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May 28, 2018

Precious Pearl - Born Pretty Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder


I've been experimenting with nail powders, but this is the first time I've posted about it on the blog! =) So this might be a loooong one~! I'll go through how I apply the nail powder, as well as what polishes and topcoat I'm using.

[Mermaid blues]
Aaaaahhh, such pretty iridescent goodness! This particular nail powder was generously supplied by Born Pretty for reviewing purposes. This one is called the Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder and comes in one shade that you use over different coloured base shades.

[Born Pretty Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder]
It comes in a little matte ziplock bag, which contains the little pot of 0.2g nail powder complete with safety seal, plus a handy sponge applicator. I like it when nail powders come with their own applicator as it stops any mixing of different powders/finishes from sharing applicators.

[Left to right: Australis Friend Like You, Rimmel Bestival Blue, Rimmel Little Boy Blue,
OPI Dating a Royal, OPI Russian Navy Matte, Emily de Molly Special Effects Base Coat]
Now before we have a look at the powder itself, here's the base shades I tried out. I definitely wanted to try a whole bunch of shades so I decided to go for a blue creme gradient. From lightest to darkest, left to right, this is Australis Friend Like You, Rimmel Bestival Blue, Rimmel Little Boy Blue, OPI Dating a Royal, OPI Russian Navy Matte.

As you can tell, these are all regular polishes, rather than gel polishes! Our secret weapon (more on that later) is the last bottle on the right - Emily de Molly Special Effects Base Coat.

[Pinky to thumb: OPI Russian Navy Matte, OPI Dating a Royal, Rimmel Little Boy Blue,
Rimmel Bestival Blue, Australis Friend Like You (2 coats each)]
Here are the 5 shades of blue, from darkest to lightest, pinky to thumb. Each was two coats plus a thin layer of topcoat. You can see that OPI Russian Navy still has a hint of matte to it.

[Born Pretty Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder]
So, back to the powder! Peel the seal off! Try not to destroy your freshly painted nails while you're at it... I like to lay down a sheet of scrap paper to make cleanup easier after. Also, there's always going to be traces of powder left on the seal, so don't throw it away! There was more than enough on there to do all 10 nails (and some!).

Now, apply a thin layer of Emily de Molly Special Effects Base Coat over your dry base shade. Leave it for a minute or two - I like to gently tap the surface of the nail with a finger to test if it's ready. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

I also actually did half the nails without the Special Effects Base Coat - just a regular non quick dry base coat that was a similar level of tackyness. I think the clue here is to have a thin topcoat so you're less likely to be moving/squishing it down when you apply the powder.

[Born Pretty Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder]
Now when you're ready with your tacky nails (I recommend doing one hand at a time!), press the sponge applicator lightly down on the powder. You do not want to overdo it! You really don't need very much at all. Gently pat the powder over the entire surface of the nail, trying not to miss any spots. When you're done, you'll notice that it's not nice and smooth/chromey as it should be. Don't worry, the next step is where magic happens!

Using your finger, gently pick up a bit of powder and pat over your nail. Gently rub over the surface of the nail to buff the powder in and get a nice even surface. You should keep doing this till you no longer feel a tacky surface - the powder will have stuck to and covered the sticky bits.

Remember, the clue here is light but thorough rubbing in! It's great fun to watch the chrome-y pearl-y effect appear!

[Born Pretty Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder]
Voila!! Fancy effects for all! This pearl powder seems to be an iridescent duochrome. On the dark base, it is a green-gold shifter, and on lighter shades, you get the pearly pink/blue iridescence. I think the ring finger combines both best of all. The colour and finish are also spot on compared to the product page.

[Born Pretty Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder]
It also changes in different lighting! But, wait! Before you prance off into the sunset with your mermaid nails... what topcoat to use? I think with a pearl finish, it's not as crucial as a holographic or mirror chrome powder. However, to be safe, I used Born Pretty No Smudge Top Coat which is a water-based topcoat that I've previously reviewed. Definitely maintained the mermaid effect and kept it going through showers and doing dishes... =p

Now if you're worried about glitter getting everywhere, don't worry. Nail powders are different to nail glitter and washes away much more easily!



Are you excited to try it out now? My initial reservations were regarding having to use a UV base, gel and cured topcoat, as well as the potential mess. But this works fine on regular polish, and cleanup was pretty easy! So I'm happy to keep playing around with these nail powders!

You can check out the Neon Unicorn Mermaid Nail Powder here, or have a browse through Born Pretty for a whole bunch of different nail products! As usual, our code up above will get you an extra 10% off full-priced items. Happy shopping~


May 25, 2018

Cloudy Glass - OPI, Born Pretty, Emily de Molly

More gel things that I apply without using gel polish!

[Top: Born Pretty's Chameleon Cloud Paillette Iridescent Flakies number 4
Base: OPI Alcatraz... Rocks]
So, this is Born Pretty's Chameleon Cloud Paillette Iridescent Flakies, option number 4 on a base polish OPI's Alcatraz... Rocks. Ev has a really nice swatch of Alcatraz... Rocks here. Born Pretty's Chameleon Cloud Paillette Iridescent Flakies, option number 4, is a blue-purple flakie with some green flashes. The word cloud in the name of the flakies is really accurate because it does look like shifting, shiny clouds on my nails. The second photo is blurry, but the colours are accurate in that one.

On top of Alcatraz... Rocks, I applied Emily de Molly's Special Effects Base Coat. Then when it was still tacky, I applied the flakies on top generously. I sealed it all in with Born Pretty's Mirror Top Coat, which I'm told works as a replacement if I don't want to use gel nail polish at any point to seal in flakies. And it does work! Everything sealed in fine.

[Top: Born Pretty's Chameleon Cloud Paillette Iridescent Flakies number 4
Base: OPI Alcatraz... Rocks]
I included the first photo above because you can see a better view of the green flash of the flakies.

Now the second photo shows something weird that happened. It's winter here now in Australia and I'm having very hot showers. So after one particularly hot shower, a couple of the flakies...went weird. They went cloudy white. I was baffled. And then oddly enough, a couple hours later, they went back to normal. I have no idea what happened, but you can see a few cloudy white flakies up above.

I looked it up but couldn't really figure out what search terms to use and didn't find anything, so... it's a mystery! I'm wondering if it's a result of not using proper gel polish for this and using substitute top coats.

Other than that, I loved the look of this one and might look to get the other flakies too!

Head on over to Born Pretty if you want to check out their flakies and other items. You can use our discount code to get 10% off full price items!

May 21, 2018

Ember Rust - Born Pretty Wine Malaga BPH03


My collection of red holographic polishes is increasing in size...! I just can't resist!

[Red Corvette]
Today's shade was generously supplied by Born Pretty for review. This is Wine Malaga (BPH03) from the Born Pretty Holo Series here. I think it's a great autumn/winter shade (yes, we are in Australia here...).

[Born Pretty Wine Malaga BPH03]
This polish comes in a cardboard box with a shiny holographic label to tell you what shade is inside. There's also a little round window cutout so you can see the bottle inside.

[Bottle to nail: Born Pretty Wine Malaga BPH03 (2 coats)]
As you can see, Wine Malaga is more of a orangey-red. The holo particles are fine and scattered. I'm not sure if it's due to the base shade, but rather than a rainbow holo flame, you get more of a red-orange flame effect from the holographic particles.

[2 coats: Born Pretty Wine Malaga BPH03]
This is an interesting formula! It's slightly uneven at one coat, as the holo particles tend to pool rather than spread. It needs a quick confident hand with strokes to avoid bare patches. This clears up with two coats, which is what I have on here. Oh, and also! Strangely enough, it dries matte! I definitely wanted a rich glossy shine, so I used a generous layer of topcoat after.

[2 coats: Born Pretty Wine Malaga BPH03]
You can see a faint hint on my ring finger here where the holo particles were less obvious. It's really such a rich luxurious shade once applied though! I definitely recommend a decent base coat as this polish may stain your nails due to the amount of red pigment.

If you want to check out Wine Malaga, head over to Born Pretty! There are lots of other holographic shades in this range too. As usual, our discount code above will give you an additional 10% off full-priced items. =)


May 17, 2018

Blue Beach - Blue-Berry Sweet On You from Nicole by OPE

What I've got here is Blue-Berry Sweet On You from Nicole by OPI!

[Nicole by OPI's Blue-Berry Sweet On You]
Blue-Berry Sweet On You is from the Gumdrops collection which consists of textured nail polishes.

As you can see, Blue-Berry Sweet On You has a rather fine sandy texture and dries matte. I do love the light blue-purple-gunmetal shade it's rocking, and wore a matching cardigan. I think Blue-Berry Sweet On You is not as textured as some liquid sand nail polishes, but it's pretty nonetheless!

May 14, 2018

Spot the Difference - Rimmel Bestival Blue, Sally Hansen Barracuda


Sometimes a mani just comes together... even when you didn't plan it that way!

[Bump bump]
This is one of those... I was actually trying to decide which blue to use and so had swatched one shade on each finger. Then I thought to myself... that looks pretty good together! And so, this mani came to be~

[Bottle to nail: Sally Hansen Barracuda (2 coats)]
The lighter blue shade is Sally Hansen Barracuda from the Complete Salon Manicure range. This one is sort of a pale duck egg blue. Nice colour but the formula was a bit of a pain. Not very opaque, a bit prone to flooding and fairly long dry time. However, I persevered and used two coats for these!

[Bottle to nail: Rimmel Bestival Blue (2 coats)]
On every alternate nail, I used Rimmel Bestival Blue from the Rita Ora series. This is a great cornflower blue shade (and one I suspect is very similar to others in my collection!) with good opacity and dry time. Could possibly be a one coater but I used two here.

[Base + Spots: Sally Hansen Barracuda (2 coats), Rimmel Bestival Blue (2 coats)]
I then used a dotting tool to place spots of the other colour on each base shade. Topcoat generously and there you go! It actually gives a bit of a textured finish due to the raised spots. A fun happy manicure that I was quite pleased with!


May 7, 2018

Look It Up - Emily de Molly Urban Dictionary


I have a gorgeous multichrome to show off today - check it out below!

[Super fly]
So many colours, this photo doesn't even capture them all...!

[Bottle to nail: Emily de Molly Urban Dictionary (2 coats)]
This is Urban Dictionary from Emily de Molly. It's a shimmer finish multichrome that shifts from olive green, to blue to purple riiiight on the edges. Such a rich vampy combination!

I've put a whole bunch of photos together below to show off the colour change.

[2 coats: Emily de Molly Urban Dictionary]
The formula was nice and opaque in two coats. It's very slightly prone to flooding but not unmanageably so. Unfortunately the combination of base and/or top coat must not have agreed with this one, because I experienced chipping within a day or two. Oh well, still a lovely shade!