BornPrettyStore: Silicone Stamping Mat

So up for review today is this ‘Silicone Stamping Mat‘. It arrives in a cardboard tube, which is pretty cute but also handy as it will keep the mat dust and damage free. It’s not overly large, 21 x 15 cm, but gives you plenty of room to work on and it’s compact enough to be rolled out on a messy desk or even a lap tray.

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The mat is perfect for creating either hand painted decals or stamping decals due to it being made from silicone. This lets the decals be effortlessly peeled off and any residue removed with ease by nail varnish remover – which causes no damage to the mat!

To begin with you must apply some sort of base, be it clear coat or colour, as without one the stamped image has nothing to stick to. I chose to use a clear coat as this was in keeping with my design.

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Then it was time for the fun bit – making the decals! Previously I’ve made my decals on two or three stamper heads, it works but it’s a bit of a faff as I can’t make them all at once and there’s also the precariousness of them falling over at any point. The mat made it so much easier. With the mat, I was able to work on all the decals at the same time which meant less colour switching, less brush cleaning and less time spent on them in general. I chose to use an image from stamping plate ‘BP-80‘ (previously reviewed here).

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Once you’ve painted all the parts and it’s dried a little, carefully peel off the decal with some tweezers and apply it to your nail. The mat allowed me to remove my decal so smoothly! (You need to have a tacky base on your nail for the decal to stick) Trim off any excess decal and use an acetone soaked cotton bud to create a clean edge.

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Which do you prefer, the gloss coat or matte nails? I’m not sure, the gloss really makes the colours pop but there’s something more delicate about the matte.

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The mat cleaned up nicely, there was barely any polish left on it and the scraggly bits that were left, were easily cleaned off with an acetone soaked cotton pad. I then rolled the mat back up and popped it back in the tube.

Does anyone already own a silicon mat?

The mat, does come in different sizes and some slightly different styles, but I thought this one was a very practical size as it can easily fit decals for 10 nails with room for practice ones too. If anything in your Born Pretty Store order isn’t on sale, you can use the code ‘AZYW10’ to recieve 10% off those items. And remember free delivery!

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BornPrettyStore: Metal Wheel Design Stickers

So I’ve been just super busy with general life, and it’s unfortunately meant that I’ve been neglecting my product reviews a little. Fear not though, as today I had time to try out these ‘Metal Wheel Design Stickers‘ in option 2240 sent to me by BornPrettyStore.

The stickers come on a clear backing which takes the guess work out of sizing them for your nails. There’s also plenty of them in various designs and sizes, (don’t you just hate it when there’s just one of something?) some of which are super cute – I mean look at the tiny cogs!

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The stickers are strong, they handled perfectly well either picked up by fingers or with tweezers. Fortunately they’re not thick meaning they hug the nail nicely with no poking out or curling up, this is also helped by the strength of the stickers adhesive.

As some of the cogs are quite large, I wanted to test out how well they would cut. They cut like butter, no weird edges or anything, and still stick just as well after the trauma.

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For my first design I chose to do a dry brush background to give an industrial feel, but kept it in quite light in tones to show up the stickers. It really helps to show how shiny the metallic effect is. Super pretty and a bit of a distraction if you’re driving!

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For my second design I went with a magnetic polish in gunmetal silver for the base and just had to add the little clock parts I have. They’re are also from BPS, which I personally purchased (find them here) and are handy for crafting not just nail art.

 

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I mean you can’t get a better combo than cog stickers with actualy 3D cogs! It tickled me. Obviously not that practical, unless you did them in acrylics, so here’s the stickers without the cogs. I had to scrape off the polish I’d used to attach the parts which is why there is some damage, but impressively it’s only minimal and still perfectly wearable.

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So which design did you prefer – blue and industrial or the 3D magnetic one? If you decide to purchase anything from BornPrettyStore, use my code ‘AZYW10’ at the checkout for 10% off all full priced items in your basket. And remember – free delivery, wooo!

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BornPrettyStore: Panda Plate…

So I’m starting off this week with a review about this Panda Stamping Plate from BornPrettyStore. It’s a large rectangle one, covered in cute panda images – 23 to be exact! (That works out to be 13p an image at it’s current sale price, pretty good value no?) It arrives in a cardboard pocket, and is of course covered with the blue protective film that must be removed before using.

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The images lend themselves perfectly to ‘reverse stamping’ or creating ‘stamping decals’ and that’s the technique I decided to go with. I started out with one of the detailed patterns as they have small lines that are tricky to pick up perfectly.

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As you can see, the pandas picked up pretty well! The only one that’s a little touch and go is the central panda but once on the nail it’s barely noticeable. I removed the black hearts, deciding to paint them free-hand later and painted in the panda heads white. I then stamped this on to my nails.

The second image I chose was the panda holding the ‘I love you’ sign, I mean it’s so appropriate for this time of year but so darn cute any other time too! I had a little more difficulty picking up the ‘I love you’ part, again I’m putting this down to the very fine lines however it’s easily corrected by painting the missing parts in if you’re wanting it perfect.

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The plate certainly lives up to it’s name as the results are pretty darn cute! One problem with directly stamping the ‘I love you’ note on to your nail is that it’ll be back to front, I learned that the hard way, so I had to create that as a decal and place it on my nail the right way around.

The second design I chose to do with the plate involved using one of the images with larger spaces, to test out how well they scraped – would they be patchy? No, definitely not!

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I used a BornPrettyStore Silicone Mat which will be reviewed fully next week to create the decals on. (You can just sneakily see in the background of this photo. I’ve maybe already ruined the surprise, as it clearly works well…)

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I’m going to say it again, but how cute! The plate is certainly worth the money, there’s a lot of fun and versatile images. It’s actually a perfect ‘scrape and go’ plate, apply a white base and stamp away – instant pandas!

If you order anything through BornPrettyStore, be sure to use my code ‘AZYW10’ to receive 10% all full priced items when you check-out.

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BornPrettyStore: Fuzzy Flocking Powder..

So today I’m reviewing a pot of ‘Fuzzy Flocking Powder‘ sent to me by BornPrettyStore. It comes in a little screw-cap tub within a plastic pocket which helps keep all the fibers that might escape away from everything else.

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When I saw the colour of the powder, which is option #4, I immediately knew what it was destined for – anyone else see that colour as bear?

I firstly outline the desired shape in brown polish, but it wasn’t enough for this bear to be fuzzy, he had to have dimension too! So I painted up a few layers of UV cured gel to create a 3D head shape.

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Once I was happy with it, I painted a thin layer of UV polish over the shape and tipped the flocking powder over it. I tapped off the excess and then stuck it back under my UV light. Once it was fully cured I used a soft nail brush to dust off any loose flock: by using UV cured gel rather than polish I believe it help the flock stay stuck. (Top tip – do the flocking part over a piece of paper, that way you can tip the extra flock back in to the tub with ease, without it being all over your work area too!)

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He’s still not finished though, he was missing his eyes and nose of course. Again I used cured UV gel to give them dimension and ta-da!

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Didn’t he turn out cute and super fuzzy! (I unfortunately see him as part squirrel or something though…)

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As you can see, the flocking powder has done a really good job at covering the whole area and retaining it’s own colour – you’d bearly (haha) know that there was such a dark brown underneath.

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If you’re not keen on using the flocking powder in such an extravagant (ridiculous) way and are looking for a quick and easy design, then I suggest you try the fuzzy leopard look! I used normal polish for this and even though the coverage isn’t as good, the fuzz is definitely noticeable.

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Have you tried flocking powder before, if so what do you think of it? Do you prefer the bear or the leopard print design? If you place an order with BornPrettyStore, use the code ‘AZYW10’ at the checkout to receive 10% off all full priced items in your basket! Yaaay!

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Rudolph’s Nose…

So in case anyone isn’t aware – it’s almost Christmas, yaaaaay! Tonight is my last night of work for two whole weeks and I cannot explain how good that feels, as I’m really needing a break. I decided to paint Rudolph on my nails but he has a secret…

At first he looks like a normal red nosed reindeer. (If there is such a thing)

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But start to hold your phone to text or browse, and his red nose really does glow!

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This is thanks to a NFC (near field communication) chip that’s embedded in a nail sticker. It’s wonderful, I’m always amazed that such technology can actually fit on my nail and works. I purchased mine from BornPrettyStore, and I’ve used them before in different colours. (Last year I used one atop a christmas tree)

Here’s a short video to help display the way the led flashes. It’s certainly bright and strong enough to see during the day too, but in the dark it gives off an amazing flash!

Have you ever worn any technology on your nails before?

BornPrettyStore: Harunouta Plate L002

So today I tried out BornPrettyStore’s ‘Harunouta Stamping Plate L002‘, and boy is it a big one! It has over 36 images to use which is pretty darn impressive for one plate.

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How good does a new plate look! Immediately, and rather obviously, the idea came to do reverse stamping with the Kokeshi doll images so that’s what I did. The plate is smooth, the etchings are clear so I had no problem picking up the images.

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I had some slight smudging due to my top coat, grrr, but forgetting that the image lends itself perfectly to the reverse stamping/stamping decal technique! Next I decided to try out the blossom image. I had a little more trouble with this one, however I wasn’t sure wether it was due to the plate being new – sometimes they need a little bit of settling, or me not applying enough polish, or my stamper. However the image did pick up but can you see little sort of holes which became really obvious on my nails which was a shame. (Also, whoops at the smudged one and lack of extra pick up clean up!)

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I decided to try again with the blossom image, but this time show a little versatility by creating a christmas design with a clearly not-so-christmassy plate! I again went with the reverse stamping/stamping decal technique. What do you think of my Poinsettia?

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Okay, so unfortunately the holes in the blossom still happened. Anyone any ideas as to why that happens? The plate looks really well etched and the kokeshi doll picked up just fine. I mean this is under major scrutiny, at a distance where any normal person would be looking at your nails it’s barely noticeable.

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There’s so many great, usable images on this plate that I could have painted tonnes of designs! I hope I’ve managed to show you a few ideas on how to use it, and possibly inspired you on how to turn non-christmas related images into something with festive cheer.

If you fancy ordering the ‘Harunouta Stamping Plate L002‘ from BornPrettyStore, use my code AZYW10 to receive 10% off all full priced items in your basket and remember – free shipping!

AZYW10

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BornPrettyStore: Silver Stamping Polish…

So you’re maybe sick of all my Born Pretty Reviews by now, especially because the majority of them are all very positive. I bet you think I’ve sold out and that I’m bent over a barrel having to say false praises to stay on their good side, but I’m genuinely not. I’m not scared to say anything negative for fear of losing free stuff either, I do appreciate it but I mean they’re not sending me a gold Rolex and champagne, we’re talking about $10 worth of stuff here every 4 months or so. This review is a perfect example where the pictures and product speak for itself, and my rambling waffle isn’t even necessary, you can’t deny here that their product works well.

The product I’m talking about it their own brand ‘Silver Stamping Polish‘, at $4.99 (currently on sale at $1.99 16/11/16) I did not have high hopes. I only have 2 stamping polishes, both Konads which retail at between $8-$12 and they are fantastic so the price difference worried me. Usually with these things you’re better investing as you’re paying for more pigment and generally better quality. I was very skeptical starting this review.

The bottle arrives well packaged, it’s encased in a little foam cube which is very dense so there’s no need to fear any smashes in the post.

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I was expecting the polish to be pretty runny, and maybe a little insipid. But actually it has a nice consistency, not too thick not too thin – a real goldilocks. The brush is of standard shape, it doesn’t need to be fancy as it’s only for applying to stamping plates.

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The polish applies nicely to the plate, (I used one of my all time favourites, BP-16), it scraped off fine and my stamper picked it up well too. It produced a strong, neat looking image, but I suppose this is also down to a good plate and a good stamper too.

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Due to my skepticism, I wasn’t holding any punches and went straight for the jugular – a jet black base. I was laughing in it’s face, I thought it was going to turn out so weak and transparent and I’d be able to mock it because I could barely see it. I was so very wrong…

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The tables had turned, it was laughing at me, it knew it’s hidden strength all along. Look how bold it is. Behold how silver and shiny it is. Please accept my apologies you wonderful stamping polish. I’d started with the hardest base colour hoping it would fail at the first hurdle and it didn’t, so it was time to test it on the rest of the colours I’d chosen.

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It holds it’s own on all the colours. Even on the pale ones where it could have been easily lost, it’s still bold enough to be seen. I was so genuinely impressed.

My next challenge for the stamping polish was a comparison against a non-stamping polish, I felt my silver OPI was the best rival. The pictures speak for themselves.

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As you can see, the OPI on the right is dull, grainy looking and a little bit patchy. The BPS stamping polish is bold, bright and wonderful. It’s a fair test, and the results can’t really be argued with.

I chose a second stamping plate to use the polish on, just to ensure the image would still be as crisp and it certainly was. Again I used a black base to really highlight how strong this polish is.

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So I’m impressed, are you? You can’t deny those are pretty amazing results. For stamping do you use regular polish or specificly stamping polish, and if so has it even been a BornPrettyStore one?

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BornPrettyStore: Magnet Flower Charm…

So today I’m reviewing something very playful but a little strange: it’s called a ‘Magnet Flower Charm‘ from BornPrettyStore. It’s available in 21 different colour and style options, I chose #19.

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It’s a ruffled, cloth flower with dangling beads glued to a magnet which pairs with a base magnet that you attach to your nail. It’s a lovely colour, not very weighty and about the size of a 10 pence coin.

I started off by painting my base colour and then pressed on the magnet base whilst the polish was still tacky. It has a slight curve to it, meaning it sits on the nail a little better rather than if it were flat, but I thought it best to secure it further by painting gel top coat around the sides.

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The below collage shows that even though the base does sit quite flat, there are no gaps after the gel is applied and it felt even more secure. (Also less risk of catching!)

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It’s so important that the base is filmy secured to your nail as the magnetic attraction between the flower and base is surprisingly strong for such little magnets. If it’s not, you run the risk of pulling off the base magnet when your try to remove the flower.

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The flower does sit up quite high off the nail, but it’s to be expected due to the two magnets involved. There’s only so much magic in the world and I suppose making ultra thin nail magnets isn’t part of it. At least it’s decorative in it’s on way from side on.

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Just in case you don’t believe me how well the magnets work, I had great fun creating this short video. I played a game of ‘how close can I get to the magnet before they stick together’. (I’m very easily amused and I find the ‘click’ noise fantastically satisfying too.)

It’s a clever concept because it means you can take it off to wipe your bottom and wash your hands without it getting dirty or wet. It also allows you to travel to a destination without it on, and then when you arrive you can place them together reducing the risk of losing the flower en-route. (I mean I’m sure we’ve all been there when we’ve attached charms or gems for a special occasion only to get there to find out they’ve dropped off at some point.)

As usual, I tried a second look. I wasn’t too happy with how my first one turned it – it just didn’t feel pretty or delicate enough for the flower. I much prefer the second look, what’s your preference? I do think, as cute as it looks, that it would be more suited to long nails as it’s kind of engulfing my (almost) nubs. It is very fun though, and would certainly be a conversation starter. I can’t make up my mind as to wither it’s one of the most ridiculous or most clever things I’ve seen. Thoughts please?

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If you would like to try out a ‘Magnet Flower Charm‘, head on over to BornPrettyStore. It’s free shipping, and if you use my code ‘AZYW10’ at the checkout, you’ll receive 10% off all the full priced items in your basket.

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BornPrettyStore: Fish Scale Stencils…

So Born Pretty Store sent me some ‘Fish Scale Stencils‘* to review this week. There are 9 stencils in a packet which is a little strange if you intend to use one for each finger though, presuming you have 10 nails to paint of course.

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They come on a clear backing which you need to peel them off of and sort of as one sheet. I’d advise being careful when trying to detach them from each other as the stencil vinyl is pretty thin and feels a little delicate. As you can see I managed to tear off the corner, so maybe cutting them would have been better.

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The first thing to do is to apply a base colour, I chose a metallic silver, and it’s important you let this dry completely. If you were to place the stencil on any sooner you run the risk of peeling the polish off with it.

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Make sure your stencil is fully stuck down on your nail, any gaps will result in the polish leaking underneath it creating an uneven pattern. There are many ways to apply the polish on to the stencil but I chose to sponge it on. By doing it this way I find that it minimizes the amount of leaks, compared to painting it on which can flood the stencil more easily. The length of the stencil is very generous meaning there shouldn’t be an issue if you have longer nails than me. (Let’s face it, that’s not hard.)

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After sponging/painting on your top polish, carefully peel off the stencil and hopefully you’ll like what you see! The stencils weren’t as durable as others that I’ve reviewed from BPS, however I still got two nails done from one which isn’t bad going. I didn’t want to push it any further as they were starting to feel too flimsy.

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I finished the look off with a top coat and added some typically related decorations – pearls, micro-beads and a shell. (Yawn.) But doesn’t it look pretty!

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I know this might seem strange, but the actual stencil part was looking really beautiful after being sponged with my top colour so I trimmed it to fit my nail and stuck it down. I had to apply two coats of seche vite to get it thick enough to achieve a smooth looking finish. Doesn’t it look cool?

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The next polish I tried the stencils with was a thermal one – because they’re just so much fun. It’s a lot easier to see the pattern definition with this colour combination too. As you can see there was very little leakage, nothing major enough that it couldn’t be corrected, meaning the stencils did their job – well done stencils!

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Below are some Coldfish Scales. Bahahaha goldfish, coldfish? Because the thermal polish is cold. So funny!

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The image below quite interesting as a comparison guide. (This is the thermal polish hot by the way.) Can you tell which two nails I did with a fresh stencil? Yup the index and ring. The edges of the fish scales that were done with a used stencil are slightly fuzzier looking, nothing too noticeable and people aren’t usually looking that closely at your nails. (Right?…)

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If you would like to try out these Fish Scale Stencils, they are available from BornPrettyStore and are currently (19/10) selling for $1.39 – pretty cheap huh! Don’t be concerned that it’s in dollars, paypal converts your total for you in to your preferred currency, or be worried about the potential cost of shipping – it’s free! If you use my code ‘AZYW10’ you will also get 10% off all full priced items.

AZYW10

BornPrettyStore: Shining Diamond Plate…

So today I’m posting my review of BornPrettyStore’s ‘Shining Diamond Stamping Plate‘*. It arrives in a little cardboard pocket which is handy if you don’t have an actual plate holder as it’ll still protect the plate from scratches when you’re not using it. (I know all stamping plates usually arrive with the protective blue film, and I’m sure you’re all well versed, but remember to remove this before stamping). It’s such a good feeling to see a super shiny, silver plate all fresh and new isn’t it, anyone with me on this one!

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I always try to warm any new plate up, or break it in – I’m not sure what the correct terminology would be? What I mean by that is at first the image doesn’t seem to work so well. The polish doesn’t go in to all the lines properly or the stamping head doesn’t pick the image up. Meaning I generally never use the first, second or third scraped image. You can see what I mean with the photograph below where you can hopefully tell what one was scraped first (white) and then the third scraped image (clear). Does anyone else experience this?

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Fortunately once the plate had warmed up, the images pick up really well. (Both of my stampers are also from BornPrettyStore and I used Konad stamping polish in ‘Black’.) The lines seem well engraved, and it’s lovely that there’s such a variety of gems included. As with most of my reviews, I like to have a play with a few looks to show how much potential an item has.

This first design was created by sponging on a glitter polish base, then stamping on some diamond images. (Aren’t the little ones cute?!) After that I painted around the diamonds with my blue polish and finished the look off by adding little bits of glitter from the polish I used as the base. Has anyone noticed the blip? I managed to mess up the transfer of an image from the stamper to my nail, can you see it yet, yeah my index finger. Whoops!

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Pretty bling bling bling, but why not. If you can afford to wear diamonds, you may as well go all out right!

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I’d like to say the second design is a little more subtle but I’m not too sure that it is. This time I decided to show how the individual images can be placed to create a sort of gemstone pattern. I painted on a silver polish base, added some silver foil flakes (they kind of got lost in the over-all look) and then individually picked up different gemstone images and placed them beside each other.

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So which design do you prefer? If you would like to try out this ‘Shining Diamond Stamping Plate‘ or anything else at BornPrettyStore, remember it’s free shipping and you can use my code ‘AZYW10’ to get 10% off all full priced items in your order. Dispatch and delivery can take a while, and the time scale is a little variable, but for shipping to Scotland it can take anything between 2 – 6 weeks but my packages have always arrived and safe and sound.

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