like the feeling of having food stuck underneath it when I prepare our dinner not to mention it is kind of hard to have long nails and do housework. So after trimming my nails, I thought that I have to think of another “thing” to do on my nails instead.
I checked a number of gradient nail art techniques that didn’t require a sponge and I thought I can do a reverse of that. Instead of putting the darker shade on the tips, I’d paint the darker shade closer to my cuticles. For this, I decided to use two nail polish: OPI’s NS Lapis and Barry M’s Gelly GNP 27. I initially thought of using Barry M’s Need for Speed Purple but changed at the last minute.

OPI Barry M
my polish choices

I started by painting one coat of clear base coat and waited to dry. Then, I applied one layer of Barry M’s Gelly. I didn’t bother to make sure to apply the polish evenly since I will apply another layer anyway.

Barry M Gelly
one layer of Barry M

After the first layer is dried, I applied another layer of the blue gelly polish. With the second layer, I didn’t apply it to my entire nails. I only painted from the tip until halfway of my nails. The reason is that I don’t want to apply it too thick since I will paint my nails with a different color and that should take care of the gaps.

Barry M Gelly
can you see where the second layer ended?

When the second layer of the gelly polish is semi-dry, I picked up the OPI glitter polish and applied from the nails near the cuticle until where the second layer of the gelly polish ended. Note that I intentionally stroked the polish brush of the OPI polish at random and let a few strokes uneven like a wave or a heart rate monitor. I actually tried to dab with q-tip to “mimic” the sponge effect but found out that NS Lapis is too quick to dry – whoops! So note to self, not to use OPI NS Lapis for sponge gradient!

OPI NS Lapis
with OPI strokes

I applied another thin layer of OPI to even the polish near my cuticles. I noticed there were a few gaps around the area probably in my effort to produce random brush strokes effect. It also made the polish near the cuticle area darker similar to how it should be with the traditional gradient.

i see something blue..
i see something blue..

I finished the look with a layer of quick dry top coat! I was so pleased and will try to do the brush strokes better next time.

Loose Glitter Haul: Etsy

Glitters. Love them or hate them, having them on your nails definitely makes your nail polish stand out. Before I discovered Born Pretty store, Etsy was a store I frequently visit to look for “unusual” things – I even bought a couple of items to give as a gift. And when I re-discovered my love for nail polish and wanted to try my hands on putting nail art, I realized this is a good shop to buy for unusual glitters, too!
I love browsing at Etsy shops to look for loose glitters because it is really quite difficult to find anything like it on eBay. However, I realized that Etsy can be expensive since sellers tend to charge for ridiculous shipping fees! So I just “look around” literally for a couple of weeks until I stumbled on this Etsy store that offered free shipping for a limited time only! The price of the glitters is not as cheap as Born Pretty but I was willing to pay for the price since the shapes and colors are really cute!

glitters!
glitters!

So I bought three loose glitters – the neon-green heart glitter that I used for Paddy’s day, the butterfly-shaped glitter that I have to use and the round multi-colored ones that I used for my toes (like candy sprinkles). It arrived well packaged and sent thru UPS. I was even happier the seller gave me a freebie!
The glitters were made of high-quality materials and didn’t fade the entire time I had it on my nails. As usual, removing it was difficult, but any glitter (especially the chunky ones) is like this anyway. I am really happy with this purchase except that the seller now charges for shipping (bummer!).
I also knew when I ordered that it will not arrive in a tiny cosmetic jar but then I realized when I was using it that it is kind of difficult to manage in resealable plastics.
Overall, I am happy with the purchase but I will not buy from this store again not unless it comes with free shipping!

Born Pretty Stamping Image Plate (BP-79) Arabesque Butterfly review

Born Pretty Stamping Image Plate (BP-79)
Born Pretty Stamping Image Plate (BP-79)

When it comes to nail stamping, the image plates play a crucial role in the intricate designs produced as nail art. Lucky for us, there are lots of choices when it comes to stamping plate designs and you can easily buy them at a cheaper rate from online stores like Born Pretty or even on eBay! (By the way, you can avail of 10% discount if you use the promo code SHASX31 for your purchase in Born Pretty Store, so use this code to shop NOW!)
Since I am a newbie with nail stamping (and nail art in general), I only invested in a couple of stamping plates to get started. One of the stamping plates I purchased is Born Pretty’s Butterfly Arabesque (BP-79) image. I thought the collection of floral, musical notes and abstract images makes a good choice if I wanted to try my hand with nail stamping. I also planned to use the floral and butterfly designs for spring so it’s a win-win situation for me!
It took a while before I was able to try the stamping plate out because the stamper arrived a little bit late than I was expecting it (bought it from eBay), so these image plates had to wait.

Born Pretty
packaging

The packaging from Born Pretty is really good. The image plate was placed in a pocket-like cardboard on its own and has an adhesive strip to protect from scratches. The image plate was clean and neatly crafted and you can say it was made with high-quality materials.
The images are vivid and clear. Even as a first-time “nail stamper”, I was able to produce clear and crisp images from the plates! It was very encouraging that it was so easy to use so long as the nail polish is scraped properly!

Born Pretty
some nails ended up really good!

Cleaning the plate was easy since I only need to wipe it with nail polish remover. After thoroughly cleaning the plate, it was as if it was new – except for the fact that the protective adhesive is no longer there!
Overall, I am so happy with this image plate and can’t wait to use the other images for my next nail stamping adventure!

Stamping Red Polish from Born Pretty review

Born Pretty stamping polish
Born Pretty stamping polish

Nail stamping is one of the things on my “to do” list when it comes to my misadventures with nail art. There is something about producing intricate designs “stamped” on my nails that made it appealing to me. Initially, I didn’t want to buy any stamping polish because I want to use my normal nail polish instead (me being frugal). But when I saw that Born Pretty Store is on sale, I decided to grab the chance and buy just one bottle of stamping polish to try it out! (By the way, you can still avail of 10% discount if you use the promo code SHASX31 for your purchase in Born Pretty Store!)
Unlucky for me, the only stamping polish on sale at the time I bought a couple of items from Born Pretty was red. I would’ve wanted to buy something generic like black or white but I can imagine it will NEVER go on sale since it is something always on demand.
When the stamping polish arrived, it was well packaged and wrapped with loads of foam to ensure it will not break. It was a teeny tiny 6ml bottle but if I am just using it for nail stamping, I think it will last me a while. The shade of red was nice so I just need to find a nail polish color to pair if up with since it is not a neutral color.
When I used it, I instantly noticed that it is not too thin or thick – but richly pigmented. I also noticed that it does not dry up as quickly as other regular polish – so that’s probably what makes stamping polish “different”.

Born Pretty stamping polish
sneak peek at the stamper

Overall, I am happy with the purchase and can understand what makes stamping polish special. I might still try to keep an eye on black or white stamping polishes. Who knows, maybe I’d end up and get lucky?

OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress review

I have wanted to try this out for the past weeks or so but had my “nail polish line-up” that I want to adhere to. Well, it is just me being OCD with “order” and what-not but finally, the day has come for me to try it out – OPI’s I’m Not Really a Waitress. Ever since I ordered this online thru Amazon (and made huge efforts to get it delivered to Ireland), I have been eyeing this sexy, red number simply because it looks so pretty from the bottle! It is a luscious shade of red, similar how Femme Fatale’s would put their lipstick on. I have never liked using red lipstick (I don’t know HOW to apply it on my lips) so the closest thing for me would be to use a red nail polish instead.

OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress
OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress

Similar to other OPI nail polishes, I love how deeply pigmented each bottle is, and this one is no different. For my nails, I only applied one layer of base coat and let it dry completely. The photo shows my nails with just a single coat of OPI’s I’m Not Really a Waitress and while I love deep and rich red color on my nails, I felt that I have to STOP with just one coat (at the time).

OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress
just one coat with night indoor lighting

I usually paint my nails at night (when the husband is home and after the chores) so the lighting “tricked” me to think that my nails are evenly painted. Well, it wasn’t that bad. There were some color gaps (it was just one coat anyway) on some nails but some were a lot more even. But if you are eyeing something deeper, richer and even, then two coats is still necessary.

OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress
need to clean it up!

I love how sexy my nails looked after using it, not to mention I didn’t shell out a fortune for this nail polish (bought it off-season). However, the nail polish started to chip off on the 3rd day! Not sure if it was because I only applied one coat of the polish (even if I used a layer of quick dry top coat). So I am hoping for a better outcome when I use it next.

Tony Moly’s Nail Shuffle Pink Square review

eBay is now included in my “go to” website when I want to find a great value for money when it comes to cosmetics and of course – nail polish! I recently discovered a number of Korean cosmetics and found their nail polish range cute and the colors trendy! Not to mention that I can get some of these at a lot cheaper price range especially when I participate in an eBay seller’s auction! One of my recent eBay auction steals that I got (and tried) recently is Tony Moly’s Nail Shuffle Pink Square. It is a cute pretty glittered nail polish and was so happy it was the right shade of pink (unlike the gel eyeliner).

Tony Moly
look at that cute pink nail polish!

When I saw it from the bottle, it actually reminded me of candy sprinkled donuts – even my husband commented it looked like one! I still have a few bottles of nail polish waiting for me to give a go but I can hardly contain my excitement to try this one out! The nail polish is thick and creamy. It was easy to apply and I needed to put two coats to even the color across my nails.

Tony Moly
made me crave for candy sprinkled donuts!

I love the geometric glitters and the variation of color with the glitters. It certainly matched the pretty shade of the pink polish.

tony moly
cute pink nails

I finished this with a coat of quick-dry top coat on top and can say that it is quite impressive. I painted my nails and had to “work” using my hands (to wash some dishes) after an hour of applying it and it didn’t ruin!

tony moly
after washing the dishes…

Of course, I was delicate with my fingernails as I wash the dishes but for it not to have a single scratch is good enough to me. It was while I was kneading dough to make some crackers when one fingernail chipped around the edge. So I can say that the polish lasted for 4 days before one fingernail broke.
I am really happy with this eBay steal and look forward to more!

OPI Black Shatter review

I remembered seeing Facebook posts from people who were constantly updated with the nail polish trend about crackle (or shatter effect) nail polish. I believe it was OPI who released this first before the other brands followed the same route as they did. When I first saw this from my FB friends, I never really bothered as it was not my “thing” back then. But now that I am getting a little bit more adventurous painting my nails and trying out some nail art technique, I just need to have at least one bottle of crackle polish. And for this, I bought OPI’s Black Shatter.

OPI Black Shatter
OPI Black Shatter – excuse my big toes!

I decided to use it on my toes and make the shatter effect as a “highlight” and used my big toes for this. The rest of my toenails were simply painted with black glitter polish.
I knew the black shatter polish would “break” so I wanted to use a base color that would complement the black polish so I decided to use Accessorize’s 34 Stellar for this. It is a highly pigmented silver nail polish and applied just one coat for my big toes. From OPI’s instruction, I let it to completely dry – maybe for about 15 minutes.

Accessorize 34 Stellar
a bright silver base polish for the toes

I painted the rest of my toenails and after I am done, I applied the shatter nail polish on my big toe. I didn’t know what to expect so I “tried” to apply two coats like I always do but was surprised to see it started to shatter almost after 5 seconds of application!

OPI Black Shatter
it started to crackle too soon! no top coat yet here

The black polish was also matte and it kinda looked interesting against the bright silver nail polish. But I decided to apply just one coat of quick dry top coat, in the end, to give it a smooth finish.

OPI Black Shatter
with top coat

Overall, I am kinda liking my black shatter nail polish and will try it in matte for this year’s Halloween! LOL!