My recent BornPrettyStore goodies – Holo Polish, Metallic Studs and Cartoon Stamping Plate!

I just received some awesome products from bornprettystore.com today.  First, they arrived in just a week when I was told to expect 2-4 weeks, so you can image how happy that made me!  Second, the holographic polish is gorgeous, although I will admit that at first glance I was sad because I thought it wasn’t really holographic, that is, until I stepped outside into the sun and BAM!  Very holo rainbowy (yes I know that’s not a real word).  Third I love the metallic studs (my first!) and Fourth, the stamping plate I got is definitely going to be one of my favorites because the little Japanese style cartoons are ridiculously kawaii (just like everything in Japan I’ll add; let me know if you want to see photos from my trip).

I’m going to have a hard time deciding what to get next from them because they seriously have a million cute things for super cheap with free shipping.  Stay tuned for upcoming displays/reviews of the items I got below.  I would have done my nails tonight with some of this stuff if it wasn’t for the fact that I just did them!

Born Pretty Holographic Holo Glitter Nail Polish Varnish Hologram Effect 9#

Cute Rabbit Cat Animal Design Nail Art Stamp Template s10

Heart Square Round Star Stud Rhinestone Acrylic UV Gel Nail art w/ box

335x280 Emma Arnold banner

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Recycle, Reuse, Reduce – A Manicure Refresh

The polish from my “Holo Racing Stripe” manicure stayed on so well after five days that I decided to just do some stamping on top to give it a fresh look.  I’m not sure whether it lasted so well because of the polish, the topcoat, my “Making Your Mani Last” procedure or the perfect storm of all three.  Each hand is a little different, but I think they both turned out fun.  The two colors I used for stamping are Pure Ice “Silver Mercedes” and Sally Hansen’s “Sonic Bloom” – both work really well with stamping, although the Sonic Bloom stamping on the glitter accent came out textured.  The stamping plate I used was the Cheeky Jumbo Plate A.  No topcoat on these bad boys.

Left Refresh

Left Refresh

Right Refresh

Right Refresh

Super Sparkle Thumb With Dots

Super Sparkle Thumb With Dots

What do you do to “refresh” your manicures?

Holo Racing Stripe – Plus Seche Vite vs Orly Sec ‘n Dry

Holo Racing Stripe

I feel like I should go drive a fast car right now! The original plan for this set was to do stamping on top of the colors, but I liked the simple look so much that I stopped while I was ahead. I feel like the racing stripe on the thumb really makes this manicure pop and I can’t stop staring!

Also, I’m officially in love with holographic nail polish and now I know I’m going to want more. I picked up this LA Splash “Sparkling Torpedo” at Bed Bath and Beyond on a whim to get my order up so I could use a $5 off coupon. It was fairly solid at 2 coats, but I did a third for good measure. Well worth the $3! The coral-reddish color is 3 coats of Milani “Just Peachy”, which I found at the dollar store – totally worth it, this color is fabulous. It’s super shimmery and applied really smooth (not thick), but doesn’t dry super glossy so use a topcoat for extra shine.

My Seche Vite topcoat is almost out so on the same trip I picked up Orly’s Sec ‘n Dry to see how it compares. I used Orly on most of my fingers, but the pinky’s got the dregs of the Seche. I think the Seche drys slightly faster, is also slightly glossier, but thicker so potentially more difficult to apply. The Orly polish is toulene free (it still smelled strong) and applied smoothly. I bumped a nail probably 10-20 minutes after application and got a small smudge, so for now I will say that I think Seche probably still does a better job. I’ll keep an open mind since I have only tried the Sec ‘n Dry once.

Which fast dry topcoat do you prefer?

Happy Fourth of July – Independence to Paint your Nails!

4th of July Nail Collage copy

This week’s fun (and first) installment of Emma’s Nail Notes is dedicated to one of my favorite holidays, the Fourth of July!  I was born in Canada, but raised in California since the age of 2 and I wholeheartedly consider myself an American.  Sure, we’re celebrating the country’s independence from Great Britain, but my real love of The Fourth comes from the inevitable fireworks (pretty sparkly things), BBQ’s, the heat, and, most importantly, a great excuse to play fashionista with the good ol’ red, white and blue.

A great way to make your mani’ work for both before and after The Fourth is to get a basic color gel set done and then just do your decorations in regular polish on top.  After the holiday you can just swipe off the patriotic design with regular polish remover, but still have your gel nails for a few more weeks!  Red, white or blue are obvious choices, but silver and black would make great bases for designs as well.

Here are my top ten picks for Fourth of July nail art this year:

10. If you’re rushed for time, just paint your nails alternating red, white and blue solid.

9. Crackle, use white as a base with red and blue crackles on top.

8. Blue nails with a red accent nail, put little white rhinestones on the blue for stars.

7. Fancy french tips, instead of white, alternate red white and blue on the tips.

6. Get mini star confetti and apply to a solid blue background.

5. Red, white and blue “dotticure” – just get a toothpick or pin and go to town!

4. Try your hand at taping some red and white stripes, you can buy thin striping tape for $1 on ebay.

3. Fireworks!  Use a brush and some silver or sparkle polish and make fireworks on a black or dark blue background.

2. Anything sparkly – you can’t go wrong with red, silver or blue sparkles.

1. The Classic Flag painted in neon or pastel hues for a current twist!  Just get a thin brush and it’s easy to do.

What are your 4th of July Nails?